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Why I bought a SR+

kelvin 660

White SR+ with LFP battery
Aug 21, 2020
512
420
Stonehouse
I could have bought a LR or even a Performance model 3 but I don’t think it would have been such a good fit for me as the SR+. Why?

Looking at my last year’s ICE car data (from the app “FillUp”) I could see that my average mpg was 51.92 and that I drove 14,454 miles in a year (or an average of 40 miles per day). Yes, I had made several longer trips of around 300 miles in that year, but plugging those trips into ABRP, I could see that they could be easily done using the super-charger network with only 15 to 20-minute charges.

I didn’t need 4-wheel drive as I don’t drive in the snow, and I don’t need even the performance of a SR+ (although handy to have), so it didn’t make sense to spend another £7K on a LR. The Performance car is just silly and cannot be used in day to day driving… In fact, I’ve now set the car to “Chill” to save on tyre wear and tear and I find the car is much smoother to drive…

After 8 months of ownership (thru the winter period) I’ve had no range anxiety even when running at 350Wh/mile, mid-winter.

I have now switched to Octopus GO and it’s costing around 1.6p/mile in electricity. Whereas petrol was costing £1,523/year, now using electricity it is going to cost £230/year, a saving of £1,300/year. Include in no car tax, lower insurance than my last ICE car and no servicing. I’m saving almost £2K/year on running costs.

But that’s not all; driving the Tesla model 3 is just such a great experience. Like going up hills silently and not having to brake going down hills. Using AP on the motorway and one pedal driving is just the icing on the cake. Oh, and did I say the sound system is great! I do pay extra for the premium connectivity as I think it’s worth it just to entertain the grandchildren from Spotify, etc.

If I could change one thing of the car it would be to not have frame-less windows, as the door sounds tinny when closed, especially when the windows are down.

If I was to buy an EV today it would still be the SR+, as no other car come close as a complete package. Yes, there are some irritating software issues but hopefully these will be fixed sometime in the future.
 

Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,513
1,013
Berkshire
My reasoning was basically the same as you. I’d already switched from more performance based cars to more efficient as I get older and (a little) more sensible so the SR+ is a good bit faster than those.

My only worry is degradation as I’m hoping to keep my SR+ for a while, but so far Tesla seems to do quite well there so shouldn’t be an issue
 
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I agree, for me longer journeys where I would need a Charge are infrequent enough that the SR+ Range was more than enough for us. With the recent expansion of Superchargers in Scotland Aberdeen, Fort William, Berwick etc. this decision has been very largely vindicated but everyone has their own scenario / drivers.
 
I chose the SR+ to cash buy because after adding on that superb red and a tow bar, the LR was pushed further away than I was budgeting.

Performance is astounding and can be used far more often than in any ICE.
The only option I have added was the full Hansshow sub woofer addition that supplies three new speakers and you end up with 7 more speakers which gives the full "immersive" wow sound.

Range hasn't been an issue and we covered 1700 miles last October on a round Scotland NC500 trip in a week. It is the Supercharger network that allows these distances in the SR as above Fort William we relied on hotel charging which was planned in.
Oddly I couldn't get any of the Charge Place Scotland Rapids to work on my car as they generally bugged out on CCS comms fail.
Many others were out of service but had no issues charging overnight using destination charging or a 13A socket.
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
5,811
4,420
Scotland
It can be a difficult balance to strike. The best use of resources and efficiency would suggest that unless you are going to use the full available range regularly in a battery vehicle you are just driving around with unnecessary extra weight and expensive Lithium etc. Unlike a fuel car the weight is always there whether the "tank" is full or nearly empty. If there's a good charging network available to top up on the rarer long distance drives that should provide the answer. So in theory even an SR+ might be a bit beyond what most people essentially require of a functional EV. (Most people ... not everyone.)

But we live in the real world! We don't just measure everything by energy efficiency and our consumption of the Earth's valuable resources and I can't believe that there are many people who buy a Tesla with that in mind. We expect much more from a car than just a convenient mode of conveyance. Here are some reasons why the first paragraph isn't the only choice:

Performance: We love having a car that does what it does really well, or at least better than more basic models. Faster is better, more range is better, AWD is better. Having more heated "things" is better. Having an uprated music system is better. More tech is better. Being able to control and fine tune performance parameters is better. These all lead to a potentially higher feel-good factor. The LR and Performance variants win!

Practicality and convenience: It may be infrequent that you need to push the range limits but those infrequent occasions can be disproportionately important. e.g. Family holidays, visiting distant sick relatives. And then some people can't charge at home. They routinely need to go several days between charges so on some days end up starting their day with less range than those of us with a topped up SR+ so need a bigger buffer. The LR and Performance models win again.

I love my SR+. The range must be a pretty much perfect balance for my own routine driving needs. I charge at home so can always start the day with plenty of charge onboard. (However, if it came with 100kWh battery pack at the same weight and price I wouldn't turn it down!)
It's as comfortable as any other model and looks identical inside and almost identical outside. Only the Tesla cognoscenti can spot any difference. The driving experience is fantastic, effortless torque delivered smoothly at all speeds, planted on the road with good balance. Not a typical RWD experience because of the weight distribution so you have to be trying quite a bit to unsettle the back. With winter tyres it is astonishing! "Slip start"? pah, never needed it! Embarrasses proper 4wd using standard tyres. The LR and Performance have spectacular acceleration figures so I inform curious friends that I have "the slow version" ... and they are invariably amazed that the "slow Tesla" accelerates as fast as a latter day supercar! In fact, let's be honest here, the only reason for higher specs is for the (perfectly valid) reason of personal pleasure (nothing wrong with that)!

Manufacturers aim to produce a range of vehicle variants. They try to increase the desirability factor as you go up the range ... so ... "You pays your money and you makes your choice."
 

browellm

Active Member
Oct 4, 2019
1,032
994
Notts
but plugging those trips into ABRP, I could see that they could be easily done using the super-charger network with only 15 to 20-minute charges.
ABRP was instrumental in helping me decide what to go for. I plugged in all my regular long trips into it, playing with various weather conditions to help me decide. A great presales resource, as you said.

It also put me right off the Polestar.
 
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NewbieT

Active Member
Aug 16, 2019
1,434
1,023
North West
I had an SR+ and loved it. Lighter = efficient, agile, cheaper. The only time I didn’t like it was not being able to drive 100 miles and back in winter without charging. I thought there would be less variance from the official stats and I was wrong.

I now have an LR and other than solving my range problem (physical & psychological) I think it handles better with the 2 motors.
 
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Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,513
1,013
Berkshire
I had an SR+ and loved it. Lighter = efficient, agile, cheaper. The only time I didn’t like it was not being able to drive 100 miles and back in winter without charging. I thought there would be less variance from the official stats and I was wrong.

I now have an LR and other than solving my range problem (physical & psychological) I think it handles better with the 2 motors.

agree thats disappointing, and it sits within the day trip or at least each leg being a single journey. Yes we’ll stop for a wee on a 6 hour road trip, but not travelling 100 miles/90 minutes down the road. Yes it only needs a splash and dash but that still means almost any not-short journey you’re having a peep at ABRP or at least being aware you may need a top up
 

Yev000

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,396
985
Knaphill
I had an SR+ and loved it. Lighter = efficient, agile, cheaper. The only time I didn’t like it was not being able to drive 100 miles and back in winter without charging. I thought there would be less variance from the official stats and I was wrong.

I now have an LR and other than solving my range problem (physical & psychological) I think it handles better with the 2 motors.

Yeah living with LR is much easier.

That said, I drove SR+ to Spain and there was never a stop I didn't want to make. Depends heavily on personal habits and needs of course. The LR gives much more room in that department.

Tesla did a good job on setting the parameters. I think if both cars had the same range a lot more would pick the cheaper one. Probably why the LR RWD is not on the menu.
 

Neilio

Active Member
Jul 8, 2020
1,031
649
Brentford
Will that's the first time anyone has called my car "silly"

Despite what the OP says the performance can easily be used on a day to day basis. That one of its qualities and also one of its faults. Is it a performance car or is at a quick family car? It's a bit schizophrenic in that respect

It's excessive, yes and for 99.9% of the time you don't use the extra power but it's not silly. I quite like it.

That's why I like the current model 3 line up though: the sr+ is all the car you'll ever need. The long range the same but just with those extras, so maybe it's all the car you'll ever want as well as need. Then the performance is tear your face off fast and it comes with a little spoiler. For those who like little spoilers
 

EVMeister

Lover of Tesla
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2018
2,033
15,997
England
Then the performance is tear your face off fast and it comes with a little spoiler. For those who like little spoilers

Spoiler alert!

Oh and as an owner of the LR, I enjoy the extra performance vs. SR+. A model I've driven quite a bit as well. There are plenty of times I use its acceleration to full potential, but I suppose it depends where you live and the roads you drive on. I'd love to be able to accelerate even faster, which the Performance model would offer. Actually I'd probably purchase the Acceleration Boost if I could, but my car is on a PCH lease so not an option.
 
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Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
5,811
4,420
Scotland
I had an SR+ and loved it. Lighter = efficient, agile, cheaper. The only time I didn’t like it was not being able to drive 100 miles and back in winter without charging. I thought there would be less variance from the official stats and I was wrong.

I now have an LR and other than solving my
I don’t think any of us fully understand how range works with an ev until we have one. Every article or video will refer to quoted range and some will give an additional “real life” range estimate but it tends to get left there without further explanation. The reality is that there is another range figure that we work out for ourselves. I routinely assume starting out with 90% and getting back with 10% so for my “everyday” use I can knock off another 20% from the “real life” range if I want to avoid public charging! Of course occasionally we may chose to start out with 100% but that’s the exception.
 
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GRiLLA

Active Member
Jul 5, 2020
1,527
1,609
UK
Everyone's different. I do perhaps the same annual mileage as you but my work can mean I'm making long journeys back from client sites at the end of a week. Being able to do Manchester to High Wycombe without charging, or from Newcastle with one stop makes enough of a difference. Combine that with NoA doing all the thinking (so I can just verify safety) is the ideal combination. Of course that hasn't happened in the last year.
I also visit my Mum on Kintyre, with the LR I can make it from the last SuC at Abington to her house without relying on the CPS chargers that are far from reliable in Argyll and Kintyre.
 
For me the decision for the SR+ was very easy. I have actually needed any higher acceleration exactly zero times in over a year.

And I have tried long-distance driving too, on a 2,500 km = 1,600 mile drive from Germany to southern Italy and back without any serious problem. I reckon that the LR would have shaved half an hour off each of the two 1,000 km legs, but I can bear that easily.

I think the decision for the long-range version is easy. If you need range in winter, if you regularly drive distances that the LR can cover without charging, but the SR+ cannot, if you frequently drive long-distance, etc., you obviously want the LR. If you want extreme performance, for example, because your are an aspiring car race driver, the decision is also clear. You just have to pay extra for it.
 
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Yev000

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,396
985
Knaphill
I don’t think any of us fully understand how range works with an ev until we have one. Every article or video will refer to quoted range and some will give an additional “real life” range estimate but it tends to get left there without further explanation. The reality is that there is another range figure that we work out for ourselves. I routinely assume starting out with 90% and getting back with 10% so for my “everyday” use I can knock off another 20% from the “real life” range if I want to avoid public charging! Of course occasionally we may chose to start out with 100% but that’s the exception.

That's the problem with selling cars based on "range". Range is a function of available power and the efficiency *you* are capable of getting out of the car.

You touched on why *total* range is irrelevant (no-one drives from full till empty). It's a statistical number for comparison purposes only - a bit like a "Representative APR" for cars. An arbitrary number that lets you rank at the point of purchase.

A more useful figure for most people - who want to occasionally go on long trips - is how long it takes to complete a 1000km trip. That directly tells you how many hours of your life you will save for the money that you pay.

The difference between SR and LR is about an hour for such a trip. That may sound little, but if you use a supercharger at all that can quickly add up. You will get almost a third more range added per time spent in an LR between 8% and 50% at a supercharger. Primarily because 50% for SR is ~25Kwh and then it starts throttling, for LR that's ~35KWh before it starts throttling.

The other factor - although quite complicated - is battery degradation. You will cycle the SR battery more often and to higher ranges. LFP has yet to prove itself over the long term and potentially is a lot more robust. So there might be little difference now. But either way degradation in the SR is much more painful than the LR.

Finally, a UK special - winter driving. We never change to winter tyres. And all wheel drive helps a lot. With the SR, it's heavy enough to get stuck that one day in the year it snows and you absolutely must go somewhere.

When I bought my SR the price difference was 10k. Now it's 6.5k. If the SR+ was 38k instead of the 41k it would be much easier to choose.
 
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That's the problem with selling cars based on "range". Range is a function of available power and the efficiency *you* are capable of getting out of the car.

You touched on why *total* range is irrelevant (no-one drives from full till empty). It's a statistical number for comparison purposes only - a bit like a "Representative APR" for cars. An arbitrary number that lets you rank at the point of purchase.

A more useful figure for most people - who want to occasionally go on long trips - is how long it takes to complete a 1000km trip. That directly tells you how many hours of your life you will save for the money that you pay.

The difference between SR and LR is about an hour for such a trip. That may sound little, but if you use a supercharger at all that can quickly add up. You will get almost a third more range added per time spent in an LR between 8% and 50% at a supercharger. Primarily because 50% for SR is ~25Kwh and then it starts throttling, for LR that's ~35KWh before it starts throttling.

The other factor - although quite complicated - is battery degradation. You will cycle the SR battery more often and to higher ranges. LFP has yet to prove itself over the long term and potentially is a lot more robust. So there might be little difference now. But either way degradation in the SR is much more painful than the LR.

Finally, a UK special - winter driving. We never change to winter tyres. And all wheel drive helps a lot. With the SR, it's heavy enough to get stuck that one day in the year it snows and you absolutely must go somewhere.

When I bought my SR the price difference was 10k. Now it's 6.5k. If the SR+ was 38k instead of the 41k it would be much easier to choose.
Where does that figure come from? It's not the experience of TeslaBjorn who does this 1000km test on his YouTube channel. It's more like 20-30 minutes' difference, according to his stats. So small that, in reality, the difference in time on such a long journey will more likely depend on driving style and the need of driver and passengers to take a break.
 

Yev000

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,396
985
Knaphill
Where does that figure come from? It's not the experience of TeslaBjorn who does this 1000km test on his YouTube channel. It's more like 20-30 minutes' difference, according to his stats. So small that, in reality, the difference in time on such a long journey will more likely depend on driving style and the need of driver and passengers to take a break.
From my personal experience, I'm not as good as Bjorn....

Edit: to clarify - an LR will allow you to go much faster. Bjorn is in Norway, I drive though France and Spain. You cannot skip stops in the SR, they are also not frequent enough to go the fastest route. LR will allow you to skip Paris for example. SR will have you stop on the outskirts.

You can also divert with LR with more confidence - go visit that place 50 km off route with no charging, stay at that hotel with no charging.

A supercharger top-up to 100% will let you use the car all week locally without worrying about charging. With SR I had to visit a supercharger every 3 days. I'd spend 20% of the battery for the supercharger roundtrip.

LR is just a better holiday car.
 
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SR+ here. Would have preferred to go for the LR but it was out of budget on the company car leasing scheme. Daily use it suits us fine but once every other week I do a 120 mile round trip without time/facilities to charge on route. Works out fine in warmer temps but really marginal in the cold winter months. No fun when you have to kill the heater in sub zero temps to ensure you get back safely.

Putting it to the test properly in August with a 250 mile trip to North Wales (Snowdonia national park) in the most barren part of the country for charging, so that'll be interesting.
 

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