Tesla Model S blown up with dynamite starts thriving EV repair business


A Finnish mechanic has carved out a rather successful niche in repairing all-electric cars, thanks to an unorthodox starting point — parts salvaged from a Tesla Model S that was literally blown up with dynamite by its frustrated owner.

Jesse Haapala’s journey with Tesla repairs started when he salvaged the electronics, motors, and battery from a Tesla that was set to be blown up with 30 kilos of dynamite. The Model S’ owner, Tuomas Katainen, gained notoriety in late 2021 for the stunt, which was sparked his frustration over Tesla’s expensive quote for a replacement Model S battery.

“It took off when I was able to buy the internals of a Tesla Model S. The owner had decided to have it blown up in a gravel pit,” Haapala noted.

As noted in a CarUp report, Haapala repurposed the salvaged Model S parts to convert a Mercedes G-Wagon into an electric vehicle, a project that ultimately sparked his interest in electric cars. This interest has remained strong until today, with his workshop in Karleby now catering to Teslas and other electric cars.

Haapala’s workshop attempts to repair individual components as much as possible. This enables his customers to get a more affordable solution than what is offered by the electric vehicle maker. 

Haapala noted that for Model S units, replacement batteries could run over 15,000 euros, but his shop could keep repair costs to just about 5,000 euros. Interestingly enough, the Tesla repair specialist noted that issues with Tesla’s batteries are actually relatively rare, with most problems arising from other components. 

“It’s actually quite rare that there’s something wrong with the battery. More often, it’s insulation problems or a fault with a heater,” he said in a comment to Svenska Yle.

This focus on repair aligns with a broader shift in the automotive industry as electric cars gain traction. Technical director of the Central Federation of the Finnish Motor Trade, Jouko Sohlberg, noted that electric vehicles would likely help change the work culture in automotive workshops. He also predicts that an emergence of battery repair specialists will likely happen this decade. 

“Electric cars and plug-in hybrids will change the work culture in the workshops. They have traditionally been 20 percent diagnostics and 80 percent mechanical work with brakes and service. This will change so that we get 80 percent diagnostic work… In the future, to avoid the batteries being thrown away, they will be repaired. It is quite certain that we will see specialist battery repairers. A lot will happen in the 2020s,” he said. 

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Tesla Model S blown up with dynamite gives birth to thriving EV repair business


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