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Need Colorado Owner Perspective on Range

Discussion in 'Mountain/Southwest' started by PaulJB, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. PaulJB

    PaulJB Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
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    Location:
    Denver
    Help Colorado Tesla Owners!

    I am a in-store Model 3 reservation holder living in Denver, and I'm trying to figure out if I need to get the long range Model 3. I had initially planned to spend ~$42K on my Model 3 (not incl. tax, dest charge, etc), so just upgrading to the longer range will push my budget. So, I'm trying to determine whether I should get a long range Model 3 with no options ($44K) or a Standard Model 3 with possibly the premium upgrade package ($35-40K). I am not waiting for AWD because I don't think the full federal rebate will be available at the time.

    Here's a bit of background on my driving situation:

    -Model 3 will support my family (me, wife, and 2 kids under 4yrs.)
    -We live in Denver.
    -Model 3 will replace a 2012 Toyota Prius.
    -Model 3 is intended for daily driving and occasional long distance (see below).
    -We have an SUV which we use for camping, skiing, and other mountain driving that puts us off the beaten path.
    -We do however plan to occasionally take day trips in the Tesla in the mountains.
    -Model 3 daily driving requirements: <20 miles
    -Annual long distance requirements in the Model 3: 2 trips to Kansas City (1 is in winter), 1 summer trip to Minneapolis.

    Can those of you that have lived with a Tesla in Colorado give your perspective on which direction I should go? Also, any other guidance on Tesla ownership in Colorado is appreciated as well.

    Thanks!
    Paul
     
  2. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 2017.42

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    #2 MorrisonHiker, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
    Since you have another vehicle for long road trips and they are adding a bunch of new Superchargers in the next year and a half, I think you'd be fine with the shorter range version. Initially, I had a reservation for the X but then decided I wanted more range than passenger room. I then looked at the 70D but ended up getting the S 90D because I wanted more range and because it is my only vehicle. Now that there are more future Superchargers on the map, especially for Colorado, I don't think you'd have any problem with the shorter range 3. It would take you a few minutes more each Supercharger stop to charge but you could spend the $9000 on the other options instead of the battery.

    If you made more frequent long distance road trips each year, the longer range version might be a better idea but with just one or two trips, it would take a long time for the time savings to make up for the increased cost.

    I've traveled over 4000 miles across Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah and Nevada so far and do enjoy my 90. A friend had a 60D that barely could make it from Hays to Goodland but he was able to do the software unlock to upgrade to a 75. Also, a new Supercharger in Colby will make that stretch easier for those with smaller batteries in the future.

    I suggest using ABetterRoutePlanner.com to plot out your routes and see what it says. You can easily compare the time savings you'd have with different cars. Actually, I just tried a trip to KC from Denver and was surprised that the standard range would take about 1:20 longer than the long range battery. Hmm...
     
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  3. azred

    azred Member

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    I have family in Colorado and drive there a lot. Supercharging speeds past 80% are terrible so that drops range of the 220 to 170 or so. Cold and elevation uphill will surely drop that 170 to no more than 150. Would you even consider an ICE with that kind of range even though gas stations are everywhere and fill-ups take only a couple minutes? Of course not. I know lots of people think it's swell to take the battery as close to "empty" as possible. Would you do that with an ICE? Not likely. Superchargers are expanding rapidly but sales will grow exponentially. That means waiting times at many Superchargers especially in urban areas. No one wants to spend the nine large. But you'll probably get a lot of it back on resale.
     
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  4. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    in your part of the world with it's severe elevation changes and very cold winters I'd recommend getting a car that offers all the range that you possibly could get
     
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  5. MileHighMotoring

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    Parker, CO
    You'll never regret spending a little more for a bigger battery.
     
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  6. PaulJB

    PaulJB Member

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    I have been looking at the EV Trip Planner but had to approximate range using semi-equivalent Model S cars, but I'll try the route planner you suggested. I like that it provides an option for the Model 3. Anyhow, that stretch from Goodland to Hays was concerning for me as well.
     
  7. PaulJB

    PaulJB Member

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    Thanks everyone for the input!
     
  8. ev-now

    ev-now Member

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    Late but ...

    We have MS60, wish we'd gone bigger. The advice that you cannot beat having more range is sound. I'd say the estimated drop of 20 miles for temp is conservative if anything. If you can, go larger.

    Note - you will likely want to go everywhere in your Tesla - I know our mileage for that car is now way higher relatively than it was when it was an ICE (i.e. we both prefer to drive the Tesla for cost and enjoyment). So you might find way more trips you want to do in it than you expect.

    You don't mention AWD/RWD - as a datapoint my MS60 is RWD and I have driven is pretty intense snow here in CO with no issues. I do have proper winter tires - not all seasons - include having tires (and rims if you want to make it easy) in your budget. PM me with any more questions.
     
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  9. PaulJB

    PaulJB Member

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    Thanks @ev-now. I'm starting to lean more toward the longer range, and your comment furthers that fact. Regarding RWD/AWD, I was originally planning to do AWD, but given the timing of the federal tax incentive and some further thought, I feel comfortable with RWD, especially if I get winter tires.

    I'll let you know if any other questions come up. Thanks!
     
  10. napoleonblownapa

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    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Spend the money, sir! You will NEVER come to regret spending the money for the longer range! The winters here decrease your range tremendously. Spend.
     
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  11. Pandamoanium

    Pandamoanium Member

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    How often will you actually be driving longer distances? I honestly find the range a plus in winter but aside from that I've never needed to keep an eye on my SOC and worry about it. When you go to the mountains, there is a SC in Silverthorne, I've heard to 100Ds being able to skip it but I think it would be a good stopping point for your young family.
     

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