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What is the value of autopilot and electric drive?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by MountainHigh, May 20, 2016.

  1. MountainHigh

    MountainHigh Member

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    Had an interesting discussion over some beers last night with co-workers when they found out I am shopping for a Tesla.
    Two items came up.

    1. We were trying to see what the cost value of autopilot is. I saw that someone incredibly added autopilot to a P85 (Autopilot Retrofit on Classic P85 | wk057's SkieNET) and that he said the parts cost alone was roughly $9,000 with at least that much in labor. Hypothetically, if Tesla were ever to offer this, it would seem to be $20k at least. Since I've been looking for a CPO, mostly P85, I started subtracting from a new 90D and minus the autopilot, dual motor, larger battery, 4gLTE, console, etc, and if there were a new 2014 P85, it would be at least $25-30k less? This makes me think most non-autopilot cars currently for sale are priced too high.

    2. One of the guys isn't impressed with the model s in terms of the interior finishes and overpriced (he's a bit of a MB snob). I agree that the model s does carry a premium due to the battery and electric drive train, but, just how much? He put out the question, if the model s were offered with a roughly equivalent ice engine, what would it cost?

    They are all intrigued by Tesla, kept asking when I am going to get one as I'd be the first with any sort of electric vehicle. One of the guys did put a deposit for a model 3, but, only because others were doing it and it is refundable. If it wasn't, he wouldn't have done it. He's on the fence, I am not.
     
  2. Cebe

    Cebe Member

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    For me, the electric drive, in particular the "fill 'er up" at home part, makes Model S into apples and oranges comparison with an ICE vehicle. It's like comparing a Harley to a mini-van. Not arguing one is more impressive than the other, but the cross shopping just doesn't happen.
    I'm sure a number of people (some reported on this forum) have only gotten the Model S/X because of the auto-pilot, but for me, it's the electric convenience.
     
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  3. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Autopilot for me wasn't important but I got it.

    Have you ever test driven a MS? That might answer most of your questions if you did.
     
  4. int32_t

    int32_t Tesla Spotter

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    There is no such animal as an "equivalent ICE." Nothing can match the torque and the silence, both of which are vital to the experience.

    P.S. Two buttons doesn't make the interior "overpriced." It's just minimalist, which is to say, different. A billion buttons sometimes is a dealbreaker, like when your car is too complicated to operate while driving. :p
     
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  5. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Once you use it, priceless. Seriously. I actually was one of the few early guys who got it completely for free. They just added it in production and activated it. But I would have paid the 3K for it with no questions asked if I had been able to drive it before. It's funny. I actually thought it would be a gimmick. It most certainly is not.

    I don't know if I can say that it is a 20-ish premium over non AP. But there is most certainly an intangible hit to the value of those without. It will only grow as the public gets the chance to experience it and gets "over it" on the "computers driving us" fear, which is huge.

    I'll tell you, I thanked my higher power when I saw that I had it. Not just for the feature. But the perceived value too.

    With regard to the value of the car vs. the price: The AP is just one piece of an amazingly simple, refined AND complicated machine that will change anybody's attitude to driving. I have always been a bit of a gear head. Love fast cars, lovely engines, great exhausts and all. But now I look at an ICE, or as I prefer to call them, a Fossil, and I think how primitive and unnecessary. The Tesla is a smooth silky limousine and at one tip into the go pedal, she turns into a fire breathing beast. I can wipe anybody off the line, carve up canyons and mountains amazingly well and just plain chill on the open road AND in bumper to bumper and let the car do the work in AP. Can't beat it. I think that is really where the value comes from compared to other cars.

    And don't forget about the $4 per 250 Mi I pay vs a big Merc, BMW, etc costing 45 or so. If you drive a lot, It adds up fast.

    But to me, the biggest value of all is that I am moving away from oil, carbon, etc. and I am helping in the mission to get us all off.
     
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  6. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Putting a number on certain features is hard. Everyone has different priorities. Driving electric has a lot of technical advantages. No transmission, instant power at any rpm, regen, and many others. But for me it was more important to get away from oil. Oli has caused so much trouble in this world on so many levels. Not just environment, but also politically. Starting the revolution from oil to local produced electricity and hopefully soon all from renewable sources is priceless to me. It's something we need to do. That was the main reason for me to get an EV. Yes the build quality of the Model S isn't great, but I knew that's a compromise we early adopters would take.

    Having a car that everyone thinks is cool is an awesome side effect. The convenience of charging at home is something I didn't think of at first but is a big plus. As for AP. I'm not sure if you can put a value on it. I love it and it's not a toy, but at the same time we are far away from self driving. Once the next generation of AP or self driving is out, the first generation AP cars will look limited.
     
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  7. SoxFan2004

    SoxFan2004 Member

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    I've had my Model S 85D for 2 months and I can say without hesitation that it's impossible to compare with an ICE car. I doubt I will ever buy an ICE again.
     
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  8. MountainHigh

    MountainHigh Member

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    What got me thinking about the Tesla was visiting a friend of mine in LA who has gone off the power grid. He's powered by solar and switched to two electric cars, one being a model s. He wants to have a sustainable future for his kids. It convinced me. He has a pre-AP car, though, is considering upgrading. That LA traffic is something else. I can see AP being of value there for sure.

    I did take a test drive and used the AP for about 10 minutes. While I was impressed with it, there were a few odd things like wanting to take me off an exit ramp instead of staying on the highway. The OA mentioned that Tesla is constantly refining it's cars. I got a bit of a beta tester feeling. I think that's why I've been looking for a CPO, it's less money, many of the additional improvements, while nice, I don't think would deter from enjoying it, and I can wait for AP2.0 whenever that might be. I like to drive and be in control. I'm just trying to gauge if it's a must have item.

    As for the other question, I think I might have misphrased it regarding the tesla as a ice car. It really wasn't about the paradigm shift. I know comparing them are apples and oranges. It really is more about the interior compared to other similarly prices cars, that it may not quite be on the same level, eg, quality of leather, ability to stand to wear and tear, lack of conveniences like cup holders, door pockets, lighted vanity, hand grips, coat hook, etc. I have to admit riding in my boss's Mercedes S550 was pretty nice.

    I'm just trying to think through my purchase decision making.
    Thanks for the replies.
     
  9. pdxrunr

    pdxrunr Member

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    MoutainHigh, I hear ya! I took delivery of a 70D two months ago and it's by far the best and most fun car I have ever owned regarding the drivetrain. You do have to admit, the interior for a $90K car is no where close to any other $90K car (I mean the Tesla is lacking!). I have told many of my friends that if I could get the BMW 5 or 7 series interior with the Tesla drivetrain and computer/control systems, I would be set for life. Not sure what the motors cost, but I have read that the batter pack alone in the Tesla is $25K-30K, so much more than an ICE. When's it's all said and done, I would rather have a slightly inferior cabin and have the Tesla electric experience! There is no going back once you drive it. My hope is that as battery costs come down, the interior will get nicer, or as Tesla becomes a more skilled manufacturer, they are able to offer more upgrade options like Porche does.

    If you're not set on the electric drive, there are many, many more options around $90K that would give you a much better cabin experience in terms of leather quality, seating comfort, gadgets, heads up display, etc, etc. That's my $.02 :)
     
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  10. Eugene Ash

    Eugene Ash Member

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    Chg-on, well said!
    Electric: i did 3+ years in a RWD electric and loved it. You drive the car, not otherwise. It doesn't instigate you as an ICE does. You can drive with exuberance and zen in the same car when you want.
    Autopilot: having rear-ended someone, it's just an extra safety fallback for me, and a way to keep my distance. I'm picking one up on Tue, and that was my rationale for going with AP
     
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  11. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    Well, again, though, you're equating "more" with "better", which just isn't the minimalist aesthetic. I believe Tesla strives to have the right interior, rather than the most interior. That's clearly not to everyone's taste, but one of the coolest (to me, at least) things about the Tesla is how boldly it makes its design choices -- there's clearly no focus group testing going on (kinda Apple-like in that way, for better or worse).
     
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  12. eloder

    eloder Member

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    The only people who don't consider an electric drivetrain to be the #1 luxury feature in any vehicle, are only those who have never driven electric.
     
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  13. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I like the design and look of the interior design. I don't think people are unhappy with it. But the quality of the materials and functionality is lacking, especially compared to similar priced cars.
     
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  14. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Simple. Ask him what it would cost to upgrade to a V12 engine and install a gas pump in his garage. That is the value of an electric drive train.
     
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  15. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    I agree with all the Tesla Afficionados. There is no comparison. OK, you like the way Mercedes does their interiors. You like puffy leather seats. You somehow equate that with luxury. It's not. Luxury is driving comfortable. That's it.

    There is absolutely no comparing electric with gas power. Gas is weak, noisy, polluting. Etc., etc. When MB or BMW come out with a full sized electric sedan, then let's make comparisons. But we know they cannot do that and stay in their comfortable, hundred year old business model. They would eat their own lunch.

    I have a painful back, need codeine, yet I can drive all day in my Tesla and arrive feeling good, without drugs. My in-law has a big Mercedes SUV, and tells me, "Oh, the seats in the MB are really luxurious." We went on a 30 minute errand and I could never get comfortable. Which one is luxurious? Tesla is supportive. Tesla does not try to cushion you from all the disappointments and irritations that the gas car inherently has.
     
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  16. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    There's no doubt that the Merc, BMW, Audi (and other) interiors are gorgeous. I would take any of those three and be quite happy. Fortunately, the austerity of the MS interior fits my aesthetic perfectly. So I don't feel like I am missing out on anything. I even like the Gen1 seats, which I know many people do not. I think the thing I like the very most is the incredible sense of open space in the cabin of the MS. There is just so much room. The others feel a bit constrained to me. Perhaps due to the opulence. So clearly, the MS and I were meant for eachother.

    Can you marry a car?:rolleyes:
     
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  17. David29

    David29 Member

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    I echo pretty much everything said above. And although I do have a Model S with Autopilot features, and glad for it, I think many people could be happy with a Model S that lacked it. especially if you are coming from a car without similar features. But if you are already hooked on something like traffic-aware cruise control, you might miss it too much. As for me, I never had TACC or even Bluetooth, let alone self-steering.
    Having come from a Mercedes myself, I certainly agree that the Tesla interior is not on a par with an MB for fit, finish, materials, and creature comforts. But I willingly gave up that type of comfort to move from my E Class to the Model S. As others have said, the experience of the power, smoothness, silence, responsiveness, etc., are just plain addictive and wonderful. I just have not gotten tired of it.
    i do have to disagree on one point. I also have a history of back trouble, and do have the first generation seats, and do not find them very comfortable. Obviously I tolerate the seat, but I wish I had given more consideration to the second generation seats. Most of my passengers have no complaints about the seats, though -- just my spouse and I have found them less than comfortable.
    So unless you absolutely must have the latest autopilot suite and would feel as if the car is lacking without them, I'd say to try for a CPO that otherwise is equipped as you like it.
    Oh, and one other feature I would strongly suggest you try to get: Parking sensors. It is a big car and hard to park. I am not sure I would be comfortable using it on a daily basis without parking sensors. They were options long before autopilot and also were included in the "tech package" at some times.
    Good luck!
     
  18. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    Well said !!

    For me - give me a wooden bench with electric drive train and Auto pilot. I would take that any day to the plush interior of German cars. There is a new luxury in town. It is known as not having to drive at all, but simply sit back and relax.. and reach your destination.. well, relaxed. Nowadays the return commute with stop and go traffic for over 20 miles, doesn't stress me out anymore. I used to get home after a dreary 36 mile commute and literally crash into the sofa for 15 minutes, before I even tried untying my shoe laces. Nowadays, I am in the tennis court within10 minutes.

    For me in the order of priority, AP is now a notch higher than, electric drivetrain. Although it is possible that the instant response of electric drivetrain is what makes the AP in Tesla so precise.
     
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  19. eyespii

    eyespii Member

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    I love my Tesla but I wouldn't have bought it without autopilot. If you put autopilot in a Civic that's what I'd be driving right now - no matter gas or electric. That's what a 100 mile round-trip commute will do to you. Also what's with everyone saying the interiors of the Mercedes and bimmers are so luxurious compared to the Tesla? Unless they're talking about all those Shiny buttons and knobs made out of ... real metal I guess?

    also, I had to drive an ice for a week a few weeks ago a had to go to a gas station. You don't realize how inconvenient it truly is until you haven't had to do it for the better part of a year.
     
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  20. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    1 - Autopilot is so valuable to me personally I'd pay $20,000 or more for it. Yes, the fact that better ones are coming soon reduces its value but if technology was stagnant, and I had to choose between an autopilot Tesla and a non-autopilot Tesla I'd personally pay $20K more for it. It has changed my life completely because long drives in L.A. traffic are so pleasant and relaxing now.

    2 - Electric drive - smooth, no vibration, little maintenance, silent - super valuable.

    But let's admit it - the interior is not as high quality as an equivalent Benz or BMW. I do like minimalism but the quality of the materials is not quite up the standards of the other makers. The wood is excellent, the alcantara headliner and dash are great. It's just the leather on the seats and some of the plastics feel low rent. Improve those items and we have essentially the perfect interior.
     
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