Supercharging Hidden Charge for 60 kWh S's?

Supercharging Hidden Charge for 60 kWh S's?

I found some red flags in the press release and Elon's presentation on the Supercharger. The question that is raised is this: Is the Supercharger hardware included in the price of the 60 kWh cars or not?

The press release has a footnote that says, " Supercharging hardware is standard on Model S vehicles equipped with an 85kWh battery and optional on Model S vehicles equipped with a 60 kWh battery." To read it yourself go to the press release and find the footnote about mid-page, just above the "About Model S" subheading. The link is:

In his presentation at the event Elon said, "For cars that have supercharger hardware installed, and that will be the case for the 85 kWh pack, and a small incremental charge for 60 kWh pack you'll be able to travel for free..."

Here's the link to the video. The quote starts at about 7'50" into the video:

I just signed my contract for a 60 kWh S yesterday, and I was counting on being able to take long trips that use the Supercharger. I hope that I misheard and misread. My Tesla configuration rep. is looking into the discrepancy, as it didn't make sense to him either.

By the way, I have strong confidence in Tesla and bought my first TSLA stock on today's dip.

Stu B

Nick Butcher | October 5, 2012

"And with the range of the Leaf - or any other EV but the Model S - that anxiety would be a daily part of life."

... unless you had access to a widely available and effective fast charger network :-)

mrspaghetti | October 5, 2012

@Nick Butcher:

Even fast charging is only practical if you have long range in the first place. Even if it "only" takes 30 minutes to charge half your battery, how often do you want to have to do that? With a car that only has a 60 mile range, it's going to be pretty often. Often enough that I'd never consider buying one.

For the Model S it's fine because you can drive 200+ miles before charging and probably need a food/bathroom/stretch break anyway.

One of the reasons I'm getting the 85kwh battery is so I never have to be late for anything because I had to stop and charge/fill my tank. It's all about convenience - people will pay a lot to get it, or at least to avoid inconvenience.

jat | October 5, 2012

@tesla.mrspaghetti - As a LEAF owner, I completely disagree with you. Once I got comfortable with the car, I haven't worried about range at all. That doesn't mean I don't plan ahead (like charging to 100% instead of 80% when I know I have more errands to run), but it means I am confident to be able to adapt. For example, after driving across town, I found I had to make an unexpected trip out of the way. I knew that would be pushing the range, so I drove 65mph on the interstate instead of 80mph, and didn't even bother trying to charge at my friend's house that would have been possible.

In fact, I have yet to charge anywhere but home overnight (other than plugging in briefly at Walgreens to verify that it worked and was free).

That isn't to say that the LEAF or other shorter-range EV is appropriate for everyone -- if you regularly drive a lot or your schedule isn't predictable then it is going to be a problem. Once I get my Model S and my wife takes the LEAF, then we will have to plan carefully about swapping cars if she needs longer-range travel and for out-of-town trips in the Model S, but I don't think that means the same thing as range anxiety.

Brian H | October 5, 2012

I tend to agree; the logistics for real long-range travel for the 60s just isn't there. Jat is describing the more constrained, mainly local, use of an EV.

The 85s are "over the hump". 60s require more stops and get slower lower charging, and would require 1/3 to 1/2 more stations (closer together) to make long trips.

mrspaghetti | October 5, 2012

@jat: My hat is off to you for having the guts to be an early adopter of EVs. Unfortunately the Leaf is not practical.

You disagree with me because you are a true believer, but by your own admission the car requires that you alter your habits and lifestyle. If EVs are ever to catch on with anyone except hard-core apostles, they need to enable people to live their lives as they already do - or better. If it requires people to sacrifice or adapt around their mode of transportation, it's doomed.

The Leaf is dead, it's just a matter of time.

Brian H | October 5, 2012

Or getting it a battery with 3X the range, minimum.

TeslaLABlue | October 6, 2012

Hmmm now I can decide 60 or 80?

Only 8k diff. I have not signed contract yet but ordered the 60.

Sudre_ | October 6, 2012

The Leaf is not dead until Tesla comes out with a cheaper car. People have to stretch their budget to get a Leaf. They will never be able to cough up the extra money for a base model S. I think Nissan really wants electric cars to work.

For the average two car families people will realize the Model S is too pricey. If you are keeping a gas car the extra $20,000 to do road trips is honestly over priced. WE don't think so because WE really want to push EVs. We already know we are paying a little EV extra and except that to get the movement going. As time passes the Model S will stay in it's price range and features will increase.

The Nissan Leaf is safe if they can improve the range in the next 3 years.

Brian H | October 6, 2012

For you, a special bonus: they'll boost it to 85kWh!!

jkirkebo | October 6, 2012

Also the Leaf can do things the base Model S can't. I routinely drive the ~180 miles to our cabin in the mountains in the Leaf. Since I can choose between more than 10 different CHAdeMO chargers on the route there, I have no problem doing the trip. The 40kWh Model S would take forever, having to charge at 3.7kW for at least 5 hours en route.

I am of course getting a Model S, but less than 85kWh battery was never an option. This will put the price at about 2,3x what I paid for the Leaf. My wife is thrilled about getting full time access to the Leaf though :)

Now here's a though: Please offer EU versions with newer 3400mAh cells, putting total capacity at ~93kWh. I'll offer to pay at least $5k extra for those 8kWh ;)

Alex K | October 6, 2012

@jkirkebo | OCTOBER 6, 2012: The 40kWh Model S would take forever, having to charge at 3.7kW for at least 5 hours en route.

I don't know what charging stations you have there (maybe only CHAdeMO), but the 40kWh Model S can be configured with twin chargers and charge at 20kW.

jkirkebo | October 6, 2012

At this point the only common charging points here are either CHAdeMO or 16A 230V sockets (3.7kW). Well, we do have some 32A three-phase 400V sockets (22kW, either CEE or Mennekes) too, at a staggering total of three locations in the whole country ;)

mrspaghetti | October 6, 2012

Sudre_ | OCTOBER 6, 2012

...WE don't think so because WE really want to push EVs. We already know we are paying a little EV extra and except that to get the movement going.

Your assumption is incorrect.

I couldn't care less about EVs or any such movement. I'm buying the car because it's better. It offers me better convenience - I don't ever have to stop and "fill up" again, unless I'm on a long road trip. It offers me a quiet ride unlike any other. It performs better than anything I'd get for comparable money (taking lifetime gasoline costs into account). It has more storage and comfortable seating for 5 (or even 7 with the jump seats). It should be better in reliability since it has so many fewer moving parts and is fundamentally simpler in design. It is beautiful (unlike, IMO, the butt-ugly Leaf or most other freaky-looking EVs).

I'm not convinced transitioning to EVs is in any way better for the environment, will bring peace on earth or any other such BS. Maybe it is, but that possibility would not be enough to make me pay a dime extra for the car.

The reason Tesla will succeed where other EV manufacturers won't is because the car actually is better and people "outside the church" will buy it. If your business model is to get a small, fringe group of people to pay more for a car based on "eco feel-goodness", and have the other 99% of the public ignore it because it's not as good as the alternatives, you're doomed to fail. That appears to be the business model for Nissan and every other EV maker until now.

So despite being extremely under-represented on these forums, Tesla is going to succeed because the Model S appeals to people like me.

Timo | October 6, 2012

tesla.mrspaghet... +1 an all points. It just is better.

mrspaghetti | October 6, 2012

virtualarry | OCTOBER 6, 2012
Hmmm now I can decide 60 or 80?

Only 8k diff. I have not signed contract yet but ordered the 60.

If you can afford the 85kwh battery, I think it's a no-brainer.

pbrulott | October 7, 2012

Wow. Just coming back from a well earned vacation to see flury of bad reactions over the $2K SC H/W, S/W and access fees for 60kWh.

Somebody asked when the website was first shown with "Hardware included" on the 60kWh pack. It was August 10th. Following that update, I created a post "Supercharger hardware for 60kWh pack included. Thanks TM!"... Lots of people reacted positively at the time just to be heavily deceived with the latest pricing announcement and change in the hardware inclusion. Personnally, it only makes my decision easier not to get SC option.

Moreover, I am still on the fence about the SC announcement anyway. Think it was a non-announcment for a lot of the reservation holders as SCs won't be installed in many regions until 5-6 years if ever. Living in Montreal, Canada, i am far than convinced SC will make it to the Quebec-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Boston-NewYork corridors.

Brian H | October 8, 2012

There are two planned for that corridor by the end of 2013. More later.