Tesla Vehicles are the Cheapest to Maintain and Repair According to Consumer Reports Study

By Cláudio Afonso
The cheapest vehicles to maintain and repair according to Consumer Reports
The cheapest vehicles to maintain and repair according to Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports

Tesla cars are the cheapest to maintain and repair according to a new study by Consumer Reports. Elon Musk commented on the survey on X emphasising that Tesla is “the lowest car to maintain”.

The study, which includes data from thousands of car owners in the US, was recently published and shows that Teslas averaged only $580 in maintenance and repair costs over the first five years of ownership. From years six through ten, the costs increased to $3,455, which brings the total to $4,035 for the first ten years of ownership — the lowest of any vehicle tested. It’s worth noting that the average length of car ownership in the U.S. is about 8 years. 

Buick and Toyota fall right below Tesla (both at $4,900) with Lincoln and Ford closing the top 5 with $5,040 and $5,400 respectively for maintenance and repair costs in a 10-year ownership.

German premium automakers BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz are among the 5 most expensive on the list with 10-year costs reaching $9,500, $9,890 and $10,525, respectively. The trio is only surpassed by the luxury German automaker Porsche with an average cost of $14,090 and Land Rover closes the list at $19,250. 

Car Maintenance

Vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) require additional maintenance, not only oil changes, but drive belts, transmission oil changes, coolant flushes, and more. Not only that, but ICE cars have more moving parts that decrease the reliability of the vehicle and can cause additional repairs such as transmission issues, clogged fuel filters or injectors, faulty spark plugs and the list goes on and on.

Since electric vehicles use regenerative braking to slow the vehicle down, brake pads also last much longer, sometimes lasting over 100k miles. This reduces wear on the brake pads, and rotors and even reduces brake dust on your wheels.

“EVs are cheaper to maintain, look after, and certainly to service,” says Matt Cleevely, from Cleevely Motors to Wired magazine adding that EVs “have half as many moving parts and require no regular oil changes”.

In Tesla’s case, the automaker suggests Model 3 owners replace the cabin air filter and HEPA filter every three years, check brake fluid every two years, and clean and lubricate the brake calipers every year or 12,500 miles, in areas where the roads are salted during the winter.

Gas Savings

These maintenance savings are only a small part of the reason why electric vehicles are cheaper to use for daily driving. Another large portion of savings comes from fuel costs. Tesla often promotes their vehicles’ gas savings on their website. For example, the Model Y has an estimated gas savings of $6,000 in the U.S. over the first five years of ownership alone. The savings may be even greater in other parts of the world where gas may be more expensive. After taking those savings into account, the world’s best-selling vehicle in 2023 starts at $29,490 after gas savings and the U.S. federal tax credit — and that’s before you include maintenance cost and time savings.

Cheapest cars to maintenance and repair through 10-years of ownership
Cheapest cars to maintenance and repair through 10-years of ownership

Impact Report: Tesla Vehicles 8x Less Likely to Catch Fire, Batteries Degrade 15% After 200k Miles

By Karan Singh

Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by producing products far superior to fossil fuel alternatives and sourcing and manufacturing them sustainably. Tesla released its 2023 Impact Report yesterday, discussing their ongoing impact on the environment and the improvements seen.

Displacing Fossil Fuels

In 2023 alone, Tesla’s impact on the environment through its vehicles, Powerwall, and Solar Roof has been massively impactful – Tesla customers avoided releasing the equivalent of 20 million metric tons of CO2e into the environment. That is the equivalent of 51 billion miles of driving an average internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

Each Tesla vehicle that is on the road avoids an average of 51 tons of CO2e emission into the environment. After just 3 years of driving, a Tesla’s lifetime emissions are lower than those of a comparable ICE vehicle. After the average lifespan of a vehicle in North America – 17 years – a single Tesla will have exceeded that value 5.5 times over.

Integrated Ecosystems

Tesla offers comprehensive ecosystems of products to address clean energy and transportation needs, from Megapack, Solar Roof, and Powerwall, to the Model S, 3, X, Y, and Cybertruck.

Tesla Solar produces power for storage in Megapacks or Powerwalls, which charge electric vehicles. Tesla also produces some of their own batteries, for both its storage applications and vehicles, enabling a complete cycle.

On the software side, products like Autobidder, Full Self-Driving, and the upcoming Robotaxi work to maximize the productivity of electricity that is stored in vehicles, helping to further displace fossil fuels in a single ecosystem of well-designed products.

Tesla's ecosystem depicted.
Tesla's ecosystem depicted.

World’s Best EVs

Tesla’s Model Y is still the best-selling vehicle in 2023, a trend likely to continue in 2024. And it’s not for little reason. It is the world’s most efficient EV, capable of running Autopilot/FSD, and is considered one of the best safety picks in both North America and Europe. Tesla’s data has also proven that they are, on average, 7.63 times safer than a traditional vehicle when running Autopilot.

Additionally, the Model Y is priced $3,000 USD below the average new vehicle in the US before the Federal EV Tax Credit – a difference of $17,000 after factoring in the credit and gas savings over 5 years.

Battery Degradation

Model 3/Y battery degradation over time
Model 3/Y battery degradation over time

Battery degradation is often brought up as a concern for EVs and the environment. Batteries fade away, become useless, and cannot be recycled. According to Tesla’s data and experience, this is far from the truth.

In fact, Tesla has found that their batteries degrade about 15% after 200,000 miles – the equivalent of the average lifetime of a vehicle. And in fact, they do even better in the cold than they do in the heat, with better degradation performance in Canada over the US.

Another interesting fact is that Tesla vehicles in particular – are 8 times less likely to be victim to a vehicle fire, compared against the US average.

Sustainable Sourcing

Sustainably sourcing materials is essential to reach Tesla’s vision of a world with reduced environmental impacts. In 2023, Tesla recovered enough battery materials to produce 43,000 Model Y RWD vehicles, while also sourcing Gigafactory Berlin with 100% renewable energy.

Overall, Tesla solar owners generated enough energy to power all Tesla locations, including all the Mega and Giga Factories, and all other facilities – over 3 times.

Tesla has also reduced water use by 25% over the last 5 years for vehicle production, marking a new milestone low – at 2.48 cubic meters of water, versus 3.37 cubic meters of water for an average ICE vehicle.

Tesla Breaks Ground on New Megafactory in Shanghai

By Karan Singh

Tesla broke ground on a new Megafactory in Shanghai’s Lingang free trade zone pilot program. This factory will be Tesla’s first foray into battery production outside of the United States, mirroring its direction in Lathrop, California.

Batteries, Not Cars

Megafactory Shanghai won’t be producing cars but rather will be producing Megapacks, which are grid-scale battery solutions that can power entire electricity grids.

Each massive Megapack battery unit, about the size of a shipping container, can deliver about 1.2 megawatts of power capacity, with 3.9 megawatt-hours of electricity. A single Megapack unit can power approximately 3,600 homes for an hour.

The Megafactory is scheduled to begin production in early 2025, with production goals of 10,000 Megapack units per year.

Sustainable Energy and Megapack

One of Tesla's Megapacks
One of Tesla's Megapacks

Tesla’s mission is more than just producing self-driving cars – it’s to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. As part of this mission, Megapack and grid-scale energy solutions are key to offset energy costs and carbon emissions when wind, solar, or hydro are at reduced capacities.

Megapack helps to maximize renewable energy use, minimize carbon use, and allow base-load capacities like nuclear power to maintain their output. Similar energy-storage solutions like pumped storage hydropower are expensive, require specific terrain features, and can take years to construct. Megapack units ship assembled, allowing for rapid installation with minimal complexity.

Lathrop vs Shanghai

Tesla’s fairly new facility in Lathrop, California is a mirror of the new facility being built in Shanghai. However, just like the differences between Fremont, Giga Texas, and Giga Shanghai, Mega Shanghai will likely incorporate new technologies to improve productivity. Additionally, it serves as a way to serve the energy market in the Indo-Pacific region, which has been at the forefront of energy development in the last decade.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

More Tesla News

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Sponsors

Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.