okay, this has been coming for a long time: A review of buying a TMY in EU.
disclaimer: As there is way more posts from US (and some from Asia), I found it quite hard to research some relevant knowledge in English on buying a Tesla in EU generally. Doing my best here to start a huge thread, where we’ll hopefully share the most up-to-date info about Teslas in EU.
For whatever reason, in March, we were supposed to return Škoda Octavia 3rd gen, which we were using for about two years. In the past few years, I drove a 1st gen Octavia, some Seats, a lot of white vans, a Gaz 469, and a 3XX BMW sedan. This is all just for reference and for context.
With a new car, we needed a runner — we do a lot of 300 km rides without a stop (work / 2nd home for me), we wanted something safe, low-maintenance, kind of economic and fast (motorway 80 % of time). Since I’ve been a huge fan of Elon since ~2016-ish, basically, when I got to know him via waitbutwhy.com, I always considered a Tesla for a bit. Back then, they were extremely pricey for us and way too luxurious. In February 2023, we started thinking Tesla Model Y / over some used ICE that would cost about 25 K €. To make it short, we decided for TMY LR for:
- extremely low maintenance
- costs for charging vs petrol (I provide a table with very, very approximate table numbers here [screenshot. Can provide a table if wanted]. This is all I had when deciding)
- future-proofness (get a ~2017 ICE with tech in it so much behind 2023 that it hurts, or top notch of today?
Shanghai vs Berlin
Honestly, I feel like there’s no major difference right now. Both Berlin and Shanghai are extremely well built and all the issues known from the US are not there. The notable differences between SHanghai and Berlin I know of:
- Berlin built have better lower seat guidance in front seats, as they are double stitched
- Some Berlin had huge door alignment issues, but nothing unsolvable
- Berlin AND Shanghai made both have PPF before the back wheels installed, also, they have rubber mats in the center console (a minority)
- Berlin has cloth between the rear seats and the rear door pillars, whereas Shanghai has hard plastic in that area (which looks a little better, but will quickly scratch). Speculation is that the fabric is there to eliminate echo in the cabin and for better sound overall
- In the trunk, it’s the same story. Berlin is all fabric on the sides, Shanghai has lower-bottom fabric, the top half is hard plastic
- Shnghai made Teslas have the boot cover divided to four parts, whereas the Berlin ones are divided to three differently sized parts. Can’t tell what’s more practical, I think both are suboptimal for the job.
- Both Berlin and Shanghai produce double-paned glass, but Berlin made are thick+thin glass, Shanghai are both thick. As far as I can tell, the Shanghai works perfectly
- I think both should have by now Matrix headlights, but I can’t tell whether we have them or not.
That’s it. Did I miss some differences?
A small paragraph describing electricity consumption
Teslas are known for being extremely efficient. I took that as granted and thought:
- electricity is cheap in my home country (CZ), so it should be cheap everywhere,
- All teslas drive for 18 kWh/100 km
The desilusion: in Germany, electricity is ~ 55 cents / kWh, winter consumption (motorway, 125 kph) is around 22 kWh / 100 km (measured in central Europe from Feb 23 to Apr 23, sometimes a bit of rain, temps usually arount 0-5 °C). Not huge differences, but it changes my numbers in my previously cited table laughable. The Tesla is quite pricier to run than I thought, but still cheaper than ICE.
Now about charging: in both countries, we live in appartments, which means we have no way of charging the car to 100 % before leaving for the ~300 km journey. This turned as very inonvenient, because when I don’t have 100 % charge, I have to stop for 10-15 minutes at a supercharger to top up. Which is an inconvenience, don’t come ip qith excuses like stopping to pee, to eat, to whatever. It’s just unneccessary waste of time. I wish I’d know how much an inconvenience is not having a destination charger / charger at the place where I start most of my journeys. Luckily, in both towns there’s some charging infrastructure (22kW chsrgers mostly, where you charge 10-80 % in 5-6 hours), but again it brings up the cost of electricity and thus of the drive. And also, it makes the car a bit less comfortable, as you have to walk hundreds of meters/some kms from the charger home with all the stuff you’ve been carrying-
Ater having driven about 4000 kms with Tesla Model Y LR,
what I like, is:
- How quiet and civilised the ride is. It’s an unsharable experience, but I find ICE cars laughably unnecessary, smelly and noisy, especially in cities and towns.
- How sporty it actually feels — anyone I’ve let drive it for a sec compared it to bulkier sportssedan, which handles extremely well.
- The interior
- Basically the whole car. Oh, and having and enormous frunk and trunk. Incredible advantage.
what I hate:
- autopilot is unusable (to the point when it is total rubbish) and we don’t have access to FSD.
- there’s no option of cruise control without „adaptive“. Even though I have the closest possible setting, it almost always slows down when I overtake a lorry on a motorway. Extremely annoying.
- I have a no USS version and the last update, which was supposed to fix this with camera, is laughable. It doesn’t work AT ALL.
- Auto-wipers work like 80 % of the time properly, 20 % are absolute mess
- When using cruise control or autopilot, or when having used it previously during a ride, auto-headlights engage. This should’t be bad at all, but! Tesla always decides to turn on high beams on motorway (which is the hell forbidden in whole Europe!) and in cities and in villages. So simple yet unsolved and annoying.
- Tesla takes top speed limits from maps, not from signs it sees. As a result, sometimes, it slows down very intensely on motorway just because some bunch of incompetent guys were not able to remove the 80 speed limit from a fixed part of a motorway. There’s this strip near Leipzig Airport, where if you drive ~140-ish on autopilot or cruise control, the car deliberately almost stops to 80 kph. Extremely dangerous for all the other cars.
- The ride is a bit tough, event with the Long Range version, which was supposed to be a bit softened
- The turning diameter is really huge compared to other cars. If you live in a city with tiny streets, lease a Tesla first and try if it works for you.
Would we buy TMY again?
Yes. There’s currently no better car and no better company. Drive-wise, ecology-wise, futureproof-wise, money-wise (for us). I think.
That’s all I could come up with. Did I miss something? Would you like to add something? I’d be extremely glad!
Also, as this took me quite some time to produce, if you’re thinking about ordering a Tesla of yours, please, use my refferal. We both get some supercharging miles from it:)