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Talk me into or out of Model 3 Purchase (mostly range anxiety)

Which car is best for me

  • Model 3 SR+

    Votes: 25 37.3%
  • Wait for a Model 3 LR

    Votes: 38 56.7%
  • Kia Niro EV

    Votes: 3 4.5%
  • Wait a year and pay off the Acura first! EV pricing will go when rebates expire.

    Votes: 1 1.5%

  • Total voters
    67

Dgmcginty

Member
May 20, 2019
8
3
32901
I would like to think a car rated at 240 miles range could make a drive of 125 miles in every condition now and in 5 years but reading into it more, maybe that is not a safe assumption?

I have been wanting to go All Electric for a little while and love the look of the Model 3.
Was one of those that paid a $1000 deposit awhile back but then cancelled it as the wait extended and my financial situation added more bills so I was not ready for a car change.
I now do plan on getting a new car in less than 1 year's time and did test drive one recently.
The new ordering options leave me in a bit of bind though, I think I would be content as far as options, performance, price on the SR+ model but fear the range will be a problem for me.
The next step up range wise may more car than I really need or can afford at this time in the LR AWD ; it also does not quality for the EV rebate in the state of MA ; which the lesser model 3's would so makes the price difference more pronounced.

I did not think they would remove the mid-range and long range RWD options, but they did.
I also am not very happy they removed EAP and replaced with AP but then very expensive to add the features EAP had.
One thing I wanted as far as that goes is the lane change ability paired with adaptive cruise control for highway driving so not happy with that change. Based on the current option I would pay for AP (no choice anyway) but not the extra for Self Drive capability.

Prefer the 18" wheels and was going to get a new set of rims and Winter Tires. Using the Aero rims on the winter tires for best range then and then the nicer looking rims on the all seasons rest of the year.

In MA, we pay quite high rates for electricity so my savings will be less than in other parts of the US and our provider Eversource does not offer any discounted off peak hour rates. I did call them to confirm that ; despite this I still think I can get my monthly gas expenses in half compared to my current premium gas SUV.

Range concern:
I drive a few days a week a 125 mile R/T commute. Involves dropping my daughter off at one location, then driving into the office and later back home. Not every day do I need it but frequently I do. I cannot charge at work where the car would sit outside in a parking lot. I would get Level 2 Charging and 240 Volt at home and charge nightly inside my garage.

There is a Super Charger location about 5 miles from my house but in the opposite direction so could be a fallback if I have a home power outage situation or other emergency but does not help with the above commute I mentioned.

There are not any Tesla Super Chargers on my route ; but a couple are around if I went out of the way 15 miles or so.
Needing to stop at one of these to make it to work would defeat the purpose of me switching my ICE car for an Electric one though. If something I needed to do twice a year that might be OK.

As a family we own another car, SUV ICE which my wife drives don't realty require the Model 3 to do more than the commute.

The range for my commute scares me though, no plans on changing homes or jobs so have to be confident the car can always make the 125 mile trip when new and 5 years down the line as well. The drive is 90% highway.
With only a 50 / 52 or 54 size battery (depending on who you believe) I am not sure I can be.
We do get days of cold and winter weather, the snow tires may get worse range as would my use of heat in the car.

I normally drive reasonably fast, 78 - 80 MPH which is common highway speed here for much of the drive.
I think I could be fine lowering that to 70 with the aid of the Adaptive Cruise Control but don't wish to become a drive on the highway at 55 to save money type of guy ever.

The MA rebate is ending Sept 2019 so would need to order a SR+ soon to take advantage of them plus would get the Federal $1875 credit.
My current car (Acura SUV / premium gas) is a loan which is at a breakeven value at next payment/month of what I owe and what Tesla will give me for the car. I suspect I couldget a couple of thousand extra if I successfully sold it privately but don't think I want to go down that route.

So, anyway if I buy next month it would be a SR+ and would take out a new car loan with as little down as the bank allows me to and still get a reasonable interest rate ; hopefully nothing other than the $2500 I would pay to start the process.

My monthly payments would be about the same, I would save on gas and would cost less than my now off warranty Acura does to maintain. Can use the MA rebate to pay for the home charger and wiring install and then federal credit to cover the cost of the winter tires and extra rims.

The alternative would be to lose out on the MA rebate, wait until late Q4. Hope Tesla either offers incentives then or brings back one of the longer range RWD models by that time. If not go with the Dual Motor AWD LR current option but by that time my trade in will have some positive trade in value which I can use toward a deposit on top of my $2500.
Puts me in a less comfortable financial position though in terms of monthly payment and there is mentally just a big difference between buying a $40ishK car and one over $50K ; not sure why but feels like a barrier and one my wife will not be happy about either. It does give me more range though so I don't have to worry about that concern.
I prefer most the LR RWD model with the 325 mile range for $4K less than AWD personally.

My last option is to go with a car I like less but given the Federal $7500 credit may be a better value for my situation in the Kia Niro EV ; while the stated EPA range is similar to the SR+ ; the battery is much larger and with a separate heat pump ; I think that vehicle can handle the 125 mile round trip without the same fear.
If I went that route before Sept cutoff I could get both MA $1500 and Federal $7500.00
I don't like the look of any other Electric Car under $50K so it is between the Tesla 3 and the Kia Niro EV at this time.
While I like the way that car looks and drives, I don't love it; it is no Tesla and the electronics inside are a world apart
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,015
4,627
MA, NH
If you have the optional screens, you can put foam on them (either between the screen and the glass, or attached to the screen with velcro) which will make a big difference.

I do have both sun screens. Not gonna put foam over the back one and I don’t want to completely lose the openness. But the screens along add a slight bit of warmth in winter and coolness in summer. I said slight. ;)
 
Last edited:

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,626
22,235
Texas
I do have both sun screens. Not gonna put foam over the back one and I done want to completely lose the openness. But the screens along add s slight bit of warmth in winter and coolness in summer. I said slight. ;)
Right, the screens are mostly good for dimming the excess light coming in and mitigating poorly aimed headlights from the truck behind you. In my car they also keep the insects out when camping. I've never noticed that they've done much for heat or cold unless you affix foam to them.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,015
4,627
MA, NH
You can also crank up the seat heaters and use less hot air in the winter. That will save some power.

I’ve tried that, drives me nuts having face and hands cold. Maybe with heated steering wheel I might live with it. The instant heat makes up for no heated wheel. I know a lot of folks do what you suggest.

Also another huge culprit when it’s cold is keeping the windshield clear. I think I spend more energy keeping the glass clear than I do keeping me comfortable. If you can use recirculate it saves a ton of energy. But more often than I like I have to heat fresh air to keep the glass clear. If I could get away with no HVAC and seat heaters, I can usually run recirculate.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,015
4,627
MA, NH
Right, the screens are mostly good for dimming the excess light coming in and mitigating poorly aimed headlights from the truck behind you. In my car they also keep the insects out when camping. I've never noticed that they've done much for heat or cold unless you affix foam to them.

I mainly got them to help cut road noise. And I think they do help with that.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,433
1,498
Richland, WA
I’ve tried that, drives me nuts having face and hands cold. Maybe with heated steering wheel I might live with it. The instant heat makes up for no heated wheel. I know a lot of folks do what you suggest.

Also another huge culprit when it’s cold is keeping the windshield clear. I think I spend more energy keeping the glass clear than I do keeping me comfortable. If you can use recirculate it saves a ton of energy. But more often than I like I have to heat fresh air to keep the glass clear. If I could get away with no HVAC and seat heaters, I can usually run recirculate.

I wonder if any of those anti-fog interior treatments (RainX etc) work at all. I really only have 2 to 3 months that it might be an issue and a coating should last about that long, especially since it wouldn’t be rubbed off constantly by the elements.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,015
4,627
MA, NH
I wonder if any of those anti-fog interior treatments (RainX etc) work at all. I really only have 2 to 3 months that it might be an issue and a coating should last about that long, especially since it wouldn’t be rubbed off constantly by the elements.

Keeping glass super clean helps. Nervous of putting any coatings on the inside.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,466
3,150
Maine
Im in the Bay Area, the theoretically most Tesla friendly place, and I would not recommend the Sr+ for anyone with a 50+ mile commute

At the rated 240 range, it’s recommended you charge to 80% and drain to 20% for daily usage. Boom, now you’re down to 190 miles of usable range. 140 to account for the 20% state of charge you’ll want to keep it above

Of that 140 miles available to you, you’ll probably actually get about 100-120 miles based on your driving conditions, weather, load

If you’re ok with driving about 120 miles before having to charge, then go for it. The sr+ is good for those that have short commutes, imo
For 3 seasons he should be fine, but for Winter, I'd up the SOC limit to 90% and the lower limit to 10%, since he's going home and can put it immediately on a charge. So, his usable range would be 190 miles, not 140 miles. Of that 190 miles, given the speeds he may drive and the cold and the road conditions, it would be easy to knock off 30 to 40%. That puts him at 114 miles to 133 miles of range. In my opinion, marginal, unless he is willing to change his driving habits, like drive a little slower, use a little less heat, don't turn on Sentry mode at work. If he can't do that, then he should look into a LR off-menu, or a used one, or the Kia.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,015
4,627
MA, NH
For 3 seasons he should be fine, but for Winter, I'd up the SOC limit to 90% and the lower limit to 10%, since he's going home and can put it immediately on a charge. So, his usable range would be 190 miles, not 140 miles. Of that 190 miles, given the speeds he may drive and the cold and the road conditions, it would be easy to knock off 30 to 40%. That puts him at 114 miles to 133 miles of range. In my opinion, marginal, unless he is willing to change his driving habits, like drive a little slower, use a little less heat, don't turn on Sentry mode at work. If he can't do that, then he should look into a LR off-menu, or a used one, or the Kia.

Looks like the OP is already convinced to go LR and I agree with @zyzz, Short Range is for short commutes.

In Winter I would RAISE my target for lowest SOC. I would not want to run my car down to 10%, daily, in a Boston Winter, no way. You can get stuck in standstill traffic when it's 10F out, you want more Margin. When it's really cold, I don't like traveling at all below 30%. Flat tire, you might need heat for a few hours.
 
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mreynolds767

Member
Jul 11, 2019
728
392
Boston
Any word back from your sales guy on if AP can be disabled for a cost savings? Or any other new info?

Heard back
Cannot buy without basic AP now
MSRP is 45,900 in us including ap

Can add any options or paint choice just like any model

In terms of timing could not say but stated to allow for longer as they batch run orders for them so timing does vary more.
 

jebinc

M3 LR AWD w/FSD and white premium interior
Jun 19, 2019
3,407
1,684
Seattle area
Heard back
Cannot buy without basic AP now
MSRP is 45,900 in us including ap

Can add any options or paint choice just like any model

In terms of timing could not say but stated to allow for longer as they batch run orders for them so timing does vary more.

"Batch processing" - Interesting... At some point, Tesla will need to move to a "Lean Manufacturing" system - "One piece Flow". Much more efficient from a processing, inventory control, and cost management standpoint... Not to mention higher customer satisfaction and improved quality! And, the "Shareholders" will love it!
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,626
22,235
Texas
"Batch processing" - Interesting... At some point, Tesla will need to move to a "Lean Manufacturing" system - "One piece Flow". Much more efficient from a processing, inventory control, and cost management standpoint... Not to mention higher customer satisfaction and improved quality! And, the "Shareholders" will love it!
Tesla has always done batch processing because it's easier to increase production speed that way. So far, production speed has been the goal of Tesla. When enough GFs are online, I can see that changing.
 

davewill

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
1,823
1,966
San Diego, CA, US
Im in the Bay Area, the theoretically most Tesla friendly place, and I would not recommend the Sr+ for anyone with a 50+ mile commute

At the rated 240 range, it’s recommended you charge to 80% and drain to 20% for daily usage. Boom, now you’re down to 190 miles of usable range. 140 to account for the 20% state of charge you’ll want to keep it above

Of that 140 miles available to you, you’ll probably actually get about 100-120 miles based on your driving conditions, weather, load

If you’re ok with driving about 120 miles before having to charge, then go for it. The sr+ is good for those that have short commutes, imo
Have to disagree. Charging to 90% isn't a problem, and only in unusual circumstances would a 125mi commute drag you below 20%, even starting at 80%. While it's good to stay above 20%, there's no reason not to go below on occasion. People get too focused about the whole babying the battery thing. I see no reason not to go with SR.

I understand that the OP is going with LR, and I'm sure he'll be happy.
 

darth_vad3r

Well-Known Sith
May 6, 2019
1,574
1,123
Canada
OP, I only read about half the thread so I apologize if repeat info but didn’t see these suggestions yet...

1. Punch your round trip commute into ABetterRoutePlanner and play with the temperature and speed settings to see a range of target arrival % starting at 90%. For testing set your start to 100% arrival goal at 1% to see your no-charge-stop usage.

2. Are there any CHAdeMO stations conveniently on your route? As a pure “safety net” backup-only solution, a $450 adapter is a lot cheaper than an extra 25kWh of batteries (and weighs less to carry around all the time) :)
 
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Wahbash

Member
Oct 18, 2018
76
53
Saratoga Springs, NY
OP, living in MA keep in mind the winter cold will reduce battery range. Here in NY I've witnessed as much as 40% loss on very cold days, and you will not get any regen on the highway. Most of my trips are short so it doesn't bother me, but for your commute I would be careful. You would need the LR at least, or wait till there is a supercharger. Sorry just being honest.
 

Gpa9504

Member
Jan 27, 2018
161
113
USA
Make absolutely CERTAIN you are comfortably close to a SERVICE CENTER. We all hope that our cars wont break. But they do (had a rock break my window after two weeks of ownership- after 5 weeks STILL trying to sort out a Service Center trip- closest to me is 3-4 hours). Also- if you do have one close enough for you- maybe stop by or call and ask what their typical wait time is for a repair (though this largely depends on what is broken).

I've had an X and now a 3 performance. And it will be my last Tesla until they build a Service Center closer to me. As everyone has said- the Model 3 is AMAZING. Really fun to drive. But the hassle of dealing with service is not worth it for me.

Make sure it's worth it for you...
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,217
7,007
Delaware
Make absolutely CERTAIN you are comfortably close to a SERVICE CENTER. We all hope that our cars wont break. But they do (had a rock break my window after two weeks of ownership- after 5 weeks STILL trying to sort out a Service Center trip- closest to me is 3-4 hours). Also- if you do have one close enough for you- maybe stop by or call and ask what their typical wait time is for a repair (though this largely depends on what is broken).

I've had an X and now a 3 performance. And it will be my last Tesla until they build a Service Center closer to me. As everyone has said- the Model 3 is AMAZING. Really fun to drive. But the hassle of dealing with service is not worth it for me.

Make sure it's worth it for you...

My nearest service center is forty miles away in another state. And you're right that the service experience is sometimes frustrating.

My first X was also back at the service center exactly twice in the three years I owned it - and one of those was because I got a bolt in my tire.

While I don't disagree with anything you said, for me the service side is rare enough that it doesn't affect the feeling of an awesome car, and I expect that's fairly typical.
 

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