Buying a car is only the beginning of the expenditures: there’s the hundreds of dollars in insurance each month, and then thousands more in maintenance over a car’s lifetime.
Tesla wants to change that. During its earnings call Wednesday, the company revealed that it wants to offer a pay-one-price model that will include both insurance and maintenance for the entirety of the vehicle’s lifetime.
Tesla has already been testing the business model in Asia.
Currently, existing car insurance companies underwrite the policies with Tesla paying for them upfront and then tacking the cost onto the car’s purchase price, but CEO Elon Musk made it clear Tesla would explore all options. “If we find that the insurance providers are not matching the insurance proportionate to the risk of the car, then if we need to, we will in-source it,” he said during the call, according to Elektrek. “But I think we’ll find that insurance providers do adjust the insurance cost proportionate to the risk of a Tesla.”
After the 2014 rollout of the Autopilot feature, which aids drivers during highway driving, Teslas were found to get in 40 percent fewer accidents, according to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in January. That study came in response to a fatal crash in May 2016, in which a Tesla vehicle using Autopilot crashed into a tractor trailer, killing its driver. Tesla concluded that the vehicle’s system had not noticed the white, reflective trailer against the sky. Months later, it released a software update that Musk said would likely have prevented the problem.