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Introduction & Variety of Model S Questions

Discussion in 'Model S' started by hybridbear, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    #1 hybridbear, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
    Hello! I've been reading lots of threads over the past few months & posting a few questions here and there, but now I wanted to take a moment to more formally introduce myself & request some advice/suggestions from the community. We currently have a leased 2013 Ford Focus Electric (lease ends 8/2016) and a paid for 2013 Ford Fusion Energi. We have zero interest in ever going back to a gas only car, in fact, I've come to dread longer drives where I have to use the ICE in our Fusion Energi. I'd really like to get to a point where our transportation is 100% gas free, even when doing a cross-country road trip. We're now trying to decide what we will get to replace the Focus Electric when its lease ends.

    Our main priorities for a replacement car are (in order of importance):
    • More passenger space
    • More range/DCQC option
    • More cargo space

    I see 3 potential options, all with their drawbacks.
    1) Replace the Focus Electric with another short-range BEV
    The front-runner for a replacement would be the Kia Soul EV. We need a car that is bigger than the Focus for hauling passengers, as we are four adults in our car multiple times per week. However, the Soul EV is not currently offered in MN & I would be concerned about getting service from a local Kia dealer if something goes wrong. There are also a number of features that we value in the Focus that would be missing, with only a few features that we want being added in the Kia. We are not interested in the Leaf due to all the features it lacks compared to our Focus Electric (no liquid cooling/heating for HVB, limited charging/preconditioning options, poor crash test scores, anemic acceleration, etc). The i3 would not solve the passenger space concern. The i3 & Leaf are the only BEVs stocked by local dealerships. The Focus Electric is the only other BEV sold in MN. The Soul EV, B Class ED, eGolf, etc are not available here. Anything we choose to replace the Focus from the short-range BEV options would cost more than what we are paying now ($261/month lease) and would include a large list of drawbacks.
    2) Replace the Focus Electric with a used short-range BEV
    We could buy a used Focus Electric for around $10-12k. This would not cost a lot of money, but brings zero improvement over our current state. In fact, we could even move backward if the used FFE has more miles or is in worse condition that ours. Unfortunately, the residual value set in our lease is almost $17k. Based on the experiences of other Focus Electric lessees, Ford credit is unwilling to negotiate on the residual value at all, preferring to instead sell the cars at auction & write off the difference. We could also look for a used Soul EV or other EV, but we would still have the same service concern.
    3) Replace the Focus Electric & Fusion Energi with a CPO Model S
    A used Model S would address all of our concerns above. I've started an extensive comparison list of each scenario and what features each potential vehicle would add & what features we would lose. The Model S would only be lacking one feature that we have in the other two cars, automatic memory seats. The Model S would add many more features than any other vehicle option, most notably Autopilot. If we buy a used Model S we would give priority to CPO models because of the 4/50 warranty from date of purchase, but we'd consider buying a non-CPO car if the price was right. We'd also consider an inventory car, but our yearly tax liability is not > $7500 to be able to take full advantage of the tax credit. We would only look at Autopilot cars. The other features that we would require in a used Model S would be: Subzero Package, leather seats, pano roof & 19-inch rims. We would like to have the power liftgate if possible, but that wouldn't be a requirement. We'd consider the 70D, 85 or 85D. We would not be interested in a P model because our goal is maximum efficiency, not performance. Since the Model S would be our only car, it would need to have enough range to cover road trip needs. I have been carefully watching the Supercharger map to see when there will be enough Superchargers in the upper midwest to make a Model S viable as our only vehicle. The drawback here is cost.
    Regarding cost, I've mapped out my own TCO calculations for each scenario. I've looked at the yearly cash costs (electricity, gas, insurance, registration taxes, maintenance, etc) and I've tried to estimate depreciation (the most difficult factor to predict). Buying a used Model S is the most expensive option, by far. However, it is also the best vehicle, by far.

    The question is: is the Model S enough better than the other options to make it worth spending the money? What would you say to convince me or to dissuade me? That is really what it comes down to, the opportunity cost of choosing any of the three options above, and foregoing the other two. Or, does anyone have another suggestion that I'm overlooking?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. CLLACAB

    CLLACAB Member

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    First of all, you are posing this question on a Tesla board. The vast majority of responses are going to recommend the Tesla. With that said, I'm not sure that I understand the comparison. You are looking at some basic, but nice, BEV's vs a $100K luxury car that just happens to be able to travel over 200 miles. If you can afford the Tesla, there really is no comparison. I have owned over 20 cars and the Tesla is one of the best. By the way, the Tesla does have memory seats, just not linked to the FOB. I just picked up a CPO P85 and could not be happier.
     
  3. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    Right, the question is: is the Tesla enough better to be worth the extra cost? Why or why not? I really want a Model S, but I don't know if it is worth the expense, versus other uses of that money (vacations, additional savings, buying other things, etc). The single topic I've read the most about on here are the Tesla Driver Profiles. They are the single biggest mark against a Tesla right now, outside of the cost.
     
  4. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Nobody here is going to tell you to buy the Ford.
    The Tesla is just the best car ever and if you can swing it financially, you won't regret it.
    Lots of objective reasons: range, superchargers, style, etc. but I'm sure you didn't put a value on the "Tesla smile" in your spreadsheet.
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    No question that you'll like the Model S far better than either of the other two choices or an ICE. It's a real pleasure to drive, and wonderful on long trips. After almost three years of ownership, the fun hasn't worn off.
     
  6. JeffS

    JeffS Member

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    Just going to throw this out there. If I don't, someone else will. The car has automatic memory seats, they are just not linked to a fob. If that makes you buy a Ford Focus EV, that's odd.

    If it were me, I would just call that an awareness issue. Beyond that, its not a thing at all.

    I just purchased a 10 months old used non CPO AP Model S 85. Went through analysis protocols. Now that I own the car...I can honestly say my analysis was a waste of time. The car is THAT good.
     
  7. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    I don't think driver profiles are "the single biggest mark against Tesla". It wouldn't even make my top 20 to be honest. Maybe navigation would be my #1 but the beauty is that so many things can be done to fix and add features via firmware updates OTA.
     
  8. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    That's what I'm trying to understand, what's the value of the "Tesla smile"? I need to first be able to fully justify the cost to myself before I can go about trying to convince my wife that spending that kind of money is the best option. We can "afford" to buy a Model S in the sense that buying one won't bankrupt us, but it would require adjustments to our budget to afford one. Dropping such a large amount of cash on a vehicle would require making sacrifices in other areas of life, after all, it would be roughly double the cost of other EV options we'd consider. That's why I'm trying to determine if a Model S would be worth that cost & those sacrifices. For someone who would be spending $70k on a MB, Audi, BMW, etc, I get that buying a Model S is a no-brainer. But for someone like us, not in that income bracket, is the Model S enough better to justify making sacrifices in other areas of our budget to buy one?
    Thanks! How's the seat comfort for doing 10+ hour days driving on road trips?
    Since the Model S would be our only car, automatic memory seats would be pretty important. We'd be switching drivers daily, if not multiple times per day. Having to navigate the touch screen to select driver profiles would get old fast. It's all about a balancing act with regard to cost. We could stretch our budget and buy a Model S if it is really "THAT good", or we could get a cheaper EV & have extra money available to spend on other things. I'm looking for potential justification that the Tesla is "THAT good" to justify the cost. I really want to be able to justify the cost, but, honestly, I can't yet. That's why I'm asking for opinions from owners. I know that the responses here will be slanted, since I'm asking a group of mostly current owners, but maybe slanted is what I'm looking for because I want to be able to justify getting a Model S.
    What would be on your list? What do you dislike about the navigation system? The fact that this is so high on our list should show just how few drawbacks there are to the Model S from what I've researched.
     
  9. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    You'll have to browse through the forum and do the research yourself like I did. What's important to you may not be important to me. Navigation for me is very inaccurate, it routes me to destinations in odd ways and sometimes gets lost. There's no waypoints and it will re-route you based on traffic data without informing the driver or give you a choice. It's easily fixable and is pretty much on everyone's list. I always use my iPhone Maps app as a backup. In the end it's a car and if you have to make too many lifestyle changes due to the cost I would recommend you wait.
     
  10. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    This is really a non issue. If you get in the car and the other driver's name appears at the top of the touch screen, you tap it and the list of drivers appears. Tap your name. That's it. There is no "navigating the touch screen". If you test drive the car, or even just sit in one, you'll see how silly this concern is.
     
  11. CLLACAB

    CLLACAB Member

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    I think most everyone on this forum is going to tell you that it is worth the extra cost over the other vehicles you are looking at. If you have not done so, you need to schedule an extensive test drive. If you think it is the car for you, based upon your budget conserns, you should probably be looking at at CPO. There are many on the site for less than $60K. Although you may have trouble finding one with a cold weather package. That is not a common an option as some others. I would also reach out to a CPO sales rep. They have access to cars that are not listed. And they can also sort by options-something Tesla should add to the CPO site.
     
  12. Vince Cobelo

    Vince Cobelo Member

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    You might be making comparisons using the wrong metrics. Why would you use the cost of the car when comparing features and benefits. Compare cost of ownership rather than the cost of the car. If you factor in the resale value of the MS along with the supercharger network and other factors I think you will find owning this futuristic $100K car is way less than a $40K car. I would do the comparison year by year and then by what you would expect your ownership period to be say 5 years. That is why I bought new. Sure...I could buy a year old used...same car, for about $20K less...but would it really be $20K less. No. I got the $7,500 and the resale on my 2016 at the end of 2017 (1 model year difference in most buyers minds) for nearly the difference and have the exact configuration car that I want. (I'm rounding things here so number crunchers cut me a break.)

    I applaud analysis. But some things are not quantifiable like "fun", "prestige" and especially faith in yourself. Will your income continue to rise from today? Those sorts of things.
     
  13. bmanke

    bmanke Member

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    Best Quote on the Thread


    I laughed pretty good thinking of the time I wasted analyzing our purchase as well!! Looking for number 2.....
     
  14. BertL

    BertL Active Member

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    OP, I think you've answered your own question. If price and TCO is your primary deciding factor, MS likely won't be the winning combination. There are far too many intangible and subjective benefits to MS as well as other alternatives that people on forums like this could debate and offer opinions on forever. Unless you, yourself, can put hard dollars on each of those as to what they are worth to you (and your wife), you won't get back to dollars being the way you can make your decision. Others can't do that for you.

    In that regard, I spent 10 years driving two different Lexus RX Hybrids and all that time frequenting the largest Lexus forum. The same two big questions came up from someone new to the forum every few weeks: 1) Can the RX hybrid be cost justified compared to the same non-hybrid vehicle in the Lexus line? 2) Why not just buy a cheaper Highlander Hybrid compared to the Lexus -- when both are from Toyota? ...While there are some specifics, and part of the hybrid answer depended upon price of gasoline, it came down to intangibles, subjective points, and what just emotionally turned someone on. Unless there were a relatively small set of specifics related to perhaps mileage and usage, you couldn't generally financially justify the hybrid over an ICE. Similarly, fit and finish was quite different between the Highlander and Lexus, as were a few size/options, but for someone that wanted more basic transportation or held dollar-difference as their primary consideration, the Highlander won most of the time.​

    After 14 vehicles, with 13 of those having been new, and more than half being special ordered, I have never found a vehicle that is 100% perfect for what I desire -- but I also don't believe I ever will either. Besides purchase & ongoing price (TCO), and likely residual value after 5-7 years of ownership in my situation, I consider reliability, technology, service strategy, options and costs, luxury (including styling and ergonomics), and performance. There is lots of subjectivity in all that, and only some I can put hard dollars on. As I did before ordering my MS, I made a spreadsheet with rows of each item of concern or interest, and columns for each potential solution (i.e. vehicle). The top part of those rows were deal-breaker items where if the solution didn't stand-up, it would likely be ruled-out; the lower-part were additional things I cared about for one reason or another, but if the solution didn't have it or just because it was different from another vehicle, I would still perhaps consider it. In the end, even that whole process was subjective, not an absolute. My MS cost A LOT more than I wanted to spend but it's what I wanted; There are some definite trade-offs to go with a lot of absolutely outstanding attributes, yet as a guy that prefers making analytical decisions when possible, I still pulled the trigger.

    To your specific areas of concern, previous posters have covered most of it... DO take the time if you're really interested, to seek out other threads here, as it's not all going to be repeated -- nor should it. A couple of brief thoughts:


    • [*=1]NAV -- I've owned Tesla, Lexus, MBZ and BMW built-in Nav in recent years. Each has pros and cons, far more than I would ever try to describe here. Every one of them could use improvements, but only Tesla offers the possibility of perhaps an OTA update with enhancements some day (yes, that is subjective and not a promise, but it has happened multiple times in 3-years of MS history). All other brands, what you have on the day you buy, is what you have in terms of the interface for the life of the vehicle, with newer map databases being able to possibly be purchased. All have the drawback of perhaps dated map data because they use something stored within the vehicle itself. I personally have not yet had an issue with my MS routing me to a wrong destination, but like other systems, the route it offers is also sometimes not what I'd consider the most optimum for my situation, nor (unfortunately) does MS today offer alternative routes like some others do. I have my iPhone in my pocket and could use Apple or Google Maps if I need an alternative or were seeking a destination that was very new or had recently changed; You could also use Waze on your phone, and you can display it on your 17" if you are so inclined.
      [*=1]FOB Profile -- As Texas describes, you're making a mountain out of a mole hill on this one. Sure, MS does not have unique profiles assigned to each FOB -- maybe it will with an OTA update one day, as I too agree it's a current "miss" in what Tesla has chosen to implement or not on a $100K luxury sedan. ...but, OTOH it is literally two taps of the 17" display and a new profile goes into effect including the all-important driver seat, steering wheel and side mirror positions, amongst other settings beyond what any of my Lexus or MBZ were able to do. I have an "Exit" profile that moves the seat back and steering wheel up which I put into action each time I park so it's easier to get in and out; Then tap my name to put everything back when I am ready to take off. Simple ...and it would be the same for a 2-driver situation. No deep navigation of menus required.

    Good luck with your subjective decision. ;)
     
  15. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    The key here, although also the most dangerous part of the process, is simply to test drive a Model S. I apologize if I missed it somewhere but I don't think you said you've driven one yet.

    I say dangerous because once you do a test drive, there's a strong chance you'll simply throw all your analysis out the window and make whatever sacrifices you need to make the S work financially. That's what happened to me - my attitude before my first test drive was "I'm curious about it but I'll never buy one."

    As far as 10 hour road trips are concerned, it's potentially a very different experience with superchargers. I've driven up to 12 hours in a day, and the required breaks every 2-3 hours, combined with the quieter, smoother ride, meant I wasn't exhausted at the end of the day like I would've been driving an ICE. However, if your usual method of road-tripping involves minimizing time by eating on the road, then a supercharged trip is a big adjustment and might feel way too slow. On my longest trip (DC-FL and back) we almost never had to wait for the car - with few exceptions, it always took us longer to eat and take bathroom breaks than the car took to gain enough charge to reach the next supercharger.
     
  16. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    #16 Ingineer, Dec 13, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
    I'll also add: The driver profiles concern is not one. As TexasEV said; 2 touches, takes less than a second.

    In my case, I had no logical justification for spending so much on a car, and I had never before spent even half as much on a car. However, I can honestly say it changed my whole view on driving! Here in the SF Bay Area our traffic is among the worst, and it really can make driving something to abhor. The Model S changed that for me! Not only that, but my wife, (who has an hour+ commute) borrowed my car once and it caused us to have to become a 2 Tesla family. My wife said she went from near-tears on some days to a smile after getting out of the car. It really is that good of an experience! (and she doesn't even have AutoPilot!)

    However, I will have to say my biggest concern is something Tesla still hasn't addressed. It's especially of concern for people like us who purchase used Model S cars. It's the reliability and Tesla's stance on service. I am really worried about the drive unit reliability, especially on my Wife's car which is an earlier 2013 model. Not only is it a used car, but it's a salvage repair so has no warranty. Not only is that bad enough but Tesla refuses to:
    • Sell parts to me for the repaired car, any parts, even something such as coolant. (antifreeze for the powertrain)
    • Do any work on the repaired car whatsoever. (So I'm on my own when the DU fails!)
    • Provide me with access to a service manual.
    • Allow independent body and service shops to work on their cars. (they are intentionally creating an effective monopoly for some unknown reason)
    Now of course the first 2 points are only because my Wife's car is a salvage repair. But I still can't even get a service manual, and it's so bad Tesla's lawyers aggressively will go after people trying to share service information with me. It's even so bad that posting a small part of a wiring diagram here results an a takedown notice to the board admin. I've always worked on my own cars including general maintenance and I'm a highly qualified engineer who has even rebuilt cars from the ground up. I know, this is a pretty far away concern for most people who would never concern themselves with their own maintenance, but in my opinion it greatly affects the long-term ownership proposition. One thing you might not have fully evaluated in your calculations is cost to insure. Right now some insurers price the Model S extremely high to insure, whereas some others are still surprisingly low-cost. (but this is not going to last!) I've had to change insurers once already. The Model S is an expensive car, so from that metric alone, it's going to cost more, especially for comprehensive coverage. But because of Tesla's service policies and them creating an effective monopoly on accident repair, a collision is going to be very costly. This is driving up insurance costs, which will eventually greatly affect the depreciation. Cars get in accidents that are easily repairable, but the stupid high estimates from the "Tesla Authorized" body stops cause the insurance company to write off the car, which ends up at auction and Tesla will never touch it again or even sell parts for it. Since the people who like to buy cars from insurance auctions and fix them up can't even buy parts for them, that's causing the auction prices to fall. This means the cost to insurance companies for these cars is going way up! As an aside I was able to get a cheap car for my Wife, but it comes with the possibility that the drive unit could die any day and I'm stuck with a 2.5 ton block of aluminum, plastic and over 7000 laptop cells! At least I'll have enough rechargeable batteries to last me for a long time! =)

    I know you've attempted to do a deprecation analysis. Right now the Model S holds it's value extremely well, surprisingly so for a luxury car. With the high cost to insure, and the possibly high cost of ownership outside of warranty, the values are going to eventually fall off a cliff IMHO.

    Let me pause and reiterate; I love my car and my Wife loves hers even more! I also want to support Tesla and EV proliferation. I've owned many EV's over the years, including several of my own construction. This is the way forward, and why many people feel, such as yourself, once you go EV you never want to go back to ICE.

    I think Tesla should immediately change it's policies on service, and provide clear information to owners. Not just access to service information, but should provide prices for long term ownership consideration. Elon promised that Tesla would never try to make service a profit center, yet prices for parts and service work are not published and vary wildly from service center to service center. I'd like to see them publish standard labor costs for various procedures and a parts list any owner can access with fixed costs. Right now it appears to be subject to the whim of random S.C. employees. The evidence is all over this forum, though only a small percentage of owners experience this, as most cars are still under warranty and don't involve money exchange.

    I know most people have had good experiences with Tesla service, and I admit it's much better than any conventional dealership, but my experiences have been so bad that I hope I never have to go again. The work has been really poor and I have been lied to by S.C. staff more than once. If I didn't have my engineering knowledge, I would not even know I was being lied to, so most people never probably experience this. And this all from Fremont S.C. that's attached to the factory!

    I personally know someone that had a car "stuck" in the Minneapolis S.C. (Eden Prairie) for many months. Since you will be totally beholden to them if you have any issues (and you will at least probably have minor ones), it's cautionary.

    I love to recommend Tesla, and have sold many cars for Tesla to my friends. The Model S really is an engineering work of art! But I can't sit by and let someone make a decision without this backside information. I think Tesla will come around, but I wish they'd hurry up. I want to love Tesla as much as I love the car they produced, but right now they feel like an adversary more than a friend, and the biggest improvement they could make is to fix this. Otherwise something bad will happen, I can envisage many scenarios that I don't even want to describe.

    If I were you would I get a Model S? Yes, but only if it was at least a 2015 model. It seems like cars from much earlier than that have a higher propensity for major failures. (Drive unit I'm looking at you!) Since you mentioned you want an AutoPilot equipped car, that pretty much puts you in 10/2014 or later, so that's a good thing. I would also only consider a D model, both for D.U. reliability and for your MN weather. That being said, expect to have to visit your S.C. there in Eden Prairie. I've owned Toyota's that never needed to visit a dealer, but don't expect this with a Model S. Also, don't keep it past the 4 year warranty period. Hopefully the low depreciation will hold a little longer. I'm hoping that the safety features in the newer cars will reduce collisions and slow down insurance claims. Of course Tesla could fix this and reverse the trend which I hope they do.

    There is also only one Tesla authorized body shop in your area (La Mettrys) and they refuse to allow another (the "effective monopoly" I mentioned), so hopefully you can avoid any accidents!

    Sorry for the long-winded digressions here, but I feel you needed to know.
     
  17. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    This!
    The test drive.
    I ordered a Model X online since I needed 4WD and at the time, the S was only rear wheel drive. Several months later my wife suggested that I at least test drive a Model S so I would have some idea about the car. It took about three minutes driving the car and since it had such incredible performance, style, etc. I ordered a Model S on the spot (still rear wheel drive but I had to have the car... it was a totally subjective irrational emotional decision). Fortunately, they introduced the D several months later and I was able to change my reservation (and wait several more agonizing months). I never thought I would spend that much money on any car but I did and it's been even better than I anticipated and worth every penny.

    On road trips.
    We've done several long road trips including one from N. California through Seattle, across Trans Canada Highway to Banff then down through Glacier, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole and return across Nevada (two weeks, 6,000 miles, $4 for "fuel"). I just have the standard seats (leather) and they are the most comfortable seats I have ever had in a car. Comfortable after long days driving. Because of the Superchargers, you do end up taking a break every few hours and that is probably a factor but you can drive forever and it's never fatiguing. The car is so smooth, quiet and comfortable that it never gets tiring.
     
  18. DavidB

    DavidB Aug 2013 S85

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    On cross-country road trips: There may be other options in the future, but, right now, the only sensible choice for an all-electric vehicle capable of making extended road trips is the Tesla Model S. With any other car out there, you would end up spending quite a bit of time charging the car. With the Supercharger network, cross-country road trips are feasible.
     
  19. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Also relaxing and fun.
     
  20. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    Thanks everyone for the comments!
    This is my plan once we get closer to the date that our Focus Electric lease ends.
    I have been trying to compare cost of ownership. I've used a three-year timeline since a prospective new EV lease would likely be 36 months. I would fully expect to keep a purchased Model S an absolute minimum of 36 months, if not longer. Although, I never have been good at keeping cars a long time. It's something I want to do, but something I struggle with...
    This is why I've been waiting to drive one, I'm afraid that this will happen. I have almost spontaneously driven over to the store (it's only about 4 miles from where we live) a number of times over the past few weeks, but each time I have gotten control of my emotions... I got to ride in a Model S for the first time at our NDEW event this past September. A closed course was set up and Tesla store employees did the driving. I also got to sit in a few others that belong to local owners at subsequent EV owner events here in the Twin Cities.
    We usually will do things like eat in the car while road-tripping, but we also stop at about the interval of Supercharger spacing to do things like stretch, use the bathroom, change drivers, check e-mail, etc. Back in 2012-2013 I thought that Superchargers would slow down long distance travel. Then I actually monitored our time more closely over the course of a road trip & determined that they wouldn't really.
    I found that driving our Focus Electric had a similar impact on me. Now, every time I drive on the freeway I wish my car had Autopilot. That would make driving even better!
    This is one of the biggest concerns I have. I have estimated that our insurance for one Model S would be higher than our current cost for full coverage on two relatively new vehicles. As I get closer to making a decision I will call Geico with a VIN from a Model S that I can find for sale online to get a detailed insurance cost comparison.

    As far as service, the Eden Prairie Service Center is less than 5 miles from our house, so fortunately it wouldn't be a long drive to get there. From what I understand, they are very proactive about providing loaner vehicles, something that would be a necessity with only one vehicle in our household.

    How do you look up the Tesla authorized body shop? There are many LaMettry's locations. Are they all approved, or only one LaMettry's? I've had them do repairs before on a couple different cars when I was rear-ended & I was very happy with their work. There's a LaMettry's within 2 miles of where we live, my wife drives by it every day on her way to work.
    This is why I'd really like to get a Model S. I'd love to be able to go 100% EV for all our driving, including road trips, but that isn't possible other than in a Tesla.

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    That's why I'm trying to assess the subjective benefits to see if they justify the dollars. If we were just looking at pure dollars for automotive decisions we wouldn't be driving an EV & a PHEV. We are spending more in combined vehicle costs & electricity costs versus buying an econo gas car. But, we value driving electric enough that we are content to spend the extra money because of the other benefits of driving an EV. Now, the question is if the Model S is enough better than other EV options to be worth its high cost compared to econo EVs like the Leaf or our Focus Electric.

    I'll do more research about the nav concerns & check it out in person. Mostly our use of nav in our city is to view estimated arrival time based on traffic & to confirm a route I am fuzzy on. The Ford nav system also chooses stupid routes that I don't follow when driving around our city. When traveling outside our area, we are forced to follow the nav, but we'll usually compare to what Google Maps says to determine if the car nav is trustworthy.
     

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