Author Topic: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S  (Read 8970 times)

RyFI

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Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« on: March 24, 2016, 02:10:06 AM »
I'm considering buying a Tesla Model S, probably slightly used at around $55,000, or maybe leasing a new one in order to reap more tax benefits (part of the car's usage will be for business.) Our current car is a 1998 Toyota Camry worth approximately $1,000.

I see a Tesla as very Mustachian (all electric, less pollution) and very not Mustachian (ridiculous price for a car) all at the same time.  I'm 32 years old and retired, living off rental income. We live frugally by choice on about what the MMM family spends per year, so this would be splurging for sure. On the other hand, I'll be retired whether I buy a Tesla or not, otherwise I wouldn't even consider it.

Anyone care to offer thoughts on how great, terrible, or average the idea to buy a Tesla is? I'm not looking for anyone to make my decision for me, just curious about other perspectives I might not have thought of. Thanks!

gaja

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2016, 03:02:08 AM »
I fully understand wanting an electric car, but do not see why it has to be a Tesla. The most for your money if your driving pattern is compatible to relatively short range, is in second hand Nissan leaf now. If you want the most range for the least money, the Kia Soul is probably the best. If you really need range (not just think you need it), I would wait for the new Opel Ampera (think it sells as a Chevrolet Bolt in the US). http://www.chevrolet.com/bolt-ev-electric-vehicle.html  The last I heard, it will be ready for sale in Norway in september, no clue about other countries though.

Tesla is a good car, but it is partly a hype, and partly because people test driving them are comparing to fossil fuelled cars. It you tried test driving other electric cars and comparing the experience, I'm not certain Tesla ends up as the favorite. I think the e-Golf is much more fun, there you can really feel the acceleration. Tesla S drives like a big, comfortable sofa. If you can get hold of one of the old Tesla Roadsters, on the other hand... They are fun. The most fun to drive is the old Buddy, but that one is crazy unsafe too. A lot of people like the BMW i3, I couldn't get over the uncorfortable seats and weird doors.

TL;DR: Test drive different electric cars and see which fits you best. Look at it logically, instead of thinking "Tesla - I want".


libertarian4321

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2016, 03:30:58 AM »
If you have the money, go for it.

We are waiting for the Tesla Model 3, not because of the price difference, but because the Model S is a bit larger than we like (although it is a blast to drive).


boarder42

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2016, 05:54:17 AM »
when you're FI do whatever you want.  thats my opinion.  I may buy a used Model 3 in about 4-5 years when they are 15k a pop. not springing for any car over 15k unless its a tesla.

RyFI

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2016, 07:02:45 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts! I like the idea of the Bolt and others. The problem I see is that EV's other than Tesla see their cars as commuter cars, not road trip cars. Teslas can be driven almost anywhere thanks to their proprietary supercharger network.  So if I could buy a Bolt but charge on Tesla's superchargers that'd be ideal, but obviously not possible.  I don't commute (I don't work) so my "need" for a car is the opposite of most people's... I want to drive long distances on electric, family road trip style.

Thanks again for your opinions!

James

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 07:10:48 AM »
How often do you travel like that? Is there a place you could rent a Tesla and try it out for your purposes? It's possible renting long term might be cheaper than owning depending on how often you need it, but more importantly you can get the experience and find out exactly how much you would value it for your purposes before buying, and know it would work for the road trips you want to take. I have my doubts, but obviously you have done some research, just make sure your research isn't through rose colored glasses.

boarder42

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 07:15:04 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts! I like the idea of the Bolt and others. The problem I see is that EV's other than Tesla see their cars as commuter cars, not road trip cars. Teslas can be driven almost anywhere thanks to their proprietary supercharger network.  So if I could buy a Bolt but charge on Tesla's superchargers that'd be ideal, but obviously not possible.  I don't commute (I don't work) so my "need" for a car is the opposite of most people's... I want to drive long distances on electric, family road trip style.

Thanks again for your opinions!

that would be awesome.  free driving all over the country.  throw a tent in the back and stay on some BLM land and you've got a free tour of the USA. minus the depreciation of the car.

RyFI

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2016, 08:15:07 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts! I like the idea of the Bolt and others. The problem I see is that EV's other than Tesla see their cars as commuter cars, not road trip cars. Teslas can be driven almost anywhere thanks to their proprietary supercharger network.  So if I could buy a Bolt but charge on Tesla's superchargers that'd be ideal, but obviously not possible.  I don't commute (I don't work) so my "need" for a car is the opposite of most people's... I want to drive long distances on electric, family road trip style.

Thanks again for your opinions!

that would be awesome.  free driving all over the country.  throw a tent in the back and stay on some BLM land and you've got a free tour of the USA. minus the depreciation of the car.

I didn't think about the BLM land idea, that's good.  People have used the Model S as a "camper" thanks to the way the seats lay down.  Since it's electric, you can have heat all night without an engine running.  But there's something about tent camping!

RyFI

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2016, 08:20:23 AM »
How often do you travel like that? Is there a place you could rent a Tesla and try it out for your purposes? It's possible renting long term might be cheaper than owning depending on how often you need it, but more importantly you can get the experience and find out exactly how much you would value it for your purposes before buying, and know it would work for the road trips you want to take. I have my doubts, but obviously you have done some research, just make sure your research isn't through rose colored glasses.

Hi James, thanks for your ideas!  I see you're from Rice Lake.  We're in Mexico at the moment but spend our summers in Danbury, WI.  Maybe we should do a northwoods mustachian meetup. You and I might be the only ones there, but hey, more New Glarus for us!

boarder42

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2016, 09:11:41 AM »
how much room do you get with the seats down.  i'm 6'4

RyFI

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2016, 09:18:19 AM »
how much room do you get with the seats down.  i'm 6'4

I'm 6'5" so I was wondering the same thing.  I can't find where I found it previously, but a guy even taller than us said he slept in it comfortably.  Or there's this option: https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/attachments/image-jpg.25686/

boarder42

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2016, 10:09:53 AM »
how much room do you get with the seats down.  i'm 6'4

I'm 6'5" so I was wondering the same thing.  I can't find where I found it previously, but a guy even taller than us said he slept in it comfortably.  Or there's this option: https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/attachments/image-jpg.25686/


yeah i found it its basically twin bed dimensions so it would be tight for me and worse with trying to do 2 people. 

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2016, 10:35:46 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts! I like the idea of the Bolt and others. The problem I see is that EV's other than Tesla see their cars as commuter cars, not road trip cars.

The Chevy Volt should be more popular because it addresses this same concern.  For roughly 90% of all driving, you can do it entirely on the battery.  Then for the few times you need to do a long trip, it uses the gasoline generator to supply the electricity to run the car, effectively giving the car unlimited range and a 3 minute charge time, if you want to call it that.  I'm about 5 years out from needing a new car, but the Volt will be at the top of my list when the time comes.

mozar

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2016, 11:36:52 AM »
I see what you are saying, and I would love a tesla myself. There are huge improvements coming to evs soon. Can you wait a year ir two? Tesla is supposed to come out with a 35k sedan next year. And the heir to the volt, which i think is the bolt, will have 200 miles capacity. I dated someone with a volt last fall, and the problem wasn't lack of charging stations which are actually everywhere now, but how long it took to charge. I think it's worth waiting for improvements on charging time.

mozar

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2016, 11:40:00 AM »
How many hours do you want to drive a day? With a 200 mile capacity you could drive 4 hours a day max.

gaja

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2016, 01:13:58 PM »
Thanks for the thoughts! I like the idea of the Bolt and others. The problem I see is that EV's other than Tesla see their cars as commuter cars, not road trip cars. Teslas can be driven almost anywhere thanks to their proprietary supercharger network.  So if I could buy a Bolt but charge on Tesla's superchargers that'd be ideal, but obviously not possible.  I don't commute (I don't work) so my "need" for a car is the opposite of most people's... I want to drive long distances on electric, family road trip style.

Thanks again for your opinions!

that would be awesome.  free driving all over the country.  throw a tent in the back and stay on some BLM land and you've got a free tour of the USA. minus the depreciation of the car.

I didn't think about the BLM land idea, that's good.  People have used the Model S as a "camper" thanks to the way the seats lay down.  Since it's electric, you can have heat all night without an engine running.  But there's something about tent camping!

I drive like that in the summer months, in a full electric Nissan Evalia with a real range of 75 miles (less if we need the heater). It fits me and the girls, since we prefer travelling slowly, with frequent breakes and plenty of sightseeing. (See blog in link below).

There is one important aspect that those who haven't gone electric don't seem to grasp: there is a big difference between the time it takes the car to charge, and the time it takes me to charge the car. At speed charger, it takes approximately the same time. The car charges from 0 to 80 in 20 minutes, I have to be present for the entire time. If noone else is waiting in line, I might shorten the time by popping into the nearest cafe for a cup of coffee, or a bathroom break.  But I rarely spend less than 10-15 minutes at speed chargers. At camping places, the car can take 8-12 hours to charge, I usually spend 20 seconds: 10 for plugging in, 10 for removing the plug. The rest of my time I spend sleeping, eating, going for a walk, etc. At malls and stores in Norway, I can usually find chargers that take the car 4 hours from 0 to 90%. Personally, I find malls and shops boring, so if I really need the full charge, and there is nothing else to do, after a bathroom break, a snack, some yelling at the kids and web surfing, I might spend 30 minutes charging the car. Usually I end up taking a nap, and then we are down to 5 minutes with "active" charging.

Yes, Tesla's charging network is awesome. But honestly; there is electricity almost everywhere you can take the car. Unless you go seriously offroad, and I don't know any EVs that are suitable for that today. If you are the type of traveller who enjoys being on the road, clocking as many miles as possible, yes - go for a Tesla. You will probably enjoy the chats with other Tesla drivers at the superchargers, and watching the landscape going silently by while you drive the highways. But if you are going to stop a lot of places anyway; you don't need the range. Just find the nearest outlet, plug it in, and forget about it.

boarder42

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2016, 01:26:56 PM »
I see what you are saying, and I would love a tesla myself. There are huge improvements coming to evs soon. Can you wait a year ir two? Tesla is supposed to come out with a 35k sedan next year. And the heir to the volt, which i think is the bolt, will have 200 miles capacity. I dated someone with a volt last fall, and the problem wasn't lack of charging stations which are actually everywhere now, but how long it took to charge. I think it's worth waiting for improvements on charging time.

the issue with this option would be its probably not big enough if he wants to sleep in the back since he's 6/5 and the Model S would barely fit him.  Also its not clear but i'm pretty sure the 35k car wont have the ability to use supercharger stations like the Model S,  its an added component that will likely add price to the 35k if its even an option

gaja

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2016, 01:41:23 PM »
How many hours do you want to drive a day? With a 200 mile capacity you could drive 4 hours a day max.

Unless you have access to speed chargers. Then it is four hours driving, half hour break, four hours driving, half hour break, etc.

I have done Bergen-Molde in 18 hours in an old Nissan Leaf with a rotten battery and real range of 50 miles. It doesn't look long on the map, but those fjords, mountains and ferries take a lot of time. https://www.google.no/maps/dir/Bergen/Molde/@61.5419725,4.1462244,7z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x46390d4966767d77:0x9e42a03eb4de0a08!2m2!1d5.3220544!2d60.3912628!1m5!1m1!1s0x4611541dd7c6c259:0x92051488f8de33f4!2m2!1d7.1607306!2d62.7372352?hl=no

I can't do much more than 16-18 hours without sleep. The longest distance I've done in one day in the Evalia was about 380 miles, speed charging every 50-70 miles. We started at 0700 and reached home before midnight. That was a road with no ferries, but with two or three mountains. That trip started with Geiranger-Skjk, where you go from sea level to over a 1000 meters above sea level (1500 if you choose to go all the way to the mountain top Dalsnibba) in the first 20 km: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABvvcQTBeSI
My car is the light blue van in the back when we reach the top (1:44 in the film). The light blue Renault Zoe came all the way from the Netherlands (at 1:18 in the film). He was well over 6' tall, and slept in his car several nights on the way. The original EV badass was however not part of this trip. ystein Lunde has clocked close to 400 000 km on his Th!nk, an early electric plastic car that has no speed charging option at all. This description of his trip from Oslo to Bergen has been a great inspiration for me (in Norwegian, but try google translate, or just enjoy the pictures): http://www.elbil.no/nyheter/elbilisme/492-langtur-med-elbil

I fully get we can't all be nerds. But considering the web page we are on, I feel I can be bold enough to encourage a bit more badassery than a Tesla. At least try the different options and find the best one for your needs.

James

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2016, 07:07:07 PM »
How often do you travel like that? Is there a place you could rent a Tesla and try it out for your purposes? It's possible renting long term might be cheaper than owning depending on how often you need it, but more importantly you can get the experience and find out exactly how much you would value it for your purposes before buying, and know it would work for the road trips you want to take. I have my doubts, but obviously you have done some research, just make sure your research isn't through rose colored glasses.

Hi James, thanks for your ideas!  I see you're from Rice Lake.  We're in Mexico at the moment but spend our summers in Danbury, WI.  Maybe we should do a northwoods mustachian meetup. You and I might be the only ones there, but hey, more New Glarus for us!


Yeah, they have had meeting in Madison but that's a long ways from here... :)  Be fun to meet up, even just a few.

forummm

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2016, 07:02:38 AM »
How many hours do you want to drive a day? With a 200 mile capacity you could drive 4 hours a day max.

Unless you have access to speed chargers. Then it is four hours driving, half hour break, four hours driving, half hour break, etc.

In the US the SuperCharger network is really comprehensive. You can get just about anywhere in the country with it. https://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger

If I had so much money that I was going to be comfortably retired whether or not I got a Tesla, I probably would lean towards getting a Tesla. But I already have 2 Leafs, so I get to drive electric anyway.

RyFI

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2016, 06:14:22 PM »
Thanks again for all your thoughts!  Like most things in life there's no right or wrong answer, but you've come up with great things to think about.

gaja, I appreciate your creative attitude toward EV's (I also love Norway btw, beautiful country!)

Here's what I've decided for now: keep thinking on a Model S, but I'm going to reserve a Tesla Model 3 on March 31st, the first day a reservation can be made.  Hopefully they introduce yet another breakthrough in electric cars but if not, well, the $1,000 deposit is refundable!


thedayisbrave

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2016, 06:38:26 PM »
Looks like you've made a decision already but either way as a Tesla enthusiast (and stockholder) I thank you for your support :)

For me the price point of the Model III is obviously attractive but it's just so far into the future that I don't know what things will look like then and don't want to commit myself to something that big (it would be my biggest splurge ever).  But you say the deposit is refundable? Hmmm....

RyFI

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2016, 06:44:03 PM »
Looks like you've made a decision already but either way as a Tesla enthusiast (and stockholder) I thank you for your support :)

For me the price point of the Model III is obviously attractive but it's just so far into the future that I don't know what things will look like then and don't want to commit myself to something that big (it would be my biggest splurge ever).  But you say the deposit is refundable? Hmmm....

Yes, deposit is refundable!!  If I understand it correctly, it's at any time for any reason you want.  The only thing you're really losing is lost investment earnings from the $1,000, which for me is worth it to put my name in the hat.

boarder42

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2016, 09:11:29 AM »
Hmm. Now this refundable option has me intrigued as well. I'll probably do it day of and see what the accomplish in ev over the next couple years

RyFI

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Re: Thoughts on buying a Tesla Model S
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2016, 09:35:37 AM »
Hmm. Now this refundable option has me intrigued as well. I'll probably do it day of and see what the accomplish in ev over the next couple years

Based on Tesla's history my guess is it'll be quite innovative, but if I weren't already FI I wouldn't do it. Leaf, Prius, etc. are great options for much less money.