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Tesla combats poor resale ‘myths’

Numbers game: Tesla says its Model S and Model X (left) hold their value better than what some reports have suggested.

Claims made that Tesla Model S and Model X are cheaper to run than rivals

Tesla logo19 Jun 2018

TESLA has directly compared the cost of ownership of its Model S and Model X with several rivals, confessing that it needed to combat media commentary claiming that electric vehicle (EV) resale values were low.
 
The Australian division of the Californian-based EV-maker has insisted that lingering concerns over the resale value of its liftback and SUV were not the reality, and it used third-party independent data to draw specific comparisons.
 
“The comparisons come about mainly from us (seeing) articles that have been written around EV depreciation, but also there’s a lot of commentary from the government around cost of ownership,” Tesla senior manager of marketing and communications Heath Walker told GoAuto at an event in Sydney last week.
 
“And there has been a lot of commentary, probably even more so from the non-auto press, in what the value of electric vehicles looks like after ownership, suggesting that it’s really low.
 
“That’s coming from vehicles that were first iteration like (Nissan) Leaf, where there hasn’t been the introduction of a second generation car into market with the improved battery, and also due to the nature of hybrid and what happened with the Prius in the early days and the depreciation of those vehicles. 
 
“So what we have done with these models is look at cars that are actually traded in for Model S and Model X. So we didn’t just pick them out, there is some science behind it.”
 
Tesla firstly procured resale values from independent evaluators Redbook, comparing a Model S 75D (priced from $124,502 plus on-road costs) to a Jaguar XF 30d ($116,949) and Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI ($134,900); plus a seven-seat-optioned Model X 75D ($138,932) set against a seven-seat BMW X5 40d ($129,590) and five-seat-only Maserati Levante ($139,990).
 
It then took the national average of 15,000km driven annually, the rates from electricity company AGL’s first-year $1-per-day charging offer to EV owners, followed by the national average electricity price for two years, and it added the cost of installing home recharging while deducting the cost of free Supercharging (to 400kWh or $420 worth), all to assess recharging costs over three years. 
 
The national average diesel price was adopted to work out the equivalents for its rivals, too, while tyre replacement costs were further factored in.
 
GoAuto assessed the claimed figures and found that Redbook’s appraisal showed the Tesla will lose $63,032 of its price after three years or 45,000km, behind the Maserati’s $62,990 loss but less than the X5’s $66,540 plunge.
 
The Model S would lose $52,302 over the same period versus $65,500 for the XF and $78,250 for the E-Class.
 
Meanwhile the Tesla liftback was claimed to require $2051 in energy versus $3861 and $3931 in diesel for the Jaguar and Benz respectively. And, finally, the Tesla SUV needed $2141 in energy versus $4423 and $5054 in diesel for the BMW and Maserati respectively.
 
Add three years of servicing for $2100 in the Model S versus $2200 and $3280 in the XF and E-Class, or $2475 for Model X against $1795 and $3300 for X5 and Levante, and there is overall a three-year saving of $28,668 by picking Tesla over Benz, $13,728 over Jag, $4126 over the BMW, and just $2597 over the Maserati.
 
However, replacing the chosen X5 40d with its more frugal (3.4L/100km) and similarly priced X5 40e iPerformance stablemate would have asked for a Tesla-challenging $2659 in fuel costs over three years, or $1763 less than the X5 40d and narrowing the gap in ownership costs overall. 
 
“We’re trying to use third-party data as opposed to our own data in most cases,” Mr Walker insisted.
 
“We want this to be a true reality piece around what cost of ownership looks like. One of the strongest pieces of data throughout all four is actually the depreciation when it comes to trade-in and the value remaining in the vehicle.”

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