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Will Electric Cars Last Longer Than Combustion-Engine Cars?

Long-time Slashdot reader jimminy_cricket shared Qz’s report on some of “the highest-mileage Teslas in the world”:

Few have driven a Tesla to the point at which the vehicle really starts to show its age. But Tesloop, a shuttle service in Southern California composed of Teslas, was ticking the odometers of its cars well past 300,000 miles with no signs of slowing… These long days have pushed Tesla’s engineering to the limit, making Tesloop an extreme testbed for the durability of Elon Musk’s cars.Tesloop provided Quartz with five years of maintenance logs, where its vehicles racked up over more than 2.5 million miles, to understand how the electric vehicles (EV) are living up to the promise of cheaper vehicles with unprecedented durability compared to their conventional combustion-engine counterparts.

The results reveal Tesla to be a company still ironing out bugs in its products, but one that pushes the limits of what vehicles can do. “When we first started our company, we predicted the drive train would practically last forever,” Tesloop founder Haydn Sonnad told Quartz. “That’s proven to be relatively true.” He notes that every car except one, a vehicle taken out of service after a collision with a drunk driver, is still running. “The cars have never died of old age,” he added….

[T]he implications could be huge. Every year, corporations and rental car companies add more than 12 million vehicles in Europe and North America to their fleets. Adding EVs to the mix could see those cars lasting five times longer — costing a fraction of conventional cars over the same period — while feeding a massive new stream of used electric cars into the marketplace…. One of the first surveys done on EVs came this March when New York City revealed its first lifetime analysis of fuel and maintenance costs for its light-passenger fleet. It found conventional vehicle maintenance was two to four times higher than the $386 spent on EVs. That’s before gas…

If EVs continued to perform well past this point, the economics of the car market could change. Lower fuel prices and more durable vehicles could, theoretically, push total cost of ownership below conventional vehicles.

Several of the Teslas in their fleet have already driven nearly half a million miles.


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