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  • Man unhappy with Tesla battery cost takes things to the extreme
  • We know frighteningly little about EV maintenance costs
  • A Tesla Model S battery can cost north of $22,000 to be replaced

Who doesn’t love wanton destruction brought on by a grudge against our corporate overlords? Whether it’s Ford Bronco recalls, misleading marketing, or any number of grudges, we all feel this feeling from time to time. Well, here’s your latest dose of dynamite-fueled corporate-driven rage. One man, disgruntled by the pricing of a battery replacement on his Tesla Model S, takes wanton destruction and hatred for Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk to the extreme, via 30kg of dynamite.

Expensive EV batteries drove a man to blow up Elon Musk’s likeness

Tesla founder Elon Musk at a TIME gala event
Musk was made TIME’s Person of the Year | Theo Wargo via Getty Images

It all starts in Finland, a cold country where revenge is clearly best served hot, rather than cold. Tuomas Katainen decided he was going to blow up his Tesla Model S. Thankfully, he decided to chronicle the event in the video above. So, Tuomas set out for an old quarry. It’s a well-used location for the safe detonation of explosions. If you’ve ever seen an episode of MythBusters, you’ll know what we mean.

After arriving at the quarry, Tuomas and a small team lace the unfortunate Tesla Model S with thirty kilograms of dynamite, or roughly 66 lbs. So, about one German Shepard’s worth of the stuff, but way more deadly. Forced analogy? Yes. Spectacular result? Also, yes. But the real cherry on top is what was inside. A life-sized dummy made in Elon Musk’s likeness. There wasn’t much left after the dust settled, to say the least.

How much is a Tesla Model S battery replacement?

The battery tray of a Tesla Model S EV
The battery tray is integral to the Model S’ structure | Sjoerd van der Wal via Getty Images

Tuomas states in the video his reason for this Musk-see stunt was the alleged battery replacement cost for the doomed Tesla Model S. It started when Toumas’ Model S began throwing codes, turning the famous Tesla digital dash into something more akin to the fireworks that would transpire later in the car’s life. Then, he had the car towed to the dealer and was met with some awful news. The battery needed to be replaced, and it would run him twenty thousand euros. In USD, that’s about $22,000 to replace the Tesla Model S’ battery. For reference, a Model 3’s can be around $16,000.

The problem is largely the skateboard construction of the Tesla Model S. Its battery pack is an integral part of the car’s structure, making it a huge job to remove. It’s safe to say that much of that $22,000 estimate was likely for labor. Unfortunately, the eight-year-old Tesla was also well out of warranty. It’s effectively a worst-case scenario for any EV owner, and Tuomas decided to show his displeasure.

EVs can be expensive to maintain out of warranty

A red Tesla Model 3 EV in a dealership
Some Teslas are falling out of warranty | Xing Yun via Getty Images

Unfortunately, it’s a scary fact of EV life. Just like with a combustion car, there’s a chance that things can go horribly wrong for seemingly no reason. My MK6 Volkswagen GTI was nearly doomed by a faulty timing chain that should’ve never failed. Regrettably, we know frighteningly little about the cost of EV ownership in the long term. Right now, because of their newer construction and built techniques, they can sometimes be more expensive to own than similarly priced gas cars. Just don’t go blowing yours up out of frustration. Thankfully, there’s usually a more level-headed fix.


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