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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/19/19 11:03 a.m.

My wife's daily driver is a 2000 Grand Cherokee V8 that we bought new. It's got about 150k on it now and is still pretty much cherry. Janel takes good care of it. But it is starting to exhibit weird little electrical quirks, such as power windows that occasionally stop working or a right turn signal that doesn't work in the cold or buttons on the trip computer that only work when the driver's side brake light bulb is burnt out (seriously). The thing has given us good service but I'm looking at potentially moving on.

And what I'm thinking of moving to is a Tesla Model 3. Specifically, the long range dual motor (aka AWD). I'd put a charger in the garage so it's got a tank full of electrons every morning - Janel hates to get gas. Honestly, she'd probably only have to charge it once a week. The federal and state tax incentives for the Tesla go away at the end of the year, so the clock is ticking a little.

The goal is not maximum performance, but it does need to be as quick in day to day traffic as the old GC. No problem there. It'll have to do winter duty over some passes that can get a little wild, so it'll run snows in the winter. We can always go to one of the ICE cars if we want to blast out to Vegas as fast as possible, but the Tesla should have enough range to handle our typical road trips (Denver, Durango) comfortable with an overnight charge.

She is concerned about the ability of a car to handle snow - she comes from a truck family, so anything less than about 10" of ground clearance and 4WD seems risky. I grew up with RWD cars with all-seasons and no traction control in Canadian winters, so we have different trains of thought there. 

I know the cheapest option is to just keep running the GC, so let's not go there.

So, who's got some experience to share on living with an EV? Anyone winter one and have comments on what happens to battery life with average temps around freezing - or a cold overnight stay at a mountain hotel? 

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/19/19 11:13 a.m.

Whether it's for entertainment or education, I'd recommend viewing some of the Rich Rebuilds videos on Youtube before buying a Tesla.  

Without getting wrapped up in all of the flame wars that seem to come with anything that draws Tesla fan boys, there's some things I've seen in those videos that I'd want to go into Tesla ownership with eyes wide open on -- order/delivery experience, servicing/parts, design for reliability etc.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/19/19 11:17 a.m.

All I know is I've owned my LEAF for 2 years and 15,000 miles and loved every minute of it, and had zero issues and zero maintenance. 

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/19/19 11:21 a.m.

Regarding living with an EV in the winter, a few points based on my i3--

  • Real word range reduction with a cold soaked car based on my experience is about 20%.  I think this is really a battery physics/chemistry thing with minor dependence on the car.  The only thing I can think of at the car level is how heating is done-- resistance strip (my I3 REX) versus heat pump (i3 BEV and probably most other EVs) and lighting (it's dark during hte winter)
  • Regen braking from only one axle can get kind of exciting/work the stability system pretty hard on slick surfaces
  • Go into what it takes to get snow tires with your eyes wide open-- on the i3 at least, there's only a single tire available for the 20" wheels that come on the higher trim levels.  I doubt this would be a problem on the Tesla.
  • Having a  schedule/phone app feature that lets you defrost/warm the car  without having to start a combustion engine is awesome.
  • I did run the i3 at temperatures of my than 30 below last winter.  Defrost/heat had a hard time keeping up, but I think that would apply to almost any car.  
tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/19/19 11:24 a.m.
Karacticus said:

Whether it's for entertainment or education, I'd recommend viewing some of the Rich Rebuilds videos on Youtube before buying a Tesla.  

Without getting wrapped up in all of the flame wars that seem to come with anything that draws Tesla fan boys, there's some things I've seen in those videos that I'd want to go into Tesla ownership with eyes wide open on -- order/delivery experience, servicing/parts, design for reliability etc.

Yes this. I want an EV, my next car may be a Bolt. I leased a Leaf.

 

I won't go near a Tesla. here is some reading:

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-safety/tesla-model-3-gets-cr-recommendation-after-braking-update/

I do not read that as "wow, over the air updates are neat", I read that as "Oops, we accidently shipped this car with braking performance on par with a 3/4 ton duallie"

https://www.edmunds.com/tesla/model-3/2017/long-term-road-test/

 

 

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/19/19 11:27 a.m.

Also, when installing a car charger, be sure to check with your electrical utility for what rebates/subsidies they may offer on purchase/installation.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/19/19 11:29 a.m.

I am intrigued by the possibility of a Model 3 for myself. 

Nothing would move me more from interest to action more than some Keith Tanner, et all, support of the product. 

Flyin Tesla

Flyin Model 3

Flyin  Nikola

 

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/19/19 11:32 a.m.
John Welsh said:

I am intrigued by the possibility of a Model 3 for myself. 

Nothing would move me more from interest to action more than some Keith Tanner, et all, support of the product. 

Flyin Tesla

Flyin Model 3

Flyin Nikola

 

Heh...

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/19/19 11:33 a.m.

A coworker here in NH (where it does tend to snow a bit) has a Model 3 Dual Motor.  I don't think he's had it over the winter, so we'll see how it goes.  He let me drive it once and I'll admit - it's pretty damned cool. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/19/19 11:34 a.m.

That's an interesting point about the regen on slippery surfaces.

Looks like there are 14 options at Tire Rack for snow tires in 235/45-18, but good suggestion to check.

Every time it becomes known that anyone at FM has a non-Miata, the "will there be a Flyin' X?" questions start :)

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/19/19 11:37 a.m.

I have a Volt, so only an EV for the first part of the day, but I love it. We lose a larger % of battery mileage when it's cold but I think that's because it takes a certain amount of energy to heat the cabin and that's a larger percentage of total battery. Day to day I prefer it over an ICE car and see myself owning an electric of some sort from here on out. I would be less concerned about the Tesla the shorter I was going to keep it. As a 3-5 year ownership experience? Not much concern. Keeping it for 10? Hard maybe. 20? It's hard to see that being a good idea. In that way they are like any other luxury car. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/19/19 11:41 a.m.

I drove a Soul EV here in Atlanta for 3 years. My brother and sister have had Leafs for years. My mother in law has had her Model 3 for about six months and some cousins have Model Ss.

I was surprised at how easy it was to get used to my EV, and how well it worked out for my family. I, too, found a 15-20% dip in range when winter temps dropped below freezing but the reduction was hardly an inconvenience. Of course, freezing temps are less frequent in Atlanta than in Colorado.  The Leafs and Soul required very little maintenance, and what issues we've had were all covered under warranty.  That said, reports are that Nissan and Kia service is way way better than Tesla service.

My MIL's Model 3 has been great so far.  She got her car fully loaded, including the Performance package with Pilot Sport tires, so she will need a winter set soon (we'll have to see how she does in the snow).  Her car is wicked quick, grips confidently, and has numb but responsive handling.  I'm not impressed with the car's interior amenities (an Accord is way nicer) but it's perfectly functional and Tesla beats all in the infotainment game.

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/19/19 11:41 a.m.

If I were in the market for a new car, I'd be really hard pressed to buy anything other than a model 3 right now. 

Seriously. Really hard pressed.

I'm not in the market for a new car and I'm still hard pressed not to buy a model 3. First new car that has made me feel this way since the ND.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/19/19 11:47 a.m.

I agree, after my driving my MIL's Model 3 several times I could totally see myself daily driving one.  I'd go for the entry-level spec, though, because there's no way I'd ever pay what she paid!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/19/19 11:50 a.m.

The surcharge for the Performance Package is considerable, no question. nderwater, what interior amenities are you thinking of? I mean, we're coming from a car that has a tape deck and an aftermarket 6-CD changer so our standards are low :)

I actually drove a 3000-mile 2019 Miata RF to the Tesla store to test drive the Model 3. We got back into the RF and it felt like an antique.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/19/19 11:55 a.m.

Other than the huge display screen, the cabin is basically empty. It's austere enough to feel jarring. The back seat is equally spartan--there's not even a power outlet. Our minivan is like a rolling palace in comparison.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
9/19/19 11:55 a.m.

I would personally still be nervous about long term ownership of a Tesla. I really want one, but I just have an uneasy feeling about them - mostly because of things mentioned above and on other threads here.

Without knowing your budget, I would offer a different solution: Buy a used Lexus RX Hybrid (or Highlander, or one of the other hybrid SUV options), and wait a few years for the Rivian. Alternatively, don't forget that BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, and Porsche (and maybe others) have been offering a plug in hybrid for a few years now. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/19/19 12:01 p.m.
nderwater said:

Other than the huge display screen, the cabin is basically empty. It's austere enough to feel jarring. The back seat is equally spartan--there's not even a power outlet.

Minimalism doesn't bother me. I kinda like it. But that's not amenities, that's design.

I have no interest in a plug-in hybrid. You're still dragging that ICE around - or you're dragging a battery around. Seems a little redundant. I can see the logic if it's your only car and you want the second powertrain for that one time you want to do something the other powertrain can't do, but I have other vehicles for that. I'm comfortable with the risk in buying from Tesla.

The other option is a new Grand Cherokee, which means an FCA vehicle. You can't tell me a Tesla is going to be a worse risk in just about any aspect other than how close the dealership is :)

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/19/19 12:02 p.m.

Do it!!

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/19/19 12:05 p.m.

Whatever you do, make sure you get the upgraded self-driving package. Those will be the cars that have the option of making money for their owners as auto-taxis and therefore will be the ones with serious resale. 

plus, you can play parking lot hide and seek with your car. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/19/19 12:08 p.m.

FYI, all the cars have the hardware for self-driving. It can be activated at a later date. It's not an option I'd be paying for, as it's not something I'm terribly interested in and resale is only a factor if you resell :) It's a hefty price tag.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/19/19 1:04 p.m.

Oddly, an EV is the one time where I'd try to make a case for leasing.  Especially if you think you won't hit the mileage limit.  The main factor being EV tech is still in the toddler phase and is sure to improve over the next few years.  I don't know if I'd be successful making that case (I still dislike the idea of leasing), but the idea of being able to hand back an obsolete EV at the end of the term with no concern about value has some appeal.

 In other, somewhat related news, Amazon has reportedly ordered 100K EV delivery vans from Rivian.  An EV van? That has my attention. 

dps214
dps214 Reader
9/19/19 1:06 p.m.

I wouldn't be too concerned about ownership as long as it's under warranty. About the only issue would be if they went out of business and stopped servicing them (going out of business is always a possibility but I'm pretty sure they'd be forced to continue support at least for a while). Absolutely don't pay for features that don't actually exist but it sounds like you've got that covered. My boss has done three winters (and something like 100k miles total) I think in a RWD model S and has had no issues other than that cold weather wrecks the range. I believe part of the issue is the batteries have to be kept above a certain temperature even when not in use, so the more you can park it inside the better it will be. He had some trouble finding snow tires that worked, but I forget exactly why. Also if you're driving in snow the front cameras/sensors tend to get plugged up and the autopilot/smart cruise stuff stops working. Not sure if that issue is carried over to the model 3. That issue is far from unique to teslas though.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia HalfDork
9/19/19 1:14 p.m.

I would only be concerned about the lack of spare parts to fix it , but if its still under warranty  I hope they give you a loaner , 

Anyone know what the highest mileage driven on a Model 3 is so far ?

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/19/19 1:20 p.m.

About the seven braking thing...  I didn't think teslas did that.  I thought they had a mild regen for coasting only.

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