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Model S battery can not be replaced with a different size battery

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by JohnQ, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    #1 JohnQ, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2013
  2. jive_devil

    jive_devil Member

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    This makes me feel slightly better about upgrading to the 60kwh.

    For the short term, I would have been fine with the 40kwh, but concerns about battery degradation and resale value forced my hand (pocketbook).
     
  3. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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  4. zdre

    zdre 40kWh Model S P6415

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  5. nleggatt

    nleggatt Member

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    This raises all sorts of questions. One specifically, what happens in 8 years when the min size battery pack they produce is 110kw and I need a replacement pack. Will they continue to provide legacy packs? Obviously, the car would eventually be obsolete if they didn't. I was always under the impression that you would be able to as technology improved.
     
  6. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    Highly doubt that will be the case in 8 years. This messaging essentially hurts their business model end to end. I will bet they will sell way less, and at a smaller margin, than if they allowed a range upgrade at the end of the warranty.
    My decision to buy the 60kWh battery today means I'm stuck with that for the rest of the usable life of the chassis? This is not the ideal that the company was created for. Bringing EV's to the masses.
    IMHO their will we a huge market for early Model S buyers to upgrade their battery when the warranty expires. I fully anticipate this option to be available when the time comes. Reason being is that there will be too much money left on the table if such options are not available. Our capitalist system will always generate supply from demand.
     
  7. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    This is a major reason why I upped to the 85kWh pack. And as a policy I think it is the only way to go, right now Tesla can't say for sure that in the future these batteries will be interchangeable.

    I think you might in the future be able to change pack sizes. But don't bet on it.
     
  8. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Agree that it's the right "company statement" to make. Surprised that it was so blunt, though. No handholding.

    As you say, possible it might change but can't count on it.
     
  9. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    I respectfully disagree.

    I think this is terrible. Like saying "if you aren't rich now don't bother buying our cars with any longevity in mind." As a shareholder, this worries me immensely.

    I understand that for this initial purchase it hurts the bottom line if everyone buys a 40 with the mindset of upgrading in 8 years, but to specifically exclude the possibility seems like a really bad idea. I would hope that they would change their minds on not only the policy, but in stating the policy in this manner.

    I bought a 60 kWh because I could not justify the cost of the 85 kWh battery pack right now. This car is 2x as much as any other I have previously purchased. I can only justify that by saying that I will keep it twice as long as any I have previously owned as well as because it is more environmentally friendly, and would expect that as technology evolves then battery replacements should evolve with it. If Tesla does not provide this option, and the car is popular, then certainly an aftermarket company would pick up the slack, and that is $ lost by Tesla from many who I am sure would prefer something from the manufacturer.

    This makes absolutely no sense to me.

    Cheers.
     
  10. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    Totally agree with you. I would expect that within 5 years my 60kWh pack can be upgraded. All that talk of 500+ mile batteries may just allow 3rd party vendors to thrive by upgrading packs using the latest chemistries.
     
  11. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    I completely understand your point of view and agree that it would be better if the packs were upgradeable. I am hopeful that this is a "worst case scenario" statement so they don't promise something they might not be able to deliver. That's the context in which I mean it being the right company statement to make.

    It would be worse, however, if they let people think it could be upgraded and then be unable to do so from a technical perspective ...
     
  12. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    Agree with your last point, by why not just remain neutral on the issue and say honestly that this has yet to be determined with too many variables to predict the future?

    That would be better IMHO.

    Cheers.
     
  13. Tempus

    Tempus Member

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    yeah - very much in agreement here. I also fall into that category where I would have loved to get the 85kwh battery, but really, with the amount this car costs already, even the 60 is well outside my normal comfort zone for car purchases ;)

    That said, i certainly had in the back (or middle) of my mind that in 8 or 10 years (or whenever down the line) that i decided I needed an upgrade, i'd be able to potentially get a better/lighter/faster/whatever battery at that time. This messaging certainly doesn't feel like that.

    Heck, just look at all the roadster owners who would jump at a new pack with different battery chemistry...
     
  14. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    As futuristic as Model S 1.0 is in 2013, you're going to want Gen 7 or whatever they have in 8 years. Everything else will be so much more advanced and which can't be retrofitted that upgrading the battery will be moot. I'm thinking of sensors, communications, computing/graphics capabilities, better PEM, thermal management, etc.
     
  15. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    Want vs willing to spend money on "just because" are 2 totally different things for me. Typically I do not trade up cars to have the latest and greatest. The Model S is only reasonable for me to support a company making the first practical fully electric vehicle. Just because newer shiner things I like are available in 8 years does not mean that I need them if a battery replacement would be sufficient.

    If I could get away with waiting until the antigravity cars are released someday, I would.

    I know most people trade up cars with some frequency but I don't follow that trend most of the time. I am more utilitarian and save my $ for other things, since I don't have it in Richie Rich quantities and even if I did I tend to try and save it whenever possible.

    Of course I have the "Oooh Shiny Thing" complex that comes along with the Y chromosome, it seems. I just try and resist it whenever possible. I dont always do a great job with that, but getting back to my original point, if the Model S looked like a K car or a minivan I would still be purchasing it. It's the concept and the functionality that wooed me, not the bling. The bling is nice, but for me it is really besides the point. I would suspect that many of the early adopters are also in it for the BEV green side of things as well. And I bet a lot of them would like to justify the purchase with a possible battery replacement/upgrade in the future as that makes the cost more reasonable as a long term purchase, at least from my perspective.

    I do however, understand what you are getting at as I suspect that the majority of americans with the means think more along the lines of what you have suggested.

    Cheers.
     
  16. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    Sure thing I'll want the latest and greatest in 2020. But can I afford it? Put another way, can I afford a car that will be completely outdated in 7 years because Tesla today won't commit on any upgrade-ability? They will find out the hard way that protecting the customer's investment is the best way to protect TM's investments.:crying:
     
  17. Ardie

    Ardie Member

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    My worthless opinion is that the Model S's controller may be so closely designed to the properties of a lithium ion battery that Tesla cannot guarantee that it will be useable on batteries of the future.
    Replacing both the battery *and* the controller may prove to be cost-prohibitive. So they're saying "no" -- for now.

    Even the 2-year old iPhone 4 charger is incompatible with an iPhone 5.

    -- Ardie
    I not sure your 2013 Model S will be compatible with a 2021 deuterium-cobalt-polymer battery.
     
  18. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    there is some merit to these thoughts Ardie.

    However, I don't see how this would prohibit a person that originally bought a 60 kWh battery from replacing it with an 85 kWh when the time comes. We know they are compatible with everything else in the car. The Tesla statement would seem to prohibit this as well, which to me is just asinine.

    As always, just MHO.

    Cheers
     
  19. Longhorn92

    Longhorn92 MS VIN #10103 (40 kWh)

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    Unfortunately, I have an e-mail from Walter Franck from March 2012 stating that it is possible to upgrade in the future from 40 kWh to 85 kWh, and that it would get you the extra range and faster 0-60 time.
     
  20. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    But we don't actually know what differences there are between the 85kWh and the 60kWh. Are all the wiring harnesses the same? Do the battery packs have the same weight? Same CG? Are the suspension setups the same? Do they have different programming? Different firmware?

    Tesla knows these things. And I imagine they tried to make the as similar as possible, but cost, and testing may have drifted them apart. There are certain expectations with a factory part that don't come with aftermarket parts. I don't see why Tesla would commit to allowing people to upgrade their packs. If they can offer a bulletproof solution they will. But Tesla doesn't want to get people's hopes up.

    I think it might happen (at least SC60kWh to 85kWh may be possible) but don't bet on it.
     

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