Cost of ICE engine to Tesla Model S TCO google excel sheet

Cost of ICE engine to Tesla Model S TCO google excel sheet

I have gotten a few requests for comparing the TCO for the TESLA to another car.
Please feel free to use this spreadsheet to compare, but I only ask that you do only modify the "GREEN" highlighted section

Please paste the following link

When using this try to compare apples to apples in terms of interior and features (i.e. comparing a Base car with no AC, no power windows, no power locks, etc, etc would probably no be a good comparison).

Also take the notes with a grain of salt, these are "recommended" maintenance, Also keep in mind the misc maintenance encompasses any one-off's (if they occur at all- head gasket, fuel pump, thermostat, heater core leak, exhaust leak, replacement of wiring harness, etc, etc). The Tesla has less moving parts and a milder drivetrain environment, so there are going to be less failure modes, but things can still happen on average

DDodge | October 11, 2010

I've taken a look at the TCO spreadsheet and have a concern, the base line is using 300K, which for me might work but is rather high for most US Auto buyers. Having said that, at this point I believe that the batteries are expected to be good for at least 100K, which should indicate at least one replacement set and possibly two in the calculations but I don't see an estimated replacement cost. Otherwise it looks pretty good...

Dan5 | October 11, 2010

The mileage can be changed. In terms of the battery, from what I'm aware, the batteries that they are expected to retain over 70% of the charge after 7 years (It's a weird degradation formula, it has some charge/discharge rate, how the batteries are charged, temperature, and time in it), which is acceptable for most people (if they use the Lithium Cobalt Oxide, probably what they are using). I have a battery from their battery supplier that is 9 years old and has about 3,000 charge/discharge cycles in it (and it's been abused and exposed to excessive heat, improper voltage, full discharge, and rapid recharge)
In my engineering opinion (B.S. Chem E, M.S. Chem E, designed electric fuel cells), I think Tesla is going VERY conservative with the battery. If they went with Toshiba's Lithium Titanate batteries, they should easily be able to get 500,000 miles out of the battery before it starts seeing wear, but that's going to probably be in generation II.

Roger_Smith | October 11, 2010

Question for Dan5. Would it not be be in Tesla's best interest to use batteries that are good for up to 100,000 over 500,000. The 500,000 mile version would be great for the consumer, but Tesla wouldn't make money off of it. Not too many people driving their cars to 500,000 ad beyond.

Also, how do you make it thru Physical Chem? That class is the reason why I changed majors to Info Tech Network Engineering.

Dan5 | October 11, 2010

Well, there are 2 different schools of thought when it comes to components, you can either build a part for the life of the car, or you can over engineer the part to last a long time. There's drawbacks to both.
By putting in a part that knowingly breaks at certain mileage, like most current car companies do, you alienate a group of customers who consider their cars their "babies". As an example, for ICE engines, they could use a bigger alternator and use a Peltier cooler as the AC system (draws too much power for an electric car though), but decided to go with a compressor because the compressor breaks more often and costs more to replace- encouraging people to buy new cars. I believe most of the Tesla crowd would consider the cars their "babies".
At the same time, if you make a car that's a tank and nothing ever breaks, but it costs an extra few thousand more, you lose some immediate customer base and long term you discourage new car sales to a certain degree, but as a start-up it's advantageous to use the "best of the best" materials. Similar to Toyota's rise (they worked with their suppliers to ensure quality materials, up until recently). In a 20 year term, you dominate the market (I would like to see everyone drive a Tesla). Word of mouth is the best marketing tool and having an unbreakable car would be great for Tesla.

Roger- as a side note- P.Chem from what I remember wasn't that bad after the first month (for my first job, my P chem book was my main reference book). Transport Phenomena was like P. Chem on steroids | October 27, 2010

Current monetary policy does promote limited shelf life of products and ever cheapening goods (in build quality) but i think that Elon Musk has an awareness that already encompasses this and is aiming for a higher segment of the market. The people that will pay and appreciate good quality stuff.

This is sounds like a similar model to Apple. Apple have some of the most expensive products on the market yet they are touching 2nd spot largest Market Capitalised company, so there are enough people out there who will appreciate the all aluminium build and a great interior.

I for 1 would be happy to buy and own this car for 20 years making regular upgrades to. I've had enough of buying a new car every so many years. It is just killing our planets resources.

Tesla are building cars that i've looked forward to since 20 years ago when i first discovered that electric motors are far better than internal combustion engines at putting power down (in my school technology class), they will just need refining after the ICE has had a multi decade head start.

Ultimately electric powered vehicles will eventually kill the combustion engine (i hope)

The next 5 years are going to bring some exciting developments indeed.

Dan5 | November 3, 2010

Since you seem to be environmentally minded, you may want to check out this life cycle analysis that I wrote comparing the Model S to a normal car

Keep in mind this was written prior to the Tesla Panasonic announcement so the battery portion may be slightly off