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Performance vs. Base Model; 60KW vs. 85KW battery choice?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Bluhorizan, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Bluhorizan

    Bluhorizan Member

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    I'm just about to finalize my paperwork with the current configuration of 85KW battery, blue, panoramic roof, tech package, tan leather, active air suspension, partial shelf, paint armor and twin chargers (for possible future upgraded home charger) and 19" wheels. This totals a surprising $98K with taxes before federal tax credit.

    Before submitting my electronic signature, I'm looking for advice and forum member's wisdom on choosing the performance vs. base model and further thoughts on the 60KW vs 85KW battery options. I've never spent more than $40K for a car and my first instinct was initially to keep a lid on the total cost and weigh what returns the greatest value. Certainly the 60KW battery pack would handle the vast majority of my daily driving including most weekend trips out of the SF Bay area to Monterey or Sonoma but perhaps not the less frequent jaunt to Lake Tahoe, Santa Barbara or LA without some logistical planning. But the 85KW upgrade seems to offers the most flexibility to use the car for all of these scenarios. However with the more desirable options, I'm suddenly pushing $100K. (Surprisingly I found the panoramic roof, even when closed to make the car feel so much more spacious and pleasant with abundant natural lighting and as a consequence to be a very desirable upgrade)

    Today, I've had a chance to briefly test drive both versions at our local dealership including a short run on the freeway from one on-ramp to the first exit a few miles later. The differences are subtle with exhilarating acceleration from both sedans. However the sheer speed and raw power of the performance version is both thrilling and intoxicatingly seductive. So at this price point, why hold back? Doesn't the performance model seem justified when one looks at the long term enjoyment and ownership of such a revolutionary vehicle? Or would practicality and value ultimately guide your purchase decision?
     
  2. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

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    the 85kWh pack gives you real value because when your 60kWh will be degraded to the 40kWh, the 85kWh will degrade much slower to maybe 75kWh. the performance instead will burn the rubber faster or performance will provide no extra value to you.
     
  3. teslasguy

    teslasguy MSP P#1117

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    Well, after the DC event I am a "committed" Performance customer. My config is very similar to yours, except I'm Performance and single charger. Was the decision to go for the Performance version based upon financial logic? No way. But I really do plan on keeping this car for a long time and after driving the P85 I was just hooked. I now know that I will have an amazing car that's a complete rush to drive for many years to come. Priceless!!
     
  4. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I agree that the 85kWh is a significant value over the 60kWh, if you plan on keeping the car for a very long time. I would argue that you would very rarely do 0-60 in less than 5.6 seconds after the first month or so of owning your car. So the Performance may not be worth the premium (as it requires you to purchase 21" wheels also). I drive a 6.9 second car and rarely floor it.

    But then again I last minute jumped to the 85kWh because I thought it was a good value.
     
  5. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Bluhorizan, I'll pitch in on the 60 vs 85 non-perf choice. I live in the SF Bay Area as well and have some of the same considerations w.r.t. how far I can and would want to go in my Model S.

    Yes, beyond the daily commute, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Napa/Sonoma are well within reach of the 60 pack (from my location in Newark) without having to recharge on the road. Given the terrain en route, the real world range on a standard charge might be around 130-150 miles which should be good enough. The only iffy part about this - if you care about keeping the car for several years - is the effective range on these routes after the battery has degraded to say, 70%. Still okay but, may have to "top up" somewhere (say at the Gilroy SuperCharger when going to Monterey).

    Lake Tahoe is also doable with the 60 pack given the Folsom SC and probably helpful fellow Model S/X owners - I'm looking at you, Bonnie :) - with HPWCs in the Sacramento area. Trickle-charging (or better) in the Tahoe/Reno area while skiing/gambling coupled with regen downhill in the Sierras should get us to civilization and charging options.

    I tend not to take my own car any further out - I had only ever driven my cars as far as LA on only a couple of occasions and suffered significant wear and tear in the process - and prefer to drive a rental or fly.

    So, I was able to cover 99% of my driving scenarios with the 60 pack although I could reach for the 85 pack. Having driven both the Perf vs the 85 non-perf, I wouldn't think that I'd ever be able to tell the difference in real-world driving. I don't expect too much of a noticeable performance drop from the 85 non-perf to the 60 either.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    That's my logic for going with the 85 kWh pack. Besides, EV ranges seem to vary widely depending on circumstances. For example, the 85 kWh pack was originally promoted as 300 miles but now it's 265 miles based on the EPA testing. Knock that down in the winter (heat and snow covered roads), again if you're a "spirited" driver (the Performance model may encourage that!) and so forth. I want to make sure that in the worst possible conditions and circumstances, I can get as far as my furthest typical destination... and back.

    I've driven both Performance and non-Performance models and the significant cost bump for Performance is just not worth it in my view. They both perform very well, and to me the difference is very small.

    So in my case, I will be configuring with all options except Performance, 21" wheels and jump seats.
     
  7. iridium

    iridium Member

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    My thoughts were similiar to gg, but it is a decision I still struggle with even though my MVPA is signed and configured with 60.

    For almost all daily and weekend driving, the 60 is plenty. The 60 will also work on roadtrips from here (Seattle) up to Vancouver or Whistler or down to Portland with a stop. Even with the 85 you'd be stopping on those trips to take a break anyway.

    There are rare situations where the 60 won't cut it. For example, driving to Spokane or anywhere more remote could be a problem, but I don't take those types of trips. On the rare case I needed to take a trip where the 60 wouldn't work, I would just drive our other car (and ICE) or rent one. I don't think the 8-10k price premium is worth it for rare situations. It is more cost effective to rent a car in those situations.

    The degradation argument is in interesting. The battery is a depreciating asset and I would guess that given the state of battery technology it is rapidly depreciating. So even if the battery degrades, if it still meets most of your needs, the extra 8-10k isn't worth it.

    Taking my example above.. suppose the 60 degrades to the point where I can't make a trip to Whister. Fine, I only do that once a year anyway, so I'll rent a car. Is paying an extra 8-10k worth it to avoid that one occasion? I don't think so.

    Furthermore, I would guess by the time your battery degrades so significantly that is changes how you use your car, you'll be able to replace the battery with something much better. Sure, maybe that new battery costs more.. let's say its 20k. Would you rather pay 10k now or 20k some time in the future?

    That's how I've been thinking about the decision.
     
  8. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how many people will actually keep their cars long enough to have to replace the battery? Long before that is required (hopefully), I will be wanting to trade the car in for something newer anyway. It could be an issue affecting resale values, however. In addition to other factors the 85 kWh pack will (again hopefully) leave me with a re-saleable car 3-5 years down the road by virtue of the fact that it should still have lots of capacity and still a few years of warranty left (assuming the battery warranty is transferrable). 3-5 year old 40 or 60 kWh cars may be a tougher sell on the used car market when that time comes.
     
  9. iridium

    iridium Member

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    Is your view that in the resale market a 60 would command a lower price relative to the 85 (ie: it depreciates faster) or that the resale market for 60's will be smaller?
     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to imagine how I, as a used car shopper 5 years from now might consider a used EV. I'm thinking that a used 40 or 60 kWh Model S is going to have "used up" enough of its range due to battery age that I might not even want to buy it. If I did, I might be looking at a fairly expensive battery purchase. On the other hand, an 85 kWh model will have degraded some, but with the larger initial capacity and slower degradation rate, I might think the 5 year old 85 kWh Model S is as good as a new 60 kWh version would be, and not have to worry about a near-term battery purchase. If the battery warranty is transferrable, a purchaser of a 5 year old Model S would have the assurance of 3 more years of battery warranty regardless of mileage.
     
  11. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    This all depends on how many 100+ mile range EV's are on the road by then(the way things have been going, I'll bet that it wont be many), and gas prices. Simple supply and demand. The original Rav4 ev's have kept their resale value significantly better than a comparable ICE.
     
  12. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    That's very true. If, however, there is some big battery breakthrough, and the market starts to fill with more and more less expensive 100+ mile EVs, then the resale prices of Model S 5 years from now may be quite low. That is the "early adopter" penalty after all. (I paid $1,600 for my first car (cell) phone, because a year before they were twice as much and I thought the price could never go lower!)
     
  13. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    I dont think that the cell phone comparison is valid. Something that costs 100 times less, is adopted much quicker and therefore economies of scale bring the price down in much less time. With phones there was also no big oil and existing auto manufacturers that have much to lose from widespread EV's.
     
  14. rcc

    rcc Model S 85KW, VIN #2236

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    #14 rcc, Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
    I also live in the SF Bay Area. I went with the 85KwH standard and single charger. And blue and tan and audio and tech package. Yes, our configs sound kind of similar huh?

    The hardest choice was whether to spring for the perf. In the end, I decided on the standard for a number of reasons that might not apply to you.

    1) I don't want the 21" wheels. Love the look and performance. Hate the low-volume, high cost pricing on replacement tires. I'm used to buying high-performance tires but I balk at paying >$1500 for a set of tires. That makes the effective price of the Performance option $12K instead of $8.5K. That's $12K is half the cost of a 9 KW solar install from Solar City (full prepay option).

    2) I like the alcantara accents on the Tan interior. Love the alcantara headliner. But I've got kids and they'll eat in the back seats at times if we take the S on day trips or road trips. And occasionally a dog may ride back there too. An all leather seat is going to hold up better than leather and alcantara.

    3) I think I'd very very very rarely use the all-out perf acceleration. And the acceleration is violent at all speeds although less so at highway speeds. But even at highway speeds, I think you need to be on your toes if you're going to use all that accel. And yes, the off-the-line perf accel is really fun. But you *really* have to be on your toes to stay in control of the car if you floor it at low speeds.

    4) With the air suspension, you get the same handling in the standard version as the perf version except for what 19" tires will give you instead of 21" tires. And I'll put high performance summer tires on when the originals wear out.

    Reasons to go 85KwH instead of 60:

    a) better acceleration with the 85KwH.

    b) if you cruise at high speeds on the highway, the power drains faster. At a cruising speed of 75 mph, the range is 225 miles. I think it's about 240 miles if you cruise at 70. If you speed up and slow down a lot or use A/C, I'm sure the range drops a bit more. And I'd like to have some miles in reserve in case we take detours, drive around town, etc. and so I'm not sweating about miles as I cruise back home. I figure the 85KwH battery gives me a 100 mile radius for round trips with no charging. That puts most stuff in the Bay Areas well within range with Napa Valley and Big Sur right on the edge (especially when you consider time spent driving around during the day). But there's a supercharger in Gilroy for Big Sur. And I might drive at lower speeds for those destination due to traffic, lower speed limits, etc. which may extend the range for Napa and Big Sur.

    c) supercharging included. It's a nice perk especially if a year or two from now, we get one near Napa and one near Big Sur.

    Reason not to get the twin charger.

    1) I'm assuming I can always add it later.
    2) I want to see high power, fast level 2 chargers become popular before I add the extra onboard charger. If they do, I probably will.

    Again, I think these trade-offs make sense for me. They may not be right for you.
     
  15. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    I pretty much went through the same scenarios as gg, living in the south SF bay area. This car is a huge stretch for me financially, and I felt strongly about being green, which is my main reason for purchasing the car (amongst many others, as we all are well aware or we wouldn't be on this forum). Due to this, I have opted for the 60 kWh battery.

    I took the $10K I would have spent on the 85 kWh upgrade and put solar on my roof to eliminate the idea of shunting pollution. I turned on the panels today and will await my car happily.

    I tend to keep cars a very long time, until they are next to impossible to repair at reasonable cost (easily 8-10 years or more). If my battery degrades between now and then and I still like the car and have a similar budget, I will upgrade the battery when the time comes to replace it if I think I need to. This also allows me to spread out the cost a bit, assuming the rest of the car is still viable.

    We have an ICE minivan for longer trips, but the 60 kWh is still a very doable road trip car. Much more than a leaf or Coda.

    That's my 2 cents.

    Cheers.
     
  16. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

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    I'm presuming you made a typo there, rcc.

    If you use high power, fast DC chargers, you don't need twin chargers. They are designed for high power, fast AC charging systems such as the HPWC.
     
  17. rcc

    rcc Model S 85KW, VIN #2236

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    Yep, meant level 2 charger. Typed DC. Fixed it, thanks.
     
  18. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    Your thinking is right where I am at the moment. I might move before I have to lock-in (within a month, I guess), and I've moved the full scale of models, from 40 -> P85 -> nothing -> S85.

    I'd still want the tech package, the leather (same reason, sticky little kids), sound, and maybe the roof, though with quite a few owner reporting squeaks from the pano roof, I might skip it, I've taken a car apart before trying to track down a rattle! (I didn't succeed, and it was worse than even when I put it all back together). The P85 would get me the wheels, which I love, but I know they're not practical from a cost/maintenance point of view. The speed would be fun, but purely for novelty value. The car I drive now apparently gets to 60 in 5.9secs, but I never drive it that hard (my wife disagrees, but I really don't, I'm not sure I've ever actually 'floored' it). The one thing I would want from the P85 is the CF interior, which I wish was an option (I don't want to mess around with getting a 3rd-party to put a CF film in there), but the Obeche Matt is fairly nice, I guess (I'm not big on wood trim, but the piano black won't work (see above reference to sticky kids). So that gets me to $71k (with rebate, pre-tax), vs. $89k for the same spec P85 (with all the performance extras).

    At one point, the Tesla marketing had me convinced that, for me, it was a P85 or nothing, but now I think I'm fairly happy with an S85. If Telsa had included the tech package on the P85, then it would be a far more difficult decision, but for a difference of ~$18k, I don't think the Performance is worth it for me. That said, I'll probably change my mind before the day is out :)
     
  19. mark

    mark Member

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    I am in the same debate, but your numbers don't match mine - How do you get a S85 with all the options mentioned for $71k? More like $78k. When you add the wheels (which are gorgeous) its only about $8k more to go to P85. I am leaning toward taking the plunge.
     
  20. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    #20 pete8314, Oct 19, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
    My bad, $76.1k for the S85 with the spec below. I'm undecided on color, none of them really stand out for me, so black is always a good default option, as long as I keep up with the waxing. I totally agree about the wheels, I saw a photo on this forum a while ago with two Model's S's in side profile, one with the standard wheels, the other with the 21"....the standard, in that context at least, looked like something you'd find on a Nissan Altima. However....$3.5k is kinda steep, and then another $1.5k per year for tyres is ugly. I've blown 2 tyres in the past 2 years on potholes along 183 between FW & Dallas, so I know the 21" would be a horrible decision. Except they look real preddy... :)

    10-19-2012 2-22-36 PM.jpg
     

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