Revolutionizing the electric vehicle landscape, Tesla stands as an undeniable force with its fleet of road revolutionaries – the Roadster, Model X, Model S, Model 3, and the attention-commanding Model Y. The EV arena bows to Tesla’s influence, shaking traditional automakers into an electrified awakening.
Yet, in the symphony of Tesla’s success, a discordant note emerges. Enter the Tesla Model Y, a global sensation sparking both fervent admiration and intense debate. As the world contemplates the switch to electric and autonomous driving, Tesla takes center stage, basking in the glow of praise and weathering the storm of scrutiny.
In this electrifying journey, we navigate the dualities of Tesla fandom and skepticism. Buckle up as we dissect the controversial coin, exploring 10 reasons that might just give you pause before joining the Tesla revolution.
Reasons Not to Buy a Tesla
3. Limited Range Driving on Highway
Tesla’s all-electric cars use regenerative energy to recharge their batteries. You will notice that the range is alarmingly small when driving on highways. This is because there’s not much braking on the highway.
Some Tesla models have a range of over 300 miles on a single charge. But still, you are left calculating the miles before you can reach the next charging station. The anxiety of being stuck with a dead battery is real because if you can’t find a Tesla Supercharger, you get only 20-25 miles of one hour charging on a public charger.
A Tesla Supercharger gives you an impressive range of up to 150 miles after only 25 minutes of recharging the battery.
2. Cannot Haul
When it comes to hauling, you may want to skip a Tesla. The range is significantly limited when you hitch a trailer. Even a small trailer can reduce the range by half.
For example, the Tesla Model X can tow up to 5,000 pounds. It even comes with a Trailer Mode to automatically level the suspension. The trailer mode also turns off rear proximity sensors.
With a 2017 R-Pod 180 that weighs 3800 pounds, a couple reported that the camper cut the Tesla’s range by 45 to 60 percent while driving 55 to 65mph. The Tesla Model X 100D has a range of 295 miles. But with the trailer in tow, it means you have to find a charger every 150 miles. It can give you range anxiety, which is not something you want on a road trip.
3. Self-Drive is Still Tricky if not Scary.
The overall success of the self-drive feature in Tesla is flawed. The new systems are not any close to perfect, and there are manufacturing problems. It has not happened to Tesla only, but the way Tesla speaks about self-drive, it can give you a false sense of security. Sometimes, this has resulted in accidents, some fatal because of the self-drive feature failing.
4. Charging Stations Can be Hard to Find
One of the main concerns of owning a Tesla is charging. For the average driver whose car runs on gas, all you do is pull to a gas station and refuel. But boosting a Tesla is more complicated. You have to know where Tesla’s Superchargers and public EV chargers are located. You also need to know when you will need to recharge and for how long.
Not to mention, charging a Tesla takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to get decent range from the battery.
5. Impossible to Repair or Maintain by Yourself
Maintaining your car gives you a sense of pride. But even the most skilled mechanic has zero chances to get your Tesla off the road when it breaks down. The process is so sophisticated that you have to have the car towed to a dealership.
Not to mention you cannot handle basic maintenance issues. These too have to be taken care of at a dealership.
6. Limited Range in Cold Climate
In cold temperatures, an electric car loses energy when heating the battery. More heat is lost when heating the inside of the vehicle. Like any electric device, the battery is going to drain faster in freezing temperatures. The car will still lose power even when it is packed.
7. Difficult to Control on Slippery Roads
One of the leading reasons for buying a Tesla is the fast acceleration. But this plays against it on slippery roads. Its enormous torque makes it a dangerous ride on slippery roads. Even the slightest acceleration can turn out disastrous in wet conditions.
8. Roadside Service is Hard to Find
Tesla does not make it easy when it comes to finding roadside service. Being a relatively new brand, you cannot get assistance from a conventional tow truck. You have to wait on Specialized Tesla Roadside Assistance to get your vehicle off the road. And it covers limited areas.
The Tesla Roadside Service ends after 50,000 miles or four years. You will have to invest in the AAA Gold Plus Package. It is not only expensive, but AAA does not carry a Tesla spare in case you have a flat tire. Know that Tesla does not come with a spare tire.
Whether you are on the highway or near your home, the vehicle has to be towed. And not many stores carry stock tires for Tesla models.
9. Software Updates vs. Hardware
Look at a Tesla as a big device that needs software updates to keep it running at par. But you can only get too far with a software update because the hardware on older Tesla models cannot support some of the software updates- case in point Model S Infotainment System Upgrade. You have to upgrade the hardware on Model S vehicles to enjoy the software upgrade.
10. Not Really Environmentally-Friendly
Elon Musk’s Tesla may not pump out fumes from the tailpipe. But that does not make it environmentally-friendly. The process of producing batteries for one Tesla car has as much pollution as driving a gas-fueled vehicle for eight years.
While an electric car does not need gas, it might still get its energy from burning carbon. It depends on how your local grid generates electricity. When you factor in other things like the high-performing metals needed to make an electric vehicle, you will find electric cars, more so Tesla vehicles, are just as environmentally damaging as conventional cars.
Tesla is an undeniable leader in style, innovation, and production of electric vehicles. But it’s not all that meets the eye is sleek and shiny. Beyond the hype and endless sustainability claims, there are many reasons to turn off the buyer who looks under the hood.
Sam is Automole’s editor-in-chief and classic car enthusiast. Sam is studying mechanical engineering at Cockrell School of Engineering, Austin. He also writes for many top automotive publications and appears on the Collecting Cars Podcast.