I continue to be excited about my Model S. But I have to ask--am I the only one surprised that the base model has such a short range, and there is a $10K upcharge to get to a range that would allow me to drive it any distance? I'm sure when I made my deposit that I was told it would have at least the range of a roadster.

Dan5 | 28 March 2011

I think everyone knew going in that the 57 K was for the base model and everyone was just guessing about the battery range before the news. I had a very interesting thought when it comes to the battery pack though. Think about it this way, the value of a car is determined by the "wear parts" and age. The main wear parts on the Model S are the battery (value) and the electric motor. Think about it this way, 7 years/100 thousand miles, if you still have 160 miles on the 230 mile battery (highly likely if the battery is not abused), you should be able to sell it for quite a premium, I see no reason why you couldn't sell it for 30 K (half the price of a "new 160 miler") if all the mechanical aspects are fine and the car is in good shape. 7 years/ driving 100 K miles cost you maybe 35 K when all is said and done.

Heck, look at a basic car, 18 K, 12 K gas, 7 K maintenance - 4 K resale. On par with the cheapest cars. It's a high upfront cost.

Even if you were to complete trash it after 7 years/100,000 miles, donate it, take it as a write off, sell it for scrap metal, etc, etc, it's still dead even with a Toyota Camry (BASE model!)

Volker.Berlin | 29 March 2011

Judy, go and find an EV that offers more range for the same price... ;-) Just kidding. I do not remember exactly what my expectation was, but I sure was neither surprised not disappointed. But this is may be related to the fact that I have been following EV technology for quite a while, and I was well aware that batteries are key, are expensive, are heavy, and have limited range.

William13 | 29 March 2011

Judy, I made a deposit two years ago and it was clear well before that time the 160 mile battery pack was to be available for 57,400. The price was then of set by a tax credit of $7500. The up charge for larger battery packs was to be substantial. The Tesla representative indicated more than $5000 and indicated my guess of $10,000 would be more likely. This dollar amount for a larger battery was only speculation at the time.

msiano17 | 29 March 2011

Also remember, that the statement issued by Tesla was that it was an estimation of it likely going to cost and additional $10k for each upgrade.

On another thread I posted the idea that there may be other factors in store for the battery system; for instance, the fact that the 160 may be a different composition than the rest of maybe the 300 is still the different chemistry. Those all factor into the price of the battery packs.

If the 160 and 230 are still made up of the same chemistry, I could see but not planning on, the jump from 160 to 230 being less than $10k and then the jump from 230 to 300 being at least $10k ... again it is all still relative figures and estimations on both our and Tesla's parts.

klr6414 | 10 April 2011

Yes I was absolutely surprised when i heard the likely upcharge for longer range. I simply can't believe it should add that much cost. When I reserved my Model S about a month ago, I was told that Tesla had no idea what the added cost would be. I asked and was told that I was correct that it involved adding more battery packs in series. To charge that much is exploitive in my opinion and I am leaning toward canceling my reservation and waiting for something better. I've been driving a 2000 Prius for 10+ years, (50 mpg) and it seems like their is nothing available that much better, in terms of gas mileage now! I want to get completely away from gas but can't justify a car that only get 130 miles per charge or pay 20K more for reasonable range. I am disappointed and frustrated.

jfeister | 10 April 2011

I think you should keep in mind you are paying for cutting edge technology. No other electric car (except the $100k+ Roadster) gets anywhere near the range Tesla is providing. Furthermore, since no one else is providing a competitive product, it's difficult to say whether or not it's exploitive. There's nothing to compare it to so you have no frame of reference.

Since Tesla is a young company and their current financial situation is precarious, it's important for them to charge what people will pay for their products so they can grow into a truly mass market car company we all want them to be. If you don't think it's worth it, don't pay. I don't think Tesla is going to have any trouble finding folks who do think it's worth the price.

ckessel | 10 April 2011

You realize the base car has a longer range than any EV today other than the Roadster?

Tiebreaker | 10 April 2011

I read a lot of complains about larger battery packs costing additional $10K or $20K, but could it be that the longer range battery options also come with a higher level of standard equipment? Like BMWs from 528 to 535 to 550, don't only have larger engines, but better standard equipment.

trydesky | 17 April 2011

I was not surprised by the 10K pricing, but I was disappointed. We all knew it was going to cost more, but the $5K number kept popping up on the boards, so I was really hoping it would be more along those lines. I will make no apologies for TM. Perhaps its a fair price, perhaps is gouging. Hopefully they are setting up room for price negotiation.

Ramon123 | 19 April 2011

Obviously, there was a lot of optimism for a lower added cost for the battery upgrades. I myself made an estimate,but without knowing the costs of the parts that contain the batteries, it was just a guess. Whether Tesla is making a large profit off the batteries, neither I nor anyone else here knows. The great thing about a free market is that, barring monopolies, competition always prevents competitors from pricing stuff way out of line.
Unfortunately, in this case their IS no competition for the Model S. It stands alone, a fact that was pointed out in several stock analyst's reports as a reason for confidence that Tesla will not face competition from BMW or Mercedes for several years. After a couple of worthy competitors are on the scene, THEN we will know exactly what a "fair" price is for the vehicle. Personally, because of the fact that battery prices certainly will be falling,
I'm not rushing to be an early adopter, much as I like the Model S. I really don't see either MB or BMW building anything better, and I KNOW they won't build anything better looking.

Jaffray | 19 April 2011

No one should be surprised at either the 160km base range nor the cost of the increased range battery pack...the information (or very credible estimates) was out there (from various sources)for a while...I think some of you needed to dig a little harder & read a little more.

Timo | 19 April 2011

It was disappointing to read about $10k price increase / battery upgrade.

160 mile battery is about half the size of 300 mile battery, and we know that 300 mile is about 90kWh. That means that 45kWh costs about $20k = $444/Wh. That's the disappointing part, I thought that they have got that around $300-$200 by now.

It also means that entire battery pack price for 300 mile version is around $40k, and that doesn't leave much for rest of the car. Nearly half of the 160mile version car price is caused by that battery. Building a $30k car with reasonable range will be a real challenge unless battery prices go down fast (or energy densities go up). They will eventually, but I think it might take a bit longer than technology allows.

jkirkebo | 20 April 2011

Of the $10k increase, ~$5k is probably additional markup. That makes the cost $222/kWh or around $25k for the whole 90kWh battery ($20k in cells and $5k in packaging).

Kallisman | 21 April 2011

I believe Tesla has calculated that enough ppl are willing to pay $10k for each battery upgrade. They don't need to make it cheap. They need to make as much money as they can to fund development of new models. They don't pay any dividends to stock holders cos they want to funnel as much money as possible back into R&D for making cheaper cars later. Model S is not supposed to be for everyone, but for more ppl than the roadster. I also think the $10-20k for battery upgrades helps keep the price of the base model at a reasonable level.

Volker.Berlin | 2 May 2011

Kallisman +1

Christopher2 | 3 May 2011

I have reserved a Model S. I am wondering if the range is fixed at purchase, or if you can upgrade the range at a later date? My expectation, since the claim is for a 5 minute battery changeout, that the range can be upgraded later if you decide your initial range doesn't meet your need, or your need changes.

David70 | 3 May 2011


The question becomes "How expensive is an upgrade?"

Assuming you have the 160 mile pack and the 230 mile pack is the same chemistry, there would only be the charge for the additional cells.

However, presumably going from 230 mile pack to 300 mile pack involves a chemistry change, and the question becomes "How much of a trade-in do you get for your old pack?"

Wallism | 3 May 2011

I am very surprised that people are berating another electric car just beacause it isn't the one they have chosen. The Tesla Model S car isn't only 2.5 times the cost of the Leaf but it isn't even available yet in the UK. Today I woke to find 116 miles predicted and drove 97 of them. In what way does this make the Nissan Leaf a crap car?

Wallism | 3 May 2011

Did I post this on the wrong thread?

VolkerP | 3 May 2011


yup. tried to find the leaf bashing thread, but found no really harsh statements... the GM Volt receives much more critique in this forum. Most people here like the leaf but want to replace a sedan class car with an EV, not a city commuter.

msiano17 | 3 May 2011


Ya I would agree with VolkerP, there are no real issues with the Leaf regarding its ability as an EV. Most people here either have two different reasons for going for the S over the Leaf ... Range abilities hence the high amount of Sig reservees and inovative Luxury/tech options..

I for one need at least the 160 pack, and I want all sorts of luxury features with my 50k ... get its value out of it

William13 | 4 May 2011

Unfurtunately the Leaf is not yet ready for colder climates. Still a great car/value/product.

Volker.Berlin | 5 May 2011

WRT the Leaf, I found this an interesting read:

(Yeah, I know it's a Tesla forum.)

reinhard | 7 May 2011

Another question to the range:

The published 300miles range of Model S, is this the normal max. range or these "extended range mode or charging mode" where the lifetime of the batterys is going down?

Timo | 7 May 2011

For Roadster you get max range in range mode, so I believe it would be same for Model S.

reinhard | 7 May 2011

is the range mode a special driving mode or how to load the battery?

AlfredG | 7 May 2011 the range mode a special driving mode or how to load the battery?

Bot: In range mode torque is slightly reduced, the battery is charged to a higher level and permits a deeper discharge. Using this mode very frequently would reduce battery life. Typical range differences for the roadster are:
Standard mode charge and driving: 300km (188m)
Range mode charging and driving: 370 Km (231m)
These are so called "ideal ranges" in "Tesla Speak". They are reached with conservative, but fluid driving in an urban-suburban environment. These ranges can easily be driven also by Mr. average, including myself.
- Alfred

neroden | 9 May 2011

What Volker said. I'd probably get a Leaf if I lived in a big city, in a warm climate. But I don't.

I routinely have to make 60 mile trips (120 miles round trip) through the countryside, sometimes longer, and because nobody's pushing to install fast charging stations in this area, I can't guarantee charging availability at my destinations for at least 10 years. So I need a longer range than the Leaf offers.


Regarding battery pricing, new battery tech which substantially lowers price per kWh *WILL* become commercially available in about ten years or so -- I know some of the people working on one design -- but it's certainly not going to be commercially ready in 2012. I'm hoping that with Tesla's plan to have fully swappable battery packs and a battery temperature control system, that they can retune the temperature control system to match the desired running temperature of any new battery type, in which case the car could last a very long time with intermittent, progressively cheaper battery replacements.