That said, there is one more factor I had considered, for fun. If Tesla continues to deliver more cars and eventually electric cars dominate the new car market in 5-10 years, I would imagine the Model S would be worth an investment as a "classic" car. If you maintained it well, I wonder if the actual value of the car would have a chance of appreciating at a much higher rate past, say, 50 years.
I think auto makers use this to distract potential buyers from what's really going to be replaced: the battery.
Just like laptop batteries, the charge life of the car battery is going to decrease with time.
Tesla did have this on their website, but the link this is quoted from is broken:
"A Battery Replacement Option will be available for purchase soon. The option allows you to pre-purchase a new battery to be installed after eight years for a fixed price: $8,000 for 40 kWh batteries, $10,000 for 60 kWh batteries, and $12,000 for 85 kWh batteries."
He's already bought the car and so he should know how his insurance cost has changed, but doesn't mention how much it changed.
The model also does not include property tax. I'm assuming California has a car property tax of some kind.
...so basically this is justifying his purchase to himself, little more than that.
I don't see where he said otherwise.
edit: On further thought, maybe not. It does seem to be the trend to do websites for a single topic or piece of writing. I would still take it as indication you are presenting it to others though.
Should a motor fail. The cost is significant.
I like the idea of an electric car, but the truth is the motors do fail. They require maintenance in the static environment of a factory or they will fail, a car on the open road with harsh environmental factors it will be hard on them.
But the biggest lie about electric car maintenance is that is lower. Its not. 90% of a vehicle's maintenance has nothing to do with its motor. It's tires, brakes, lighting, lubricants(yes electric motors need oil changes too), and power systems. Which I suspect will be more extensive here since there will be countless OS upgrades to both the drive systems and the power control units.
Its not possible at this time to compare gas engine maintenance w/ electric motor maintenance because its not apples to apples. You can however look at replacement cost as an indication of serviceability. A 400hp electric motor costs about $24,000 vs. a 400hp gas engine at about $6000.
The gas engine is still far more economical at this point even factoring in fuel costs.
You think the motor in the Telsa costs 24 large? I'd say you are off by an order of magnitude.
What are the big-ticket repair items on an gas car? The engine and the transmission. Electric motors are maintenance-free, and the Telsa doesn't have a transmission. Also, there is minimal vibration and heat compared to a gas engine.
I would guess maintenance costs on an electric car are 1/4th of a gas car. Except the battery pack, of course. That will eventually need to be replaced.
On what basis? I know he didn't cite, and I'm not trying to put the burden of proof on you, but I'm curious why you think this. As in, I'd like to see some data (from either side).
I did some brief searching and he is correct that 00 HP brushless motors seem to go in the low five figures (at least on Ebay, which I know is not representative of Tesla's costs). I'm happy to believe Tesla's cost less, but I'm not sure.
Here's a pic:
Then of course there is the cost of the cooling jacket and the electronics. I can't estimate that readily.
TL;DR: What is a sub-one ounce object made mostly of silicon that costs more than a thousand dollars. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116...
In that case, you are paying for the IP, not the silicon.
The Tesla motor is a simple design, no magnets, no brushes. I assume they are hand-built. Some, but not too much precision machining required.
Think about how much precision goes into a 2TB hard drive that costs $100 retail.
I can see where you get your belief -- I wasn't questioning that it is a reasonable one to hold. But I am asking for evidence that compels me to a confidence level I'd actually bet on. Data will be required. Thought experiments are not sufficient.
(Don't get me wrong, I'm not accusing you for failing to provide data. It may not be publicly available. And it is not your duty to give me this. But that is what I am asking for, and if you don't have it, you don't have what I want, your duty or no.)
The fact that you can't find brushless motors online that retail for less than $10k is not convincing, because it's a new use case, a unique design, and they're not selling them outside of cars. You don't know what the pricing is. As far as materials, that amount of copper isn't going to help it get to $10k.
EDIT: Oh sorry, I mistook you for the originator of this thread, jesusmichael. He asserted that, not you.
Novice operator - the operator of the motor itself is the control electronics, not the driver. If the operator can do something to damage the motor, the design is faulty.
Industrial electrical motors and control electronics like those in robots have completely different tolerance requirements, and are made in relatively low volumes, and so there are fewer units to support development costs.
The novice operator and put the machine itself in a situation in which it will not operate correctly, extreme cold, flood, etc. Steep grade + Lead Foot = burnt coil. While I do agree with you to some extent... there is some user input... but motors in Tesla... are still pretty complex..
"Common wisdom" does not create a burden of proof for detractors, especially if the common wisdom is never, that I can find, backed up with evidence. That is absurd. It would be like saying that the burden is on non religious people to prove that Jesus is not god because billions of people think he is.
But I do think that it's backed by evidence. There's no multi-gear transmission, and while there are moving parts, and other than the wheels/brakes, they aren't bathed in liquids that need regular changes and they aren't subjected to combustion and various other destructive forces that an ICE is constantly subjected to. There's relatively little force transmission hardware needed. The motors themselves should be relatively low-friction, and mechanically are much, much simpler than internal combustion engines (compare a breakdown of the parts of an ICE vs. electric motor, they're in completely different leagues). Air-fuel mixture control, turbochargers, and all manner of other chemical energy management systems are replaced by solid state electronics.
Also I doubt R&D cost for an electric motor is high because the technology is mature.
If it's a commodity item (like most electric motors, but maybe not the one in the Tesla), with a competitive market, you might be able to estimate cost by looking at open market pricing, but for something like SpaceX, that clearly doesn't work.
Tesla is closer to SpaceX in thinking than it is to most car companies, especially startup car companies.
General Purpose 350HP motor. $25K
In general these motors have tight tolerances and aren't the motors in your electric shaver
The entire car cost $70K...
1. That motor is a low speed motor, as such it is massive. It weighs 3044 pounds. The Tesla motor runs at nearly 10 times the speed, and ought to be roughly a factor of 10 lighter.
2. See how the price drops by almost 10% when you buy more than 5 of these motors? Now imagine you are buying 20,000+...
3. You can bet the manufacturer of the motor (Baldor) did not get $25k for it. I imagine the markup for the reseller is of the order of 30-50%, on top of other costs such as transport. These do not apply to Tesla.
I am pretty sure even $6000/unit is an over-estimate.
I have some information from an occasionally reliable source that the entire car costs around $20,000 to make. This is the "incremental cost", after tooling, R&D etc has been paid for. This is apparently about the same as a top level mass produced luxury Benz - for the Benz, the much higher inherent production cost is offset by the scale and efficiency of their production line.
That $20k motor is much less advanced than what's in a Tesla... So @ $24k I think its a bargin... what is the rest of the car? Aluminum and Plastic and a couple of computers...
"Oil change" for an electric motor is fundamentally nothing like the oil change you do for an internal combustion engine. A piston engine operates at much higher temperatures, and cannot fully isolate leakage from oil compartment, causing a tiny amount of oil to get burned with fuel as it operates.
"Oil change" in an electric motor is much more like lubricating other moving parts of the car or other machinery, not the engine of a gasoline car.
In addition to that, an electric car (at least the Model S), is much much simpler in design. The motor is basically connected directly to the wheels, removing a ton of parts in the process. It's simpler to start and simpler to cool. Yes, it can still break, but it's much more similar to your hard drive failing than your traditional car.
For all the parts that are removed there are a couple added, in the recombinant braking system, power control systems and programmable suspension.
The grease in the sealed bearings will break down at some point. A spinning motor especially one in a magnetic field has a very low tolerance for vibration and balance. There is also a great deal of heat generated at high torque. I hear the S is going to have liquid cooling. So there is another system that will need to be addressed.
I would hardly call a Tesla a simple design. Its in fact very complex.
Also, do you have a source on the $24,000 for their motor? That seems awfully high given that the thing is about the size of a loaf of bread. Hard to see what could make it so expensive.
In addition to the motor, the schematic diagrams above seems to many moving parts that typically need work by 120,000 miles. Eg: steering (likely) differentials (likely) and in various parts of the suspension (internal). Whilst the specifics may be debatable, most of these items are wear items and require fluid changes and/or replacement internals. Things also like wheel bearings will need some preventive maintenance. If this spreadsheet was for a 50,000 mile interval or a lease perhaps you'd overlook these. A chassis for $30K+ with 120k on the clock would bring customers looking at the cost of these services, I would venture. One way luxury brands (at least in the past have) maintained the price premium of their new vehicles is to make the 100K and up maintence quite expensive.
Because that's the actual maintainance cost of a car. Modulo nobody's engines need replacing in 10 years. Oil changes are 30 bucks once a year at a Walmart/jiffy lube.
The post that kicked this particular thread off even said as much but everyone seems more interested in arguing about the possible cost of the worst case than considering the actual costs of the probable cases: all the little shit.
But that alone doesn't tell me much. There's a pretty wide gulf between a gas motor that needs regular preventive lubricant changes every few thousand miles and other parts, e.g. wheel bearings, that are sealed and lubricated for the life of the part and can be expected to last a couple hundred thousand miles.
"Electric motors need oil changes too" implies something closer to the former than the latter.
I'm not saying tesla's require oil changes as a gas engine does... oil will last quite a long time when not contaminated by hydrocarbons.
But even sealed bearings need to be repacked after so much wear. To parts can't move against on another without generating heat, which will degrade a lubricant and allow wear.
When you build large numbers of integrated devices (be they washing machines, cars or cell phones), individual unit costs of components are always much lower. That's why we mass produce things.
I'd kind of like to see an elaboration of this, though:
> oil will last quite a long time when not contaminated by hydrocarbons
as I was under the impression that oil consists 100% of hydrocarbons.
Are there voting guidelines for HN? Am I in the wrong here?
>The statement that electric motors have fewer moving parts so they last substantially longer is a fallacy
No, it is true on all counts. I'd explain in detail, but this is so weird I dont really know where to start.
>90% of a vehicle's maintenance has nothing to do with its motor
Rubbish. In a gasoline (or diesel) powered car, the majority of maintenance is to do with the engine and its auxiliary systems such as fuel delivery, ignition, cooling, starting etc.
>electric motors need oil changes too
This is the best one of the lot. Not sure if a moron or a troll.
However you really don't have the slightest idea about the motor that's in the Tesla. Which is a 3 phase induction motor. There's a lot that goes into converting DC battery power to AC and then controlling the torque. Heat is another issue that will have to be dealt with as well and the latest announcement from Tesla is that they will be adding a water cooled system to the induction motors in the future.
A property serviced gas motor doesn't need much more beyond oil and spark plug changes and can last for several hundreds of thousands of miles. The majority of the consumables are in the wheel systems, tires, brakes, suspension, bearings, heating and cooling the cabin, etc.
I'm sure you're an idealistic kid that thinks green is good... and knows that ignition=starting, but the fact remains that gas engines have a 100 years of service history and electric car motors don't which means...
I am the engineering manager for the Australian branch of one of the world's largest oil and gas contractors. I graduated with 1st class honours in mechanical engineering, and have 25 years of work experience. Idealistic - yes, thinks green is good - yes, my career notwithstanding. Kid - I wish...
>However you really don't have the slightest idea about the motor that's in the Tesla ... ... There's a lot that goes into converting DC battery power to AC
Actually, I have a pretty good idea about both of these things. A really very good idea in fact, helped a bit by my visit last week to the factories that make high speed AC motors and inverters that drive them.
>knows that ignition=starting
Dude, just stop already.
I disagree on the downvoting response to the comment. The answer to a flawed argument shouldn't be downvoting. The answer should be a dismantling of the assumptions and the argument.
Downvoting is a tool for silencing a comment. Some comments should be silenced. Trolls, childish behaviours, one-liners should all be silenced. Generically, stuff that does not lead to a productive discussion.
I know many people genuinely believe the stuff written on the comment I was referring to. This is not a comment that should be silenced. Better than silencing the guy through downvotes would be to correct him and enlighten all those who believe electric motors require oil changes.
There aren't formal guidelines. The informal practice has always been that downvoting for disagreement is ok, but when people see a comment that has been downvoted unfairly, they upvote it back to par.
We're open to changing that, but we look at the data pretty closely and the current balance strikes me as about right. We can't read all the comments, though. If you see a comment that has clearly been unfairly downvoted (i.e. is faded out when it shouldn't be), please tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there get to be very many of these, we'll start thinking about how to change that.
I did not include tires or insurance - either for the Tesla or for the other vehicles (Ody, BMW, Volvo). I also didn't include the financial value of safety (though Travis attempted to on the cash flow model), HOV lane access, cargo space, etc.
On the battery, based on the research I've read from existing EV owners, and from my experience as an EV owner for 3y, I'm expecting around 85% of my battery to be available in 8-10y. If a battery swap option is available, I plan to do it around year 15 or so (i.e., ~2030).
On a low maintenance gasoline engine (i.e. not VW/Audi), consumables like tires, brake pads+rotors, dampers, wheel bearings, ball joints, and so on outweigh the ICE specific costs like oil filter and change, spark plugs, serpentine belts, timing belts, and water pumps by a decent margin, doubly so if the engine has a well engineered timing chain system and thus doesn't require an involved timing-belt service.
Plus, an electric car still has plenty of moving powertrain parts like water pumps and valves that could fail, and we don't know if that will happen yet.
Tesla are at a huge advantage in this department, though, because they've accustomed their clients to being tracked at all times and their cars are all serviced at Tesla-owned service centers. That means that if any failure patterns become evident, Tesla can summon their owners to have the issue fixed proactively before it becomes a problem. I love this model and do think it adds a lot of value to the Tesla, but whether or not they can sustain such a program at scale remains to be seen.
1. Low fuel costs - electricity is way cheaper than gas and when you factor in gas savings over 8 years, you get substantial savings (ie., $20k over 8 years if driving 15k miles a year, of course depends on gas prices and electricity prices).
2. Low maintenance costs - there's no oil changes, timing belt, etc. It's basically tires. Even brakes you don't need to change often because of regenerative braking.
3. High residual value due to upgradeability - the battery pack is swappable, so after 8 years (or longer) you can swap out battery packs to a bigger pack (ie., 400+ mile range). This is a great feature and will add residual value to the Model S. Also, over-the-air updates keeps the software always up to date.
4. High residual value due to battery pack - the battery pack for the Model S is holding up well with customers so far, and after 8 years it should show minimal degradation (ie., 10-15% likely, max 20%). In other words, the battery will still hold substantial value and when a person buys a 8-year-old Model S in the future, they are not only buying the car but they are buying the battery pack (ie., fuel savings) as well. This is why the residual value of a Model S (or another EV with a large battery pack) will be substantially higher than a comparable ICE car.
Cars must have suspension replacements, plus fixed for lots of little car systems that can start failing with age. An example is windscreen washer systems. Usually required for safety inspections, they can stop working, and it's expensive to remove and replace them because they wind their way around multiple components. Same for hvac systems and lighting systems and on it goes.
I bring this up because the worth of a tesla will not just hinge on the ability to fit a new battery pack and go. It will also hinge of the ability of the basic vehicle and non-propulsion systems to continue to work and become economically serviceable. Most cars can get a substantial mechanical refresh for the current cost of a new tesla battery - but this is not usually done because the car itself develops many other failings and a new one is faster and easier to purchase.
So the resale value will swing on not only the battery replacement cost, but may other things besides. Only then will we know what the used value looks like.
For example, both the Tesla Model S and a Honda Oyssey will, presumably, require suspension replacement after a similar term when driven on the same roads by the same person. Likewise for windscreen washers and other sub-systems. Given the level of engineering and attention to detail in the design of the Model S, we should expect these systems to be of equal or greater quality than their traditional motorcar equivalents.
The point is that it appears the EV components won't negatively impact residual value as many EV-naysayers have been touting all along. "Just wait till that expensive battery pack only takes half a charge in 3 years!" That's the kind of sentiment that the parent poster was refuting.
Or, battery packs will degrade and people would not value them at all.
And, more importantly it's very unlikely that Model S will hold any residual at all, especially in 8 years - it's essentially version 1 of technology (with Roadster being beta version). In 8 years Tesla itself will have version 3, or may be even 4, and version 1 will be just obsolete. Notice how people buy new Camrys instead of 8 year-old 740s.
EDIT: found the answer below. Seems like that contradicts your post a little.
The battery replacement price as of December 2013 is $44,564 for the 85 kWh battery and $37,102 for the 60 kWh battery. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089183_life-with-tesla-...
2. I saw a Norwegian registered Model S in Zurich last week.
In any case, if you speak to travelled "Big Country" drivers, you'll find a vein of amused stories at what plenty of Europeans consider to be 'long drives'. And did your Norwegian cover that distance in a day or two? Because it's a meaningless statement without knowing how long it took to get there - it could even have been shipped up there (in theory, of course).
I have a driving endurance of about eight hours and I consider myself a 'middle-distance' driver here in Australia. Plenty of folks here can drive 12-16 hours, though more are like me. The 16-hour people aren't all that common, but neither is it particularly remarkable.
Here's the full review with English subs
A 300km range with a long refueling time is a considerable factor for Canadians, something the video says little about. The distance between Toronto and Montreal is about 6 hours of driving, which in turn is two times the cold-weather range of the Model S. Given that you generally want to refuel before you hit rock-bottom empty, and that battery performance will degrade over time, that means two recharging stops in the Tesla, where you'll have to wait for half an hour while the car charges. That adds an hour to your journey, and means getting out of your car (in the cold) twice when you can get cars where you don't have to do that at all.
I don't know why you're apparently put off by the idea that people in big countries with good roads have better driving endurance than people in small countries. It's no different to saying that the Norwegian public have a stronger maritime tradition and are better sailors. Far more Norwegians own or operate boats per capita than any of the 'big country' places. Should I post a video of Canadian fisherman to 'prove with facts' that there's no difference between the Canadian and Norwegian public when it comes to maritime choices?
Hey don't get me wrong, I think Tesla is the future and I would love to own one... but it seems like a "not ready yet" proposition
Also, as btian notes below, the electric drivetrain is also much simpler than a gasoline one, so it should be in much better shape relative to non-electric cars. I'm relatively optimistic because the part that depreciates the most is the battery: and if the rest of the car holds up well, then switching the battery at a lower cost (taking into account 8 years of battery tech advancement) should make for a pretty high resale value.
Failure of motor bearings is usually the result of improper mechanical installation causing undesirable forces acting on the bearings, or simply poor maintenance. Bearings should be inspected regularly for lubrication and uncharacteristic noises. Their life expectancy depends on factors previously cited. Most motor vendors typically recommend bearing replacement every two years, which I think will put a cramp in the Tesla maintenance scheme
What really is off-putting is that even if the car is well maintained and even parked. It will brick as from the degradation of the batteries. At some point the owner will have to invest in a new power pack. Not true of gas motors. I have a 66' galaxie in my driveway with its original motor its never had more than an oil and spark plug change and it has a life of nearly 50 years. I'd have bought at least 3 tesla power packs in the same time frame, even if the car just sat there.
Downvoted an honest question stated in a reasonable manner? Come on.
The last time I had an engine rebuilt (mid 1980s) it was over $1100, and this was for a 67 HP VW Beetle engine.
I find it... unlikely that you will be able to sell a 2014 Tesla model S for $30K in 2022.
You basically have to be a home owner in order to own an electric vehicle.
That's not an easy situation to solve either.
Having seen how the councils have added "club car" spaces for car rental schemes I could see them adding charge parking spaces, potentially with free electricity.
Hopefully this will be a non issue in a few years.
Could be a good incentive if you got free parking, or prime locations because you had an EV.
Also I don't see how the size of a parking lot changes things, if anything it means you could incentivise by having the EV slots closer to the attraction, plus have solar roofs to harness some cheap power.
Then I took a few other things into account:
- Quantitatively, given the paucity of data on Model S resales (I've looked at this and I think prices are high because supply is low), what does depreciation history on the Roadster imply for the Model S looking forward?
- Qualitatively, what is the impact of a battery swap say 8 or 10 years down the line, if the cost of the battery is approximately $12K (based on Tesla's earlier comments and the Roadster battery swap program) or less (if the Gigafactory succeeds)?
Now Tesla does have swappable packs but the unknown is, how much will a replacement pack of second or third generation cost and will you be able to install it in the first generation car; I will assume you can.
The Tesla lower depreciation is factor of limited supply and the author is taking a mighty big bet that demand will remain as high as it is. Given Tesla's stated goals for manufacture and the models coming this is not a good bet.
Toss in that California may cap tax incentives to EVs costing 60k or less; I would push that to 40K or less. The rich should never have been given help to buy a car in a price range they already purchase in. This car certainly did not need the incentive.
Electric motors are much less serviceable than gas engines at this point. There are still a lot of moving parts.
I think a tesla will lose value much faster than this person thinks as battery technology improves and the life of the existing battery pack declines.
Or the ones where Tesla purposes to charge you $100 to swap it out?
The infrastructure doesn't exist and building a "swap garage" is just a pipe dream unless it can service a large market... so having a propriety battery system doesn't lend itself to that...
Its cheaper to fill up my tank...
Better Place built quite a few battery swap locations, but due to their limited market (~1000 cars, compared more than 23,000 cars for Tesla already) they obviously failed.
The Tesla battery swaps are listed at between $60 and $80 which for a similar sedan (size, engine power, etc) is about the same as a full tank of gas.
The cost and serviceability of electric motors vs internal combustion engines reeks of BS and until you provide actual sources most of your arguments will have lost all credibility in my eyes.
"The model is very sensitive to the rate of depreciation."
Every TCO model for cars is very sensitive to rate of depreciation, and this rate is very hard to predict. You can rely on historical data only so much - how much in demand will petrol cars be 8 years from now? Diesel? What kind of tax incentives will we get over the next few years? And a single percent difference in depreciation rate can put one car ahead of another.
Within the last 10% or so, it's a crap shoot. And 10% basically puts all cars in the same class within a single bucket. So yeah.
I contend that a $22,195 Subaru would win this contest hands down. If you want this comparison to be believable compare like vehicles. Don't just compare the car you want to theMostExpensiveHondaICouldSpecOut.
- Getting $100 now
- Getting $200 3 years from now
The answer is, "it depends on your assumptions about interest rates".
In the blog poster's spreadsheet, the "net" line is the cost of owning that car in that year in that year's dollars. The PV is the cost of owning that car in that year in THIS year's dollars (a figure obviously depending on assumptions about interest rates). The NPV line is the cost of owning that car for 8 years in this year's dollars.
The NPV is how much a thing is worth/costs now after taking that into account and discounting future cashflows appropriately.
I created this website two days ago, and during that time, have witnessed 100s of comments on Hacker News, TMC, Twitter, and more. In the middle of all that, electriclove on Hacker News found an important bug in the model: The Ody PV line was adding in fuel costs from another car. (This, IMHO, highlights how valuable the Internet is for discourse and fact checking.)
I updated the model and the result is as follows:
- Tesla Model S: $40,151
- Honda Odyssey: $37,235
The end result is greater parity between the depreciation and cash flow models; and the edge goes to the Honda Odyssey by $3K, or about $375/yr over eight years. If I had more time, I might try to quantify the value of the safety edge for the Tesla (Travis calculated this to be about $500/yr), HOV lane access, or other features. In the meantime, I double-checked the formulas on the other cars - they appear to be correct. However, I continue to invite folks to continue to look at and provide feedback on the model.
Teslas can charge off a 110 outlet, but they recommend using the 240 volt faster-charging unit. But most houses don't run 2-phase power out to the garage.
And what if you don't own a house? What do apartment and/or house renters do for charging?
Apartment dwellers and renters of houses are going to be charging from 120V stations. Considering the uproar just over satellite dishes, I can't see landlords being any more forgiving about tapping into the electrical system of a unit. (And I write this as a former long-time renter.)
"The OTARD rule allows local governments, community associations and landlords to enforce restrictions that do not impair the installation, maintenance or use of the types of antennas described above [...]"
Given that many areas mandate minimum parking requirements for development, I don't find it too hard to imagine the same for charging. (And as a long-term renter, I'm sure it'll still be a pain in the ass for years to come.)
OTARD let you install a dish on your balcony, but not on the roof of the building or the front lawn since that area was common to all owners.
I can't imagine a similar rule letting Tesla owners dig up parking lots and install charging stations for their own private use. A parking lot is the prime example of a common area that everyone can use and nobody can control on an individual basis. And the outlets on the outside of a building or in a parking lot are usually for the benefit of common-area maintenance workers, not individual unit owners.
It's been a lousy seller. Toyota only sold 26 vehicles in December, so they've got huge incentives. Currently the incentive is $16,000 IIRC. You can lease the RAV4 EV for $299 per month with $3500 due at signing.
I drive a Fiat 500e, which is a fantastic electric car ($199 lease!) but anytime I'm loading up kids and groceries I wish I had one of those cheap pseudo Teslas.
From the article you linked to: "GM is reportedly losing more than $40,000 on each Volt" WHAT?
Stuff like this really makes me wonder about the authors of articles like this. Are they actually so stupid that they think it's reasonable to allocate the entire R&D effort to 20,000 cars sold to date? Do they know better, but are trying to make GM look bad for some reason, and think their readers are that stupid? It's just so weird.
Unfortunately (you might be able to tell I'm a Tesla fan), this makes the Tesla S less attractive in comparison to other cars due to its higher up-front price.
Once they have the $30k version then it will be attractive to most everyone, including with leasing options.
I forgot to write about this on www.teslacost.com, but one reason I didn't consider the Model S early on is b/c it's RWD and I wanted AWD for Tahoe and the like. Then I saw the above video.
Even with the ability to pulse/modulate the brakes and keep the car from spinning, it will only prevent sliding off a cliff by taking you around that corner at 8mph (notional absurdly low speed here). That is because it will only be able to use the braking + lateral portion of the front tires available grip. If there is no need for braking, just lateral grip which isn't going to be much on a poor snowy road, anyhow.
The rear tires have to work doubly as hard in this scenario as well - they have to maintain lateral grip while accelerating (or simply putting power down enough to maintain speed).
A true AWD (or 4x4) would be able to use the acceleration and lateral grip, meaning, the tire can be accelerating and turning. This takes the load off the rear wheels for putting down engine power. Thus, to move at the same speed, the rear tires only have to use much less of their available grip for acceleration and can concentrate on lateral grip (not fishtailing/oversteer situation as above RWD would). An intelligent AWD system will transfer power to whatever wheel has the most grip as well.
The stock tires on the Tesla and even most all-season options are woefully insufficient to make the Tesla safe in the snow, although its favorable weight distribution vs. other RWD cars does help some.
For those who do, how often do they take them? If it's a once-a-year thing, you can rent something more suitable for fairly low cost. I see a lot of people basing their car buying decisions on activities they do once or twice a year and it puzzles me.
Finally, not all road trips are created equal. If you're regularly driving across Montana, the Tesla is probably not for you. For me, where my road trips consist of occasional trips from DC to NYC or Virginia Beach, the supercharger network means the Tesla would be fine.
How is the Net for Year 1 for the Ody Elite $16,184? It lists Maintenance at $300, Fuel at $2727, and Depreciation at $10,500. That totals $13,527.
Depreciation Model: $39,889
Cash Flow Model: $62,874
If so: Chrome's font rendering uses GDI rather than DirectWrite and it leads to some very ugly rendering with certain web fonts. This is a known issue and they are working on changing this: https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=137692#c...
Pax tires? as in run-flats?
Tesla P85 $44,948
Honda Odyssey $56,094