### Author Topic: Used Tesla  (Read 11736 times)

#### Exflyboy

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##### Used Tesla
« on: April 25, 2015, 02:22:20 PM »
Got into it with a fellow engineer on Facebook last night.

Apparently you can buy a used Tesla for \$64,000 dollars.. Cool!

Here is the conversation..:).. he just doesn't get it.. Intelligent guy too.

Me: Nope.. I prefer retirement..

Friend: if you done your math right, this can be your retirement! No more dependency on gas even if the price goes up to \$6 when you are 60. And free road trip until the day you drop.

Me: Riiight.. \$64k for a car compared to my 99 Neon (36mpg) which cost me 350 bucks (OK I rebuilt the engine and transmission for \$1000).. Thats an extra \$62,500/ \$6 = 10,416 gallons or (*36) = 375,000 miles! You think this thing will still be going in nearly 400,000 miles? How many \$2000 battery changes in that number of miles?
Oh.. and lets not even talk about the average compound 8% growth (average growth of the stock market since 1872) on that you lose by not investing that \$64k... Ohh lets do that math.. 375k miles and say 15k per year is 25 years. so 64,000*1.08^25 = \$438,000.. I.e thats what that piece of junk has cost you over 25 years... Not including battery replacements

Friend: Hey if your neon can last another 375k miles that's good for you. If you can indeed get true net 8% growth in your portfolio, that's impressive too considering that's beating most of the investors even some elite financial investment services...although I can't help but wonder what are you gonna do with 438grand after 25yrs??

Me: 8% growth is a conservative number, you can EASILY get this by simply investing in a stock index fund. In fact almost ALL so called financial service providers lag behind the market index.. so why not simply invest in the index?.. In fact the fees for doing so are miniscule compared to what these so called professionals charge.. I did tell you I AM retired right? I have been doing this for the last 10 years or so.... The Tesla does not run on free fuel either.. It runs on an average of 52% coal (nor will it or the Neon last 375k miles) so my analysis was overly conservative. There are about 125,000BTU's in a gallon of fuel and gas engines are about 33% efficient. Take an average cost of electricity of 10 cents per KW-H and you can calculate the approximate fuel cost to run the Tesla, then compare the true fuel costs of an equivilent gas powered car.. The 25 years was the time you'd have to own the Tesla to pay for itself in fuel.. I was simply pointing out is a VERY poor investment.. In fact Joe's point is elevant.. its an expensive luxury toy, not a cost efficient form of transport. As it would reduce my portfolio from what it would be by \$438 after 25 years.. I'll just keep earning my 8% plus instead... Except in 2013 I earned 32% on my S&P500 Vanguard index fund....

Me (again): So I looked it up.. The actual annualized gain with dividends of the S&P500 since 1871 to 2014 is 9.11%. That of course includes two world wars, cuban missle crisis, 1929 depression, 2000 dot com bust and the 2008 meltdown. To invest in the Vanguard VTAX fund it costs 0.02%.. verses so called experts at 1 to 1.5%. As I don't make numbers up, here is the link so you can prove it to yourself.

Friend: all I can is my math is different than yours (can this guy do math?) but I don't have time to elaborate here (e.g. say if one is replacing a 18mpg car, and if one is paying with a 1% interest loan instead of all upfront)....you finally retired now? No wonder I haven't seen you much on site anymore

Me: Oh I was retired before.. I was just doing the occasional job for fun. Its dried up at the moment.... OMG, your financing cars???.. whats a car loan?.. I've never had one.....  just buy a car that does 36mpg. My math looks slightly worse if you compare to my Wifes 2 year old Chevvy Cruze which we paid \$12k for (cash of course).. Now the cost difference is ONLY \$52k... also does 36mpg. so over the same 25 years the cost difference is 52*1.0911^25 = \$459k.. if you took that difference and invested in a Vanguard VTSAX fund. Still assumes the Tesla costs zero in fuel and battery replacements so the cost is worse than that. Moot point anyway, its not finacially viable.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 02:28:24 PM by Exflyboy »

#### SnackDog

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2015, 02:41:36 PM »

However, Tesla is a luxury sports car. Compared to competitors from MB, BMW, etc it will hold it's value far better, be more reliable, cost less to operate, provide more luxury and exclusivity and go faster.  It is a very smart choice among the alternatives.  If you commute in California it will provide access to the carpool lanes, which can be a huge time saver.

I would not expect Tesla customers cross-shop against a 1999 Dodge Neon.

#### ender

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2015, 02:46:26 PM »
BUT I WANT A TOY AND DONT CARE ABOUT TEH MATHZ!

#### Exflyboy

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2015, 02:49:01 PM »

However, Tesla is a luxury sports car. Compared to competitors from MB, BMW, etc it will hold it's value far better, be more reliable, cost less to operate, provide more luxury and exclusivity and go faster.  It is a very smart choice among the alternatives.  If you commute in California it will provide access to the carpool lanes, which can be a huge time saver.

I would not expect Tesla customers cross-shop against a 1999 Dodge Neon.

Of course not.. Nor a 2012 Chevvy Cruze for that matter.

Like I pointed out in the bottom of my post, its an expensive toy, he however was trying to tell me it was a "good deal" because the fuel cost is zero (which It isn't of course).

#### Exflyboy

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2015, 02:51:01 PM »
BUT I WANT A TOY AND DONT CARE ABOUT TEH MATHZ!

Ahh that's different, heck I want a Dodge Charger and when I hit \$2M liquid net worth I think I might buy one.. But I'm certainly not going to try to convince someone its an economical choice..:)

#### mtnrider

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2015, 03:01:00 PM »
Those Teslas are impressive, aren't they?  I'd cut the guy a bit of slack and just tell him how cool his car is.  If he's taunting you, just say how you have other (unnamed) priorities... and know that you're making a tradeoff that works for you.  Well, unless you enjoy talking about cars and NPV.  :)

To be fair to your coworker though, the PE10 ratio is a little high right now, so the future is not quite what it used to be.  Future returns will likely be less than the past 5% real returns.   (caveat: but of course, stick with your investment plan, there's lots of randomness here)

#### gaja

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2015, 03:22:03 PM »
Charging at Tesla super chargers is included in the purchase price of the Tesla. So if you plan well, you can have free fuel.

I'm not arguing with the rest of your math.

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2015, 03:32:49 PM »
Of course someone else is going to come along and say your 99 Neon with what gas it does consume, car insurance, and tag/taxes is wasteful compared to a bicycle.

#### RootofGood

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2015, 03:33:42 PM »
I'm with you.  I drive around 80 miles per month right now in my 15 year old Honda Civic.  Parts for it are cheap (just bought 2 O2 sensors for \$28 each and about to buy an exhaust manifold and catalytic converter for \$200-300 and hopefully DIY or pay the \$290 for 3 hrs of shop time). It gets 30+ mpg and holds our family of 5 for trips around town.  Property tax and insurance are dirt cheap.

At 80 miles/month, I would spend \$16/month on \$6/gallon gas.  Opportunity cost of dropping an extra \$60k on a car is \$300-500/month not to mention actual depreciation of another \$300-500/mo.  Throw in a random 3000 mile road trip once a year (Raleigh-NYC-Quebec City-Toronto-Raleigh) and there's an extra \$600 worth of \$6/gal gas (well, \$650 since we would drive the wife's 15 year old Accord for the luxurious space and added storage it offers over my civic).

I can't imagine the environmentals work out strongly for the tesla since making the car undoubtedly has a large environmental footprint compared to nursing a honda civic into it's old age.

#### ChaseJuggler

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2015, 03:49:59 PM »
I bought a used plug in Prius and couldn't make the math work. Insurance alone killed my gas savings, so I sold it.

When a used Volt sells for under ten grand, I'll reconsider driving a plug in.

But if you drive more than 30 miles per day or do Uber on the side, a used Prius is one hell of a purchase. We own two and the damn things just don't break.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 03:53:51 PM by ChaseJuggler »

#### RWD

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2015, 06:50:08 PM »
I did the math when the Tesla Roadster came out. You would never make your money back compared to just purchasing the Lotus Elise it was based on. Now if you have more money than you know what to do with and are looking at the environmentalist angle instead then it could make sense.

#### forummm

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2015, 07:55:52 PM »
I bought a used plug in Prius and couldn't make the math work. Insurance alone killed my gas savings, so I sold it.

When a used Volt sells for under ten grand, I'll reconsider driving a plug in.

But if you drive more than 30 miles per day or do Uber on the side, a used Prius is one hell of a purchase. We own two and the damn things just don't break.

Depending on your state, you could buy a brand new Leaf for \$12k.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 07:57:26 AM by forummm »

#### Exflyboy

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2015, 08:03:15 PM »
I did the math when the Tesla Roadster came out. You would never make your money back compared to just purchasing the Lotus Elise it was based on. Now if you have more money than you know what to do with and are looking at the environmentalist angle instead then it could make sense.

Not so sure.. depending on where you live then an electric car could be powerd by 100% coal.. and the associated mercury discharge. Add to that the manufacturing processes of the batteries.

I'm not saying it doesn't work out electric cars are anything but emission free vehicles.. it just gets emitted from the power station rather than the tailpipe.

#### RWD

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2015, 08:24:50 PM »
I did the math when the Tesla Roadster came out. You would never make your money back compared to just purchasing the Lotus Elise it was based on. Now if you have more money than you know what to do with and are looking at the environmentalist angle instead then it could make sense.

Not so sure.. depending on where you live then an electric car could be powerd by 100% coal.. and the associated mercury discharge. Add to that the manufacturing processes of the batteries.

I'm not saying it doesn't work out electric cars are anything but emission free vehicles.. it just gets emitted from the power station rather than the tailpipe.

You could install some solar panels on your house to use for charging your car. Though just driving less would be a better place to start.

I think a lot of people are more attracted to making an environmental statement than actually being environmentally friendly.

#### zephyr911

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2015, 08:05:56 AM »
I did the math when the Tesla Roadster came out. You would never make your money back compared to just purchasing the Lotus Elise it was based on. Now if you have more money than you know what to do with and are looking at the environmentalist angle instead then it could make sense.

Not so sure.. depending on where you live then an electric car could be powerd by 100% coal.. and the associated mercury discharge. Add to that the manufacturing processes of the batteries.

I'm not saying it doesn't work out electric cars are anything but emission free vehicles.. it just gets emitted from the power station rather than the tailpipe.
There is no state in the US where the grid is 100% coal, not even West Virginia. Nationally, it dropped in 2013 from over 45% to 39%, and has shed a few more points since then.
In the most coal-heavy areas, repeated studies indicate that driving electric is roughly equivalent to driving a Civic, WRT overall pollution - producing a given unit of energy with coal is dirtier than gas, but the EV uses 60-70% less energy. And, as noted, one can always produce renewable energy at home if they're doing it for environmental reasons.
The impact of battery production, likewise, is often overstated - and recycling is so efficient that industry analysts predict that mining will peak and decline in the not-too-distant future as enough lithium enters circulation to meet most production needs.

You could install some solar panels on your house to use for charging your car. Though just driving less would be a better place to start.

I think a lot of people are more attracted to making an environmental statement than actually being environmentally friendly.
I think the problem is that, with a few possible exceptions, most people don't know enough to distinguish the former from the latter, and are sucked in by marketing. And if you don't believe me, I have an 18mpg Ford truck with "EcoBoost" to sell you.
(I actually have a theory that EcoBoost engines include a hidden reservoir of baby seal extract that is directly injected into the cylinders to add extra power when the pedal is floored)

Somewhat related:
As far as Tesla goes, their raison d'etre is 100% environmental, but their business strategy is to infiltrate the auto market from the top down and ultimately drive the proliferation of electric cars not only in the sports/luxury segment but at every price point. Elon Musk's blog entry on the subject is amusing and fairly informative:

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 08:13:23 AM by zephyr911 »

#### jinga nation

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2015, 10:24:30 AM »
I find arguing with people via Social Media or electronic means is pointless. Hence I cease and desist from falling into that e-gutter.
I also find it pointless arguing with people who've already decided that they are right and won't change their mind no matter what the facts say.

#### CoreyTheMan

• Posts: 40
##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2015, 11:25:32 AM »
I find arguing with people via Social Media or electronic means is pointless. Hence I cease and desist from falling into that e-gutter.
I also find it pointless arguing with people who've already decided that they are right and won't change their mind no matter what the facts say.

+1000

#### zephyr911

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2015, 11:46:24 AM »
The Tesla does not run on free fuel either.. It runs on an average of 52% coal
Uh, where is that... Kentucky? US average is less than 40%, and falling. And he is potentially correct about free fuel - it all depends on how close he lives to the nearest Supercharger station, and how heavily used it is. Free (read: priced into new sales) charging for life. Some are even solar-powered.

Of course, none of this refutes your point. As much as I like the company and its goals, buying the car isn't an investment. And the math isn't complicated, so it's funny/sad that he could be so far off.

#### nawhite

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2015, 03:54:58 PM »
The Tesla does not run on free fuel either.. It runs on an average of 52% coal
Uh, where is that... Kentucky? US average is less than 40%, and falling. And he is potentially correct about free fuel - it all depends on how close he lives to the nearest Supercharger station, and how heavily used it is. Free (read: priced into new sales) charging for life. Some are even solar-powered.

Of course, none of this refutes your point. As much as I like the company and its goals, buying the car isn't an investment. And the math isn't complicated, so it's funny/sad that he could be so far off.

Colorado is 63% coal http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/GovEnergyOffice/CBON/1251599939003. Getting better, as a number of coal plants are getting retrofitted to run gas instead of coal but still not great.

That being said, my solar panels would do a great job charging an electric car, but the light rail and an e-bike are as electric as my vehicles are going to get until electric car range doubles or quadruples. The only reason I keep a car around is so I can do trips in the 100-500 mile range (one way) so a 100 mile Leaf or a 250 mile tesla still don't really cut it for me.

#### Syonyk

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2015, 04:05:08 PM »
And if you don't believe me, I have an 18mpg Ford truck with "EcoBoost" to sell you.
(I actually have a theory that EcoBoost engines include a hidden reservoir of baby seal extract that is directly injected into the cylinders to add extra power when the pedal is floored)

I'm lost... why the EcoBoost hate?  It's an improvement in fuel economy over the previous engine size needed for the power output, and they're quite well built motors.  It's nothing particularly revolutionary, just a smaller turbocharged engine in an unusual place (typically trucks).

As for Teslas and Leafs, I've lost count of how many people I know with them.  I know in southern CA, Teslas are referred to as "Palo Alto Civics" for how common they are.

#### rocketpj

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2015, 02:28:42 PM »
Our little 2009 Hyundai Accent hopefully has a few more years in it, but I admit to hoping that there will be a healthy market in used electric cars when it finally dies off.

Here in BC they just announced a \$6000 rebate for people who buy an electric car (presumably new), and another \$3250 for people who scrap a car older than 2000.  The math still doesn't work, but there is probably a price point, with rebates etc. that makes it more compelling (keeping in mind that gas here is typically >\$1.25/litre).

#### zephyr911

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2015, 02:51:58 PM »
I'm lost... why the EcoBoost hate?  It's an improvement in fuel economy over the previous engine size needed for the power output, and they're quite well built motors.  It's nothing particularly revolutionary, just a smaller turbocharged engine in an unusual place (typically trucks).
No hate, just poking. It's great for what it does, if you're trying to haul cargo efficiently. But since most people I know that have trucks primarily use them to dissipate excess income, it's actually a hindrance to that goal ;)
But seriously, it's still basically greenwashing. Especially if you're just using it as a commuting vehicle, it's a financial and environmental travesty.

#### zephyr911

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2015, 02:55:29 PM »
Colorado is 63% coal http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/GovEnergyOffice/CBON/1251599939003. Getting better, as a number of coal plants are getting retrofitted to run gas instead of coal but still not great.
It's funny how CO is so progressive in some ways and so backward in others.
Quote
The only reason I keep a car around is so I can do trips in the 100-500 mile range (one way) so a 100 mile Leaf or a 250 mile tesla still don't really cut it for me.
Unless your car goes 1,000 miles without stopping for gas, that argument seems odd. Both of those cars have DC fast charging capability - slower than pumping gas, but not by much.

#### Syonyk

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2015, 02:56:01 PM »
It's better than commuting with the previous engine. And it's not just in the trucks. The cars are using the technology as well.

#### zephyr911

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2015, 02:58:03 PM »
It's better than commuting with the previous engine. And it's not just in the trucks. The cars are using the technology as well.
My comments were strictly about the trucks. More power to anyone using it appropriately, really. It's typically not the case around here, which is the basis of my first comment. Everyone has the truck and they drive it a long distance to sit at a desk.

#### Syonyk

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2015, 03:00:43 PM »
Ah, OK. I though you had an issue with the technology.

They are very well built engines, though. :) There's a teardown video on YouTube that shows off the bottom end.

#### nawhite

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2015, 04:07:05 PM »
Colorado is 63% coal http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/GovEnergyOffice/CBON/1251599939003. Getting better, as a number of coal plants are getting retrofitted to run gas instead of coal but still not great.
It's funny how CO is so progressive in some ways and so backward in others.
Quote
The only reason I keep a car around is so I can do trips in the 100-500 mile range (one way) so a 100 mile Leaf or a 250 mile tesla still don't really cut it for me.
Unless your car goes 1,000 miles without stopping for gas, that argument seems odd. Both of those cars have DC fast charging capability - slower than pumping gas, but not by much.

Fair enough, let me come up with a more concrete example. I live in Denver and go skiing in the mountains. There is no way to charge the car in the dirt parking lot at the ski resort.  It is about 80 miles from Denver to Keystone (one of the closer mountains) and I'd be travelling in winter when battery capacity is at its worst and consumption at it's highest (due to heaters). So the Leaf probably wont even make it 1 way and a tesla could probably make it there and back (but I wouldn't want a luxury car for that drive). This gets even worse if I want to go kayaking near Buena Vista (120 miles one way) or visit the new Great Sand Dunes National Park (230 miles one way).

Even if there were a 120KW DC fast charger along the way, those still only add 300 miles of range per hour of charging, compared to the 300 miles of range per 2 minutes of fueling. This adds an hour onto any trip in this distance range to spend at a supercharger station (which are way harder to find than gas stations). So for most of the trips that I use a car for (note I don't commute with a car) an electric car is completely unappealing to me.

#### LiveLean

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2015, 05:00:14 PM »
For \$64K I could overpay for my tricked-out FIRE vehicle -- my Sprinter Van endurance sports base camp and part-time residence.

#### MoneyCat

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2015, 10:14:20 PM »
I had a conversation with my wife about this issue when she decided she wanted to buy a Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid.  It can travel 21 miles on electric power before the gas engine kicks in.  We also have solar panels that provide all our electricity, so the "fuel" for those 21 miles would be free.  When she pointed out that her company was going to pay for the car, then I dropped my concerns about it.  If the car isn't free, then brand new makes absolutely no sense for anything out there.

#### Guses

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2015, 10:36:23 AM »
I had a conversation with my wife about this issue when she decided she wanted to buy a Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid.  It can travel 21 miles on electric power before the gas engine kicks in.  We also have solar panels that provide all our electricity, so the "fuel" for those 21 miles would be free.  When she pointed out that her company was going to pay for the car, then I dropped my concerns about it.  If the car isn't free, then brand new makes absolutely no sense for anything out there.

My curiosity wonders if it would be possible for you to mod some added capacity in the form of additional battery in the trunk?...

#### Syonyk

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2015, 11:48:53 AM »
Not easily.

#### Guses

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2015, 11:56:51 AM »
Not easily.

Can't you just add some batteries, a power controller and wire into the existing setup?

#### Syonyk

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2015, 12:56:23 PM »
No. The car won't usually let you do anything like that.

Most EVs refuse to move and charge at the same time, so you can't feed through the charging port. The other interfaces are controlled by the ECU, and it expects a certain battery capacity. You can't just bolt on more without changing the programming, and you can't do that because it's locked down.

Mainstream EVs are not very hackable. If you want to do that, build your own.

#### Ashyukun

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2015, 01:32:15 PM »
Can't speak to the true EVs, but I looked into the conversions to plug-in EV (fairly limited range, admittedly- but sufficient for my commute) for my Prius. They're both expensive (around \$7k IIRC) and require a lot of work, including at least a piggyback controller and potentially reflashing the ECU. A lot of programming goes into controlling the charge level on the cars, so to change it is no small feat. It's probably on the level of properly adding forced induction (SC/turbo) to a normal gas engine car- to keep from blowing engine up and making it run properly you need a fair bit of money and to make changes to a lot more places than you expect.

#### gimp

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2015, 04:28:05 PM »
In my limited knowledge of EVs, fucking around with their electronics is more electrical engineering than shade tree mechanics. You need fairly sophisticated tools, and knowledge and time to figure out the system - or wait for someone else with the above to do it and publish what they've learned and hope it's approachable.

#### Roboturner

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##### Re: Used Tesla
« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2015, 03:04:00 PM »
Colorado is 63% coal http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/GovEnergyOffice/CBON/1251599939003. Getting better, as a number of coal plants are getting retrofitted to run gas instead of coal but still not great.
It's funny how CO is so progressive in some ways and so backward in others.
Quote

CO native here, CO has quite a few Coal mines around, its pushback for "honest blue collar jobs" not strictly an environmental thing... kind of like if TX was to push for less oil production