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Mosgiel resident Jenny Kerr has had trouble getting repairs for her Tesla Model 3. PHOTO: GREGOR...
Mosgiel resident Jenny Kerr has had trouble getting repairs for her Tesla Model 3. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A Mosgiel woman was shocked when she was told she was facing a 360km road trip, each way, to repair her Tesla.

Jenny Kerr, of Mosgiel, said the problem started in early July when she noticed an odd noise in the car whenever she turned the steering wheel.

She bought the Model 3 Tesla in September 2019 and did not expect to have much trouble getting it repaired.

But when she called Tesla she was told she would have to drive her car to the nearest service centre, in Christchurch, to be inspected.

She was not comfortable driving a faulty car that far.

‘‘I don’t pay $98,000 for a car for you guys to tell me that I’ve got to take it to Christchurch.’’

Ms Kerr said she thought a solution had been found when Tesla flew a technician to Dunedin to repair her car.

When she went to pick up her car, the technician had left for the airport, and the issue had not been fixed.

Now she was back to facing either a Christchurch road trip, or a wait until the end of August for another technician to visit Dunedin.

She thought Tesla should arrange for her car to be taken to Christchurch on a transporter and provide her with a rental vehicle in the meantime. They had not agreed.

Otago Polytechnic automotive senior lecturer Kevin O’Neill said the problem of premium cars brands being repaired out of town was not new.

‘‘We used to have problems with Ferrari or Lamborghini ... what they wanted is their customers to put them in a container on a truck and get them sent up to Auckland to the authorised service dealer.’’

However, the issue was not a wider issue for electric vehicles being serviced locally.

Otago Polytechnic had offered training in electric vehicle repair for three years, and demand was growing.

There was plenty of capacity for the current local electric fleet to be serviced within the city, and capacity had been growing in line with the growing fleet.

Tesla did not respond to request for comment for this story.

Since the start of 2020 there have been 39 new registrations of Teslas in Otago and Southland, out of 1325 nationally.

Twelve of the local Tesla registrations were in Dunedin, 11 in Queenstown and 10 in Wanaka.

Two went to Arrowtown, with one in each of Invercargill, Mosgiel, Oamaru and Riverton.



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I wonder if Ms Kerr actually diid any research before buying her $98,000 Tesla which will only take her about 300 km before re-charge, and then only if she doesn't use the heater or AC.
How much more sensible a "fossil fuel" car sounds, which can do over 600km with hardly any difference in mileage if you use the heater or AC.

Heater and/or ac make a huge difference electrice or ice

Wrong. You're confusing k's with miles. The Tesla 3's are good for around 360 miles, so around 630 k's.

Yes, but a little known fact, they lose up to a third of their range in cold weather. Tesla has dropped down five places for reliability and have been plaqued by poor build quality issues since increasing production. They're also estimated to lose over half their value in 3 years and two thirds of their value at year five, imagine the losses on a LEAF. That is lot to swallow for a mere $98k of social experiment.

Nonsense. No electric car is good for 600km. In any case, some people think electric is a great choice because hey, it's clean---just comes from a plug on the wall! Forgetting it has to be generated somewhere---by water, gas or (shudder) coal.

Peter, maybe you could take a look at the spec's for a Tesla 3, they do indeed have a range of nearly 600km in favourable conditions. You may be thinking about the Leaf, the latest version, has less than 300km range in favourable conditions and usage.
Anyway, battery powered EV's are merely an expensive stop gap......a better option is advancing it's technology at a rapid rate and will soon be common in aviation, shipping and automobiles. Some of the biggest companies in the world are investing heavily. Travel range and performance will be superior, and the vehicle will be significantly lighter than battery laden EV's. The best bit though....we won't be dependant on our shaky over stretched electricity sector to keep the country 'charged', and we won't be importing huge battery packs. Keep away from the battery will become a fast depreciating lemon, a worthless curiosity of modern mass transportation. A select few fossil fuelled vehicles will become very valuable as the transisition increases, thankfully most others will be happily recycled.

Much adoo about nothing really, nothing to see here.

As the article states “the problem of premium cars brands being repaired out of town was not new”.

Down here in Invercargill I need to drive the 450km odd round trip to Dunedin (and take a day off work) to get my car serviced and it’s he same for many other brands where the nearest dealership is Dunedin (or even Christchurch). I knew that when I purchased it, although for any (serious or safety related) warranty issue the question of the car being transported is valid.

Caveat Emptor.

(When she went to pick up her car, the technician had left for the airport, and the issue had not been fixed.) This doesn't surprise me. So much for the good old EV's hitting our roads in their thousands. And this one at $98,000 ????? dear-o dear-o dear! But it's a bit of a LOL, but not for the poor owner. So Jenny, good luck.

On the bright side, 12-15 years from now Dunedin may have a Tesla dealer, and batteries will be better, and most other vehicles will probably be hydrogen powered. Mainly due to the cost of lithium, cobalt and copper mining to the environment, other alternatives will become available.
In the meantime, enjoy the coal burning EV.......and we must thank the Indonesians for mining coal to be imported to NZ to help generate power, and we must be thrilled with the carbon miles that generates to ship it here. Think about that before you all rush out for an electric car....especially as you can't go very far!

Electric cars have nothing to do with the imported coal. Maintenance on several areas of baseload generation is the main reason we temporarily need coal. Add to that low lake levels, spilling of water from dams unnecessarily, not to mention not a single consented generation project progressed after privatisation by Key (no profit in new generation unless its long overdue.) etc, etc . Importing coal is temporary and cheaper than reopening the mothballed mine for a relatively short time.

Yes they most certainly do have EVEYTHING to do with importing coal. We're using coal to generate power. power is used to charge electric cars, it's not seperately sourced! That coal is putting a huge carbon footprint on the enconomy, yet, the government is subsidising the purchase of electric cars that are heavily dependent on mining in many forms. On top of this foolishness, we have a electricity sector that is expensive and struggling with demand. Add to that the ridiculously cheap deal RioTinto were handed for Tiwai power and what you have is an electricity supply in conflict with itself and it's customers. While Tinto crow about record profits for share holders, people are struggling to pay their power bills and the government urges us to buy very expensive throw away cordless drills they Oh yes my friend, EV's are very much linked to imported coal. To say this is only temporary, when we are importing more coal to generate power than in any time in our history? You would have to be very niave to believe that 'spin'. We're swapping out one enviromental problem and replacing it another at far greater cost.....MARKETING hype. some are very prone to it......

Can see serious issues for the control freaks whom want to EV everyone. The greater good requires sacrifice though. Can I get 3 vaccines too?

Maybe the Government could come up with a scheme to assist EV owners with their inconvenience of maintenance.
Maybe a subsidy paid for by those that can get those services without such a hassle, because they drive fossil fuelled cars.
The ute tax and fee road usage are there to encourage EV purchases, but obviously that is not enough. Environmentally aware and conscientious people need more assistance to save the planet and just because we can't afford one should not be a reason we don't contribute.
We could call it the surbate scheme, being an conjunction of service and rebate, like the feebate scheme. It even has the nice ring to it and is simple enough for political slogans which will help the Greens sell it to their followers.
Only problem I see is the word already exists and means 'to make footsore' but the meaning of words change on a regular basis now days so I think we will be able to change that without most people noticing as well.
I would suggest a meaning like 'for the good of the elite' or something like that.

What about farmers who have to travel far to get a new Ford Ranger serviced? It's al part of the cost of running a vehicle.

Though Buzz was a bit off on the 'coal powered' EV's ( nice reply Lynden ), he did get the 12-15 year change right. Perhaps even sooner. What many of the commenters seem to overlook is EV's are still in the early adoption phase. Take a look at the transition to motorized transport back in the early 1900's for an idea of how quickly things can change.

This site has an interesting couple of comparison pics :

EV's have many advantages over ICE cars. Add in autonomous capability and roads may be very different in a few years.

That said, they are still cars. There's better ways to shift people about and between cities.

As I have pointed out, if you use grid electricity, you are using power that has been generated using coal. At 'Peak Usage' times, EVERYTHING is dependent on the coal to keep up with demand, that is why we're importing it AJ. How on earth people would think for a moment that there is a complete seperate charging source for EV's, goodness knows. Yes, things may well be very different in a few years, I'm not arguing with that. What I am trying to point out, is that fact that jumping to the next thing, when we are so poorly prepared in foolhardy and expensive. The entire planet is set for a change in transportation. There are 1.2billion vehicles on the roads, set to rise to 1.8billion by 2030. Our tiny effect in all this is to prove nothing other than we haven't allowed technology to advance enough. Let the greater parts of the globe make the mistakes and take the risks. The biggest hurdle for EV's, they craete more damage than ICE cars just to make them. It takes years of use for that particular vehicle to become 'carbon neutral', the science tells us this, then it will soon need battery replacement. From manufacture, to usage to recycling.....there is little gain over ICE vehicles.

Let's look at this another way. In regard to battery manufacture. Lithium and Cobalt aren't exactly abundant. Found only in a few places on the globe, that in itself will create future cost issues, just like fossil fuels. However, just think for a moment. Here's the scenario....5 years from now.....
We happen to find a huge source of Lithium in Central Otago, and rich reserves of Cobalt in the Coromandel. There is a shortage of Lithium and Cobalt. We have 500,000 EV's on NZ roads. A lithium battery plant is to be built in Dunedin. The Lithium will be trucked to the factory. You, as an EV owner, or prospective purchaser of an EV, must vote in a referendum to allow the mining for domestic demand and for much needed export earnings.
That is exactly what other countries that supply the raw materials have to agree to, without a referendum! And yet, here we are importing coal and saying NO to most forms of mining. Seems to me there are some screaming hypocrites out there..... or, quite simply, what's your answer to this question......
Would you say 'YES' to extensive Lithium and Cobalt mining in NZ?

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