‘Fighting for our lives’: Tesla driver in LA says his car ‘dies every day’ and he’s ‘over it’ — why the current state of EVs is pushing consumers over the edge


APRIL 11, 2024

Why the current state of EVs frustrates consumers

An electric vehicle (EV) driver in Los Angeles has taken to TikTok to make his feelings known about one of America’s most sought-after car brands.

“Do not get a Tesla,” he warned.

In a clip that has garnered over 700,000 views and 2,700 comments, technology commentator TechByAntrell made his case.

“We are literally out here fighting for our lives for chargers,” Antrell said.

He claims the recording was made at a Los Angeles Tesla supercharger station that is underequipped — with just five or six chargers, two of which are designated for handicapped use — for the high demand in the area.

“There’s literally six [or] seven Teslas over there waiting to charge their car,” he said. “They’re going to have to fight because they don’t know how to form a proper line. They skip each other.”

He added that most drivers then occupy the chargers for about 45 minutes, or until their batteries are full.

Antrell says he drives a Tesla Model Y Performance — the top-end version of this model with around 285 miles of range — but despite going all-out on a premium EV, he claimed: “My car still dies every day. I’m over it.”

From charging and range anxiety and painful price points, here’s why the current state of Tesla and other EVs are being dragged through the dirt by U.S. drivers.

Supercharged frustration

Instead of wasting time and mental energy waiting for a public Tesla charging station, a number of those who commented on Antrell’s video suggested he simply charge his vehicle at home.

Tesla offers three ways to charge at home through a mobile connector, wall connector or universal wall connector. Installation of the equipment does require an up-front investment, but once you’re set up, you can potentially save a lot of money juicing Elon Musk’s EVs while you sleep.

Several other commenters pointed out that charging time is part and parcel of owning an EV. Antrell responded to these comments in another TikTok video where he compared the realities of EV battery life to that of an Apple iPhone.

He said that just as a smartphone’s battery drains faster with heavy use, a Tesla’s range can shrink well below its advertised mileage, depending on driving conditions and habits.

“If you’re driving up an incline, for example, or if you’re driving fast on the highway … your battery depletes extremely fast,” Antrell said. “A lot of people get electric cars and it ends up being something they hate because they’re not getting that mileage that they thought they were going to get.”

Good bang for the buck?

Antrell’s anti-Tesla rant adds to a chorus of complaints online about EV range, EV infrastructure and the big question: Do EVs really offer the best bang for your buck?

In a another TikTok clip, Antrell addresses questions about why he didn’t just buy a more affordable hybrid or gas-engine sedan like a Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry or Honda Accord.

“Teslas are the new Altima,” he said. “You know why? It’s because Elon Musk decided to drop the price.”

Antrell claims he got his Tesla Model Y Performance when it cost around $70,000. In 2024, a Tesla Performance Model Y can cost up to $54,130, while a standard Model Y is going for $44,630, according to Car and Driver.

And with the $7,500 EV tax credit — available for 2023 and 2024 Tesla Model Y Performance vehicles with an MSRP limit of $80,000 — the price tag is even more favorable.

“I thank God everyday I chose to do a lease and I did not buy this car because I would be pissed if I had to pay all this money and people were able to go buy the car for half of what I paid for it,” he said.

That raises the important issue of timing your buy when it comes to EVs. Legislation around these greener, cleaner vehicles is still evolving in many states — and with EV sales falling short of targets in 2023, some manufacturers, including Ford, decided to slow down their investments in the space.

Courtesy: Moneywise