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10K for every additional 70 mile !!

10K for every additional 70 mile !!

Now that was a shocker for me. 20K above base price for 300 miles battery pack is very steep pricing option. At this pricing I am not sure what the cost would be to change the entire battery pack, my estimation is at least 40K, not 5-10K that Tesla says.

qwk | March 7, 2011

Tesla has never said a replacement battery is going to be 5-10k.

The pricing released today seems inline with estimates and is fair IMO.

t7n7 | March 7, 2011

i estimated it to be around 7.5 years worth of gas.... now compare this with charging the 160mile variant overnight everyday... the cost of electricity goes beyond 20 years... only to say that.. the 300mile variant is no different then a person wanting to spend an extra 20000$ for a 760li bmw vs a 750.... pleasure and convenience... money is out of the question!

Kallisman | March 7, 2011

I agree with qwk. This is new technology, especially the 300 mile battery, so it will cost quite a bit in the beginning. In a few years after the launch I expect the prices to drop when the production and competition increase. It is tempting to have the biggest and best from the start, but if you only need it occasionally it's probably a bad investment. Better to make other arrangements for those rare occasions. I'm sure someone will let you borrow their ICE-car if they get to use your Tesla. If you do long travels on a regular basis, and can't afford the big battery pack, then maybe the best is to wait a few years and save money while u wait.

Tim10 | March 7, 2011

I had hoped for less than 10k an upgrade but it's what I was expecting. 160mi pack will still bemore than enough for 95% of my driving needs.

Sudre_ | March 7, 2011

I was debating just getting the 160 mile battery anyway then buying an upgrade in a few years... this just decided that....

dasky4eva | March 7, 2011

Sudre, I'm with you. Not sure I can upgrade to the 230 mile version for $10,000.

jfeister | March 7, 2011

It is a bit higher than I was expecting as well, but Tesla has probably done the research and knows how much people will spend to have the newest and/or best of something. Much like Apple gouged the first people to buy an iPhone, Tesla knows they can gouge the first 1,000 buyers for a "Signature" version. Pretty smart if you ask me.

Mehdi | March 7, 2011

I'm not surprised at the pricing.
What I am confused with is the announcement that 160 mile packs will be delivered after the 230 and 300. That would mean you can reserve your Model S next year, get the 230 pack and get in front of people who reserved two years ago and want the 160 mile pack. Where do production numbers come in then.
Gougeing is never a SMART move and I hope this is not a Marketing ploy to make people pay more to get their cars sooner. Tesla so far has been very fair so I think some clarification is needed here.

ckessel | March 7, 2011

I'm sure they'll go in order. It just happens that if you have an early P number and want a 160 battery, that's not an option. Just like AWD isn't an option or super sport. It's not that other people can buy their way forward (other than reserving a Sig), but that the people in front of them have to choose to defer until smaller battery options are available.

2bular | March 7, 2011

It figures! People around the world want to do the right thing like buy an eco-friendly car that goes farther than the corner and CAN NOT because of the cost. This once again proves that most companies are more interested in making a massive profit on the few early adopters rather than make a reasonable profit on the masses. This was a fantastic opportunity for many people to tell the oil commodity brokers where to stick it, but it looks like that is once again on hold while the public continues to be raked over the coals. Thanks Tesla for another dream spilled in the oil fields.

nlukin | March 7, 2011

I was told by Tesla CSR that I can downgrade the options for my Signature Series. Hopefully, I will be able to get my signature with 230 or 160 mile pack. Not sure what this would do to my delivery timing.

mb | March 7, 2011

....throwing my voice in with a bit of outrage on the $20k up-charge for a 300mile pack. We frequently drive 180 miles which renders the standard 160 pack a non-starter. $10k bump for an extra 50 miles and then another $10k for 70more.

OUCH!!! This is NOT good.

We need (psychologically) the 300mile range. But $77k for the S with 300mile range is also NO-GO, even after the $7500 credit brings it to ~$70k - that's a STEEEEEEEEEP ticket.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE rethink these optional pack prices - or you may lose more customers than you suspect. Us early adopters are key - don't blow it now when we're getting so close.

Mehdi | March 7, 2011

@ckessel, That is incorrect, production number will NOT be in order.
I Just had a conversation with Tesla customer support and was told that Reservation numbers are LOOSE SUGGESTIONS. Anyone who is willing to pay $10,000, $20,000 more for the packs will move up their delivery date. That means even if they are number 10,000 and reserve it next January and buy the 230 mile battery pack they will get their Model S before me. I'm 1858 and reserved mine a year ago and want the 160 mile pack.
Tesla will NOT honor Reservation numbers and deliver cars in order. If this policy is not changes I WILL be canceling my reservation. I will buy the first NON-TESLA electric car on the market.

Douglas3 | March 7, 2011

Whoa guys, it's not surprising that Tesla can't offer all three pack sizes in the very first release. But they're promising the smaller packs in fairly short order. They've got a huge task on their hands getting this car to market -- a lot of balls in the air all at once -- and I'm sure they're doing their very best.

Personally, I'm very excited that the 300 mile pack will be available right away. It gives the Model S huge "street" cred to have the 300 mile range - far beyond any competitors. It will be a truly practical everyday vehicle. This has got to be great news for the future of EVs.

William13 | March 7, 2011

The battery costs are exactly as I predicted. Mehdi please relax. From the posts there will be few opting for the 300 mile pack. I however will call tomorrow to reserve a signature also since it will have the 300 mile option. My p number will later vanish and it is unlikely that your deliver time will be altered by more than several weeks by the battery size prioritization.

As someone else pointed out, they are following the Apple model. They are starting high and then going lower cost. They need to maximize profits and prove that their cars work or they will not survive. They lost over $50,000,000 in the last quarter gearing up. The roadster started out costing $120,000 to build each car. The corporation's directors were probably ecstatic when production costs dropped to $80,000. They probably declined to lose money on each Model S sold.

Why do you think no one else is offering 300 miles? It costs a lot.

Anyway I am excited to have the 300 mile version available without waiting until my 230 mile battery is partially worn out and needing replacement.

William13 | March 7, 2011

More to the point of the original post, the replacement costs should go down every year as the cost of batteries declines and the technology improves.

Tom A | March 7, 2011

The Roadster has an optional battery pack replacement warranty that is $12k. If my memory is serving me, it guarantees replacement at no additional cost after 5 or 7yrs (I forget which) or a number of miles that I don't remember, whichever comes first. Check out the Roadster pages. That's a sweet deal. If I had over $110k sitting around for a Roadster, I'd make sure to have $12k more for the warranty.

It is safe to assume that the Model S will have the same thing, probably different prices depending upon your selected battery pack option.

I do not know if/when Tesla would provide battery tech upgrades or different battery pack capacity upgrades/downgrades as options with these battery pack warranties. At this point, I doubt it.

It probably all depends on the construction of the car. The battery packs are integral to the structure of the vehicle. That much we know.

Given Tesla's focus on simplicity and modular design, I would assume that the battery pack region of the car is the same size, and each battery pack size/capacity is designed to fit appropriately for weight distribution, structural integrity, etc. As a corollary to that assumption, the structural integrity of the car, including suspension, etc., would be designed for the 300-mile pack, and therefore would be safe to handle the smaller packs.

However, since the production is being pushed around as a function of battery pack option, then my above assumption might be incorrect. Maybe the car is built with the selected battery pack, and that's all it will take. I hope that's not the case. It could be a PR decision - getting the high-mileage models out first. It could be that the 160 pack isn't developed as far as the others, perhaps for the same reason. Who knows.

It would be awesome if the Model S was capable of upgrade/downgrade at the time of replacement, where you'd pay the difference for the upgrade or get a refund for the difference for the downgrade. Such flexibility would probably increase sales. It certainly would be unique - Ford Focus EV and Nissan Leaf don't have such options, and the Volt certainly doesn't.

Discoducky | March 7, 2011

From my experience in the computer industry...I personally think that it's a bold move by Tesla to offer the 300mile battery out of the gate for several reasons.

1. In flexing their engineering prowess. No one has even come close to offering that kind of mileage in 2012. I just wonder what the EPA sticker will say. If it is like the Volt and Leaf the supposed 300mile battery will get a rating of 220 to 285.

2. TAM - Their Technical Addressable Market is vastly reduced **IF** they don't put up the big interior spec's. Read bigger than the competition A6, E-Class and BMW 5 series.

3. TTM - There will however be several EV's competing for the TAM in 2013 in the 160mile range. So time to market is better served by shipping at least *some* 160mile packs.

4. Orphaning early adopters in a reservation system is going to put a black mark on their reputation. Why do this when you have the backing of the DOT and Toyota money?

5. SKU differentiation vs. retail pricing of each pack does not seem to be inline with technology or social needs. AKA, the 160mile pack is more cost effective, better yields in manufacturing and should therefore drive margins for the whole vehicle.

Net net is there is something else going on like, I imagine, BOM reductions realized in the short term due to the hard and fast bottom line price point that Elon has communicated. Read "we advertised a price point we cannot deliver day 1, but can take advantage of 'range anxiety' to shore up margin by delivering higher SKU's day 1"

Volker.Berlin | March 8, 2011

Ok, guys, welcome to reality... There is really nothing to fret about, it all makes total sense. The only shocker is that they will have the 300 mile option ready from the start of the Model S. That is a fantastic achievement.

WRT the order of delivery, it's the "secret Tesla master plan" again (or the Apple principle, if you will).

They are starting high and then going lower cost. They need to maximize profits and prove that their cars work or they will not survive. (William13)

Going from there, and given that they actually can deliver a 300 mile battery pack, it is obvious. Think about it: You could as well complain that they had the Roadster ready before the Model S, and that they did not start out with Blue Star, anyway. But they needed the Roadster to build a reputation and to establish a market for serious all-electric vehicles, and they need the 300 mile battery pack again to be taken seriously by the market. I totally agree with ckessel:

It just happens that if you have an early P number and want a 160 battery, that's not an option. Just like AWD isn't an option or super sport. It's not that other people can buy their way forward (other than reserving a Sig), but that the people in front of them have to choose to defer until smaller battery options are available. (ckessel)

WRT pricing, you got to get back down to earth. No competitor can offer anything remotely comparable at any price. There must be a reason for this: Tesla has worked really hard and invested more money earlier into battery technology than others dared to invest. How can you blame them if they do not give that away for free? You really leave me wondering... Please note: Tesla will not be able so save the planet if they do not respect their own business model -- because they would simply cease to exist before they even get around to say "Blu Star".

Yes, I would like a Model S with 300 mile option at a price point of the Honda Civic. Who wouldn't. But it does not work. If you want Tesla to be successful, you have to grant that they did some things right in the past and you must accept that they continue to do it their way now. That's very much a response to Discoducky. Your analyses makes sense in itself but it just does not apply to Tesla. It is the same thinking that led many, many, many other manufacturers of electric vehicles to fail before finally Tesla tried to approach the market the other way around.

Whew. Long post. Don't get me started... Have a nice day!

William13 | March 8, 2011

Volker EU#P1,

Well said.

Kallisman | March 8, 2011

I think it makes sense that they will group the production of different battery options. Battery pack is a big part of the car, and making many cars in a row with similar specs is much easier logistically, then making every other car different. I don't think they will continue production of the 300 mile pack cars until they run out of orders, then make all the 230 mile cars until they run out of orders for that before they do all the 160 mile cars. They will probably set a reasonable limit so that they can have effective production without making customers wait too long. Anyway, time will show. I don't worry about it so far.

Mike_ModelS_P457 | March 8, 2011

@Volker, well done indeed. I've long expected to get the 300, even considered a signature model. I did think there would be fallout from the timing (using my marketing head), but given they are giving the userbase / reservation holders a year to absorb the impact should be limited.

Were I thinking 160 I'd likely be a little pissed, but business needs always trump emotion of a small slice of the potential customer base.

Dan5 | March 8, 2011

Here's another thought. Yes, it does seem like a hefty premium for the 300 mile battery pack, but your are also paying for less charging. Charging also degrades the battery to a certain degree so wouldn't a larger battery range mean less battery degradation? and if that is the case, that would mean that you would not have to replace the battery as often?
I my mind, I'm trying to justify to myself whether or not to go with the 300 mile, 230 or 160. Right now, it's kind of up in the air. If it was 10 K more for the 300, I'd buy it in a heartbeat, but 20 is a questionable utility unless gas goes to $5/gallon

jkirkebo | March 9, 2011

If all you really need is 230 miles of range the 300 mile battery should last you quite a few years more before needing replacing.

Say you need at least 70% of 230 miles which is 161 miles of range. The 230 battery might last 6-10 years (who knows for sure) before reaching that point.
However, 161 miles from the 300 mile battery is only ~54% capacity. the extra 16% should buy you at least two more years (?) of use for your $10k, in addition to never needing to use range mode which might buy you even more time. Two years later the battery replacement should also be cheaper.

David70 | March 9, 2011

The good news is they're letting you purchase the 300 mile pack right away. The bad news is that I'm not sure I can justify it anymore. We've just started snow birding. That means a round trip between Eastern Washington (Spokane area) and Southern California (Palm Springs area) at least once a year. The 300 mile pack seemed like a bare minimum. With the 230 mile pack (~185 miles between charging) it would require careful planning and as much time charging as traveling. Probably at least a week traveling, vs my current two or three days. If I purchase something as expensive as a Tesla, I wouldn't want to leave it home alone 5 months of the year.

I'm having enough trouble convincing my wife of a $50,000 purchase, let alone $70,000.

I have no idea the actual cost of 70 miles of pack, but if it is $10,000, then Tesla is practically giving away the standard pack.

Now I'm going to have to determine if I'm going to give up on the Tesla and settle for a Nissan Leaf, which I wouldn't feel as badly about leaving home.

BladeRunnings | March 9, 2011

When I first came to this website about a year and a half ago I was very excited to see the Model S listed with a 300 mile range, 0-60 acceleration time of 5.6 seconds, and a price of $49,500 (at least I could have sworn it said $49,500, not $49,900 after the federal credit). Even after hearing that price would be for the 160 mile pack I was hopeful the 300 mile pack wouldn't be much more. $70,000 is not only too much for me to justify, but it's simply more than what I can afford to spend on a car.

My plan now is to drive my current car as far as it will go and hopefully, in about 3-5 years, the Model S (or a similar EV) will be available for around $50,000 with at least a 300 mile battery pack.

Sudre | March 9, 2011

Actually if you can wait 5 years there might be a new cheaper model.
I don't think my current car is going to make it so I am getting one ASAP.... which is still probably 18 months away or more..... praying my current car hangs in there.

cablechewer | March 9, 2011

My car will be 14 when this ships. I was hoping to get the 300 mile version because it can meet all but one of my needs. However $77K plus HST in Ontario is going to be painful and for that I don't get any other options. I am thinking a second charger at my parent's place and the shorter range battery might be the cheaper, but less convenient way to go...

Just have to see what money I can save in the next year or two...

Ramon123 | March 9, 2011

I believe that the only change is that the first 1000 will be sig series w/300 mile pack. According to my calcs, the cost of the extra batteries is running $575 per kWhr, as installed in the car.
I think Toyoda claimed Tesla was buying cells for less than $300
per kWhr, but he may have mispoken and I don't know how much extra cost is required for all that's needed to construct the pack.
I have argued that the 300 mile pack makes travel relatively
painless, assuming the presence of level 3 charging stations at frequent intervals. The 230 mile pack can, of course handle trips, but you're talking one less hour of driving between recharge stops. One things for certain : around town the 230 mile pack is plenty large enough. So unless you travel quite a bit, and travel over 500 miles at a crack, I'd go for the 230 mile pack. Additional cells can be added later, when costs go down.

msiano17 | March 9, 2011

chargeme

i believe you are correct in it not being possible to 'simply' add new cells to the existing pack but I do know for sure that you are welcome to upgrade your entire battery system for the latest technology whenever you would like

for instance, 2012 you buy the 160 model since that is all you need but in 2022 your battery is starting to loose its luster and they now have a swappable battery pack that has a 800 mile charge to it ... you can just buy the battery pack ... realistically you are getting nearly a whole new car for another 10 years or so

Vawlkus | March 10, 2011

Might even have a recycling program for batteries by then. Turn in your old pack for a rebate on your new, bigger battery pack

VolkerP | March 11, 2011

Where is Tesla today with model S?
They have 250 signature reservations (reservation fee US$ 50k, sales price 80k) and 4100 R and P reservation (fee 5k, sales price 57k-77k).
Totals are: 4350 cars reserved, US$ 33m fees paid, US$ 294.7m sales to come.
Production for 2012 is nearly reserved (not: sold). Reservations were between 75/month and 100/week recently. It is plausible that reservations will increase again, when Beta models are available for test drives. Tesla may "sell" complete 2013 production before even starting to produce in mid 2012.

So, price doesn't seem to be a problem here. A LOT of people will want a Model S and are ready to pay around US$ 70k.

Sudre | March 11, 2011

If you think that Tesla is just sticking it in your rear for a battery then go to Walgreens (convenience store) when they are having a sale and purchase 12000 1.5 volt, 2450mAh rechargeable AA batteries and build your own battery pack. That will make about a 44kWatt battery.

At $8 for a pack of 4 that would be only $24,000. We'll call that a 160 mile pack altho I doubt it will make it that far.

Your 300 mile pack would then cost you $48,000.

The point of this post is just to give people a perspective on battery costs. Not to insinuate a price that Tesla is paying for batteries.
That's using old tech that's been around for at least 6 years so the costs should be considered cheap...
These AA batteries used to cost $19.95 for a pack of 4.

Nicu | March 12, 2011

@ Vawlkus

Tesla already has a recycling program both in US and Europe. Here is the link for the one in Belgium
http://www.teslamotors.com/about/press/releases/tesla-launches-battery-r...

and here both are better explained
http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/teslas-closed-loop-battery-recycling-pro...

Leofingal | March 12, 2011

Frankly, I would guess that if I buy my 160 mile S, in 7 years when my pack is down to 70% most likely some 300 or 230 mile packs will become available on some sort of trade in since those owners will need/want to upgrade their battery packs to new or even longer range packs that will inevitably become available by then. a 230 mile pack at it's 7 year 70% level would be like a "new" 160 mile pack, and a used 300 mile pack would theoretically still have a 210 mile range. That said, I'm not sure what the battery life decay curve looks like, but this feels like a viable option for me as I really don't need more than 100 miles per day more than once a year, at which point I can borrow my wife's ICE car, and she can have fun with the Tesla!

In the second and even more likely case, some big advances in battery technology are likely to happen in the 3 - 4 year range, and I would guess that the people who are willing to pay for the 300 mile pack now will be likely to reinvest in longer range packs when they become available. Once again, this means for those of us that are patient, we may get access to "used" 300 mile packs at a very favorable trade in price either through Tesla or owners clubs.

Just remember that many "Early Adopters" of technology also tend to buy gen 2 products as well (think iphone/ipad) and those of us that are not likely to buy a second vehicle so fast may benefit greatly from their upgrading. I really doubt it will be nearly as hard to get your battery upgraded in the long run as people are making it sound.

Bobfitz1 | March 12, 2011

Seems to me that Tesla has decided to err on the side of overcharging customers for the 230 and 300 mile battery packs. The size, plumbing, sensors, etc. are going to be the same for all three packs (I don't know this for a fact, but it seems very likely). The cost difference to Tesla would only be the additional cells and whatever labor is involved in packing the cells into the packs internal structures. I'd wager that their claim they must initially deliver cars with one pack (300)rather than any of the three is driven by cash flow considerations not manufacturing issues. Bringing a new from scratch car design to mass production is hugely expensive and risky for a company without deep cash reserves. While I don't like getting less range or overly expensive longer range, I'm willing to respect Tesla's cash flow imperatives. The real test will come in the first few years after introduction, when we'll see if they quickly let battery tech improvements and cost reductions trickle down to the customers or continue to soak us.

William13 | March 12, 2011

Leofingal, as an early adopter I would say that you are right. I will be trading my 300 mile pack for a 500 or 600 mile pack when available. Note I did not say " if.".

I continue to be amazed at the comments that say, suggest, or imply that Tesla is overcharging. No one else is making a real attempt at producing long range, full scope of driving BEVs because of the high cost. Thus the cost is high.

msiano17 | March 13, 2011

@ William13

I agree with the pricing options. They [Tesla] have thrown out an estimate of $10k bump for every 70mile increase in battery power but have not finalized anything. And if it ends up being exactly that, who cares, people are willing to pay that much for one and two just charge your car each night and you'll have 160 miles each morning.

Lastly, Sudre clearly pointed out the cost of having that much battery capacity is $48k .. it may be retail price but it sounds like a pretty close estimate of how much it could be costing since that is the most expensive part of the vehicle.

It is an innovative, never before seen car, initial costs are always high. Its how business works.