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Date: 2024-06-25 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00017709

Electric Cars
The Tesla 3

We asked 5,000 owners about what it’s like to live with Elon Musk’s electric car. Here’s what we found.


Peter Burgess
Tesla Model 3 OutlineThe Tesla Model 3 Survey Tesla’s Model 3 Success Hits BMW the Hardest Quality & Reliability Part I Service & Charging Part II Autopilot Part III Market Evolution Part IV

We asked 5,000 owners about what it’s like to live with Elon Musk’s electric car. Here’s what we found.

When Dana Woodruff traded in her BMW X5 last year for Tesla Inc.’s new Model 3 electric car, her biggest concern was the availability of public chargers. She puts a lot of miles on the odometer as a real-estate agent in Houston, and in the springtime enjoys long drives through Texas Hill Country to view the bluebonnet wildflowers that blanket the plains and valleys. Would an electric vehicle cramp her style?

But Woodruff, 46, considers herself a car gal, and when the Model 3 arrived, she had to have one. After driving “Lucy”—that’s what she’s named her car—for the last 18 months, Woodruff’s range anxiety is gone. Now, she says, she’s hooked on the Autopilot driver-assistance features and Tesla’s frequent software upgrades that keep the car feeling brand new. “The only thing I regret,” Woodruff says, “is that I didn’t buy a Tesla three years ago.”

Two years after the Model 3’s rocky debut, drivers like Woodruff have startled automakers with a sudden rush toward electric vehicles. In the U.S., Tesla’s sedan has taken over the luxury class, outselling the category-defining BMW 3 Series and Mercedes Benz C-Class combined. And it’s doing so at a higher price: The average Model 3 goes for around $50,000, which is more than any of the top 10 vehicles that buyers traded in from other brands, according to responses to Bloomberg’s Model 3 owners survey. No other sedan in America is generating more revenue.

We asked 5,000 Model 3 owners about their previous cars and whether they’ll ever go back to them. Some of the most common trade-ins, somewhat surprisingly, were economy cars: Honda’s Accord and Civic, the Toyota Camry, and the Mazda 3. But as a percentage of a brand’s total sales, no one has been hurt more by Tesla’s success than BMW, the responses show.

As the Model 3 enters its third year—soon to be followed by the Model Y compact SUV—Tesla must prove that its wide appeal so far isn’t just a temporary rush of early adopters. Will most brand loyalists and economy-car buyers stick to their old habits? Or is Tesla repeating what Apple Inc. did with the phone: convincing consumers to fundamentally reassess how they value an established product?

Top 10 Cars Given Up for a Tesla Model 3 Buyers trade up, paying an average $50,528 for the Model 3 (U.S. Only) Electric or Hybrid Luxury Economy Rank Type Model Company Average Selling Price* 1 Toyota Prius Toyota 27,080 2 BMW 3 Series BMW 46,477 3 Honda Accord Honda 25,428 4 Honda Civic Honda 21,448 5 Nissan Leaf Nissan 34,562 6 Chevrolet Volt GM 34,251 7 Toyota Camry Toyota 26,160 8 Tesla Model S Tesla 95,000 9 Mazda 3 Mazda 24,847 9 Audi A4 Volkswagen 42,530

*Edmunds’s “True Market Value” reflects the average sales price including options and discounts from manufacturers and dealers. Tesla’s average Model 3 price is estimated by Bloomberg Intelligence. I’m not rich, I’m an ordinary man with an ordinary job. I am exactly the buyer Elon Musk hoped to attract. Stretching From Economy to Luxury Price range of vehicles traded for Tesla’s Model 3 (U.S. only) Source: Edmunds’s “True Market Value,” Bloomberg Intelligence.

Car customers are fairly predictable: They stick with vehicles that are similar to the ones they drove before. Brand loyalties are even passed down across generations. Tesla, so far, has broken these loyalties with the allure of new technology, high performance, and environmental sustainability.

The Silicon Valley automaker is on pace by early next year to become the first company in the world to sell one million electric vehicles. To maintain its lead, it must continue to draw customers away from gasoline cars—not just from the relatively small field of competing electric and hybrid vehicles. The chart below shows where Tesla’s customers have come from.

Tesla Takes a Bite From Everyone Previous vehicles owned (U.S. only) Electric or Hybrid Luxury Economy Toyota Toyota PriusxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxToyota CamryxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxToyota Corolla / MatrixxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxLexus ES 350 / 330 / 300hxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxToyota RAV4 / EVxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Honda Honda AccordxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxHonda CivicxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAcura TLXxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxHonda CR-VxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxHonda OdysseyxxxxxxxHonda FitxxxxxxxHonda PilotxxxxxAcura TLxxxxxxAcura TSXxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx BMW BMW 3 SeriesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxBMW 5 SeriesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxBMW i3xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxBMW 4 SeriesxxxxxMini Cooper SxxBMW X3xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxBMW X1xxxBMW X5xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Volkswagen Audi A4xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxVolkswagen JettaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxVolkswagen GolfxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxVolkswagen PassatxxxxxxxAudi Q5xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Nissan Nissan LeafxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxNissan AltimaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxInfiniti Q50xxxxxxxxxxxxInfiniti G35xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx GM Chevrolet VoltxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxChevrolet Cruzexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Ford Ford FusionxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxFord FocusxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxFord F-SeriesxxxxxxxxxxxFord Escapexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Hyundai Hyundai SonataxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxHyundai ElantraxxxxxxxxKia Optimaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Subaru Subaru ForesterxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxSubaru Impreza WRXxxxxxxSubaru OutbackxxxxxxxSubaru Legacyxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Mazda Mazda 3xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxMazda CX-5xxxxxxMazda 6xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Fiat Chrysler Jeep WranglerxxxxxxxxxxxxxFiat 500exxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Tesla Tesla Model Sxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz C Classxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Volvo Volvo S60xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Jaguar Land Rover xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Mitsubishi xxxxxxxxxx Saab xxxxxxxxxx

I’ve owned three BMW 3 Series and was a diehard BMW fan. The Tesla blows those cars away. While Tesla took the largest number of customers from Toyota, it affects the Japanese automaker very little. That’s because Toyota’s market share in the U.S. is enormous—more than 7 times greater than that of BMW or Audi.

The following chart orders the survey’s trade-in results in a different way: as a proportion of a brand’s U.S. sales. It shows BMW to be the automaker with the most to lose—almost five times more vulnerable than Mercedes-Benz. One explanation is that the two brands, while both competing in the same price segments, target different definitions of “luxury.” Mercedes is built for comfort and class, while BMW is defined by its driving performance. Comfort and class are hard to measure; for performance, you take the car to the track.

The editors at Motor Trend magazine tested the Model 3 against the BMW 3 Series and found that the “Model 3 wins this competition because it has thoroughly rewritten the rules of what a compact sports sedan can be.” BBC’s Top Gear ran the Model 3 against BMW’s more expensive M3 at Thunderhill Raceway Park in California, where the Tesla won by 2 seconds. The magazine cover screamed, “Electric Beats Petrol! Tesla Model 3 Outguns BMW M3.”

Model 3 Goes After the Ultimate Driving Machine Measuring luxury cars traded in for a Model 3 against each brand’s U.S. market share, BMW proves most vulnerable Rank Brand Vulnerability Index 1 BMW 100.0 2 Mini 86.8 3 Audi 58.2 4 Acura 51.8 5 Infiniti 48.6 6 Porsche 43.6 7 Lexus 31.6 8 Mercedes-Benz 22.3

Vulnerability Index is the ratio of branded cars traded for a Model 3 to total brand sales, normalized on a 100-point scale. Source: Sales data from Motor Intelligence

Anytime somebody gets behind the wheel, it’s very well received. We have one friend that actually bought one within the week after she drove ours.

Tesla doesn’t spend money on advertisements: No Facebook or Twitter ads, no lavish magazine spreads, no paid endorsements by actor Matthew McConaughey, no Super Bowl ads. Instead, Tesla relies on splashy product events, the Twitter stream of Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, and word of mouth. In the Bloomberg survey, almost 99% of Model 3 owners said they would recommend one to their friends or family—and many of them already have. In follow-up calls with a dozen survey respondents, every owner we talked to described taking friends or family members on test drives. Model 3 Owners Are Tesla’s Biggest Sales Force Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Average score I’d recommend a Model 3 to friends or family 1313292864250 4.91 I would buy a Model 3 again 1418533624141 4.87 The Model 3 has exceeded my expectations 1215837333748 4.78 I will never buy another gasoline-powered car 16772186123655 4.71 Model 3 is more reliable than my previous cars 23898949622481 4.30

While I admire Elon Musk, I understand that a lot at Tesla hinges on him personally, which represents a substantial existential risk to their business.

Owner sentiment towards Tesla and its CEO were both very high. Many said Tesla’s mission to accelerate the adoption of electric cars creates an unusual sense of owner camaraderie. About 55% of respondents said their opinion of Musk influenced their decision to purchase the car. While that finding may seem lower than most scores in our survey, it’s worth considering how unusual it is for the CEO of a company to personally influence a buyer’s decisions.

“It’s rare to see the head of a company put so much of themselves into their company,” said Deanna Sherry, a 41-year-old library assistant in Clarksville, Tennessee, in a follow-up telephone interview. “I have no clue what the head of Ford looks like. And I only know Nissan because he went to jail.”

While most comments about Musk were positive, some customers worried about his combative approach on Twitter and his confrontations with U.S. safety regulators and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Tesla Factor A sense of mission unifies owners Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree

Average score My opinion of Tesla is positive 1416655823913 4.82 My opinion of the company influenced my purchase 3510444811612827 4.45 I feel a sense of community with other Model 3 owners 176447213222697 4.45 My opinion of Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk is positive 4310042614302590 4.40 My opinion of Elon Musk influenced my purchase 256609117711221406 3.62

Still on the expensive side - would love to see a sub $30k version before incentives.

Owners were most split over the impact of government subsidies. In Norway, which heavily taxes gasoline-fueled cars and subsidizes electric vehicles, more than 88% of respondents said subsidies swayed their purchase. In Switzerland, the government recently approved an ambitious target to increase electric-vehicle adoption but has so far been unable to agree on the incentives, such as purchase subsidies, to make it happen.

The U.S. federal tax break for electric cars is designed to phase out after a company’s sales reach 200,000 units. Beginning in January 2020, Tesla will be the only automaker whose customers don’t receive a U.S. incentive.

The Impact of Government Incentives

Some policies work, some don’t Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree

Average score Government incentives swayed my purchase 42853198716031035 3.50 Norway 1141136 4.51 France 2363213 3.91 United States 1993988101392845 3.63 Canada 54395895106 3.45 Netherlands 1010131713 3.21 Germany 323432134 2.33 Switzerland 358812 1.65

Models are fluid and fragmented as they continuously refine them. The ups and downs irritate current owners when they wonder if they bought at the right or wrong time.

A frequent source of complaint for Model 3 owners is the slew of changes Tesla has made to Model 3 options and pricing over the last year. The chart below shows how the offerings have evolved over time. After a particularly messy stretch of tinkering between November 2018 and May 2019, the lineup appears to have stabilized with a relatively even split between Tesla’s three main models.

Model 3 Lineup Emerges After a Year of Tinkering

Standard Range: $35K+Standard Range Plus: $39K+Mid Range Rear Wheel Drive: $41K+Long Range Rear Wheel Drive: $46K+Dual Motor All Wheel Drive: $48K+Performance: $56K+

It has forever changed my expectations for what a car should be.

A Car for Millenials and Gen Xers Model 3 owners by age

Bloomberg’s survey respondents were, as a whole, the epitome of early tech adopters. Almost 95% were men, and most were ages 30 to 50 with above-average incomes. The biggest concentration was from California, and employment was dominated by the tech sector. This demographic homogeneity may also partly reflect Bloomberg’s readership and the type of person who is willing to spend 15 minutes on a survey about cars.

Tesla is just beginning to move beyond the early adopter-stage and will need to expand across new demographics if it wants to keep growing. Continued success now depends on widespread adoption of electric vehicles in areas that are only beginning to see them for the first time. For the final section of Bloomberg survey results, we reached out to some respondents who don’t necessarily fit the typical profile of a Tesla driver to hear what they think about the future. Below is a selection of their comments, lightly edited for clarity.

Wyatt Haukap, 45 Plumber from Carroll, Iowa Previous car was a Toyota Sienna

“Carroll is a small town, and we own a small business. I’m the first to own a Model 3, so I’m working at snuffing the misconceptions. The average person thinks that you’re rich because you have one, which is a total misnomer. This was a $54,000 car. I’ve probably averaged three cents a mile to operate the thing. It’s also way more convenient. It only takes a couple days to get in the habit of plugging it in.

Iowa prevents Tesla from operating here. It’s an ethanol, you know, corn state and the dealership lobby has a hold here. So I had to pick up my car in Minnesota. They recently opened a service center somewhere over by Omaha, a couple hours west of us. Knock on wood, I haven’t had any issues to deal with. I had Mobile Service come from Ames to change a door handle that was kind of stuck open.

I have zero regrets. It’s been fantastic—friggin love it.”

Carmen Czachor, 55 Veterinarian from Port Angeles, Washington Previous car was a Honda Civic

“For the first nine months, I didn’t have charging at home, so I would charge it when I was at work—and I own my own practice so I could do that. There are about 10 chargers around here, a few at bed and breakfasts.

There was already a red Tesla in town when I got mine. I took a lot of people on pilot rides just to try it out. Now that there’s quite a few, it seems to be like a brotherhood of Tesla owners. We all kind of wave at each other.

I don’t like gassing cars up. I love the idea of not having to change the oil, of not having a muffler falling off, or any of that. I’m usually a person that has a car that goes from here to there, and I drive it until it dies. So it’s a little off track for me to buy a brand new car, let alone a brand new not-super-cheap car. I’m still making payments, but I don’t regret it.”

Jeremy Greenlee, 36 Anti-human trafficking worker from Goshen, Indiana Previous car was a Toyota Corolla

“I travel all across the state doing trainings and consulting on trafficking cases. I think I’ve put 45,000 miles on the Model 3 since I’ve owned it and saved $5,000 to $6,000 in gas expenses over the last year. It’s a bigger upfront cost, but if you’re doing less maintenance and you’re saving so much money on gas, it really is a very affordable vehicle.

I’ve traveled a lot on Navigate on Autopilot, and what hasn’t really been talked about is just how good it is getting with all of the nuances of driving. Little things like how much smoother the lane changes are. I feel like in many ways, it’s better right now than a human.

Even my friends from a very rural area that do a lot of farming work that aren’t taking into consideration climate change or anything like that, when they get behind the wheel of this vehicle it’s very appealing. I’ve talked to them about the upcoming Tesla pickup, and one of them in particular talks about how he wants it to look like a normal pickup. But I feel like Tesla is spot on with their designs on all their other vehicles, so I wouldn’t expect anything different from this one.”

Miguel Pereira, 36 Oil engineer from Kristiansund, Norway Previous car was a BMW i3

“I’m not a Tesla fanboy but I’m a tech fanboy. I remember being a child and thinking, ‘When I grow up, I want to drive a future car. I don’t want to drive a car that looks and feels and sounds and smells like the same car my dad used to drive.’ So as soon as I got into an electric car, that was the paradigm shift.

Stepping into the electric world, I didn’t do it because of Tesla, I did it because of another brand: BMW. I’m very disappointed that BMW did not push the ‘I’ brands as hard as they should have. They seem to be doing it now but a bit too late. I still think BMW, quality-wise, is a better car than Tesla, it’s just that with Tesla you get way more car, way more technology, and way more features for the money.

Since the beginning of the year, the Model 3 is by far the most sold car in Norway. We have a government that really wants to support green initiatives, maybe to compensate for the oil industry that this country lives on that has a big footprint on Earth. I’m not going to say that I bought an electric car because I want to save the world. I know I have a lesser impact when I drive my Tesla, but I’m just passionate about technology. After you try one you can’t drive anything else.”

Deanna Sherry, 41 Library Assistant from Clarksville, TN Previous car was a Dodge Challenger

“The Dodge Challenger, my husband bought, and before that I was driving his giant pickup truck, so I’m gradually stepping down better. I think traditionally more husbands are involved in buying cars, but I think that’s slowly changing. I’ve been watching Tesla since the beginning, and I was like, ‘I’m going to get a Tesla.’

The majority of people who ask me about it are women, and I think women like them just as much. I’m African American, and it might just be because they feel comfortable approaching me, but more and more African Americans approach me about my car, like ‘Ahh, love your car! Is that a Tesla? Ahh I love it.’

I also like going fast. After driving it a few days, the acceleration—there’s nothing better than leaving people at a stoplight. I think maybe that’s it: Library workers are passive aggressive and they like to just floor it.”

Dana Woodruff, 46 Realtor from Houston, TX Previous car was a BMW X5

“I’ve been in car clubs and I’ve had a lot of different classic cars and daily drivers for 20 years. And it’s rare to have women really interested in the car. That is one really unusual thing about Tesla. There are about 2,500 ladies in the ‘Tesla Divas’ Facebook group. We meet up for mimosas and breakfast occasionally.

You know, I’m trading in a car every three years. I’ve seen a lot of cars, and there is something about this brand that is inspiring a community. The women’s group has a tendency to answer the questions a little more kindly than some of the other groups that surround the Tesla brand. Some of these ladies are pretty rabid—I’ve gotta think Musk’s security team has got to be concerned.

One of the things I absolutely adore about the Model 3 is that I feel like I get a new car about every 12 weeks. I have so many features now that I didn’t have when I bought the car a year ago. Normally, at about a year, year-and-a-half of ownership I’m already scouting out the freeways for what looks good, and I find that I don’t do that with the Model 3.”

Aimee Staley, 49 Neuropsychologist from Columbus, GA Previous car was a Subaru Outback

“There are tons of Teslas in Atlanta, but like a lot of things in Georgia, once you leave Atlanta, everything drops off precipitously. My only issue here and as I travel throughout the South is there needs to be more Superchargers. Because they are fewer and far between.

People stare at the Model 3. I get a lot of questions about it. Kids get really excited about it, they think it’s like this unicorn that they just haven’t seen before. But a lot of people around here don’t even know that Tesla is electric—they’ve just heard that it’s fast. My husband loves to take people out on rides. One of our friends, we convinced him and he got one 3 or 4 months ago.

There seems to be a lot of misinformation about Tesla, and a real campaign in some ways to put the car down and put the company down. Elon is a character, and a lot of people don’t like him, but people love this car, and I think that’s something that needs to be more widely dispersed.”

Frank McWilliams, 37 Air Traffic Controller from Ft. Lauderdale, FL Previous car was a Chevrolet Volt

“When I first got it, I’d get the thumbs up on the road. I had one guy on a motorcycle chase me down to tell me he liked it. I was doing four or five test drives at work a day.

I’ve driven a lot of very fast cars and a lot of very high performing cars, but the Model 3 Performance is the most fun I’ve ever had in a factory automobile. It’s like a giant go-kart with air conditioning, it’s amazing. It’s not the fastest, it’s not the very best around a corner, it’s just fun. It wants to be driven hard.

I had three different 4.10 Camaro Z28s that I drag raced often in the early 2000s, a 2016 GTO that was the last GTO sold east of the Mississippi with a six speed, a police package Caprice, and a 2008 Corvette Z06 that made 600 horsepower at the wheels and did 10.2 in a quarter mile. I’m a car guy. I will almost certainly have another internal combustion car. But I don’t know that I’ll ever not have an electric car as well.

The Tesla Model 3 Survey Quality & Reliability Part I Service & Charging Part II Autopilot Part III Market Evolution Part IV Source: Data compiled by Bloomberg Editors: Yue Qiu, Aaron Rutkoff, Dimitra Kessenides and Mira Rojanasakul Illustrations: Dave Merrill


The Tesla Model 3 Survey is a followup to Bloomberg’s award-winning Model 3 Tracker, a project launched in 2018 to generate real-time production estimates for Tesla’s first mass-market car. The Model 3 Tracker relied, in part, on thousands of owners reporting Vehicle Identification Numbers; these early adopters formed the basis for an extensive email survey on the experience of owning a Model 3, which was subsequently opened to anyone who owns Tesla’s lower-priced electric sedan.

Between May 28 and October 29, 2019, Bloomberg received nearly 5,000 completed questionnaires that run to 164 questions. Subgroups received shorter follow-up surveys targeting owners who had dealt with collision damage and those who had tried Tesla’s latest “Full Self-Driving” features. In total, we received almost 500,000 words of written feedback.

To ensure the responses came from true Model 3 owners, Bloomberg established a credibility score based on 14 weighted metrics, including verification of government-issued VINs to checking the internal consistency of answers. Based on this score, we excluded results from about 3% of the respondents. We also cross-checked the surveys with the highest credibility scores against those with the lowest credibility scores and found no indication of systematic attempts to shape results with false entries.

Part IV

To generate The Vulnerability Index we sorted survey respondents by luxury brand, as identified by Motor Intelligence. We only included brands with more than 20 owner submissions. Each brand’s ratio was determined by total prior vehicles reported in the survey divided by 2018 U.S. vehicle sales. The score was normalized to a value of 100.0 using the ratio of the BMW’s score, the highest ratio in our analysis. Owners identifying their prior car as another Tesla vehicle were excluded from this list.
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A touch screen display shows navigation and mapping information inside a Tesla Inc. Model 3 electric vehicle in a Tesla Inc. store in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, July 11, 2019. Tesla is poised to increase production at its California car plant and is back in hiring mode, according to an internal email sent days after the company wrapped up a record quarter of deliveries. Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

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