<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Ditching Gas, My Tesla Story
Tesla Blog - Ditching Gas - My Tesla Model S Story
[ Home ] [ My Story ] [ EV Tips ] [ Stories From the Road ] [ External Links ] [ Jeff's Other Projects ]

Ditching Gas - My Personal Story - Continues

Tesla Model STo say I was thrilled is an understatement. I jumped on the computer the second we arrived home from dinner and placed our $5K refundable deposit to get in line with 18,000 other people. Unlike some other car deposits, Tesla’s wasn’t held by a third party. Given the fact Tesla was already producing Model S’s, I didn’t assume the deposit was at too much of a risk and focused my attention on the particulars of owning an electric vehicle. Tesla’s initial estimate was that we would receive our car in the early summer. Trying to set my expectations so I wouldn’t be disappointed, I mentally checked September off in the calendar as the delivery date. This was fine as long as my Z4 held up and didn’t need any major repairs. The nine months would give us time to save some much needed funds to cut down on the loan we would have to take. We are both debt averse and the concept of taking such a huge loan out for a car was uncomfortable.

I was totally stoked about my dream car nesting in our garage however my boyish enthusiasm was tempered with that thought of making a huge mistake on a car purchase (aka the Porsche and S4, long stories of unreliability). It’s one thing to make such mistakes when you are single and working two jobs, however, making a similar mistake when you are married holds extra weight. Jennifer is not an “I told ya so” wife, but I didn’t want to dip so deeply into the marriage bank. This would also be a much more expensive mistake and one I wasn’t willing to chance. I started reading everything I could about the Model S, EV’s in general, and the early adopters’ issues. Concerns grew quickly.

Will the Real Range Please Stand Up?
My goal was not to give my wife sticker shock and purchase the Model S with its 60kwh battery whose stated range was 240 miles. My daily commute is 45 miles, my wife’s commute is 90 miles, and roundtrip to my parents is about 120. So 240 miles of range seemed like plenty. Jennifer’s car is a very efficient, by ICE (internal combustion engine) standards, VW Jetta clean diesel where we regularly get 40+ mpg in the real world. We figured we could always take it on trips over 240 miles. However, Tesla’s rating of 240 miles is under ideal conditions. This is defined as driving at 55mph without climate control and on dead flat roads. Real world mileage was turning out to be less. This was especially true in the winter where the combination of heating the battery to ideal temperature and desire not to be freezing inside the car take a huge toll on the distance you can travel on one tank of electrons. As one who is far better avoiding stress than handling stress I felt we needed to get the 85kwh battery to combat range anxiety. It was a $10K upgrade.

The story continues ...