How to Get a Tesla Model S for FREE, No Kidding

Tesla Model S for rentGetaround, a car sharing service in San Francisco, just got one member renting his Tesla Model S for $20 an hour, a little more than you’d pay for a regular gas car (well, more than double, but at least no gas is involved).

The SF startup already has another user renting his Tesla Roadster for $60.

At a first glance, you’d say: ‘what are these guys thinking?’ But you never know what their financial troubles are, or how they intend to recover the $100k spent on that car… Maybe they think that by renting it the car is practically covering its own price… and here’s my calculus:

Take 8 hours a day of continuous driving… the guy says ‘no more than 20 miles/hour,’ which means 160 miles per day, at most(!). That specific car can do 200+ miles on a charge. Multiply a day’s revenue by 30 (the number of days in a month) and you get $4,800.

About the risky part. Now not just anyone needs to ride an electric car these days. I’m sure a homeless dude or some other type of unfit individual wouldn’t be curious to spend $20 just to trash it, so I guess the geek-types won’t be punishing the Model S much. Moreover, there’s a log in this car and the guy who drove it can be billed afterwards.

Let’s get back to the calculus: $4,800 a month means that in 1.7 years (say two) the owner will get his $100k back and the car is his for free. Indeed, it’s just like a second-hand luxury car, but with a bit of investment it can be refurbished to look and act like new, even if the tires are scuffed and the thing has a few scratches here and there. An electric motor (the AC type, at least) doesn’t wear out – it only has one moving part. And the battery warranty is 8 years. What else?

Considering these, it would be nice if someone made a website dedicated to electric car sharing, where people with a bank loan can get an EV for free in about two years… now that would be neat.


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  • Pierce Rhonda