Tesla 3 is cheaper than a Honda Accord …

… but Uber and their drivers are too stupid to realize this.

“Tesla Model 3 vs. Honda Accord — 7 Scenarios” (CleanTechnica) is kind of fascinating. The author figures out that it is cheaper to drive a Tesla 3 than a similar-size Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or Nissan Altima. Yet he never questions why it is that people for whom driving is a business haven’t figured this out.

He finds some sky-high residual value estimates for Tesla 3s and never asks “If the resale value is so great, why isn’t it cheap to lease one of these?”

Is this additional evidence that, as a reader commented on an earlier post, Tesla is a religion, not a car company?

[Separately, my most recent Uber ride was in the back of a late-model Honda Accord. It was significantly louder on the highway compared to the middle seat of our 2018 Honda Odyssey EX-L. Maybe nobody can build a better car than an Odyssey!]


12 thoughts on “Tesla 3 is cheaper than a Honda Accord …

  1. I think the final sentence in this article is worth pondering:

    “Interested in buying a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X? Need a referral code to get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging? Use ours: http://ts.la/tomasz7234 (or not).”

  2. Hmmm. Resale value. When he mentions 10-year resale value he states:

    “I expect the Model 3 will hold up much better (for several reasons), but I don’t have any very objective evidence of that and also don’t have a crystal ball. ” His original “much better” is in italics, so despite the fact that he won’t discuss his reasons he’s emphatic about them.

    I don’t have a crystal ball, either, but I can guess what he might be basing the italics on, namely: Part I: He’s betting the social stigma against owning an exclusively gasoline-powered car will be so onerous in 10 years that their resale value will suffer, and the price of gasoline will increase so much that it will be a no-brainer? Part II: The laws will change, state by state, to gradually but inexorably make it more costly and less enjoyable to own an exclusively gasoline-powered vehicle? That would depend on how fast the religion generates new converts, and the government would be doing the evangelizing.

    I’ve thought about this a couple times while crossing the Mario M. Cuomo bridge (formerly the Tappan Zee): what if governments start using EZPass to charge variable tolls based on the type of power train a vehicle uses, so that in 10 years it costs gasoline-powered cars $24 to cross the Cuomo bridge but EVs skedaddle over the Hudson for $12 so they can hop on the Saw Mill River Parkway through Chappaqua? Define the gas-powered cars as a pollution source and effectively penalize them automatically, every time someone goes through an EZPass?

    Then make the Parkways a lot friendlier to EVs than to gas vehicles. How? Look at the Palisades Parkway in New York and the Garden State Parkway in Jersey. They already prohibit certain classes of vehicles outright and the only places you can buy gas are in the medians, and are heavily regulated by the respective states. So gradually you phase out the gas pumps and replace them with charging stations until you have to wait an hour longer in line for gas than you do to Supercharge your EV. Presto!

    Let’s go farther: why not charge the owner extra money every time they have to get a gasoline-powered car inspected? Start off low, like an extra $50 a year, but ramp it up so that eventually the tolls and inspection costs whittle the resale value away so significantly that the gas-powered resale values are sunk? Our nation’s litigators are certainly up to the task of creating that kind of legislation.

    Sorry to hear about the noise in the back seat of the Accord. I know the Odyssey is a sweet minivan, though.

    • Sounds like you aren’t familiar with the California Clean Air Vehicle Decals – a new Tesla 3 (among others) can drive in the carpool lane with only one person – for many people turning a 60 minute commute into a 30 minute commute.

  3. My 2018 Honda Odyssey (touring) is also great. Even the HondaVac is surprisingly useful.

    As to the article, you can buy an off 3 year lease BMW i3 electric car (some models with gasoline generators) for less than $20k off ~$60 OEM msrp. So I don’t think there is a strong case for electric car residual value.

  4. There was a taxi service in Montreal called Teo taxi that primarily used Teslas and went bankrupt. Apparently it wasn’t economical even considering only the operating expenses, which is surprising considering they must have been taking advantage of the free supercharging. Supposedly recharging the cars took them off the road for too long.

  5. “Tesla Squeezes 370 Miles of Range Out of its Big-Battery Model S” is the headline dated APR 24, 2019 on Road and Track.

    Meanwhile, my 2014 Audi Q5 AWD TDI (that I got used 🙂 has a range of well over 600 miles on the highway…and averages about 28 around town . . . best highway was 37 (I-90 in upstate NY, pretty flat, three adults and lots of luggage.).

    It costs a bit less than a long range Tesla S.

    • Your Audi is tremendously inefficient compared to any electric car, and will dump noxious fumes (not just CO2, CO, but lots of NOx) in your neighborhood. Great for your health, and for the health of kids around you! Even if you consider 100% of the energy to power electric cars comes from coal, power stations are much more efficient than cars, and do not usually dump the pollutants in a person’s backyard.

      But back to efficiency. Even if you consider a car with 50 mpg, this equates to about 6.36 litres of diesel per 100 km. One litre of diesel has about 10.7 kWh of energy, so it will use about 64 kWh/100 km. Electric cars, by comparison, use about 20 kWh / 100 km, so they are about three times more efficient.

      Internal combustion cars and more expensive to run and terrible for the environment, it’s just that all the environmental costs have not been factored in the price of driving one. One this happens (and it is already coming in Europe), it will not longer be socially acceptable to drive around polluting our cities and neighborhoods (much like tobacco was banned), and electric cars will prevail.

  6. Thomas Edison told exaggerated stories to investors for years before delivering on the light bulb. This is standard practice. You know this.

  7. Why would anyone even consider Accord or Camry driving 10 to 17 K per year? I once bought 1 year old vehicle that has 90K miles. Comparison with a practical car, for someone commuting in Silicon Valley where 50 miles one way are a norm, should start at 40K miles/year.
    The questions: where Tesla 3 will be in 5 years after minimum of 20K miles? How many battery packs will it be through and at what cost? What if commute is not in Silicon valley, how long will it take to service Tesla 3/ change battery? Is it DIY with ordering parts online or car needs to be shipped somewhere? Vs 2 hour service time for Accord.

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