High gas prices, "One for one replacement scheme", and first registration tax (FRT) exclusion are all attractive incentives for drivers to embrace electric cars in Hong Kong. Among all-electric cars, of course, Tesla is the first to come to mind. Today at Kwiksure, we'll discuss things to consider before buying Tesla in Hong Kong: insurance costs, maintenance costs, and the charging stations distribution.
Tesla insurance: premium costs for third party vs. comprehensive
Third party - short for third party insurance - only provides cover for your liability to third parties for property damage, injury, or death. On the other hand, comprehensive, or comprehensive insurance, aside from what the former already covers, will also protect you and your losses.
Premiums are generally higher for Tesla vehicles
Tesla vehicles are expensive to manufacture, and so, the compensation amount is high as well. As a result, not all car insurance companies are willing to underwrite for Tesla owners. Naturally, third party and comprehensive premiums are more costly than other cars. Depending on the age and horsepower of the vehicle, your premiums can range from 30% or even 80% higher.
Insurance plan popular among Tesla car owners
You can choose to purchase a third party only. After all, more insurance companies offer third party plans. With that said, the deductible for such Tesla insurance can easily cost tens of thousands of Hong Kong dollars. This is equivalent to the first tens of thousands of dollars that you must pay out of pocket before receiving compensation. In the event of a traffic accident, Tesla’s own maintenance costs may even be more expensive than the third party’s property losses. That's why many Tesla car owners still choose to purchase Tesla comprehensive insurance.
Tesla maintenance procedure and costs
Planning to book an appointment at a Tesla Service Center in Hong Kong? Simply make a reservation through the Tesla app and head to one of the Tesla Service Centers located in Sai Wan or Tsuen Wan. They primarily provide light to moderate maintenance and one-stop services such as annual checkups.
Tesla maintenance process rundown
Once you've arrived at the scheduled time, the professional repair team will evaluate your current car condition. Then, they will approximate the time it will take to repair or check up on your car, and arrange for it to enter either the Ludicrous Lane (under 1 hour) or Fast Lane (more than 1 hour). With the manufacturer's professional computer program, the team will go over your vehicle system record, test and check on all system operations, manage its temperature, and more. If you need to perform repairs related to the motor, battery, and tightening of the screws on the undercarriage, then you'll need a forklift.
Since Tesla's car parts are usually shipped from overseas, and there are only several designated Tesla Service Centers and Body Shops in Hong Kong, this jacks up the maintenance fees.
Tesla maintenance costs
Recently, Tesla has pushed out comparatively lower-priced models, such as Model 3 and Model Y. However, because Tesla's car bodies are made with aluminum alloy, even a light bump into the car can shift other car parts out of alignment.
To our understanding, the maintenance fees for a Tesla vehicle are as follows:
- Car door repair costs about HKD $100,000
- Windshield repair costs about HKD $20,000
- Replacing car keys costs about HKD $3,000
Tesla's lower unit oil, tires, windshield wipers, car key battery, air filter, brake fluid, air conditioning cleaning waterproof cover bag, and more need to be regularly inspected and replaced. Most electric car maintenance can be completed with wireless software to renew, remotely diagnose, and employ mobile service technicians for support and other services, and more.
Right now, Tesla provides a 4 year or 80,000 kilometers maintenance plan (also applicable for certified second-hand cars) to keep your vehicle in the best performing condition. You are recommended to schedule an annual routine maintenance inspection every year or every 20,000 kilometers (km) driven, whichever happens first.
Car parts inspected during a routine maintenance
Inside service centers are multiple machines that conduct routine maintenance inspection for your Tesla:
- Cabin air filter: Tesla is equipped with an air filter that prevents pollen, industrial fallout, road dust, and other particles from entering through the vents. It is recommended that you replace it every 2 years.
- Air conditioning cleaning waterproof cover bag: Tesla recommends replacing it once every 2 years.
- Coolant fluid should be replaced once every 4 years.
- High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filter: if your Tesla is equipped with a HEPA filter, it is recommended that you replace it every 3 years.
- Tire rotation, balance and wheel alignment: Tesla recommends inspecting your tires every 16,000 km to 20,000 km driven to find out whether you need to change tires, left and right balance, and alignment. Aggressive driving behavior can lead to premature tire wear and may require more frequent tire service. Unbalanced and misaligned wheels, on the other hand, effect handling, tire life, and steering components. Tesla's repair team will also check video footages of your vehicle braking, as well as your tires to see if they match the recommended specifications.
- Brake fluid test: Tesla recommends testing brake fluid for contamination every 2 years and replacing it if necessary.
- Air conditioning service: this will replace the desiccant to help improve the longevity and efficiency of the air conditioning system. Tesla recommends an air conditioning service for Model S once every 2 years, every 4 years for Model X, and every 6 years for Model 3.
- Windshield wipers and car key battery
Last but not least, whether it's after repair or inspection, professionals will wash and recharge your car before returning it to you.
Tesla Supercharger stations distribution
As more and more people buy Teslas, many car owners are worried that the demand for charging stations will exceed the supply. Having said that, Tesla has actively expanded its charging network locally. For example, last year, Tesla announced its cooperation with Link REIT to provide V3 Supercharging service in some of its parking lots.
Tesla currently has 30 Supercharger stations in Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories, providing 154 Superchargers, and more than 500 public Tesla Wall Connector wall-mounted chargers. Superchargers can charge up to 120kWh, taking approximately 30 minutes to fully charge half of the vehicle's battery. This is enough for you to travel more than 270 kilometers. According to the 2021 Budget Report, there are 3,351 charging stations for public use in Hong Kong, with an average of nearly 6 electric vehicles sharing one charging spot.
Tesla V3 Supercharger
The V3 Supercharger provides high-speed charging. Your car's charging time is dramatically cut in half with the combination of dedicated vehicle power allocation across Supercharger sites, and the On-Route Battery Warmup function. For instance, charging the Model 3 Long Range for only 5 minutes translates to 120 kilometers of travel. Current owners of Model S and Model X can make an appointment at the Tesla Service Center to arrange for a vehicle upgrade. There, technicians will configure an adapter so you can use CCS Combo 2 for charging, which is also capable of using the faster V3 Supercharger.
Tesla charging fees
It is worth mentioning that the Model 3 has been replaced with a CCS Combo 2 European standard charging plug. Given that, there is no need to plug/reinsert to charge in the future. However, public charging stations are no longer free. There are two charging modes, Tier 1 (under 60kWh, HKD $1.45 per kWh) and Tier 2 (over 60kWh, HKD $2.90 per kWh). Taking the Performance version of the battery with a capacity of 75kWh as an example, the fee for charging from 0% to 100% through a Supercharger is $217.50.
Contact Kwiksure for more insurance solutions
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