In-depth reviews

Tesla Model X owner review

Anthony Wootton from Hampshire shares his ownership experience of the Tesla Model X

Anthony Wootton runs his own business, which involves him having to do a lot of long-distance driving around the UK. Although his previous cars – a Volkswagen Touareg and a Jaguar XF – were comfortable enough, he didn’t appreciate having to spend thousands of pounds on fuel each year.

It was this train of thought that prompted Wootton to look into buying an electric car. His wife already owned a Volkswagen Golf GTE, which had a very limited all-electric range, but he wanted something without any form of combustion engine.

On a journey from Cornwall back to his home in Basingstoke roughly three years ago, Wootton stopped at the Tesla dealer in Bristol and managed to negotiate to take a Model X for a three-day test drive.

“As soon as I drove it, it just blew my mind,” he told us. “I’ve never had what I would class as a performance car. I’ve had big cars, but I’ve never had something that really shifted. I came back, I put a deposit down and I got it about three months afterwards.”

Six months later, Wootton traded his standard Model X in for the more potent Performance model, which he still owns today and has covered more than 60,000 miles in. Around the same time he picked up his upgraded Model X, Wootton realised there was more he could do to save money and help the environment.

Discussions  on various internet forums led him to start looking into options for investing further in the EV lifestyle. “We put in 6kW of solar power and one [Tesla] Powerwall about 18 months ago,” he continued. “And then the guy came around again six months later and said: ‘Well, you’ve got the main infrastructure – why don’t you increase it a little bit?’”

The roof of Wootton’s house is now covered with enough solar panels to generate 8.8kW of power, and a second Powerwall has also been installed. This is an off-grid electricity-storage device that saves EV owners money on their electricity bills by reducing their dependence on the National Grid. Wootton had a second Powerwall installed to improve his home charging speeds, and he says the decision has worked out well financially.

When the weather is good, he can go for up to four weeks without having to tap into the grid, and even when he does have to use mains electricity, he has an Economy 7 tariff.

Six months ago, Wootton’s wife traded her Golf GTE in for a Tesla Model 3 Performance, so the household has two fully electric cars. While Wootton admits both were expensive to buy new, he intends to take full advantage of their low running costs by keeping them for many years.

Wootton also uses the Tesla Supercharger network a lot and, while he has noticed it getting busier, he hasn’t had any trouble finding a charger. Plus, while he likes the fact that charging means he takes a proper break on a long trip, he says he looks forward to battery tech advancing so that he can travel 300 or 400 miles on a single charge without having to go less than 70mph on the motorway.

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