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Thought of selling our Model S but the economics of the alternatives made us keep it

Discussion in 'Model S' started by wcfinvader, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. wcfinvader

    wcfinvader Member

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    #1 wcfinvader, Sep 8, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
    My wife and I decided to sell our Model S after having it for 10 months thus far. We drive minimum 40,000 mile/year. The reason we bought the car in the first place was due to gas prices and the amount we drive per year. Here's where it gets bad. We do some calculations

    15mpg $3/gal $667/month
    15mpg $4/gal $888/month
    25mpg $2/gal $267/month
    25mpg $3/gal $400/month
    If we were to sell our Model S the plan was to buy a SUV that has 3 row seating. There was a certain thing that kinda derailed our plan for our lives together and that was no joke 1 week after buying the car we became pregnant. We did not see that coming at all. Our thinking became how will we fit all our kids here recently since she wants more and that's what started the we need to sell idea. Our son was born about 2 months ago now. If we sold we were not going to spend more than $5,000 for a used SUV. I will get some hate on here for saying this but this also played into our selling idea. Our Model S has been to the service center for issues 3 times since we got it. Battery issue, sunroof issue, and door handle issue. Paying for these issues outside of the warranty would be expensive and things will break outside of the warranty. Guess how many times our Nissan Leaf has been to the service center? Twice, once for a battery check and another time to replace the cabin air filter. We just passed 40k miles on it recently and have not had a SINGLE issue. As far as what the car was built for in my opinion it has been a much better car than the Model S. My favorite car is the Nissan Leaf and I drive it every day. My wife's favorite is the Model S and she drives it every day. That being said the Model S is the better car of course because of the larger battery and the Supercharger network.

    So let's do some more math. Maintenance on a used car $200/month at least. Gas on a used car $267-$888/month. Total $467-$1088/month. This is being pretty generous on the maintenance. $5,000 initial gas and maintenance for 5 years $28,000-$65,333 for a grand total of at least $33,000 to a max of $70,333. That's only assuming we stop with either plan at 5 years. We planned on keep the Model S for 8 total years (7 more to go) at minimum. So the darn math ruined our plan to sell the car :rolleyes:.

    We thought we made a bad decision buying the car in the first place but the math reassured us that we did not make a mistake. 40k miles a year is a lot of driving and in this situation the Model S really shows it's worthiness. A week ago I never would have thought that the car is a "Cheap" car in the sense that it will save money over the long term compared to a ICE. We don't think we will have major maintenance issues over the long term like a ICE would.
     
  2. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

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    I'll take your Tesla free of charge, but it has to be fully charged upon delivery to my driveway. :wink:
     
  3. ozweepay

    ozweepay Member

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    Are you able to drive your Leaf 40,000 mi/yr with its limited range? Because that's well over 100 mi/day on average.

    It seems that money is a primarily consideration for you (nothing wrong with that!) and Tesla certainly hypes how much you'll save by going electric, but it is still a luxury car. You pay for the superior handling, styling, larger battery, etc. And, for better or worse, it seems that everything that goes with a luxury car costs more (including, as you noted, repairs and maintenance).

    I salute you for planning to keep your MS for 8 years. I predict that 7 years from now electrics will be commonplace and you can get your 3-row SUV for a very reasonable price without using gas... that way you can carry the 5 additional kids you'll have by then. :tongue:
     
  4. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    #4 Canuck, Sep 8, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
    Owning both a Model S and a Leaf I have the opposite opinion. In fact, just yesterday we came home from 2 weeks vacation and, once again, the 12volt battery on our Leaf was dead. This is a known issue with the Leaf. If you leave it for a week or two plugged into the charger without driving it, the 12volt battery dies. I could usually charge it back up but this time my smart charger was telling me it wouldn't hold a charge, which was really frustrating at the start of the school year! So I jumped it with the starting setting on the charger and my wife drove it to Nissan (fingers crossed -- she it made it). I had read in the warranty booklet that the 12volt battery is pro-rated so I would only have to pay 50% for a new one based on time. But then my wife calls me from the dealership and they tried to tell me after 3 years the warranty had expired. I told them to read the warranty booklet in the car and meanwhile I found the warranty booklet online and read them this:

    Months Customer PayIn Service Percentage 0–24: 0% | 25–32: 25% | 33–50: 50% | 51–84: 75%

    I said according to the warranty booklet, I only had to pay 50% not 100%. Then they told me that was US only. I said it reads above this: "USA and Canada"! They said they had different information in their computer system so I had my wife get the warranty booklet from the car and after wasting more time at work they finally agreed with the 50%. Shouldn't this be obvious information for a service center? Were they trying to pull a fast one on me? I bet most people just pay. But they probably just charged me double to make up for it because we paid nearly $100 for the battery. So in my experience, the Nissan Leaf has a really bad inherent flaw (which still concerns me) and Nissan service sucks! (But I still love my Leaf - it's just no comparison at all when it comes to my Tesla.)

    As for the cabin air filter for the Leaf, I bought one on ebay for $10 and changed it myself. Nissan service wanted $120 to do that!
     
  5. reddy

    reddy Member

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    I'm with Canuck on this. We own a 2011 Leaf and a 2013 Model S. The Model S has been more reliable for us. The service issues for us have been minor. I've changed tires on both vehicles from use, but honestly that has been the only high dollar item.

    Nissan keeps trying to charge me for the required annual battery check, and I was a sucker to let them change the air filter once. I was not so stupid as to buy one a second time.

    I'm a lot more concerned about the Leaf battery pack than the Tesla. I'm seeing almost no degradation on the S; most of the variation seems to be from software updates! The Leaf has definite range loss, but not enough to sell it or stop driving it.

    How sorry I am to hear that you are stuck driving a Model S.
     
  6. wcfinvader

    wcfinvader Member

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    I bought our leaf in April 2013 and we've never had the 12v issue even when we were gone for 2 weeks on our honeymoon last year. Yes I could do the cabin air filter but they only charge ~$30-$40. Our leaf has had some degradation but considerably less than most others. Think we got lucky there.
     
  7. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    #7 Canuck, Sep 8, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
    Well that's unusual. There's page after page of this defect on the Leaf forums. Green Car Reports explains this defect with the Leaf:

    Going Away? Make Sure Your Electric Car Stays Happy Without You

    Excerpt:

    "In a car like the Nissan Leaf, its 12-volt battery will gradually discharge as it provides power to always-on systems like the alarm, locking system, radio and telematics computers.
    When it gets too low and the car is unplugged, the Leaf’s 12-volt solar panel or dc-to-dc converter kicks in to charge it back up.
    If the Leaf is plugged into a charging station and drawing power to charge its on-board traction battery pack, it should also charge up the 12-volt battery.
    But when plugged into a charging station that is not actively charging the car, the Leaf enters into an operational mode that continuously looks to communicate with the charging station, drawing power as needed from its 12-volt accessory battery.In this mode, the extra power drain can flatten the 12-volt battery -- not the traction battery -- in under a week.
    The solution?
    Nissan Leaf guru Phil Saddow has spent some time looking into the issue, using his own 2011 Nissan Leaf as a test subject.
    On the MyNissanLeaf forum, he advises owners who are going away on a long trip to plan their car’s vacation with care. “Leaving a charge cord plugged into the Leaf, but not charging, will leave the ECUs awake and cause more than normal load on the 12v battery. Don’t do this if at all possible!,” he warns.
    “Leave the charge at 50-80%,” he advises. “Do not leave anything connected to the charge port. If you are leaving for longer, charge to 80% and then disconnect the negative lead on the 12v battery or ad a “Battery tender” type trickle charger. “
    Other suggested solutions include setting charge parameters to execute an 80 percent charge every day for a few minutes, ensuring that the 12-volt battery always gets some charging opportunities every day.
    ... as far as we are aware, this problem is peculiar to the Leaf."


    I am going to buy a trickle charger and plug that in too the next time we go on a trip. I think the SL version suffers the most from it because it has all the bells and whistles.

    But my original post was simply to rebut your argument about the Leaf not having one single issue and being a much better car than the Model S. There's no flaw nearly as bad as this one with my Model S, but if there was, a simple software update could fix it... :biggrin:
     
  8. wcfinvader

    wcfinvader Member

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    That's pretty good and does explain why I haven't had that issue. If we are gone for an extended period of time we always leave it at 50% charge and unplugged. Yes not having software updates is a bit annoying. It has unlimited data so why they don't do updates is any body's guess. I guess I'm just weird but having heated seats, heated steering wheel, Energy Consumption breakdown (My favorite), Climate Timer, and Charging timer is just some of the big reasons why I like the leaf over the Tesla. Like I said before though I'm sure that Tesla will eventually bring these features out.
     
  9. mentalspaz

    mentalspaz Member

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    I currently have a leaf (trying to sell now actually), volt, and the Model S. I find the model S to be the superior car to the other two. I think the Volt is superior to the leaf as well. I CONSTANTLY worry about the pack on the leaf. We live in a pretty mild climate, and I'm still showing all bars (but I don't have a GID meter, so I can't be sure about pack loss), but the hit in the winter forces me to charge it to 100% (real world range in TN for Spring/Summer/Fall is about 80 miles (pretty hilly), but in the winter without using the heat (just the seat warmers and steering wheel warmer) it plummets to around 55, throw the heat on and you're honestly looking at about 45.) (2012 Leaf, I think they replaced the heating unit in >=2013)

    Now, i've only owned the S for about 2k miles, and none of that is in the winter, so I'm sure it'll take a hit as well, but even at the same % of cold weather loss, I wouldn't need to charge to 100%.

    For reference, the 2013 Volt typically gets about 40ish miles per charge in spring/summer/fall and drops to about 33ish in the winter.

    What does all that have to do w/ you? Nothing :)

    Just interesting to compare experiences and see that you favor the leaf. (incidentally my wife (primary driver of the Leaf, and likes it more than the Volt - Drives the Tesla at every chance)

    Best of luck w/ your decisions and family!
     
  10. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    2013 Leaf here. Why would I plug in my car while I'm out of town. I'd drop to 50% or so and leave it unplugged...... 30k miles, 3 NC summers, never a 12V problem. 2 dealer visits outside of battery checks. I'd be pleasantly surprised if Tesla beats this. Yes the S is the preferred drive but the Leaf has its merits.

    The thread title makes no sense.

    $200 minimum per month to maintain a used car???? We just sold our 2007 Accord. I think I spent $600 over 6 years and 60k miles ownership. $200 on oil changes (6 or so). $200 on alignments (2 - I rounded up). $200 on AT fluid changeout. Not counting tires. So it was about $8 a month in maintenance. The first 10k miles were covered by warranty - we bought with 25k miles on the clock. But the car never saw a Honda dealer.

    And you have charts with $3 and $4 gas?!? In IA???? Since the past year has been closer to $2, you may need to rethink those charts. There is a pretty decent chance that $4 will not be seen again (in the heartland) for awhile. If China implodes just a little bit and Paris actually accomplishes something, we may never see $4 again. So economic argument is hard to maintain.
     
  11. ozweepay

    ozweepay Member

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    Our insanely low gas prices are due to heavy subsidies from our government. Compare to gas prices in other countries.

    If those subsidies are rolled back (which won't happen in an election year, but could with a Democratic president), we could easily see $4/gal again.

    In my opinion.
     
  12. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Often wondered about this when I travel to the US. Is it "heavy subsidies" or "lack of taxes" that makes the difference? Canadian gas prices are higher than the US, but certainly lower than Europe. This chart ( a bit out of date) shows that taxation contributes a lot to Canadian gas prices:

    9-9-2015 11-59-40 AM.jpg
     
  13. Darren Donovan

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    How is this possible? LOL
     
  14. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    When a man and a woman lo... nevermind.
     
  15. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    The title of this thread is so misleading as to be laughable. I read the original post and a better title would have been: Thought of selling our Model S but the economics of the alternatives made us keep it.
     
  16. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Wow, just wow. How old are you? Our entire economy is based on peaks and valleys. Google "Crude Oil Price History Chart" and take a look at the peaks and valleys for the past 50 years. Every time it hit a valley (or a peak) people like you said, those prior extremes will never be back. But in reality, they came back and out peaked the last one! You can do the same for the stock market, the US and Can dollar and practically everything else.

    I bought my Tesla for environmental concerns and I hope this valley stays forever since it's been the best thing yet to slow tar sands dirty oil extraction and other oil extraction. But I know like every other valley it's only temporary.

    Yes, when gas was $140 a barrel it was $1.40 litre at the pumps. Now it's $40 a barrel and it's $1.20 litre at the pumps. BC Lower Mainland prices.
     
  17. taurusking

    taurusking Member

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    I think gas prices will definitely roll back to $4/gal next year regardless of whether it is Democratic candidate or Republican candidate who is going to win.
     
  18. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I don't care any more, but what makes you think this? It seems to be an oversupply issue and I don't see any signs of that ending soon (but then, I'm no economist).
     
  19. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    100% increase in 12 months? I doubt it.

    Historically worst case for a ~100% increase in gas prices took 18 months (Gas Price Charts - GasBuddy.com - GasBuddy.com)

    It goes down a lot faster than it goes up.
     
  20. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Member

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