‘It was probably the stupidest and, at the same time, the best solution in my life’, – Rich Benoit from the USA says about the decision he made 8 years ago. He bought two Tesla electric cars at auction, constructed one car from both of them in his garage and named it Dolores.
He did not know at the time that no parts are sold by Tesla for cars which have been written off by insurance companies following a road accident. Nevertheless, R. Benoit spent 6,500 US dollars on the project that took him 500 hours to complete. Rick filmed the entire process and when his phone ran out of space for new videos, he started uploading them onto Youtube. Today, his channel ‘Rich Rebuilds’ has more than 1.2 million followers.
Rick, who is a former IT specialist, showed to his followers from a very close proximity the problems that are faced by Tesla owners who refuse to have their electric vehicles repaired and maintained at the official representative office of the manufacturer. R. Benoit constantly emphasizes that such Tesla micro-monopoly not only creates obstacles for the reuse of electric car parts, but it also prevents people from being free to take care of their own car on their own. Moreover, he, together with two colleagues, has established their own independent car workshop, where they repair Tesla cars against the will of this car company.
There are no car parts in stores
Tesla car owners in Lithuania face exactly the same problems. The manufacturer supplies parts only for its network of car repair workshops. If the car was purchased in Europe or it has been certified in Europe, Parts for Tesla electric cars can be purchased and the cars themselves can be repaired only at the official representative office of the manufacturer. It is no secret that a large part of Tesla electric cars comes to Lithuania from US auctions. As a result, they are no longer covered by the official Tesla car maintenance service, and in order to repair such cars, the necessary parts need to be found in car scrap yards.
According to Agnius Skudutis, Customer Development specialist at RRR.lt, the platform administered by UAB Ovoko, Nissan Leaf and BMW i3, followed by Tesla Model S, currently remain the most popular electric car models on the RRR.lt platform.
‘The nearest official Tesla car workshops are only in Warsaw and Helsinki. Therefore, the owners of Tesla electric cars, who live in Lithuania, face difficulty when they need servicing for their car or when they want to buy parts they need. Nevertheless, the number of Tesla cars is growing every year, and that dynamic is reflected in our system of car parts. For example, in February alone, about 500 used parts for these cars were uploaded onto the system. Products for Model S form the largest part in Tesla range. Model S is the longest-manufactured Tesla model. Therefore, today more than 1200 parts for this electric car can be found on RRR.lt platform’, – A. Skudutis tells about the situation.
The number of dismantlers of electric cars is increasing
According to him, the average number of used Tesla electric car parts sold per month on the platform ranges from 10 to 30. In most cases, customers choose car headlights, suspension components and interior trim.
‘Car parts that are getting worn are always sold the fastest, and a Tesla battery uploaded onto the RRR.lt system is sold in less than a month. This is perhaps not an impressive number compared to the dynamics of conventional car parts. However, so far, electric cars make up only a very small proportion of all vehicles on our roads. We notice that elements of Tesla security systems and wiper mechanisms are also gaining popularity’, – A. Skudutis tells about which Tesla car parts are usually chosen by Lithuanian customers.
The specialist emphasizes that people who currently cannot find the most popular Tesla car parts should not give up. According to A. Skudutis, the supply of electric car parts in car scrap yards is really increasing, and several partners of RRR.lt sellers have already begun to specialize exclusively in the dismantling of electric cars.