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TikTok star deserted by Tesla unveils 'root of the problem' with EVs

Popular TikTok creator and car aficionado Daniel Macdonald talks to Fox News Digital about his EV troubles and the "biggest thing holding back the industry."

Long before his viral TikTok career revved up, Daniel Macdonald — better known as @itsdanielmac across social platforms — had his finger on the car world’s pulse.

Over the past three years, Macdonald has been driving a "slightly used" 2019 Tesla around the Los Angeles area and recently told Fox News Digital the electric vehicle (EV) market has some growing pains to work out.

"There's still some issues with the [mileage] range. I think that's probably the primary issue that a lot of people have. I feel like Americans in particular, we like to go on trips, we like to travel far," the TikToker pointed out.

"America needs a car that can allow them to go to Yosemite if they want to go. And essentially, the root of the problem is the charging networks," he added. "And Tesla is far ahead of everyone else."

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That’s part of the reason why Macdonald felt persuaded to buy a Tesla in the first place: just a few years ago, they were a "status symbol," he said. When Tesla debuted its first full EV, it was priced at more than $100,000. However, you could get behind the wheel of a Tesla Model 3 today for around $50,000, according to CARFAX.

But now, Macdonald is airing out his "gripe" with the EV brand, telling stories of charging, towing and jump-starting nightmares.

"If you don't have an at-home charger, or your apartment doesn't have one, then you have to every couple of days literally physically get in your car, drive to a station and then wait for it to charge," the TikTok star explained. "I liked it a lot more when I had accessible charging. Now it's kind of a pain."

"I got lucky because I have a supercharger that's pretty close to me, it's about half a mile away, but all people don't have that luxury," he continued.

Macdonald admitted he once had to pay nearly $1,000 to get his Tesla towed after the battery died. On another occasion, he attempted a haphazard jump start of his own.

"I often travel for various shoots and whatnot, and sometimes I'll be gone for several weeks at a time, and sometimes my Tesla will just sit there and lose battery while I'm gone… So that happened one time where I was in my garage, I'm next to my charger, this was when I used to live in my old building that had a charger… but when it dies, it won't even allow you to charge it," Macdonald started to explain.

"I call Tesla, I go, ‘Hey, is there no other option? I have it right next to the charger. Is there no override for me to be able to plug this in?’ … and they say, ‘No, there's nothing we can do,’" he further detailed, before saying he turned to the internet for solutions.

"I don't know why they were kind of hiding this information, but I look up online through various sources a way to potentially jump start the Tesla, and I jump it, and then it actually does turn on after I leave it going for a little bit. But then I had to go bring it in for service because something messed up with the battery. So it's either you have to tow it, or you have to bring it in for service."

Not getting a clear answer from Tesla and being stranded with his car has been the "scariest" part of the EV experience, according to Macdonald.

"I was very concerned and confused that whoever I was talking to at Tesla didn't even give me that as an option," he said. "They go, ‘No, we don't know anything about that.’ And I'm like, okay, are you just trying to make money off of a tow?"

Tesla did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

Despite his negative customer experiences, the TikToker leveled that many Americans — him included — fall into the middle ground of the EV debate.

"Right now, [EVs are] kind of like in this weird middle spot. And I think in 10 years from now, it's going to be a lot more accessible," Macdonald said. "They're super easy to navigate, my Tesla drives like butter. It's very convenient, I don't have to go get oil changes… I think it's a good move for the average American. Honestly, depending on which model you buy, I think Tesla is a solid choice as long as you have a lot of range."

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"I would not get an EV unless it's a Tesla at this point," he clarified. "And I know I keep saying Tesla, Tesla, Tesla, but they're so advanced that they do really have that monopoly right now."

If you’re not in a Tesla, Macdonald did warn that "connectability isn't that good. And if you're not on the Tesla network, you really can't travel. So I think that is the biggest thing holding back the industry."

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