Tesla Model 3 - Now I get the hype.

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by flyingcheesehead, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The price can/has varied from $1500 up to $6000 and is supposed to go up even more, all depending on what you paid for when you bought your car. ("Autopilot" vs. "Enhanced Autopilot").

    Huh? Sure it does. You can configure it to not require lane-change confirmation and let it go all the way from on ramp to off ramp without even paying attention to where you're going or what lane you need to be in. Even with lane-change confirmation it's easier than paying attention to the navigation part of the equation.

    However, I will admit that I would prefer it get in the correct lane earlier than it seems to want to normally. And that as a pilot I'm always wanting to navigate myself anyway.
     
  2. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I read this thread with interest. There were more electric cars on the road in the 1890s than ICE cars. A simple invention stopped the electric car back then, and it was called the electric starter. But I believe electric cars are here to stay and sometime in the future will be more numerous than ICE cars. Remember they laughed at the early airplanes....


     
  3. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And let's not forget that early automobiles had a auspicious start....

     
  4. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wouldn't bother with batteries at all. You're not going off grid, just making the grid work for you - Essentially, the grid is your battery. 4.4kW isn't all THAT big of a system. I think I was planning on doing about 8kW when I do solar, the average solar installation is about 5kW. And no batteries to replace, ever.

    If you're paying 20c/kWh and running your 4.4kW A/C for 5 hours, you're spending $4.40 per day to power your A/C.

    A friend of mine put in a 5.4kW system recently for $6500. That system would run your A/C during that hot part of the day, and it would pay back in only about 4 years. After that... Hey, free A/C!
     
  5. RJM62

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    My friendly KIA dealership sent me some litter and links to some video reviews on the 2020 Soul EV. It was interesting enough (and I was bored enough) that I read the litter and watched the videos. But again, in the end, the numbers just didn't add up. Using my current car's MPG and the average price I pay for electricity as baselines, the "fuel" cost per mile would be almost exactly the same.

    That doesn't count the cost of a charger if one is needed. I can do the wiring myself, but I don't know if it needs a charger. It also doesn't include any taxes the state and/or feds impose, nor the eventual battery replacement if needed. But even ignoring those costs, it would take me longer than I likely have left on this earth for the very slight savings in fuel to offset the higher purchase cost.

    Plus, if I have to drive more than 240 miles, I have to find a charger and twiddle my thumbs while waiting for it to charge (anywhere from a bit over an hour to a bit over three hours) or mooch someone's 120 VAC power (about 60 hours). So no.

    I'm still interested in a plug-in hybrid, however. Not for right now: My current car suits me find and is still under warranty, and electric car tech is rapidly advancing. I'd be a fool to do it now. But if they get the tech and the prices to a point that it would be a wash or nearly so between ICE and a plug-in hybrid, I'd go for it. I have no special love for burning dinosaurs. Right now, however, the total cost of ownership and operation would be almost twice what I pay now.

    Rich
     
  6. Jay Honeck

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    No one buys an EV to save money.

    No one (in their right mind) buys an EV to save the world.

    You buy an EV because it is the best propulsion system available. I currently own and drive ten vehicles. The Model 3 is the best of them all, by a wide margin, in every measurable parameter except road noise.

    Sent from my SM-T380 using Tapatalk
     
  7. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Actually, most EV owners I know bought the car to save money. Comparison of similar cars (e.g. a Tesla vs a BMW, a Chevy Bolt vs a Honda Civic) you will find that high mileage drivers; those over 20+ Miles a year actually save money over the life of the car.
    Note: most EV owners I know are actually accountants or in families of accounts...

    Tim
     
  8. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Every metric, aside from that whole range thing . . .
     
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  9. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    You must not need to carry much, either very far or very heavy.

    Nauga,
    who expects the hyperbole
     
  10. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer En-Route

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    But how many will keep a car for its entire useful life? Not many, I'd venture.
     
  11. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I pretty much keep mine for useful life, 200,000 or ten years which ever comes first.
     
  12. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Actually that has been changing; much to the chagrin of dealers and auto companies. Part of the reason used car prices have not been as good as deal over the past decade.

    Tim
     
  13. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've found the best way to reduce my carbon impact and save money on fuel is to work from home, it's just too bad that even computer jobs where it's easy to work remotely don't often allow it. A distant second would be to live somewhere with decent public transit.
     
  14. David7700

    David7700 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I ride a bike 1/2 days per week. Helps my carbon footprint. But not sure what I'll do when winter comes. It's already dark by 7:30pm here now.
     
  15. Velocity173

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    Interesting story on the Roadster. Another hit on Tesla’s service after the sale and how they treat employees.

     
  16. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A Tesla is a second car for pretty much everyone.

    In my case, it is my primary vehicle -- I've driven it 147 out of the last 152 days -- but it is still a second vehicle due to my need for a pick up truck.

    For example, I'm going to be dragging a 1932 Chevy back from Louisiana on Thursday. That's pretty tough to do with a Tesla (or any of my ICE cars, either).

    Sent from my SM-T380 using Tapatalk
     
  17. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    That’s not accurate. On the most recent vote on the Tesla forum, 55% of Model 3 owners have it as their only vehicle.
     
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  18. RJM62

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    Poll results on enthusiast forums can hardly be considered authoritative. It's like saying that 55 percent of POA members have soloed an aircraft.

    I wish Elon's idea for rapidly replaceable batteries had caught on. If the batteries were universal and the cars also had the ability to charge the installed battery, that would be even better. The cars could be sold with a choice of a new battery or a battery deposit. Those who planned to charge at home all or nearly all the time could buy a new battery with the car and keep it. Those who wanted range could buy a battery deposit and swap the batteries out forever.

    By underrating the batteries to, say, 85 percent of new capacity, and testing them at every charge, the rated capacity of swapped batteries could be guaranteed. In other words, if a battery with a new capacity of 100kWh were rated at 85kWw, and batteries that didn't meet that capacity removed from service, every replacement would have at least 85kWh of capacity.

    A system like that would address everyone's reasonable objections.

    Rich
     
  19. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    As a note, when a car battery loses the efficiency to be the energy source for an EV, it generally has plenty of efficiency left for other purposes. For instance, re-purposed EV batteries are excellent candidates to be used as backup energy storage in conjunction with a home photo-voltaic solar system.

    But I would love to see a "Blue Rhino" type exchange system. Without the Blue Rhino gouge. They charge more than a regular propane refilling station and only give you 15 pounds instead of 20.
    You would drive into a "refilling" station and a robot would extract your exhausted battery and replace it with a charged battery in less time than it would take to fill a tank with gas. Of course, you would only have to do that on long trips or emergencies when time is critical. Otherwise, you would do the same as always; plug it in at home or elsewhere when not using it.
     
  20. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yup, just replace or augment regular gas stations with quick change battery bays, could even be robotic. But that crap makes too much sense...
     
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  21. RJM62

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    That's pretty much what I was saying.

    Another idea that seems to be getting closer to practical reality is "flow batteries," in which the battery stays in the car, but the electrolyte is swapped out. Some of the designs would also allow the electrolyte to be charged at home, but others would sacrifice that ability.

    There's also a Swiss company named Innolith experimenting with "wet" lithium-ion batteries that would hold four times the charge as similarly-sized "dry" lithium-ion batteries, potentially quadrupling the range of the cars.

    EV tech neither meets my needs nor makes economic sense for me yet, but it may within a few years. I've chosen the sit-and-wait approach for now.

    Rich
     
  22. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    For me it has to make economic sense, and it just doesn't for us. We just bought a $25k Civic Si, a fun to drive stick shift 4 door car that thus far is getting 38-42mpg combined depending on who is driving. The least expensive real Tesla 3 would be ~ $45k. At $2.10/gallon at Costco, that extra $20k buys 9523 gallons of gas, which at 38mpg will carry us 361,904 miles. Obviously well beyond the lifetime of either of these cars, so I'd never make break even, let alone make money. Add lost opportunity cost on the $20k, and the break even slides even further right.
     
  23. JOhnH

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    I don't know if it would change the equation, but you really should be factoring in other items too.
    Tesla's have quite an advantage with regards to resale value. I have heard that you never really know how much a car costs until you sell it.
    Also, Tesla's require a lower maintenance budget.

    It does generally take a larger initial investment, but total cost of ownership over the life may turn up a different answer. Nobody really knows the answer to the battery life question yet though.
     
  24. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    And possible tax savings.

    I know the Tesla tax credit is being phased out, but there’s still some in place.

    For other brands, the $7,500 tax credit is significant. And some states provide additional incentives.

    The Federal tax credit alone on our Clarity brought the true cost down from $31,500*
    to $24,000, for example.


    *Before tax, tags and title.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  25. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That can work for some, we typically buy new and drive them until they have next to no value. The last two we got out of were 17yrs old and 201k miles, and 10yrs old and 220k miles. Both at the time needed repairs that were greater than the value of the cars, so it was time to punt.

    Correct. So let's just say that the opportunity cost of the extra $20k and the MX cancel each other out. Probably close. So that still doesn't significantly move the break even point.
     
  26. SoonerAviator

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    Yeah, not really accepting a forum vote as statistically significant. Also, just an off-the-hip observation, I would imagine the majority of people who ran out and got a Tesla so far have been "Silicon Valley" types who live California and only have a need for one car. Buying a Tesla isn't changing that equation for most of them. The poll isn't representative of a huge swath of the US. They don't drive 7-passenger SUVs, they don't tow/haul anything, and they probably wear skinny jeans, lol. The Tesla Model 3/x/S works for them because it is simply replacing the one vehicle they had prior which they didn't travel far enough to run into range issues and they were owning BMW/Lexus/etc before so the status symbol is worth a premium to them.

    I'd drive one as a daily driver if it were cost-effective. It's not currently, so I will abstain. There will likely be plenty of competition for Tesla here in a year or two, which will hopefully end up with more models similar to a Model 3, but actually make it into that $30-35K price point. However, at the end of the day I'll still need my truck.
     
  27. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    As in "only vehicle for the household" or "I only have one car and my spouse has their own car"?

    Our friends only have a Nissan Leaf, and a used one at that. Before that they had a Mercedes and they got a new Leaf on a lease for their son; turned out cheaper than the car he was driving including all the repairs on the old car. She works at home and his commute is ~5 miles each way and he works from home some days too.

    Of course he forgot to charge it one night before visiting us, which is only a whopping 11.2 miles on the direct surface streets and about 16 - 18 miles on the interstates. Well, they were worried about getting home. Apparently driving the interstates at Atlanta speeds with the AC on drained the battery faster than they were expecting. We told them they could charge up at our house, but there was only 110v not 220v; not sure he even has a plug for a 220v. They drove back on the surface street with the AC off and made it.

    That is one of the older models with the smaller battery, so ~80 miles of range. Typically that's more than enough for them. Any further and they are going a long distance and flying (commercial).
     
  28. RJM62

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    How much lower a maintenance budget? Excluding tires, bulbs, cabin air filters, brakes, and other sundry items that both types of cars would need, I pay about $65.00 - $100.00 year to maintain my ICE car, depending on whether I change the oil two or three times. That's for the oil, oil filters, and engine air filters. I can't think of anything else offhand that's ICE-specific that wouldn't be covered under the warranty for 10 years.

    I think just as the cost for electricity tends to be understated by EV enthusiasts, the reduction in maintenance costs are overstated -- at least if you're comparing new cars that are under warranty.

    Rich
     
  29. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    That part is hard for many people. They can't make that payment. Or can't get the loan with their 600 credit score.
     
  30. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    Sadly you are outside the norm nowadays. Too many people today would have to watch a Youtube video six times to be able to change their oil.

    I grew up working on our cars. If the water pump failed, and they did back in the 70's and 80's, we just went down to the local parts stores got a new one and replaced it. Same for alternators, or if they had the replaceable brushes we could just get those. Heck, we've even pulled a shot engine, got another at a junk yard and replaced the whole engine.

    Definitely outside the norm today. :(
     
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  31. JOhnH

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    It doesn't happen often, but it is significant. A few years ago I paid almost $3k for a transmission repair. I have also sold a few cars because I didn't want to spend that much to repair an engine that was smoking or burning oil or overheated. I lost substantial money on those. I guess electric motors fail too, but I dont' think they fail as often.
     
  32. RJM62

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    Sadly, that's true. My younger relatives and acquaintances think I'm some kind of car genius because I can change the oil and light bulbs or do a brake job. Imagine if I told them I use to swap engines in Volkswagens in my driveway using nothing but a floor jack, an old tire, and hand tools. They'd think I was Einstein.

    Rich
     
  33. Bill Jennings

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    Like Rich, I do all of my own servicing. I strongly believe that the longer I can keep my vehicles out of the hands of "professional" mechanics, the longer they will last. The 17 year old vehicle I sold [1] two years ago had only been touched by my hands[2] since leaving the dealership. I care about the work I do, I RTFM, and do MX on schedule using the proper fluids, oils, filters, etc.

    [1] I sold it to my brother, who still uses it as his fishing truck
    [2] Other than tire changes when needing new tires

    EDIT: Oh, and I didn't even include the cost of electricity in my break even calculation above. Slide that break even point even further right!
     
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  34. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I've owned many cars, and I keep them for a very long time, yet I've never had a transmission or engine go on me. Maybe just lucky?
     
  35. Velocity173

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    And while the Tesla fans tout the lack of maintenance, they never tell you about the outrageous cost when something does break or god forbid you have an accident and wait weeks for a fender. $2,600 for two tires and rims? That’s crazy. Not to mention, more and more states are going to crank up their EV fees to pay for infrastructure. $200 a year is just the beginning. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns as some would have you to believe.
     
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  36. RJM62

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    Nah. If you avoid known-bad models, buy them new (or reasonably new from people who did at least the minimum-required maintenance), and take care of them, failures are rare these days -- especially on manual transmissions if you know how to drive them.

    I do tend to avoid brand-new models, however. Once in a while a whole line of lemons slip through, like the automatic transmissions in the Saturn Ion and first generation of Saturn Vue. I look at the power train components especially closely and lean hard toward tried-and-true over bleeding-edge.

    Rich
     
  37. RJM62

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    I just priced brake kits for Teslas on RockAuto, and somewhat surprisingly, they're in about the same price range as the kits for ICE cars. So if you can DIY, you're good. But I do wonder how much they would cost to have done by Tesla. I'm guessing about 2 AMU's.

    Rich
     
  38. deonb

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    If you need a 7-passenger SUV (or lets say 8 passenger since the Model X is 7 passenger), or if you need to tow/haul something you are going to need that regardless of whether your other car is a Tesla or a BMW/Lexus/etc. Not disputing that - I have a F350 Dually myself as a second vehicle for towing/hauling.

    The question is whether you need a second vehicle specifically for (occasional) long distance travel. That question leads to a long rabbit hole of arguments which has been hashed, rehashed and hashed again many times on this thread already and I don't know whether is has any value repeating that.

    Just for me personally, I won't have a second of hesitation taking a Tesla over a BMW/Lexus/etc for a road trip from Seattle to Miami.
     
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  39. EdFred

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    One of my land vehicles is in year 13 (truck) and the car is in year 16.
     
  40. EdFred

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    Yeah, but that most likely requires living in an area where you can spit and literally hit your neighbors house. No thanks. I have a bit over an acre and I still feel cramped.