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Some questions about options when ordering

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by mikeash, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Hello everybody; long-time lurker, first-time caller and all that.

    I'm starting to think seriously about putting in an order. I just got back from my second test drive. Unlike my first one a year ago, I could actually afford to buy one now, and it's tempting. I took the wife along on this one and she's definitely sold on it being a nice car, not entirely sold yet on it being worth the high price, but maybe.

    Anyway, I've done lots of research and I think I have a good idea what I'd want, but there are a few options where I'd like to get some input from existing owners and casual experts.

    First, in case it matters or anyone cares, I'm looking at an S85, no D, panoramic roof, tech package, third-row seats. I'm not a hard-core driver and we don't get much real winter here in Virginia, so I think AWD, while nifty, isn't necessary, and extra performance goodies are likewise unnecessary. It'll still be the fastest car I've had by a good margin.

    So, questions, in rough order of my uncertainty, most to least:

    1. Dual chargers. I don't foresee taking advantage of these. My typical driving will be on the order of a dozen miles per day or less during the week, and occasional 100 mile trips on weekends. I imagine there will be occasional supercharger-powered road trips. 29MPH versus 58MPH charging on normal chargers doesn't seem too important. However, if I'm wrong and I do end up wishing I had them, it could end up being pretty annoying to only get half the rate of charge I could be getting if, say, I end up stuck off the supercharger network trying to get somewhere. Is there some scenario where I'm going to say to myself, "I sure wish I had spent the extra $1500," or am I safe with the single charger setup as I guess I probably would be?

    2. Air suspension. I have no strong opinions on this, so I'm defaulting to the cheaper option. Kind of like the dual chargers question, are there unforeseen things that would make me regret that choice?

    3. Subzero weather package. We don't get a whole lot of winter, but it does occasionally get coldish. If this option were any more expensive I'd probably ditch it without further thought, but at $750 it's right on the edge of clicking the button just to be safe. Thoughts?

    4. HPWC versus mobile connector in the garage. I don't really have a suitable outlet available, but fortunately my breaker box is right where the charge port will sit anyway, so I imagine it would be cheap work. I could just put in a 240V outlet, but I'm thinking an HPWC would be nice just so the mobile connector can stay in the car at all times and I don't have to worry about it. Reasonable?

    I think that about covers it. Any insight on the above would be most appreciated. Hoping I can join your ranks soon!
     
  2. tliving

    tliving Member

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    1) If you're ever going to use a HPWC (at a store, service center etc) it will charge faster. Right now other than the HPWC its really hard to find anything that charges >40A. I went with them because when its possible I want to charge as fast as possible. I've used the dual chargers several times on the HPWC's at the local Tesla store. No regrets getting them.

    2) Very much personal preference. I avoided them solely for a perceived future maintenance concern. Springs are cheaper up front and cheaper to maintain. I've driven both and for me the difference was negligible.

    3) Subzero - I live in New England. It wasn't really an option :). My girls love seat heaters even in the summer so i'd need to get it wherever I lived. If it was just me and I lived in VA i'd skip it.

    4) HWPC is not needed at home. Go with the standard NEMA 14-50 install. I drive 100 miles a day (30K/year) which puts me in the high mileage category. I start charging on a timer at 2am nightly and its done before 6am. Even if you get a second Mobile Connector (I did), you still end up ahead of the game cost wise.
     
  3. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I think dual chargers are a desirable feature. There have been a number of times that I would have chafed at charging at half the rate. Being stuck charging at 40 amps doesn't have to happen very many times for the cost of dual chargers to feel worth it.

    Subzero is a great way to warm up the cabin during preheating and more efficient, I believe, than forced air while on the road.

    I had a 14-30 for a few months and greatly prefer the better aesthetics of the HPWC, as well as the convenience of leaving my mobile charger in the car all the time. Plus, even though I typically charge at 40 amps, it's nice to have the option to charge at 80 for those occasional tines when we use the car all day and then want a fast charge for an evening departure out of town. I like also being a resource for travelers who benefit from my HPWC even more than I do. I see it as paying it forward for those times I want 80 amps on the road.

    As for springs, I have air but strongly suspect that I would be as happy, or even happier, with springs. Were I doing it again, I would seriously consider springs.

    Above all, don't overlook the likelihood that you will drive this incredibly fun car a lot more than you expected and purchasing decisions based upon the assumption of low mileage are likely to prove incorrect.
     
  4. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    All these options are very subjective based on your life style. I do not commute in this car and either use the Superchargers on a trip or charge at home on the 14-50. So fast charging is not necessary for me. Love the air suspension and like the ability to adjust, usually drive around in always low and live on a rough country road so like the smooth ride but have not driven a coil spring car. Live in California so do not need the cold weather package. Again you have to option the car based on your life style and use.
     
  5. callmesam

    callmesam Member

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    1. Dual Chargers are a total waste of money. RARELY can you find charging where that additional speed will be available. Even more rarely will you be driving long distance outside of the range of Superchargers, ergo, don't spend money on an option that gets rare use.

    2. I have air suspension, and recently drove the spring version. Toss up. Location based raising and lowering is excellent and helpful if you have lots of steep driveways and speeds bumps (I have both). Depends on your personal circumstance.

    3. Very low cost for a helpful feature. It's comfort for kids and other backseat passengers AND helps with visibility.

    4. I have only my HPWC and it works great. It takes me about 15 seconds to plug it in the car. Just put up a HPWC hanger. Tesla Gear Shop Replacement Wall Connector Cable Organizer $25.00 and problems solved.

    my $0.02
     
  6. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    I'm also in Virginia, so I'm familiar with our winters. I'd get the subzero package, especially for the price.

    If you have Dominion as your electric utility, you should look into the EV pricing plans. You get ultra cheap rates between 1-5. 4 hours is enough to charge about 125 miles. If you're frequently going to drive more than that in a day, then the dual chargers and HPWC will allow you to fully charge in the four hour window. The price on the HPWC was recently reduced. It's more robust and I think will hold up better for daily use compared to the UMC in the long run. It also allows you to keep the UMC in your car.

    Lastly, since you don't want AWD, buying a used or inventory S may be a great option for you. That's of course if you don't want the autopilot features.
     
  7. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I decided against it. Even in worst case scenario I can always get a full charge over night. The extra cost didn't seem to give me any advantage. I don't need it at home and the number of public chargers that support 70 or 80 Amp are very very rare in California. Other region are different. But I will admit, $1500 isn't a big deal and can make a difference if you really need it.

    Didn't seem worth it. I heard people say these sometimes fail. But even if they add a slightly better ride feeling, I really don't care and to me it was not worth the money.


    I didn't get it since we don't have winters in Los Angeles. But my loved one and the kids love the seat heater! I think $750 to have the reas sear heated is awesome! I would add them if I ordered today. Heated seats are just a blessing.

    Regarding the wall connector vs UMC. If you decide to go with dual chargers, I would get the wall connector to be able to make use of them. If not, the UMC is just fine. The UMC cable is thinner and lighter. Makes it easier to handle every day.
     
  8. jkliu47

    jkliu47 Member

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    1) Having dual chargers mean you can charge twice as fast in any facility that has a Tesla HPWC - invaluable savings in time, especially if its a restaurant or hotel when travelling. Something which my spouse reminded me she would have spent without regret had she known of the ramifications (even though she balked at metallic paint, and other expenses when we ordered).
    2) I had a chance to drive a couple of loaner S85's without air back and forth from our home up a hill, and definitely notice the difference in handling. Tighter around corners but at the cost of a harsher ride. My spouse prefers the 'cushy' air suspension however. And of course the geo-fenced ride height adjustment of the air suspension is great for our steep driveway and parking lots.
    3) Didn't get subzero option, but based on my experience using the front seat heaters, the rear seat heaters will be a plus in colder weathers. Also side benefit will be slightly less energy usage with seat heaters vs warming the entire cabin.
    4) Didn't get HPWC for garage because of limited current capacity in main breaker (definitely confirm with your electrician that your house panel can handle 80A for the HPWC before ordering option).
     
  9. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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  10. randrave

    randrave Member

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    I know a lot of these questions have been answered before, often over and over, but I still find the opinions helpful. I ordered the night of the D announcement, and pretty much got everything because once I've spent over $100,000 I've already beaten the rational side of my brain into submission. I am now waiting until February, so I figure I still have time to make some of these Di al decisions. Thanks to everyone for contributing their experiences.
     
  11. shelbri

    shelbri Member

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    I doubt you'll need the HPWC and Dual Chargers, especially as Tesla builds out the SC network based upon how you describe your driving habits. I have had my Model S for just over 1 month and already have just over 3,000 miles on her and have not yet be dissatisfied with a single charger and 30mph charging at home. Also - you would need to install a 100A circuit breaker at the house to take advantage of this. If you are going to order with dual chargers and the HPWC, you should discuss with an electrician first so you aren't floored by the cost to upgrade service at the house, if needed.

    I live in New England and did not go with the Cold Weather Package as I typically drive from garage to garage from home to work. I figured when I needed to I would just turn on the heat 15 minutes before I get to the car so things will aleady be nice and warm. This uses more power than the heated seats but I haven't had an issue with range yet.

    I passed on the air suspension as I didn't need to raise up and down and was happy with how the car handled with coils. I'm not a big performance driver either so I'm sure others appreciate the handling of the air suspense.
     
  12. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Thanks a lot for all the info. This is really good stuff. It would be better if you all gave the same answer! But I suppose I'll have to actually engage my brain on some of this. I think I'm just about sold on the cold weather package for the heated seats. Sounds like air suspension isn't worth it for me (I'm sure I'll be super happy with the ride quality regardless). Charging... I'll have to ponder more, but this is really helpful.
     
  13. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #13 Cottonwood, Oct 27, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
    At the new $750 price tag, I highly recommend the HPWC for your primary home charger, and leave the UMC in the car. The dip switches in the HPWC can be set for 40 Amp to 100 Amp circuit breakers for 32 to 80 Amp charging. There are sweet spots with breakers at 60 Amps (#6 wire) and 90 Amps (#4 wire); charging at 80% of those numbers or 48 and 72 Amps. You don't have to put the big 100 Amp breaker in.

    I have dual chargers, and strongly recommend them. While they are not essential, they are useful more often than you think. Most of the time at home, with overnight charging, all you need is 40 Amps, but there is that occasional quick turn, or last minute 100% charge where more charging power is useful. On the road and off the Supercharger Highway, there are more High Amp L2 (HAL2) chargers than you would first imagine. Some of those are Tesla Service Centers and Showrooms, Tesla Destination Program, Other Tesla owners (often on Plugshare), and the Sun Country Highway.

    Enjoy your Tesla!
     
  14. JST

    JST Active Member

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    I didn't get the dual chargers and haven't needed them, but at the time I ordered it wasn't possible to disaggregate the chargers and the HPWC, and for a variety of reasons (most of my charging is at work) I didn't really want the latter.

    I would have gotten them if I could have separately, but I probably would also have gotten the HPWC if it had only been $750.
     
  15. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    I think you'll regret not getting the tech package.

    I like the pano roof and air suspension, but could do without them. Dual chargers are a waste of money since you'll typically fill up at home overnight and will use Superchargers on road trips. I guess if you plan to travel a lot off the supercharger network, I'd think differently. I'd opt to plug in the UMC to a NEMA 14-50 outlet and save the money on a HPWC.
     
  16. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

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    1) Dual Chargers: Another vote for skipping this feature, especially with your driving habits. Compare the Supercharger map with any likely road trips you will take before you decide. If there is no Supercharger in the right direction, dual chargers can help; but only if you find higher current chargers in the wild: Tesla service centers, Tesla stores, PlugShare accounts, and (becoming more common) hotels and inns with HPWCs. Most public chargers won't be able to take advantage of dual chargers. It sounds like you won't have quick turnarounds at home to deal with either, so 40A is probably plenty for you.

    2) Air suspension: If you don't encounter huge grade changes or speed bumps, you won't require it. Still a personal choice as far as handling vs. comfort. I would definitely still skip this if I ordered again today.

    3) Subzero weather: Remember that front seats are heated even without this. Consider the comfort of rear seat passengers for this option. If the rear seats are frequently occupied, get it.

    4) HPWC for home:
    a) If you don't get the dual chargers, either use your included UMC or purchase an extra UMC (with bag and adapters) for $650 so that:
    i) you always have one at home and one in the car and
    ii) you have a spare that can be swapped out in less than a minute.
    b) If you get the dual chargers, get the HPWC for the garage and set it at the max current your circuit will allow. If needed, you could upgrade your service later for big $. Check with an electrician before deciding this path.
    The HPWC is of heavier construction. It's another personal choice.
    I don't have a spare UMC, and the only drawback is I need to make sure I put it in the car if I'm going on a trip. I haven't forgotten yet, it goes at the top of the packing list.
     
  17. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    I wanted to follow up on this, in case anyone was curious what I decided to go with, or anyone else comes across this thread and finds it useful to know.

    It took longer than I thought, but I finally pushed the Big Red Button yesterday, as a sort of self-paid Christmas present. Delivery is set for March. As for what I finally decided:

    1. No dual chargers. I still can't come up with a scenario where they'd be useful to me, especially given the speed that the supercharger network is being built out.

    2. No air suspension. Mechanical simplicity, lower price, and no need for it make it a pretty obvious choice.

    3. Subzero weather package. I didn't think it was useful for me, but the replies here convinced me otherwise. It's a pretty cheap option and the rear seat heaters alone are probably worth it. If I get the rumored heated steering wheel as well then so much the better.

    4. I went for a HPWC at home. I like the idea of keeping the UMC in the car (even though it will probably matter only rarely) and the sturdier construction of the HPWC convinced me to spend the extra $100 versus a second UMC to keep in a semi-permanent installation.

    If anyone is interested in the rest of the build, I got: 85kWh, pano roof, 19" wheels, tech package, rear facing seats. No dual motors, as it doesn't seem useful for me personally, and I'd prefer the extra frunk space.

    Thanks to everyone who pitched in their thoughts and opinions on this stuff. I can't wait to join the ranks of the owners.
     
  18. skilly

    skilly Member

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    Sorry that I missed this! I guess thats why they are options :)

    What did it for me in the end is potential for resale and general usefulness of the car *if* things were to change at all. I opted for 1,2 and 4. Dual chargers make no sense at all for your current driving habits, but if you ever get caught needing power out of the range of a Supercharging station, they do cut your charge time in 1/2. As far and the other 3, they are all pretty subjective.

    Congrats on your decision!
     
  19. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Hear, hear for the above comments, and a hearty congratulations!

    I second the dual charger recommendation. Tesla is really pushing the "Destination Charging" program and there are a lot of 80 Amp HPWCs going into hotels, resorts, and restaurants! Cutting charge time in half satisfaction, even if only occasionally, cannot be overrated.
     
  20. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    I appreciate the additional thoughts. I really don't see how I could personally get into a situation where I both encounter an 80A HPWC in the wild and care about charging at 58MPH versus 29MPH, especially since it'll be a race against time as the supercharger network is built out. I understand that this isn't true of everybody, but I think for me it won't be an issue. If I'm wrong, I promise that I'll use some of my extra wait to come to this forum and post about it so you can all give me a hearty "I told you so" for your troubles.
     

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