Unless you’re completely tuned out of the automobile world, it’s almost certain you will have heard of Tesla. The innovative company has undoubtedly changed the landscape of electric vehicles. In doing so, it has built up a loyal fan base of drivers who wouldn’t purchase anything less. But do you know what a Tesla really is, and whether or not you should buy one?
This article is here to answer all your burning questions, weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of these increasingly popular cars. Don’t forget, too, that My Car Credit can help you find the right car finance with which to fund your new vehicle – whether it’s a Tesla or not.
Teslas: the pros
Tesla vehicles are electric, which means that if you buy one, you’ll soon be waving a happy goodbye to pumping your car full of fuel. This in turn has the secondary advantage of benefiting your wallet. The environmental impact of electric cars are undeniable – electric vehicles contribute considerably lower emissions than conventional vehicles, not to mention that cities experience noticeably better air quality.
Lower running cost
The initial purchase cost of a Tesla is somewhat pricey and might put you out of pocket without the right car finance (more on that below). However, the running cost of Tesla cars is definitely less than that of an internal combustion engine car – that is, vehicles which run on petrol or diesel.
You might end up having to replace the battery, which can be quite expensive. However, this payment is still balanced out by the savings you’ll be making on fuel. A recent test on the Tesla Model S battery actually found that it still had 98% capacity after seven years of usage – so unless you’re really grinding the car into the ground, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing it.
The Supercharger network
For newbies to all things Tesla, Supercharger is the company’s charging network. You drive up to a Supercharger location – they’re easy to find using the Tesla app – and plug your car in to recharge. After about 30 minutes, the app will notify you when your car is good to go, and you can hit the road. What’s more, the price you’ll pay to use this is significantly lower than fuel. Tesla estimates that charging via a Supercharger costs £0.28 per kilowatt of energy, compared to an estimated petrol cost of £1.20 per litre for a 42mpg car.
Tesla’s technology is not to be sneered at. The app is hugely useful, and Tesla works to regularly upgrade the software in its vehicles. This means that improvements are wirelessly beamed to their vehicles without you having to do anything. The huge touchscreen on the centre console means no fiddly buttons or knobs to mess around with, and it’s super sleek-looking. Sentry Mode detects external threats via cameras too. In addition, Tesla is even working on Tesla Autopilot, an advanced driver-assistance system that’s currently under development.
There’s no denying that every Tesla model is a fantastic performer – even the ones that are focussed primarily on energy efficiency. The fastest Tesla, the Model S, can actually outrun Ferraris and Lamborghinis, so if you’re a particular fan of speed, a Tesla won’t disappoint.
They’re good-looking cars
Having a car that’s super sleek isn’t necessarily top of everyone’s list – but if it is, it’s hard to deny that Tesla vehicles are definitely stylish.
Teslas: the cons
Not great for long journeys
If you’re looking for a vehicle that serves well as an urban commuting car, Tesla will tick the boxes. But if you need something that will stand up to longer journeys, their electric vehicles do come into problems. You’ll have to forward plan your journey according to the available Tesla Superchargers. What’s more, you’ll need to factor in the charging duration to your overall travel time.
It is possible to use public chargers for Tesla, but you’ll only get 20-25 miles of range in an hour of charging. This is compared to 150 miles in 20-25 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger. The range of Teslas is improving, but if you’re regularly travelling longer journeys, they’re perhaps not the best vehicle for you.
Struggles in colder climes
If you’ve previously owned an electric car, you’ll likely already know this, but electric vehicles aren’t efficient in chillier conditions. This is basically because electric vehicles don’t produce much heat, unlike internal combustion vehicles.
There are ways to navigate this – having heat pumps, for example – but only the Model Y has this out of the Tesla vehicles. There’s a heating system you can turn on in other models. This will inevitably bring down the car’s overall range, and you’ll need to swiftly recharge.
You’ll likely be paying twice as much for the Tesla Model 3 compared with a comparable fuel-powered sedan. Teslas definitely have a reputation for being expensive – and the initial price won’t include add-ons like additional seats, the Subzero Weather Package, an upgraded sound system, and Smart Air Suspension.
Yes, your Tesla vehicle will automatically upgrade its software as improvements are made but the hardware – that is, the car itself – won’t. So, as your software becomes more sophisticated, you might find that the car is too old to support it, a bit like your phone. Plus, Tesla suffers from a lack of inventory – so you may end up waiting for your new car for anywhere between 8 – 12 weeks.
Should I buy a Tesla?
Only you know what your priorities as a driver are. If you’re looking for a sleek, nippy vehicle to get you around the city, Teslas have significant appeal. On the other hand, they’re less great for long car journeys with potentially irritable young children in the back.
One thing you can count on is My Car Credit. We’ll find you the best car finance available, whether you opt for a Tesla or not, matching your needs to the best deal for you. Our online process will have an answer for you in minutes – just fill in our car finance calculator to get a no-obligation quote.
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