Tesla is marketed as the future of human transport. Elon Musk even says that there will come a time when driving a car with your own hands, manually, would be considered a criminal offense.
Since Elon Musk has proven himself to be a genius by launching multiple successful high-tech companies, we’ll give him a pass on this one.
What we do want to discuss however is this; what happens to Musk’s Tesla Model S car when you use it as a Taxi and drive it more than 100,000 miles.
So there is a driver in Quebec City, Christian Roy, who has converted his Tesla Model S car into a Tesla Taxi. He has been using his Tesla Model S car as a taxi for over two years now.
He has managed to rack up over 100,000 taxi miles on his Tesla Model S electric car. Taxi miles are the most wicked and corrupt of miles. You have to drive your car for hours without rest and as a result, the engine of any car, let alone Tesla Model S car, gets a lot of wear and tear.
But coming back to the central question, how did the Tesla Model S do when it was used, or rather abused, as a Taxi car for over two years.
According to Christian, in an interview with Jalopnik, he was the first taxi driver in North America who had Tesla electric car as has taxi car.
Christian considers his Tesla’s work schedule, over the past two and half years that is, to be an exhaustive experience. He says he put his Tesla Model S car through 100,000 miles of hard road work.
He also told the reporter that more than ninety percent of those travel miles were within the city. For those new to cars and miles; you should know that driving the car inside the city is really taxing on the car’s engine.
That is also the reason why you see car owners boasting about their car miles being “highway miles” when they try to sell it as a used car.
In other words, the steady state freeway driving is much less stressful for a car’s engine while the heavy city miles, where you constantly have to stop and start, and turn, your vehicle in order to maneuver efficiently really wreaks havoc on your car’s mechanical parts.
That is why there are very few cars that can match a taxi car when it comes to doing the hard miles of within city driving.
Regarding problems with his Tesla Model S car: Christian said that most of the problems that he had experienced with his Tesla car had been related to the electric drive unit.
Since he owns his Tesla car, Christian also revealed that Tesla switched his car’s electric drive unit with a new one when his car had driven 25,000 miles.
No one needs to know about the quality issues that have been reported regarding electric drive units since they are very well documented.
But after driving his car, for two years straight, as a taxi car and accumulating another 75,000 miles of which 90 percent were heavy duty inner city miles, Christian says that his Tesla Model S car has held up relatively well.
He explained that his Tesla Model S car had required repairs such as new tires, ball joints, brake pads and wheel bearings but apart from this nothing major.
Christian was also of the opinion that repairs like these were absolutely normal in the business of taxi driving that requires you to drive through disease-ridden and cursed city streets.
With that said, Christian also revealed that he had to experience another drive unit failure a few months back. The reason, as he explains, was that his original drive unit had failed some time in 2014.
And he had that one replaced with an early drive unit edition instead of the improved revised model that came in 2015 models.
The most interesting part of the whole scenario is that Tesla replaced the failed drive units of Christian’s car free of cost and within 24 hours. As a result, Christian didn’t lose any money that he would have lost if he had to replace the part himself and then had to wait for days, with his taxi in no condition to function and earn money, before seeing repairs reach a finishing point.
Christian was honest enough to state that both of these problems, which Tesla solved quickly and free of charge, had given him a lot of trouble with his previous car.
However, the Tesla Model S car driver conceded that Tesla’s standard maintenance repairs such as brakes and bearings cost much more than the repairs he had to do on his old car which was a Subaru Legacy.
Christian claimed that he expected to gain the significant benefits, from driving a Tesla as a taxi car rather than his old Subaru, in the coming years as his Tesla Model S car crosses 200,000 miles.
He also stated that his old car, Subaru, was nearly not as resilient as Tesla since he had to rebuild its engine three times over the course of the 330,000 miles he drove with it.
Christian also admitted that his job required him to drive his car in a less than ideal fashion and had to spend about $1000 every month just to maintain his hold Subaru Legacy.
As a result, he was trapped in a vicious cycle of having to keep the car, because he had spent money on its repairs, and spending thousands of dollars on its repairs because the car didn’t work properly without regular checks.
According to Christian, this cycle continued till he reached a stage where he had over $20,000 balance in repair bills for the eight years he drove his Subaru.
And since his Tesla Model S car has the famous infinite-mile powertrain warranty, he won’t face the same problems with it. The infinite-mile has been a blessing for Christian since he regularly racks up over 50,000 miles a year driving his taxi on the city streets.
The warranty will ensure that Christian will only need to do repairs that are related to his Tesla’s ball joints and wheel bearings for a considerable amount of time before any major repairs are required.
That is something he could have never hoped for if he had continued to drive his petrol taxi Subaru Legacy.
Christian drove his Subaru for 15 years and now because of this warranty, he wouldn’t have to face any dollar hungry repairs until 2022 when the warranty expires.
Christian had to spend $70,000 for his Tesla Model S car and on top of that, also had to get its drive units replaced three times within the first 100,000 miles.
But Tesla still outranked conventional petrol car in this case for the simple reason that its maintenance costs were considerably less compared to Christian’s Subaru Legacy.
Christian had to spend about $3700 in the first two and half years of owning and driving a Tesla in electricity bills, while he had been paying around $5000 a year in the form of gas costs.
Add to that the fact that Christian had the convenience of charging his electric car from the comfort of his home over 100,00 miles.
The jury is still out, but Christian’s story does make a strong case for Tesla as a reasonably decent alternative taxi car to the conventional petrol car.
Check out these photos below to have a visual feel of the whole story.