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Potential new owner has a few concerns [potential purchase in belgium]

MentalParadox

Member
Feb 25, 2021
26
2
Belgium
Hello all. I'm a Belgian ICE-guy who is very interested in buying a Model 3. I did a test drive and I just fell in love with it instantly. It's a spaceship on wheels! Anyway, I'm just a lower-middle class guy and buying this car would really stretch my budget, so I have a few questions and concerns before I make this decision...

I heard some really bad things about... well, everything really. Car forums not owned by Tesla are just incredibly negative about the cars and the brand in general. Surely they can't all be paid shills? The complaints that alarm me the most are the countless, never-ending problems buyers seem to experience, often several big problems in the first few years after buying the car... The car itself is expensive enough, if such problems were to persist after the warranty period, that'd be pretty bad. I also heard Tesla's repairs are notoriously expensive. I experienced this first-hand when during my test drive, I made a tiny scratch on the wheel rim. They charged me 400 euro (450ish USD) to fix it. They also said that if they had to do even the simplest repairs like work on the front headlights, that cost would go into the thousands of euros as apparently the bumper is full of radars and other sensors, and they'd need to be replaced as well. That'd be a nightmare and a hard pass, if true.

Another concern is tyre wear. I heard Teslas were notoriously hard on their tyres, costing over $200 for each tyre, and needed to be replaced almost every year. Can I extend their life by not driving like a lunatic? I tend to be quite relaxed in traffic.

Last question is about charging. I live in a small apartment. No garage. My car is parked on the street outside. Charging at home is not going to happen. The nearest Tesla charger is quite far away, in the nearby city. I guess I could go there every week to charge, but that does sound like quite the hassle. There are, however, small non-Tesla charging stations in my town. Slower 22 kW ones, but within walking distance of my home. Can I charge a Tesla at a non-Tesla charger, or am I forced to use the Tesla ones?

Thanks in advance!
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,738
1,688
Houston
The "hard on tires" is not accurate. The problem is many Teslas leave the factory with bad wheel alignments so the tires wear out really fast and the owners incorrectly blame it on the tires, the power of the car, the weight of the car, or driving style. It's alignment.

Don't know about your country's chargers, but I have charged at public chargers with the included adapter.

The high cost of repair does seem to be somewhat true, but I think a lot of it is shops taking advantage of Tesla owners and their insurance companies. Also, it takes a long time to get parts and Tesla is trying the Apple model of trying to stop non-certified 3rd parties from making any money repairing Teslas.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,810
8,638
Riverside Co. CA
(Personal opinion post only, not representative of TMC as a site)

based on just the statement of "charging at home is not going to happen, the nearest tesla charger is far away, I guess I could go there every week to charge", I would say that the car is not the right one for you at this time.

While you can charge at a non tesla charger, you will be waiting for quite some time for it to charge. One of the biggest benefits to having an EV is not having to take it somewhere to charge. You likely would be going to the charger more than "once per week" as well.

While you may not want to hear this, and it may sound strange coming from someone who is also a moderator here at TMC, I dont think you should get a tesla yet. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as "one size fits all" and your current situation is not conducive to owning any "all battery, no ICE" vehicle.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,738
1,688
Houston
Why anyone would sign up to go drive their car to a charging station to have to leave it there and then WALK home, then walk back and pick it up, as a "regular occurance" instead of just driving an ICE vehicle I cant comprehend.

It's possible that the remote charging works into the OP's lifestyle. Maybe the public chargers are in an area that the OP needs to go regularly and spend time in that area doing other things, like work or socializing.

Personally, I wouldn't get an EV if I couldn't charge at home, but I live in a city where everything is a 30 min drive away, so you need to be able to charge frequently. Maybe the OP has very short drives, so the charging would be infrequent.
 
Last edited:

Apprunner

Member
Jul 2, 2019
456
528
So-cal
Well, he is in Europe so the Teslas there have CCS so he can have very fast charging at 3rd party stations.

It seems like the OP is stretching to buy the car so Teslas aren't great for that. Electricity is expensive at DC charging stations so not much savings vs. gas and the inconvenience of not being able to charge at home doesn't make it worth it.
 
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Doug_U_AGrave

Member
Dec 28, 2020
29
39
Sacramento
1. I don't think people in this forum are down on Tesla=the car. Certainly a majority are down on Tesla=the company. They have a great product and can treat new buyers and owners any way they want as they have weeks and months of pending orders. With all the problems with Tesla=the company, the buyers keep coming back. Most would buy again. I would
2. As others have said, your real problem is charging. You need to charge from home. Public chargers are for longer trips. Driving miles with range anxiety to charge your car for periods of time will get old very quick. Supercharging often reduces battery life I'm told.
3, that said, I've never used a non Tesla charging station but I've seen that its incredibly hard to get them to work reliably connected to a Tesla. Perhaps this is different in Europe. Somthing else to consider.
 

iwannam3

Member
Aug 8, 2016
902
1,273
Washington
Better than charging near home would be to charge while at work. Is that possible, within walking distance from work? Also In the US Tesla superchargers are around $0.30/kwh = to abut 30 mpg in a gas car at $3/gallon. Other charging sites are $0.49 to $0.59/kwh. My home power is $0.082/kwh . you can translate to metric, but electric can be more expensive that cheap gas here. Fuel and electricity in EU are both much more expensive but I don't know the ratio between electricity and fuel. Looks like gas is $6/gallon and power is $0.22/kwh at home. Your mileage may vary. in 2019 Tesla charged
  • Belgium - €0.32 per kWh ($0.39/kwh)
 

Nickage87

Member
Nov 28, 2019
113
33
USA
Without home charger You gonna hate yourself after few weeks spending countless hours in the car waiting it to get some juice. Also, many people buy this car for few years only, there are multiple reasons for that:
1. No one knows it’s long term reliability
2. Battery degradation is real, just like on a cellphone. My SR+ gets 217 instead of 245 after only a year. And this is with like 10% supercharging only
3. You need to keep a car in garage as cold temps affect battery life
4. Out of warranty repair will be probably costly, and this is another reason to keep it only until warranty is over
5. The EV market will explode in 2022 , you will see a lot more options from mature manufacturers
 
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one2many

Member
Aug 16, 2019
572
742
germany
Well folks I live in Europe. There are tons of options to charge fast
here and many free (Aldi). So google charging stations in your area and see
what options you have, may be more than you think. We charge about once
a week so not much different than an ICE, plus lots of CCS fast chargers here as well.

There is no better car than a Tesla for battery quality and range even at faster speeds.
All car repair is expense here. We save $5000 a year on gas ($6.50 a gallon.

Is this right for you, this depends on so many factors, distance to work, vacations,
and so on. Please remember that lots of unhappy folks are on forums, they have a
small issue and love to blow it out of context. We love our model 3.
 
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sg021

Member
Feb 23, 2015
128
84
Philadelphia, PA
I'm just a lower-middle class guy and buying this car would really stretch my budget, so I have a few questions and concerns before I make this decision...
I am in the US, so I don't know what the used car market is like in Europe. My wife's cars have been new, but I have always bought used. Just something to keep in mind.

I heard some really bad things about... well, everything really. Car forums not owned by Tesla are just incredibly negative about the cars and the brand in general. Surely they can't all be paid shills? The complaints that alarm me the most are the countless, never-ending problems buyers seem to experience, often several big problems in the first few years after buying the car... The car itself is expensive enough, if such problems were to persist after the warranty period, that'd be pretty bad. I also heard Tesla's repairs are notoriously expensive. I experienced this first-hand when during my test drive, I made a tiny scratch on the wheel rim. They charged me 400 euro (450ish USD) to fix it. They also said that if they had to do even the simplest repairs like work on the front headlights, that cost would go into the thousands of euros as apparently the bumper is full of radars and other sensors, and they'd need to be replaced as well. That'd be a nightmare and a hard pass, if true.
Car forums tend to be very slanted towards the brand the forum is associated with. I have spent time on other forums for our other cars. There are always people trying to speak with authority on Tesla and all EVs despite never having owned or even driven one. That said, Tesla repairs can be expensive. Some of the reasons are unique to Tesla, some are not.
Model 3 has been pretty reliable from what I've seen. Ours is about 2.5 years old and has been good. We paid for a trim piece I cracked on a curb cutout, and Tesla warrantied a torn piece of underbody cover that was ripped by a deep puddle. Both times they sent mobile service to my house.
More and more cars, including all Teslas, are moving to fancy LED based headlights. These come as a sealed module that cannot simply have a dead bulb replaced. LEDs are supposed to last the life of the car, but if anything goes wrong the entire module must be replaced. They can be thousands of dollars, and this goes for many brands now. I remember reading about Acura when they switched to LED module assembly. Looking just now, a single TLX headlight is about $700 USD from 3rd party. The HID assembly on my wife's old Lexus were $800 USD I think.
There are few cars with aluminum body panels, but Tesla is not the only one. It is more difficult and expensive to work with. In the US Tesla limits the authorized locations that can do body work, so that has created headaches for people in need of collision repair.
In general, cars are packing more sensors and cameras that are around the periphery of the car. That just makes them at higher risk of being damaged. I'm assuming they meant if you were in an accident with front end damage you'd probably be replacing sensors as well as the headlights.
Wheels are wheels, you'd probably just leave a scratch or fix it much cheaper at a third party.

Another concern is tyre wear. I heard Teslas were notoriously hard on their tyres, costing over $200 for each tyre, and needed to be replaced almost every year. Can I extend their life by not driving like a lunatic? I tend to be quite relaxed in traffic.
Low profile tires also simply do not last as long and are more expensive. Teslas need higher load rating because they're so heavy so that can limit your choices at the lower end. The ones that come with the model 3 are also special ones with noise reducing foam, but you don't need to replace with the exact type of tire. In the Lexus I referenced earlier the OEM tires were about 200+, but there were ones closer to $100 that fit and we used instead.

Last question is about charging. I live in a small apartment. No garage. My car is parked on the street outside. Charging at home is not going to happen. The nearest Tesla charger is quite far away, in the nearby city. I guess I could go there every week to charge, but that does sound like quite the hassle. There are, however, small non-Tesla charging stations in my town. Slower 22 kW ones, but within walking distance of my home. Can I charge a Tesla at a non-Tesla charger, or am I forced to use the Tesla ones?
That's a tricky one. Your circumstances may change in a few years. You may have less time to waste on charging, live in a new place, or you may have more options that make it no big deal. Someone like myself with a family, one of the selling points was that it could charge at home. It's so convenient. If we had to take it somewhere we'd be driving ICE.
 

MentalParadox

Member
Feb 25, 2021
26
2
Belgium
A lot of answers making odd assumptions about things I didn't say. A lot because people don't seem to understand how Europe works (which I understand, I know I'm the odd one around here). When I say those public chargers are within "walking distance", I really do mean walking distance. We don't really mind walking on this side of the pond. I mean it's literally just a minute and a half on foot. City hall has one, and that's two blocks away. The supermarket next to me has one in their underground parking garage, and I go there for shopping every day. It woud not be a problem for me at all to park the car there, and leave it charging while I go home. I wouldn't have to "sit there for hours waiting for the car to charge".

Europeans also tend to have to drive far shorter distances for work. My total travel distance to and from work is 60 km, or about 40 miles. That's it. Most optional activities I do like hobbies are much closer by than that. Even if the car's range is only 350 km (220 miles), that would mean recharging every 5-6 days. I think I'd just do it every two days, just to be sure, and because those public chargers aren't always available.

In terms of price, yes, electricity is more expensive in the EU than in the US (about 30% more expensive) - but so is gas. In Belgium, we pay 5 to 6 times more for gas than Americans do. I'd say that even at those higher electricity prices, it's still much cheaper than gas.

People say my living situation might change soon, but I just don't see that happening... People in Belgium don't move or change jobs unless they absolutely have to. Most people live out their lives in their first home and do the same jobs for decades. I have zero reason to move, especially because I have 2 decades of a hefty loan to pay off, and selling the place now would mean losing a lot of money. Perhaps I can protect the car on icy winter days (rare in my part of the world) with some kind of blanket?
 
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duanra

Active Member
Dec 14, 2018
1,206
685
Montreal
Yes, for me, your situation is pretty good. At 22kw, it would take about 3 hours to fully charge. If the charger is a few minutes from your place it is hardly a problem.
As for winter condition, I live in Montréal Canada. During the winter my car was parked outside, I never put anything on the car.
Of course you have to brush the snow etc...but as you said, winter condition in Belgium is not that often.
 

Tarpan

Member
Jan 2, 2021
100
93
Vancouver, BC
A lot of answers making odd assumptions about things I didn't say. A lot because people don't seem to understand how Europe works (which I understand, I know I'm the odd one around here). When I say those public chargers are within "walking distance", I really do mean walking distance. We don't really mind walking on this side of the pond. I mean it's literally just a minute and a half on foot. City hall has one, and that's two blocks away. The supermarket next to me has one in their underground parking garage, and I go there for shopping every day. It woud not be a problem for me at all to park the car there, and leave it charging while I go home. I wouldn't have to "sit there for hours waiting for the car to charge".

Europeans also tend to have to drive far shorter distances for work. My total travel distance to and from work is 60 km, or about 40 miles. That's it. Most optional activities I do like hobbies are much closer by than that. Even if the car's range is only 350 km (220 miles), that would mean recharging every 5-6 days. I think I'd just do it every two days, just to be sure, and because those public chargers aren't always available.

In terms of price, yes, electricity is more expensive in the EU than in the US (about 30% more expensive) - but so is gas. In Belgium, we pay 5 to 6 times more for gas than Americans do. I'd say that even at those higher electricity prices, it's still much cheaper than gas.

People say my living situation might change soon, but I just don't see that happening... People in Belgium don't move or change jobs unless they absolutely have to. Most people live out their lives in their first home and do the same jobs for decades. I have zero reason to move, especially because I have 2 decades of a hefty loan to pay off, and selling the place now would mean losing a lot of money. Perhaps I can protect the car on icy winter days (rare in my part of the world) with some kind of blanket?


I think one factor is the drain you get while not driving. If you're going to park on public streets you would need to think about whether or not you want sentry mode on. Sentry mode on all the time is going to rack up the battery drain requiring more charging than you're accounting for. If you're comfortable not having sentry mode on, then the battery drain is going to be a lot less significant.

You can certainly get a car cover...the fitted tesla brand ones actually look pretty slick.

Are the public chargers expensive? That would be the only other factor. There are huge cost savings charging at home (depending on your cost of electricity) but public chargers and super chargers aren't going to see significant cost savings over the life of the vehicle vs an ice/hybrid alternative.

They are fantastic cars. If you don't think the charging is a pain, then I don't think that is a huge barrier.
 

MentalParadox

Member
Feb 25, 2021
26
2
Belgium
Well, they charge 0,42 euro (0,5 USD) per kW. This seems like a lot, until you realize how ludicrously expensive gas is in Belgium. 1,6 euro per liter, or 7.32 dollars per gallon.

Also, the supermarket charger is FREE for people who shop there, and I shop there daily.
 
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MentalParadox

Member
Feb 25, 2021
26
2
Belgium
This town is also quite safe (suburban in nature, quite wealthy) so I'm not sentry mode would be needed at home. I would use a brandless car cover as to avoid too much attention.
 

arie21014

Member
Dec 11, 2020
26
20
Las Vegas
part of joy of owning a Tesla is having a charged car every time you get in. never needing to stop unless on road trips.

But I got free supercharging for a year because my delivery fell in that Dec 12th to 31st window. so i have not been charging at home. occasionally i swing over to a supercharger for 25 to 30 min. i get a coffee, and or play some solitaire to pass the time. hasn't been a big problem, or huge hassle. But certainly in 2022 i will be charging in my garage.

but also keep in mind you "don't" need supercharger to charge, if you have regular outlet over night. and only drive 40 miles or so a day. but your description of not even having a regular outlet could be problematic.

Summary: I would find new apt. with garage (or have a plan to move) before buying a Tesla. 100% charging at superchargers is not the correct way to own a Tesla.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,810
8,638
Riverside Co. CA
A lot of answers making odd assumptions about things I didn't say. A lot because people don't seem to understand how Europe works (which I understand, I know I'm the odd one around here). When I say those public chargers are within "walking distance", I really do mean walking distance. We don't really mind walking on this side of the pond. I mean it's literally just a minute and a half on foot. City hall has one, and that's two blocks away. The supermarket next to me has one in their underground parking garage, and I go there for shopping every day. It woud not be a problem for me at all to park the car there, and leave it charging while I go home. I wouldn't have to "sit there for hours waiting for the car to charge".

Europeans also tend to have to drive far shorter distances for work. My total travel distance to and from work is 60 km, or about 40 miles. That's it. Most optional activities I do like hobbies are much closer by than that. Even if the car's range is only 350 km (220 miles), that would mean recharging every 5-6 days. I think I'd just do it every two days, just to be sure, and because those public chargers aren't always available.

In terms of price, yes, electricity is more expensive in the EU than in the US (about 30% more expensive) - but so is gas. In Belgium, we pay 5 to 6 times more for gas than Americans do. I'd say that even at those higher electricity prices, it's still much cheaper than gas.

People say my living situation might change soon, but I just don't see that happening... People in Belgium don't move or change jobs unless they absolutely have to. Most people live out their lives in their first home and do the same jobs for decades. I have zero reason to move, especially because I have 2 decades of a hefty loan to pay off, and selling the place now would mean losing a lot of money. Perhaps I can protect the car on icy winter days (rare in my part of the world) with some kind of blanket?


One huge (huge) mistake people make is the exact one you said, which is "My commute is only 40 miles round trip, if the car has 200 miles max range I would only have to charge every X days". It doesnt work like that.

The TL ; DR version of that is, if the car has 0-100 250 miles range, you will not be driving it from 0-100, hardly ever. You will be charging to a max charge rate of 90% of 250, and "running it down to" a minimum charge rate of somewhere between 20-30% on average. So, you will be charging to approximately (when new) 225 miles of range, and driving down to approximately 75 ish miles of range, or approximately 150 miles. If miles rolled off at 1:1 (they dont) thats charging every 3-4 days, not every 5-6 days. Since miles dont roll off at 1:1, it will be charging every 3 days or, 2-3 days.

Like I said, I could not imagine leaving my car at the grocery store while It charged and I went home, on a every couple of day basis, but if that enthuses you, then go for it.
 

Nickage87

Member
Nov 28, 2019
113
33
USA
You can also try running a charger from a window, some people do this in NYC:
9D196F3B-36B1-4ABB-9E81-1B08641FF3CD.jpeg

or like this:
9672482A-CF68-4525-8A44-30DB1B5A6053.jpeg
 

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