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How far must you drive to recover the extra cost of a Model 3?

rapoport3a

Member
Apr 30, 2014
372
90
Ontario
I've worked out a way to determine approximately how far (in km) you have to drive a Model 3 to recover its extra initial cost over a comparable gasoline vehicle, assuming the M3 costs 30% more. The spreadsheet makes a few simple assumptions about fuel efficiency and repair costs. Numbers used are valid for Ontario, although it's no problem to plug in those from other provinces.

So how many km do you think you have to drive to recover the cost difference? Assume the M3 has no options other than those required currently (LR, RWD, premium upgrade).

Special commendation to anyone who comes close.
 

darkenergy

Member
Apr 13, 2018
258
218
Canada
I've worked out a way to determine approximately how far (in km) you have to drive a Model 3 to recover its extra initial cost over a comparable gasoline vehicle, assuming the M3 costs 30% more. The spreadsheet makes a few simple assumptions about fuel efficiency and repair costs. Numbers used are valid for Ontario, although it's no problem to plug in those from other provinces.

So how many km do you think you have to drive to recover the cost difference? Assume the M3 has no options other than those required currently (LR, RWD, premium upgrade).

Special commendation to anyone who comes close.

Approximately 750,000 km
 

23.skidoo

Member
May 19, 2018
28
25
Vancouver
I've worked out a way to determine approximately how far (in km) you have to drive a Model 3 to recover its extra initial cost over a comparable gasoline vehicle, assuming the M3 costs 30% more. The spreadsheet makes a few simple assumptions about fuel efficiency and repair costs. Numbers used are valid for Ontario, although it's no problem to plug in those from other provinces.

So how many km do you think you have to drive to recover the cost difference? Assume the M3 has no options other than those required currently (LR, RWD, premium upgrade).

Special commendation to anyone who comes close.

120,000 Km
 

mtndrew1

Active Member
May 12, 2015
1,350
3,767
Gardena, CA
I’ve been trying to figure out how long I had to drive my previous car to recover the cost of the leather seats and navigation system. Still haven’t nailed it down.

(Model 3 costs almost exactly as much as a comparable 330i or A4)
 

sakimano

Active Member
Mar 20, 2017
1,374
837
Ontario, Canada
I've worked out a way to determine approximately how far (in km) you have to drive a Model 3 to recover its extra initial cost over a comparable gasoline vehicle, assuming the M3 costs 30% more. The spreadsheet makes a few simple assumptions about fuel efficiency and repair costs. Numbers used are valid for Ontario, although it's no problem to plug in those from other provinces.

So how many km do you think you have to drive to recover the cost difference? Assume the M3 has no options other than those required currently (LR, RWD, premium upgrade).

Special commendation to anyone who comes close.

Great idea.

IMO the 'lower repair costs' thing is kind of BS.

Tesla service costs as much as any foreign car.
Teslas aren't super reliable so you'll (when out of warranty) have similar repair costs to a German car.

Also, your spreadsheet should consider depreciation. I believe these cars will depreciate like the regular model S cars (excluding P85D P90D P100D) This would mean depreciating about 10% less over 5 years than the competition. That's significant at $6,000-7000.

if you're looking at a model 3 for $70,000 vs an Infiniti or Lexus at $55,000, you're going to be quite a bit better off in the model 3 financially.

If you're comparing to something like an Audi S4, you're probably going to break even or come out ahead (in an AWD model 3).
 
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rapoport3a

Member
Apr 30, 2014
372
90
Ontario
Except that it doesn’t. Go configure an A4 or 330i/340i to match the current Model 3 build equipment. Even without incentives they’re basically identical.
Good. That makes the Model 3 an even better deal. But partly because there will be differences of opinion on what's comparable, the spreadsheet uses that 30% difference. It gets that assumption from the Innovative Vehicle Institute in Québec, for vehicles with a battery size of more than 50 kWh, which suggests that industry wide, it's reasonable, probably as an average. For the general public, which assumes EVs cost more (and may come up with a comparable cheaper ICE car to validate that assumption), this may still be a useful exercise.
 
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gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,306
12,635
Santa Barbara, CA
There are costs to ICE that are incalculable. I lost my deceased wife some years ago to a leukemia contracted as a child due to emissions from a refinery near her home during her childhood. Others in her neighborhood suffered the same fate. How would you even begin to calculate this? How cheap does the gas car have to be?

I am just hoping people will remember that costs are not just financial.
 
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rapoport3a

Member
Apr 30, 2014
372
90
Ontario
There are costs to ICE that are incalculable. I lost my deceased wife some years ago to a leukemia contracted as a child due to emissions from a refinery near her home during her childhood. Others in her neighborhood suffered the same fate. How would you even begin to calculate this? How cheap does the gas car have to be?
I'm sorry to hear that. In no way do I want to suggest that the only reason to buy an electric car is because it's cheap enough, or pays for the difference after a certain number of km or miles. There are many things that go into the decision of what to buy. Recovery of extra cost is only one, and it won't even matter to some people. It didn't to me; other principles were more important.
 

gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,306
12,635
Santa Barbara, CA
I'm sorry to hear that. In no way do I want to suggest that the only reason to buy an electric car is because it's cheap enough, or pays for the difference after a certain number of km or miles. There are many things that go into the decision of what to buy. Recovery of extra cost is only one, and it won't even matter to some people. It didn't to me; other principles were more important.
Yes, of course, I realize that most or at least a good percentage of the people buy based on monetary costs. But it's not a bad idea to look at the hidden costs to health, quality of life etc. I am sure most people, you included, on this website are ecologically conscious. That's why so many of us started here.

The monetary calculations are very useful to know when talking about the virtues of EV's with the general public.
 
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ZooSean

ZOO
Feb 16, 2018
859
289
Markham, Canada
Elon Musk in investor conference call saying Model 3 is now leader market share among entry level luxury sedan. So if we start this exercise, we need use those cars price as comparison. Otherwise we are not doing Apple to Apple comparisons.

So my question to this thread owner is, what is car you are talking about which is 30% less expensive than Model 3.. You could not say any car, if that car do exist.
 
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jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,728
6,073
Greenville, SC
Except that it doesn’t. Go configure an A4 or 330i/340i to match the current Model 3 build equipment. Even without incentives they’re basically identical.
I just did a 340i with options as close to what would be comparable to a Model 3 LR RWD with the PUP and AP and the BMW came out to $54,300. That's about as close to equal as you can get.
 

rapoport3a

Member
Apr 30, 2014
372
90
Ontario
So my question to this thread owner is, what is car you are talking about which is 30% less expensive than Model 3.. You could not say any car, if that car do exist.

See above comments. This is an exercise to aid people looking for an electric car, aware that they generally cost more than an equivalent ICE car, mostly because of the battery cost per kWh. Trying to find a specific model to compare for nearly any car is difficult, contentious, and not the point here. The spreadsheet is based on data from Québec's Institute for Vehicle Innovation, which tries to look at the question from a larger perspective than just one car.
 

mtndrew1

Active Member
May 12, 2015
1,350
3,767
Gardena, CA
I just did a 340i with options as close to what would be comparable to a Model 3 LR RWD with the PUP and AP and the BMW came out to $54,300. That's about as close to equal as you can get.

Yeah they’re super close. Real transaction prices vary because of tax credits (tesla) and fire sales (BMW) but they’re about as close as you can get.
 

jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,728
6,073
Greenville, SC
Yeah they’re super close. Real transaction prices vary because of tax credits (tesla) and fire sales (BMW) but they’re about as close as you can get.
In the spirit of BMW though, you could probably lease that 340i I built for $379 a month. I leased the i3 I had for $117 a month and it had a sticker price of over $50k
 

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