It Won’t Be Long Before Your Tesla Pays For Itself


JUL 2 2017 BY EVANNEX 21


Tesla Model X (Source: Tesla)


Will there come a day when your Tesla simply pays for itself? According to the Wall Street Journal*, that day may be coming soon.

“Thanks to ride sharing and the looming introduction of self-driving vehicles, the entire model of car ownership is being upended—and very soon may not look anything like it has for the past century. Drivers, for instance, may no longer be drivers, relying instead on hailing a driverless car on demand, and if they do decide to buy, they will likely share the vehicle—by renting it out to other people when it isn’t in use.”

How will Tesla contend with this paradigm shift? “Chief Executive Elon Musk has hinted that he’s preparing to create a network of Tesla owners that could rent out their self-driving cars to make money. Already, some drivers are testing this idea using other services that let them market their cars, something like Airbnb rentals on wheels.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of Evannex (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman.

Wall Street Journal cites an intriguing example:

“Take Jeff Cohen, who works for an electric-vehicle-charging company. His wife balked at his desire to buy the Model S sedan, which Tesla Inc. typically sells for about $100,000. He persuaded her to allow him to buy a Tesla if he would in turn rent it out on a site called Turo. Doing so—at $189 a day—almost covered the cost of the entire monthly loan payment while giving him the ability to drive the electric car around Atlanta when not in service, he says.”


Tesla Model S

It’s reported that, “Turo, which had more than three million people sign up for the service through the end of May, says Teslas, along with BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars are among the more popular searched vehicles on the site. ‘A lot of people are realizing that the car is no longer just a cost—it’s an asset,’ says Andre Haddad, Turo’s chief executive.”

And, it’s not just the economics. Another example of changes coming could be automotive interior design. Tesla Model 3’s vastly simplified interior could foreshadow some of these changes. And Panasonic, Tesla’s partner, hinted at automotive interior initiatives they’re working on — including the vehicle passenger experience. Other things to look out for include “a car that replaces a vehicle’s windows with video screens that create a wraparound movie theater inside the cabin… [and] seats that can be adjusted to block a passenger from the view of the others.”

Above: With driverless cars moving closer to reality, designers are imagining a future where car interiors look more like a high-tech living room (Youtube: Wall Street Journal)

In any event, this self-driving, car-sharing transformation will happen soon:

“A study by Deloitte Consulting, for example, estimates that the cost of personal car ownership is on average 97 cents a mile today but could drop by two-thirds in a world of shared, self-driving vehicles—a tipping point that could usher the technology into daily life for many people… One plan to get drivers to buy a vehicle of their own is to help owners rent out their vehicles, as they would in Mr. Musk’s planned network of Tesla owners.”

That said, “Mr. Cohen, after spending about two years renting out his Model S on Turo, has begun to wind down that effort. ‘At almost exactly the second anniversary of that note, I paid off my Tesla,’ he says. He’s keeping an eye on Tesla’s ambitions for renting out autonomous vehicles, though he is dubious about giving up the thrill of driving. ‘For me, autonomous driving is not something I am looking forward to,’ he said, ‘but I can tell you that my 25-year-old son and recent UVA Law School graduate certainly is.'”


*Source: Wall Street Journal

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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21 Comments on "It Won’t Be Long Before Your Tesla Pays For Itself"

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Supply and demand will sort this out in short order.

Market forces, without interference, will keep your supply and demand scale balanced to keep Tesla in a position of significant advantage.

Evannex and The Wall Street Journal have been drinking copious amounts of Tesla Kool-Aid.

Tesl-aid. Goes great with copious quantities of Everclear (the pure one, not the water downed one in CA). You see all kinds of fantastic visions of naked Tesla dancing.

Then you wake up to reality…

At least they are not huffing hydrogen…

Whatever it takes to keep puffing up the Tesla stock…

One thing I never expected of old age is that I would absolutely hate the prospects of such changes to society!

I’m not sure if you intended it it not, but that’s the best joke I’ve read today! Such irony…!

Douglas Adams:

1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.

2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.

3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

I see these cars on Turk and I wonder who really rents them. Why bother when a comparable car is $50-$60 a day. Then there are the horror stories of insurance not covering the full value when it is crashed.

Like with anything though you can likely have some one pay for your whatever if you rent it out and don’t factor in your time or cost of capital especially.

Personally I find property a better investment as it will appreciate in the long run. Same can’t be said for virtually all cars.

So you buy a car for $100.000 to allow unknown people use it all day long.

I agree ,, That is truly INSANE!

…with no guarantee the car will be returned to you when you need it, or what condition it will be in when it is returned; and absolutely guaranteeing it will not be available to you on short notice if something unexpected comes up.

Gosh yes, I can see absolutely whole tens of people agreeing to this. 😉 Possibly even hundreds. But millions? 🙄

Reality check: Air BnB allows you to rent out bedrooms in your home to people you’ve never met. And some people use the service and do like it. But you will notice that Air BnB hasn’t caused the motel industry to tank, nor has it even caused a measurable drop in new hotels opening up!

Likewise, the relatively few people who will agree to let total strangers rent their car isn’t going to significantly impact the percentage of people owning cars.

They’ll return it to you after a fun filled day at the race track so you can repair it later as things start falling apart …l m a o …

This article is not about Tesla. It is about ride sharing and autonomous vehicles.

“…the entire model of car ownership is being upended… Drivers, for instance, may no longer be drivers, relying instead on hailing a driverless car on demand…”

To restate this absurd argument: People are suddenly going to start preferring to rely on taxis, rather than owning their own car, once taxis become driverless, and ride-sharing will also suddenly become very commonplace once cars are driverless.

I really don’t understand why anyone with even a smidgen of common sense would swallow this bilgewater. People buy their own cars for the convenience and reliability; so they won’t have to call a taxi or beg their friends for a ride every time they want to go somewhere! What kind of crazy idea is it that this will magically change if cars can drive themselves?

Upstream, Sven referred to this idea as “Tesla Kool-Aid”. Well, I’m not sure where this ridiculous “greenie” fantasy came from. Certainly Tesla is now helping to promote it, but did this really originate with Tesla?

Anyway, yes it certainly is Kool-Aid of a sort. I’m just not sure what flavor it is! I think we saw the idea outlined here at InsideEVs before Tesla jumped on the bandwagon, but I’m not sure.


You’re saying people own cars today for cost and convenience reasons. The reasons people will move to Transportation as a Service are also cost and convenience. This will happen first in high density urban areas where the costs are greater and where ownership may be an inconvenience. Lyft, Uber, Taxis, et al exist today but you pay a premium for the convenience. Removing the driver removes the most expensive part of the equation. When these services have a cost advantage or even cost parity they will grow rapidly.

Read pu-pu comment again. It’s all about convenience and reabillity, NOT cost.

If Tesla could go to work in my place would be great…i only sit around and supervise people anyway so it should not be that hard.

Yo Mark.Ca, you were correct that my 60-40 EV split between NCAL/SCAL was wrong. I could only find data from 2015 and it wasn’t what I would like but it shows SCAL had about 57% of CA EVs. This is 2015 data which we would expect to be less than half of what the 2017 data would show. Population EV Regs Area KiloCapita 6648436 31425 BayArea 472 23316029 48982 SCAL 210 3512159 3403 AltaCal 97 3796458 1996 Cent/Sierra 53 Here is the info for all counties; 176584 19 Imperial 0.11 3211252 7445 SanDiego 2.32 2292507 2186 Riverside 0.95 2088371 1712 SanBernadino 0.82 3114363 10623 Orange 3.41 10017068 23845 LosAngeles 2.38 839620 1810 Ventura 2.16 864124 391 Kern 0.45 435697 599 SantaBarbara 1.37 276443 352 SanLuisObispo 1.27 454143 85 Tulare 0.19 18467 3 Inyo 0.16 150960 18 Kings 0.12 428826 355 Monterey 0.83 955272 714 Fresno 0.75 152389 64 Madera 0.42 704379 435 SanJoaquin 0.62 57600 74 SanBenito 1.28 14074 3 Mono 0.21 17755 5 Mariposa 0.28 53874 15 Tuoloumne 0.28 525491 168 Stanislaus 0.32 263228 57 Merced 0.22 27873 8 DelNorte 0.29 43799 8 Siskiyou 0.18 9147 0 Modoc 0.00 32163 2 Lassen 0.06 178980 91 Shasta 0.51 134493 140… Read more »

You can tell by the current total $ rebate paid by county that SoCal is about 55%. …still fairly balanced between N and S. I counted 8 counties in the S group and 50 in the N group. Numbers are not bad but we can do better.

I put 10 counties in the BayArea and 10 in SCAL. If you subtract the less populous SCAL counties (Kern, San Bernadino, Imperial, and Riverside) then SCAL still ends up with a per capita rate that is about half that of the 10 Bay Area counties.