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Got the email to order: ? on battery-choice regret

psyrob

Member
Apr 23, 2018
68
42
Sherman Oaks
I made a reservation the first day on line, last Thursday got my email to configure. Some of this I already know the answer so patience is appreciated. I had always thought and have the budget for the 220 mile battery with autopilot, paint and interior upgrade, my downpayment will make the financing very doable. But now that I have this configuration email in hand, I am considering the 310 battery, which will be 10K more with taxes but will be in my driveway in June rather than waiting until "early 2019". The financing will be a risk and involves my self employed income staying steady but it would really need to improve to stay on top of payments. The monthly payments therefore, will be a risk if I go with the 310 mile range today. Anyway, I know this answer: buy what I know I can afford.

But to help me deal with this choice, do you think I will have battery and range regret? I have a 90 mile commute three days a week, and a 35 mile commute the other days, and once every couple of months may do a 150- 200 mile weekend trip with the family: we do have an ICE SUV for that. Anyone think that the 310 is overkill for a car that is mostly used to commute? or is that just making myself feel better to wait for the cheaper M3 and it is worth stretching finances for that extra range?
Thanks
 

Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,646
8,829
Palmdale, CA
How does the tax credit play into your calculations? If you are eligible for it, it may not be there for the 2019 car, but would probably be there for the June car.

Note that the tax credit won't directly lower your payments or anything, but with some creative methods, you can make it work (e.g. taking a separate short term loan for the $7500 and using that to make your downpayment $7500 larger then paying off the short term loan when you file your taxes). Or lowering your estimated tax payments now to give you more in your current pocket to pay the car down faster, etc, etc.
 
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Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,223
7,913
Visalia, CA
...battery and range regret?...

Range is King in my book!

That said, since you are not living in snowy winter region, shorter range battery is fine if budget is your priority.

Longer range is for convenience if you can afford it.

ICE is fine for long distance but once you drive an EV, you might wonder why should you need to drive a dinosaur ICE when you can drive a high tech Tesla.

That means you'll might use your EV much more than your ICE!

I ditched my ICE once I got a taste of Tesla since 2012 and never had a need for ICE. My travel region is Sacramento, San Francisco, Las vegas, San Diego. Longest one way is about more than 500 miles with no problem for my 2012 Model S 85 rear wheel drive with a range of 265 miles but when I upgraded to 2017 Model X 100D with a range of 295 miles, that extra 30 mile range makes a big difference!
 
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psyrob

Member
Apr 23, 2018
68
42
Sherman Oaks
Thanks guys: It's mostly that the payments for the LR battery will be a stretch every month, I think or I fear, while the payments for the SR are the same as I paid for my last car, and I made those without breaking a sweat. I would be eligible for the tax credit, I usually owe as it is tough to be super accurate with my quarterly tax payments. Didn't think about the creative financing ideas, and maybe I will go to the credit union and see what rate they would give me for the LR. The other options I thought was to defer and save more money for the down payment, then when the invite comes around again, I could comfortably get the LR. But then I lose on the tax credit...argh! If I don't over think it, I probably should do what is safer financially and live with that, but worry about being penny wise and pound foolish
 

gjunky

Trifecta: Solar and both cars are EVs
Mar 26, 2012
1,251
408
Scottsdale, AZ
Assuming you can handle the payment and don't ruin your live stretching it to thin, you will never regret the extra battery.
 

PLUGZIN

Member
Apr 1, 2016
128
85
Poway, California (San Diego)
Assuming you can handle the payment and don't ruin your live stretching it to thin, you will never regret the extra battery.

Here’s my two cents. My prior EV’s were a Leaf (83 mile range) and then a Kia Ev+ (93 miles range). I never had a range issue with either; though couldn’t use it for all trips so we used our hybrid vehicle. Given that a 93 mile range worked for me I had originally planned on the standard battery, EAP, premium and a color other than black. That would have had a sticker before tax/registration of $47K. When it came time to order on 2/22 I was faced with getting the long range battery resulting in a sticker price of $56K; or waiting until the end of the year for a $47K standard battery - but likely losing the tax credit. I am fortunate enough the higher loan payment wasn’t a problem; so I elected the long range battery deciding I preferred an after tax credit price of $48.5K vs standard battery at $47K if full tax credit lost; or $43,5K if 1/2 tax credit still available. Seemed to make sense to me to let Uncle Sam pay most of the cost of the upgraded battery. Several people have offered you very good options for taking on the additional $9K. Another is that if you are sure you will be able to take advantage of the $7.5K tax credit then either change your withholding and/or your estimated tax payments giving you more after tax disposable income that can go towards the higher payment. Best of luck on whatever you decide. Peace of mind about the level of payment is also worth something.
 

Catman20009

Member
Feb 11, 2018
29
22
Washington DC
My vote is to wait on the cheaper options, reduce your monthly expenses, and don't worry about those payments as much. I'm waiting on the standard battery. Even with half the federal credit it will be a considerable savings. Same waiting for the less expensive interior. perhaps also taking the black paint to save a little bit more. Less half the federal credit puts the base option car at 32,250. A lot less $ to worry about. And for me I don't drive a lot and need to plan for my retirement in 2 years. Just not getting my head wrapped around the idea of living on half of my current salary after retirement.
 
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Carotene

Member
Feb 26, 2018
103
256
MD
Have you considered taking a pass on EAP for the time being? I know it would help with the commute, but it saves 5k in the near term. You get full tax credit now and have the flexibility to add later when your finances catch up.
 

TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,650
8,483
Austin, TX
If you have a 150-200 mile weekend trip every few months, you’ll regret getting the smaller battery. Once you drive the Tesla you’re not going to want to drive the ICE on those trips.

Assume you’ll only get half the tax credit if you wait for the smaller battery. That makes the difference $5250 + tax rather than $9000 + tax. I’d pass on autopilot and buy the bigger battery. You can always add autopilot later if you want it and your finances improve, but you can’t increase the battery size.
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,641
6,417
Snohomish, WA
If you include the currently mandatory premium interior (with Tax) it's over $15K in difference.

Of that difference the most important part for your usage case is the bigger battery.

The problem with range on an EV is so many factors impact it. In real world usage you're rarely going to hit anything over 300 due to wind, rain, cold, speed, etc.

I have a 70D that has 240 miles of range, and I doubt I've ever hit 200 miles. You'd think that I could go from my house to Portland which is 200 miles away with ease, but it's not really doable realistically speaking. So part of my rationality in getting a 3 is to go from around 180 miles to 230 miles of range in non-ideal conditions. Where I expect to have between 200 and 250 miles of real world range.

The most I ever do in real world average weather situations is around 75%-80% of that, and with the SR version of the 3 that would only be 165 miles, and I'm not sure if that gives enough buffer for the weekend road trips.

The bigger battery allows for a lot of freedom. If you don't get the LR range version you'll have nagging regret, and it will be even worse if can't fully capitalize on the $7500 tax credit when the SR Model 3 is finally available.

So in terms of options I'd probably go with one of these.

1.) Get the Model 3 LR without the EAP, and use the tax credit to get EAP down the road
2.) Get a Bolt instead if road trips aren't a big deal (this would be the safe choice money wise)
3.) Wait for the premium upgrade to become optional so you can shave off an addition $5K on it, and then get the LR version.
 

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