Tesla service history

Tesla service history DEFAULT

Tesla, Inc.

American automotive and energy company

This article is about the electric vehicle manufacturer and clean energy company. For other uses, see Tesla.

"Tesla Motors" redirects here. For Nikola Tesla's motors, see Induction motor and AC motor.

Tesla Motors.svg
Tesla HQ on Deer Creek (47619420882).jpg

Headquarters in Palo Alto

FormerlyTesla Motors, Inc. (2003–February 2017)
TypePublic

Traded as

ISINUS88160R1014
Industry
FoundedJuly 1, 2003; 18 years ago (2003-07-01)
FoundersSee § Founding
Headquarters3500 Deer Creek Road,

Palo Alto, California

,

United States

Number of locations

598 retail stores/galleries and service centers (2021)

Area served

Key people

Products

Production output

  • Increase 509,737 vehicles (2020)
  • Increase 3 GWh battery energy storage systems (2020)
  • Increase 205 MW solar (2020)
Services
RevenueIncreaseUS$31.5 billion (2020)

Operating income

IncreaseUS$2 billion (2020)

Net income

IncreaseUS$721 million (2020)
Total assetsIncreaseUS$52.2 billion (2020)
Total equityIncreaseUS$22.2 billion (2020)
Owner

Number of employees

Increase 70,757 (2020)
Subsidiaries
Websitetesla.com
Footnotes / references
[1][2][3][4][5]

Tesla, Inc. (TESS-lə or TEZ-lə[a]) is an American electric vehicle and clean energy company based in Palo Alto, California, United States, with plans to move its headquarters to Austin, Texas in the future. Tesla designs and manufactures electric cars, battery energy storage from home to grid-scale, solar panels and solar roof tiles, and related products and services. In 2020, Tesla had the most sales of battery electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles, capturing 16% of the plug-in market (which includes plug-in hybrids) and 23% of the battery-electric (purely electric) market. Through its subsidiary Tesla Energy, the company develops and is a major installer of photovoltaic systems in the United States. Tesla Energy is also one of the largest global suppliers of battery energy storage systems, with 3 gigawatt-hours (GWh) installed in 2020.

Founded in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning as Tesla Motors, the company's name is a tribute to inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla. In February 2004, via a US$6.5 million investment, X.com co-founder Elon Musk became the largest shareholder of the company and its chairman. He has served as CEO since 2008. According to Musk, the purpose of Tesla is to help expedite the move to sustainable transport and energy, obtained through electric vehicles and solar power. Tesla began production of its first car model, the Roadster, in 2009. This was followed by the Tesla Model S sedan in 2012, the Tesla Model X SUV in 2015, the Tesla Model 3 sedan in 2017, and the Tesla Model Y crossover in 2020. The Tesla Model 3 is the all-time best-selling plug-in electric car worldwide, and, in June 2021, became the first electric car to sell 1 million units globally.[7] Tesla's global vehicle sales were 499,550 units in 2020, a 35.8% increase over the previous year.

Tesla has been the subject of several lawsuits and controversies arising from statements and acts of CEO Elon Musk and from allegations of creative accounting, whistleblower retaliation, worker rights violations, and unresolved and dangerous technical problems with their products. In September 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered Tesla to submit data pertaining to all sold US vehicles equipped with Autopilot.

History

Main article: History of Tesla, Inc.

Founding (2003–2004)

The company was incorporated as Tesla Motors, Inc. on July 1, 2003, by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning.[8] Eberhard and Tarpenning served as CEO and CFO, respectively.[9] Eberhard said he wanted to build "a car manufacturer that is also a technology company", with its core technologies as "the battery, the computer software, and the proprietary motor".[10]

Ian Wright was Tesla's third employee, joining a few months later.[8] In February 2004, the company raised US$7.5 million in series A funding, including $6.5 million from Elon Musk, who had received $100 million from the sale of his interest in PayPal two years earlier. Musk became the chairman of the board of directors and the largest shareholder of Tesla.[8][11][9]J. B. Straubel joined Tesla in May 2004 as Chief Technical Officer.[8]

A lawsuit settlement agreed to by Eberhard and Tesla in September 2009 allows all five – Eberhard, Tarpenning, Wright, Musk, and Straubel – to call themselves co-founders.[12]

Roadster (2005–2009)

Main article: Tesla Roadster (first generation)

Musk took an active role within the company and oversaw Roadster product design at a detailed level, but was not deeply involved in day-to-day business operations.[13] From the beginning, Musk consistently maintained that Tesla's long-term goal was to create affordable mass market electric vehicles.[14] The company’s strategy was to start with a premium sports car aimed at early adopters and then move into more mainstream vehicles, including sedans and affordable compacts.[15]

In February 2006, Musk led Tesla's Series B venture capital funding round of $13 million, which added Valor Equity Partners to the funding team.[16][11] Musk co-led the third, $40 million round in May 2006 which saw investment from prominent entrepreneurs including Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and former eBay President Jeff Skoll.[17] A fourth round worth $45 million in May 2007 brought the total private financing investment to over $105 million.[17]

Prototypes of Tesla's first car, the Roadster, were officially revealed to the public on July 19, 2006, in Santa Monica, California, at a 350-person invitation-only event held in Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport.[18]

In August 2007, Eberhard was asked by the board, led by Elon Musk, to step down as CEO.[19] Eberhard then took the title of "President of Technology" before ultimately leaving the company in January 2008. Co-founder Marc Tarpenning, who served as the Vice President of Electrical Engineering of the company, also left the company in January 2008.[20] In August 2007, Michael Marks was brought in as interim CEO, and in December 2007, Ze'ev Drori became CEO and President.[21] Musk succeeded Drori as CEO in October 2008.[21] In June 2009, Eberhard filed a lawsuit against Musk for allegedly forcing him out.[22]

Tesla began production of the Roadster in 2008.[23]

By January 2009, Tesla had raised $187 million and delivered 147 cars. Musk had contributed $70 million of his own money to the company.[24]

In June 2009, Tesla was approved to receive $465 million in interest-bearing loans from the United States Department of Energy. The funding, part of the $8 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, supported engineering and production of the Model S sedan, as well as the development of commercial powertrain technology.[25] Tesla repaid the loan in May 2013, with $12 million interest.[26][27]

IPO, Model S, and Model X (2010–2015)

In May 2010, Tesla purchased what would later become the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, from Toyota for $42 million,[28] and opened the facility in October 2010 to start production of the Model S.[29] On June 29, 2010, the company became a public company via an initial public offering (IPO) on NASDAQ, the first American car company to do so since the Ford Motor Company had its IPO in 1956.[30] The company issued 13.3 million shares of common stock at a price of $17.00 per share, raising $226 million.[31]

In January 2012, Tesla ceased production of the Roadster, and in June the company launched its second car, the Model S luxury sedan.[32] The Model S won several automotive awards during 2012 and 2013, including the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year,[33] and became the first electric car to top the monthly sales ranking of a country, when it achieved first place in the Norwegian new car sales list in September 2013.[34] The Model S was also the best-selling plug-in electric car worldwide for the years 2015 and 2016.[35]

Tesla announced the Tesla Autopilot, a driver-assistance system, in 2014. In September that year, all Tesla cars started shipping with sensors and software to support the feature, with what would later be called "hardware version 1".[36] In April 2015, Tesla entered the energy storage market, unveiling its Tesla Powerwall (home) and Tesla Powerpack (business) battery packs.[37] The company received orders valued at $800 million within a week of the unveiling.[38]

Tesla began shipping its third vehicle, the luxury SUV Tesla Model X, in September 2015, at which time it had 25,000 pre-orders.[39][40]

SolarCity and Model 3 (2016–2018)

In November 2016, Tesla acquired SolarCity, in an all-stock $2.6 billion deal, and entered the photovoltaics market.[41] The solar installation business was merged with Tesla's existing battery energy storage products division to form the Tesla Energy subsidiary.[42] The deal was controversial because at the time of the acquisition, SolarCity was facing liquidity issues of which Tesla's shareholders were not informed.[43]

In February 2017, Tesla Motors changed its name to Tesla, Inc., to better reflect the scope of its expanded business, which now included electric vehicles, battery energy storage systems, and solar power generation.[44][45][46]

That year Tesla also started its philanthropic effort. Tesla made multiple contributions of solar power to areas recovering from disasters in 2017, in particular installing a solar plus storage system to restore electricity at a hospital in Puerto Rico, following the destruction from Hurricane Maria.[47][48] In July 2018, the company donated $37.5 million to kindergarten to 12th grade science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in Nevada.[49] In January 2020, Tesla donated 5 million Yuan ($723,000) to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China.[50][51]

Tesla began selling its fourth vehicle model, the Model 3 sedan, in July 2017.[52] The Model 3 was a cheaper vehicle compared to previous Tesla vehicles, and intended to be for the mass market. It was highly anticipated, which prompted the company to try to speed up production.[53] By August 2017, there were 455,000 reservations for the Model 3.[54] The rollout was plagued by delays and production problems.[55] This increased pressure on the company, which at this time was one of the most shorted companies in the market.

In August 2018, CEO Elon Musk briefly considered taking Tesla private.[56][57] The plan did not materialize, and gave rise to much controversy and many lawsuits including a securities fraud charge from the SEC. By the end of 2018, the production problems had been overcome, and the Model 3 was the world's best selling plug-in electric car for the year.[58]

Global expansion (2019–present)

Tesla opened its first "Gigafactory" outside the United States in Shanghai, China, in 2019. Giga Shanghai was the first automobile factory in China fully owned by a foreign company, and was built in less than 6 months.[59] The following year Tesla also started construction on a new Gigafactory in Berlin, Germany, and another in Texas, United States. In March 2020, Tesla began deliveries of its fifth vehicle model, the Model Ycrossover.[60]

On January 10, 2020, Tesla reached a market capitalization of $86 billion, breaking the record for greatest valuation of any American automaker.[61] On June 10, 2020, Tesla's market capitalization surpassed those of BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen combined.[62] The next month, Tesla reached a valuation of $206 billion, surpassing Toyota's $202 billion to become the world's most valuable automaker by market capitalization.[63] On August 31, 2020, following this increase in value, Tesla had a 5-for-1 stock split.[64]

From July 2019 to June 2020, Tesla reported four profitable quarters in a row for the first time, which made it eligible for inclusion in the S&P 500.[65] Tesla was added to the index on December 21, 2020.[66] It was the largest company ever added, and the sixth-largest company in the index at the time of its inclusion.[66] As investors tried to buy more shares as a result of this inclusion, some analysts, such as J.P. Morgan's Ryan Brinkman, suggested investors exercise caution as Tesla was "dramatically" overvalued.[67] Throughout 2020, the share price of Tesla increased 740%,[68] and on January 26, 2021, its market capitalization reached $848 billion,[69] more than the next nine largest automakers combined and making it the 5th most valuable company in the US.[70][71]

From 2015 to 2020, Tesla went on an acquisition spree, buying a handful of little-known companies: Riviera Tool, Grohmann Engineering, Perbix, Compass Automation, Hibar Systems, and German ATW Automation to advance Tesla’s expertise in automation, along with Maxwell Technologies and SilLion to add to Tesla’s abilities in battery technology.[72][73] Grohmann (renamed Tesla Grohmann Automation) and Maxwell would continue to operate as subsidiary companies, while the rest would be merged into Tesla. In July 2021, Musk acknowledged that Tesla had sold Maxwell to the former VP of sales for Maxwell.[74]

In October 2020, Tesla told Electrek that they had dissolved their public relations (PR) department (with the exception of a few PR managers representing Tesla's European and Asian markets), becoming the first automaker to do so.[75]

Tesla hit its goal of building a half-million cars in 2020.[76] The company ended the year with over $19 billion of cash,[77] compared to $6.3 billion at the end of 2019.[78]

In February 2021, Tesla revealed that it had invested some $1.5 billion in Bitcoin in 2020[77][79] and on March 24 the company started accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for vehicle purchases in the United States and stated that they would introduce Bitcoin payment in other countries later that year.[80] At the time, Musk tweeted that “Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency.”[81] It was later revealed in financial documents that between January 1 and March 31, 2021, Tesla had made a $101 million profit on the sale of bitcoin. After 49 days of accepting the digital currency, the company reversed course on May 12, 2021, saying they would no longer take Bitcoin due to concerns that "mining" the cryptocurrency was contributing to the consumption of fossil fuels and climate change.[82] The decision resulted in the price of Bitcoin dropping around 12% on May 13.[83] During a July Bitcoin conference, Musk suggested Tesla could possibly help Bitcoin miners switch to renewable energy in the future and also stated at the same conference that if Bitcoin mining reaches, and trends above 50 percent renewable energy usage, that "Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin." The price for bitcoin rose after this announcement.[84]

In October 2021, the company announced that it would leave its headquarters out of Palo Alto, California, in favor of Austin, Texas. Tesla will continue to operate it's Fremont Factory in the San Francisco Bay Area.[85]

Automotive products

"Tesla electric car" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Nikola Tesla electric car hoax.

As of June 2021[update], Tesla offers four car models: Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y. Tesla's first vehicle, the first-generation Tesla Roadster, is no longer sold. Tesla has plans for a second-generation roadster, a semi, and a pickup called the Cybertruck.

In production

Model S

Main article: Tesla Model S

The Model S is a five-door liftbacksedan. Deliveries began on June 22, 2012.[86] The car became the first electric vehicle to top the monthly sales ranking in any country, when it achieved first place in the Norwegian new car sales list in September 2013.[87][34] The Model S won the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year,[33] the 2013 "World Green Car",[88]Automobile magazine's 2013 "Car of the Year",[89]Time magazine's Best 25 Inventions of the Year 2012 award,[90] as well as the 2019 Motor Trend "Ultimate Car of the Year".[91]

The Model S was the best-selling plug-in electric car worldwide for the years 2015 and 2016, selling an estimated 50,931 units in 2016.[35] By the end of 2017, it was the world's second best selling plug-in electric car in history (after the Nissan Leaf), with global sales of 200,000 units.[92] In June 2020, Tesla announced that the Model S Long Range Plus had an EPA range of 402 miles (647 km), the highest of any battery electric vehicle at the time.[93]

Model X

Main article: Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is a mid-sizecrossover SUV. It is offered in 5-, 6- and 7-passenger configurations. The Model X was developed from the full-sized sedan platform of the Model S. The rear passenger doors open vertically with an articulating "falcon-wing" design.

Deliveries started in September 2015.[94] In 2016, after one full year on the market, the Model X ranked seventh among the world's best-selling plug-in cars.[35] The United States is its main market, with an estimated 57,327 units sold through September 2018.

Model 3

Main article: Tesla Model 3

The Model 3 is a four-door fastback sedan. Tesla unveiled the Model 3 on March 31, 2016.[96] Potential customers began reserving spots earlier that day with a refundable deposit.[97] One week after the unveiling, Tesla reported over 325,000 reservations.[98]Bloomberg News claimed that, due to the number of reservations, "the Model 3's unveiling was unique in the 100-year history of the mass-market automobile."[99] Limited vehicle production began in July 2017.[100]

Since March 2020, the Model 3 is the world's best selling electric car in history, and cumulative global sales passed the 1 million milestone in June 2021.[7][101][102] The Model 3 has ranked as the world's best selling plug-in electric car for three consecutive years, from 2018 to 2020,[102][103] and also as the best selling plug-in electric car in the United States since 2018.[104][105][106] The Model 3 also set records in Norway and the Netherlands, as the best selling passenger car model in those countries in 2019.[107][108]

Model Y

Main article: Tesla Model Y

The Model Y is a compactcrossover utility vehicle. The Model Y is built on a platform that shares many components with the Model 3.[109] The car has up to three rows of seats (up to 7 people),[110] 68 cubic feet (1.9 m3) of cargo space (with the second and third rows folded),[111] and has a EPA range of up to 326 miles (525 km).[112]

The Model Y was unveiled on March 14, 2019.[113] Deliveries for the Model Y started on March 13, 2020. The Tesla Model Y is being manufactured at Tesla Factory in Fremont, California,[114] as well as in Giga Shanghai in China. A version of the Model Y is also expected to be produced at Giga Berlin once the factory is open.[115]

Future products

Roadster (second generation)

Main article: Tesla Roadster (second generation)

In a surprise reveal at the end of the event that introduced the Tesla Semi on November 16, 2017, Tesla unveiled the second generation Roadster. Musk said that the new model will have a range of 620 miles (1,000 km) with the 200 kilowatt-hours (720 MJ) battery pack and will achieve 0–60 miles per hour (0–97 km/h) in 1.9 seconds; it also will achieve 0–100 miles per hour (0–161 km/h) in 4.2 seconds,[116] and the top speed will be over 250 miles per hour (400 km/h). The SpaceX Package will include cold air thrusters that will increase the speed even more.[117] The vehicle will have three electric motors allowing for all-wheel drive and torque vectoring during cornering.[117]

At the time, the base price was set at $200,000, while the first 1,000 units (the Founder's series) will sell for $250,000.[117] Reservations required a deposit of $50,000, and those who ordered the Founder's series paid the $250,000 in full upon ordering. Those who made a reservation at the event were allowed a test drive (with a driver) in the prototype.[118] Deliveries are expected to start in 2022.[119]

Tesla Semi

Main article: Tesla Semi

The Tesla Semi is an all-electric Class 8semi-trailer truck announced in November 2017. Musk confirmed that two variants would be available: one with 300 miles (480 km) and one with 500 miles (800 km) of range.[120] The Semi will be powered by four electric motors of the type used in the Tesla Model 3 and will include an extensive set of hardware sensors to enable it to stay in its own lane, a safe distance away from other vehicles, and later, when software and regulatory conditions allow, provide self-driving operation on highways.[121] Musk also announced that the company would be involved in installing a solar-powered global network of Tesla Megachargers to make the Semi more attractive to potential long-haul customers. A 30-minute charge would provide 400 miles (640 km) of range.[122][123]

Musk initially said in 2017 that Semi deliveries would start in 2019 and be selling 100,000 trucks a year, but deliveries were later delayed to 2021. Part of the reason for this delay, according to Musk, is that the Semi includes five times more battery cells than their passenger cars, and the battery supply is not yet sufficient for both Tesla cars and the Semi.[124][125]

Cybertruck

Main article: Tesla Cybertruck

The Cybertruck is a pickup truck unveiled on November 21, 2019,[126] with production set for 2022. The truck's angular design had a mixed reception and some Wall Street analysts questioned whether American pickup truck buyers will have interest in the Cybertruck.[127][128][129] On September 22, 2020, Musk revealed roughly 600,000 Cybertruck preorders.[130] James Goodwin, chief executive of an Australian car safety organization, says that the angular design and steel construction of the Cybertruck may pose safety risks.[131] After the Cybertruck's unveiling, Musk announced that the Tesla Cyberquad, an electric four-wheel quad bike revealed alongside the Cybertruck, would be an optional accessory for Cybertruck buyers.[132]

Discontinued

Tesla Roadster

Main article: Tesla Roadster (first generation)

The only discontinued Tesla vehicle model is the original Tesla Roadster.[133] The Roadster was a two-seater sports car, evolved from the Lotus Elise chassis,[134] that was produced from 2008 to 2012. The Roadster was the first highway legal serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles (320 km) per charge. It is also the first production car to be launched into space; it was carried into a Mars-crossing orbit by a Falcon Heavy rocket test flight on February 6, 2018.[135]

Other concepts

On July 20, 2016, Musk detailed his new master plan for Tesla. It includes more affordable cars produced in higher volume, solar roofs, mid-size vehicles, SUVs and pickup trucks, as well as the refinement of autonomous vehicles and the creation of a sharing economy, in which cars can be active while the owner is not using them.[136] Tesla's plan also indicated building a minibus on the Model X platform,[137] but in May 2017, Musk indicated that he might favor a 10–12 passenger version of the Model X over a dedicated minibus design.[138] Musk dashed hopes for a Tesla motorcycle, saying "we're not going to do motorcycles".[139]

Also in 2016, Musk revealed Tesla's intention to produce a car cheaper than the Model 3.[140] In 2018, Musk indicated a plan to enter a new market segment, offering a compact hatchback in "less than five years".[141][142] In 2020, Musk said Tesla expects to have a $25,000 electric car within 3 years, which "will basically be on-par or slightly better than a comparable gasoline car".[143]

In April 2019, Musk announced Tesla's intention to launch an autonomous taxi service by the end of 2020 using more than 1 million Tesla vehicles.[144] A year later, in April 2020, Musk stated Tesla would not make the end of 2020 deadline but said, "we'll have the functionality necessary for full self-driving by the end of the year."[145]

Tesla Energy products

Main article: Tesla Energy

Two Tesla Powerwall 2 home energy storage devices from Tesla Energy

Tesla subsidiary Tesla Energy develops, builds, sells and installs solar energy generation systems and battery energy storage products (as well as related products and services) to residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The subsidiary was created by the merger of Tesla's existing battery energy storage products division with SolarCity, a solar energy company that Tesla acquired in 2016.[146]

Tesla Energy's generation products include solar panels (built by other companies for Tesla), the Tesla Solar Roof (a solar shingle system) and the Tesla Solar Inverter. Other products include the Powerwall (a home energy storage device) and the Powerpack and Megapack, which are large-scale energy storage systems.[147][148][149]

In 2020, the company deployed solar energy systems capable of generating 205 megawatts (ranked third in U.S. residential solar installations) and deployed 3 gigawatt-hours of battery energy storage products.[150]

Tesla Energy Software

Tesla has developed a software ecosystem to support its energy hardware products. Autobidder, Powerhub, Opticaster, Microgrid Controller and Virtual Machine Mode are the products that Tesla offers. [151]

Other services

Tesla receives service revenue from its vehicle customers after their initial purchase; these revenues reached $900 million in 2021 Q1.[152] As of August 2020[update], those services include vehicle servicing, charging, insurance, software upgrades, and improved connectivity.

Future services which have been discussed include: Autopilot as a subscription,[153] paying for a Wi-Fi hotspot in the car,[154] and the "Tesla network" (a ride-sharing offering).[155]

Charging

Supercharger network

Main article: Tesla Supercharger

In 2012, Tesla began building a network of 480-volt fast-charging Supercharger stations. As of November 2020[update], Tesla operates over 20,000 Superchargers in over 2,100 stations worldwide.[156] The Supercharger is a proprietary direct current (DC) technology that provides up to 250 kilowatts (kW) of power.[157] All Tesla cars except the first generation Roadster come standard with hardware to charge at Superchargers.[158] The navigation software in Tesla cars can recommend the fastest route for long-distance travel, incorporating charging stops.[159]

Model S and X cars ordered before January 15, 2017,[160] and between August 3, 2019[161] and May 26, 2020[162] received free unlimited supercharging. Model S and X cars ordered between January 15, 2017 and August 3, 2019 got 400 kWh (1,400 MJ) of free Supercharging credits per year, which provides a range of roughly 1,000 miles per year (1,600 kilometres per year).[163] Subsequent Tesla models never received free unlimited supercharging.[164]

Destination charging location network

Tesla "Destination Charger" in North America

In 2014, Tesla launched the "Destination Charging location" network by providing chargers to hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and resorts (and other locations where Tesla owners may spend an hour or more) to provide on-site vehicle charging at twice the power of a typical home charging station.[165]

Destination chargers are installed free of charge by Tesla-certified contractors; the locations must provide the electricity at no cost to their customers.[166] All destination chargers appear in the in-car navigation system.[167]

Software updates and upgrades

Tesla vehicles' software is regularly updated over-the-air when new software and firmware versions are released. This allows the cars to remain up to date and improve after purchase.[168] Tesla also offers the option to unlock features in the car through over-the-air software upgrades after purchase. Available upgrades include basic Autopilot, Full Self Driving,[169] acceleration boost (for Model 3 owners),[170] and rear-heated seats (for Model 3 owners).[171]

Connectivity

All Tesla cars come with "Standard Connectivity" which provides navigation using a cellular connection, and the following only over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth: internet browsing, music streaming (with a paid subscription), and, when parked, video streaming and "caraoke".[172] "Premium Connectivity" adds cellular access to those features and also provides live traffic and satellite maps for navigation.[172][173]

Vehicle servicing

Tesla service strategy is to service its vehicles first through remote diagnosis and repair. If it's not possible to resolve a problem remotely, customers are referred to a local Tesla-owned service center, or a mobile technician is dispatched.[174][175] Tesla has said that it does not want to make a profit on vehicle servicing, which has traditionally been a large profit center for most auto dealerships.[176]

In 2016, Tesla recommended having any Tesla car inspected every 12,500 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. In early 2019, the manual was changed to say: "your Tesla does not require annual maintenance and regular fluid changes," and instead it recommends periodic servicing of the brake fluid, air conditioning, tires and air filters.[177]

Insurance

On June 4, 2017, the American Automobile Association raised insurance rates for Tesla owners following a report from the Highway Loss Data Institute.[178] The report concluded that the Model S crashes 46% more often and is 50% more expensive to repair than comparable vehicles.[178] Similarly, the Model X was concluded to crash 41% more often and to be 89% more expensive to repair than similar vehicles.[178] As a result, AAA raised insurance rates on Tesla cars by 30%.[178] Tesla said that the analysis is "severely flawed and not reflective of reality", however, Tesla failed to provide any contradictory numbers.[178] Shortly thereafter, Russ Rader, the spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, confirmed the AAA's analysis and that "Teslas get into a lot of crashes and are costly to repair afterward".[179][180] The following year, an analysis of claim frequency and insurance cost data by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted by financial research provider 24/7 Wall St. found that the Tesla Model S and Model X were the two most expensive vehicles to insure.[181] Musk stated that he expects these insurance rates will greatly decrease once driver-assist and self-driving technology become commonplace.[181]

Starting in October 2017, Tesla partnered with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company to offer US customers an insurance plan designed specifically for Tesla cars.[182][183] In August 2019, this partnership was superseded by a partnership with State National Insurance,[184][185] but was initially only available to Tesla owners in California.[184] In July 2020, Musk, relying on data obtained through the partnership with State National Insurance, announced that Tesla was creating its own "major" insurance company.[186] Tesla claims the insurance uses individual vehicle data to offer personalized pricing.[186]

Business strategy

At the time of Tesla's founding in 2003, electric vehicles were very expensive.[187] In 2006, Elon Musk stated that Tesla's strategy was to first produce high-price, low volume vehicles, such as sports cars, for which customers are less sensitive to price. This would allow them to progressively bring down the cost of batteries, which in turn would allow them to offer cheaper and higher volume cars.[15][188] Tesla's first vehicle, the Roadster, was low-volume (less than 2,500 were produced) and priced at over $100,000. The next models, the Model S and Model X, are more affordable but still luxury vehicles. The most recent models, the Model 3 and the Model Y, are priced still lower, and aimed at a higher volume market,[14][189] selling over 100,000 vehicles each quarter. Tesla continuously updates the hardware of its cars rather than waiting for a new model year, as opposed to nearly every other car manufacturer.[190]

Unlike other automakers, Tesla does not rely on franchised auto dealerships to sell vehicles. Instead, the company directly sells vehicles through its website and a network of company-owned stores. Some jurisdictions, particularly in the United States, prohibit auto manufacturers from directly selling vehicles to consumers. In these areas, Tesla has locations that it calls galleries that the company says "educate and inform customers about our products, but such locations do not actually transact in the sale of vehicles."[5][191] In total, Tesla operates nearly 400 stores and galleries in more than 35 countries.[192] These locations are typically located in retail shopping districts, or inside shopping malls, instead of near other auto dealerships.[193][194][195]

Tesla does not pay for direct advertisement.[196] The company aims to educate customers through its showrooms situated in malls and other high-traffic areas,[197] and sells its vehicles online rather than through a conventional dealer network.[198][197] The company is the first automaker in the United States to sell cars directly to consumers.[199][200]

Tesla has a high degree of vertical integration, reaching 80% in 2016.[202] The company produces vehicle components as well as building proprietary stations where customers can charge their vehicles. Vertical integration is rare in the automotive industry, where companies typically outsource 80% of components to suppliers and focus on engine manufacturing and final assembly.[203][204]

Tesla generally allows its competitors to license its technology, stating that it wants to help its competitors accelerate the world's use of sustainable energy.[205] Licensing agreements include provisions whereby the recipient agrees not to file patent suits against Tesla, or to copy its designs directly.[206] Tesla retains control of its other intellectual property, such as trademarks and trade secrets to prevent direct copying of its technology.[207]

Technology

Tesla develops many components in-house, such as batteries, motors, and software.[202]

Vehicle batteries

Tesla was the first automaker to use batteries containing thousands of small, cylindrical, lithium-ion commodity cells like those used in consumer electronics.[208][209][210] Tesla uses a version of these cells that is designed to be cheaper to manufacture and lighter than standard cells by removing some safety features; according to Tesla, these features are redundant because of the advanced thermal management system and an intumescent chemical in the battery to prevent fires.[211]

The batteries are placed under the vehicle floor. This saves interior and trunk (boot) space but increases the risk of battery damage by debris or impact (see crashes and fires). After two vehicle fires in 2013 due to road debris, the Model S was retrofitted with a multi-part aluminum and titanium protection system to reduce the possibility of damage.[212]

In 2016, former Tesla CTO J.B. Straubel expected batteries to last 10–15 years,[213] and discounted using electric cars to charge the grid with vehicle-to-grid because the related battery wear outweighs economic benefit.[214] He also preferred recycling over re-use for grid once they reach the end of their useful life for vehicles.[214][215] Tesla launched its battery recycling operation at Giga Nevada in 2019.[216]

Panasonic is Tesla's supplier of cells in the United States, and cooperates with Tesla in producing cylindrical 2170 batteries at Giga Nevada.[217] As of January 2021, Panasonic has the capacity to produce 39 GWh per year of batteries at Giga Nevada.[218] Tesla's battery cells used in Giga Shanghai are supplied by Panasonic and Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), and are the more traditional prismatic (rectangular) cells used by other automakers.[219]

Battery research

Tesla invests in lithium-ion battery research. Starting in 2016, the company established a 5-year battery research and development partnership at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, with lead researcher Jeff Dahn.[220][221][222][223] Tesla acquired two battery companies: Maxwell Technologies, acquired for over $200 million[224] - but sold in 2021[225] and Hibar Systems.[226][227]

During Tesla's Battery Day event on September 22, 2020, Tesla announced the next generation of batteries, featuring a tab-less battery design to increase the range and decrease the price of Tesla vehicles.[228] The new battery is named the "4680" in reference to its dimensions: 46 millimetres (1.8 in) wide by 80 millimetres (3.1 in) tall.[229] Notably, Musk did not show any physical prototypes or examples of 4680 batteries at the event.[230] Two weeks before Battery Day, Tesla paid a total of $3 to buy several battery manufacturing patent applications from Springpower International, a small Canadian battery company.[231][232]

Tesla predicted the new batteries could be up to 56% cheaper and allow the cars to have a 54% longer range.[233] The company said this would be achieved by a more efficient production process, new battery design, cheaper resources for the anode and cathode, and better integration into the vehicle.[234] Business analysis company BloombergNEF estimated Tesla's battery pack price in 2020 at $115 per kWh, versus an industry average of $137 per kWh.[235] This is already close to $100 per kWh, the point at which the United States Department of Energy estimated electric cars would be the same cost to purchase as comparable gasoline-powered cars, which was expected to accelerate the sales of electric cars.[236]

Motors

Tesla makes two kinds of electric motors. Its oldest design in production is a three-phase four-pole alternating currentinduction motor with a copper rotor[237] (which inspired the Tesla logo), which is used as the rear motor in the Model S and Model X. Newer, higher-efficiency permanent magnet motors are used in the Model 3, Model Y, the front motor of 2019-onward versions of the Model S and X, and are expected to be used in the Tesla Semi.[238] The permanent magnet motors increase efficiency, especially in stop-start driving.[239]

Autopilot

Main article: Tesla Autopilot

Autopilot is an advanced driver-assistance system developed by Tesla. The system requires active driver supervision at all times.[240]

Since September 2014, all Tesla cars are shipped with sensors (initially hardware version 1 or "HW1") and software to support Autopilot.[241] Tesla upgraded its sensors and software in October 2016 ("HW2") to support full self-driving in the future.[242] HW2 includes eight cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors, and forward-facing radar.[242] HW2.5 was released in mid-2017, and it upgraded HW2 with a second graphics processing unit (GPU) and, for the Model 3 only, a driver-facing camera.[243] HW3 was released in early 2019 with an updated and more powerful computer, employing a custom Tesla-designed system on a chip.[244]

In April 2019, Tesla announced that all of its cars will include Autopilot software (defined as just Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer (Beta)) as a standard feature moving forward. Full self-driving software (Autopark, Navigate on Autopilot (Beta), Auto Lane Change (Beta), Summon (Beta), Smart Summon (Beta) and future abilities) is an extra cost option.

In 2020, Tesla released software updates where its cars recognize and automatically stop at stop signs and traffic lights.[246][247][248] In May 2021, Tesla removed the radar sensor and radar features from its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, opting instead to rely on camera vision alone.[249][250][251]

Full self-driving

Main article: Tesla Autopilot § Full Self-Driving

Full self-driving (FSD) is an optional upcoming extension of Autopilot to enable fully autonomous driving. At the end of 2016, Tesla expected to demonstrate full autonomy by the end of 2017,[252] which as of July 2021[update] has not occurred.[253] The first beta version of the software was released on October 22, 2020 to a small group of testers.[254] The release of the beta has renewed concern regarding whether the technology is ready for testing on public roads.[255][256] The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has called for "tougher requirements" for any testing of Autopilot on public roads.[257]

Tesla's approach to achieve full autonomy is different from that of other companies.[258] Whereas Waymo, Cruise, and other companies are relying on highly detailed (centimeter-scale) three-dimensional maps, lidar, and cameras, as well as radar and ultrasonic sensors in their autonomous vehicles, Tesla's approach is to use coarse-grained two-dimensional maps and cameras (no lidar) as well as radar and ultrasonic sensors.[258][259] Tesla claims that although its approach is much more difficult, it will ultimately be more useful, because its vehicles will be able to self-drive without geofencing concerns.[260] Tesla's self-driving software is being trained on over 20 billion miles driven by Tesla vehicles as of January 2021.[261] Tesla also designed a self-driving computer chip that has been installed in its cars since March 2019.[262]

Most experts believe that Tesla's approach of trying to achieve full self-driving by eschewing lidar and high-definition maps is not feasible.[263][264] In March 2021, according to a letter that Tesla sent to the California Department of Motor Vehicles about FSD’s capability (acquired by PlainSite via a public records request), Tesla stated that FSD is not capable of autonomous driving and is only at Society of Automotive Engineers Level 2 automation.[265] In a May 2021 study by Guidehouse Insights, Tesla was ranked last for both strategy and execution in the autonomous driving sector.[266]

Glass

In November 2016, the company announced the Tesla glass technology group. The group produced the roof glass for the Tesla Model 3. It also produces the glass used in the Tesla Solar Roofsolar shingles.[267]

Facilities

See also: List of Tesla factories

In addition to its corporate headquarters, the company operates four large factories in the United States and China with two more under construction. The company also operates showrooms and galleries around the world.[268][269]

Opened Name City Country Employees Products Notes
2010[28]Tesla Fremont FactoryFremont, California United States10,000[270]Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y[270]Tesla's first factory. Previously the GM/Toyota NUMMI joint venture factory.
2016[271]Giga NevadaStorey County, Nevada  United States7,000[272]Lithium-ion batteries, Powerwall, Powerpack, Megapack, Tesla Semi (future)[273]Also known as Gigafactory 1.
2017[274]Giga New YorkBuffalo, New York United States1,500[275]Solar shingles, Superchargers[275]Also known as Gigafactory 2.[275]
2019[276]Giga ShanghaiShanghai China2,000 Model 3, Model Y Also known as Gigafactory 3.
2021[277]Giga Berlin
(under construction)
Grünheide, Brandenburg Germany10,000[278]Lithium-ion batteries, Model 3, Model Y[277]Also known as Gigafactory 4.
2021[279]Giga Texas
(under construction)
Austin, Texas United States10,000[280]Cybertruck, Model 3, Model Y, Semi[281]Also known as Gigafactory 5.

United States

Main articles: Tesla Fremont Factory, Giga Nevada, Giga New York, and Giga Texas

Tesla was founded in San Carlos, California.[282] In 2010, Tesla moved its corporate headquarters and opened a powertrain development facility in Palo Alto.[283] In May 2020, after California's government had refused to let the Tesla factory reopen after a COVID-19 lockdown, Elon Musk threatened that he would move the company's headquarters from California to Texas or Nevada,[284] but as of June 2021[update] has taken no known steps to do so.

Tesla's first retail store was opened in 2008 in Los Angeles,[285] followed by others in major U.S. cities. As of September 2020[update], Tesla operates 130 stores and galleries in the United States,[286] has stores and galleries in 34 other countries,[287] and has 466 service centers globally.[288]

Tesla's first assembly plant occupies the former NUMMI plant in Fremont, California, known as the Tesla Factory. The factory was originally opened by General Motors in 1962, and then operated by a joint venture of GM and Toyota from 1984.[289] The original factory was closed in 2010, and was acquired by Tesla the same year.[28] By 2015, Tesla also occupied a second factory in Fremont a few miles from the original Fremont plant.[290]

The first major battery production facility was opened in Nevada in 2016. The Giga Nevada (originally Gigafactory 1) produces Powerwalls, Powerpacks and Megapacks;[271] battery cells in partnership with Panasonic;[291] and Model 3 battery packs and drivetrains.[292] The factory received substantial subsidies from the local and state government, that, in exchange for opening in their jurisdiction, allowed Tesla to operate essentially tax free for 10 years.[293]

As part of the acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, Tesla acquired Giga New York located in Buffalo, New York, on the site of a former Republic Steel plant. SolarCity had received incentives to locate its factory in Buffalo through the Buffalo Billion program.[294][295] In 2017, the factory started production of solar shingles for the Tesla Solar Roof.[274] Between 2017 and 2020 Tesla partnered with Panasonic to assemble photovoltaic modules at the plant.

On July 23, 2020, Tesla picked Austin, Texas, as the site of Gigafactory 5, since then known as Giga Texas. Tesla aims at opening the factory by the end of 2021.[279] Giga Texas is planned to be the main factory for the Tesla Cybertruck and the Tesla Semi; it will also produce Model 3 and Model Y cars for the Eastern United States.[296][281]

Tesla acquired a former JC Penney distribution center in 2021 to build a Megafactory to manufacture Megapacks.[297] The future location is anticipated to produce the next-generation Megapacks to use prismatic lithium iron phosphate batteries.[298]

Europe

Main articles: Tesla facilities in Tilburg and Giga Berlin

Tesla opened its first European store in June 2009 in London.[299] Tesla's European headquarters are in the Netherlands.[300] A 62,000-square-foot (5,800 m2) European service center operates in Tilburg, Netherlands, along with a 835,800-square-foot (77,650 m2) assembly facility that adds drivetrain, battery and software to the (imported) car body to reduce EU import tax, which depends on the location of final assembly.[301]

In late 2016, Tesla acquired German engineering firm Grohmann Engineering in Prüm as a new division dedicated to helping Tesla increase the automation and effectiveness of its manufacturing process.[302] After winding down existing contracts with other auto manufacturers, Grohmann now works exclusively on Tesla projects.[303]

Tesla announced its plans to build a car and battery Gigafactory in Europe in 2016.[304] Several countries campaigned to be the host,[305] and eventually Berlin was chosen in November 2019.[306] Construction began in June 2020,[307] and as of June 2021[update], start of production is planned for the end of 2021.[308]

Asia

Main article: Giga Shanghai

Tesla opened its first Japanese showroom in Tokyo, Japan, in October 2010.[310] By 2013, showrooms and service centers were operating in Hong Kong,[311]Beijing and Shanghai.[312] Two showrooms opened in South Korea in March 2017[313] and a service center opened there in late 2017.[314] In August 2017, Taiwan opened its first service center and showroom.[315]

In July 2018, Tesla signed an agreement with Chinese authorities to build a factory in Shanghai, China, which was Tesla's first Gigafactory outside of the United States.[316] The factory building was finished in August 2019, and the initial Tesla Model 3s were in production from Giga Shanghai in October 2019.[276]

In response to the Chinese military banning Tesla cars from entering military housing complexes, Elon Musk stated during the China Development Forum in March 2021 that the company would stop producing cars in the country if cars were being used to spy. The comment came shortly after a meeting of Chinese and U.S. diplomats in Alaska, in part over concerns of U.S. intervention in China's internal affairs.[317][318][319][320]

In 2020, China accounted for 21% Tesla vehicle sales revenue, and was the second largest market for Tesla after the United States, which accounted for 48% of its sales.[321][322]

Rest of the world

Tesla opened the first Australian showroom in Sydney in 2010,[323] followed by a showroom and service center in Melbourne in 2015.[324] By 2019, Tesla had opened 4 service centers in Australia.[325] In 2012, Tesla opened its first store in Canada in Toronto.[326]

The first expansion of Tesla in the Middle East was with the opening of a showroom and a service center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), in 2017. Five ultra-fast superchargers were also built between cities in the UAE, with a planned 50 destination chargers by the end of 2017.[327] One of the first Tesla customers was Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority which ordered 200 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles that were added to Dubai Taxi Corporation's fleet.[328] In May 2017, a service center and store in Amman, Jordan was opened.[329] In January 2020 a "pop-up" store in Tel Aviv, Israel was opened as well as a research and development center.[330]

Partners

Tesla's major partner is Panasonic, which is the main developer of battery cells for the company.

Panasonic

In January 2010, Tesla and battery cell maker Panasonic announced that they would together develop nickel-based lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles.[331] The partnership was part of Panasonic's $1 billion investment over three years in facilities for lithium-ion cell research, development and production.[332]

Beginning in 2010, Panasonic invested $30 million for a multi-year collaboration on new battery cells designed specifically for electric vehicles.[333] In July 2014, Panasonic reached a basic agreement with Tesla to participate in battery production at Giga Nevada.[334]

Tesla and Panasonic also collaborated on the manufacturing and production of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules at the Giga New York factory in Buffalo, New York.[274] The partnership started in mid-2017 and ended in early 2020, before Panasonic exited the solar business entirely in January 2021.[335][336]

In March 2021, the outgoing CEO of Panasonic stated that the company plans to reduce its reliance on Tesla as their battery partnership evolves.[337]

Other current partners

In September 2020, Tesla signed a sales agreement with Piedmont Lithium to buy high-purity lithium ore for up to ten years,[338] specifically to supply "spodumene concentrate from Piedmont's North Carolinamineral deposit".[339]

Tesla also has a range of minor partnerships, for instance working with Airbnb and hotel chains to install destination chargers at selected locations.[340]

Former partners

Daimler AG

Daimler AG and Tesla began working together in late 2007. On May 19, 2009, Daimler bought a stake of less than 10% in Tesla for a reported $50 million.[342][343] As part of the collaboration, Herbert Kohler, Vice-President of E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler, took a Tesla board seat.[344] On July 13, 2009, Daimler AG sold 40% of its acquisition to Aabar. Aabar is an investment company controlled by the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), which is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.[345] In October 2014, Daimler sold its remaining holdings for a reported $780 million.[346]

Tesla supplied battery packs for Freightliner Trucks' Custom Chassis electric van in 2010.[347][348] The company also built electric-powertrain components for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell, with 500 cars planned to be built for trial in Europe beginning in September 2011.[349][350]

Tesla produced and co-developed the Mercedes-Benz B250e's powertrain, which ended production in 2017.[351] The electric motor was rated 134 hp (100 kW) and 230 pound force-feet (310 N⋅m), with a 36 kWh (130 MJ) battery. The vehicle had a driving range of 200 km (124 mi) with a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).[352] Daimler division Smart produced the Smart ED2 cars from 2009 to 2012 which had a 14-kilowatt-hour (50 MJ) lithium-ion battery from Tesla.[353][354]

Toyota

In May 2010, Tesla and Toyota announced a deal in which Tesla purchased the former NUMMI factory from Toyota for $42 million, Toyota purchased $50 million in Tesla stock, and the two companies collaborated on an electric vehicle.[28]

In July 2010, the companies announced they would work together on a second generation Toyota RAV4 EV.[355] The vehicle was unveiled at the October 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show and 35 pilot vehicles were built for a demonstration and evaluation program that ran through 2011. Tesla supplied the lithium metal-oxide battery and other powertrain components[356][357] based on components from the Roadster.[8][358]

The production version was unveiled in August 2012, using battery pack, electronics and powertrain components from the Tesla Model S sedan (also launched in 2012).[359] The RAV4 EV had a limited production run which resulted in just under 3,000 vehicles being produced, before it was discontinued in 2014.[360][361]

According to Bloomberg News, the partnership between Tesla and Toyota was "marred by clashes between engineers".[362] Toyota engineers rejected designs that Tesla had proposed for an enclosure to protect the RAV4 EV's battery pack; Tesla used a similar design in its Model S sedan, which led to cars catching fire due to battery packs being punctured by road debris.[362] On June 5, 2017, Toyota announced that it had sold all of its shares in Tesla and halted the partnership.[363][364]

Mobileye

Main article: Tesla Autopilot

Initial versions of Autopilot were developed in partnership with Mobileye beginning in 2014.[365] Mobileye ended the partnership on July 26, 2016, citing "disagreements about how the technology was deployed."[366]

Lawsuits and controversies

Lawsuits

Main article: List of lawsuits involving Tesla, Inc.

Ongoing lawsuits

Tesla and Musk have been party to more than 1,000 lawsuits as of December 2020.[367] Some of Tesla's major legal problems pertain to Musk's August 7, 2018 tweet, "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured",[368] as the tweet caused the stock to initially rise but then drop when it was revealed to be false.[369][370][371] Musk settled fraud charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over his false statements in September 2018. According to the terms of the settlement, Musk agreed to have his tweets reviewed by Tesla's in-house counsel, he was removed from his chairman role at Tesla temporarily, and two new independent directors were appointed to the company's board.[372] Tesla and Musk also paid civil penalties of $20 million each.[372] A civil class-action shareholder lawsuit over Musk's statements and other derivative lawsuits were also filed against Musk and the members of Tesla's board of directors as then constituted, in relation to statements made and actions connected to a potential going-private transaction.[373][374]

In 2018 a class action was filed against Musk and the members of Tesla's board alleging they breached their fiduciary duties by approving Musk's stock-based compensation plan.[374] Musk received the first portion of his stock options payout, worth more than $700 million in May 2020.[375]

Other legal cases involve the acquisition of SolarCity. In 2016, Musk urged investors to approve the acquisition despite publicly recusing himself from involvement in the deal.[376] The consolidated shareholders lawsuit alleges that Musk knew SolarCity was going broke before the acquisition, that he and the Tesla board overpaid for SolarCity, ignored their conflicts of interest and breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the deal, and failed to disclose “troubling facts” essential to an analysis of the proposed acquisition.[377][378] The members of the board settled in 2020, leaving Musk as the only defendant.[378]

Several legal cases have revolved around alleged whistleblower retaliation. These include the firing of Tesla safety official Carlos Ramirez[379][380] and Tesla security employee Karl Hansen.[381] In January 2019, another former Tesla security manager and Hansen's supervisor Sean Gouthro filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that the company illegally hacked employees' phones and spied on them, while also failing to report illegal activities to the authorities and shareholders.[382][383][384]

Tesla filed a lawsuit against Alex Khatilov in January 2021, alleging that the former employee stole company information by downloading files related to its Warp Drive software to his personal Dropbox account.[385] Khatilov denies the allegation that he was acting as a "willful and malicious thief" and attributes his actions to an accidental data transfer.[386] Tesla has sued former employees in the past for similar actions; for example, Guangzhi Cao, a Tesla engineer, was accused of uploading Tesla Autopilotsource code to his iCloud account.[387]

Resolved lawsuits

In June 2018, Tesla employee Martin Tripp leaked information that Tesla was scrapping or reworking up to 40% of its raw materials at the Nevada Gigafactory.[388] After Tesla fired him for the leak, Tripp filed a lawsuit and claimed Tesla’s security team gave police a false tip that he was planning a mass shooting at the Nevada factory.[389][382] The court ruled in Tesla's favor on September 17, 2020.[390][391]

In September 2018, Tesla disclosed that it was under investigation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding its Model 3 production figures.[392] Authorities were investigating whether the company misled investors and made projections about its Model 3 production that it knew would be impossible to meet.[392] A stockholder class action lawsuit related to Model 3 production numbers (unrelated to the FBI investigation) was dismissed in Tesla's favor in March 2019.[393][394]

In August 2019, Walmart filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Tesla, claiming that Tesla's "negligent installation and maintenance" of solar panels caused roof fires at seven Walmart stores dating back to 2012.[395] Walmart reached a settlement with Tesla in November 2019; the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.[396]

In September 2019, a California judge ruled that 12 actions in 2017 and 2018 by Musk and other Tesla executives violated labor laws because they sabotaged employee attempts to unionize.[397][398]

In May 2021, a Norwegian judge found Tesla guilty of throttling charging speed through a 2019 over-the-air software update, awarding each of the 30 customers who were part of the lawsuit 136,000 Norwegian kroner ($16,000).[399] Approximately 10,000 other Norwegian Tesla owners may be granted a similar award.[399]

In July 2021, former employee Melvin Berry was awarded $1 million in his discrimination case in arbitration against Tesla after he was allegedly referred to by the "n-word" and forced to work longer hours at the company's plant in Fremont, California.[400][401][402]

In October 2021 a jury verdict in the Owen Diaz vs. Tesla trial awarded the plaintiff $137 million in damages after he faced racial harassment at Tesla's Fremont facility during 2015–2016.[403][404]

Controversies

See also: Criticism of Tesla, Inc.

Accounting issues

There have been numerous concerns about Tesla's financial reporting. In 2013, Bloomberg News questioned whether Tesla's financial reporting violated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") reporting standards.[405]Fortune accused Tesla in 2016 of using creative accounting to show positive cash flow and quarterly profits.[406] In 2018, analysts expressed concerns over Tesla's accounts receivable balance.[407] In September 2019, the SEC questioned Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn about Tesla's warranty reserves and lease accounting.[408] Hedge fund manager David Einhorn accused Elon Musk in November 2019 of "significant fraud",[409] and publicly questioned Tesla's accounting practices, telling Musk that he was "beginning to wonder whether your accounts receivable exist."[410]

Battery swap technology

From 2012 to 2014, Tesla earned more than $295 million in Zero Emission Vehicle credits for a battery-swapping technology that was never made available to customers.[411][412] Staff at California Air Resources Board were concerned that Tesla was "gaming" the battery swap subsidies and in 2013 recommended eliminating the credits.[413]

COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Tesla's early management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has led to considerable controversy. Musk wanted the Tesla Fremont factory in Alameda County, California to be exempted from stay-at-home orders imposed for public health reasons by the county. In an earnings call in April, he called the public health orders "fascist".[414] In May 2020, while Alameda County officials were negotiating with the company to reopen the Fremont Factory on the 18th, Musk defied local government orders by restarting production at the factory on the 11th.[415] This act was in non-compliance with the governor's order for the state of California during the crisis.[416][417] Tesla filed a lawsuit against Alameda County but later rescinded it after the Fremont Factory was given approval to reopen.[418][419] Tesla published its detailed plan for bringing employees back to work and keeping them safe,[420] but CNBC reported some employees continued to express concern over lax coronavirus precautions.[421]

In June 2020, Tesla fired an employee who criticized the company for taking inadequate safety measures to protect workers from the coronavirus at the Fremont Factory.[422] Three more employees at Tesla's Fremont Factory also say they were fired for staying home out of fear of catching COVID-19, despite Musk telling workers in May that they could stay home if they felt uncomfortable coming back to work.[423] This was subsequently denied by Tesla, stating that the employees were still employed with the company.[424] According to Alameda County health records obtained by PlainSite, COVID-19 cases at the factory grew from 10 in May 2020 to 125 in December 2020, with about 450 total cases in that time period out of the approximately 10,000 workers at the plant (4.5%).[414][425]

Delays

Musk has been criticized for repeated pushing out both production and release dates of products.[426][427] By one count in 2016, Musk had missed 20 projections.[428] In October 2017, Musk predicted that Model 3 production would be 5,000 units per week by December.[429] A month later, he revised that target to "sometime in March" 2018.[430] Delivery dates for the Model 3 were delayed as well.[431] Other projects like converting supercharger stations to be solar-powered have also lagged projections.[432] Musk responded in late 2018: "punctuality's not my strong suit...I never made a mass-produced car. How am I supposed to know with precision when it's gonna get done?"[433]

Environmental violations

The United States Environmental Protection Agency fined Tesla for hazardous waste violations that occurred in 2017.[434] In June 2019, Tesla began negotiating penalties for 19 environmental violations from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District;

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla,_Inc.

Buying a Used Model S

We’re coming up on 10 years since the first Model S was first introduced in 2012. With a body style that hasn’t changed much over time, older cars becoming more affordable, and Tesla's approach to releasing features when they are ready instead of by model year, it can be a confusing time to buy a used Tesla. That being said, it seems a buying guide would be handy so shoppers can learn what to look out for and understand what they’re buying. For the purpose of this guide, we'll assume buyers are looking at vehicles that are out of warranty since there are fewer things to worry about if a vehicle has an existing warranty.

In a general sense, when shopping for ANY used car, a buyer should look for previous accident history, a clean car fax, evidence of repainting, etc… All of those are still important when shopping for a Tesla but this guide is focused on additional things to look out for when buying a used Tesla.

GENERAL

The top 3 things a buyer should look for when buying a used Tesla:
1) Autopilot
2) Service records
3) The 8-year, unlimited mile high voltage battery and drive unit warranty

Buy a Tesla with Autopilot

It has been nearly 7 years since Autopilot (AP) was first introduced on the Model S. In that time, depreciation has made early AP cars affordable enough that it doesn't make sense to buy a non-AP Tesla anymore. The soon to be expiring 8-year battery/drive unit warranty and the lack of Autopilot on 2012-2014 cars now makes them very affordable in the mid-$20k range while cars with AP1 and higher miles are starting to sell in the low to mid $30k range.

Get Service Records

Buyers should know that Tesla will not share service history information with new owners of a used Tesla. That being said, before the seller removes the vehicle from their Tesla account, make sure the seller shares PDF copies of their service records through the Service section in the mobile app. Prior service records are important since there is a 1-year warranty on parts if the seller paid for the service.

Battery / Drive Unit Warranty

Buyers should look for a used Model S built before February 2020. This date is important because up until then Tesla offered a very generous warranty on Tesla S/X high voltage (HV) batteries and drive units that covered 8-years from the date of manufacture and UNLIMITED MILES. This warranty only covered failures, it did not cover degradation. High voltage batteries from Tesla are $14,000 for a remanufactured battery and $22,000 for a new one. Drive units, the motors that spin the wheels, can run anywhere between $5,000-8,000 depending on which drive unit you need.

Model S cars built after February 2020 have an 8-year and 150,000 mile warranty and Tesla added "with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period."

SHOPPER NOTE: At a minimum, look for a Tesla with Autopilot 1, commonly called AP1. Any car newer than 2015 will have some level of Autopilot functionality. If a seller cannot provide service records and the car is out of warranty, buyers should assume nothing has been replaced and potential repairs may be needed soon when negotiating the price. Buyers should be sensitive when asking for service records since they contain the name, address, email, and phone number of the previous owner. If the car is still under warranty, service records may not be as crucial since any repairs will still be covered for free.

Unless an owner is selling their Tesla for less than $20k, buy a Tesla that has a portion of the 8-year, unlimited mile warranty left on the drive units and battery. It's a Tesla owner's nightmare to see a message like the one below in the Tesla app. The Tesla in the picture ended up having to get it's battery replaced under warranty.

Autopilot

Since there are different versions of Autopilot, it's important to explain what to look for when shopping.

Autopilot 1
Tesla introduced Autopilot 1 (AP1) in Q3 of 2014 and AP1 cars can be identified on nosecone cars by the small rectangular sensor located in the middle of the bottom grill. In 2016 there was a period of time after Tesla released the new Model S bumper but still outfitted the car with AP1 so be aware that there are a handful of Model S cars with the updated bumper that also have AP1.

Autopilot 2
In December of 2016 Tesla released AP2 which included side marker cameras in the fenders and additional cameras in the B-pillar and cameras in the top of the windshield. Buyers can find out if a Tesla has AP1 or AP2+ by checking the side markers on the front fenders. If the side markers have cameras, the vehicle has AP2 or newer.

Autopilot 3
In April of 2019, the hardware for AP3 was released and with this hardware Tesla stated they would be able to offer a full-self-driving experience. At the time of this writing, full-self-driving is not actually available however it can be purchased.

SHOPPER NOTE: In general, Teslas with ANY Autopilot functionality will hold their value longer than Teslas without Autopilot functionality and the lack of Autopilot should be reflected in the price of the car. While AP1 is older technology, it is still very useful and reliable so if the price is attractive, don't let the older AP1 technology be a deal breaker.

Newer versions of Autopilot hardware allow for more advanced functionality so buyers should expect to see those features come with a higher price. The software for AP2 cars also changed and allowed for additional functionality. For several years Tesla sold an Autopilot software packaged called Enhanced Autopilot (EAP). EAP allowed the car to change lanes on it's own during navigation, navigate on Autopilot so the car followed highway interchanges towards a mapped destination, and summon. Available as a software update for cars with AP2+ were two more features called Sentry and Dashcam. These additional security features, require MCU2 to display the videos captured by the cars cameras.

Body

There are a few things to look out for when checking out the car in person. Open the lift gate. If it has a motorized mechanism to open up then the car has a "tech package". The tech package for the most part included auto-folding mirrors, cornering lights, lighted door handles, and GPS enabled Homelink. If you open the door and look under the arm rest of the door and see a light strip, the vehicle has the ambient lighting feature which dims along with the instrument cluster.

Some issues that may not be easily noticeable include exterior lighting. Look at the headlights and check to make sure the LED strip completely lights up. Some owners with the facelift bumper have noticed the LED strips in their headlights have dimmed or only light up partially. Also look at the tail lights and make sure they light up properly. A replacement tail light can cost over $400 from Tesla. Unfortunately, so many Teslas have panel gaps, condensation in tail lights, misaligned chrome trim and other minor issues that they are usually considered "within spec" at the Tesla Service Center and aren't out of the ordinary enough to be negotiation points on price.

SHOPPER NOTE: If the headlights or tail lights have issues, mention it to the seller. If they can't be covered under warranty, the sales price should reflect some of that replacement cost. Most Tesla owners will have some form of clear bra and a ceramic coating and while these items can add some value to the selling price of the car, the value is usually only maybe an extra $500-$1k.

ROOF

If the Model S has a sunroof, open and close the sunroof. The sunroof should open and close smoothly without any stuttering. Also, check the headliner around the A and C pillar for any evidence of them being wet. If the vehicle has the textile headliner, there may be some water stains from past leaks. A leaky roof can be an expensive repair out of warranty as the panoramic sunroof system is all part of one piece called a “cassette” and the parts alone are $5,000. The leaks aren’t always prominent and most likely won’t cause any catastrophic failure in the car but a Tesla with a leaky roof is certainly less desirable than a Tesla without a leaky roof.

SHOPPER NOTE: If evidence of a leaky roof is found, inquire about whether or not it can be addressed under the existing warranty. If the vehicle is out of warranty and the roof has been replaced in the past year, Tesla might assist in repairing it since the part may have been installed incorrectly. If the vehicle is out of warranty and there are issues with the sunroof, the selling price should reflect that. Buyers should also note that the water stains are removable with a cotton towel and folex.

DOOR HANDLES

For the Tesla Model S, as of 4/2020, there are three generations of the self-presenting door handles. First generation door handles will undoubtedly fail (introduced in 2012), second generation door handles are better (introduced around 2015) and the third generation handles (introduced around 2017) are best.

SHOPPER NOTE: When speaking to the seller, inquire about any door handles that may have been replaced during their ownership period and get the appropriate service records showing that work was done. Replacing a door handle can cost several hundred dollars so keep that in mind if considering an older Model S with first generation door handles.

SEATS

The Model S has had 2 main types of front seats. The 1st generation seats have a seam down the center and lacked thigh support and side bolstering. They were offered in cars between 2012 and as recent as some 2016 builds.

The 2nd generation seats are more comfortable with more thigh support and a bucket seat style helped people from sliding side to side.

The Model S rear bench has had 4 different styles.

  1. The original flat bench seat is the most commonly seen rear seat of the Model S. These seats can be folded down flat to allow longer items in the trunk. Unfortunately they are also very flat and not the most comfortable for rear passengers.
  2. The “Executive Seat” package consisted of two bucket seats and a center console built into the seat. This was a rare option and these seats do not fold down. The “Executive Seat” package was available in 2015.
  3. The first generation contoured bench seat was a bit rare and had short dividers between the seat back and bottom to decrease the side to side sliding for rear passengers. The contoured bench seats were offered around 2015-2016 and were discontinued since they prevented the seats to fold flat for more storage.
  4. The second generation contoured bench seat ditched the short dividers in favor of a small hump in the middle to keep rear passengers from sliding around. These seats were introduced in 2018.

Some Model S cars have the jump seat in the trunk and while this may be a selling point, they can take up valuable trunk room when stowed away. Jump seats can be removed to gain more trunk space so don’t let the jump seats be a deal breaker if the price of the car is attractive. It is possible to add jump seats to a Model S without jump seats but it is expensive and requires an upgrade to the rear bumper structure to beef up the car’s ability to withstand a rear impact.

The Model S also was offered in various types of seat material. Some come with leather, some come with a multi-pattern textile material, and more recently a vegan material that looks like leather but isn’t.

SHOPPER NOTE: Shoppers who come across an opportunity to buy a Model S with 1st generation seats for a favorable price, should not let the seats be a deal breaker since the seats can be replaced with 2nd generation seats. The multi-pattern textile interior was the cheapest offering from Tesla so if the seller is comparing the value of their Model S with a similar Model S of equal battery size/motors, the price of the vehicle with the multi-pattern textile should be lower than a similar Model S with leather interior. Again, the 1st generation seats or multi-textile interior seats can be swapped for 2nd generation leather seats. Used front seats are approximately $2k for the pair and used rear seats are roughly $3k.

INSTRUMENT PANELS

The instrument panel in the middle of the dash is called the media control unit (MCU). There have been 2 versions of the MCU, the first version (MCU1) was offered in cars between 2012 and Q2 2018.

The second generation of the MCU was introduced in Q2 of 2018 and has a faster processor and comes with an LTE antenna to enable it to play Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and videos captured on the exterior car cameras. Image maps also download faster and can be navigated more smoothly than on an MCU1.

Buyers should note that the MCU1 can be slow to respond to touch input and often connects via a 3G connection so map imagery will take longer to download and render on the screen. Internally, the memory can also max out and cause the MCU1 unit to become almost unusable.

Physically, there are a couple of ways that the instrument panels can go bad in a Tesla. These issues can happen on both MCU1 and MCU2.

  1. A yellow ring can show up around the borders of the screen. If this happens, it is usually only found on the center screen.
  2. Bubbles can show up in the screen and this is not repairable, the screen will need to be replaced.

SHOPPER NOTE: An MCU1 unit can be replaced with an MCU2 unit for approximately $1,500 and this upgrade includes a new instrument cluster screen. Many owners who have done this change feel it is worth it and since the Model S hasn’t changed much since 2012, updating the MCU2 can make older cars feel a lot newer. Buyers should keep this upgrade in mind when shopping for an older Tesla and negotiate a price that reflects the older technology. Also, the yellow border can be fixed for $30 at the Tesla Service Center so don’t let that be a deal breaker.

WHEELS / TIRES

Are the rims in good condition? If not, that should be reflected in the price of the car. Teslas are notorious for going through rear tires. Usually the inner tread blocks of the rear tires get worn out fast so if the car needs to get new rear tires soon, that should be reflected in the price of the car.

SHOPPER NOTE: If the wheels have curb rash, they can be repaired for around $175 per wheel. Rear tires on Teslas can run $350-400 each so if the car needs new rear tires, try to negotiate the sales price accordingly.

DRIVE UNITS

During the test drive, while a high-pitch whine under hard acceleration is normal, listen for any milling noises or clicking noises that may come from the wheels or drive units. Many early Model S cars needed replacement drive units due to the motor milling while the car is accelerating so listen for anything unusual when the vehicle is under acceleration. It's important to acquire a Tesla that is within the 8-year unlimited mile warranty so any replacment drive units will be covered at no cost.
Dual motor models usually have air suspension and the front axles (half shafts) of the all wheel drive Teslas can sometimes shudder or vibrate during hard acceleration from a stop unless they are always driven with the air suspension at a “LOW” setting.

SHOPPER NOTE: Drive the car and listen for any unusual noises. If a milling noise is present under acceleration and the car is still covered under the drive unit and battery warranty, rest assured the drive unit will be replaced for free. Another issue plaguing dual motor Tesla S/X cars is "front shudder". To test if a AWD (dual motor) Tesla has half-shaft issues, set the air suspension (if equipped) to “low” and floor it from a stop. If any vibration or shuddering is felt from the front then the half shafts might need replacing. This issue usually only occurs under hard acceleration from a stop and it is completely safe to drive a Tesla as long as the car is driven under moderate acceleration. Half-shafts are not covered under the battery / drive unit warranty and replacing them can cost around $3,000 out of warranty so if a vehicle has these issues, try to negotiate on the sales price of the car accordingly.

BATTERY SIZES

The Model S has been offered with various battery sizes in the past 10 years and time has shown how some batteries age better than others. They came in 40kWh, 60kWh, 70kWh, 75kWh, 85kWh, 90kWh, and 100kWh sizes. Overall, most of the batteries were great but buyers should know a little more about the following batteries.

40kWh The 40kWh hour battery was short-lived and was only offered in the first couple of years of production for the Model S. Cars outfitted with the 40kWh packs cannot supercharge and the battery offered very short range and was not sufficient for an EV as heavy as a Tesla Model S.

60kWh There are two types of 60kWh hour batteries. The original version was offered up until 2015 and many experienced battery chemistry issues and steeper rates of degradation. In fact, some 60kWh packs cannot supercharge. The second version of the 60kWh pack was actually a 75kWh pack that was software limited to 60kWh and the internal chemistry issue was resolved. Owners of these software limited battery packs can pay a fee to unlock the unused portion of the battery.

70kWh There are two types of 70kWh hour batteries. The original version in the nosecone version of the Model S was offered up until 2015. The second version of the 70kWh pack in the facelifted Model S was actually a 75kWh pack that was software limited to 70kWh. Owners of these software limited battery packs can pay a fee to unlock the unused portion of the battery.

85kWh The original 85kWh pack battery was offered in 2012 and over the course of time, many Tesla owners have seen slower charging rates at the supercharging stations. The internal chemistry is older and many Model S cars with 85kWh battery packs are approaching the expiration date for the high voltage battery and drive unit warranty.

90kWh There were two types of 90kWh hour batteries. The original version was offered up until late 2016 and came on Model S cars with the nosecone. The version that came with the nosecone model S had notoriously bad chemistry within the battery pack and owners experienced steep rates of degradation. Unless the car has a significant portion of the 8-year battery and drive unit warranty left, buyers should steer clear of these cars and opt for the 2016+ Model S with the upgraded bumper as those had the revised version of the 90kWh pack with better chemistry and flatter rates of degradation.

SHOPPER NOTE:

90%. This is the maximum percentage of charge Tesla owners should be charging their car for day to day driving. Buyers need to remember this when shopping for a Model X because the real world range will be drastically less than the advertised range. This difference could be due to driving behavior, environment factors like wind, inclines, being measured at 100% charge, etc. That being said, buyers should purchase the largest battery they can afford. The 100kWh or Long Range battery is the largest battery pack Tesla offers and is the ideal pack to purchase.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

When evaluating the many different variants of the Model S in the past 10 years and considering a wide variety of budgets, here are some recommendations in a "good, better, best" format.

GOOD
  • A 75kWh pack battery
  • Single motor, rear wheel drive
  • An MCU1 that has already been updated with more memory from Tesla
  • Have 2-3 years left of the 8-year unlimited mile battery/drive unit warranty
  • Autopilot functionality of any sort
BETTER
  • A 75kWh pack battery
  • Dual motor, all wheel drive
  • MCU2
  • Have 3-4 years left of the 8-year unlimited mile battery/drive unit warranty
  • Autopilot Hardware 2 with the option to buy Full-Self-Driving
BEST
  • A 100kWh pack battery
  • Dual motors, all wheel drive, with Performance
  • MCU2
  • Have 5-6 years left of the 8-year unlimited mile battery/drive unit warranty
  • Autopilot Hardware 3 with FSD paid for already
In general, a used Model S can be a great purchase if a buyer purchases the right one. Getting a great deal on a Model S might mean having to forfeit some autopilot features and range but buyers should remember that the center computer can always be upgraded for $1,500 and that upgrade includes a new instrument cluster screen. Buyers should also note that a performance motor can't be added to a non-performance car and because speed always sells, a performance Tesla will always sell for a premium compared to the same non-performance variant. There will always be a niche audience for cars where speed is more important than anything.

Sours: http://www.fixyourtesla.com/Buying-A-Used-Tesla-Model-S.html
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Buying a used Tesla

Tesla have been selling cars for a number of years now and there is a steadily growing used car market. Cars are now starting to fall outside warranty based on time and not just mileage in most countries, although the battery and drive train warranty is still covered until the cars are 8 years old. Only a few cars are now outside all Tesla warranty, typically cars over 8 years old or cars that have exceeded the mileage limits Tesla have on the battery and motor on the Model 3 and Y and the Model S and X first delivered in 2020.

Buying used from Tesla is an option and they will add 1 year/10k miles of warranty to whatever the car has left from the new car general warranty. The battery and motor warranty is left unchanged. Tesla are not overly enthusiastic over selling used cars and do not have a typical used car or CPO operation. Their inventory counts are generally low and their part exchange prices are such that most sellers try and sell privately. Their used cars are therefore generally lease returns or cars that were covered by a buy back guarantee they used to offer.

Buying used from a non Tesla dealer requires you to do your homework as many dealers simply do not understand the cars and options. We've been tracking the used car market for a number of years and the adverts are often wrong. Common mistakes to look out for are: ludicrous mentioned on cars without it, claims of free supercharging, ambiguous wording over "full self driving capable" without clarifying if the option has been bought or whether it's just the hardware has been installed, and understanding on the Tesla warranties. You also need to be careful about the quoted range of the cars, and the stated performance as dealers often quote the latest spec on older cars which can be considerably different.

You can find comprehensive car listings covering just about every country Tesla sell cars in to make your search easier, we even include more cars for sale at Tesla than Tesla advertise, but for independent sellers, follow our guides on how to confirm the options a car has and get things in writing from the seller if they are important to you when buying and can be hard to determine, such as free supercharging.

Buying a used Tesla from Tesla themselves, a dealer or privately.

Traditionally the best quality cars came from the manufacturer's dealerships and 'CPO' or Certified Pre Owned cars. The manufacturer will have a minimum standard the car must meet including mechanical and cosmetic standards before selling the car, and the car would come with a good warranty. Tesla is no different with the exception that their cosmetic standards are fairly minimal and the inspection is now largely mechanical. We have created a guide to buying a used car from Tesla to cover the various considerations on a purchase from Tesla.

Buying from an independent dealer is a half-way house, they should ensure the car is mechanically sound and they will typically address cosmetic issues to make the car as attractive as possible. They will also typically include a limited warranty, often by law, and may offer to provide an extended warranty for a fee. The cars can generally be inspected before purchase (unlike Tesla who only offer photographs) and even driven. A potential risk is if the car was bought at auction from Tesla as Tesla may have removed options such as unlimited supercharging, premium connectivity and autopilot but these changes have not yet been reflected in the car. It can be very hard to tell, so any such promises made by the dealer that these are still in force should be in writing to protect the buyer.

The final option is to buy from a private seller. Where cars are under the original warranty this approach is relatively risk free aside from the exchange of money and other guidance on buying any car privately such as checking there is no finance on the car, whether it is accident damaged etc. You can usually also see the owners MyTesla account to check on supercharging status etc.

Resources to find more information about a specific car

We've identified a number of ways for you to find out what options a car has:

  • If you can sit in the car, you can find a lot of information about the car from the menus using the guide to finding out what options a Tesla has..
  • If the seller has the login details for the Mytesla account to which the car is linked, ask the seller to go to Car information after getting the option code string from their MyTesla account and it will list all the options the car has.
  • You can also roughly find the date when the car was built by getting the last 6 digits of the vin and entering them into the Tesla factory gate date vin checker. This will return the dates for cars with a similar vin and when they left the factory.
  • If you have the VIN number of the car you can also use our VIN decoder which will tell you the most common matches of cars over time with similar digits to help validate the owners model claims.

Tesla have now added the ability to see the service record for a car via the app. Dealer sales may not be easy to show you the data as it is unlikely they will have access, but private sellers should be able to. While seeing the service record is reassuring, it is worth remembering that Tesla say the cars do not need routine servicing and so little to no servicing is possible. It's also possible that buyers have used independent dealers to service the car as these are cheaper than Tesla , sometimes more local as service centres can be some distance away and because Tesla don't mandate using them, in fact it can be hard to get a service appointment. These services will not show up on the app. We suggest that you see a service history on the app as a bonus and not a requirement.

And finally, using the year the car was built, you can see the what changes were made before and after a given year by checking our Tesla Model History guide. Any changes made in the year of a specific car need to be checked with the seller as changes have historically occurred at different times of the year and cars are not built in strict vin order. We would recommend that any feature that is important to your buying decision is confirmed with the seller.

Which model?

Tesla now 5 used models available to buy. We're created some model specific buyers guides:

Our thoughts on the other models in the range are below:

Original Roadster

The car that started it all.

Production finished a long time ago and this could be destined for collector's status. There are plenty of Left hand drive cars around, but right hand cars are very rare and carry a premium.

The cars do have issues, the version 3 battery suffers from degradation issues and the PEM is an expensive item that fails, and parts can be on a long back order. We've heard of a bricked battery taking the best part of a year to replace. They also need modifications and adaptors to use on T2 and Chademo chargers. They're not for the feint hearted to buy and we suggest that anyone considering them either needs to have deep pockets or be technically very astute.

If you are considering buying an original roadster we suggest you do some serious research and talk to specialists before doing so as we have heard of a number of cars being off the road for significant periods of time (measured in years) waiting for replacement parts as they are simply not available.

New Roadster

The new roadster has been promised for some time and has been delayed a number of times. We strongly suspect this model is effectively a new shape Model S Plaid+ in coupe form and will be launched at or around the same time as the MS Plaid+. Current time-scales suggest that will be early 2022 but it is dependant on a new battery pack and Tesla being able to deliver the performance figures they have promised. Whether the Roadster will offer significantly more than the MS Plaid+ is unknown, but if they do make it, you can expect YouTube to overrun with drag racing videos of the car. We just hope that the changes allow for a more complete sports car than straight line acceleration and make it a genuine drivers car.

Cybertruck

The cybertruck has been revealed and a factory is being built but it still feels a long way from becoming reality. It's also likely to be a America market (including Canada and possibly Mexico) model to start with.

Technology

We've drawn all the technology together into one section although it's worth noting that the Roadster is fairly unique and so the following does not apply.

The fabled high tech is a mixture of actually quite traditional tech with some fantastic innovation. The navigation system is now a home brew system without many options for instance you cannot set way points, with the route superimposed onto a google map.

Autopilot boils down to a number of choices and in each case the cars may have the supporting hardware but not necessarily have the software enabled.

  • Cars too early to get it built before late 2014
  • AP1 from late 2014/2015, the Mobileye developed capability that is pretty rock solid in terms of what it does but has a limited set of features (see our technology guide for the key differences.
  • EAP on cars from the end of 2016 which to all intents and purposes does similar things to AP1 but using Teslas own hardware (see later point on hardware). EASP is downgraded to AP if the car is resold by Tesla.
  • AP (not to be confused with AP1) which is the current initial level of autopilot and is a stripped down version of EAP. This has become standard on all new cars with the exception of a small number of compliance cars in certain markets.
  • Full Self Driving which doesn't yet offer much over and above EAP but when purchased against AP replaces the features that were stripped from EAP when they reduced it to just AP.
.

The hardware is either none existent, referred to as HW1 for AP1, HW2 for EAP and FSD, which has subsequently had 2 upgrades called HW2.5 with a few extra processes and redundancy and HW3 which has much greater processing power. We have produced a guide to the differences features due to the different hardware versions to help explain what each does and does not give.

Compared to other premium cars, features like head up display, 360 parking view, Apple carplay and Android Auto, reliable speed camera reading at all speeds, augmented reality sat nav etc are all missing.

Battery

We've provided detail battery information in each of the buyers guides. The general rule we would follow is that larger batteries are the preference as in general they have better performance, charger quicker, and with the M3 and MY are higher specification cars. The only exception to this is with a significant facelift where we would option a smaller battery facelift car than a larger battery prefacelift car, for instance a MS 75D facelift would be our preference over a MS 90D pre facelift.

What to look out for when buying

For each model we have now created a buyers guide which includes the common issues with the cars and these should be checked. Obviously if under Tesla warranty most things will be fixed although Tesla are increasingly reisitant to changes you might expect to be warranty items. A list of the basic checks is below:

  • Check the warranty status and title. Tesla are reluctant to support cars which have had significant accident damage.
  • Check the paperwork, the seller is the owner and whether there is any outstanding finance on the car.
  • The specification, and when buying froma dealer be mindful that free unlimited supercharging does not always transfer to the next owner. Our guide to free supercharging tells you how to find out the status.
  • Autopilot status and to a lesser extent premium connectivity. Sadly the information in the car can not always be relied upon when buying from a dealer, especially if they= dealer bought the car from auction or directly from Tesla. Our guide to full self driving explains the problem in more detail. If a dealer is selling a car with FSD then get it in writing and assured by the dealer that the car has the option.

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Sours: https://tesla-info.com/guide/buy-used-tesla.php
The History of Tesla in 5 Minutes

Tesla Model X with extreme mileage racked up $29,000 in repair/maintenance and that’s good

In the latest installment of our series on the highest-mileage Tesla Model X (and one of the highest mileage EVs in the world), we look into how a Model X with over 400,000 miles racked up $29,000 in repair and maintenance and why that’s good.

Just over 2 months ago, I bought one of the cheapest and most high-mileage Tesla Model X vehicles ever.

With over 400,000 miles (650,000 km), It’s one of the highest-mileage electric vehicles in the world and serves as a great case study for the longevity of electric cars, in general, and Tesla vehicles in particular.

It’s why we are posting a series of articles and videos about the vehicle and this episode is about the repair and maintenance history of the Model X.

High-Mileage Tesla Model X Repair and Maintenance History

The reason why this 2016 Model X already has over 400,000 miles on the odometer is that it was owned by Tesloop who used it to transport customers between Los Angeles and San Diego for years.

Tesloop kept a good tally of the maintenance and repairs done on the Model X, which they called Rex. You can see the full history further down and here’s a video I produced about it:

Sponsor: “Thanks to United Chargers for sponsoring this episode of the Electrek High-Mileage EV series. United Chargers has for mission to accelerate EV adoption by making charging affordable to everyone and that’s why their Grizzl-E charger starts at just $399. While the price is inexpensive, the charger is not cheap. It is made in Canada and features a sturdy aluminum casing that is rated NEMA 4 air and water tight. It can be installed on any breaker from 20 to 50-amp and comes with a choice premium cable for cold climates. It works great with electric car, but it’s especially works great with Tesla vehicles since it can take advantage of the 10 kW level 2 charging capability in Tesla cars. For that price, I don’t know of a better deal. It even comes with United Chargers’ Easy Plug, which holds your connector and acts as a cable management system. Visit the Grizzl-E website and start charging faster without breaking the bank with a Grizzl-E home charging station. You can also find their products on Amazon.”

$29,000 in repairs sounds like a lot, especially in less than 4 years, but it’s actually quite good when you keep in mind that it has over 400,000 miles, which is more mileage than the average car over its total lifetime.

Most cars would take 20 years or more to reach that kind of mileage if they even can, and that would add up to just $1,450 per year in repair and maintenance.

Now it looks even better when we get into the details and see that about $9,000 of the total was used to replace tires.

Tesloop didn’t often change all the tires at once, which makes it harder to get a clear look at how long the tires lasted, but the Tesla Model X ended going through 42 tires over the 400,000 miles.

That adds up to just over 10 full cycles of tires or one set every 40,000 miles, which is not great, but it’s not bad either. Some people will get more than that and others less depending on how nice you are to your tires.

Now let’s move to the big tickets items that contributed to the $29,000 – starting with the one that worries me the most: the middle row seats.

Back in 2018, after more than 200,000 miles on the vehicle, the middle row seats started malfunctioning and they were replaced at a cost of $5,375.90.

Aesthetically speaking, Tesla did a beautiful job with the second-row seats in the Model X configured for 6 people. The T-shaped stands are quite stunning, but the mechanism to move them back and forth as well as tilt them to create more room in the back has proven to be problematic.

They had to be replaced at just over 230,000 miles, but they are working fine now. With that kind of cost to replace them, I am a little worried about them breaking again. I’ll keep you posted.

The second biggest item is a $3,389.83 charge for “MCU (Touchscreen) Replacement and Chargeport Door replacement.” It happened somewhat recently mileage-wise at 373,000 miles around this time last year.

It had an error and the screen went blank. I am not too worried about that since Tesla has started offering MCU upgrades and even though it has limited benefits for AP1 vehicles, it could be a good solution for this vehicle in the future, especially if they can also fix the yellow lines on the sides, which have come back on this unit.

Electrek’s Take

We are talking about big numbers here, but they all need to be put in the perspective of the vehicle having over 400,000 miles on the odometer.

Overall, $29,000 is nothing over 400,000 miles for a $100,000 vehicle.

Most vehicles don’t get to that kind of mileage in the first place so it’s hard to get a good comparison, but I’ve heard of BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners getting similar tallies over half the mileage.

Also, Model X is probably not the best example of electric vehicles when it comes to repairs. It has been described as the Fabergé egg of cars. There are a lot of complex components that can cost more to repair.

But overall, I think it bodes well for high-mileage Tesla vehicles when it comes to repair and maintenance. You just need to be ready to buy some rubber.

Even things like the 12-volt battery, which has been a problem with Tesla vehicles in the past, have performed decently well on this Model X. It had to be replaced three times over the lifetime of the car, which is nothing to worry about at 400,000 miles.

Here’s the full service history of my high-mileage Tesla Model X:

MileageReady/InvoiceDateProviderItem# of ItemsDescriptionCost
12/19/2019GoodYear VanTire Replacement2234/45R18 98V Eagle Touring$341.44
390,3009/24/2019TeslaKey Fob22 new Key Fobs$361.35
388,5948/30/2019TeslaBrake Replacement1All new brakes, and diagnostic$1,788.01
379,3575/24/2019Mountain ViewTire Replacement2275/45R20 Nexen Rears$383.70
373,8754/11/2019TeslaMCU1MCU (Touchscreen) Replacement, Chargeport Door replacement$3,389.83
373,8704/11/2019TeslaParts1Airbag buckle – found while repairing MCU$115.63
373,8704/4/2019TeslaTouchscreen1Diagnosis for MCU being blank (vehicle driveable)$175.00
12/7/2018Mountain ViewTire Replacement22 new front tires$392.61
355,36711/28/2018TeslaBattery Replacement212v Battery, 2 Key Fob$484.44
355,36711/28/2018TeslaBattery ReplacementRefunded
349,66410/16/2018Mountain ViewTire Replacement2Rear Tires 275/45/20$377.70
343,5009/22/2018Paulee Body ShopPartsWindshield Replacement$1,400.00
320,7827/23/2018TeslaReference NumberRONC9824039854$262.00
317,0377/14/2018TeslaParts1Assy. Fender Garnish FR, RH MDL X$51.00
317,0377/14/2018TeslaParts1Assy. Fender Garnish FR, LH MDL X$51.00
317,0377/14/2018TeslaParts1Primary seal FR LH -MX$45.00
317,0377/14/2018TeslaOtherLabor$43.75
317,0377/14/2018TeslaOtherSales Tax$13.98
317,0377/14/2018TeslaInvoice NumberHight Voltage Battery Replacement$204.73
319,2507/9/2018GoodYear VanTire Replacement4New tires needed$704.43
315,1617/4/2018B&H TowingTowingVehicle died with 56 milles$127.50
308,4326/23/2018TeslaParts5Replaced rear drive unit$0.00
308,4326/23/2018TeslaWheel Alignment1Performed four wheel alignment$0.00
308,4106/19/2018TeslaParts1Replaced 12v battery$0.00
6/17/2018Van LingenTowingTow due to running out of charge (46 miles_8:51am)$0.00
307,8086/16/2018Mountain ViewTire Replacement1Replaced RR tire$186.03
6/15/2018Bauman’s Tow ServiceTire Replacement1Replaced RR tire due to flat$127.50
302,4776/6/2018TeslaOtherPerformed calibration on trunk to get it to open up all the way$0.00
302,4776/6/2018TeslaOtherRe-adjusted twisted 2nd row drivers side A/C duct$0.00
302,4776/6/2018TeslaOtherFound no faults or issues with A/C unit per the Limited A/C & Cooling System alerts$0.00
302,4776/6/2018TeslaParts1Replaced front axle shaft diff seal$169.54
298,8065/29/2018Mountain ViewVehicle InspectionVehicle Inspection$0.00
298,8065/29/2018Mountain ViewTire InspectionCourtesy Tire Inspection$0.00
287,9515/11/2018TeslaOtherChecked brakes and rotors and found them at 5mm$0.00
287,9515/11/2018TeslaOtherAdjusted charge port door to sit flush with the body$0.00
287,9515/11/2018TeslaParts1Secured bracket inserts back in place$0.00
287,9515/11/2018TeslaParts1Install 12V Battery Plug$0.00
285,6125/7/2018Mountain ViewTire InspectionCourtesy Tire Inspection$0.00
272,4874/15/2018Mountain ViewTire Replacement2Replaced both rear tires$359.87
261,4363/28/2018Mountain ViewVehicle Inspection250k Vehicle Inspection$0.00
258,9653/24/2018Mountain ViewTire InspectionCourtesy Tire Inspection$0.00
246,8823/4/2018Mountain ViewTire Replacement2Replaced both front tires$373.90
2/23/2018Safelite AutoGlassWindshield/Window RepairWindshield chip repair$79.40
238,2112/18/2018Mountain ViewTire InspectionCourtesy Tire Inspection$0.00
235,6032/13/2018TeslaParts1Installed front license plate$32.83
235,6032/13/2018TeslaParts1Replaced steering wheel switch$260.00
235,6032/13/2018TeslaParts2Replaced both middle row seats$5,375.90
235,6032/13/2018TeslaOtherResured front left wheel garnish$0.00
235,6032/13/2018TeslaParts1Made a new/additional key fob$0.00
235,6032/13/2018TeslaOtherResecured center console sliding door clip$0.00
227,3181/29/2018Mountain ViewTire Replacement2Replaced both rear tires$361.98
215,1641/8/2018Mountain ViewTire InspectionCourtesy Tire Inspection$0.00
202,78612/18/2017Mountain ViewVehicle InspectionCourtesy 200k Vehicle Inspection & Tire Inspection$0.00
199,78112/13/2017Mountain ViewTire Replacement2Replaced 2 rear tires$369.87
188,85011/24/2017TeslaParts1Replaced passenger side welcome plate$0.00
184,05311/15/2017Mountain ViewTire InspectionCourtesy Tire Inspection$0.00
175,80411/1/2017TeslaOtherTesla collected coolant sample$0.00
171,08010/23/2017TeslaWheel Alignment1Four Wheel Alignment$0.00
167,40210/16/2017Mountain ViewTire Replacement4Replaced all tires$731.70
166,44910/13/2017TeslaPartsFixed broken axle, Replaced front halfshaft assembly, brake pads/rotors & rear left bearing$2,393.62
166,44910/13/2017TeslaPartsReplaced 2nd row left & right side catcher bracket$232.00
166,19010/11/2017Mountain ViewTire InspectionCourtesy Tire Inspection$0.00
160,7099/26/2017TeslaParts1Recall: Replace LH and RH Parking Brake Calipers$0.00
160,7099/26/2017TeslaOtherUpdated key fobs with new firmware update$0.00
158,1149/18/2017TeslaBattery Replacement1Replace 12V Battery$133.39
9/17/2017Van LingenTowingTow due to running out of charge$255.22
151,9708/28/2017Mountain ViewTire ReplacementReplaced 2 front tires$369.09
151,9708/28/2017Mountain ViewVehicle InspectionVehicle Inspection$0.00
143,9798/2/2017TeslaParts2Replaced falcon wing door B-pillar switches$109.35
138,9537/19/2017TeslaOtherFirmware Update$0.00
137,1267/11/2017TeslaParts1Front fender garnish replaced$92.87
135,9277/5/2017Mountain ViewTire Replacement2Replaced both rear tires$372.36
130,6476/10/2017Mountain ViewTire InspectionCourtesy Tire Inspection$0.00
126,2235/8/2017Mountain ViewTire InspectionCourtesy Tire Inspection$0.00
119,0384/12/2017TeslaOtherResecured front shotgun seat carpet$0.00
119,0384/12/2017TeslaOtherResecured drivers side falcon wing door trim$0.00
119,0384/12/2017TeslaWheel Alignment1Wheel Alignment$166.25
115,3684/5/2017Mountain ViewTire Replacement2Tire replacement – 2 rear tires$354.88
115,3624/5/2017TeslaOther1New Key$152.30
115,3624/5/2017TeslaAir Conditioning1A/C Repair – Replace compressor$0.00
94,1802/25/2017Mountain ViewTire Replacement4Tire replacement$702.17
94,1802/25/2017Mountain ViewVehicle InspectionVehicle Inspection$0.00
91,1682/20/2017TeslaParts2New Windshield Wiper Blades$59.81
1/28/2017Aarco TowingOtherTowing due to blown tires$660.00
77,2351/28/2017Mountain ViewTire Replacement2Tire replacement, rear tires$362.70
72,3841/18/2017TeslaAir Conditioning1A/C Electric Compressor$987.36
75,0001/14/2017Mountain ViewTire ReplacementInstall 2 Front Tires & Check A/C System/Compressor$0.00
68,0001/7/2017Mountain ViewTire Replacement4Tire replacement$1,011.59
39,25011/2/2016Mountain ViewTire Replacement1275/48R20XL Conti LX CrossCon 110v$422.86
30,27710/28/2016TeslaMirrors1vandalism at Fox Hills$356.43
14,8149/28/2016TeslaParts1Received complimentary sunshade$0.00
9,7259/2/2016Mountain ViewTire Replacement2Tire replacement$573.87
5,0008/27/201610 Minute Tires IncTire Replacement1P275/4520 – Used Tire$111.75

 

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History tesla service

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