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Some Model S questions (that I have not found answers to)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by voip-ninja, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    Hello all! I have been looking into potentially getting an EV as a replacement for my 8.5 year old Audi that am hoping to retire within a year or two. I do an 80+ mile commute 3-4 days a week, sometimes five days a week and average about 15K miles per year on an auto.

    I was originally looking into getting a hybrid, or a Leaf/Focus-EV but my wife has actually tried to get me to consider the Tesla Model S as she doesn't think I will be satisfied with an economy car.... also, my employer nixed their plans for EV charging stations so my roundtrip commute miles will rule out the smaller EVs completely, they simply won't have enough range for me.

    I've been doing research on the Model S, but still looking to have a few questions answered if anyone here is kind enough to donate some time;

    1. All batteries degrade over time. I understand that Tesla's 'secret sauce' is that they do extremely advanced management of the batteries, but I would imagine that range reduction over time is inevitable. Does anyone know what it is expected to be per year/15K mile increment?

    2. Cold weather performance. I understand from threads on the Roadster that Tesla only suffers a bit of range reduction in cold temps, but how much is it? I don't plan on freezing my butt off in the winter time just to have enough juice to do my commute. While my wife and I do quite well financially the higher end battery pack model is probably a bit out of my comfort zone price wise, I was looking at the entry level 40kwh battery.

    2. I am a bit concerned by the Model S seemingly trying to be the 'tech hub' while on the go. As far as I am concerned, autos simply can't do as good a job of this as a smartphone can do... how nicely is the Tesla going to play with my iPhone, etc? A lot of new systems (like the new BMW and Mercedes system) delegate as much to the phone as possible and use app suites to allow the phone to integrate to the car. I'm a bit worried that with the massive (oversized IMO) touchscreen in the Model S that Tesla will insist that the car is the hub and the phone will not do much in the car.

    3. I absolutely despise in-vehicle navigation because typically they do a horrible job with traffic (most of them get their traffic data from Neanderthal sources such as satellite) ... Inrix on my iPhone is able to handle secondary road traffic data, etc... with Tesla partnering with Navigon (now owned by Garmin) what is the traffic source going to be for the turn by turn direction navigation? Will it integrate with their snazzy Google maps view? For me nothing is more frustrating than having to get my phone out in the car because the car is a POS at doing jobs like this.

    4. Can anyone explain why the 160 mile range Model S has a lower mileage for the battery warranty than the 230 mile range version with the larger battery pack? I don't need more than the 160 mile range really but I am a bit concerned about the shorter battery warranty (I would probably exhaust the 100K mile cap in 6 yrs or so and would plan on trying to keep the car for longer than that).

    Thanks again for anyone's time!
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    There's a Roadster with about 125,000 miles on it that is still doing 78% of its original range.

    You didn't say where you were located so I don't know how cold it gets where you are. Just below freezing the Roadster gets about 90% of its nominal range. Seat heaters take negligible power, but cabin heat could take 5% - 10% of your range (hard to know right now - Model S has a bigger cabin but uses a more efficient heat pump)

    You also didn't say how fast you are driving. The nominal range is specified at 55 mph. If you go faster you'll get less range. If you go slower you'll get more.

    Well it has a full web browser, so anything a browser can do, it'll do.

    You don't have to pair the phone with the car - that's always your choice.

    They haven't said.

    Simple - fewer batteries means more power is drawn from each battery, so the smaller packs have more "stress" on them for the same mileage.

    All the above said, it sounds like the 160 mile pack should do the job for you. But I always recommend the next size up. That's very similar to the Roadster's range and it really seems like the sweet spot to me.
     
  3. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    Thanks very much Doug for the answers. I am still wiggling around trying to decide if I should just go ahead and put the $5K deposit down now and then make some additional decisions next year when delivery becomes imminent... this would also satisfy some of my normal fear of buying a 1st generation product, as it will give the factory a little additional time to work out the bugs and possibly introduce a mid model year change sometime in 2013.

    To answer your one question, I live in the Denver Colorado area. Our normal winter time temps are right around freezing, but it's quite possible for the temps to vary quite a bit, it could be -5F when going to work in the morning and then be 50F driving home. My commute is between 78 and 88 miles depending on which route I go, and I usually average about 70mph so it sounds like the 160 mile range would meet my needs but could start to get dicey after a few years if I am stuck commuting on a cold day... on the other hand I have told my wife on more than one occasion that if I am still going this commute in 3-5 years just shoot me. :tongue:

    I am still debating doing a deposit with no final product or waiting until test drives are possible. Another area of confusion/concern is the Colorado state tax credit. I understand before the law was changed some roadster owners were getting as much as $40K back from the state, but if I understand it correctly the rebate now is capped at $6000 and somehow the amount you get back is tied to the amount of federal rebate you get.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Navigon has a peer sharing traffic network (i.e. Iphone and Android devices that have the Navigon app upload speed data which is then shared with other Navigon Devices), This data supplements more conventional traffic data (i.e. Sig Alerts, Road Closures, information from Transit Authorities etc). All this data will be used to determine the routing when inputting a destination.

    Another benefit of going with a Garmin based navigation suite is that it is easy to create custom points of interest (for charging stations etc)...Much easier for Tesla to create a simple CSV and have the charging station database updated over air, or when serviced etc than be locked in with a proprietary navigation suite.

    Tesla initially wanted to create their own Model S specific GUI built on top of Google Maps, but probably realized that it would be a massive undertaking and instead ended up going with Navigon. I am not a huge fan of Navigon products but perhaps that will change with their Model S app.
     
  5. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    Thanks smoothoperator. I actually have apps from all the biggies on my iphone and surprisingly enough, for traffic, the best one is Tom Tom, reason being is that Tom Tom uses data on secondary road sources, Navigon/Garmin do not.

    Not much more frustrating then being 'routed around' a traffic jam by being dumped onto a completely backed up secondary route that has 30 stop lights on it, but Garmin does this frequently.

    The best source of data for vehicles today is Inrix, so maybe we'll get lucky and they'll get the traffic option on the Model S. I'm not even sure if the tech package that includes Nav is
     
  6. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

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    You mean 78 or 88 miles round trip, right? Not one-way?
     
  7. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    Yes, that's the round trip mileage. It's a brutal commute though, if I leave at the wrong time of day I can sit in bumper to bumper traffic for a good 20+ minutes which turns it into a 80 minute or so drive.
     
  8. Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic increases your range significantly (silver lining). A few months ago I was stuck in heavy traffic (a 20 mile or so trip) and used only about 3 ideal miles of range.
     
  9. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    Fortunately, an EV doesn't idle so it uses almost no power when you're not moving other than minimal use from your heater/radio. Plus, you get better range when going slower, so even a horrendous traffic jam shouldn't have much impact on your battery usage for that trip.
     
  10. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    voip-ninja, if you'd like to talk with a Roadster owner in the Denver area (and Model S Sig reservation holder), send me your email address and I'll ask him to contact you. He can answer some of your questions with direct experience in the area where you live.
     
  11. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    Thanks Bonnie I will take you up on that offer!
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    If you're seriously considering getting in, no harm in putting your deposit down now. You wouldn't have to lock your order in probably until January and would have plenty of time to test drive it and read the reviews. I'd recommend the biggest battery pack you can afford with your commute and a minimum of the 60 kWh (230 mile at 55mph) pack. Good luck.
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    That may be partially correct, but the total answer is probably a bit more complex.
    They can do things to mitigate the max power load per cell such as having slower 0-60 and lower top speed on the cars with the smaller packs.
    Also, for cost reasons, they could be using more advanced & more robust cell chemistry only on the higher end packs.
    Also, battery lifespan can run down based on total number of recharge cycles.
    With a smaller pack you are more likely to have a deeper "Depth of Discharge" per drive.
    Lets say you had a 120 mile commute. That could be a 75% DoD on a 160 mile pack, but only a 40% DoD on the 300 mile pack.
    Lifespan graphs show that the lower the DoD the more cycles you can get out of a cell.
    So basically the bigger pack gives you enough "buffer" range that you don't have to stress the cells as much by letting them get so low on charge.
     
  14. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    That's great information TEG and it makes sense with what little I know of battery chemistry (my expertise lies in other areas). Looks like I will have to convince the wife that I "need" that 230kwh battery after all. Ouch!

    Out of curiosity how many of you all are ordering the tech package? Anyone know if the jump seats are LATCH certified for use with child seats?
     
  15. 99% sure they are not...why would you want to put a car seat all the way back there anyway?
     
  16. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    The tech package should be standard so I personally wouldn't order it without the tech package but there are people who don't want it of course. Xenon lights and the automatic keyless entry are worth it. A rough estimate would be to take the 230 miles and use 70% of that. That should give you more realistic highway range using AC...etc. If that's still enough for your commute and for driving around during the day once you get there or back home without recharging then the 230 mile pack should be ok. If you have trips that fit within the 300 mile pack and that would allow you to not have to take your gas car, could consider that as well. Don't know about the seats.
     
  17. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Email sent, I'm sure you'll hear from him shortly
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    If I said your SDP was too big for your MTU so your SIP was sent using TCP instead of UDP would you know what I meant?
     
  19. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    I would probably ask you to send me a new INVITE message with appropriate characteristics. :)
     
  20. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    We don't have kids but are planning on starting a family very soon, my wife had asked about it. I'm sure it would come in handy down the road when kids get a little bit bigger and don't require a booster seat.
     

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