Why Tesla owners embrace having a high mileage car

Low miles! Like new! Runs great! These phrases on neon stickers adorn windshields in used car lots everywhere. When shopping for any car other than brand new, mileage is about the first thing buyers want to know. The reasons why are obvious: cars and their many components break down over time and mileage is the best indicator of which parts may fail or may have already. Warranties are largely based on mileage as well, so there are plenty of incentives to buy a car with low mileage and to keep your cars as low possible. At least, those cars you intend to trade-in or sell at some point. Bonus points to those awesome, adventurous ICE drivers who keep their cars well past when the odometer hits six digits!

One of the many amazing things about electric vehicles is their lack of complicated mechanical systems. Tesla takes this to the extreme, with a relatively simple copper coil motor design. Unlike the EV version of a Volkswagen Golf for example, when you open the hood of a Tesla, you see open space. In fact, Tesla is so confident in the simple and low-maintenance mechanical systems of their cars, all new ones come with an 8 year/unlimited mile battery and drive unit warranty.

Combine these facts with the wide availability of a reliable fast charging network and a car that is an absolute joy to drive and you end up with a whole lot of miles on your Tesla. The paradigm is so different that when I came up on a Model S at a stop light yesterday, I couldn’t help but blurt out “I have over 30,000 miles on my Model S!” Of course I was driving a different car yesterday, but I digress. Almost as proud a badge of honor I wear my inclusion in the Tesla owners’ club, I wear my relatively high mileage proudly. It won’t be long before the odometer surpasses that of the ICE I brought home in December of 2012, two full year earlier than our Tesla. All of the issues we have had with our Model S have been completely unrelated to driving. We’ve had two door handle problems and a panoramic roof drip, neither of which made the car unsafe, unreliable or unable to be driven. The car drives every bit today like it did the day we brought it home. Actually, that’s a lie. It drives better thanks to over-the-air software updates.

My point is that for all the ways a Tesla drives just like any other car, it’s also the complete opposite. You don’t care about how much gas you’re burning through, how quickly your next oil change will be due, or how the more you drive, the most costly repairs will be required sooner.

I can’t wait to embark on an 1,800 mile road trip next weekend. It’ll be the longest trip on wheels my husband or I have ever driven. I can’t wait to see the ultimate effects this trip has on the odometer, or the official number it will read as of our 2nd anniversary of ownership on December 4th. It’s a bit of a crazy notion but high mileage on a Tesla is awesome.

Actually, I can’t wait for the trip in general. I always knew I’d get to see Chicago some day. After all, it’s the last major city I haven’t. I just always assumed I’d fly there. I don’t even rent cars when I travel, I just hop on a plane from my hometown to some other city, stay in the center of it all, and get around on foot. I used to fly right over most states without giving a second thought to what those states look like but Tesla ownership changes more than just your opinion on racking up a lot of miles. It changes long distance road travel by making it easy and convenient. It means my trip to Chicago and back will actually take me into five distinct additional cities; 4 of which I’ve also never been to.

Don’t blink. You don’t want to miss Tesla turning the car ownership experience on its head… again.

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