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View Diary: Updated x2 - CNBC/CNN put Tesla to the Test. NY Times Fails. (230 comments)

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  •  PPrice is a bit high but (24+ / 0-)

    you can't think of it as you would a normal car.  

    The lowest range Tesla goes for over $50,000, but you have to consider that you won't ever have to buy another gallon of gas.  

    If you drive your car 200,000 miles at $4.00 a gallon in a typical car that gets say 30mpg that means you're spending over $25,000 in gas alone.  Now add in the cost of doing an oil change every 5,000 miles and a tune up every 15,000 miles.  Add in the costs of replacing belts and spark plugs.  Maybe a muffler or cat converter and lord knows whatever else.  When all is said and done you're easily spending $30,000-$35,000 on fueling and maintenance that you don't have to spend on a Tesla.  Now add in the price of buying that typical car.  

    That's with a car getting 30 mpg.  If the car gets only 25 mpg then fuel costs go up to $32,000 ALONE!!!

    In the end you're paying about the same or less for that gas guzzler as you would for a new Tesla.  Only difference is with Tesla it's mostly upfront and it's better for the environment.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:20:49 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, not even close. (23+ / 0-)

      It will cost you close to $24,000 just to replace the batteries over the course of those 200,000 miles. And most folks will charge at home where electricity is not "free".

      With cars rated at 42 MPG and higher, it is not economical to own a Tesla S. It might be a fine gesture and investment in a clean energy future though. But make that investment with your eyes open, not based on bad math.

      We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

      by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:53:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually (30+ / 0-)

        it only costs $8,000 for the 40kwh battery.  Batteries have a 100,000 mile or 8 year warranty.  

        There aren't too many cars rated at 42mpg or better and only five of them sells for $20,000 or less and none of them compare in terms of luxury with the Model S.  The rest are higher with some significantly higher and they're mostly hybrids which means you'll still have some added costs of gas and maintenance.    

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:27:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So then, you agree with me... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chi, Argyrios, MPociask, Quicklund, rb608

          We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

          by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:56:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ummm. Speaking of bad math. $8000 doesn't (24+ / 0-)

            equal 24,000.  

            And the little cars that you're referring to are not really the equivilent of the Tesla.  It's more like a BMW.  And you're not going to find one of those that gets even close to 30 mpg.

            Why the hostility anyway?  I don't quite get why a discussion of Tesla would be turned into a silly "gotcha" post.

            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

            by gustynpip on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:35:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  First, I didn't say 24,000 I said "close to". (6+ / 0-)

              And the higher end battery replacement is currently 12K for a replacement. So if you want to be precise it would be (if everything works perfectly) some number greater then 16K and less then 30K depending on the model you get.

              I'm not hostile at all, nor am I playing "gotcha" (although you all may be playing that, I'm not sure but you all seem very defensive). But if bad math is needed to sell something I get suspicous. It puts it in the company of a flat tax and the lottery.

              We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

              by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:46:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But where do you get these numbers? (9+ / 0-)

                Are these based on testing by engineers?

                Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                by yet another liberal on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:49:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  no based on the warranty and replacement costs. (7+ / 0-)

                  published by Tesla.

                  Also not mentioned here is the $600/year service fee.

                  Again, lots of good reasons to buy a "green" car. And if the Tesla S fits what some folks want, great! But who wants bad math to convince them it's somehow a cheaper solution?

                  We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                  by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:54:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Bad math? (15+ / 0-)

                    Stop it.  A Tesla is a luxury car.  It's expensive.  I think people who buy that are well aware of that.

                    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                    by yet another liberal on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:58:13 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  But why treat what you perceive to be "bad math" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    von Dutch

                    as some sort of sneaky way to "sell" Tesla?  Why couldn't you just have posted a "but here are some additional expenses you didn't take into consideration"?  That's what's usually done when people want to provide information and have a discussion.  When people want to be argumentative, they state their position in the "gotcha" manner you did.  Which leads me to believe you have agenda other than just making sure people have all the facts.

                    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                    by gustynpip on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:38:16 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm not worried about it (6+ / 0-)

                      he/she tried to hijack the thread.

                      I didn't include the costs of a battery replacement because when I spoke to a rep from Tesla they told me that even though the warranty is for 100,000 or 8 years the batteries are expected to last 200,000 miles.   At that point, if you've had the car and driven it 200,000 miles, you've likely had it for 10-13 years unless you drive like I do (25,000 per year which would still work out to 8 years).  When that time comes you have to make a decision.  Do you pay $8,000-$12,000 for a new battery or do you buy a new car.  Its not an altogether different decision than a typical car owner faces when say their transmission goes.  Last year I spent over $6,000 in maintenance alone and I STILl have to replave my cat converter to teh tune of over $1,000.  With an EV you don't have those things.  So if I missed adding $600 maintenance every 15,000 miles it's because that STILL is less than what I'm paying to maintain my current car.  

                      My estimates were never intended to be exact.  Just a back of the napkin type rough estimate to show that  the way we think of cost with a typical car is not the way we should be thinking with an EV car.  EV's will cost more up front but in the long run the overall cost is not all that different than a typical car.  I mean my estimates were if anything conservative considering the Tesla Model S is a luxury car.  If I had compared it to a similarly luxurious car then my original price for the car would likely be $30,000 to $40,000 with fuel costs on top.  Maintenance of luxury cars are even pricier.  So when you add it all up, the Model S ends up being a pretty good deal.  

                      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                      by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:53:35 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Quicklund

                        But if it makes you feel better about a purchase, you're welcome to your reality bubble. And I see there is another clique here that attacks anyone who challenges that bubble.

                        We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

                        by i understand on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:02:19 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Nonsense that was no hijack (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        i understand

                        The comment about battery replacement costs was as on-topic as a comment can be.

                        You offer good logic here as to why battery replacement might not be needed. But it might. And to ignore this factor entirely, even after it is raised, is indeed bad math.

                        What's worse though is the possibility you'd not made this rebuttal comment at all. These sort of comments are productive. Don't blow off quality debate as a hijack. The ratio of crap:productive comments on the internet is far too high for that. We've got enough chaff so please do not deny us your wheat.

            •  My BMW 328i gets better than 30 mpg in actual use (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              i understand, NYFM

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:02:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your BMW 328i (0+ / 0-)

                also probably cost you brand new between $40,000-$55,000 depending on the model.  

                Now add in fuel costs and maintenance.

                This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:56:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  All vehicles have maintenance costs (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  earicicle

                  This constant assumption that there'll be no maintenance issues on an electric car get tedious. There's still a lot of moving parts, there's still brakes, suspension, tires, lighting etc. There's also some pretty sophisticated software and lots of processors, do you think those won't require any maintenance?

                  Bottom line, it's still a car, and it's going to require maintenance. Will it require less maintenance? Certainly. But to say that these things are zero-maintenance, hassle-free is wishful thinking at best.

                  I've seen this sort of thing a lot with the EV community. It's like no EV company can do any wrong. No matter how shitty that company's product is (Zero and Coda) they're still treated like they're the best thing ever.

                  You need a license to drive, a license to run a business, but any idiot can buy a gun.

                  by Hannibal on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:27:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sure they do (0+ / 0-)

                    but you won't be changing oil filters, spark plugs, belts, cat converters, exhaust systems, alternators and so on.  

                    There are far LESS moving parts in the Tesla than your standard IC car.  Outside of tires, brakes, air filters and certain fluids to keep those parts moving smoothly.  So it's obvious that maintenance will be significantly less.  Especially when you consider that you only have to go for maintenance every 15,000 miles as opposed to every 2,500-5,000 miles.  

                    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                    by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:28:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Tesla has 15k mile maintenance intervals? (0+ / 0-)

                      And you actually think that's low? That's on par with modern Ducatis, which aren't exactly known for being low maintenance.

                      You need a license to drive, a license to run a business, but any idiot can buy a gun.

                      by Hannibal on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:41:29 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  My read on all of this... (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MPociask, Ian S, IL clb, Hannibal, sea note, NYFM

              You are paying a LOT of money for a car that leaves you in a constant state of calculations and continual worry.  The biggest concern, at least at the moment, is making it to one of the very limited number of charging stations so you can refuel.

              And while 45 minutes of recharge time may be fine if you time your stop to get a meal, it still adds substantially to the overall trip time.

              It is not that I am unsympathetic to the strong need for a fleet of reliable electric vehicles, but right now, we're on the cutting edge and the buyers are early adapters, willing to deal with the uncertainties of charging locations, traffic conditions and constant calculations.

              I was and am an early Prius buyer.  I still have my original from 2004 with about 90K of miles on it and it runs great.  As I remarked to my partner last night while we watched news stories about the recent run up in gas prices.....whatever we buy next time, great gas mileage is going to be a key concern because this problem is only going to get worse.  

              As technology advances, I do think electric cars will build market share, but I also suspect they will more often be used as the second car in two car households, and one devoted more to the large volume of "in town" driving and/or shorter daily commutes most of us do.

              Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

              by dweb8231 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:44:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wouldn't say constant worry. (6+ / 0-)

                Day to day, you'll wake up at full charge for your daily commute. As long as it's under 100 miles each way, you're fine, with a pretty large buffer. Never needing to refuel is nice.

                The only time you need even minimal planning is on long road trips.

              •  Because you never ran out of gas? (10+ / 0-)

                I have.  Not fun.  

                That's the point.  Running out of juice is no different than running out of gas.

                The only difference right now is that the infrastructure is not fully in place but it is coming online pretty rapidly.  

                I think someone who buys an EV  will have to be organized and figure out a routine.  Charge at night, find charging stations near an eatery for lunch and so on.  But in a few years the infrastructure will be in place and then there won't be any excuses.  

                This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:59:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

                  20 minutes later my Dad came and gave me a gallon.

                  No not fun, but not catastrophic for Gasoline, just kinda slowly the pedal stops doing much of anything.

                •  I would beg to differ (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nextstep, Quicklund, NYFM

                  There is a big difference.  If I run out of gas, I call someone and they can bring a gas can with a couple gallons of gas.  If I run out of juice, who do i call and say "Can you bring me a couple kilowatts of electricity (or kw/ah or whatever).  Although I could always call a friend with a portable generator or a tow truck...

                  ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

                  by geekydee on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:34:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You've just designed the 2015 tow trucks (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cazcee

                    Soon every one will be built with a short-range jucifier.

                  •  When EV's are more prevalent, I can see that AAA (0+ / 0-)

                    service trucks will have on board a battery booster that will get you to the nearest charging station.

                    Life may select the picture, but you choose the frame.

                    by sea note on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:40:49 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I wonder what it would cost (0+ / 0-)

                      for these cars to come equipped with an emergency battery with just enough juice to either get it off the freeway or to a charging station. It might require a electronic switch up front or a manual connection to take over the electronics of the car from the main power source.

                      Retaining it's power might be done through solar or other means. The goal would be that the drive would only have to use it when it was needed and not have to charge it frequently as batteries that aren't use tend to lose their charge. If they charge overnight then maybe a portion of that goes to the emergency battery.

                      Some would say why would we need it in the first place. Because electronic calculations of mileage remaining are only as good as the software, the battery, the monitoring of road conditions and traffic plus time between recharges.

                      The Telsa may be close to dead accurate as possible but at that price point it's not going to sell nearly as many as one in the $15,000 range that are being planned now.

                      It would be the battery equivalent of the small spare tire that gets about 50 miles.

                      That might be a profitable third party add-on if enough cars make it on the road and the manufacturers agree to a  universal interface with the emergency battery as an option or leaving the interface and the space around it easy for a third party battery to hook up to it. I don't know if they have it right now. But I do know the Leafs and at least one other car was recently rated as having the worse resale value. Range anxiety , like anything new is going to keep people away from buying e-cars unless of course Apple makes one.  

                      Hey....137B in cash. My guess is they'll wait until it's at 200B and build a worldwide wireless carrier of their own with the latest and greatest equipment since the adaptation of smart phones and pads are limited by the unreal cost of the monthly bills that go with them and the credit rating of the person buying it.  But in the interim, they could use 50B or so to build a small car company and do a iCar. All electric, all wireless, white or Black, sleek as hell. The Apple logo on the front grill.

                       

                  •  One other wrinkle.....the plug (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    geekydee

                    I think electric car manufacturers are working together on a common design, but one issue is trying to enable as rapid a charge as possible and that means big cables and special plug designs to handle the load.  Whether it is a special tow truck design or some other such, the bottom line is that unless you can find a car recharging plug, you could be facing a challenge.

                    Yes...cars can run out of gas, but if you suddenly need to start looking for a gas station, you've got a lot better chance of finding one than a charging station.

                    Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

                    by dweb8231 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:29:22 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You KNOW there will be (0+ / 0-)

                    People starting businesses to do just that, if not already started - cruise around helping people who ran out of juice.

                    Seriously, this is really a non-issue.

                    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                    by splashy on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:55:27 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I've never run out of gas. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  happymisanthropy, NYFM

                  NEVER. And I've been driving for a LOT of years.

                  Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                  by earicicle on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:32:22 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  and the guys that owned (3+ / 0-)

                the first internal combustion engine cars faced similar issues, plus in some places, being fined for scaring the horses.  The technology, as far as practical road experience, is in its infancy.   Similar changes over time in what EVs can do should be forthcoming, just as power, range and features of IC cars changed.

                The Tesla really isn't yet a touring car, a long distance ride.  It can be done, but it doesn't feature the convenience of driving an IC car.   But over time, that will probably change.  No one right now who needs to make plus 100 mile trips routinely probably wants to own an EV to make those trips.

                I spent two years in Chicago a good long while back.  In all the time I lived there, I made one trip out of the city by car that went over 100 miles.  I could have used an EV with little or no inconvenience if they had existed back then.  

            •  What about (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MPociask, Quicklund

              VW Passat TDI?  $25-30k.  EPA says 43 Mpg but several folks I know who own it says nope - they get better (and these aren't hyper-miler types).  I get 44 mpg  on mixed highway/city driving on my 99 Jetta (just turned 200k yay!)

              We are seriously considering a Passat TDI (not to replace my Jetta mind you) in the near future as soon as I can make room for payments on a $25 k car.  I would LOVE a Tesla S but I need the price to be a good deal lower - so I am rooting for great sales that will help the technology spread!

              "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

              by newfie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:12:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm giving some serious thought to the new (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                oldmanriver, newfie

                Ford - Fusion is it? hybrid.  It's getting rave reviews and with the $4,000 tax credit, will be around $30,000 with all the bells and whistles I want.  It's rated for 47 mpg.

                Right now I'm driving a 2003 Jaguar X type with nearly 200,000 miles, which they don't make anymore (if they did, I have to admit I'd be buy it again, regardless of the 25 or 26 mpg).  I'm having a dickens of a time finding anything even brand new I'd rather drive than it and have spent literally years looking.  I refuse to consider anything that gets less than 30 mpg, yet want it to be fun to drive and nice looking.  There's really not much out there, I've found.

                "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                by gustynpip on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:47:30 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Be careful with the MPG for the Fusion and CMax (0+ / 0-)

                  There's a significant portion of owners (and testers like Consumer Reports, etc) that are only averaging between 37 and 39 MPG in both no matter how carefully they try to drive.  My wife was considering the Fusion Hybrid but we'll wait a bit to see how the controversy shakes out.

                  If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. --- Charles Darwin

                  by coracii on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:37:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have heard that. (0+ / 0-)

                    And I have heard the exact opposite for the VW TDI.

                    "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                    by newfie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:02:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for letting me know that. I won't (0+ / 0-)

                    be doing anything until spring at least, maybe longer.  I've spent so much time online looking at cars, trying to find something sporty but comfortable and with enough room for dogs and lugguge when traveling, but getting decent milage.  I actually just hit upon this one reading Edmund's and love the looks of it, it sounds like it has the space I need and has some of the little luxuries I like and meets my  milage requirement plus some.  I'll stay on top of the milage thing, though, before I jump into it.

                    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                    by gustynpip on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:03:02 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Ford Fusion? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gustynpip, radical simplicity

                  um, yeah.  I have a 2012 and I love it, although do NOT believe the mileage claims.  my overall mieage at this point is 31.4 and has dropped over the winter.  Things to think aboutconventional heater uses engine heat, so engins until warmed u[p for heat.  Yeah, crazy ain't it?  My sticker said 42 city/34 highway, but if I take short trips (~130 mi.), I get around 35-38 mpg, and if I keep the heat off, I can make 39 on in-town trips with out hills.  NOTE:  Hills will kill the mileage!  

                  But, on the pro side, I love the heated leather seats, the lighting package, in-mirror backup camera (only have Sync, not the Touch console)), the room and creature comforts and the fact I can reach all the controls and SEE them (unlike the Prius V I looked at).  I have a friend with a Mercedes S-something or other, and he liked it, so I figure it ain't all bad  :)

                  ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

                  by geekydee on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:46:56 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Boy do I miss heated leather seats! (0+ / 0-)

                    Though, reading your comment, I'm glad I chose a different car - we were considering the Fusion, among others. It would have bugged me to no end to have gone backwards on mileage. I had gotten down to 39 mpg in the old, old, old civic hybrid, and between the wear and tear of a quarter million miles, through a decade of VT mud seasons and salty winters, and needing a little of everything in order to pass inspection, we reached the "makes more sense to buy a car" stage.

                    Luckily, the new one (prius c) is averaging 49 mpg, despite the really cold weather, winter formula gas, and studded snow tires on steel (nominally pothole resistant) rims.

              •  I Love My Jetta TDI Sportwagen! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                newfie

                40+ mpg...and it can go fast.  ;)  It can haul a lot of dogs, too.

                •  That was/is a consideration. (0+ / 0-)

                  I won't give up my 99 Jetta TDI until it gives up.  I am looking for 300k (really 400k but don't tell my wife).

                  "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

                  by newfie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:03:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  My Civic Hybrid Battery lasted 263,000 Miles (17+ / 0-)

          A replacement goes for ~$2k, now. When the car was new, the battery packs cost ~$5k. As battery-powered cars become more common, the price of batteries is dropping. The Tesla battery will probably cost less in 100k miles than it does now, and will cost even less by the time it actually needs replacement.

          If you just pay a small amount of attention to what I call "battery hygiene," (don't overcharge it, don't drain it dead, try to keep it in the 40 - 80% range) a battery can last a whole lot longer than the warranty period. I don't live in an environment that is friendly to batteries, but living off-grid, I learned the basic healthy-battery charging lesson before I bought the car.

          I may very well be the only person in the country with that model of car whose battery pack lasted that long, but it literally took zero effort to make it last, other than an occasional glance at the charge indicator on the dashboard, and a commitment to change how my foot rested on the gas pedal based on what it showed.

        •  My 1997 manual Chevy Cavalier got 42 mpg. (0+ / 0-)

          And that was only because I was a newbie at driving stick--I learned on the Cavalier, to take it as a hand-me-down from my sis. Most other vintage Cavalier drivers, I found, got 44 mpg and up. It was a $10,000 car in its day.

          As for current cars, Mazda's SkyActiv technology gets you 40 mpg for the world's best car, the Mazda3. Which you can get into for well under 20k. The Cavalier was a bridge car between my Mazda 323 (the 3's venerable ancestor), which gave me 18 phenomenal years of service and my 2010 3, from which I expect--if I wish--another 18.

          Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

          by earicicle on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:42:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Furthermore.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hannibal, radical simplicity

          .... gas cars tend to have a 100,000 mile warranty on the drive train. So if we assume we'll be replacing the batteries based on the warranty, we also have to assume we'll replace the engine/transmission. Try pricing an engine for a BMW.

          We heard all these alarming numbers about the Prius too, when it came out. The batteries are lasting longer than expected, and replacements are now a fraction of the originally quoted price.

        •  And didn't Tesla just say they are biodegradable? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radical simplicity

          And isn't it all wheel drive or is that the model X SUV?

          I thought they had a buyback program too.  Where the batteries can be bought outright or traded in with money off the next purchase?

          The EV1 only got 125 miles per charge and could charge up overnight and the reality is 90% of Americans drive around 90 miles a day.

          Meaning even the smaller battery pack Tesla would help the majority of Americans.

          It's a no-brainer, IMO.

          Thanks for all these efforts.

          We need the Tesla NOW!

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 11:27:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Googling 'tin whisker anode battery' (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, elwior, Just Bob

        turns up a little article on 'Gizmag' about an improvement that might tip the scales. Don't know how to link, but it seems promising.

      •  Battery price is found where? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1

        Here's the Battery Warranty for the 85kWh car: 8 years, unlimited miles.  From the Model S options and pricing page: http://www.teslamotors.com/...

        However, I think the car sells itself on simply being really nice.  Don't forget that you'll need to pay for the electricity too!

    •  You do still need to calculate the cost of the (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRA NY, Lujane, MKSinSA, sacrelicious, MPociask

      electricity in.  And you just might end up needing to replace batteries (unless there''s some warranty, which I don't know).  I'd love a Tesla, but I'd need to get the $80,000 one, and our electrical rates are double that of most.  So it's probably not going to happen.

      (Isn't there also a tax credit of $7,500?  That would reduce the actual cost as well.)

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:57:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is no free battery replacement. (0+ / 0-)

        We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

        by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:59:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Costs of electricity are minimal (8+ / 0-)

        especially if you fill up at a Tesla supercharger which is free.

        Batteries have a 8 year 100,000 warranty.  

        Yes there is a $7,500 credit.  I factored it in already.  The 40kwh is actually close to $60,000 without the rebate.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:29:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ha! You aren't fortunate enough to live in a (4+ / 0-)

          coop area like me.  We get to pay double everyone else's electric rates.  And there are no superchargers anywhere within hundreds of miles.  The one I'd need to buy in order for it to be of realistic use would hit nearly 100 grand, so I guess it's going to continue being a dream, even with your most helpful calculations.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:28:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  SOLAR PANELS (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Just Bob, radical simplicity

            Although what I do is have a net metering deal with the electric company where they buy my excess power during the day, when they need it and I don't.  I also have a Time-of-Use plan where I charge my Leaf at midnight when power is cheapest.  I pay 9 cents a kWh charging then.  Both my charging station and the car itself have timers to enable this.

            So would getting solar help?

            •  Not where I live. I think the sun shines (0+ / 0-)

              a total of like 22 hours a year.  (Not really that bad - but this time of year, it feels like it.)  

              My husband and I have discussed the possibility of putting up a windmill - because what we don't get in sun we definitely get in wind.  But we haven't been able to find any realistic way of getting that done.

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:51:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  When we looked on Tesla's website, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, NYFM

          THEY had already factored in the federal tax credit into the advertised price.

          You're likely double-discounting.

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:54:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Where do you get (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, redcedar

          this "minimal cost" electricity?  I'd like some for my house . . . (I get the "free for now" at "supercharger sites" for as long as the marketing promotion lasts, and even the tax-and-ratepayer subsidies for some "home charging stations", but obviously that can't go on forever . . . it doesn't cost any less to generate electricity for your car that it does for my television).

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:57:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  From what I've heard with the superchargers (0+ / 0-)

            The only cost to Tesla is the capital cost and maybe a bit of maintenance.  They actually figured those costs into the price of the Model S.  That at least is what Elon Musk said in an interview discussing it.

            "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

            by Quanta on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 09:53:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If so, (0+ / 0-)

              (and I'd love to see the accounting for it) it's not "free" it's "prepaid" . . . and any time you charge at home on your own dime you're paying twice.  Or something.

              Is it actually in the purchase contract that you're guaranteed "free" power forever?

              Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

              by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:51:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  There's a federally mandated battery warranty (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MKSinSA, sacrelicious, Sychotic1

        And in some states, there's an additional mandate. The minimum, under federal law is 100,000 miles.

        In some states, it's 150,000 miles (any state that has adopted the CA emissions regs).

        If your battery pack dies before the minimum mandated age in your state, you get a free battery pack from the dealer.

      •  quoted prices after the discount n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

        by fhcec on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:09:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Most electic companies have EV credits/discounts. (0+ / 0-)

        You simply have to apply.

        (As a matter of fact, many offer discounted rates for equipment like CPAP machines for sleep apnea too. I had no idea. But I'm off topic... )

        As for the federal tax credit, Tesla includes that in their advertised price of the car...

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:51:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't buy the price argument considering that (9+ / 0-)

      Hummers did and other huge gas hog Trucks&SUV's still do sell in large numbers at equal to an higher prices than Electric and Hybrid Vehicles that are worth the higher price for other very good reasons than Trucks/SUV have for just being Big and Gas Hungry.

      •  Trucks have a psychological reason (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, defluxion10

        I wish I could find it - years ago, there was a marketing study that showed a very high propensity for large truck purchases among people with prescriptions for viagra.

      •  Assuming that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        defluxion10

        the folks looking to spend that kind of money on a car are also concerned about the environment.  I think that it is likely that a similar percentage of those who can afford it are interested in environmental concerns as those who cannot afford it.  This puts more pressure on and makes it more difficult to establish an EV market.  There will be a limit to how far the market will take it unless you lower the price to reach the other environmentally conscientious folks.  I think companies like Tesla understand that.  Otherwise the S would have a cost closer to the Roadster.  I think thecost will come down in time.  Or more likely they will bring out a new modl that falls in the $30-40K range.

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:29:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Model X is next one (5+ / 0-)

          and it is I believe slated to hit the market this year.  Supposedly after that they'll roll out 2 new models a year and they will be more affordable.  The plan was always to roll out the higher priced cars to make some money which could be used to build more affordable ones.  This is completely new technology in many ways.  Tesla built the Model S from scratch.  So it's understandable that they would want to recoup some of their costs.  I think in 5 years or so the technology will be so far advanced from today and the market will have grown so much that by then the new EV cars rolling out will blow the Model S away in terms of range, price and enjoyment.  But still this is an exciting step in that direction and I whole heartily applaud Elon Musk for taking that step despite the naysayers.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:38:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Tesla S is a luxury/status car (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, TomP, Argyrios

      If you care about the savings from gasoline, you can't afford it.
      Right now they only sell the model with the greatest range as they are production limited and this car makes the most money for them.

      It really competes with BMW 5 and 7 series.

      I think it is a great car,  and I plan to take a test drive.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:00:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are shipping 60kWh models right now (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, Quicklund

        And they should be shipping the 40kWh models soon (I think those are awaiting EPA tests).

        It is a great car.  Highly recommend it.  I think the best values are at the top and bottom ends; 85kWh Performance is a beast and the 40kWh is fantastic for around town luxury.

    •  You don't get nearly the mileage range in the (7+ / 0-)

      Entry-level tesla as the ones being reviewed. You're really only getting a commuter car. And the $57,400 (which Tesla just announced it's raising to 59,900) is the price after the $7500 federal tax credit. So the price actually bumps into the mid $60k range, until you file your taxes next year.

      That's pretty spendy for a commuter car.

      To get the 300 mile range, you're looking at mid $80k,  depending on the packages you choose, a bit more. Plus sales tax. Plus service, which is pre-paid. No Tesla facility near you? That's cool; they come to you, for only several hundred dollars more.

      So rough calculations, a $95k- 100k car upfront, and your tax credit(s) later.

      For financing, Tesla expects you to put at least $25k down, depending on the model/package you buy, which, no kidding, who wants to finance that much of a depreciating asset?

      This is not a car intended for the middle class. I don't this Tesla really pretends it is.

      I'm not knocking it at all. Tesla is filling a hole in the market, and there appears to be a big market, from what I can see. But this isn't a car for most folks.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:44:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree totally. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund, radical simplicity

        I hope that they will end up bringing in a new line for those of us who think spending 20-25K is a lot to spend on a car.  

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:31:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not for a while (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          newfie, radical simplicity

          They need to ramp up volume which means they need to sell enough of the current line to expand production facilities to make a new line to sell to expand production facilities, wash rinse repeat a few cycles.

          And of course the chargers need to spread along all our major highways

          I'd say we're at least 15 years away.

          "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

          by nightsweat on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:45:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Musk's stated goals.. (4+ / 0-)

        have pretty much always been to drive the market throguh building enthusiasm for electric vehicles by building top end cars.  Musk has said that he would consider getting out-sold in the EV market by the traditional companies a success.

        They entered into the market not with a competitor to the Leaf or the Prius, but with a competitor to the Viper, the Corvette, the 911 - Pretty much the opposite of a general consumer vehicle. Their next targets are pretty much the whole BMW and Cadillac lines.

        Taken as a whole; I can't consider Tesla Motors as a serious attempt to sell cars en masse to all of us. Rather, it seems to be meant an antidote, if you will, to the failures of the EV-1. A firework message that electric vehicle doesn't have to mean a souped up golf cart.

        •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radical simplicity

          Really cool trends tend to trickle down.  My husband and I will walk through a parking lot and observe how many cars look like BMWs.

          It's not that BMW build their cars to look like Hondas, but rather smart mid range car companies get on board quickly.

          Notice how many phones being advertised look almost exactly like iPhones? No coincidence there...

          If everyone drove a Tesla, Ferrari would build an electric vehicle that the affluent would actually want.

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 11:12:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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