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This 932,000-Mile Tesla Model S Is Still Hanging In There

It’s not what you’d call all original, but that’s still a lot of miles in less than a decade.

byJames Gilboy|
Electric Vehicles photo


Wacko prototype batteries notwithstanding, driving long distances is something electric vehicles don't do well. Despite their efficiency, their difficulty storing and reabsorbing energy relative to combustion-engined vehicles makes stops longer and more frequent. It comes as a surprise, then, to see a German Tesla owner is already nearing a million miles with their Model S P85.

This Thursday, German taxi driver Hansjörg von Gemmingen-Hornberg posted a photo of his Model S's odometer, which read 1.5 million kilometers (or 932,056 miles). According to InsideEVs, the German reached the 900,000-kilometer mark (559,000 miles) in July 2019, suggesting he has averaged about 150,000 miles annually since, or 408 a day, even through COVID-19 lockdowns.

This Tesla's high-mile journey has been documented exceptionally well, not only by its owner but by others paying attention to its odometer. A quick Google of the car's VIN turns up one article after another showing the Model S hitting different milestones, though it hasn't come easy. Just as you'd expect from any car, the EV requires regular service and, every so often, major maintenance items are required.

As we all know by now from owning smartphones, batteries degrade over time, so it should come as no surprise that this Tesla's battery isn't its original. The car's first battery reportedly failed after 180,000 miles and was replaced under warranty with a loaner battery, on which its owner apparently put another 93,000 miles before receiving a long-term replacement. The Tesla has also reportedly chewed through multiple drive units over the years and needed three replaced within the first 433,000 miles, then another at about 621,000. Like the battery, it's unclear whether any replacements have occurred since these milestones.

Because this Tesla owner doesn't use their car the way most people do, his service history doesn't tell us much aside from the fact that despite their reduced maintenance requirements, EVs still need real service from time to time. Given the still sky-high cost of new lithium-ion battery packs, those services are no doubt preempted by eye-popping service estimates; figures that will no doubt sour at least a few buyers of used, high-mileage EVs on their purchases.

Even then, it's a special example of how far you can take a Model S in less than a decade.

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