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Official: Replacement Battery Option

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by NigelM, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    We heard several times (also from JB) about plans for an upgrade battery (and perhaps more, some larger yet expensive upgrade package. Though it wasn't clear how final they were. (Or not.)
     
  2. jerry33

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

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    One of the big problems with cars is that you have to replace them every few years for various reasons. If you could have an upgradable car that was built in such a way that the metal mice didn't eat it, then you might only purchase one or two cars during a lifetime.
     
  3. bosgig

    bosgig Member

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    "How do they offer an upgrade path with an unknown destination?"
    @NigelM--I agree completely and it's a good point. I think it's easily solved by language that states something along the lines of "Model S owners who purchase the Battery Replacement Option may elect to replace their battery with a battery of the same capacity per the original agreement or, for additional consideration determined upon execution of the Option, upgrade to a higher capacity battery that may be available at that time." Yes, we'd have to trust that they wouldn't totally gouge us, but it's not an unreasonable upgrade path.

    "If you could have an upgradable car that was built in such a way that the metal mice didn't eat it, then you might only purchase one or two cars during a lifetime"
    @jerry33--My car is going on 14 years old and I wouldn't dream of replacing the car or the engine to get the incremental 2 or 3 extra mpg in fuel efficiency that a new equivalent would have. I'll replace my car because it's starting to fall apart in every other way (or I just want a Model S :smile:). This is very different. This is about technological evolution that could effectively obsolete our cars, and our buying a very expensive car in which a major portion of the value of the car is known prospectively to degrade with no "spare parts" to keep it operating at 100%. Eventually the car will have to be replaced for any number of reasons--that doesn't mean that Tesla has to tie us down to potentially obsolete technology in 8 years. That's very different than an ICE car where the technology curve is very shallow, and things like range simply don't come into play. Don't get me wrong--I'm EXTREMELY excited to get my S, I just think this is a really big issue that they could solve with a couple dozen words in the BRO.

    Anyone have George B's email. . .?
     
  4. jerry33

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

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    I purchased my first new vehicle in 1972 and drove it daily until 1991, so I hear you. And it actually was me that fell apart (repetitive stress injury from the stiff clutch) not the vehicle (which also had an aluminium body).

    But one of the big points of the Model S is that it is upgradable, so it won't become obsolete. Because it's basically an iPad with a motor, an easily replaceable battery, and a motor/inverter until that could be replaced, even if the technology changes it's not hard to see that an upgrade could be done to accommodate new technology. And it appears that Tesla is working on upgrading the Roadsters out there, so there is a precedent rather than just speculation.
     
  5. bosgig

    bosgig Member

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    @jerry33--absolutely agree. That's why I don't want the Battery Replacement Option to lock us in at 85kWh, but rather provide us with some wording that allows for an upgrade path. But if we are locked in at 85kWh, we're at risk of having our cars be obsolete. That's really the point I'm making. Appreciate the comment about Tesla working on upgrading Roadsters, I'd just prefer to have some wording in the BRO.
     
  6. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Totally agree with the comments above re: not locking in at one battery size only.

    I purchased the Roadster battery replacement option. While it does specifically state the battery size, my assumption has been (and continues to be) that if Tesla is offering a better battery replacement option at the time, that 'for a fee', I'll be able to upgrade to that size.

    Obviously I don't know that & it would be nice to have it in writing. On the other hand, there is zero incentive for Tesla NOT to offer that to me, if it is available. And who knows, I may sell my Roadster before I exercise & then we can all find out if it adds value in the final purchase price.

    Lots of unknowns. I purchased it because I wanted to eliminate an unknown at the time. I'd probably do it again, but I understand the reasoning for not doing it, too.
     
  7. jerry33

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

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    I really doubt that you'd be locked in if a higher capacity battery was available. The only risks you're taking (IMHO) are:

    1. The car may not exist in eight years (totaled).

    2. Telsa may not exist in eight years (I'd expect someone else to provide batteries but there's no guarantee).

    3. Battery price may reduce so much that you're over-paying big time (Even then there could be a rebate--although I think it's unlikely)

    If you go back and read all the posts about various things people are concerned about, in the majority of cases Tesla has stepped up and done the right thing, added features that were wanted, etc. Even if before the solutions for features/concerned were announced Tesla didn't say much. (Remember the back-seat reading lights or the pano roof shade?).
     
  8. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    I guess I am playing the devils advocate here - and that is, that the DOE (at least here in the USA) will, undoubtedly, look at the limited supply of Lithium in Bolivia, or the cost of the factory fuels in china that make the batteries, etc. and will move the standard from the battery pack to 150-300 or even more kWh, while attempting to create less waste from the pack itself (remember, sometimes politicians see very short sighted goals).

    Either way, there are compelling sides of the argument that the technology will increase to the point where the 85kw pack will be the shortest of the range.

    Besides, like many people on this site, I would have a bit of a difficult time coming up with another $10K here and $10K there.

    So, based on that little tid bit, I will stay the course and see how things pan out.
     
  9. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    I'm not sure what I'll do about the battery option. What I DO know is that for the first time in my life; I'm trusting a car manufacturer. For better, or worse. I believe that Tesla is different. It's a huge leap of faith both financially, and emotionally. My only real hope is that in 5-10 years my Model S though working fine will be NOT be worth significantly less than I paid for it since there are new cars that are comparable, or even better for less money. Upgrade ability (and Tesla's willingness to do so) is the key for me. I don't have a problem with paying for it along the way, or even taking decent consideration on the S I'm getting next year for a whole new vehicle. Whatever it is: the only true show stopper for me would be Tesla forgetting that I did my part to help them make it/get started by purchasing the first Model. It would break my heart if I'm wrong in expecting them to act this way as a "cultural" priority.
     
  10. jandkw

    jandkw Member

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    By reading the Tesla announcement of battery replacement option, I am not sure if they want customers to pay for this option now or later (sorry if someone already discussed this)? Is so, does the option payment refundable? Is the replacement option the same as today's battery on Model S? I have tough time seeing myself 8 years from now, buying today's technology. I've been following the battery development for the auto industry and there are a lot of exciting research and development underway, Lithium Air and Advanced Lithium-ion, just to name a few. The Lithium Air 500 Project started in 2009 and it caused my attention due to IBM researchers are driving this (there are many articles and You-tube videos about Lithium Air and the technology) These are world class scientists (I know a few of them) and serious about using battery technology to replace gasoline someday. Lithium Air, for example, is assumed to be 5-10 times higher energy density than today Lithium-ion battery used by Tesla, made by Panasonic as we know. Image if Lithium Air project is successful and Tesla adopted this to the Model S platform at the end of this decade, the range of 85KW battery can run a thousand miles or more in theory. My point is there are many battery research projects going on today and if a few is successful, the picture of EV battery in 5-10 years will be very different and less expensive, like we are buying computer storage/memory today. Just a thought.
     
  11. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Yes; you pay up front.
    Unknown; probably not, though there might be some provision in case the car is totaled.
    Unknown, but likely. Tesla will likely be reconditioning packs. Even if they use some new technology (e.g. Lithium Air), they're under no obligation to give you a larger battery than what you're buying.

    Me, too; and another $12k is stretching my willingness to sink more cash. I'm a technology optimist, so I'll pass on the battery replacement option.
     
  12. bosgig

    bosgig Member

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    Not to sound like a broken record, but I bet they'd get a lot more people's interest-free $12k if they built a technology upgrade path into the wording of the agreement.
     
  13. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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  14. highedu

    highedu Member

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    Even forgetting about a potentially higher capacity battery, with battery capacity expected to grow 8%/annum I would expect the 85kwh battery in the current Model S to be much cheaper 8 years from now when factoring in the Time value of money incremental to the 12k
     
  15. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    So I get it, the replacement option for a 60kWh pack is $10k and will get me a pack with 60kWh capacity in 8 years. Resembles an insurance.

    I'll going to pull that option when my current pack no longer fulfills my range requirements. Since the distance between superchargers is around 165 miles, sometimes even more (see here: Tesla Supercharge Map estimator), that point would be reached when my pack cannot hold 165 miles in a standard charge, resp. 183 miles in a range charge. IOW the initial 208 mile range would be degraded to 88%.

    Using 150 miles for supercharger distance, I get to 80% degradation, from where on my pack would make road trips with supercharging a pain.

    My question to all of you now is: Why would I want to shell out $10k now, when I can by the 85kWh pack for an additional $8k? Even if it degrades to 70% in 8 years, it's still good for 166 miles standard range?

    Any thoughts?
     
  16. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    Because it's like insurance. You have to do it now or never.
     
  17. jerry33

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

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    1. $141 per kWh (which is what the $12,000 for the battery pack works out to if my math is correct) is way less expensive than a new pack, even considering the expected reduction in price (that is likely to happen but isn't guaranteed).

    2. If Telsa does it like the Roadster, after ten years you get a battery and some money back.

    3. Your financial situation may change in eight years (fixed income for example) and not having to pay for a new battery might be a real financial life-saver.
     
  18. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    I'm not buying the replacement option for my 60kWh battery. I'm going to invest the 10K in TSLA.

    Also, I believe that the $/kWh will be closer to $150 in 2021 so I don't believe it is a prudent investment.
     
  19. Brian H

    Brian H Banned

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    Volker makes a good, and different, point, though. An 85 battery now will get him 8 yrs of superior performance and still at the end of that time will be equal or superior to a new replacement 60 -- for $2,000 less!
     
  20. bosgig

    bosgig Member

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    #100 bosgig, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    I understand from a very reliable source at the company that it is their intent to offer an upgrade to newer technology (i.e., better range) batteries when it comes time to replace our batteries. This is fantastic news in my opinion. I don't know how the battery replacement option will play into this. I suspect that the current BRO ($8/10/12k) will get you a "like new" equivalent of your current battery, and that the newer technology battery will be available for a premium. Theoretically you could pay a "double premium" and upgrade to the newer technology and upgrade the level of battery (e.g., low-end equivalent to mid-or high-end equivalent) although they may very well decide against making the upgrade choices that wide open. I also suspect that we will be able to purchase the newer technology battery outright, without the BRO, perhaps for a slight premium over what people who bought the BRO paid given the time value of money. Whether I buy the BRO or not will likely depend on its exact wording. If it locks in the same capacity battery, I'll pass, even if I expect to be able to upgrade out of it to the newer technology when the time comes. All of these speculations aside, knowing that it's the company's intent to offer a newer technology battery is very reassuring!

    I should also add, at the risk of stating the obvious, that just because this is the company's intent doesn't mean they'll actually wind up doing it. I'm sure there will be plenty of product roadmap, technology, and financial considerations that come up along the way that could make it a harder decision.
     

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