And it reportedly cost less to get there than a gas car
Electric cars are still relatively expensive, and even with some offering more than 250 miles (402,000 km) of range, they don’t necessarily work for everyone’s needs. But their simpler drivetrains promise less-expensive maintenance and drastically lower fuel costs. The question is, though, how much can you really save over a gasoline-powered car? A Tesla taxi company called Tesloop recently had a Model S roll past the 300,000-mile (483,000 km) mark, and according to its calculations, the savings have been massive.
Tesloop says that its first car, a Tesla Model S, has been operating since 2015, often being driven as much as 17,000 miles (27,000 km) a month. But despite covering so many miles, maintenance has been fairly cheap. In its first 300,000 miles (483,000 km), the car only needed $10,492 USD for maintenance and fuel. Of that total amount, $6,900 USD was scheduled maintenance, and $3,500 USD went toward repairing headlight damage that occurred when the car was driven through deep water. That’s a lot to spend on a car over two years, but 300,000 miles (483,000 km) works out to about 20 years of regular use. Fuel costs were negligible because, while it won’t last forever, the Model S has free access to Tesla’s Supercharger network. If Tesloop had to pay to charge, 300,000 miles (483,000 km) would equate to $12,872 USD at 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to our friends at IntelliChoice.
Over the same number of miles, Tesloop estimates a Mercedes-Benz S-Class would have used $36,000 USD in fuel and would have required a whopping $52,000 USD in maintenance. A Lincoln Town Car, meanwhile, would have used $42,000 USD in fuel and $28,000 USD for maintenance. The release isn’t clear how it computed maintenance costs or what all it included, but it appears to include lost revenue from the number of days each car would have spent in the shop. Tesloop estimates the former would have needed 112 days in the shop, while the latter would have been out of commission for 100 days. The Tesla, meanwhile, was only in the shop for a total of 12 days.
Even if you ignore the cost of maintenance and only focus on fuel savings, the Tesla comes out way ahead. Granted, that’s only because it’s able to take advantage of free Supercharging, but even if it had been paying for its juice the Tesla’s fuel costs still come in way under those of an S-Class. Plus, Tesloop estimates that the car will still be good for another 900,000 miles (1.4 million-km) over the next six years thanks to Tesla’s eight-year, unlimited-mile powertrain warranty. At the end of its service life, the 1.2 million-mile (1.9 million-km) Tesla will have theoretically saved Tesloop $144,000 USD in fuel costs alone.
Without access to free charging, the cost of running an electric vehicle would be higher than Tesloop’s numbers suggest. But still, it’s a fascinating look at just how much cheaper electric cars can be to run than gas-powered ones. As our friends at IntelliChoice pointed out, electric vehicles have a big advantage in extreme mileage comparisons like this one. There isn’t really much to do in terms of regular maintenance. Other than cabin air filters and windshield wipers, the biggest maintenance costs are tires and brakes. Those aren’t cheap, but you’ll have to deal with those costs regardless of what kind of car you drive. And compared to a gas-powered car, the overall cost of maintaining an electric vehicle will definitely be lower.