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Realistic Assesment of the 160 mile range Model S

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Rifleman, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Rifleman

    Rifleman Now owns 2 Model S's!!!

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    I have seen allot of people here who are upset about features (or lack there of) on the 160 mile Model S. Let's use this thread, separate from the gripe thread, to have a realistic talk about what these recent revelations actually mean to the cheapest car in Tesla's lineup.

    The most vocal complaint about the 160 mile Model S seems to be the lack of rapid charge capability. For me, this is simply a non issue, and I suspect that it would be for most of the people who are actually considering the 160 mile version. We all know that a rapid charge will not yield a full charge on a batter. Let's assume that a rapid charge will provide 100 highway miles (probably about right) In the real world, we will normally not be able to charge at our final destination (at least not yet, maybe someday). Assuming that you will need at least 10 miles to drive around your destination (going out to lunch, ext.) and want to keep at least a 10 mile reserve, that will mean that you need to have a rapid charge station within 40 miles of your final destination (from the direction that you are coming from). With the Tesla rapid charging infrastructure in its infancy, the simply logistics of needing to have a rapid charge station this close to your destination will make long road trips in the 160 mile variant almost impossible.

    If I buy a Model S, I have come to terms with the fact that I may never charge it any place but my house. Even if I do charge it anyplace else, I am unlikely to plan my trip around it, and will probably not take the car on a round trip that could not be completed on one charge. Field charging is a bonus, not a necessity. The most likely places that I would charge in the field would be 110v household outlets anyway, as I am only aware of 1 public EV charging station in my entire city. What I would love to see as an accessory is a 110 extension cord charger, that is cheap enough for me to feel comfortable plugging it in to a randomly available outlet. For me, the Model S would be my daily driver. My commute to and from work is 65 miles round trip. Add in a few errands on the way home, and the occasional trip to a friends house in the evening, and I can comfortably get through the day on the 160 mile pack (even if we round down and assume that I only get 100 real miles from it, I am still in the clear) The second charger being an option is also a good thing. I would probably not need to charge faster than 31 MPH, as I only plan to charge at home over night. Some people will need to, so they have that option. There is no need for everyone to have to pay for this.

    The slower acceleration on the 160 is a major issue. Most of the people looking for a 160 mile Model S still want the full experience of a high performance car. This is not a deal breaker, and may not matter to everyone, but it is disappointing.

    As far as the wheels go, while in line with other luxury cars, I feel that the price for the turbine wheels is too much. I doubt that we will see any 160 mile S's with them. It's a shame that a 19 inch turbine wheel is not available for a more reasonable upgrade price (in the ballpark of $1000) I also feel that the areo wheels are about $500 over the right price point.

    The pano roof hit right price point right on the head. Even at the price point of the 160 mile variant, it is not prohibitively expensive.

    The tech package being so expensive is a major issue. With the limited range of the 160 mile Model S, getting lost is not an option. As a result, I do not view the nav system as an optional accessory. It's a shame that it is bundled in with lot of other expensive options that many people do not want or need. The $3,750 price point on this package is the one place where Tesla really missed the mark, especially for the lower priced 160 mile model.

    The interior selections are fine. The $1,500 upgrade fee for the leather is not unreasonable. I wish that there was also an option for a lighter colored microfiber interior, as black may not work for everyone.

    The sound options are also appropriately priced.

    At the end of the day, someone who qualifies for the tax credit can get a very nice EV, that is much larger and more capable than anything else on the market, for a $50,000. If they want a few other options, the price is reasonable on everything but the nav (way out of line on that one)

    That's my assessment of the 160 mile. I am almost likely today to buy one as I was yesterday morning. If your mileage varies, please feel free to chime in.
     
  2. Adm

    Adm Active Member

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    I am just fine with pricing (always would want to pay less, but it's within reason).

    I don't care about the reduced acceleration. I would be happy to give up another second if it meant improved efficiency.

    I do care about quick charging option. I wouldn't use it all that often, but if 230V/32A would be the max, I'd be seriously disappointed. I know Model S could handle more, but I doubt there will be many charging stations in the Netherlands that will offer more on one phase. I will be watching Tesla closely as that may be the only deal breaker.
     
  3. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    As I understand it, you will still have full access to Google Maps and its navigation capabilities without the Tech Package. That doesn't give you "turn by turn" navigation, but it does 90% of what I want from a nav system. I'm planning on buying the Tech Package not for the upgraded navigation, but rather for all the other pieces, each of which I value. Collectively, they're priced competitively with similar options from BMW, Audi, Porsche or Mercedes.
     
  4. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    By having a supercharger network, Tesla have made it harder for site owners to justify also installing an HPC network. That means that the 160 mile car will find it harder to find those. In which case 20kW charging is less useful and it then gets restricted to being a second or third car for local errands. That's a hell of a car for that function.
     
  5. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the app capability. Theoretically, if the platform gets opened up, one could download a garmin (or whatever) app and get turn-by-turn for much less. That's assuming the app store is that open and that you don't need the tech package to actually get app functionality too.
     
  6. NielsChr

    NielsChr Member

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    Agree - it's not only a turn-by-turn upgrade, you also get Xeon head lights, LED fog lamps, back-up HD cam, upgraded side mirrors - so the price seams well reasonable to me too, TESLA could have splitted this up, so it was not a bundle.
    (I prefere a bundle if this means some kind of discount)
     
  7. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Considering there are about 13 quickchargers active TODAY in Norway and another what 20 or so planned for 2012, by the time I get my car in early 2013 I could probably do most cross-country driving I needed even with the 40kWh pack if it did QC. That's Chademo quickcharge since I'm very sceptical that Tesla will roll out a lot of superchargers in Norway. Most of those quickchargers are paid 50% by the state/county but Tesla's own standard is scarcely getting public money when there already is a 100:1 ratio of EVs that can use Chademo chargers.

    Range is generally better during summer here as our max speed is 62mph for any highway anyway, and anyone caught doing 85mph gets a hefty fine and looses their license for 6 months on the spot. You will at most be doing 65-70 on our very good highways. Most "normal" roads are more like 50mph.

    What actually isn't going to matter all that much is the reduced accelleration. A 6,5sec car to 100 is seen as sportscar fast here so that should be plenty.

    Cobos
     
  8. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    Thanks for a well thought out and written post, Rifleman.

    I do think that with a little planning you can easily take trips as far as 1x the range of the car, and not be limited to the round-trip distance. Less of a need for quick charge (or even HPC) if you spend 4 hours at the destination and have a 10kW source. Museums, big shopping centers, or visiting friends/family can take 4hrs easy.

    My main gripe about pricing is that those rear seats are rather expensive, especially considering the same money gets you a pano roof or air suspension.
    I'm still leaning towards the base model, but have a good 6+ months to deliberate.
     
  9. fairlycool

    fairlycool Member

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    Why should someone be ok with having to wait longer to charge their cars when there is no technical reason preventing them from doing so?

    This is akin to saying Apple releasing 2 iPhone models a $100 apart in price and the cheaper one take 10 hours to charge the more expensive one takes 2 hours. Both are ok for people who want to charge them overnight, but why should the cheaper phone owners have to wait 8 more hours if there is "no technical reason" preventing them other than the upsell to the more expensive model. If there is then I'd love to hear it and please also explain why cars like the Leaf have a smaller battery pack and still have quick charging enabled on them.
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    There is a very good technical reason why the smaller pack can't swallow 95kW. However, there's no reason why the Supercharger could not be designed to back off to half power when a small pack is connected. You would still get a "fast charge" out of it, as the pack would fill up percentage-wise just as fast as the big pack at full power.
     
  11. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Well, for most I would expect the Model S to be their first car. You know, the one they use to drop off/pick up kids at school, commute to/from work, go out on the town, etc.

    The second car would be for long road trips.

    I agree that the second charger option now becomes less useful. It's kind of a gamble for early buyers, at least in CA. We already have HPCs along 101, and who knows how long it'll take for the Tesla QC infrastructure to be in place?
     
  12. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight _____ P85 #549 _____ Sig Red / Sig White

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    I'm sorry if I sound dismissive but anybody that thinks they are taking a road trip in the 40 kWh car does not understand how the range drops dramatically at highway speeds. Even if you could Supercharge it would be very difficult to make it from one Supercharger to another. And at that point it would be a miserable experience of drive 90 minutes, charge 60 minutes, et cetera.

    We're talking about it over here:
    Highway Range Ignorance

    With that said, I've almost convinced myself that the 40 kWh is the best car (for me) because you can get a car identical in every meaningful way to the 85 kWh (albeit slightly slower to 60) for $20,000 less. That will buy me a lot of plane tickets!
     
  13. onlinespending

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    #13 onlinespending, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
    Or all the rental cars you would likely ever need when you wanted to take a long trip. Or hell, even a cheap Honda ICE for use for long trips. Given that 99% of people's driving is going to be less than 160 miles round-trip, it still makes the most sense to get the 40 kWh option IMHO.
     
  14. Rifleman

    Rifleman Now owns 2 Model S's!!!

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    This hits the nail on the head. Currently, I have two cars (an 06 Trail Blazer and a 2011 Mustang) If I sold both, I could probably swing the 230 mile S, but instead, I will sell one, and go with the 160 mile. If I need to go longer, I will simply hop in the trail blazer, and drive till I need to fill up. A second car or rental car is the best long range solution (definitely cheaper than the bigger battery packs)
     
  15. onlinespending

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    Not to mention, if you have family, that Trailblazer will be infinitely more comfortable for longer trips. I'm 6'5" and wouldn't want to be taking long road trips in the Model S anyways. I'd rather use a portion of that $20,000 + tax savings (that I can earn interest on) and spring for a big, comfy rental car when I want to take long road trips.
     

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