Tesla Model 3 Maiden Voyage – 200,000 mi

If you can believe it, I reached 200,000 mi! I’ve been off the road for a bit which slowed my speed and it ending up taking just under 4 years of ownership to reach the milestone. I’ve gone over most of my basic thoughts about the car in both my 100,000 and 150,000 mi updates so today we will focus on just a couple things: maintenance, battery degradation, winter performance and then a couple of final thoughts.

Alabama Hills CA


Luckily, I can almost do a direct copy and paste from my 150K mi update. I’ve had a few non self inflicted incidents since then which was getting my charge door replaced a new 12v battery, a new drivers side  window switch, a drivers side seat harness replacement, a rear fog light replaced and a trunk wire harness replaced.


Reattach PDC Sensor (Knocked inside of bumper after hitting a coyote)(Good Will)

Under Tray Areo Shield Replaced (ran over road kill of some sort on dark road.)   ($165)

Windshield and Roof replaced (due to cracks from rocks) ($1536)

Cracked Rim x2 ($1300)

Paint/Replace Bumper (rear ended by dump truck while stuck behind herd of buffalo in Yellowstone ($2990.42)

Oregon Coast


Upper Passenger Control Arm (Good Will)

Driver Door Strap (Good Will)

Clean and lubricate Rear Splines (Good Will)

Upper Left Control Arm ($700)

Door window Switch replacement ($88.50)

Trunk Wire harness ($294.14)

Fog Light ($149.5)

Charge Port Door ($282.5)

Driver side Seat Harness ($155)

Visited Supercharger Map


I go through tires like a hot knife through butter.

I’m on my 6th set of all seasons with about 10,000 mi on the last set. I took those off for the winter and have about 5k mi on that set.

The tires aren’t cheap at about $1100 a set, both all season and winter.

Guadalupe Mountains TX

Fuel Costs

It’s hard for me to say how much I have spent on charging as there are so many different ways that I charge whether it be credits, J1772, home charging or supercharging. As I supercharge more often than anything else I’ll use the average of $.06 a mile from a $0.25 kWh Supercharge price to say it’s a total of about $12,000.

Middle of Nowhere NV

Total Cost of Ownership.

Total:$27,361.06 + $5,000 Insurance = $32,361.06

As you can see the tires are really the biggest expense compared to an ICE vehicle as I only get about 30k mi per set with proper rotations. If you find a tire with a tread warranty you can save about a third of that money with lost milage prorated to the next set.

No matter, The IRS’s says the average per mile cost of an ICE vehicle is $0.58 per mile or $116,000 for 200,000 mi. If we compare that to what I spent we get the following. $53,000 LR M3 + $32,361.06 = $85,369.64 for a total savings of $30,630.36! WOW!

Pretty ridiculous in my opinion.

I will note that I didn’t add in my FSD Suite as there isn’t something like that in your average car so I see it as a separate charge.

Teddy Roosevelt National Park ND



If you’ve talked to me about this personally you’ll know that I don’t like using miles as an indicator for battery degradation. There are simply too many factors that go into how many miles you will actually get to use that as a standard. Also, Tesla updates the software for better power usage which then gives you more miles. This has the effect of making it seem like there is less degradation than in reality. Case in point: my Tesla app says I will get 287 mi for a full charge. If I want to use that to figure out battery degradation do I use the 310 mi standard that was stated when I bought the car or one of the many software update standards that ranged up to (I think) 330? Is that using heat or no heat?  What does the terrain look like?

Therefore I like to try and get an actual kWh usage. I recently tracked a long drive and ended up using 46 kWh over 71% of the battery. A rough estimate would then be 46/71=x/100 = 64.78. If it had a capacity of 75 kWh to begin with then we have a degradation of 13.7%.

Kings Canyon CA

Winter Performance

This winter I’ve hunkered down at my cabin up in Central Minnesota and have been able to give the car a true winter test. The average temp has been below 0ºF and I’m surprised how well the car has stood up. I live 15 mi from the nearest town so any journey out is significant, traveling at highway speeds in the sub zero temps. I’ve never had an issue but will use an average of 375kw/mi. Charging at home becomes imperative because of the ability to precondition. There is a supercharger in town but if I don’t get there preconditioned I’m charging at 30kWh.

Interestingly though, I have let my girlfriend borrow the car for long periods and all she has is a wall outlet up here. Even more daunting is the fact that she works in the Twin Cities three hours away. Essentially she is stuck using superchargers without preconditioning. She had to get used to not having the car pumping heat at 80ºF but but she’s been able to make it work. Her family tends to complain though and not “get it” when they can’t be sweating in the cabin. If she had a L2 charger in the cities though it would work out just fine using the whole battery on each leg of the trip.

Starbase TX


A short word on FSD. I live for the current FSD software (not the beta). Without it, traveling would have been much harder. It makes me more alert, more refreshed and all around a safer driver. When I don’t use it I notice how much it helps. I look forward to the full suite and hope it comes sooner than later. I do have a safety score of 100 and have not been allowed to join the beta though causing me to think the score roll out was nothing more than an excuse to get their insurance out in the wild.

Gull Lake MN


Final Thoughts

I never want to go back to an ICE vehicle. The cost of maintenance, fuel, way the cars drive, I just get annoyed when in them now. Buying my Model 3 was the best decision I ever made.