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Rural Ownership

ps83v18

EVentuallyEVeryV
Mar 12, 2021
245
293
Mississippi
Hey everyone -

I’m real close to pulling the trigger on a Model Y. But:
  • My closest showroom is about 150 miles away (I have a test drive scheduled there as my last checkpoint before ordering)
  • My closest service center is about 100 miles away
  • The nearest supercharger is about 40 miles away (and that’s where my grocery store is, too)
Anybody else out there live out in the rurals? I would love to here your experiences as a Tesla owner in those circumstances. Any advice or warnings (I’ve got home charging figured out)? Have your local tire shop guys been able to deal with your fancy tires? Have you been able to use mobile repair services?

Thanks!
 
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Do you have other Tesla owners in your area that can tell you about their experiences? We have a local owner's group on Facebook that is really helpful, for example. There are lots of experiences shared there especially in regards to things like the best tire shops to go to. It seems like most are fine now, but it might vary if you have very few Teslas in your area.

Mobile service is generally great, but there can be significant waits before getting it scheduled. Also if the car is undrivable, they will tow to the nearest service center during the warranty period. If it isn't that bad but is more than mobile can do for you, you will have to drive. A lot of this will depend on how comfortable you are with the rare occasions that you need to do that, and it really should be rare.

Local supercharging isn't a big issue, in my opinion. I've never used the supercharger in my home city.

I do suggest playing with abetterrouteplanner.com to see if there are good enough charging options on any common drives that you do. You may find that you need more of them than you think outside of your hometown.
 
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I actually think rural residents can especially benefit from Tesla ownership since driving distances are typically longer than urban dwellers, resulting in more gas savings. Of course this depends on being able to charge at home and the availability of superchargers for your trips. One other benefit of rural areas can be the cheap electricity prices, especially if time-of-use rates are offered. We live in a semi-rural area in North Carolina and are served by an electric co-op that has incredibly cheap off peak rates - less than $0.03/kWh when charging at night. Our electricity rate actually decreased after buying our Tesla and switching to the EV time-of-use rate.
 
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Hello Neighbor!

Rural Alabama checking in. I’ve owned my car for nearly 3 years and have found that being ~150 miles from a Service Center (Atlanta) has not been a burden. The ranger service has worked well for me. They made a couple of visits to me at work and in the last year, to my home. We made one trip to Atlanta to have the FSD computer upgraded, but that has been it. The lack of a local Service Center was my biggest concern about buying, but it really has not been an issue at all.
 
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OP, it sounds like you should be good to go. having a solid home charging option (which you said you have figured out) is 90% of the battle. Service Center trips are quite rare for most, so the 100 mile drive is doable. Plus, as several folks have said, the mobile Ranger service will come to you for many issues.

What is your typical daily driving like? As long as you aren’t routinely driving over 200 miles a day in areas where no charging exists you should be fine. For instance, driving from Tupelo to Jackson and back regularly is ok because you can supercharge in Jackson. However, if you had to drive from Starkville to Yazoo City regularly, that might be challenging as there is no supercharger along that route. Especially in the winter when range is reduced, that would be a challenge, unless you have access to several hours of L2 destination charging before making the return trip.
 
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What everyone else said. I’m not rural anymore, but grew up there. Service isn’t likely to happen often except for rotating tires. If you have AWD that isn’t much of a deal either. We rarely use a supercharger within 40 miles of home unless we are limping home on a long trip. Get a good charger for home and you should be set.
 
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I'm in rural Appalachia and wouldn't/don't have concerns with the distances you list. In two years and 40k miles, which would have been 60k without pandemic, I have only needed Tesla service once. The closest supercharger doesn't really matter as long as you can do home charging, as long as you have options in every compass direction within 150 miles or so.

Living 40 miles from any civilization you'll probably benefit that much more from driving electric, as your annual miles are probably comparable or higher than mine. Electric as a fuel is about 1/3 the price of gas in my area.

Good luck.
 
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ps83v18

EVentuallyEVeryV
Mar 12, 2021
245
293
Mississippi
What is your typical daily driving like?
Mostly within a 50 mile radius of our home ....... but up to 150 miles per day (pre-pandemic anyway). So ..... other than dealing with a flat tire, I’m not too worried about that. Overnight charge should be good for that kind of range.

As for flat tires ...... we’ve averaged one every year or two ........ usually a screw. Most times discovered at home when we notice a tire slowly deflating. So I am wondering how the rural tire shop boys will react to the tires on a Tesla. And I don’t want to burn space and weight on a spare if I can avoid it. Thinking I would have a compressor, some slime, a jack, and a plug kit in the car ........ and then take the tire to my local shop for repair after crawling home if it happens out on the road. I kind of expect the local guys to take an interest in the car and maybe also the fancy tires ...... but can’t really be sure.
 
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No issues with local tire shops. They've been really good to me and receptive when I shared my lifting pucks to help them properly change the tires without impacting the battery location. Tires aren't likely to be any tougher to find than any other brand, although it's unlikely you'll put OEM tires back on as a replacement.

Plug kit is plenty if you get a screw as a slow leak, etc. I wouldn't go through any effort of using slime, since that can ruin any car's tire pressure sensors. Most of the time you can plug the tire without removing from the car if you still have some air, so I wouldn't and don't recommend carrying a jack. There's not much clearance on a Model 3 with a true flat anyway - don't know how much more on a Y, but it's probably just worth using a tow at that point.
 
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I kind of expect the local guys to take an interest in the car and maybe also the fancy tires ...... but can’t really be sure.
My GTI had "fancier" tires than what comes on Teslas. The tire shop will be fine.

My brother in law (not on here) lives in rural GA, has a home charging setup and is living his best life with his Model 3. He has yet to run into any problems--the Tesla has really worked out well for him and his lifestyle (he commutes 120 miles/day round trip).
 
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One thing you have to account for is just more detailed planning for long trips, and this applies to the Southeast in general (not just rural). When I lived in Alabama, there were parts of the state I could not visit unless I staying in a hotel with destination charging. I would often take my mobile charger with me along with a long extension cord, but not all family are super hot on the idea of you charging at their house. Abetterrouteplanner.com is very useful for the planning. Since you got the longer range, this should be less of an issue for you but still something to look out for especially when its really cold.

If there aren't many Teslas in your area, be ready for the kids to flock to it when they see it. :D
 

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