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New Buyer Questions

Eric S

Member
Jul 4, 2016
81
26
Westchester County
Every few years I lose my mind and consider breaking my budget to buy an "S". Here I am again...and have some questions:

1. I was surprised to see some experts are down re: Tesla's approach toward full self-driving (i.e. issues of hi-def maps and LIDAR). I'm sure this is a debate that could occupy pages of forum space, but can anyone offer a quick upshot re: forum consensus? Are lots of owners uneasy about this, or do we TiE (trust in Elon)?

2. Ignorant guess: Obama-era incentives might be restored under the Biden administration. Without getting into politics, is that a reasonable assumption...i.e. a reason to wait?

3. Are these cars lasting ok? I understand no combustion theoretically means longer life, but is it panning out that way, or are aspects like body wear and electrical causing longevity problems?

4. What's a rough typical cost these days for adding a quality electric hook-up to one's house?

5. What's the thinking on opting for a loaded-up "3" rather than a baseline "S"?
 

DukeofURL

Member
Apr 1, 2016
800
1,932
North NJ
Every few years I lose my mind and consider breaking my budget to buy an "S". Here I am again...and have some questions:

1. I was surprised to see some experts are down re: Tesla's approach toward full self-driving (i.e. issues of hi-def maps and LIDAR). I'm sure this is a debate that could occupy pages of forum space, but can anyone offer a quick upshot re: forum consensus? Are lots of owners uneasy about this, or do we TiE (trust in Elon)?
There is no forum consensus on this, lol. It's a holy war effectively. Some think it'll work, others will die on a hill to say otherwise.

2. Ignorant guess: Obama-era incentives might be restored under the Biden administration. Without getting into politics, is that a reasonable assumption...i.e. a reason to wait?
It's possible, but if it does happen it will be very likely retroactive for the entire year it is enacted.

3. Are these cars lasting ok? I understand no combustion theoretically means longer life, but is it panning out that way, or are aspects like body wear and electrical causing longevity problems?
They're getting progressively better and better as time goes on. Back in the beginning problems with gearboxes, motors, and battery packs were far more common, they've since worked through those and any problems experienced nowadays is much less impact (I think the latest endemic issue is front half shaft wobble).

4. What's a rough typical cost these days for adding a quality electric hook-up to one's house?
Varies wildly based on local economics paired with difficulty, location, as well as unused breaker spaces in your panel and unused service capacity (i.e. if you have 100A service but already have central air and electric heat, you're likely to need an upgrade). The range would be $200 - $10,000, but likely around $1000 give or take for normal circumstances (or less).

5. What's the thinking on opting for a loaded-up "3" rather than a baseline "S"?
Most of Tesla's configurable options are software based (aside from performance motors), and can be added at any time. The S comes with options that are not available on the 3 such as heated steering wheel, adjustable suspension, power liftgate, in addition to more space and other features. It's up to you to decide whether those are worth the cost difference.
 

Crutonius

Member
Sep 12, 2020
180
156
Salt Lake City, Utah
My perspective.

1. My feelings on fsd are don't hold your breath. In my opinion Elon's goals are wildly optimistic.

2. I could be wrong but I don't think Trump actually did much to rescind any incentives towards EVs. They just sort of ran out. Biden isn't exactly Al Gore. So I don't think he'll affect EVs much.

3. Longevity hinges on a plan on what to do when the main battery fails beyond dumping it in a river and charging you 20k for a new one. Tesla currently doesn't have a plan. Hopefully with a bunch of cars coming out of warranty then that'll change.

4. If you have 2 phase power in your house and are up to wiring it yourself then it's pretty cheap. Worst case is a heavy gauge set of copper wires, conduit, breakers and the right connector. Maybe a few hundred in materials.

5. Cost and agility. But if you're in the market for a 3 then there's other EVs to consider.
 
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Eric S

Member
Jul 4, 2016
81
26
Westchester County
Two for two re: smart replies!

Thanks to you both!

Re: battery replacement, gulp. That’s gonna be turbulent. Used vehicle prices are still quite high, but as soon as batteries start wimping out there’ll be some serious game theory out there.
 
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DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
1,079
630
Kentucky
The principle of Tesla full self driving is that drivers use their eyes to determine where to drive and stop. A computer can do this better using cameras that can see everything a human can see and react faster and react correctly every time. Lidar and HiDef maps add information, but it is information drivers do not have today, so it isn't necessary. Is Elon right? :)
 

AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,601
4,159
Northern California
Most of Tesla's configurable options are software based (aside from performance motors), and can be added at any time. The S comes with options that are not available on the 3 such as heated steering wheel, adjustable suspension, power liftgate, in addition to more space and other features. It's up to you to decide whether those are worth the cost difference.
Out of curiosity what are those software based options?
 

DukeofURL

Member
Apr 1, 2016
800
1,932
North NJ
Out of curiosity what are those software based options?
Currently FSD, and Premium Connectivity features such as Spotify, satellite maps, etc. On the 3 fog lights are software-disabled if you don't purchase the premium upgrades (and I think some other things as well, but I'm not sure of the specifics there). In the past, Tesla also offered the S60D, which had a software-limited 75kWh pack, so I'd imagine they're likely to continue with more software-defined features in the future as well.

I understand the subscription model for Premium Connectivity, as wireless service is an ongoing charge and not something you can pay upfront for... I just hope that it doesn't become too much of a trend in the auto industry the way BMW has been talking about (BMW wants customers to pay a subscription fee to use features the car already has installed, like a heated steering wheel or adaptive cruise control)
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,246
684
Springfield, VA
1. It's a nice thought to be able to have FSD, but to actually be able to legally trust it to drive you from point A to point B is a ways off, methinks. It is an excellent feature for cruising and dealing with traffic jams on the highway, but I don't really care if it can drive me to the store unless I can sit on my phone or read a book. I actually like to drive, and the S is fun to drive, so there is little value in FSD for me. Ask yourself how important it is to you.

2. I'd expect minimal incentives, personally - not enough reason to wait if you want to buy now.

3. You seem to either win or lose big time. There doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground. If a battery or drive unit conks out while out of warranty (the early cars are just now coming out of their warranty period for these) then you're in for a big bill. They certainly don't seem to have any sure-to-die faults like some high end german cars though.

4. It totally depends on your panel. As Duke of URL said, it can be between a couple hundred to a few thousand. I did the install myself for around $200 including 50 ft of 6/3 romex, a 50a breaker, a 14-50 receptacle, box, and cover plate.

5. As Duke of URL said, it comes down to what features you want. The decked out 3 will be faster, and have a lower TCO, but the S has features and range not available on the 3.[/QUOTE]
 
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Eric S

Member
Jul 4, 2016
81
26
Westchester County
Crutonius’ posting about battery longevity made me dig into the warrantee info.

400 mile range sounds great, but I see only 70% of that is warranteed, and 280 mile range would be barely adequate.

Are batteries maintaining range decently for 4,5,6 years?
 

Crutonius

Member
Sep 12, 2020
180
156
Salt Lake City, Utah
There's an article about it. Don't quite remember where. The gist of it is that you can expect something like 5% degradation in the first 2 years(I'm probably a little off with these numbers) and then a much slower degradation of 1% every 2 years. I doubt many people see 30%.

Also note that degradation is a separate problem than outright failure.
 

Iceh8r

Member
Mar 30, 2019
81
35
Richmond
May want to wait for March to catch a model s refresh, and I’d want the new battery tech And heat pump. It’s more effective in a cold climate and future proofs your car more
 

David_Cary

Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
1,240
779
Cary, NC
Which is why we have supercharging.
But range is always good. But many people won't ever need that much. My 70D at 88k miles is down to about 218 (from 240). I survive....
I don't think the features really separate the 3 and the S and we have both.
The S is bigger and rides better because of it. It looks better to the average person. Those are the primary differences. If you need the size or want the smoother ride or want the looks, you get the S.
For the most part of course but with preheating, not sure a heated wheel is worth $20k.

Not sure there are that many fools left who "trust in Elon'. You have to have a really poor memory or be incredibly forgiving to TIE.
 

Eric S

Member
Jul 4, 2016
81
26
Westchester County
The S is bigger and rides better because of it. It looks better to the average person. Those are the primary differences. If you need the size or want the smoother ride or want the looks, you get the S.


I thought S had nicer (and more car-like) interior.

Also, I see that 3 just introduced heated rear seats ("we kill them but we do not freeze them"), but what about the fronts on 3 and S?
 

Altair7

Member
Feb 28, 2020
110
114
Arizona
May want to wait for March to catch a model s refresh, and I’d want the new battery tech And heat pump. It’s more effective in a cold climate and future proofs your car more

I'm test driving the Model S tomorrow, looking forward to it. Personally, I would love to wait until the 4680 batteries find their way into the Model S. The big question is "how long?"

And I doubt a refreshed Model S will still be a $69K car. At which point, I start considering Lucid again.
 
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Raechris

Member
Nov 21, 2017
656
305
Boston
Every few years I lose my mind and consider breaking my budget to buy an "S". Here I am again...and have some questions:

1. I was surprised to see some experts are down re: Tesla's approach toward full self-driving (i.e. issues of hi-def maps and LIDAR). I'm sure this is a debate that could occupy pages of forum space, but can anyone offer a quick upshot re: forum consensus? Are lots of owners uneasy about this, or do we TiE (trust in Elon)?

2. Ignorant guess: Obama-era incentives might be restored under the Biden administration. Without getting into politics, is that a reasonable assumption...i.e. a reason to wait?

3. Are these cars lasting ok? I understand no combustion theoretically means longer life, but is it panning out that way, or are aspects like body wear and electrical causing longevity problems?

4. What's a rough typical cost these days for adding a quality electric hook-up to one's house?

5. What's the thinking on opting for a loaded-up "3" rather than a baseline "S"?
1. Elon will make vision based FSD work and the current beta is proof. Lidar and premapping by GM is fine but not real time
2. Possible for people with income under 200/250 but funding for it is speculative. If passed likely to go back to sales from 1/1/21 or maybe Inauguration Day.
3. Yes but repairs out of warranty expensive for S/X. I've had three headlights fail in three years and each unit is crazy expensive if had to pay
4. Depends - get a couple quotes. Tesla has installers in your area on their site.
5. Personal preference-love my MS75D but it's like a 7 series compared to M3 like a 3 series. I take delivery of 21M3 next week with enhancement in every category and new car is same cost as my remaining MS principal after three years of payments. Handling and tech better in 21 M3. May get significantly improved MS with price bump shortly in spring.
 
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Iceh8r

Member
Mar 30, 2019
81
35
Richmond
Out of curiosity, why do you see people needing to travel so much further without needing to stop in the future?

new car may have some serious upgrades styling wise, and when you add in new tech then maybe it becomes a much better proposition with potentially higher resale value as well. I’m keeping mine until cyber truck comes. I agree with others that 300 range is magic number and you don’t need much more then that
 
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Snerruc

Member
Apr 16, 2016
998
1,451
Palm Bay
I’ve had two Ss. Neither has been to service. Both have had small range loss over the years, but not significant I just drove 800 miles in one day with rain and a Heavy headwind most of the time. I wasn’t tired at all when I got home thanks to nav on Autopilot. Friends making the same trip in a MB were exhausted, even with two drivers. Best road car ever. Oh, and I’m 80. For charging I strongly recommend a good professional. This is basically an industrial circuit. I learned this lesson the hard way! Forget all the crap about battery longevity. In warranty, Tesla will make you good. After 8 years/ 120,000 miles what does it cost to replace your blown ice engine? Same difference. As for waiting for a new model, Tesla has bumped European spring delivery $10,000. Will probably be the same here. Up to you. Right now the S is a steal.
 

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