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$12K Battery replacement option

Discussion in 'Roadster 2008-2012' started by malcolm, Jan 17, 2009.

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  1. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^^^
    From your keys...
     
  2. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw Member

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    #82 Slackjaw, Jul 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
    Um, related question, is it 53 or 56 kWh capacity?

    Roadster Technology - Battery | Tesla Motors <-- says it's 56

    Not trying to nitpick daniel but I thought it was 56, and if it's actually 53 then I'm going to look slightly more stupid than usual when... uh... Well, let's just say "when another small project I'm working on comes to fruition".
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I'm pretty sure it is 53 kWh.
     
  4. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I think that going by the cell specs it is 56 kWh, but actual usable capacity is 53 kWh.
     
  5. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    Very good points.

    Hey, I was just copying someone else's number. I've got no idea how big the battery is supposed to be. I just tell people that pretty much everything from the seats on back is battery and that it goes 245 miles per charge. My knowledge of the car stops at putting air in the tires. And the only reason I can manage to do that is that I have this neat gadget that combines a tire gauge with a filler. Clip it on and read the pressure; pull the trigger to add air. Before I got this thing, I let so much air out of the tire trying to read the pressure that I never knew what I had.
     
  6. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw Member

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    I've been following this thread particularly closely because we (and probably anyone else with a VIN above 1200 or so) is still able to opt into this deal. Thanks for all the views expressed here.

    Having thought about this a bit here are the two scenarios I see, I know I'm retreading old ground for some people but I have only just distilled my feelings on the benefit of the opton:

    Don't get the 12K option:
    • Feel guilty/extravagant every time you charge in Range Mode
    • Never use Performance Mode (seriously - tried it once, felt too irresplonsible)
    • Be concerned about cost & availability of battery replacement

    Do get the 12K option:
    • Charge in Range mode as often as we like
    • Drive in Performance mode as often as we like
    • Laugh at all the places in the manual saying "may affect battery life"
    • Have twelve thousand less dollars

    With the battery option in place you get a guaranteed second chance, in fact since you already paid for it you (we) would probably be more inclined to work the car hard and not "baby" it: it would actually change the way we drive and use the car. I think that's the real benefit of the 12K option to me.

    With respect to posts by tomsax and danielI also see their points of view. Still on the fence really.
     
  7. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I hadn't thought about that as another reason, but I confess that the guilt over range or performance just kind of disappeared right around the time I wrote that $12K check. I'll also confess that I waffled back and forth right up til I wrote that check ... and I haven't thought about it or regretted it since. (It's a long-term gratification decision at best, and those are always more difficult for me.)
     
  8. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    You make some really good points about getting it actually. I'm past the window where I can get it anymore though. It was more of a money issue. The car is already so expensive and I wanted to get the carbon fiber accents and the forged wheels so used the $12,000 for that instead. I'm just going to drive the car how I want to though, even though I don't have the battery option. I'm fully expecting to have to pay $20,000 or so in 5 years for a new battery but I'm hoping it's much more than 53kWh.
     
  9. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    #89 daniel, Jul 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2011
    Slackjaw's reasoning above is very reasonable. I don't feel guilty, extravagant, or irresponsible driving hard or long vs. easy or short, it's just my needs and style lean towards the light end.
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    When I go to use Range mode, there's a little conversation in my head:

    "I should charge in Range mode."

    "Should I really?"

    "Yeah."

    "Okay then."

    For $12k I can put up with second guessing myself for five seconds, once in a while.
     
  11. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Wellllll ... it's not REALLY costing $12K ... it's basically costing the interest that $12K might have earned (or might not have) less (or not) the difference between $12k and a comparable new battery. (Yes, every preceding word there could be argued, but you get the point.) Also note that if I wait the full 10 years, it's $10k, not $12K - because the battery replacement option rewards waiting those few extra years past 7 and refunds $2K.
     
  12. S-2000 Roadster

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    #92 S-2000 Roadster, Jul 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
    If you are motivated purely by money then, yes, having the battery warranty removes a large degree of future uncertainty about battery costs, up to a decade. Some people attribute an unhealthy focus on money (profit, loss) to the "evils of capitalism," but I say it's the opposite. Capitalism doesn't lead to a focus on money, individual survival instinct leads to a focus on money, with capitalism following suit because individuals are making those decisions. So, philosophical pondering aside, you have the choice of focusing on limited resources instead of money. Money is one of the easiest resources to replace, especially considering the rate at which The Fed is doubling circulation.

    In other words, you should always feel guilty/extravagant every time you charge in Range or Performance Mode, and every time you floor the accelerator in any mode. You're certainly using more energy than you 'need' to in order to get from one point to the other. Range Mode is a bit of an exception, since long road trips may require it, and occasional use purportedly lengthens battery life.

    But to get back to money, you still don't want to be wasteful with your original battery even if you have the replacement warranty, because the longer your original battery lasts the less you 'pay' for the replacement.

    P.S. I guess the one exception to the above would be those Tesla Roadster owners who have installed dedicated solar charging stations, and thus are not 'wasting' a limited resource (since a vast amount of solar energy is wasted every day when it is not collected).
     
  13. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I did not buy the battery replacement deal.
    I drive in performance mode whenever I want. I have driven the car on a racetrack at least a dozen times. I drive in range mode whenever I want. I've done several 200 mile trips, and even one 450 mile day.
    However most of my driving days are 30-35 miles in cool northwest weather.
    My battery is about 21 months old with 16k miles on it. Just today it charged to 190 miles in standard mode ( about the same as when new ), I'll charge it in range mode on sunday and see what it reads because I believe that is a better measure.

    I do try to take care of it, but I have never let a battery life concern prevent me from using the car the way I want to.
    After reading the posts on this forum about battery life ( thank you Scott451 ) - I believe all of these things that I do may help the battery life:
    1) If I have been driving it hard ( especially performance mode ), I make sure to plug it in when I am done. Lately I have been starting a charge long enough to cool the battery if it is warm and then letting the timer finish the charge overnight.
    2) When I charge it, I time the charge to be done shortly before I need it so it doesn't sit around full ( even standard full ).
    3) When I charge it in range mode, I drive it in standard mode.
     
  14. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Just curious. Why does this help the battery life? I'm going on a 160 mile highway roundtrip (too close on a standard charge) soon and will charge in range mode for the first time. They did charge my car in range mode while it was getting fixed in Chicago though.
     
  15. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Here is what I think Tesla should do if they intend to offer the old battery technology as a replacement:

    Starting in 2015:
    They should offer the old battery tech for $12k.

    They should offer a new battery with: 68kWhr, +15% horsepower above 50mph, 150 pounds less weight, increases range to 300 miles, improves 0-60 by 0.2 seconds and the quarter mile by 3/4 of a second.
    ( I believe this will be possible using 5346 3400mAh cells in a 11x9x54 arrangement, I believe you can pull the same 5C out of them as the old 2200mAh cells and get more power )
    They should offer this battery for $20k.

    If you prepaid the $12k they should let you upgrade to the better battery for only $5k. They should offer you some money back off the original deal if you choose the crappy battery as a reward for trusting them with your money for 5+ years - because the cost of the replacement battery came out even less than they anticipated.
    My thinking is that they offer the old battery tech at a very small margin ( no profit at all ), and the improved one at a larger margin so they make a little money.

    By offering the old battery at very little markup, they can convince people that replacing their Model S battery is a low risk low cost prospect.
    By offering the new battery, they can make the big splash of improving the car with the battery replacement.

    A lot of people will choose the better battery and they will make the money anyway.
    Poll..... how many people would buy the better battery before they even need a replacement to get the improvements?
     
  16. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I would, maybe in 4 or 5 years.
     
  17. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    From my understaning, driving in range mode lets the battery get warmer than standard mode, because its trying to not use energy to cool the battery because you want it for your range.
    Someone correct me if that is wrong.
     
  18. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Same here!

     
  19. S-2000 Roadster

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    So long as it's not sitting around significantly below a 50% charge, then this is probably a good plan. We've been told that the battery likes to be 'stored' with a 50% charge, but I have not seen details on how close to 50% it has to be, ideally. There's at least the implication that significantly above or below that is inferior.
     
  20. S-2000 Roadster

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    Who is going to pay for the R&D on a battery technology and firmware that is specific to the Roadster and therefore will be guaranteed to have fewer than 2,500 customers? I have a feeling that aftermarket replacement sheets for the Roadster battery might be a highly competitive market, at least based on the number of people who think that it is 'easy' to design the kind of battery system that Tesla has.
     

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