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Considering a Model S in Seattle

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by d47m122, Mar 4, 2014.

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  1. d47m122

    d47m122 Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I currently drive a BMW M3 and I'm considering a Model S once my lease is up. I have a couple questions that I was hoping other enthusiasts in the Seattle area might be able to help me with so I can consider the Model S.


    1. What is it like to rely only on public chargers when you have a Model S and is this a good/bad idea?
      1. I live in a condo which does not have power in my designated parking space.
      2. There are public chargers in my condo building in the pay parking area which I could just park at on weekends to charge.
      3. I can also charge at work, but I would not have access to any at home wall chargers.
    2. Has anyone made the transition from a high performance BMW to a Model S?
      1. I have driven both the P85 and P85+, but I haven’t driven the standard 85.
      2. I really couldn’t tell much difference (in a test drive anyway) between the P85 and the P85+ except of course for the price difference.
      3. Does anyone have any thoughts between the different 85 level models besides the obvious straight line torque acceleration between an 85 and P85?

    Any other things worth considering owning a Tesla in the Seattle area? I am also considering just getting another Bimmer, but am drawn to Tesla because they are great looking cars and if the charging isn’t too cumbersome would be a great way to support Tesla.

    Thanks!
     
  2. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I think one of your questions is simply how much charging do you need.

    I have a P85 and drive it about 30 miles a day on average with bouts of 100+ mile days. I have an HPWC set up for 65A (80A circuit). I typically plug in at night and have a full charge by morning.

    You need to do the following:
    - determine how many miles, on average you drive each day.
    - determine the charge rates of the available chargers and figure out how many hours you will need with each.
    - get a sense of the availability of the work charger(s) to see if you can use them for the amount of time you need.

    It sounds like it will work out ok for you though it puts you a little in "electron hunter gatherer" mode. Personally, I would see if there was a way to get a spot that is close to power and get the board to allow installation of a charger. Might be a little pricey, though. There really is nothing better than getting in your car in morning with full range.

    The S85 is a little bit slower than the P85. I've heard it described as fast while I've heard the P85 described as scary fast.
     
  3. tiblot

    tiblot Member

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    I'm in the same situation. Condo complex with no way to install charging.
    If you don't have a huge commute, you should be able to pull this off, by doing charges every weekend. Also, change your shopping habits and charge somewhere with EV stations.

    What is your daily commute?
     
  4. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    PhilBa has sound advice. I think it will work, but much better to have something at home, even 110V can cover the daily grind easily for most people. You might look into simply paying for having a 110V/20A line run from your meter to your parking spot... it's not always that hard or expensive, the hardware is typically cheap, much cheaper than having an actual car charging station installed. I would definitely not plan to rely on "pay per use" electric car charging stations that are really designed for very occasional "in a pinch" use. pay per use is quite uneconomical, unless it's DC fast charging and we all get lucky and Tesla releases the planned CHAdeMO adapter soon. Fortunately for you, 3 Tesla Super Chargers are well within range to the East (I-90), South and North of you (I-5), making long distance travel very easy and of course, free.

    Long story, but I have owned a P85 and a P85+. whether the difference is worth it is a very individual thing of course. The differences I appreciate are in the handling more than anything. The difference in acceleration power can be felt when changing speeds not just flooring it and thus you don't need to be a race car driver on a track to enjoy it. the response is essentially instantaneous. the handling of the P85+ is fantastic and combined with the added acceleration, gives you a wonderfully confident, smooth sense of maneuverability when changing lanes in tight traffic or driving curvy roads. to me the P85+ results in a greater sense of precision, even less body roll than the non plus, the cornering is fantastic. Many folks use such terms to describe the non-plus, so it really is a matter of degrees and whether you will enjoy the difference enough to warrant the added cost. I do think there is a bit of a good argument in also considering resale. you may think you will own this car forever, but in reality you may not, and having the P85+ should add to resale value. As for tires, I don't recommend the 21" tires for Seattle at this point. I suggest getting the 19" cyclones with Michelin MXM4 all seasons (Tesla OEM) after taking delivery and either selling the 21"s or holding on to them for warm summer fun. the 21's are best when the temperature is consistently above 50 degrees but the soft performance rubber (the only thing currently available for 21's) wears much faster than all season's, are super expensive to replace and don't work well on the wet cold roads here much of the year.

    Good luck with your choice!
     
  5. sirhodjibob

    sirhodjibob Member

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    The E92 M3 and P85+ use the same OEM tires (if you have the 19's on the M3 anyways). I think the OP would be just fine with them...If you're coming from an M3, you'll enjoy the + package.
     
  6. DouglasR

    DouglasR Member

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    I didn't think there was any difference in acceleration between the P85 and the P85+. Can you point me to any published spec to confirm that?
     
  7. sirhodjibob

    sirhodjibob Member

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    There isn't.

    The Michelin's have stiffer sidewalls so they might not hook up as well while launching. On the other hand, they are a stickier compound and have a wider contact patch. Toss up really.
     
  8. howardc64

    howardc64 Member

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    From OPs description and assuming a reasonably short commute (30-40 mile each way?) My guess it will be fine.

    - Weekdays are just fine. Assuming OP can reliably park at charging spot daily. Car can be charged to 90% (Assuming S85, this is 225+ rated miles, 170 real in winter) by the end of day at work. Plenty range to get home and back to work next day

    - On weekends, Saturday will be fine if fully charged at work on Friday. if can park at pay public charger over night on Saturday night, Sunday morning can start with 90% charge and plenty for Sunday. Likely enough range after Sunday to make it back to work to charge. If taking out of town trips, can hit superchargers at Burlington, Centralia, and Ellensburg.

    Might want to investigate the charge cost at the public chargers. Price per hour cost and if continue to pay when charge limit is reached (I would guess not but don't know because I don't use public chargers much)

    Had a P85 loaner once, made my S85 feel a little sluggish :) After returning the loaner, my S85 is fast again :)
     
  9. Six

    Six Member

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    Coming from a performance car I would strongly recommend the P85+. See details in the following thread:

    Performance Plus (P85+) vs. Performance (P85) Test Drive and Review

    Overall the P85+ is not faster then a P85. However, it does have staggered rear wheels that are larger and should provide better traction the OEM P85 tires. Under many/most road conditions I can break traction so bigger tires should help acceleration a little. However, this small (if any) acceleration advantage is not the reason to get a P85+. The reason is improved handling.
     
  10. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    I could feel quite a difference when it was warmer, I noticed that the staggered tires have better grip, allowing higher torque before traction control kicks in, thus faster acceleration. on my non plus, the back end would get squirrelly when I accelerated full blast, especially if the roads were wet, it was harder to control the steering and feel confident. with the P+ we have now, if the back tires slip, it doesn't alternate (fishtail) side to side, it just goes straight, feeling much more in control to me. the plus seems to have a better traction control dynamic along with better overall handling. This is also true for me with the cold and wet now with the 19's. the 19's with all seasons have better grip in the cold and wet than the OEM 21" P and P+ set up, and are considerably quieter. our P85 was in the shop a lot, so I had many opportunities to go back and forth between the P and the various loaner P+'s and compare under quite a variety of conditions. We've been very happy with the P+, some of that though is surely related to the fact it is in the 15K VIN range rather than the 4K VIN range and Tesla had worked out the common early bugs that plagued some of us.
     
  11. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Welcome. You should probably look at the P85+ given you are coming from an M3. As pointed out, the acceleration between the P85 and P85+ are very similar and mostly due to better tires on P85+. The handling is where P85+ shines but P85 isn't bad just not M3 territory.

    Since you have charging at work that actually makes things much easier for you on a daily basis at least. I agree trying to talk the condo into allowing you to pay for at least a 110V outlet would really help. That would add about 30 miles of range overnight which would hopefully take care of your daily commute. It sounds like you have public chargers close too which add about 20 miles of range an hour of charging. Whole Foods and a few other places have CHAdeMO chargers so when the adapter comes out you can charge there too much quicker than at your condo.
     
  12. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    Just wanted to add one thing that others haven't mentioned.

    I have found not going to gas stations to be incredibly liberating. When I do wind up in a gas station (usually as a passenger in someone else's car) I find myself feeling really good about having an EV. I've come to hate gas stations - they are smelly, dirty and full of clueless clowns. I always would wind up with a gas smell on my hands. I've also cut back on my junk food consumption, lol. And, while gassing up is relatively quick, the 30 seconds it takes to plug my P85 in makes fiddling with a pump seem archaic.
     
  13. DouglasR

    DouglasR Member

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    Not intending to hijack this thread, but did they do anything to fix the air flow to the far back seats? I remember the little fans you had installed . . .
     
  14. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    Doug, Air flow is still an issue in the jump seats when it's hot out requiring some tweeks. I had dark tinting added to the hatch and between that and mounting the fans for the hottest road trips, it's quite livable. most of the time though, it turns out the kids want to be closer to us and be able to see what is going on around them, so they prefer car seats in the second row on a day to day basis. the third row is for long trips when we put movies on and let them zone out for hours on end, preferring to have a little more distance between us so we can listen to our music and they can watch their movies.
     
  15. eAdopter

    eAdopter Member

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    Hello Dylan. Your questions seem very reasonable. I read the responses from everyone else, and have some different opinions.

    1. My "average daily driving distance" changed dramatically after purchasing the Model S. I used to find ways/reasons to drive less, and combined trips when possible. Now I look for reasons to drive more - about 50% more annually.

    2. One of my favorite features of the Model S is that it plugs in at night in my garage, and is "full" every morning. Having to charge less than daily would not work well for me. I also find that paying at charge stations takes away some of the enjoyment.

    3. If you work in Seattle, be aware that many of the paid charging stations downtown are within a paid parking garage. For my location, monthly parking is about $300 per month just to park. Then add $1-$2 per hour for charging and it can add expense to the EV experience.

    4. Regarding a P85 vs. P85+, I've drivien both extensively:
    4a. First of all, I think the S85 is plenty(!) fast unless you will race it at a track.
    4b. The P85 almost has too much power, even for a lead-foot like me, unless you like replacing tires frequently.
    4c. The P85+ has a ride that's too firm for my liking. When on rough roads, sometimes it feels like a truck. I like smooth rides.

    5. Be aware that Tesla does not offer an Extended Warranty to Washington owners. If keeping the car beyond 50k miles is your plan, then seriously consider repair costs beyond 50k miles. Personally, I wouldn't own such an expensive car without warranty coverage. I plan to sell my car, possibly back to Tesla, when it reaches 36-39 months of age. Consider getting the Tesla buyback option if this is a concern for you.

    The Model S is an amazing car!!! For comparison, I drove BMW models when shopping for my car. The Model S is hands-down better in almost every way.

    Good luck with your new car. I suspect it will be a Tesla ;)
     
  16. v12 to 12v

    v12 to 12v Active Member

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    I made the change from a BMW 850ci. The P85 satisfied my need for instant response, power and torque like I had in the BMW while it was in gas guzzling sport mode. I had a hard time finding another car I liked to drive until I met the Model S.

    I have the P85 but I have also driven the P85+. I notice the difference in the steering. My old BMW had a bit of an edge in steering and feel even compared to new BMWs. The P85+ came a bit closer to that winding road precision and road feel.
     
  17. d47m122

    d47m122 Member

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    Wow, thank you everyone for the replies and sorry it took me so long to respond! I am torn about a Model S. I’m very very drawn to it.

    The test drive in the P85+ did knock my socks off and I’ve been driving my M3 (let’s say, spiritedly) for over 3 years. :) One of my big reservations between the P85 and P85+ is finding someone to articulate what the extra $6,500 gets me other than better tires (well 10k if you include the mandatory air suspension). Even the Tesla dealer was a little cagey about it and almost made it sound like a vanity option.
    -I also couldn’t really tell much difference between the P85 and P85+ in terms of acceleration, felt pretty equal.
    -I also couldn’t really tell much in terms of handling either and what I did feel I wondered if it was the difference between better, wider tires.
    -Thank you Six, I will review the thread you provided. Looks like there is more details there.

    My other hesitation is power.
    -Power in my spot really isn’t an option. There is no visible power anywhere near my parking space and the public chargers are multi levels above me and in the public parking area.
    -I also see other Teslas parked in my residents parking area (again, without chargers) which led me to ask about relying only on public chargers.
    -It feels like a big gamble on such an expensive car purchase to not have access to my own charger and I also worry that the cost for public chargers will make it almost like I’m just paying for gas anyway...
    -My daily commute is from south lake union to Redmond and the chargers at Microsoft are pay as well.

    I have the OEM tires on my M3 year round and yes they can get a little squirrely in the winter months but I’ve gotten used to it and sometimes enjoy the extra play it gives the back end. I don’t have storage to hang onto 4 21” tires and rims for the summer months though. :)

    Appreciate any perspectives that folks have on this! Thanks!
     
  18. Seattle

    Seattle Member

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    Based on reading what other people say (I only have a non-perf, the shame), I think the larger tires are actually a bit of a negative, in that they are more fragile with blowouts more likely, and then you need to change them in the wintertime to 19". I can't imagine being unhappy with a nicely speced p85 with 19" tires. My car before this wasn't as nice as your m3, but it was an audi s4, and the tesla is far faster. My ultimate desire is to get an AWD Telsa S, but that's not coming for probably more than a year+.

    I only have 120v charging at home, and I get 30+ miles of range added every day (3.x miles added per hour). I have a 20 mile round trip so that covers my daily use. I do have free charging at work, but in a year of ownership only once did I wish I had a high powered charger. I can't remember if you said this was a possibility, but even an extension cord in your garage to a regular outlet would handle your normal daily driving. There are lots of places to charge around Redmond and this area, even the public library has free charging in Redmond. Even if I go to snoqualmie pass in my car and come home with just a few miles left, overnight will always set me right. In such a situation, you are only using about $1.20 a day of electricity (400 watts per mile * 30 miles charged a night = 12 kw, 10c per kw = $1.20 per day.
    So just give your condo association 30 or $40 a month extra and you can stop worrying about it.
     
  19. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    And, if you get the 21" wheels, also get alloy gaters because you will be getting curb rash without them.
     
  20. v12 to 12v

    v12 to 12v Active Member

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    With that information, I can tell you that the Model S blows away the BMW handling in the winter even with the 21" wheels.

    Two words that will close the deal, "Mercer Merge". With your commute, don't leave home without the torque and instantaneous response that the Model S offers.
    I did that commute every day for years but in the opposite direction.
     

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