An average electric car still costs a lot of money. An amount of around 40,000 euros is the rule rather than the exception. You can also buy a second-hand Tesla from that money. But are you doing yourself a favor with that?
The full test was in AutoWeek 39
The Model S put the Tesla brand on the map in the Netherlands and elsewhere. The car has been on the market in virtually unchanged form since 2013, but certainly at the rear there are practically no differences with the models from year 2019. In short, a six year old car can easily pass for a new one.
On the inside of the Tesla Model S, the differences between the first and more recent ones are also minimal. In both cases, the dashboard is dominated by a large touch screen. What stands out at most are the other steering wheel and the finishing options. The seats have also been adjusted.
Difficult to distinguish from a new, this six year old Tesla. (Photo: Tesla)
Battery capacity hardly deteriorates
Such second-hand models, often between five and six years old, come with a two-year or 160,000-kilometer warranty, depending on what is achieved earlier. During that period you can also rely on 24-hour roadside assistance.
Despite the fact that an electric car contains a fraction of the parts of a regular vehicle with an internal combustion engine and therefore has a better reliability as a basis, many people are wary of what they experience as new technology.
Many electric car manufacturers, including Tesla, offer an eight-year warranty on the battery and drive unit. With the American brand, models from before 2015 with a battery pack of less than 70 kWh have a warranty of eight years or 200,000 kilometers. The cars with a larger battery receive a guarantee of the same duration but with an unlimited mileage.
Data from more than 300 vehicles collected by Tesla owners shows that the battery capacity after 100,000 kilometers is still around 95 percent on average. Moreover, the trend shows that capacity only falls below 90 percent after 300,000 kilometers.
The battery capacity suffers little from (correct) use. (Photo: Tesla)
Updates keep old models up to date
Where in a comparable car from 2013 you are often confronted with outdated hardware and software, the infotainment system of the Tesla is continuously provided with so-called over-the-air (OTA) updates. So not only does the dashboard still look the same, everything works as it does in a new version. Tesla therefore does not use model year designations, as is the case with other brands.
Issues that have been added in recent years thanks to OTA updates are greater range and better performance, faster loading, new safety features, an Autopilot functionality and the brand's famous jokes and jokes, including Tesla Arcade.
To make everything run smoothly, the brand does not leave the hardware unaffected. For example, a new Multipoint Control Unit was added in March 2018 to control the user interface. This made faster processing and image display possible, which means that a somewhat older Tesla is completely up to date when viewed from the driver's seat.
Thanks to updates, things function in an older Tesla as in a newer one. (Photo: Tesla)
Not completely free of repairs
Repairs that models of a number of years old must take into account relate to relatively small issues, such as the windscreen washer pump. The tire pressure sensor also needs to be replaced, just like the car's key.
In the past, the door handles that extend when touched have sometimes dropped. If these are no longer straight, so if they are pulled too hard, a new calibration may be the solution. In the worst case, the handle must be completely replaced.
To protect the technology, you can adjust the settings via the touch screen so that only the driver's door opens instead of all four.
The so-called used cars that Tesla offers itself undergo a mechanical inspection at 70 points, including checking the battery and powertrain, chassis, braking system, the electrical installation, the interior and the bodywork.
The special door handles may require extra attention. (Photo: Tesla)
New Model S is further than ever
The current Model S is still being modified. After the recent update for the powertrain, the car is further than ever: more than 600 kilometers on a battery charge, according to Tesla. AutoWeek tested the updated Model S Long Range and saw the first time fully loaded a range of 585 kilometers in the instrumentation, based on the way the drivers of the car handle the power.
During the test, after 369 kilometers, the car indicated that it could still drive 84 kilometers, which amounts to a range of 453 kilometers. Given the journey pattern that consisted of 80 percent highway kilometers and 20 percent provincial roads, that is still a neat performance. With more city kilometers and journeys inwards, more than 550 kilometers is certainly achievable.
With the Audi E-Tron and the Mercedes EQC, 330 to 340 kilometers were covered on one load under the same conditions, which amounted to a higher consumption than the Tesla Model S Long Range shows: 19.7 kWh.
The full test was in AutoWeek 39