To truly prove that electric cars like the Tesla Model 3 can match up to traditional ICE cars in every situation, we need to see how well they handle tough challenges. Car-pooling services put cars through a lot of stress, so let’s find out if the Tesla Model 3 can handle the daily grind.
This will help us see if electric cars are not just fancy, but can really hold their own in the real world of constant use. Dobson may have done just that as he claims to have driven his Tesla Model 3 for over 118,000 miles in a year doing his Uber rides.
But wait, the praise Tesla story did not go too well, as his battery died in only 15 months of use after hitting 190,000 km. Let’s find out what all we know so far on this interesting feat!
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Tesla Model 3 Uber Driver Experience
Meet Dobson, the Tesla Model 3 maestro who’s been cruising the Uber scene for a solid year and a half. Kim Java featured him on her YouTube channel in July 2022, capturing the moment he swapped his trusty Toyota Camry for only a little used 2019 Tesla Model 3, forking out a hefty $53,000 – a record-breaking car expense for him.
Dobson’s timing to buy his Tesla was a bit out of luck since he jumped on the Tesla train just before the company decided to play Santa Claus with discounts. If only he’d held off a bit, he could’ve snagged a bit sweeter deal on his Model 3 Standard Range Plus. Timing, right?
Dobson’s shift to purchasing a Tesla was influenced by his encounters with Youtuber Kim and her family during Uber rides. Kim had been advocating for a Tesla, emphasizing the savings on gas and maintenance costs, as electric vehicles don’t require regular oil changes.
Despite initial concerns about the premium price of Teslas, PJ, Kim’s husband, highlighted the long-term savings and encouraged Dobson to consider the investment.
Dobson, who initially viewed the Tesla as a luxury car, was also hesitant due to the wear and tear associated with car-pooling. His friends reassured him, emphasizing the durability and cost-effectiveness of the Tesla over time.
However, the turning point came when Uber cleverly pitched the idea of renting a Tesla from Hertz at the time, he was spending $450 for gas. This ignited Dobson’s curiosity, prompting him to crunch the numbers and weigh the options. Spending $900 per month car note for his own Tesla was a far more economical choice compared to the monthly fuel costs.
Ultimately, Dobson’s decision to transition to a Tesla and Kim sums it all up in her video on YouTube beautifully.
Maintenance and Repairs
Dobson has traveled an impressive 118,000 miles since July 2022, a mileage that might seem substantial for an everyday driver but is entirely standard for an Uber driver like him. Operating six days a week and covering over 300 miles each day, Dobson’s routine reflects the demanding nature of his job.
To keep up with this rigorous schedule, he finds himself supercharging twice a day. Thanks to the Tesla’s efficiency and low maintenance demands, he’s already saved a cool $10,000.
EVs indeed are a great choice over ICE vehicles if you look at the expenses on maintenance alone. One car-pooling user aptly sums this up saying no car is built to handle 200-300 miles of driving every day, month after month. Non-electric cars need constant attention – oil changes every 3 weeks, new tires and brakes every 6 months, and bigger fixes like shocks and struts once a year, plus a new transmission after just 2 years.
Moreover, he acknowledges that charging a Tesla twice a day might wear out the battery a bit, but the real deal is that any car taking on 200-300 miles daily is in for a tough ride.
In an earlier video about the Tesla Model 3, they found that after driving 90,000 miles, the battery got 11% worse. But things got more worrying as the car went past 110,000 miles – the battery started losing power fast, going down to 170-180 miles on a full charge.
This got him concerned, especially because Tesla’s report said their cars should only lose about 12% of battery power after hitting 200,000 miles.
Dobson wasn’t convinced when Tesla said his Model 3’s battery got worse due to regular wear and tear, thinking it happened too fast. It’s unclear if his habit of doing two Supercharging stops a day, charging up to 90% or 95%, played a role. Dobson has no proof to support this theory, but he is uncertain what else could have happened to his Tesla’s battery.
Ride-sharing EVs usually drive a lot more in a week and charge more than private-use ones would do in months.
Some would now argue that Supercharging a lot can stress the battery, but a recent Recurrent study on Tesla EVs showed it might not make that big of a difference if done gradually or not.
One day, after charging at home for 170 miles, Dobson used a Supercharger and got only 35 miles of juice. Tesla told him to bring the car in for a check following the instance.
Tesla Model 3 Battery Degradation
In line with Tesla’s 2022 impact report, the battery of a Model S or X is expected to lose only 12% of its capacity after covering a substantial distance of 200,000 miles (320,000 km). However, Dobson’s experience deviated significantly from this benchmark.
Despite the reported resilience of Tesla batteries, Dobson observed a rapid deterioration in his Model 3’s battery after just 170,000 km, witnessing a surge from 11% to over 30% degradation within a few weeks.
This big difference makes us wonder how long Tesla batteries really last in everyday use. There’s a concerning incident too – Dobson charged his Model 3 but only got 56 km of range instead of the expected 270 km.
After facing battery issues, Dobson took his car to Tesla Service, where they said it would cost $9,000 to replace the battery.
He agreed to it and changed how he charges his car to 80%, as advised by Tesla. Now, he gets around 160-170 miles on a full charge. But the new battery only comes with a one-year warranty, making Dobson suspicious that it might be a used one instead of brand new.
He also noticed that his fully charged battery offers 14% less range than a brand-new Tesla Model 3.
Dobson explains all these details in a 34-minute video. Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear Tesla’s side of the story, as the company doesn’t have a PR thing going.
Is Tesla Model 3 Good for Uber?
Despite the challenges Dobson faced, the Tesla Model 3’s performance as an Uber vehicle presents a compelling case for the viability of electric vehicles in high-demand scenarios. The significant savings on fuel and maintenance underscore the economic advantages of EVs over traditional ICE vehicles, especially for drivers covering extensive distances regularly.
However, the issue of battery degradation and the associated costs highlight the need for potential EV drivers in the ride-sharing industry to consider the long-term implications of frequent charging and high mileage. As battery technology and infrastructure continue to evolve, the Tesla Model 3 and similar EVs may become increasingly suitable for such intensive use, provided that manufacturers address the concerns around battery longevity and replacement costs.
Dobson’s experience serves as an important case study for both ride-sharing drivers contemplating the switch to electric and for companies like Tesla to refine their offerings for this demanding segment of the market.
In conclusion, looking at Dobson’s experience with his Tesla Model 3 used for Uber driving, we see both the good and tough parts of using electric cars. Dobson saved money on fuel and maintenance after spending a lot on his Tesla, but he faced a big problem when the car’s battery suddenly died after driving 118,000 miles.
This makes us think that electric cars, like the Model 3, might not be fully ready for the tough conditions that ride-sharing cars go through every day. Battery degradation could very well be a crucial factor if supercharging is actually the cause of the damaged battery. Thoughts?