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Model S concerns--Need advice

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by seev, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. seev

    seev New Member

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    Hi
    First post here. ..Have a reservation number in the 15000's and have couple of days left to finalize the order to get the old price...Test drove the car once (wanted another drive but the local Tesla store was not very accommodating and told me all their test drive spots for the next 3 months are full :(..

    Car drives great but not too impressed with the interior finishes...Was planning to get the 60KwH option but concerned about missing out on future improvements by being a relatively early adopter :)...Main concerns:
    1. Substantial battery pack improvements in the near future: Has tesla made any statements (or general ideas) on how fast the battery tech will improve i.e., miles range improvement with the same battery size? Two years down the line, will the 60KWhr battery pack be providing a range of 300miles which we will be missing (unless replaced with the newer pack [$$$]
    2. Are there concerns about the Lithium battery fires on tesla S similar to what the boeing Dreamliners are encountering ..
    3. Any clues on when Tesla plans to refresh the model S with improved interiors and new features such as park/lane assist, LTE modem for data connectivity, higher resolution Super AMOLED Screens :)
     
  2. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    1) Battery tech is a moving target. Conservative estimates are 8% improvement per year, so will get more for less in future.
    2) 5 star crash ratings, no issues. Tesla is very good at battery management. It is practically their core specialty, imho.
    3) No clues. Even if they knew, they shouldn't tell. You don't eat today's sales in hopes for one tomorrow. With Roadsters some things could be retrofitted.
    LTE modem might or might not already be in the car, just not activated. Screen seems unlikely to change anytime soon. Parking really is pretty easy, but those systems mentioned could be difficult to add without getting at a high rate from an existing automaker (and competitor).
     
  3. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    On #1 and #2, you're kinda wanting your cake and eat it too. I've been going through this in some detail because my HOA Board is being very difficult. One of the board members even brought up the same Dreamliner battery woes as a concern in allowing me to install an outlet to charge in our common garage. I've enlisted the help of Tesla in making the case why this isn't an issue.

    Basically, one of the reasons the Tesla is safer is because they are using a relatively mature battery product. The chemistry and form factor they are using have been around for many years. So, it's a known quantity. Not all Lithium ion batteries are the same. Are there more energy dense batteries available than what Tesla using? Yes, but it might cost more, and more importantly, it may not be as tried and tested as what they are using. Tesla has to strike the balance between higher output, but also stable and safe. And then throw cost into the mix.

    For #1, there will be improvements. I think Tesla will change the chemistry over time, as they see stable, yet higher energy batteries evolve. So, whenever you buy, there will always be something better in the future. I don't see them changing it for a while though. The focus is on consistent execution, not improving the product substantially at this point. THey've already got the best product available.

    For #2, totally different scenarios, they aren't related.

    For #3, again, I see improvements will always be coming, but I don't think they will focus on those at this time. It will be at least a year, and likely years before there is a legit competitor. And just like you buy a Samsung GS3, a GS4 is coming you know it.
     
  4. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    1. The 8% number is widely speculated to be the amount of energy per dollar improvement per year. I bet that Tesla's pricing has taken this into account, and that the price of the car will stay the same, while Tesla's costs go down - so that it is very possible that early adopters are "getting the best deal". I also don't expect Tesla to change the battery offerings on the Model S for at least 3 or 4 years, but could be wrong.

    2. Tesla Roadsters use the same battery tech as the Model S and have been on the road for 4 years. None have had a battery fire problem. I am not concerned, I don't think anyone else should be either. The history of the Roadster shows that its battery fire risk is much lower ( ~2500 cars - oldest are 4 years old, no fires ) than the fire risk for a traditional gas car ( about 1 gas car in 1000 burns in the US each year NFPA :: Research :: Fire statistics :: The U.S. fire problem ).

    3. nope
     
  5. hvb

    hvb Member

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    #5 hvb, Feb 8, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
    For what it's worth, I had many similar questions and concerns about the Model S. That's understandable considering the uncertainty of new technology and from such a young company. But after doing more research on Tesla, it dawned on me that I had an opportunity to be part of a sea change. I firmly believe that we can make a difference (and do it in style). Right now, this may only apply to those who can afford to spend $50-100K on a car, but by being early adopters we are showing others that electric vehicles are not only viable but can be amazing, too. Also, the only way the less expensive, mass market Gen III vehicle will make it to market is if enough people buy a Model S.

    Friends have asked why I would risk so much money on a car. Others have wondered why we would install a solar energy system when the hydro-powered electricity in Washington is already cheap and relatively clean. The answer is that I believe in Tesla and clean energy. We owe it to each other and future generations to do what we can for the environment. And one way to do that is to "normalize" the idea. If people see more EVs and solar panels around, then these things won't seem so different and exotic anymore.

    The real question is whether you've got the stomach to be an early adopter. It's true that the Model S isn't flawless. I read this forum every day and am aware of the potential issues that may come up. I expect to receive my car next month and am okay with the idea that there might be some problems to work out. But I trust that Tesla will do the right thing. Ask yourself whether the Model S as it is designed and built today is acceptable to you. If it isn't, maybe you should wait for v2.0. I on the other hand will be driving around in my not-quite-perfect but still-freaking-amazing car!
     
  6. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    Regarding the Boeing battery fires, there are threads on this forum somewhere. Musk and Tesla offered advice/assistance to Boeing apparently. The actually cell structures of the battery in the MS is different and, per Musk, much safer.
     
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I have finalized and am expecting delivery in Mar/Apr, but this was the biggest thing holding me back. I think the exterior is gorgeous, but find the interior aesthetics lacking (this is a personal taste issue). The interior, IMHO is a step down from my current car. I also had some reservations about the lack of many tech features found as standard equipment in other cars of this class and price bracket. At the end of the day, the overall benefits outweighed these shortcomings and, as I say, I've finalized.
     
  8. Zextraterrestrial

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    sorry if you said somewhere else or here & I missed it, what is your current car?

    interior is definitely a personal taste thing - I love the S interior better than the 02-04 LS Lexus' or Mercedes S 500 ('08?) that I have rode in, but those are all I can compare it to. After the S those are antique cars (even if they have blind spot sensors etc which are totally unnecessary in the S)
     
  9. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    mknox drives a Caddy CTS.

     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Yes, as mnx says, I have at Cadillac CTS. I really do like the CTS interior, features and functions and do notice this when getting back into the car after having sat in a Model S. I also find it curious that Tesla left out door pocket, seat back and center console storage on the Model S. But please, this is a personal observation and is in no way meant to take anything away from those who feel the Model S interior is perfect.

    What I also notice about the CTS after having driven a Model S is how the ICE huffs and puffs and makes lots of noise and generally feels like I'm dragging a boat anchor behind me in comparison to the Tesla :smile:
     
  11. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    In general AMOLED screens probably won't make it into a car, at least no without great improvments. They are generally much less bright that a traditional LCD display. They have a lifespan that probably wont equate to a normally vehicle lifespan. They have 2 major advantages which don't mean much in a Tesla. They are super low power, but compared to the battery pack a regular LED backlit LCD isn't going to be a problem. And they can be made paper thin. Again not really a problem as the screen is built into the dash.

    The main advantage I could see is having a non-flat display with OLEDs. But I am not sure if the touch technology is quite there yet to swap out the main screen.

    As for other items just like buying any car they will have fancier gadgets the next year. Nothing special about Tesla here.
     
  12. jerry33

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

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    Right. With any hi-tech purchase, you buy what seems best to you at the time and then after the purchase you never look at another review until the item no longer does what you need it to do. (Exception: if your very wealthy, you just buy the new model as they come out.)
     
  13. Hut

    Hut Canada

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    I have a similar concern about the interior finishes too. For example the leather wear near the B pillar and the rear seats.
     
  14. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    The question assumes that the current screen is inferior as a tablet screen might be. Not the case with the Model S touch screen. They have made it brighter than any laptop/tablet since they have no concerns for power drain, the touch screen works very well and every review of the car backs this (even the skeptics) and the AMOLED advantages are not even that imports to a screen that is displaying graphic buttons most of the time.
     
  15. Kaivball

    Kaivball Member

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    That's why we are all different.

    Personally I can't stand the caddy interior.
     
  16. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    I sense part of your reservation in not proceeding is the local store's reluctance to accommodate your request for a second drive. I know I would be thinking "if they are inflexible before they have my money, how are they going to treat me after the sale". My advise would be to contact the manager of the store and see if you can't arrange another test drive. I really think a second drive would put your doubts to bed, but the only way to know for sure is to do the drive. Good Luck.
     
  17. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    seev, where do you live?
    If you live near a major city, there's likely someone on this forum that would let you take the car for an extended spin, and would be interested in talking through what they like/dislike about the car.

    Any new car that you drive away is going to lose value rapidly. If you're not willing to accept that, buy a car that's at least 5 years old.

    I don't think many of us feel like the Dreamliner battery failures have anything to do with our cars. That's not to say that our cars don't have a fire risk. Any time you store tens of kWh of energy in one place, there's a risk whether it's gasoline, hydrogen, a flywheel, or a battery. Most of us trust, however, that our batteries have sufficient failsafes in place to prevent multiple cells from releasing their energy at once even in the event of a crash. The issue of them catching fire without some kind of mechanical damage seems almost laughable.
     
  18. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    seev,
    Tesla has put more energy (pardon the pun) into the battery design then any other part of the car. They have forced single cells into thermal run away to insure the overall design prevents one cell from affecting its neighbors. Each cell is fused at both polls of the battery. Single cells can fail without impacting overall rated capacity. These are but a few things learned from comments by Tesla over the years and reviewing pictures of Tesla packs that have been opened (RAV EV Battery thread on TMC). The battery is the item I have the most faith in.

    With respect to the interior, I believe Tesla has some work in front of them. Early adopters will accept Tesla's choices. Many have stated that they have never spent XYZ dollars on a car before. Those customers will be moving up and thus not have expectations that 750li, A8 or S Class customers would have. As time moves on, Tesla will have to appeal to the general public and a portion of those people will pass on MS because of the interior. I tried like h*** to get my wife to go for a second MS (I wanted Red/Tan) and she would not go for it because her expectations have been set by the cars mentioned earlier. She also lacks the nerd gene that would have me buying the car even if they strapped lawn chairs to bare metal floors.

    As others have said, go drive the car again. If your in the WPB, Fl area, come drive mine. You'll know by the feel of the car if it is right for you.

    Good Luck,
    Bill
     
  19. gene

    gene Active Member

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    Tommy, good advice. I have already finalized. I must sign my contract by Feb. 19th. With your advice, I realize, that is exactly what I need. I need one more drive and I need my wife along who has not yet even sat in a Model S. I called my local store (an hour away) and the very nice fellow there said he'd squeeze me in as long as the manager agrees. I'll find out tomorrow. I suppose if they don't give me a second test drive, that would not be a positive in the direction of signing the contract. After all, Nissan will let you drive a Leaf as much as you want ;)

    I'm in Ventura, CA. Any Model S owner not to far away, if we could look at yours that would be awesome!

    Thx to everyone on this site, Gene
     
  20. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Nobody has any idea how fast new battery tech will make it to market. Do your own research and make your own guesses. Heck, I know of a much much better battery tech and I'm not expecting it to make it to market in 10 years.

    No. Each Tesla cell is isolated and individually fused, rather than packed into a single box. There's also ample cooling. Result: any fires due to defects will be contained and stopped. There have been no fires with Tesla batteries so far.

    No. Don't hold your breath; Tesla has its hands full trying to get the factory going at full speed, dealing with supplier problems, trying to train hundreds of staff members, opening new service centers and stores, getting sleep mode working on the Model S, designing the model X, fixing their internal communications problems, improving their business procedures, installing superchargers, etc. etc. etc. I wouldn't expect any interior changes for at least a year unless they (a) make Tesla's factory operate more cheaply and efficiently or (b) solve a problem which a LOT of people have been complaining about (such as the defroster).

    - - - Updated - - -

    I will say this: I thought the Model S seats were more comfortable, and the layout more ergonomic, than in the A8 or similar cars. There's been a trend in seat design which I really dislike and Tesla managed to not follow that trend.
     

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