We’ve all known people who sell their cars before they turn past 100,000 miles.
That was probably a wise move back in the 1980s, but today’s vehicles can live well past that mark, even doubling or tripling it with proper care.
Diesel engines can go even farther, routinely cruising past 500,000 miles.
The longevity of gasoline and diesel motors are ultimately limited by all the moving parts and heat generated by the process of turning liquid fuel into energy. Pistons, valves, injectors, gaskets, and more are subject to eventual failure, thereby limiting how long a motor can last.
Electric cars don’t have those parts and are sometimes advertised as needing less maintenance. But just how many miles can an EV go?
They haven’t been around long enough to know, but Tesla is aiming to make 1,000,000 miles the new 100,000.
During a conference call with investors, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said,
We are very happy with the quality of the drive unit. We changed the goal of the drive unit endurance from being approximately 200,000 miles to being a million miles – just basically we want drive units that just never wear out. That’s our goal. I think we made really good progress in that direction. the drive unit that are going out now and for the last several months have been excellent.
Cars that never wear out may not sound like good business at first blush. Automakers have traditionally relied on their vehicles reaching the end of their lives so customers buy new ones.
It appears that Tesla wants to provide customers with cars that are reliable virtually forever, thereby building brand loyalty and trusting that customers will want to replace their cars with new ones to get the latest technology and design, not because they’re afraid of powertrain failure.
Tesla’s ambitious 1,000,000-mile goal is another example of the automaker making its own rules and paving a new path toward the future of car ownership.
And once Tesla does it, we can expect cars with a 1,000,000-mile lifespan to become commonplace.
Would you be more willing to buy a new electric car if it had a 1,000,000-mile lifespan?
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