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Model 3 LR vs SR

Mod3l 3

Member
Jan 27, 2018
51
7
Texas
Posted this on reddit. Thought I’d get some feedback from here as well.

Long time lurker here. I’ve been struggling with going with the SR or splurging and getting the LR. Thought I’d ask the question here to get some of your thoughts.

I’m a day one reservation holder and will definitely get the full tax credit if I opt for the LR and hope to get it even if I get the SR. I’m assuming getting the full credit for the SR will depend heavily on a successful ramp but what any input would be appreciated. To add purchasing the SR is not really dependent on me getting the tax credit but my timing will differ based on eligibility (if I’m not eligible then I plan on waiting for them to iron out the bugs before purchasing). Will be getting PUP either way.

I currently drive 130 miles (door to door) daily for work. Now my question is if I do go for the SR is the range enough? Some numbers I’ve been using:

220 miles - 8% battery degradation = 202 miles Daily charge to 90% (of 202) = 182 miles Speed penalty 10% (@80mph) = 164 miles

So far, no issues. Now I live in the gulf coast area and we usually only get about 1-2 weeks of cold weather (>25F and below 40F) a year. For the rest of the winter time the temperature usually ranges between 40F and 60F. Also to add the extreme cold is usually at night at which time the car will be charging (+ precondition when I leave in the AM). At work the car is parked in the open (for about 9-10 hours).

I do not have an option to charge at work, although I might ask the question down the line. If I really had to I could probably plug into a 110V right before I leave to help precondition the better but I’m not sure how beneficial this would be.

Now based on that do you think it is safe to go with the SR? I do not want to run into the issue of being stranded as there are no superchargers along my route.

Also what cold penalty would you apply? I do not usually use the heater in my car as the hot air bothers me. I might turn it on for the first 5-10 min of the trip then turn off AC and just bring in the outside air at min fan speed. Same for the seat warmers. I’ve been using 20% as the worst case, which leaves me with 131 miles (very close). If I charge to 100% on the few days the temperature drops this low plus drive conservatively (~65-70mph) would this offset the cold penalty?

I would prefer to get the SR at his point in my life. Having no car payment right now has been great to me from a cash flow perspective and has helped me get ahead of my savings goal. I could get the SR in cash but with the interest rates being low I plan on paying it off in ~3 years while investing the the excess. While the LR won’t really stretch my budget, I’m having a hard time justifying the additional expense as I know with my mileage the depreciation hit will be huge.

To existing Tesla, what are your thoughts? Are my assumptions on range penalties close or do I need to make any changes?
 

DamageInc

Member
Dec 22, 2017
19
25
Ohio
If I were in your commute situation, I'd be very hesitant to get the SR, especially if there are no Superchargers along your way. LR would be fine for range. There are not really any other options EV-wise in the same price range as the LR, so in terms of justifying it, it's really the only EV choice that seems to fit your budget.

Also, while it seems that the Model 3's relative simplicity would point to it being more reliable than the Model S and X, remember that it is a new model, and there will be bugs and issues, so take that into consideration as well. You will probably want to have some contingency plans for getting to work should your car be inoperable or at the service center..
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,381
2,824
Redmond, WA
It sounds to me like the SR will probably work for you; but it might be close enough at times (at least in bad weather) that you are spending some time thinking about it and making sure that you have everything lined up right. There may be a day where you want to go somewhere after work, but have to switch cars or adjust your schedule. I don't think those days would be frequent, but you probably wouldn't have to deal with them at all with the LR.

Keep in mind, too, that you get more than just extra range out of the LR. You also get:
  • faster AC charing
  • faster DC charging
  • better ability to be flexible about when/where you charge
  • better longevity
  • better warranty
  • better performance
  • higher resale value (it's not going to make you money, or even pay for itself, but at least you won't be out the full price of the option)
I live near Seattle. My wife and I have been driving EV for 9 years. While we average almost 90% of rated range overall, the worst range hit we've ever seen on a single trip was 1/3 (that is, we only got 2/3 of rated range). I generally try to make sure I've got at least 50% more range than I need. Your conditions may vary. You probably won't hit much serious cold and snow, so you may never see a 1/3 range hit. But...do you ever get really heavy rain? Very strong headwinds? Things like that, and snow, can in some cases cause more than a 1/3 range loss.
 

Dan Detweiler

Active Member
Apr 21, 2016
3,094
13,470
Canton, Georgia
Yeah, I would agree with the above sentiments. If you are concerned enough about it to have spent the time and energy that you have crunching numbers to see if it would work, then I would say the extra money for the LR is worth it just for the piece of mind, let alone all the other reasons given above.

Dan
 

SteveG3

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 21, 2012
4,013
15,450
US
Posted this on reddit. Thought I’d get some feedback from here as well.

Long time lurker here. I’ve been struggling with going with the SR or splurging and getting the LR. Thought I’d ask the question here to get some of your thoughts.

I’m a day one reservation holder and will definitely get the full tax credit if I opt for the LR and hope to get it even if I get the SR. I’m assuming getting the full credit for the SR will depend heavily on a successful ramp but what any input would be appreciated. To add purchasing the SR is not really dependent on me getting the tax credit but my timing will differ based on eligibility (if I’m not eligible then I plan on waiting for them to iron out the bugs before purchasing). Will be getting PUP either way.

I currently drive 130 miles (door to door) daily for work. Now my question is if I do go for the SR is the range enough? Some numbers I’ve been using:

220 miles - 8% battery degradation = 202 miles Daily charge to 90% (of 202) = 182 miles Speed penalty 10% (@80mph) = 164 miles

So far, no issues. Now I live in the gulf coast area and we usually only get about 1-2 weeks of cold weather (>25F and below 40F) a year. For the rest of the winter time the temperature usually ranges between 40F and 60F. Also to add the extreme cold is usually at night at which time the car will be charging (+ precondition when I leave in the AM). At work the car is parked in the open (for about 9-10 hours).

I do not have an option to charge at work, although I might ask the question down the line. If I really had to I could probably plug into a 110V right before I leave to help precondition the better but I’m not sure how beneficial this would be.

Now based on that do you think it is safe to go with the SR? I do not want to run into the issue of being stranded as there are no superchargers along my route.

Also what cold penalty would you apply? I do not usually use the heater in my car as the hot air bothers me. I might turn it on for the first 5-10 min of the trip then turn off AC and just bring in the outside air at min fan speed. Same for the seat warmers. I’ve been using 20% as the worst case, which leaves me with 131 miles (very close). If I charge to 100% on the few days the temperature drops this low plus drive conservatively (~65-70mph) would this offset the cold penalty?

I would prefer to get the SR at his point in my life. Having no car payment right now has been great to me from a cash flow perspective and has helped me get ahead of my savings goal. I could get the SR in cash but with the interest rates being low I plan on paying it off in ~3 years while investing the the excess. While the LR won’t really stretch my budget, I’m having a hard time justifying the additional expense as I know with my mileage the depreciation hit will be huge.

To existing Tesla, what are your thoughts? Are my assumptions on range penalties close or do I need to make any changes?

maybe you could rent one from Turo for a day and test it out?

I think you may be underestimating the loss of range for driving at 80 mph... that might be as much as 50 miles (going off memory of the calculator Tesla has on their website for the S, and making a rough translation from S scale to 3 scale). Then again, Tesla sandbagged the 310 EPA range number on the LR version of the car, maybe they did the same with the SR.

you might want to consider the impact this would have on your comfort of doing anything with your car during a work break, or, on your trip back home... i.e. having use of the car on workdays before you have it recharging at home a couple of hours.
 

Qbenjamin

Frugal But Classy!
Jan 7, 2017
1,172
754
Bravos
Posted this on reddit. Thought I’d get some feedback from here as well.

Long time lurker here. I’ve been struggling with going with the SR or splurging and getting the LR. Thought I’d ask the question here to get some of your thoughts.

I’m a day one reservation holder and will definitely get the full tax credit if I opt for the LR and hope to get it even if I get the SR. I’m assuming getting the full credit for the SR will depend heavily on a successful ramp but what any input would be appreciated. To add purchasing the SR is not really dependent on me getting the tax credit but my timing will differ based on eligibility (if I’m not eligible then I plan on waiting for them to iron out the bugs before purchasing). Will be getting PUP either way.

I currently drive 130 miles (door to door) daily for work. Now my question is if I do go for the SR is the range enough? Some numbers I’ve been using:

220 miles - 8% battery degradation = 202 miles Daily charge to 90% (of 202) = 182 miles Speed penalty 10% (@80mph) = 164 miles

So far, no issues. Now I live in the gulf coast area and we usually only get about 1-2 weeks of cold weather (>25F and below 40F) a year. For the rest of the winter time the temperature usually ranges between 40F and 60F. Also to add the extreme cold is usually at night at which time the car will be charging (+ precondition when I leave in the AM). At work the car is parked in the open (for about 9-10 hours).

I do not have an option to charge at work, although I might ask the question down the line. If I really had to I could probably plug into a 110V right before I leave to help precondition the better but I’m not sure how beneficial this would be.

Now based on that do you think it is safe to go with the SR? I do not want to run into the issue of being stranded as there are no superchargers along my route.

Also what cold penalty would you apply? I do not usually use the heater in my car as the hot air bothers me. I might turn it on for the first 5-10 min of the trip then turn off AC and just bring in the outside air at min fan speed. Same for the seat warmers. I’ve been using 20% as the worst case, which leaves me with 131 miles (very close). If I charge to 100% on the few days the temperature drops this low plus drive conservatively (~65-70mph) would this offset the cold penalty?

I would prefer to get the SR at his point in my life. Having no car payment right now has been great to me from a cash flow perspective and has helped me get ahead of my savings goal. I could get the SR in cash but with the interest rates being low I plan on paying it off in ~3 years while investing the the excess. While the LR won’t really stretch my budget, I’m having a hard time justifying the additional expense as I know with my mileage the depreciation hit will be huge.

To existing Tesla, what are your thoughts? Are my assumptions on range penalties close or do I need to make any changes?

I believe that your speed assumption at 80 mph's is extremely off. In the few road trips that we've taken in our S, the battery range is brutal at highway speeds. On a 600 mile road trip @ 80 mph (80F; mostly smooth terrain; little wind), we lost over 20% of our projected range. On a full charge in my 60, that 205 miles of range turned into about 140 (driveable miles) @ 80 mph's. Could I have gotten more out of my battery, probably, but didn't want to risk it when we were seeing about 15 miles of range left.

Maybe you'll have better results in the 3.
 

azred

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
2,098
3,187
Chandler, AZ
If I were in your commute situation, I'd be very hesitant to get the SR, especially if there are no Superchargers along your way. LR would be fine for range. There are not really any other options EV-wise in the same price range as the LR, so in terms of justifying it, it's really the only EV choice that seems to fit your budget.

Also, while it seems that the Model 3's relative simplicity would point to it being more reliable than the Model S and X, remember that it is a new model, and there will be bugs and issues, so take that into consideration as well. You will probably want to have some contingency plans for getting to work should your car be inoperable or at the service center..
Contingency plan is loaner from Tesla
 

T34ME

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
2,262
3,872
Inland Empire
I believe that your speed assumption at 80 mph's is extremely off. In the few road trips that we've taken in our S, the battery range is brutal at highway speeds. On a 600 mile road trip @ 80 mph (80F; mostly smooth terrain; little wind), we lost over 20% of our projected range.
I agree. Tesla range projections are at 65 mph. Tesla estimates that there is a 10% range penalty going from 65 to 70 mph. At 80 mph, your penalty will probably be closer to 20/25%.
 

Mod3l 3

Member
Jan 27, 2018
51
7
Texas
Thanks for all the feedback! Seems the consensus is to get the LR. I hadn’t considered headwinds and was a bit surprised to read the penalty might approach 1/3. We do get a lot of windy days down here so that’s definitely something for me to look at.

Think my path forward now is going to be to rent a 75 S (preferably a 3 but I doubt there will be many available come decision time) and get some real world data.

Since my commute is going to stay the same for the foreseeable future I do not want to run the risk of buying a car I cannot use! I was just having a hard time justifying a $50,000 car. TCO after 5 years comes out to about $0.39/mile which is still below the national average and much cheaper than any comparable car in its class. I didn’t include financing costs as I believe I can get a return higher than 2% in the market but even tossing that in won’t increase the cost much ($0.03/mile maybe).

Note: 5 year 100,000 miles TCO calculation
49,000 + 3062.50 (tax) + 8400 (insurance) + 3750 (25,000kWh @ $0.15/kWh) + 3000 (maintenance - two sets of tires included. Will only hit the bigs ones on Tesla’s schedule) - 7500 (tax credit) - 21070 ( 43% residual value) = $0.39/mile

My cost per kWh is on the higher end. The past 5 years I’ve averaged about $0.10/kWh. This is mainly a buffer for prices and any small ticket items I might have missed.

I do not plan on getting EAP as it is not ready for the highway I drive on. Lots of 4 ways where the highway has right of way but requires a lot of anticipation as you have people darting across or merging directly into the left lane 80 mph traffic @ 50 mph. Also have to deal with a lot of shoulder/merge lane over taking and based on my research EAP isn’t ready for this yet. Yes it’s very mad max down here and it doesn’t seem like people comprehend the risk they put themselves/others at.
 

Mod3l 3

Member
Jan 27, 2018
51
7
Texas
It sounds to me like the SR will probably work for you; but it might be close enough at times (at least in bad weather) that you are spending some time thinking about it and making sure that you have everything lined up right. There may be a day where you want to go somewhere after work, but have to switch cars or adjust your schedule. I don't think those days would be frequent, but you probably wouldn't have to deal with them at all with the LR.

Keep in mind, too, that you get more than just extra range out of the LR. You also get:
  • faster AC charing
  • faster DC charging
  • better ability to be flexible about when/where you charge
  • better longevity
  • better warranty
  • better performance
  • higher resale value (it's not going to make you money, or even pay for itself, but at least you won't be out the full price of the option)
I live near Seattle. My wife and I have been driving EV for 9 years. While we average almost 90% of rated range overall, the worst range hit we've ever seen on a single trip was 1/3 (that is, we only got 2/3 of rated range). I generally try to make sure I've got at least 50% more range than I need. Your conditions may vary. You probably won't hit much serious cold and snow, so you may never see a 1/3 range hit. But...do you ever get really heavy rain? Very strong headwinds? Things like that, and snow, can in some cases cause more than a 1/3 range loss.

Definitely agree the LR is a superior car. I was trying to see if the SR would fit my need. Sounds like it might but would require a lot more planning on my part and there still might be times I might have to stay in and work from home because the car might not be able to make it back! Hopefully they build a supercharger along the route soon.
 

Mod3l 3

Member
Jan 27, 2018
51
7
Texas
I agree. Tesla range projections are at 65 mph. Tesla estimates that there is a 10% range penalty going from 65 to 70 mph. At 80 mph, your penalty will probably be closer to 20/25%.

Didn’t realize the speed penalty was that high! Still shouldn’t be an issue for most days but would require some changes in driving habbits based on the conditions. Probably more though than it’s worth.
 

ggnykk

Active Member
Feb 7, 2016
1,573
807
Earth
Posted this on reddit. Thought I’d get some feedback from here as well.

Long time lurker here. I’ve been struggling with going with the SR or splurging and getting the LR. Thought I’d ask the question here to get some of your thoughts.

I’m a day one reservation holder and will definitely get the full tax credit if I opt for the LR and hope to get it even if I get the SR. I’m assuming getting the full credit for the SR will depend heavily on a successful ramp but what any input would be appreciated. To add purchasing the SR is not really dependent on me getting the tax credit but my timing will differ based on eligibility (if I’m not eligible then I plan on waiting for them to iron out the bugs before purchasing). Will be getting PUP either way.

I currently drive 130 miles (door to door) daily for work. Now my question is if I do go for the SR is the range enough? Some numbers I’ve been using:

220 miles - 8% battery degradation = 202 miles Daily charge to 90% (of 202) = 182 miles Speed penalty 10% (@80mph) = 164 miles

So far, no issues. Now I live in the gulf coast area and we usually only get about 1-2 weeks of cold weather (>25F and below 40F) a year. For the rest of the winter time the temperature usually ranges between 40F and 60F. Also to add the extreme cold is usually at night at which time the car will be charging (+ precondition when I leave in the AM). At work the car is parked in the open (for about 9-10 hours).

I do not have an option to charge at work, although I might ask the question down the line. If I really had to I could probably plug into a 110V right before I leave to help precondition the better but I’m not sure how beneficial this would be.

Now based on that do you think it is safe to go with the SR? I do not want to run into the issue of being stranded as there are no superchargers along my route.

Also what cold penalty would you apply? I do not usually use the heater in my car as the hot air bothers me. I might turn it on for the first 5-10 min of the trip then turn off AC and just bring in the outside air at min fan speed. Same for the seat warmers. I’ve been using 20% as the worst case, which leaves me with 131 miles (very close). If I charge to 100% on the few days the temperature drops this low plus drive conservatively (~65-70mph) would this offset the cold penalty?

I would prefer to get the SR at his point in my life. Having no car payment right now has been great to me from a cash flow perspective and has helped me get ahead of my savings goal. I could get the SR in cash but with the interest rates being low I plan on paying it off in ~3 years while investing the the excess. While the LR won’t really stretch my budget, I’m having a hard time justifying the additional expense as I know with my mileage the depreciation hit will be huge.

To existing Tesla, what are your thoughts? Are my assumptions on range penalties close or do I need to make any changes?
Forget about the EPA mileage number. The real world driving range can be a lot less depending on weather, road condition and driving style. I think you need the long range model 3 for sure. No doubt.
 
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T34ME

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
2,262
3,872
Inland Empire
Didn’t realize the speed penalty was that high! Still shouldn’t be an issue for most days but would require some changes in driving habbits based on the conditions. Probably more though than it’s worth.
Something else you should consider is that there is an additional range penalty for using 19" Sportwheels compared to 18" wheels with aero covers. EPA measures a >11% penalty (on the projected 310 mile range) for 19" wheels at 50 mph. Higher speeds will result in an even greater penalty for 19" wheels.

I will be making frequent 150 mile round trips with no recharging, to visit the kids. The SR will be more than adequate for me since I will drive the posted 65 mph with 18" wheels and aero covers. I will use EAP because it is all freeway with lots of merging traffic and truck route. In my opinion EAP can drive more efficiently in those conditions than I can.
 
Last edited:

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
11,178
9,053
Maine
If:
- you have Superchargers on your commute
- you're prepared to slow down from 80mph as necessary in very tough weather that would significantly impact range
- you don't do many other long trips
... I'd say you could get the SR, bank the savings, use that for rental as appropriate and come out well ahead.

But if you want to spend on an easy life, get the LR.
 

dhu1

Member
Mar 9, 2017
816
610
Berkeley
Currently have a 120 mile commute. With a model X 90d, the total usable range is 224 at 90%. In cold gets cut to about 200. I still have enough of a buffer. Having said that, trust me when I say more range, more better. You will be happy to have it. I am happy to get the range without paying for the model S premium. You never know when you have expected scenarios and a great piece of mind with the extra buffer is just something you’ll appreciate down the line.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
3,218
3,457
Austin
Rough numbers.....
100% full charge starting point
-20% off the top to get to 80% normalized range SR=176, LR=248
-10% off the bottom as most people don't like getting to their destination with nothing left = 70%
-10/20% to speed/heat penalty depending on your lead foot or driving conditions. = 50-60%
So as a daily drive range, not occasional one off trips, about 132 miles for SR, 186 for LR
Obviously charging along the way, range charging, destination charging all change those numbers.

Once your right foot has been trained and your experience improves you'll be able to easily manage your drive and battery to maximize range and those numbers improve.

I plan on getting LR just to suit my needs.
 
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Reactions: Ulmo
Speaking as a person who is going to get the SR, if I were you I would get the LR. I will be lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) to drive 130 miles at a time 10-15 or so times out of the year. If I had to do that everyday to go to work, I would never consider the SR.

Also, I will have the benefit of having a supercharger in the path of the two principal destinations I will being going said 10-15 times a year, so even more reason why I go for the SR. That's not to say I wouldn't love to have the LR, just 9k is a tough pill to swallow for not really that much benefit (for me).
 

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