advice on buying 2008 model for my daily commute

advice on buying 2008 model for my daily commute

I'm looking at buying a 2008 Roadster, and wanted a bit of advice.

I have a daily commute from Santa Cruz to San Mateo, CA. It's 60 miles each way, over a 2000 ft mountain, 5 days a week. Half the trip is twisty mountain road, and the other half is smooth highways at 75-80 mph.

Should I be avoiding the 1.5-2.0 earlier models (insufficient PEM cooling)?

I want this car because of all of the obvious reasons, but also because it'll give me carpool lane access through 2014. That's just over 100K miles by the end of 2014. Will battery degradation by 2014 be a problem with my range of 120 miles?

If you were buying a low mileage (~5K) used Roadster, is there anything in particular you'd want to assess?


Brian H | March 1, 2011

The mountain roads should be no problem. Can't advise on the PEM; haven't heard of much difficulty in that respect.

Not sure how you get 100K; 120 x 5 x 50 x 3 = 90K, plus 5K = 95K. Plus recreational. (I assumed 50 work/commute weeks. There are also about 8 stat holidays to subtract, or another K or so).

It looks like the guarantees and estimates from Tesla are holding up well, and are perhaps somewhat conservative. I'd think that assuming you don't do any abusive over-charging/over-draining, you'll likely be fine. Your range will probably be down to ~200km or a bit less by then.

Get accurate service info from the Tesla Rangers; make sure there've been no drastic events. Standard procedure with any car, of course.

Earl and Nagin ... | March 2, 2011

You'll never see any PEM problems climbing the 17 grade in a 1.5 Roadster (weakest PEM cooling of any model). I've only seen PEM cooling problems in the high desert (~5000 ft elevation) with temperatures above about 105F on a steep grade in normal driving. I doubt that you'll be able to drive hard enough in your commute to exceed that limit. Beside, if you do overheat the PEM, it will only reduce your performance to that of a normal car until it cools down a bit.
I ascend 3 grades that are nearly as steep as yours every day and the Roadster doesn't even know it and we have much hotter temperatures in SoCal than you do in the Santa Cruz mountains.
You'll love the Roadster as a commute vehicle !!

Scott M | March 4, 2011

Just bought a new one 5 days ago. There was an 18 month old one (#629) for sale in Brentwood. Lots of options, $100K. It's on Decided not to buy it becasue didn't need all of the options. Got a low end new one for similar $. Decided I wanted the newer car with improvements.

mitrovic | March 5, 2011

I have bought a 5500 Km 2010 Roadster Sport and am very happy with it!
When buying, most important for me was that it still has a guarantee from tesla MOtors

Katrina | April 8, 2011

You should have no problem with that commute. I have #455 and I commute from Portola Valley to San Francisco and sometimes all the way to Mill Valley 4 times a week. My car has about 25,000 miles on it. It's never given me a problem. I would change the tires, though. The ones they put on wear out far too quickly and don't give you enough traction in the rain.