Man Says He Regrets Buying a Tesla. He Can’t Find Chargers


In a trending TikTok clip that has garnered over 233,000 views, Antrell, a self-proclaimed tech guru known as @techbyantrell, passionately voices his grievances with Tesla’s charging infrastructure, setting the stage for a broader discussion on the practical challenges of electric vehicle (EV) ownership. With an exasperated tone, he begins, “Please do not get a Tesla,” immediately capturing the audience’s attention with a stark warning about the reality of owning one of the most sought-after EVs in the market.

Antrell’s frustration stems from a dire situation at a Los Angeles Tesla charging station, where he found himself, along with other Tesla owners, in a desperate battle for the few available chargers. With his car’s battery dwindling to a mere five miles, the scarcity of charging options became a tangible concern, highlighting a critical issue in the Tesla ownership experience.

“We are literally out here fighting for our lives for chargers,” he exclaims, vividly depicting the chaos and competition among drivers.

He notes in the comments, “I ran out of battery in the mountains because incline depletes the battery 2-3x as fast as the range it shows you.”

The situation, as Antrell describes, is further complicated by the limited number of chargers—only five or six in the entire area—and the added constraint of two being designated for handicapped use. This scarcity leads to tensions among drivers and the implementation of stringent parking enforcement, with threats of hefty fines for those who dare to occupy these spots out of necessity. “How lame can you be to be out here patrolling people, and everyone’s just trying to charge their car and get the f*** home?” he questions, voicing the collective frustration of Tesla owners in the vicinity.

The congestion at the charging station is emblematic of a more significant issue as Antrell observes a queue of six or seven Teslas, drivers anxiously waiting for their turn to charge, with no organized system in place. This disarray leads to further delays, as those who finally manage to secure a charging spot, including Antrell, opt to fully charge their cars, unwilling to face the ordeal of finding a charger again anytime soon. “They charge their cars all the way up, and they sit here for 45 minutes,” he notes, underscoring the reluctance of drivers to re-enter the fray of the charging station.

One commenter recommended, “Charge at home.” A reply co-signed the suggestion: “Exactly. Not sure why people don’t know this. In Tesla, your currency is TIME. The only downside to charging at home is if you use a cord, it takes time.”

@techbyantrell Need not anymore teslas on the road PLS #tesla #elonmusk ♬ original sound – Antrell | TechByAntrell

“I’m just so confused about what y’all thought it was going be with a car you have to CHARGE,” said another person. “People getting a Tesla without proper home charging blows my mind,” another person quipped.

Another person commented: “Imagine every time you go to the gas station, you gotta wait 45 min to get a full tank.”

@techbyantrell Replying to @Felipe Andretti well, here’s why #tesla #fyp ♬ original sound – Antrell | TechByAntrell

In subsequent videos, Antrell elaborates on the factors contributing to the overcrowded charging stations, likening Teslas to the Nissan Altima due to their newfound affordability. “Tesla’s are the new Altima,” he asserts, replying to a comment, attributing the surge in Tesla ownership to Elon Musk’s decision to lower prices significantly, making them as accessible as traditional gas-powered vehicles. This democratization, while beneficial in making sustainable transportation more accessible, has inadvertently led to increased demand for already scarce charging resources.

Moreover, Antrell sheds light on the nuanced reality of EV battery life, comparing it to the battery life of a new iPhone. He emphasizes that just as a smartphone’s battery drains faster with heavy use, a Tesla’s range can dramatically decrease based on driving conditions and habits. “If you’re driving up an incline, for example, or if you’re driving fast on the highway, your battery depletes extremely fast,” he explains, offering a practical analogy to illustrate how real-world conditions can deviate from the idealized range touted by EV manufacturers.

@techbyantrell Replying to @jbay224 people didn’t realize this… #tesla #elonmusk ♬ original sound – Antrell | TechByAntrell

More specifically, Antrell’s experience with Tesla’s charging woes is further complicated by various external factors that significantly impact the battery range of Tesla and other electric vehicles. A Lectron article from 2023 documents and confirms several vital influences, which include temperature, terrain, payload, tire pressure, wind resistance, and regenerative braking. Extreme cold and hot temperatures can diminish battery efficiency and range. Driving in hilly or mountainous areas requires more energy, especially for climbing, which can deplete the battery faster. Additional weight from passengers or cargo, underinflated tires, and resistance from strong winds also contribute to reduced range. However, utilizing regenerative braking effectively can help conserve and replenish battery life by capturing energy during deceleration. These factors underscore the challenges and considerations for optimizing EV performance in real-world conditions.

Antrell’s candid narrative, enriched with personal anecdotes and observations, serves as a critical discourse on the evolving landscape of electric vehicle ownership. Through his TikTok series, he highlights the logistical challenges of inadequate charging infrastructure. He prompts a broader reflection on the implications of Tesla’s pricing strategies and the environmental considerations of EV technology. 

His firsthand account resonates with a growing community of EV enthusiasts and potential buyers, fostering a dialogue on the need for a more comprehensive charging network and setting realistic expectations for the electric vehicle experience. 

As Tesla and other EV manufacturers continue to innovate, Antrell’s insights contribute to a necessary conversation about the future of sustainable transportation and the collective efforts required to address the growing pains of this transition.

The Daily Dot has contacted Antrell and Tesla for comment.


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*First Published: Feb 19, 2024, 9:01 pm CST


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