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Few questions before I purchase my first Model 3

Test drove a M3 today and fell in love. I’m completely new to EVs and Teslas in general so want to figure somethings out before I make the purchase.

1. Is it worth stepping up to the long range for the extra miles? I did some research and it looks like all M3 RWD cars come with LFP batteries that can be charged to 100% consistently vs the LR version that should only be charged to 80-90% for daily use? If this is the case the mileage difference would not be that big after all. Would this make the RWD have less longevity for the battery pack or is the lifespan similar to the LR batteries?

2. If I place the order today I will just have to put the $250 as a binder that goes towards the price of the car? How does a down payment and financing work with Tesla? Will I have the option to put money down and apply for financing the remainder a few days before I pick up the car?

3. Does Tesla come out with the next model year in November similar to other car manufacturers? I would assume if I ordered it now I will be ordering a 2022 M3 but the configuration I want has a delivery estimate of September - December of this year. Does that mean Tesla would build a 2023 model if it gets delivered in December?

4. How accurate are the delivery estimates? Do these most likely get delayed so I should expect the worst of it getting delivered in Q1’23?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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Nov 28, 2018
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1. Thats a supremely personal decision. There are no LFP model 3s with high mileage that we are aware of, so no one really knows, but.. ALL (repeat ALL) batteries will degrade, so whether you can charge to 90% or 100% isnt going to change how much batteries degrade. People get tied up in "I can charge it to 100% all the time" but charging to 90% or 100% absolutely positively DOES NOT MATTER in the daily use in the slightest unless you are driving your mileage out daily.

(note, if you are planning on buying this car or any EV without having access to home or work charging, I would really examine that. Its doable but charging at home (or work) while you sleep / work is one of the biggest advantages of owning an EV and if you dont have charging in either place, you really should re consider imo)

2. Correct. You will not be looking to do anything with financing etc till you get a vin number (car) assigned, whenever that is. The $250 is an order fee (non refundable), not a deposit.

3. October / November is when the model year changes, HOWEVER, tesla does NOT wait for model year changes to change things in the vehicle. They do that whenever they want to, so while having a "2023 model 3" will be desirable from a "1 less year depreciation" standpoint, it will not guarantee you any feature or other. Tesla will change stuff whenever they want to, and most of the time it does not correspond directly to a model year.

4. Not accurate. Expect to get delayed. Expect the worst of getting delivered in Q1 of 2023 if current delivery is showing late 2022.
 
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1. The LR also gives you dual motors and AWD (and premium sound / interior, etc). I'm not sure which models come with an LFP battery and which don't, but I consider that a *different* matter than range. Range is king, so if you can afford it, get the LR. If you absolutely don't need it, save the money. It'll come in handy on road trips and even just daily driving. It's common to not achieve the stated range due to *many* factors (climate, spirited driving, etc). The LR is the sweet spot for value since it provides a lot for the added dollars, and the Performance trim does not.

2. Yep. I believe you can worry about those details as your delivery date gets closer. I'd just choose financing if required and then change it later if needed.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
10,978
9,982
Visalia, CA
1. Is it worth stepping up to the long range for the extra miles? I did some research and it looks like all M3 RWD cars come with LFP batteries that can be charged to 100% consistently vs the LR version that should only be charged to 80-90% for daily use? If this is the case the mileage difference would not be that big after all. Would this make the RWD have less longevity for the battery pack or is the lifespan similar to the LR batteries?

If the range is important, I still prefer the LR rather than the RWD. The range difference is significant. I don't drive long-distance every day but it's nice to have the range when I need to.

RWD=272 miles
LR=358. Even at 90% daily charge (that's what Service Center recommends), it's still 322 miles or 50 more miles. When I drive long-distance I charge it to 100% which is 86 more miles. They are significant if I want to skip a busy supercharger and go to an open one.

A test says LFP has more longevity than other Lithium-ion.


However, they should both survive through Tesla new battery warranty period. It might make a difference if you want to keep your car a long time but the historical data for Tesla LFP is practically none because it's newly implemented.
 
1. Thats a supremely personal decision. There are no LFP model 3s with high mileage that we are aware of, so no one really knows, but.. ALL (repeat ALL) batteries will degrade, so whether you can charge to 90% or 100% isnt going to change how much batteries degrade. People get tied up in "I can charge it to 100% all the time" but charging to 90% or 100% absolutely positively DOES NOT MATTER in the daily use in the slightest unless you are driving your mileage out daily.

(note, if you are planning on buying this car or any EV without having access to home or work charging, I would really examine that. Its doable but charging at home (or work) while you sleep / work is one of the biggest advantages of owning an EV and if you dont have charging in either place, you really should re consider imo)

2. Correct. You will not be looking to do anything with financing etc till you get a vin number (car) assigned, whenever that is. The $250 is an order fee (non refundable), not a deposit.

3. October / November is when the model year changes, HOWEVER, tesla does NOT wait for model year changes to change things in the vehicle. They do that whenever they want to, so while having a "2023 model 3" will be desirable from a "1 less year depreciation" standpoint, it will not guarantee you any feature or other. Tesla will change stuff whenever they want to, and most of the time it does not correspond directly to a model year.

4. Not accurate. Expect to get delayed. Expect the worst of getting delivered in Q1 of 2023 if current delivery is showing late 2022.
Thankfully my commute isn’t horrible and I will be able to charge at home just using the standard mobile connector.

As for expecting delays till Q1, will this mean if I don’t receive a VIN till November/December will Tesla build 2023 models for all existing orders? I would imagine this would help when it comes to the resale.
 
As for expecting delays till Q1, will this mean if I don’t receive a VIN till November/December will Tesla build 2023 models for all existing orders? I would imagine this would help when it comes to the resale.
Yeah, you're gonna get whatever they're building at the time. Note that this can *also* work in the opposite direction. For instance, Tesla stopped adding radar and passenger lumbar support to their vehicles at some point, and you might just be at the place in line where you miss a removed feature.

That said, the "fell in love" feeling that you had will last a long time... it's just a great car to drive. Bad software updates have made me a bit jaded, but I still very much appreciate driving it.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,582
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Riverside Co. CA
Thankfully my commute isn’t horrible and I will be able to charge at home just using the standard mobile connector.

As for expecting delays till Q1, will this mean if I don’t receive a VIN till November/December will Tesla build 2023 models for all existing orders? I would imagine this would help when it comes to the resale.

Well...

Tesla ascribes to modern company / manufacturing, which boils down to, at a high level, "move fast, dont be afraid to break stuff". What I mean is, I currently would expect a vin assigned in nov / dec to be a 2023, but tesla used to not adhere to the standard car manufacturer "release the new model in fall of the previous year" thing.

My 2018 Model 3 performance was made on Nov 15th of 2018 and delivered to me on Dec 4th of 2018. Tesla started going to "traditional car manufacturer" model years in 2019. They could decide to change course again, for example. Its unlikely but it could happen.
 
2. If I place the order today I will just have to put the $250 as a binder that goes towards the price of the car? How does a down payment and financing work with Tesla? Will I have the option to put money down and apply for financing the remainder a few days before I pick up the car?

What generally happens to customers with long waits for their cars is that if they stipulate financing then the finanacing they arrange expires before they receive their car. Then they have to do the financing process again. So last summer when I was buying my Model 3, agents were advising customers to start out by stipulating that they are paying cash, and then change that stipulation to financing once they are assured the car will be arriving soon (like when they receive their vin #).
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,582
18,651
Riverside Co. CA
What generally happens to customers with long waits for their cars is that if they stipulate financing then the finanacing they arrange expires before they receive their car. Then they have to do the financing process again. So last summer when I was buying my Model 3, agents were advising customers to start out by stipulating that they are paying cash, and then change that stipulation to financing once they are assured the car will be arriving soon (like when they receive their vin #).

Thats pretty much the only way to do it, with deliveries being outside of the time frame of just about any credit lock scenario. Of course, this also means one is at the whim of whatever rates are in effect at that time, but the only way around that is to pay cash.
 
I went Model 3 RWD for two big reasons, the LFP batteries, and the $9,000 asking price difference. If the LR had improved on one of these aspects, I could have justified the upgrade, but personally, the RWD trim hit the sweet spot for me. I upgraded to blue color, and sport wheels, as I spent some of the savings on looks.
 
I did a lot of research to decide RWD or LR and I'm 80% certain the RWD is best for me. The 20% uncertainty is because I haven't test driven either one! But I can edit my order later. Anyway, I went into A Better Route Planner and compared the same trip using a RWD and LR. From my house to a location in San Antonio, the difference was 1 minute. Yes one minute. That was one more minute of charging. I don't road trip much so that was not a significant difference. The LR may give you more flexibility on road trips, but since it is so infrequent for me it was not worth $9K. When I did the same trip in a Model S it made it without charging and that saved about 30 minutes. But I'm not getting a Model S. I just did my M3 RWD order today. It would not surprise me if I get it late this year or early next year as a 2023 model. But I'm not in a hurry. The pros for me on the battery pack was the stability of it, the low degradation, charging to 100% for normal driving covers me for many days. I wish that Tesla would add back the other interior features they remove from the LR to make the RWD. I have no idea if they will, but with the SR Model Y they are making in Austin, the only difference is the smaller battery pack. My opinion is the M3 RWD should be the same car with the exception of the front motor and smaller battery. No my opinion doesn't really matter.
 
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Don’t forget to take climate into your range thinking. I did and for my needs and uses decided on the RWD.

Also helping that was the federal and provincial rebates the the car qualified for at the time. I don’t know about rebates /grants/ tax credits where you are.

Also purchasing a RWD now you most likely won’t see in your driveway till the 7-10 month range. LR you’d most likely see much quicker.

Someone mentioned order the RWD now that you can change to the LR later. I would not count on that as it is not a written policy and the ability to change can be revoked without any notice. People are only recently able to make the change.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,298
4,011
Maine
Test drove a M3 today and fell in love. I’m completely new to EVs and Teslas in general so want to figure somethings out before I make the purchase.

1. Is it worth stepping up to the long range for the extra miles? I did some research and it looks like all M3 RWD cars come with LFP batteries that can be charged to 100% consistently vs the LR version that should only be charged to 80-90% for daily use? If this is the case the mileage difference would not be that big after all. Would this make the RWD have less longevity for the battery pack or is the lifespan similar to the LR batteries?

2. If I place the order today I will just have to put the $250 as a binder that goes towards the price of the car? How does a down payment and financing work with Tesla? Will I have the option to put money down and apply for financing the remainder a few days before I pick up the car?

3. Does Tesla come out with the next model year in November similar to other car manufacturers? I would assume if I ordered it now I will be ordering a 2022 M3 but the configuration I want has a delivery estimate of September - December of this year. Does that mean Tesla would build a 2023 model if it gets delivered in December?

4. How accurate are the delivery estimates? Do these most likely get delayed so I should expect the worst of it getting delivered in Q1’23?
I would run some simulations in ABRP, abetterrouteplanner.com, with your most common trips to see if there's any meaningful difference. The question on which is better isn't just about the most usable range, but also the charging infrastructure around you, how the charging curves between LFP and NCA compare, how well does trip planning match your own expectations, etc.

For a commuter car, the LFP may be just the ticket, but when I run road trip simulations, I find the LR more closely matches my own habits of 2hrs of driving and 15min breaks for coffee, toilet, stretch legs and a bite to eat. While you may be able to use more of the battery in a LFP RWD, you presumably will run into the charge taper slowdown on roadtrips, making using the top 1/3rd of the battery not practical, time wise. Thus, more stops and longer stops with the RWD. While trips are doable, they are slower.

For example, I recently threw into ABRP, a trip from New Orleans to Chicago and back, because there was a recent WSJ article about a person having a nightmarish trip in a Kia EV6. I wanted to see if the problem was the route, or the charging infrastructure, or the newbies not knowing how to plan appropriately. Anyhow, in a LR, it takes 4h24m of charging with 17 stops, or 16mins per stop, with an average of 107miles per leg. So, 1h30m of driving per leg then 16m of charging. That's acceptable and not far off what I'd do in a gas car.

In a RWD, the same trip requires 21 stops for 6h24m, so stops are a little longer, 18m, but driving legs are much shorter, only 87miles, barely more than an hour of driving before having to make a short stop. If I were younger, I would consider it an adventure, but now that I'm older, I'd find having to stop so short, a bit of an annoyance.

So, as a commuter car, the RWD sounds like a reasonable choice, but whether it meets your roadtrip needs, requires some testing in ABRP.
 

Hiline

Member
Supporting Member
Apr 16, 2022
476
754
Los Angeles
You didn’t ask about this but I feel it appropriate to bring up. One compelling reason to go with an LR is the shorter lead time. As of right now, SR units ordered from 9 months ago are being filled, while the figure for LR units is 3 months. Some people who originally ordered an SR recently upgraded because they couldn’t wait for that long due to personal circumstances or due to the risk of interest rates going up.
 
1. Is it worth stepping up to the long range for the extra miles?
It comes down to how often you plan on taking long distance trips. Our 2020 LR had a range of about 305 miles. We drove from California to Denver twice and never felt like we had to charge too often. That is, when we charged, we'd have coffee or a meal. With a range of 267, you'll probably have a similar experience.

If you're willing to put up with a little less convenience on long trips, it might be worth it to get the SR for less cash and newer battery technology.

BTW, we have a long range and I've ordered a standard range as our second car. No need for long range in the new car, since we'll use the LR for trips.
 

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