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Model S total cost of ownership spreadsheet / model - looking for input!

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ljwobker, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. ljwobker

    ljwobker Geek.

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    #1 ljwobker, Dec 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
    As part of my self-justification process for possibly buying a Model S in late 2014 when the lease on my LEAF is up, I've tried to build out a reasonably accurate and yet tolerably simple TCO model spreadsheet, which I've posted on google docs here:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10zGeyOZ-RUSF_rjRu7mWNRc81ceN4Qk2EWDElhJe6gA/edit#gid=2035859154


    The model includes input costs for
    • the vehicle itself, assuming a cash purchase at least for the moment
    • the depreciation cost, with a best, middle, and worst-case estimate for the Model S
      • this is BY FAR the largest input for the model S, so I'd love opinions on this as well
    • energy costs (gasoline, diesel, electricity) with inputs for changing expected fuel costs
    • tire cost
    • maintenance - my numbers are exceptionally accurate for the Acura TL which I've owned for almost 10 years, and the estimates for the other stuff should be at least relatively close...
    • insurance - I could use some help here but all in all it's not a huge input to the total cost
    • does not currently include any discount rate / time-value of money calculations, reflecting the current exceptionally low interest rate environment

    I'd love to have folks from the group who may have more experience take a look over this and let me know if there's anything obvious that I've missed, or anything that I have grossly over or underestimated.
     
  2. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    My spreadsheet included TCOs for years 1-10. I put it up against all the luxury hybrids, Volvo XC60 T6, and even the Leaf.

    The Leaf was the absolute lowest TCO for every year, but the features were not good enough (cargo space, range, etc.)

    Interestingly enough, around year 5-6 when the Model S is paid off, the rest of the lower-priced cars start to catch up with the TCO calcs. In the end of the 10 year chart, the $56k Volvo XC60 T6 (for example) cost ~$15k MORE 10y TCO than the Model S. And, that was based on 14k miles a year. Blast that annual miles driven up to 20-30k and the TCO is lower (including acquisition costs) BEFORE it's 5-6 year loan is paid off!

    One day, my wife and I met a lady at the mall with a Model S and we chatted for a bit. She said her previous vehicle's (Hummer H2) fuel bill was almost $900/mo. PER MONTH!!! Her ROI was VERY quick, compared to others. ;)
     
  3. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    Ok - how did you pay $32,500 for a Leaf? That would be $40k retail. I do think you can get to $30k with sales tax. Does your Tesla cost count sales tax?

    And to continue the Leaf argument - it should not have the same energy cost as a Tesla - Mine read 4.3 mi/kwh and I haven't reset that counter in 5,000 miles so it is pretty good (although not truly including winter). I live in your area. Probably safe to use 4 mi/kwh for a Leaf and 3 for a Tesla. There will always be more background/vampire losses with a Tesla even if they optimize things perfectly.

    $.03 a mile energy? I figure about $.012. Duke/Progress has a TOU-D rate which makes sense for most anyone with an EV that can charge at night. 5 cents a KWh. The Leaf should easily get 4 miles per Kwh even accounting for charging loses in our climate.

    Don't forget property tax.

    You have maintenance for 8 years at $3800 for a Tesla and $3000 for a Leaf. This is all a big unknown but I think the difference will be greater. When the annual required maintenance for a Leaf is $100 and free for the first 2 years and Tesla is $475 per year, I think it is fair to say the 8 year difference will be more. You could argue the maintenance costs for the Leaf are about $600 over 8 years. You can add in 2 brake fluid changes at $100 a piece to get to $800. I'll even give you another $200 to replace wiper blades and the 12V battery once. So $1000 is about right.

    The depreciation on a Leaf is pretty bad. Not saying it will be wrong but it is definitely a worse case scenario. If in 8 years, a new battery is $4k - that will be one cheap used car.

    Ok - no one is saying that Leaf=Tesla but if you are trying to get a realistic TCO difference, the inputs need to be realistic. That you have a 2 year lease working out to be cheaper than an 8 year purchase option is not realistic IMO. Now - it is certainly possible the Leaf battery will need replacing before 8 years on your dime and that is hard to plan for.

    Throw in $30k purchase, 80% residual, less energy, less maintenance and I just took $6.5k off your TCO - or about 20%.
     
  4. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    I tried to justify a purchase of a Model S on an economic calculation myself and failed miserably.

    Only if you drive a lot of miles per year, and/or use supercharging regularly, you might come close.

    For all other cases, do what I did in my spread sheet: Put in the following lines in the EV column

    not going to the gas station - priceless
    not polluting my local neighborhood with cancerous particles - priceless
    not paying for imported oil or the countries that produce oil - priceless
    driving on renewable energy sources - priceless
    driving smoothly and nearly silent - priceless
     
  5. ljwobker

    ljwobker Geek.

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    All great stuff. No idea how I forgot the tax credit on the LEAF purchase, that's been fixed. I have 15,000 miles on my LEAF with an average energy usage of 3.4, so there's no way I can realistically put 4 into that box at least for the way I'm going to drive it.

    The maintenance on the Tesla was computed based on their pre-pain plan, which covers "Everything except tires". Obviously we don't know what the 8-year costs on a LEAF will be, but it's really really hard for me to imagine that it'll be $1000. In my personal case I'm more interested in figuring out if the estimates of the other ICE vehicles is close.

    The LEAF was recently reported as one of the fastest depreciating cars on the road, which makes intuitive sense to me - the battery is not large enough that one with 75% charge left applies to a lot of people, and the changes in the technology will render these obsolete much faster than "regular" cars. I have 15000 miles on my LEAF and I absolutely LOVE it, but there is no way in hell that I would want this particular car sitting in the driveway in 6 years - which is why I leased mine and will almost certainly lease another one for the family when this one is up. Lease, absolutely. Buy? No way.

    On the energy use, when I looked at Duke Power TOU-D rates, I computed that if *at any point* during the day we were running both the home A/C unit and the clothes dryer, it would push us into the much much higher 'penanty' day rate, which would completely wipe out any savings from charging the car at night. Did I miss this calculation somehow? It would meaningfully impact both the LEAF and the Tesla.

    Thanks again for the feedback!
     
  6. stealthnhawk

    stealthnhawk Member

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    why don't they make 200mi leaf...
     
  7. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    I don't think Nissan knows how. Toyota had to partner with Tesla to make their only electric.

     
  8. ljwobker

    ljwobker Geek.

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    They know how, they just don't think that they can sell enough of them to make any money. For Tesla to even remotely come close to breaking even on a 200mi EV, they had to build what is in effect a super-car. Nissan isn't interested in taking that kind of business risk.
     
  9. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    My last car I sold with 6 years, 85k miles and if you take away oil changes and transmission fluid changes, the only maintenance was wiper blades and a 12V battery. There is no reason to think the Leaf will be any different. Sure I should have changed brake fluid once.

    A simple EV should need very little maintenance.

    I have a lot of electric in my house - heat pumps, dryer, oven, backup for solar hot water and 2 a/c for a total of 7 tons. My largest peak in the last 6 months was this month at 5.4. Most have been 4 or so. This month's bill was $120 and would have been $145 with regular rates.

    If a/c is your concern, just remember that it isn't all year long. And you do a lot better if you control the dryer times.

    If you get 3.4 mi/kw you will certainly do worse with a Tesla, although if you do a lot of highway if won't be much different.

    The depreciation is fast on a Leaf mostly for 2 very big reasons - TC is a significant percentage of purchase price and isn't accounted for in resale value and Nissan dropped the price significantly (and added features). I sincerely doubt Nissan will be able to drop price again that much.
     
  10. ljwobker

    ljwobker Geek.

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    I'm glad I'm not the one who bought that 6yr/85k mile car from you... my TL for the first 85k miles was 5.5 years, and checking my maint. records it cost me about $1300 in scheduled and other minor maintenance, plus two replacement sets of tires at about $600 each.

    Which Duke plan are you on? When you say "your largest peak was 5.4" -- what is that unit? 5.4 kW doesn't sound like it's possible, that would be 5400/240->22.5 amps, which just a clothes dryer alone would draw, never mind a clothes dryer plus a couple of A/C units that have to pull at leats 10-15A each when running (at 240v).
     
  11. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    Ok. So I think you may be a bit off on insurance for the year. I'd realistically say it wouldbe closer to more like $1100-1200 per year depending on deductible you choose but I think that's a bit low.

    One other thing I wanted to ask is do you ever get "range anxiety" in your leaf prompting you to take an ICE on longer trips/road trips etc? Are you planning this MS tobe you daily driver? I'm asking these questions because since we've gotten our MS my hubs and I find ourself thinking oh I forgot that let's go grab it from the store (which is a 25 mi round trip) we. Would have never done this in our ICE. We put roughly 1100 mi on each of our two ICE before MS we've had her for one month and put 3500 miles on her. She's fun to drive like no other. Just food for thought. You will likely find yourself pushing beyond that 16k mark.
     
  12. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    The dryer doesn't quite hit 5.4 alone. It cycles and the peak is a 15 minute average. I have pulled 14 at night when it doesn't matter. There is only 1 TOU-D rate schedule as far as I know.

    People (at Duke?) will tell you that your peak will be the sum of your large draws. Sure - in a worse case scenario. They tell everyone that it will cost more and not to do it. I'm not really sure why.

    My other data point is a Tesla Owner who had a $1000 a month bill - 13k sqft and horribly designed house IMO. He made a few changes and switched to TOU-D and went down to $500. This was before the Tesla. He has since added a 17kw solar system.

    When you do the solar rebate with Duke/Progress, they force you into TOU-D as part of the deal. When you have solar, the TOU-D makes less sense - since you use less kw but your peak is probably the same.

    On maintenance - I did replace the cabin filter - forgot that. The OEM was ridiculously priced so I cut a $10 home filter. I suppose I did that twice.
    Have you looked at the Leaf maintenance schedule? - brake fluid, cabin filter and tire rotation. Really hard to get to $3000 with that.

    On Leaf vs Tesla vs ICE rentals - for most people, there is still a spouse with an ICE. So the pain of roadtrips is not in dollars but having to drive the spouse's car. Raleigh/Cary has 2 primary road trip locations and both are issues with a Tesla. The beach requires charging while you are there (and good luck) and the mountains are still unreachable with SCs. We have a beach house I can install a 240 line on and we go all the time. The best I can get is $200 savings per year on energy costs with a Tesla.
     
  13. Martini

    Martini Member

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    I would like to point out that there seems to be some unknown probability that a Tesla will have trouble holding alignment and will lead to extra tire replacement costs. This seems to be a "you have it or you don't" problem. The lower operating cost per mile for electrics vs ICE should probably imply a higher miles driven assumption for EVs. There should be some behavioral response to the lower marginal cost of use.

    But the intangibles involved probably dominate the purchase decision, as Volker points out. It is interesting to see how the higher up-front and lower operating costs for EVs work out over time though.
     
  14. ljwobker

    ljwobker Geek.

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    #14 ljwobker, Dec 24, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
    Yeah, I had lots of trouble with insurance because right now we have combined homeowners, 3 cars, umbrella all in one place and there are discounts that make it really hard to break out the delta. I suppose I could just call and ask, but that would be way too simple. ;-)

    And yes, the model S would be a daily driver for me. Right now we are Outback + Acura TL + LEAF. When the LEAF lease is up this fall, will likely transition to Outback + Model S + new LEAF (leased)... the hope is that another 2 year LEAF lease would get us to a gen3 Tesla. We definitely still do long trips in the ICE vehicles. I'd honestly say there is zero range anxiety for me now - I spent about a month when we first got the LEAF figuring out exactly what it would and would not do, and in what ways the reported range/charge was accurate and what ways it wasn't. So now I routinely do an Apex <--> North Durham round trip on right at a full charge... I get back home with <5 miles remaining, but I also know everywhere along the trip that I can slow down from 70->60mph on the freeway and "catch up" if it's cold or raining or whatever. I know a lot of people aren't interested in doing that work, but to me it's part of the fun.

    I got the 16k miles/year based on 18k/year of driving the TL, then assumed there would be roughly 2k per year that couldn't be done due to range limits... although to be honest I don't know where that would be. Our "long" trips from Cary are the beach (where we can charge) and just west of Winston Salem (where we can charge) and to the mountains (where we can charge). The only thing I can't see us being able to do is a "day trip" to the mountains, but any time we go out there we stay with family and can at least do an overnight charge on a dryer outlet, which combined with the Burlington supercharger should get us there and back. And even if not, that's at most one or two trips a year.

    The big gain for me is this: I make about 60 same-day round trips a year from Cary down to the Fort Bragg area. It's 90 miles each way, almost all at highway speeds. I figure that this is well within the safety margin of an S85, even with no charging while I'm there for the day. At the very least I expect I could plug into a 120v/15A for a few hours, and I'm relatively certain I can talk the place I visit into installing an L6-20 or maybe even a 14-50.

    In any case, I expect the model S to replace the Acura TL for everything except the most corner of corner-case trips, and we still have the wife's Subaru to cover that case.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yeah, I'll have to look into this a lot more closely before plunking down that much cash, but my initial research seems that it's limited to 21" wheels (I would only get 19's) and it should be something that's covered under warranty and if you know to look for it can be detected/fixed early.

    Agree on the first point in general, but it's hard for me to imagine driving any car more than I already drive the (LEAF + Acura) in a given year. I violently agree that the intangibles are a huge part of this, but my aims with the spreadsheet were:

    * to convince myself I had done the correct purely economic analysis

    * to convince my wife that the car I was considering was only "four times as expensive" in an up-front sense... I knew it wasn't going to cost 4x as much to drive this compared to a nice Audi or Acura over 6-8 years, but I needed to try and realistically quantify that.

    * give the community a starting point for doing their own specific financial calculations

    New version of doc: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10zGeyOZ-RUSF_rjRu7mWNRc81ceN4Qk2EWDElhJe6gA/edit?usp=sharing
     
  15. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    Just to nit pick - you have the Model S maintenance too low - the $3800 covers only 100k miles.

    Also when it comes to maintenance, you don't have a line item for repairs (included in maintenance?). While this is completely unknown, it may be significant. You could look at extended warranty costs as some guide - of course you need to look at Invoice cost for the dealer based ones because they retail at $3k but can be had for $1200 (as an example). I don't think any of your comparison cars have extended warranties as expensive as Tesla's when you account for the price you can buy it at.

    Property tax for Tesla = $5000 for 8 years; Altima $2000. (estimates)

    Everyone who does these things is always trying to minimize the extra cost of a Tesla - often making it cheaper than a $40k BMW. I applaud your worst case scenario but I still think you could do better.

    Obviously your driving screams out for a Tesla. I think your annual mileage estimates are too low....Make the mileage 24k and the Tesla is close to the cheapest option.

    Can't even get 120 in N. Durham? I live extremely close to you and I could use a 40 mile range horribly degraded Leaf the vast majority of the time (charging available in Raleigh at work).
     
  16. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    To the OP you said that all those trips you'd take you could charge when you'd get there. How many of those trips right now are you leave the leaf home and taking the ICE? I'm wondering because it doesn't sound to me like you have ONE car that is what you mainly drive for everything but it sounds like you have the leaf which you. Drive to work and then the Acura which you drive on the weekends and for family trips. With the tesla and with the planning you said you really enjoy doing I would think you could get rid of the Acura and I would even bet by the end of month three you would be down to the tesla and the new leaf. We started off trading our truck and kept my husbands commuter car and then thought we'd also keep my honda pilot. We're a month in and we've got the pilot up for sale. We have no need for this third car. The tesla does everything and more!!
     
  17. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    Agree with above. It really seems like he could have just 2 cars - but we don't know other issues. We have a Leaf and an ICE and with a Tesla we would drop the ICE. Yes - certain day trips are tough - like Wilmington. But I always figure that a rare car switch with a friend won't be hard with a Tesla...
     
  18. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    Agreed. I have several friends and family that would tear off limbs to drive my tesla for the day!
     
  19. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    #19 David_Cary, Dec 26, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
    I have to think this is all a very constructive exercise when someone has limited resources (technically we all do) and isn't sure if the Model S is worth it for them.

    I went back and looked at my last car (super cheap). A 2006 HCH II. Cost about $20k after TC with sales tax and sold for $9k at 80k miles/6 years. Gas today would have been $6500 (actual cost was probably $4500 but I anticipate we won't return to $50 a barrel ever again). Maintenance = $1000 (rounded up).

    I would skip insurance (all are too close to care) and tires - obviously there are real costs at 19 inch performance vs 15 inch economy but that balances out with the handling benefit. You can always buy super cheap 19s that last 50,000 miles or very expensive ones that last 10,000 miles.

    So HCH was $18.5k for 80k miles or $.23 a mile.

    Leaf anticipated is $25k - $8k after 80k miles. $1000 maintenance (rounded way up). $1000 fuel (rounded way up). So $19k or same basically same as HCH. 10 times better car to drive. Even if the residual is $3k, the cost per mile is only $.30. Worth the extra cost for 10 times better car to drive.

    Tesla anticipated is $75k - $25k after 80k miles. $3k maintenance. $1k fuel. Or $54k or $.67 a mile. So 3 times the cost for 10 times better car to drive.

    So the Leaf was a no brainer. The Tesla will cost me $35k over 6 years to drive over the comparable. That is $500 a month and that involved keeping it 6 years and completely neglecting time value of money.

    If I keep the Tesla 15 years and 180,000 miles with just $10k in repairs and residual of $10k, the cost per mile is $.41. Still almost twice the cost of a Leaf. Arguably the Leaf at that mileage is $25k +$10k new battery - residual of $3k is just $.17 a mile. I'm sure the Leaf would have repairs but I'm also pretty sure the battery would be cheaper by the time it needs replacing so you could say $6k for battery and $4k for repairs.
     
  20. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Is there any chance you can go from three cars down to two cars as a result of picking up the S? Significantly affects your costs. Rent an ICE for the "most corner of corner-case trips".

    I'm having a very good experience with my 21s. Put them in storage for the winter; had about 4500 miles on them when I switched to snows. The tire specialty shop said they were in great shape with tread (still had 7/32" on them) and thought they might last me ALL of next summer.


    I notice in your spreadsheet you compare against a couple of other vehicles, e.g., Audi A6 TDI. I'd argue that this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, even if it does reflect your current thinking about what you might pick for yourself. The luxury, performance and people/cargo capacity of the Model S put it in a different comparison band than the alternatives you are considering. I'd suggest that a more accurate comparison is to a BMW 5- or 7-series, to an Audi A8, a Porsche Panamera Turbo, or a suitable Mercedes. One poster said that the Model S sits at "that interesting intersection of a family mini-van and a supercar" (I'm not quoting accurately but I think I have the gist). How true. My P85+ does 0-60 at an insane acceleration while performing like a dream and yet holds 5 adults+2 kids+frunk cargo, or two adults plus a TON of cargo in the back and in the frunk.

    You might say that you are only doing a purely economic analysis... but shouldn't your analysis be able to capture at the very least the cargo differential? Cost per pound moved per mile? The Leaf is going to need extra trips.

    After all, if you're in the market for an S, you *could* choose to buy one of the other vehicles I've mentioned above. And when you start thinking about those economics, the S becomes relatively cheap very quickly.

    And thank you for it!

    Best wishes for great results with *whatever* car you choose to purchase!

    Alan
     

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