The (Five?) Stages of the Model S price increase...

The (Five?) Stages of the Model S price increase...

Hi everyone,

This is my first post to this forum though I have been lurking and learning for over a year. I had decided long ago that I would not post on this forum until I had at least reserved my Model S but I had a pretty visceral reaction to the price increase of a few days ago, that simply posting this on the TeslaMotorsClub forum would not suffice.

I live in NYC (one of the least BEV friendly places in America, unfortunately) and have a summer home on the eastern end of Long Island. I currently drive a 2012 Chevy Volt because when I first realized I needed a car, and wanted an electric car for the summer of 2012, the 60 kW Model S was not yet in production and the Nissan Leaf had too limited real world range for my needs. My summer home is about 85 miles from Manhattan, and it's hard to drive at 55 MPH (the posted speed limit) on the Long Island Expressway without getting pulled over for driving to slowly and causing unnecessary traffic. Even at the posted speed limit, the Leaf might not make it from door to door.

Anyway, I intend to place an order on a Non-P 85 Model S next sometime next Spring, and I'm "saving my pennies" in anticipation of same.

Let me say I love the Model S, am so happy at Tesla's success and cannot wait to join the ranks of the happy Owners. I have seen some beautiful pictures on this on other fora of happy tesla owners with their cars and as stunning as the car itself is, my eye goes right to the Owner's Tesla grin EVERY time. It’s like a "cheek hurting" grin, it’s so big and extreme. I always say "I want that" or.. "I want to be part of that."

Which brings me to the other night when the design studio was updated. I swear I had my very first Tesla dream! (That's how visceral my reaction to the price increase was, and why I just finally had to post here.)To clarify, it was not a very good dream.. but I would not call it a nightmare, just an anxious dream. I don't want to have anxious dreams about a car I want so, so much.

my original reaction, and the 1st stage of the Model S price increase was DISSAPPOINTMENT.

As configured dozens of times, my pre price increase Non-P 85 retailed for $84,thousand and change... This price of course builds in the $7500 tax rebate for BEVs and does not include NY State sales tax, which you also pay on the tax rebate, unfortunately.

I intend(ed) to get a Blue Non-P 85 with Grey interior, tech package, sound studio, air suspension, twin chargers (but no HPWC), and a Pano roof.

I also wanted a carbon fiber interior. My first taste of the Tesla unbundling of options came a few months ago with the carbon fiber option mysteriously disappeared from the Non P cars. I have always wanted a carbon fiber interior in the Mercedes and Range Rovers I grew up driving but always thought it was not worth spending extra money on same so I always had to forego it as an option. The Model S was to be my 1st car with carbon fiber interior, as it was a free option. (Thank you Tesla). So too with the Pano Roof. as many have said in the past few days,the Pano roof was a steal at $1500. for me not a steel, but I thought very reasonable for $1500. I read through so many posts on this and other fora about how it leaks, creaks, fails, never gets used, etc, etc, and still I thought that for a mere $1500 people were silly for forgoing this option as it adds so much value to the build.. to each his own I guess. I fully intended to get the Pano roof, and now with the price increase, I am less certain unfortunately.

If I reconfigure my above configuration today, the car would cost me $89,900 or roughly $5500 more today than it did before the increase. And it is unclear that the tech package as described now would include the lighting of the original tech package or if the new $1000 lighting is needed to get to that same point. Also, I would probably put the HPWC on eBay or try to sell it on one of the BEV fora as I already have an 80 amp Clipper Creek EVSE in my summer home and nowhere I might use the HPWC in NYC as I live in a high rise building and park in a public garage that already offers public (and unfortunately very expensive EV charging), so that would be $1,200 less if I could get the full price for it. I also repriced the interior with Lacewood for comparisons sake instead of the (slightly more expensive Carbon Fiber that I really want b/c it disappeared as an option for the non-Ps entirely. of course at a mere $150 that lacewood, it is a minor splurge.)

And yet a few days after the uneasy dream I feel like I am entering a later stage of the Tesla price increase. Just like a subset of the members of this forum I happen to be lucky enough to have more income at my disposal than I know what to do with. (To give you a quick idea as an example, I had wanted to buy a Bentley GT Coverable for my 30th birthday. I had a nice time at the local Bentley dealership one Saturday afternoon years ago, but new within the 1st 10 minutes I would never buy the car. It only gets 14 mpg in the city and I think 17 on the highway! That may be fine for my parents who don't understand the concept of fuel efficiency, but I could never own a car of my own like that. Just on principle. Sorry. I do drive my parents’ gas guzzling SUVs on occasion, but cannot be responsible for their choice in cars.)

I don't live extravagantly and I live well within my means even while living very well, and I like to save a lot. I was lucky enough to buy a fair amount of tesla stock shortly after the initial offering so I have done very, very well on that front. I wish I had brought more, of course. but I am happy it has performed well and I have cashed out a small portion and helped my Money Market account.

Even as many have stated it's only a 7% increase, I have spent the past few days thinking that the model S is too much of an extravagance for me, and what I had spent months and months convincing myself that "I was worth it" even at the original (post $2000 price increase) price. it has now become harder to justify the price in my mind... add to that that If I take possession of my Model next spring, I won't see the $7500 tax credit for a full year... it just adds Salt to my wounds. I could order it this fall and take delivery in November or December and get the tax credit early next spring, but I got my one and only fender bender ever driving in snow this past and am weary of driving in the snow in general when I could save myself the trouble and use the subway or cab it to most places. (lesson learned!)

I also am uneasy about paying $25,000 up front and then still having a rather high monthly payment for the next six or seven years. I could buy the car outright, in cash, but at 1.49% interest, it is hardly worth it to do so. Still even the thought of paying the $25,000 upfront, and not the magic math of "the federal and state incentives cover your down payment completely, and you spend less time at the gas station, what is that worth to you?" seems gimmicky to me. Or it doesn't really apply. Is this just too much money for a car? even the best car in the world?

I did say I would wait until parking sensors were am option (NYC parking is pain no matter what), so I knew I would be at the mercy of some new options. and am happy to see the cold weather package made available to us. This may not be accurate, but in my mind they are charging $1000 more for parking sensors as the fog lights were included with the old tech package and that has now been removed.

I have roughly 2 more years on my Volt lease after which I will probably purchase that car outright and my family thinks I should be committed to an asylum that this BEV hobby of mine has turned me into "car nut" as they like to say who is thinking of buying a second $100,000 car when I don't even really need my $42,000 Volt. They are probably right.

In the end I will probably go ahead and order the Model S next spring, as originally configured but (as of this writing) without Sound Studio as much as it pains me to forego XM Satellite radio.. for those of you who know, I too am a proud "Citizen of Sway in the Morning" and without what is now known as "Ultra HiFi Sound" there is no XM -- it is by all accounts not worth the original $950 but I'd pay that for XM access. to pay $2500 is basically out of the question for me. the Rues aftermarket upgrade is looking pretty good right about now, however.

I am also happy to see 19 inch cyclone wheels option although the hoarder in me notes that for roughly the same amount I can get 19 inch "turbines" aftermarket and I could keep the original set of 19 inch rims/wheels. not sure what good they will do sitting around, but this is always a secondary consideration as my fellow hoarders will attest to. maybe I'll see the stock 19 inch set on eBay to an overly ambitious Model S owner in the North East who really wanted 21 inch turbines but should have kept the stock 19s..

One final note, I was always unhappy with the interior leather in the Model S -- I find the leather in my Chevy Volt, as mediocre as it is, to be superior to what is offered in the model S -- particularly given that it is a $100,00 car, and hope that even for $2500 I could rectify the situation at least a bit. if not I will spend the next few months sourcing aftermarket options and simply buy the cloth interior and piano black and replace it with something better. (my plans for a carbon fiber interior foiled again! maybe it just wasn't meant to be...)

sorry for the length of this post. I will end by saying to those that are now back on the sidelines: there is a light at the end of this dark Model S price increase tunnel, and hope that in a few days we will all acclimate to the new prices and proceed with our plans to own the best car in the world.

Atlantis | 6 August, 2013

When I try the setting, I can add carbon fiber with either S60, S85 or P85! Are you sure about carbon fiber interior?

*yes I read that whoooole thing :)

jq5073 | 6 August, 2013

My only question... Where are you getting a 1.49% rate on an auto loan?

Galve2000 | 6 August, 2013

PenFed back in December or January. My birthday is at the end of January. I tend to make my "big purchases" around that time.

Yes, it's true.. the rate may no longer hold. I believe it is still very cheap to borrow money in any case.

earlyretirement | 6 August, 2013

Alliant Credit Union is still doing 1.49% APR loans up to 6 years.

jq5073 | 6 August, 2013

Yeah. I think they're at 1.99% now. But you're right -- cheap money.

earlyretirement | 6 August, 2013

Nope, they are still at 1.49%. I just referred a friend that got approved today. 1.49%

Keep in mind they knock it down to the 1.49% if you agree to have your payment automatically debited each month which is in and of itself a great idea anyway.

HenryT2 | 6 August, 2013


You are over-thinking it. Sounds like you can afford it, just buy one. You got 2 price increases while you waited. Maybe there will be another increase or two (or maybe not) while you further wait for the perfect time. Just do it don't just experience the Tesla grin, but live it.

I considered buying a Ferrari or an Aston Martin at one point, couldn't justify that kind of money on a toy. Two seaters like those just aren't practical for day to day use. I was waiting for my LS460L to "get old" and get a Maserati Quattroporte. When I heard about the Rapide, I thought that might be the car I eventually wanted. But the price they were planning to introduce it at took it out of contention.

Anyway, now that I have an MS, I'm fairly certain I'm happier than I would have been with any of those cars. In fact, I would not trade my car with any other car that I know of currently on the market. I'd trade for Bugatti Veyron for a day, or a week, or a month. I'd gladly take a Ferrari or Lamborghini or Aston Martin for a short period of time. But if I were offered a trade for a long period of time (say 5 years) during which I could use the car, but would not get any financial advantage (just trade back at the end), I wouldn't do it. And there is tremendous satisfaction in driving around in the same car you'd probably drive day to day if you were a billionaire.

For those cars I mentioned, you get a MUCH better quality interior. The handing might be a little better (I haven't tried a P85+, but I suspect that I wouldn't feel the advantage of the better handling would outweigh the smoother and quieter ride of the standard). A few of them might be "prettier". But, overall, the day to day satisfaction of driving the Model S would outweight all those advantages.

A few factors you are probably aware of, yet might not FULLY appreciate:

1) A real sense of being part of a "revolution". A feeling of having taken a step into the future. I can imagine that's how early Model T owners felt when they drove past horse carriages. It was similar with the iPhone and Walkman and probably the first TVs and stereos.

2) The sense of "efficiency" of the motor. A bit of overlap with the first point, but deserving of its own point. After using a car like this with it's immediate torque, quiet, charging, etc. ICE cars just feel "wrong".

3) The quiet. For some "motorheads", it might seem like a disadvantage, but in addition to all the pluses of silence vs. noise, there is the advantage of quiet acceleration. I suppose everyone is different, but in addition to safety and legal concerns, one of the things that kept me from "flooring it" in fast cars every chance I got was the obnoxious engine roar. With an MS, I feel far freer to accelerate whenever legal and safety restrictions are clear.

4) The connectivity. Imagine how you'd feel if your home or smartphone were no longer connected. Once you get used to your car being equally connected, it feels "wrong" when you drive in a car that is not.

5) Reverse range anxiety. This depends on how you drive and where, but for me, the convenience of powering up at home on a nightly basis FAR outweighs the limitations on distance driving. There are merely places I don't think it's worth going with my MS. For those times, I would drive my second car (ICE) or just rent one. But for 99% of the time, I never have to look at a gas gauge and mentally calculate when I'm going to have to detour for gas next.

Anyway, sounds like you are a Tesla fan already. And it sounds like you have the resources. Just buy the car already. Based on what I've seen and experienced, there is a 99% chance that it won't just be the best car you've ever owned but will actually significantly impact the quality of your life.

Good luck with your decision.

Brian H | 6 August, 2013

Don't forget "no-fatigue driving".

Weight as a verb means add weight to, like a diver's belt.

coreenbooth | 6 August, 2013

And don't stress about the pano roof - I have one and it has been fabulous - no issues, no leaks or creaks. I've only had one super small issue and Tesla took care of it and treated me very well while fixing it.

bonaire | 6 August, 2013

Saying you don't live extravagantly is an understatement. The decision making you are doing is limited to 2% or less of Americans and less than 1% of world citizens. Try out a tesla S60. Should get you across LI. Since you may ditch the volt mid lease, you may ditch the S60 soon after for something from a competitor like a BMW i8 or Mercedes b-class EV.

mjs | 6 August, 2013


You should just buy the car.

I've formerly owned some of great cars mentioned above. I think more accurately, though, I should say I've owned some of the above cars that were formerly great.

You're putting a lot of thought into this, and no matter how much enthusiasm you see out there for the MS, it just can't compare to what it's like to drive one.

There are many things that wanting is better than having, but this is definitely not one of them. And, while you're torturing yourself with the options and tradeoffs, you should be driving and smiling.

You're lucky enough to be able to do this, so treat yourself.

CAdreamin | 6 August, 2013

The carbon fiber interior in the MS may be real, only with a matte finish. I've never seen matte finish over carbon, as what I sell has a clear coat over the carbon fiber...or it could be simulated carbon fiber which looks so so compared to the real thing.

Benz put a fake carbon fiber in their R170 SLK. I had a customer return a carbon fiber shift knob because it looked "too good" compared to simulated CF that was in his car.

Hope to buy a MS myself early in 2014. I'll select the piano black