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$12K Battery replacement option

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by malcolm, Jan 17, 2009.

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  1. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    I did say "maybe." My point was that they certainly will not pay it back with the interest the money could have earned in, say, an investment-grade bond fund. A bigger question would be, if the company went under (FSM forbid!), where would battery-replacement contract holders stand with respect to other creditors?

    I understand the reasons for buying the contract. For myself, in my circumstances, I'm betting the batteries last longer, rather than shorter. As I said, there are risks both ways. I don't believe it's a simple question of $12K now vs. $20K in seven years and investment opportunities in between, since the price in 7 years is unknown, the available pack in 7 years is unknown, and the condition of the pack in 7 years is unknown, although the harder you drive the more it's likely to degrade. Even now, after only 2 weeks, I'm doing fewer jackrabbit starts. And I charge and drive in Standard. I think my batteries are going to last me 15 years. (100 miles of range is adequate for me.) If I'm wrong, I can afford a new pack. Just my decision, based on very personal style and circumstances.
     
  2. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    I've just read the blog in the above link, and the blogger's other entry linked to from there. I have no way of knowing whether there was an actual breach of contract, but I am surprised and shocked that people who had already put down their deposit, and had already been told a price for their options, were then hit with increases. Very sad.

    I was interested in the Roadster way back when it was still in prototype. I decided it was not the car for me and I didn't want to wait for it. I was especially disappointed in the two-speed transmission, which they later had to dump. I ended up getting the Zap Xebra instead, and never regretted that decision, though I ended up upgrading after driving the little three-legged clown car very happily for four years. :smile:

    I wonder if your mention of "another small EV maker" refers to Zap? ZapCars is a really dreadful company that's spent most of its energy trying to make money by manipulating its own stock price and promising cars that never materialize. But they did bring the Xebra to market at a time when there was almost nothing else available (before the Tesla, and after the EV1 had been crushed) and for all its faults (and there are many) it was a fun and surprisingly reliable little car. It's klunky. It rattles. It's slow and under-powered. But it's as cute as a button, gets LOTS of attention, and served me as my primary transportation for 4 years without ever leaving me stranded. I regard Zap as a horrible company, but I'm grateful to them for selling me an electric car when nothing else was available that would have been suitable for me.

    Sorry for the digression.

    Going from the Xebra to the Roadster is like going from Subways to the best restaurant in Paris.
     
  3. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Here's the agreement

    [​IMG]

    Here's how I read it:

    Basically, you have 10 years to get your battery replaced. There are charges/refunds for batteries not replaced at the 7 year mark:
    Year 4: Cost you another $6K (I'm assuming before this you have the original warranty)
    Year 5: Cost you another $4K
    Year 6: Cost you another $2K
    Year 7: Cost you nothing more
    After Year 8: Get back $1K
    After Year 9: Get back $2K
    After Year 10: You snoozed, you lose.

    Replacement includes labor costs. Tesla keeps your old battery, unless law requires them to sell it to you. The replacement will store 53kWh at the time of installation, and the replacement itself is warrantied for defects for 3 years/36K miles.

    The agreement "travels with your Roadster" so any subsequent owner can use it. There's no mention of what happens if your Roadster is totalled. I'm guessing you can have the carcass towed to Tesla and they'll have to replace the battery per the agreement, and then you can sell your totalled Roadster for its increased salvage value.
     
  4. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #64 vfx, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
    Thanks for posting. This thread needed that.
    HA! That would be hilarious. I have seen a totaled roadster (Ian) and the thought of dragging it in (literally) and asking for a new battery is very amusing.
     
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Double LOL :biggrin:
     
  6. S-2000 Roadster

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    Man, I think this is the funniest thread yet!
     
  7. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Maybe so. I have about 8 weeks to decide whether to pull the trigger on this or not. Part of me thinks like Bonnie and would be happy knowing my Roadster will be running fine, even if I'm too old to climb out of it (it's not so easy even now). Part of me thinks Tesla may not be around and that would be just another $12K down the drain. Part of me thinks that in 5 years batteries will hold more and be cheaper, so I can probably spend $15K to get a better battery then anyway. The latter is the bet I think Tesla itself is making.

    Note that the agreement doesn't state you'll get a new battery, and it explicitly states only that the replacement will store 53kWh at time of installation, and that the replacement is guaranteed for 3yr/36K miles only against defects (without specifying what a defect might be and whether that includes holding more than X% of charge after 3 years). My guess is Tesla is keeping the option open of putting in a refurbished battery pack under the agreement.

    But, it's all speculation.
     
  8. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #68 dsm363, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
    I would probably usually go for something like the battery option but it was more a matter of spending another $12,000 on a very expensive car. I decided to get the extended warranty instead since it was cheaper and I'm glad I did. I've already had the car hauled to Chicago for a quick vacation to get the air conditioning fixed last month and I've only had my car since December.
    I have a feeling it may be worth getting it and if it makes you feel better about ownership, why not? If the car is still running in 7 years, I'm hoping whatever new battery technology exists won't hopefully be more than $15,000 as you said and be a much bigger battery pack (kWh). Thing is there is absolutely no way to know so whatever decision you make is fine. I decided to just make the decision and then forget about it and enjoy the ride. It's awesome.
     
  9. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

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    My vote probably goes to:
    chimpanzee's big project
    But I don't think I've read all off the "Off Topic" threads, so I probably need to read all before passing judgment.
     
  10. Lancelac

    Lancelac 2010 Roadster Sport #690

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    When I replace this battery, I definitely want it to hold more charge than the original, not the same, even if I wait 7-10 years instead of 5. I expect to pay $25-30k for that at that time and just get the best available instead of half that for the same size. There was too much uncertainty about how and if the credit could be applied toward something like that.

    Thus far, I am really pleased with the decay in range I've seen (less than 5%) in 21 months, and am pretty confident in having no problem getting a 7-10 year life out of the battery.
     
  11. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    One thing to keep in mind is that any new battery technology might not be available for the Roadster. Car companies seldom or never offer to retro-fit old cars with new technology. It might be a lot more difficult, and require extensive engineering and testing, to develop and build a new battery pack to fit the Roadster using the latest batteries, than simply to retro-fit old packs to bring them back up to 53 kWh capacity. Car companies traditionally provide replacement parts that are identical to the original parts, unless a design defect requires them to engineer a new design. Aftermarket companies sell parts that are improved, or cheaper, but how likely is it that anyone would build an improved pack for the Roadster? And I'm not at all sure I'd trust an aftermarket pack. So we might find that in 7 years a 75 kWh pack would be possible, but Tesla does not offer it.

    That's not a problem for me, because 245 miles is double what I need except for road trips, and the Roadster is awfully small and cramped for a road trip.
     
  12. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    I think the more exciting benefit of using newer cells would be a lighter pack for the same amount of energy storage. You'd have a car with better acceleration, handling, braking etc.
     
  13. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Considering the way the 1.5s are not as supported by Tesla as much as the 2.5s, this is trending.
     
  14. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Selling new battery technology (battery replacements with any combination of more power / range / less weight / better handling) is a whole new and valid marketplace for TM to consider.

    Those of us in sales realise that it is easier to sell to an existing client base than to garner new sales...I'd bet that almost 100% of current Roadster owners would re-up and replace their 7-10 year old batteries given the promise of more power / range / less weight / better handling...


     
  15. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

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    and Tesla is not a normal carmaker. The Roadster will always be the proof of concept.
     
  16. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Well the good thing about the battery agreement is that it ensures Tesla will have to continue to support those 2500 Roadsters even after they (hopefully) have tens (hundreds?) of thousands of other vehicles on the road.
     
  17. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Lighter pack with more energy dense cells doesn't necessarily have the same power density as the older/bigger pack. So some of that performance 'increase' might be tempered by reduced power output.
     
  18. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    And conversely, old battery technology might not be available.

    What are the chances that the cells from 3 years ago will still be made in 7? Try buying a 1GB USB flash drive in 2018.

    What I've seen is that the prices of the old technology goes up, not down, over time - even in quantity.

    But, could Tesla just put less higher-capacity cells in the pack?
     
  19. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    Much more acceleration and I'd give myself whiplash every time I touch the pedal. :scared:
     
  20. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    We will be Tesla's first customers that need battery replacements, and those battery replacements will be coming as Tesla is trying to sell 20,000 Model eSses per year.
    I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they plan to offer an upgrade, and at a reasonable price.
    I think it is a huge PR opportunity to tell people: yes the battery needs to be replaced after several years, but when you do - the car gets better, and the price is much less than you would have spent on gas.
    Selling us the replacement batteries at a reasonable price will reassure Model S buyers that their replacement price will also be reasonable.
    When they are selling 20000+ Model eSses and 20000+ Model eXxes per year, making an extra few thousand dollars on 3-400 Roadster batteries per year is not worth the bad message it will send.
    If they attempt to gouge us on the price, we need to be very very loud - so they decide not to.
     

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