Full Guide for TESLA ownership in U.A.E.

Updated: Aug 4

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Table of Contents

  1. Benefits of an Electric Car

  2. Which tesla to buy?

  3. Set up Low-Cost Home Charging - EV Trip Planning

  4. Items to look at during Delivery Day

  5. Every Day Driving and Charging Efficiency

  6. Super Charger & Mall Charger Techniques

  7. Battery and Range Saving Techniques

  8. Long Term TESLA maintenance

  9. Biosis Retail TESLA accessories

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Owning a Tesla is a luxury in most places of the world - but what about owning one of these beautiful pieces of engineering genius in the United Arab Emirates?

In this guide, I will give you some useful advice and helpful tips on what to expect when buying and owning a Tesla in the U.A.E. I will also include a list of links with other useful information at the end.

So let's get started...

Benefits of an Electric Car

Owning a Tesla is not like owning any other vehicle; there are certain considerations that you should take into account before making the leap. Owning a tesla really is an experience like no other, although it may take time to get used to some of the differences between owning a tesla and owning any other car.

Once you own a Tesla, you will enjoy a whole new all-electric and environmentally friendly driving experience. Owning a TESLA is like owning an iPhone of the car world! You can say goodbye to gasoline and oil changes forever - and say hello to instant torque and a driving experience unlike any other.

There are many benefits; here are just a few:

  • No Gasoline To Buy, Ever! - Since Tesla only runs on electricity you will never have to buy gasoline for it again. This saves you significant amounts of money every month.

  • Super Low Maintenance Costs - Owning a Tesla is also much cheaper due to electric cars requiring far less maintenance than gas-powered vehicles - they are mechanically simpler than normal cars and as a result, they require less attention. Tesla also regularly improves its vehicles using routine over-the-air software updates.

  • Great Performance - Owning a Tesla is great fun! In terms of power, torque, and acceleration they are superior to many other vehicles on the market. Instant torque = smooth, super-fast acceleration, and the feeling of speed when that happens is hard to beat.

  • Environmentally Friendly - Owning an electric car isn't just about the performance, it's also green. Owning a Tesla means that you are driving one of the most environmentally-friendly vehicles available.

Besides the feeling of joy and the sound of silence when driving your Tesla, you will contribute to reducing pollution. Owning an electric car like Tesla is way better for the environment - on average, an electric car emits almost three times less CO2 than an equivalent petrol or diesel car when comparing the lifecycle emissions. With zero tailpipe emissions and the UAE's commitment to the future of a clean energy-powered grid, driving your Tesla in the UAE is probably one of the greenest options available.

Which tesla to buy?

Going Electric will be one of the biggest decisions of your life. Ev ownership will change your lifestyle ie. transport completely. This article was designed to make the transition smooth and easy. It is imperative to get the right EV for you, making the wrong decision here, will cost you a lot of time and money. I personally own a TESLA SR+ and it is the only car I have. I completely rely on it for my everyday and emergency transport. I commute 1hr to and from work every day. I did make a lot of mistakes, many of which you will avoid by just following the guidelines in this article. The guidelines below about choosing your tesla are based on my personal research and a lot of tesla friends. However, please do make your own thorough research before making the final decision.

What to look for in an EV:-

  • Energy Efficiency: In an EV, every small button or switch consumes energy, the more energy you deplete on non-essential things ie. music, interior lights, phone charging, etc, the lesser is your effective range will be. If you choose AWD, your range will also be lower compared to RWD cars. The more the battery size, the more weight, etc. the lesser the effective range.

In short, the lesser efficiency and the more energy you use - the more time you will need when you charge your car, or more will be the charging stops on your trip.

  • Battery size: the common convention is to have the largest battery possible, however, it is of no use to have the largest battery if your energy efficiency is poor ie. and you consume a lot of energy. The larger your battery (compared to similar efficiency and smaller battery car) - The longer distance you will be able to travel between each charging stop on a long trip.

  • Personal lifestyle: what does your personal everyday lifestyle look like? Do you have regular stops in your commute?do you go to the office and have a 3-pin socket there? is your work stationary at an office or is it with frequent traveling? Do you travel to areas where there is no proper infrastructure for emergency charging?

In all these cases, you would need to pick the appropriate Car with the appropriate range. Superchargers are limited and sometimes slow, also, charging an EV is much more time-consuming, especially when you need more energy than what you charged at home.

The scenario is to have your EV charge overnight, then be able to complete your entire day with an 80% - 70% charge, and then return back to home with at least a 20% charge. this 20% is reserved in case of an emergency drive.

Now that you have understood all these tips I've shared, here is my ranking for TESLA cars, with the topmost being the best choice.

  1. Tesla Model 3 SR+ - The most efficient, budget, and moderately fast EV.

  2. Tesla Model Y 7 seater long-range - for a family of 7

  3. Tesla Model 3 long range - if you have more than 250km of total commute, travel more than 250km every day or you travel to areas that don’t have superchargers ie. Fujairah, kalba, Ajman, Sharjah, etc

  4. Tesla Model S - For absolute speed and performance lovers only

  5. Tesla Model X - if you like falcon doors.

So, if you’ve set your heart on owning a Tesla, read on to learn more about how to make sure you are fully prepared for your new car – and can enjoy all the benefits of Tesla ownership.

Considerations Before You Buy the Car

Tesla automaker takes at least 6-8 months to deliver your car. Before its long-awaited arrival, you should plan how you will be charging your vehicle at home and at work. My biggest piece of advice - charging at home is an absolute must! If you’re considering going without a home charging option, cancel your Tesla order. I say without exaggeration that without home charging you will regret every day of your experience with the car.

Set up Home Charging-

Having the standard 3pin UK socket is enough to charge your car at your parking, this is the minimum you should have at your parking when you buy your electric car. It costs only 20 AED to get the socket and additional electrician labor to install it at your parking.

Do inform your electrician that the Extensions up to 10 meters are acceptable, the extensions should not be coiled or circled and your car must receive 10A @ 230V, any less voltage will result in the plug overheating and will reduce charging speed automatically.

Most apartments and villas already have these installed, so it might simply be a case of just changing your parking spot.

EV Trip Planning

  • Download plug share application - Find out everyday routes (work and leisure) and ensure you have good working chargers en-route for unforeseen emergencies or long days. These en-route chargers must only be used as a backup in case your home or work charging fails someday - not as everyday chargers.

  • Download ABRP application - Enter your car details and ensure your everyday work route can be completed with home charging ONLY, starting at 80% charge, if NOT, again, don't get an EV - you will regret it. Remember, using more than 80% makes your battery range lower and lower every day.

Public charging set-up -

  • Get DEWA EV Charging card - You will need this card to access public chargers in Dubai.

  • Get Green Parking Card - Greenparking is a private company that owns multiple green parking spots around the U.A.E, their card is required to use their electric chargers.

We recommend using the Biosis console organizer for Model 3 & Y to make more effective use of your tesla center console storage. As you might have already noticed an increased mess in the cabin because of all the different parking cards, coins, etc.

On the Day of Delivery

When taking delivery of your new vehicle, do a full vehicle inspection. Some things to look for include:

  • Panel gaps

  • Steering misalignment

  • Paint issues on doors and trunk edges

  • Trunk misalignment gaps

  • Window and door rubber seal issues

  • Bumps and general condition

  • Inform the delivery personnel as soon you notice these issues and arrange for repair or book a Tesla service appointment through the app.

Also, check the supplied Tesla charging cable and ensure you have a 3-pin socket. DO NOT accept any other 2-pin plug - it is not U.A.E. standard and will burn out! Tesla will swap a 2-pin plug for a 3-pin free of charge on request - just ask immediately.

Before You Start Driving

There are a few things you can do before starting up your new vehicle to avoid potential issues and unnecessary maintenance. Here is a couple:

  • Go settings. Set COP to NO AC.

  • Ensure you use AC with interior re-circulation only.

These 2 tips will avoid the hassle of changing the HVAC filter every 2 months(however, you should replace the filter every summer). Also, remember not to use the FAN button on the Tesla app as this turns on AC without air re-circulation. Use only the climate control button.

  • Go to settings > driving > autopilot and review all the safety features that are enabled or disabled before driving.

After You Get your Delivery

Open the Tesla map and go to the nearest supercharger. Charge to 80% - we will talk about why later. Superchargers are all free as long as you have your account set up.

A big part of ensuring a trouble-free Tesla experience relates to charging and range awareness. If this is your first time owning an electric vehicle and you are not fully familiar with these concepts, the following tips should help you.

Install Biosis Screen Protector - This Screen protector is the toughest and will allow you to be more comfortable with your TESLA Screen. It Can save you from 9000AED of repair.( installation guide is linked at the end)

Every Day Driving & Charging Efficiency

Planning your journey is an essential part of having an EV and making this a habit is the best tip I can offer. Use the TESLA Trip planner - add all the points in your trip at every drive of your car and charge at all the stations accordingly. Do not charge longer than recommended charge time, as it will waste a lot of precious time with other tesla friends.

Here are some good charging habits to adopt for a smooth experience:

  • Tesla has its own charging guide on its website. Their advice is to charge between 90% to 20% and not go below 20% unless you really have to.

  • Optimum charging schedule: Charge to 70% for everyday driving, 50% when you will not use the car or are storing the car. Charge to 80% on weekends or day outs. Only charge to 100% when you absolutely need the full capacity and drive immediately after charging.

Note newer 2022 tesla models 3 and Y are equipped with LFP batteries that can be charged to 100% without any problems, check with the Tesla service center if your car is equipped with the newer LFP battery.

  • Always remain plugged in with a 3-pin socket - Your Tesla battery needs to be plugged in every day, every time it’s parked, for battery longevity.

Supercharger Habits:

  • Charge only 80% and leave the charger as soon as it's charged. Charging slows down after 80% charge and starts rapidly degrading the battery. The supercharger network in UAE is made such that the distance between each charger is only 70% state of charge, so theoretically this means you would never need more than 70% charge when being in the radius of Tesla superchargers.

  • DONT CHARGE TO 100%: Even if you have an LFP Battery, The Tesla Superchargers need to be available for all tesla friends, charging rapidly slows down after 80% and this wastes a lot of time for you and other tesla friends

  • Use alternate charging stations- Similarly numbered chargers are paired to the same power source ie. the same circuit. Example: Chargers 1A and 1B are from the same power source, therefore charging speed will be split equally among 2 charging cars, whereas 2A will have a different power source. if available, use different numbered charging stations for faster charging, ie if 1A is occupied, use 2a or 2b.

  • Abandoning your car at the supercharger can incur extra fees and can also result in Elon musk Software-locking your car to never supercharge again.

Mall/Destination Chargers:

  • Only use these if you cannot reach home with a 20% charge and always charge to 80% or less to ensure reach with 20% or more charge.

  • DO NOT ABANDON YOUR CAR AT ANY PUBLIC CHARGER. This will incur a 1000 AED fine in addition to upsetting a lot of other TESLA friends!

Range-Saving & Battery Tips:

  • Battery degradation is real - do not charge to 100% as it significantly reduces the battery range.

Note: newer 2022 tesla models 3 and Y are equipped with LFP batteries that can be charged to 100% without any problems, check with the Tesla service center if your car is equipped with the newer LFP battery

  • Set tire pressure to 42 psi (Model 3) when cold. Check often and re-adjust as necessary. Tire pressure should never exceed the pressure on the side wall(of the tire) when tires become hot.

  • Use driving > chill mode as much as possible, especially on long trips. (Range mode for Model X and Model S)

  • Always park in shade - the car will automatically start cooling batteries when it gets too hot and consumes battery power.

  • Drafting on highways can significantly increase battery range. Drafting means driving behind cars at a minimum safe distance. Doing so reduces air resistance for your car and increases range. Use Autopilot with minimum distance and drive behind other cars. This tip is really useful when your battery is very low.

  • Use regen braking to the maximum. Learn one pedal driving, understand the speeds of roads, and drive the car as much as you can with regen braking only. Learn to use the car without any physical brakes.

TESLA long-term Maintenance

The Tesla owner's manual and the tesla website contain information for the maintenance of your tesla vehicle. Parts that need to be serviced are tires, brakes, air filters, brake fluid, and AC bags. below are tips found among the tesla community that is more conservative.

  • Replace the AC Filter every 1 year or every summer, driving in the UAE accumulates of a lot of dust in the filter. You can also do this easily by yourself by checking the instructions on youtube.

  • Make sure to use the brakes every once in a while, as the brakes can accumulate moisture and start getting rusted fast when humidity is high. do ride the brakes every once in a while to remove this moisture and prevent early replacement.

  • Use supercharging as little as possible, as the car battery will degrade faster. This is already evidenced by the high usage of tesla superchargers. As stated above always use 3-pin home charging.

  • if you notice your car going off-track or is not straight, you will need a wheel alignment, the alignment is required if you had gone too fast over bumps or holes. Only the TESLA service center can align your car.

  • Drive safely as TESLA parts from the factory take over a month to reach Dubai and then takes another few weeks for the service center to repair your car.

  • Avoid frequent rapid launches/accelerations - The rear tires deplete very fast compared to the ICE cars because of the instant torque.

  • Avoid spending on accessories that do not add value to your car - this is a general money-saving tip because your car keeps depreciating every year and any non-valuable accessory would just increase your losses. (we believe that you should get only the 3 accessories we have listed at end of this article).

Useful TESLA Accessories

Biosis retail has a range of useful accessories designed to optimize your driving experience. A couple of my favorites include:

Biosis Model 3 Shades or Biosis Model Y Shades - Using these can save up to 80 km of battery range.

Biosis Screen Protector Model 3/Y - Savings of over 9000AED of repairs are possible with this simple addition to your Tesla. (Installation Guide)

Biosis Console Tray - Double your Center Console Storage