In a recent study by The Clunker Junker, Tesla vehicles claimed the victory of being the cheapest luxury car brand to maintain.
The outlet looked at data from CarEdge about the 185 most popular models in the U.S., covering the last 10 years up to September 2022. It analyzed each car’s maintenance costs over that time period as a percentage of its purchase price and divided the results into standard and luxury categories.
Tesla’s prices put it in the luxury group, where the company’s rock-bottom maintenance costs won the top spot on the chart — not just among electric vehicles, but among all vehicles in that class.
Tesla’s average maintenance cost was 7.09% of the car’s value, compared to 12.28% for the next best, Lexus. The best individual car was a Tesla Model S at 4.58%, followed by the Model X in second place and the Model 3 in fourth.
This is great news for Tesla buyers, who can expect easy maintenance over their next decade of driving. It’s also good news for reducing pollution in our communities. Because they don’t use gasoline, electric vehicles reduce the need for extensive oil drilling that pollutes nearby water and soil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
EVs also don’t give off toxic exhaust or heat-trapping gases like combustion engines do, as the EPA notes. This is healthy for our planet and lungs in general, and for the improvement of city air quality in particular, so even the average person on the street will benefit as more drivers switch to EVs.
As some critics have pointed out, increasing the production of EVs does increase the need to mine for lithium, an important component of car batteries, which has a negative impact on the environment.
There is also the matter of where an EV is getting its power from. If a home’s electricity is powered by planet-overheating methane gas or coal — as a majority of homes in the U.S. are — then charging a car at that home would mean burning gas or coal to create that electricity. But despite these factors, studies have shown that cars with the dirtiest batteries are still cleaner than gasoline-powered cars.
Tesla is helping in the movement toward electric cars. Besides making its vehicles affordable to maintain, the company is also creating a greater variety of vehicle types to appeal to more drivers, and lowering prices on its cars to help buyers take advantage of tax credits.
Reddit users commenting on the maintenance cost study seem unsurprised. “What is there to maintain?” asks one. “I haven’t spent a dime in 7 years in maintenance.”
“I will never own a gas car again,” writes another, detailing maintenance struggles with their current BMW.
A third adds, “I’ve got 35K miles on my Model Y. Haven’t even had to replace the tires yet. … Having a maintenance free car is a huge benefit of EVs.”
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