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A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

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« Marotzke's mischief | Main | Diluting the truth »

No sucker like a green sucker

The Truth About Cars is a website that I haven't come across before, but its article on ownership costs of a Tesla EV is well worth a look. It seems that the aluminium bodywork, used to reduce weight, makes it startlingly expensive.

Reported estimates from Tesla’s certified shops include:

  • $10,000 to repair a “minor but long” scratch
  • $45,000 for “minor front-end damage”
  • $7,000 for repair of a small dent and scratch that required no replacement of parts
  • $30,000 for “minor fender and door damage”
  • $11,000 for a minor scrape on the rear panel, including a $155 charge to “ensure battery remains charged” during the repair

But there are also strong hints that Tesla is ripping customers off. There's no sucker like a green sucker I suppose.

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Reader Comments (25)

Go into a Ford UK dealer, don't !

Needed to know about battery issues/use....and allied electronics,

Jan 29, 2015 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

My old Vintage BSA has an Aluminium Tank which had several dents when I got it, it did not cost $7000 per dent to repair. Aluminium body panels dent a lot easier than steel but they also are easier to put right. Some one is taking the green piss ;)

Jan 29, 2015 at 12:10 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

The Tesla - the car with the bumper sticker "My other car is a Gulfstream unless it's a Wednesday when I use the Learjet'.

Jan 29, 2015 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Elon Musk should stick to building Falcons. At least they are cheaper than any alternative on the market.

Jan 29, 2015 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

lots of cars have aluminium panels.. they are taking the p****

Jan 29, 2015 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

ie most body panels of new and old landrovers are aluminium... these are rip off prices for a niche 'luxuy' car maker - marketing

Jan 29, 2015 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Tesla is ripping customers off and they love him for it , that is his real wonder

Barry Woods other cars use the same building techniques/materials has Ferrari's , want to guess which is the most expensive out of the two to fix ?

Jan 29, 2015 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Range Rover doors are (or at least were) aluminium. We once made the mistake of having magnetic signs made to put on the side of our recovery vehicles. No prizes for guessing who had red faces when we tried to fit them!!

Jan 29, 2015 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

Tesla only make 100 cars per day hence the high cost of repairs ...and oh they are bought by flash greens who have more money than (non)sense

Jan 29, 2015 at 1:01 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

1. Nevada’s decision to give Tesla $1.3 billion in tax cuts to locate it’s new battery plant

2. \\ Tesla didn’t generate a profit by selling sexy cars, but rather by selling sleazy emissions “credits,” mandated by the state of California’s electric vehicle requirements. The competition, like Honda. //
Article gos on yo list all the subsidies Tesla gets : If Tesla Would Stop Selling Cars, We'd All Save Some Money

Jan 29, 2015 at 1:11 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Don't forget the risk of accident damage is minimised by the length of time the vehicle has to be plugged into its charger.

According to Tesla's website, with a Type-2 connector, it's only up to 23 miles of range per hour of charge.

[They're promising a faster rate via a different connector that's not yet available - an hour's charge gives 68 miles of driving.]

Presumably, that's not in winter when range would be reduced to ~ 180 miles with use of heater, demister & wipers etc.

Jan 29, 2015 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

If you have to ask how much it costs...

Jan 29, 2015 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

I'm sure you all know the definition of a 'zero emissions' vehicle in California...

Its an electric car for which the power is generated in Nevada...

Jan 29, 2015 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1


That goes along with the entry for "tesla owner"..."see one-percenter" (apologies to those who don't follow US politics).

Jan 29, 2015 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

I thought 1% ers was a term given to 'outlaw' bro biker types. Somehow I cannot see them giving up their Harley's for a Telsa.

Jan 29, 2015 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Leon

"I thought 1% ers was a term given to 'outlaw' bro biker types."

That's so-o-o-o-o 20th century.

Jan 29, 2015 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

Repairing the damage from two dollops of pigeon poo, turns your car into an economic write off.

Jan 29, 2015 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Costs of running a Tesla WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT.

Green credibility HARDEST HIT


Jan 29, 2015 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

I've no objection to Hollywood stars subsidizing a luxury car manufacturer. I'd do it myself if I could. But it would be nice if other people had the choice.

Jan 29, 2015 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Doesn't Anthony Watts run an electric car? Presumably not a Tesla

Jan 29, 2015 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Aluminium body work does not automatically make for expensive repairs.
There are lots of motors out there with aluminium body work including the
daddy of them all the good Landrover Series which traces its lineage back 65 years.

Of course most Landie owners dont worry about the odd scratch or dent :)

Jan 29, 2015 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith Willshaw

Tesla great example of wealth redistribution.......from the less well off to the very rich.

Jan 30, 2015 at 2:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterSundance

It will be interesting to see the result when the insurance companies catch up with the costs of repairing EV's. No assessor is going to risk sending a vehicle out with a damaged battery, so even minor bumps will require a whole replacement...

Jan 30, 2015 at 11:50 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

"Tesla’s certified shops"

Of course, you could get it fixed by the body shop on your nearby industrial estate for about 97% less...

Jan 31, 2015 at 9:20 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Thing to note about Tesla is that it is aimed at first adopters. These are the people who have the money to spend on getting the latest gadget and want to be first to do so. These are the people who can boost their ego with money. So what if Tesla is ripping them off. Apple does the same with its customers. Sony did the same with its customers who bought the first CD players. Remember how expensive they were and how cheap they are now? Same with smartphones. And same will happen to electric cars. So long as the public find they are useful. There are many things which first adopters bought thinking they would be the next greatest thing but ended up on the scrap heap of history. Only the public can make electric cars work and because we don't live in a fascist country where you are forced to buy electric cars (yet!) the market will decide if it's a goer.

Jan 31, 2015 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

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