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Video: 430,000-Mile Tesla

What happens to electric cars when they get old? Rory hops in a Tesla with nearly half a million miles on the clock to find out.

Published on 20 June 2024 | 0 min read

There are more second-hand electric cars available now than ever before, making electric a viable and affordable option for a lot more people.
But there’s one question hanging over this: are these older electric cars actually worth buying? They’re more affordable, for sure, but are you getting your value for money? Is the battery going to last? What sort of impact will the miles on the clock have on the rest of the car? We put a Tesla Model S with an astounding 430,000 miles on the clock to the test to find out. In our new YouTube series, Rory Reid meets the driver and takes a closer look at this high-mileage Tesla. But what exactly do we have planned? Over the course of this series, we're going to do a range test, a health check, a performance test, and find out exactly what makes this car tick.
Episode one: Meet the Tesla that won't die
Paul Ken purchased this Tesla Model S 90D, with a 90 kWh battery and dual motors, new in 2016. Since then, it has driven the equivalent distance of getting to the moon and back – and it’s still going.
Remarkably, this car still runs on its original battery and motors. There have been a few necessary repairs over the years and, after so many years and so much use, there are of course a few signs of wear and tear including the odd stone chip. But the interior and mechanical components, including the original fluid and motors, remain intact and performing reliably. The battery’s lasted pretty well too, having only experienced about 65 miles of range degradation. Paul credits this to consistent use and careful charging habits. He primarily uses supercharging during the day and tops up with home charging at night. This frequent supercharging to 100 percent hasn’t significantly damaged the battery. And using Tesla’s free supercharging over the car’s lifetime has saved him thousands of pounds a year. Given how much the UK’s charging network has expanded over the past few years, degradation of range isn't as much an issue today as it would have been when Paul first started driving. Perhaps more impressively, this Tesla has reached this point without ever having had a traditional service. Instead, Paul follows a preventive maintenance strategy, replacing parts as needed rather than sticking to a routine service schedule. Regular MOTs, mandatory for a taxi service, also help promptly address any potential issues. Watch the full interview now to find out how Paul's kept the battery in such good condition for so long, what it's really like to live with such a high-mileage electric car, and what else Rory has planned for this impressively stalwart EV. Make sure you subscribe ahead of future episodes too!