It Turns Out Tesla Vehicles Really Make Great Taxis

1 month ago by EVANNEX 28

Tesla

Tesloop Tesla Model S

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE A TESLA MODEL S FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MILES?

With simpler powertrains and far fewer moving parts, electric vehicles should last longer and require less maintenance, than legacy vehicles. How is this prediction holding up in the real world?

Tesla

Ari Nyyssönen and his Tesla taxi in Finland (Images: Tesla Club Finland)

One good person to ask would be Ari Nyyssönen, a Finnish taxi driver who has logged over 250,000 miles in his Tesla, and believes his car could make it past the million-kilometer mark (621,000 miles). Nyyssönen’s 2014 Model S85 hasn’t been maintenance-free, but he says it has required far less attention than a gas vehicle would have. He did have to replace the motor and service the battery pack, but both repairs were covered under warranty.

“They are the biggest worries,” Nyyssönen told local media outlet Helsingen Sanomat (via Teslarati), “but they are not very bad because the most important defects have been repaired according to the guarantee.

Nyyssönen says his battery retains about 93% of its original capacity.

Nyyssönen’s Model S is not the first to pass the quarter-million milestone. LA-based Tesloop, a city-to-city mobility service in Southern California, has a fleet of Model X and one Model S called “eHawk,” which went into service in 2015 and recently rolled past 300,000 miles on the odometer.

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

Tesla

Tesloop’s Tesla Model S eHawk (Image: TechCrunch)

When eHawk passed the 200,000-mile mark a year ago, Tesloop CEO Rahul Sonnad estimated that the battery had degraded only about 6 percent.

“At Tesloop, we are leveraging Tesla’s next generation transportation platform to deliver the mobility experience of the future today,” said Tesloop founder Haydn Sonnad. “The electric drivetrain, when coupled with a vast supercharging network, enables a level of vehicle utilization that is not possible with your typical gas car. When these are combined with increasingly sophisticated driving autonomy features and deep connectivity, a whole new approach to mobility can be offered.”

Tesloop’s eHawk has racked up a total of $10,492 in combined maintenance and fuel costs, and has spent 12 days in the shop. Of these costs, $6,900 represented scheduled maintenance and $3,500 went to repair the headlights, which were damaged by driving through deep water. Tesloop estimates that, for the same number of miles, a Mercedes S class would have cost around $86,000 ($52,000 maintenance and $36,000 fuel), and a Lincoln Town Car $70,000 ($28,000 maintenance and $42,000 fuel). Both cars would have spent over 100 days in the shop.

Tesla

Another look at Tesloop’s eHawk (Image: Tesloop)

“Over the last two years, we have seen that electric, supercharged vehicles can be deployed at utilization levels unheard of with gas vehicles,” said Sonnad. “And while saving over $60,000 on fuel and maintenance is a substantial economic win, we feel the bigger win is that this car is ready for another 900,000 miles over the next 6 years under its current warranty.  A gas car with 300,000 miles would be near the end of its useful lifespan.”

Tesloop has published full service records for this vehicle, along with detailed photos.

Teslas are steadily becoming popular with taxi services around the world. They’re particularly common in Europe. Norway’s first Tesla taxi went into service in 2013, and in the Netherlands, a fleet of 167 Model S taxis serves Schiphol airport (which also has 35 electric airside buses in service).

Tesla

Tesla taxis at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands (photo: TaxiPro); Bottom: Tesla taxi in Fribourg, Switzerland (photo: Charles Morris)

Canadian taxi owner/operator Christian Roy has been driving his Tesla taxi since March 2014 in Quebec City, Canada, and passed the 100,000-mile mark last August. After learning of the first Model S taxi in Norway, Christian told Electrek, he did the math and realized it was feasible. He paid the equivalent of $75,400 for his Model S85 in February 2014. The payments are hefty – $1,550 a month for 5 years, but Christian says they are more than offset by the money he saves on gas and maintenance.

Christian has no Supercharger in his area – the nearest is in Drummondville, about 94 miles away, but he says his Model S85 has enough range to get him through a day, and he charges at home at night.

Tesla

Christian Roy’s Tesla taxi in Quebec City, Canada (Instagram: teslataxi)

Thanks to Hydro Quebec’s cheap power (7 cents US per kWh), Christian’s electric costs totaled only around $3,660 over 100,000 miles. His previous vehicle, a Subaru Legacy (what a fitting name!) often cost him $700 per month for gas. Christian is also saving on maintenance – he has been through a few sets of tires, and recently had to change the brakes, bearings, and parts of the suspension, which he considers normal wear after 100,000 miles. However, his legacy vehicle racked up over $20,000 in repair bills.

*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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28 responses to "It Turns Out Tesla Vehicles Really Make Great Taxis"

  1. Kdawg says:

    “Tesloop’s eHawk has racked up a total of $10,492 in combined maintenance and fuel costs, and has spent 12 days in the shop. .. Tesloop estimates that, for the same number of miles, a Mercedes S class would have cost around $86,000 ($52,000 maintenance and $36,000 fuel), and a Lincoln Town Car $70,000 ($28,000 maintenance and $42,000 fuel). Both cars would have spent over 100 days in the shop.”
    ———–
    What are these crazy maintenance costs? I’ve had my Volt for over 5 years now and my total maintenance cost has been $100 for (2) oil changes and $600 for tires that I just bought.

    1. Mint says:

      Probably extrapolated from something like $2k maintenance per 10k miles for the Benz plus a few major services. Kinda stretching the truth, IMO.

      Your Volt hasn’t done 200k ICE miles, so that comparison doesn’t say much.

      1. TomArt says:

        Good point.

      2. Mister G says:

        Mint when you drive a luxury brand you pay luxury prices, for instance, I was getting an oil change at a drive thru speedy oil change business and a Mercedes pulled into the lane next to me and I overhead the service tech say $100 for oil and filter change,I was paying $19.99 for my oil and filter change on my Toyota matrix and this was over 5 years ago.

    2. Paul Smith says:

      You haven’t put 300,000 miles on yours i”ll bet.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “What are these crazy maintenance costs? I’ve had my Volt for over 5 years now and my total maintenance cost has been $100 for (2) oil changes and $600 for tires that I just bought.”

      1. Your Volt isn’t a luxury car, and costs for repairs and replacement parts for your Volt aren’t nearly as high as they are for luxury cars. Perhaps this only counts as anecdotal evidence, but many Model S owners over on the Tesla Motors Club forum report that their annual maintenance/repair costs for their Tesla car is far lower than it was for the luxury car they previously owned.

      2. Your Volt isn’t being used as a taxi, and very likely has not had 200,000+ miles put on it!

    4. Dan says:

      There total also included fuel. And they had driven over 200k miles. How many miles do you have on your Volt?

  2. Doggydogworld says:

    Tesloop has not “published” their service records. They will send them if you surrender your personal info.

    Tesloops numbers for a Lincoln Town car are just fantasies. Also, what are their tire costs?

    All three of these taxis had their drive units replaced. Christian Roy’s was replaced twice. Both cars that have hit 200k miles had their batteries removed and replaced/repaired.

    The drivers are happy despite these major repairs because Tesla shareholders covered the cost. That has nothing to do with reliability and it has no relation to normal Model S/X drivers who won’t see these 100k+ mile problems until after the 8 year warranty expires.

    1. William says:

      So, there will be some really good deals and inventory to choose from on the Tesla Model X, in about 7 or 8 years (2025 ish). More good news for the Tesla CPO “Tyre Kicking Krowd”!

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “The drivers are happy despite these major repairs because Tesla shareholders covered the cost. That has nothing to do with reliability and it has no relation to normal Model S/X drivers who won’t see these 100k+ mile problems until after the 8 year warranty expires.”

      Regarding the first Tesloop Model S to reach 200,000 miles, Tesla said there was a problem with the battery pack which was peculiar to cars with very high mileage in a short period of time, and that this problem would eventually be addressed with a software fix.

      I don’t know all the details and I don’t know about the other car involved, but assuming what Tesla said is true and isn’t just spin, then only those few Teslae racking up hundreds of thousands of miles in <2 years should be concerned about having the same problem arise.

      The average American car is riven less than 14,000 miles per year. At 14k miles annually, a car would have to be owned for 14.29 years before reaching 200,000 miles. That's quite a bit longer than the ~15 months it took the first Tesloop Model S to reach 200,000 miles!

      If this was a gasmobile, I would expect it to need an engine replacement at or before 200,000 miles, and quite likely would need a transmission replacement at least once before that.

      http://insideevs.com/200000-miles-tesla-model-s-experienced-6-battery-degradation/

      1. Doggydogworld says:

        There’s no way to know the true story about Tesloop’s battery since AFAIK Tesla never made any public statement. We don’t even know precisely what Tesla told Tesloop, just their interpretation. We do know:

        – It failed in the manner of an end-of-life lithium

        – Tesla replaced it under warranty instead of giving them a loaner until the “firmware” was fixed

        – Tesla, a highly promotional company, keeps mum about this battery that’s in such tremendous shape after 200k miles. Even now, after the firmware is presumably fixed and the battery is happily racking up more miles somewhere

        Anything’s possible, but…..

        “If this was a gasmobile, …..”

        200k miles of steady highway driving? That’s a walk in the park. NYC taxis do 400k+ under brutal conditions. Use synthetic oil and the engine’s internals would look like new after 200k highway miles.

    3. Dan says:

      Most motor replacements that Tesla provides have nothing to do with them failing. Most are due to “tining” noises. They are they refurbished. I had my drive unit replaced during a routine maintenance check without even requesting it. Seeing that the stock is over $370, the stockholders are doing just fine.

  3. Four Electrics says:

    I don’t see how this is practical for most of the world. Taxi rides are so cheap that the fare wouldn’t even cover the per-mile deprecation cost of a Tesla over each trip.

    1. Brett says:

      I don’t think you actually understand what depreciation is.

      Assume capital cost of US$100,000
      Assume reasonable life of capital asset of 500,000 miles

      Depreciation cost per mile = $0.20

      In my jurisdiction the cost for a cab is:

      C$3.45 for the first 150 meters,
      C$0.16 per 86 metres after that.

      Converting to USD @ exchange rate of 0.80USD/1CDN, that means fare rates are about $2.30 per mile (1600 metres).

      Vehicle depreciation is less than 10% of fare revenue.

      1. Four Electrics says:

        If you lease a Tesla, you are paying roughly $2 per-mile in depreciation costs.

        If you drive the car into the ground, you will pay less, though I doubt any car makes a “great taxi” at the 500,000th mile (10 years older or more).

        1. Four Electrics says:

          Note that in the US, Lyft charges $1.35 a mile.

          1. Four Electrics says:

            Shoot–forgot to mention that the per-mile is based on typical cab occupancy: only 40% of cab miles are with a passenger.

        2. Val says:

          why would anyone __lease__ a car for taxi duty??? That would be a super-stupid thing to do…

          1. Tom says:

            They wouldn’t. The better question is why would someone even suggest it in a post. Four Electrics perhaps you should read up on the whole taxi concept

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            It’s pretty safe to predict that a serial anti-Tesla FUDster like “Four Electrics” will always pick the worst possible scenario, and pretend that’s the usual case.

            When reading any of his posts about Tesla or its cars, the question isn’t whether or not there will be lies and half-truths; the only question is how obvious they will be.

  4. ffbj says:

    I looks really good for having 250k miles. Probably the vehicle of choice for high end taxi’s. It will save you a lot of money in the long run.

    Also the increase in bans in major cities of polluting vehicles, will give the choice of high range evs a boost and business to Tesla.

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    “Thanks to Hydro Quebec’s cheap power (7 cents US per kWh), Christian’s electric costs totaled only around $3,660 over 100,000 miles. ”

    So, his S85 cost him $78K so far.

    “His previous vehicle, a Subaru Legacy (what a fitting name!) often cost him $700 per month for gas.”

    Gas saving is real and fair.

    ” Christian is also saving on maintenance – he has been through a few sets of tires, ”

    That is F*&*& spin here. Tesla needs few sets of tires too for 100K miles and that is going to cost more than the legacy.

    “and recently had to change the brakes, bearings, and parts of the suspension, which he considers normal wear after 100,000 miles.”

    Well, he got crappy car then. Most cars with 100K miles don’t need suspension replacement. Model S isn’t immune in that sense and none of that has anything to do with ICE.

    The brake saving is real. That is fair.

    ” However, his legacy vehicle racked up over $20,000 in repair bills.”

    Care to show the break down math? $20K must included few tires. Because NO FREAKING way a suspension, bearing and brakes would cost $20K to repair on a car that starts at $25K!!!!

    Seriously, EVs have real savings. But stories like this sometimes just feel like they are trying way too hard to spin the narrative to favor the EVs when facts are being presented in a fair and neutral way.

    This is why I am HIGHLY disappointed at InsideEV for published EVANNEX’s BS articles which are often Tesla spins.

    1. floydboy says:

      BS? EVANNEX’s articles are not true?

    2. Tom says:

      The entire article seems to have some rather exaggerated claims but I’m betting the missing info here is that the Subaru was driven to hell and back. Notice they don’t mention how many miles. He might have driven that thing 500,000 miles. I knew a guy when I was a kid that drove a Dodge van he used as route sales for 800,000 miles. Beating the tar out of that Subaru for even 250,000 miles would probably involve things such as major engine and transmission overhauls/changes. Probably 10 sets of tires and brakes which alone is several thousand. Belts, hoses, spark plugs, headlights, etc etc. Add it all up and you can get there pretty quick. Swapping an engine and transmission might have been $7500 all by itself.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      ModernMarvelFan said:

      “This is why I am HIGHLY disappointed at InsideEV for published EVANNEX’s BS articles which are often Tesla spins.”

      Your B.S. detector appears to be broken; it’s giving you false positives. There is a difference between spin, which is choosing to report only facts and figures which cast either an entirely positive or entirely negative light on a certain subject; and outright B.S., which means lies, half-truths, and wild distortions of the facts.

      And speaking of spin and B.S., MMF… you are rather far from being in a position to cast stones on that subject.

  6. Jim Whitehead says:

    ModernMarvelFan, you are comparing apples and oranges. You really don’t seem to grasp the difference between a full time commercial cab that can have 2 shifts of drivers and your car, that sits in a parking space 95% of the time and is often left parked in bad weather.

    A full time taxi is driven hard in all kinds of weather and on all kinds of roads, some with bad potholes, is going to take a bad pounding that you rarely see in a normal car. People often call a taxi when they are scared to drive in ice, snow, etc.

    For example, when I lived in a suburb of Washington DC, an ice storm hit and I dug out. A neighbor warned me to not drive in the ice and snow, as it could damage the car. As I owned a powerful Mercedes 420 SEL, I ignored him to my peril. In just one day, a few Ice chunks big as bricks damaged my front suspension and a cracked a bearing. It cost me over $1K to fix, for a gas Mercedes that I drove for business only 15,000 miles a year.

    Bottom Line: If a Tesla can take the pounding of full time taxi drivers for 300K miles, it can take anything you encounter.

    1. Jim Whitehead says:

      P.S. In two different cars, driving in snow damaged the muffler, knocking it loose to the point where the end started dragging the ground.

      Stating the obvious, the Tesla has no muffler. I will take a Titanium shield any day over a bunch of rusty steel hanging down by wires. Same with the mess going on inside an internal combustion engine. Take a good hard look at yours: hundreds of parts all have to work right. Its a miracle it runs at all.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “a few Ice chunks big as bricks damaged my front suspension and a cracked a bearing. It cost me over $1K to fix, for a gas Mercedes that I drove for business only 15,000 miles a year.”

        So, suspension and bearing cost $1K. How many of those repairs would add up to $20K? And how many miles would that add up to? Show me the math that it would make some sense there. In this particular failure mode, why would Tesla’s suspension or bearing somehow stronger? The Ti shield doesn’t cover those components at all.

        “If a Tesla can take the pounding of full time taxi drivers for 300K miles, it can take anything you encounter.”

        Yes, mostly hwy miles. But how is that claim that other brand or models such as Subaru Legacy in this particular case that can’t?

        Also, as far as your muffler comment go, plenty of cars offer stainless mufflers that don’t rust out. Just so you know. Sure, Tesla is superior in that aspect and I have NEVER argued against that. The problem I have is how much this blog has exaggerate the cost of the Subaru by including tire cost while ignoring that on the Tesla. We all know that Tesla isn’t all that magic that it doesn’t go through tires, relatively expensive sets compared with Subaru.

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