is TESLA good for me?

is TESLA good for me?

I drive 45000-50000 miles per year and its all within 40 miles of Chicago. I am home every night so charging at home is not a problem. Problem is sometimes I put 200 and sometimes I put 300 miles per day so there would be days when I would have to do mid day charging. I drive Lincoln MKS which gets 22MPG now so I spend well over $1000 in fuel per month plus sythentic oil change $100 per month. Is tesla good for me? How reliable would this car be since I would have like 200K miles in three years or so.

Bighorn | December 15, 2013

Sounds like a great way to save a bunch of cash if you have a good mid-day charging solution for your long days.

Tâm | December 15, 2013


Because you drive a lot, it is way cheaper to get a Tesla.

Informally, Tesla has moved away from limited mile warranty with an 85 kWh (you can get a verbal or written e-mail on this.) That means 8 years with unlimited miles top-to-bottom warranty except for the rubber tires.

Consumer Reports got it a 99% owners reliability satisfaction rate but just like anything, a car can break down, and Service Center can fix them easily and they can give you a loaner while it's in service so you can continue on your unlimited miles.

Make sure you buy pre-paid services all you can get: 8 years AND rangers (so they can go to your place, instead of you going to Service Center).

Bighorn | December 15, 2013

Rangers come to your house for any issues already, gratis. I think service is better left to the service center so they can do everything, such as the alignment, so I see no point in paying for the ranger service. Rangers are somewhat limited in the field. And years 4-8 comprehensive warranty costs $4K.

mcfadyena | December 15, 2013

@Tam - where can I find info on this unlimited warranty? I've only been told that it's up to 160,000 KM.
I take delivery on Friday. Drive as much as the OP.

Thanks in advance.

Bighorn | December 15, 2013

From the Tesla website:

4 year or 50,000 mile, whichever comes first, new vehicle limited warranty
60 kWh battery has an 8 year or 125,000 mile, whichever comes first, warranty
85 kWh battery has an 8 year, unlimited mile warranty

Tâm | December 15, 2013


It has been discussed many times, included:

You can read from Ownership Experience e-mail:

"You are correct, the mileage stipulations have been removed."

They still insist that you stick to the time (maximum absenteeism for the service center is 1 year, unlimited miles).

mcfadyena | December 15, 2013

Thanks, Tam. I appreciate the information.

It has been discussed a number of times, but I just purchased and was told that there was no unlimited KM warranty. Checking with my DS and Service folks now.

@Bighorn. Thanks for the info. I was wondering about the bumper to bumper mentioned above.

redacted | December 15, 2013

The unlimited mile warranty is top-to-bottom on the BATTERY only. So it's really only about 4" thick.

For the rest of the car, original warranty is 50,000mi/4 years, extension warranty is $4000 for the next 50,000mi/4 years.

dario.d | December 15, 2013

Yes ONLY battery has 8 years warranty. All fancy door handles, power windows, tablet, lighthing etc is for 4 years or 50000 miles warranty. Dont think that when you reach 56K miles and your power window does not work they will fix it for free.

dario.d | December 15, 2013

Still debating if I should buy tesla. 50K miles per year is a lot. Is EV car ready for that?

Bighorn | December 15, 2013

RIght, mileage is your main concern. The extended warranty for $4K takes comprehensive out to 100,000 miles. | December 15, 2013

I don't do quite as much mileage as you, but should hit 100K miles in four years. I don't have doubts about the longevity of the Model S and I think you will find it saves you significant money on gas and maintenance.

I would check a couple of things:
1) Establish how quickly you need to charge and make sure you can support home charging that meets your driving needs. A 40A NEMA 14-50 connector will take 9 hours to put 270 miles of range on your car. If that's not fast enough, you may want look at dual chargers and a HPWC.

2) Check the SuperCharger maps and sites like PlugShare to make sure there is midday charging available in the areas you will be driving.

3) Might want to check out adding solar to further offset your utility bills.


mallynb | December 15, 2013

dario.d --
"Sometimes" you drive 200-300 miles per day? How often? Are these days planned or unplanned routes? Alternatives, in addition to finding a source of mid-day charging, include keeping the MKS or renting a car to use on those long distance days. Good luck with figuring out your best approach. Enjoy your Model S!

dario.d | December 15, 2013

These days are usually planned but I can reschedule to recharge but it would have to be like maybe two hour break to get like 100 miles. Keep extra car is not an option because of rules. There is supercharging station coming to Chicago area in one month not exactly sure where. Besides supercharger what is second fastest way to charge? I heard wallgreens chargers add 5 miles per hour and that would not be enough. If I order car soon I would get whatever option charger there is to make charging faster. At current rate in Illinois it would cost me about $9 to charge it at home from empy to full overnight.

Panoz | December 15, 2013

You would be right at the edge of Tesla range, probably less in cold weather/traffic jams. Per your comment, you MUST have access to high-voltage charging (40 amp or more) during the day or you're likely to have no reserve or be stranded on the side of the road.

Bighorn | December 15, 2013

HPWC will get you close to 60 miles added per hour.

lobo426 | December 15, 2013

@dario, go for it, you'll have your work cut out for you to get on the big board!

Kleist | December 15, 2013

@dario.d - is the MS the right car for you? The answer is simple - it improves the quality of your life. Unexpected to me the driving stress is so much less in the MS then any other car. We go twice a month to the in-laws ( 200 miles RT ) and it was always a hassle with the Mercedes do we have to go? Now it is lets go and my wife and I are fighting who is allowed to drive ( I let her drive most of the time because I have the car all week ).
My suggestion is to keep your Lincoln for the sometimes days, but I bet you will find a way to make all of your days to fit the MS.

SJones | December 15, 2013

@dario.d-I'm from the Northern Suburbs and love my S! Not sure where you are driving but there are a lot of chargers around you can used when you are in at meetings etc. can help you locate them. There are some 70-80 amp chargers, those will give you about 50 mph charge rate, and there are some chademo, which will charge at about 140 mph(you will need an adapter from Tesla). And, yes, there will be some superchargers soon. If you ever venture North there is one going in at the Highland Park service center, and there will be 'a few' in the city. You should go for it!

Chunky Jr. | December 15, 2013

Could you rent a car the days you need to drive 300 miles?

JstACarGuy | December 15, 2013

I've got my car for 2 weeks and put on 2k miles so far. Love the car, and only used a supercharger for a long trip. Otherwise home and infrequent plugshare works for me. Love the ride!

dario.d | December 15, 2013

Thanks for your reply. How many miles can you add at one hour of charging at starions listed on Sorry chunky car will have special livery plates and rentals cant be used.

Jewsh | December 15, 2013

You are the ideal Model S owner. :-)

Tâm | December 15, 2013

@dario: lists most public chargers and currently they are at a maximum of 30 amperes which get you about 15 EPA rated miles per hour.

NEMA 14-50 50 amperes from RV parks get you about 30 miles per hour.

Superchargers get your empty battery to 1/2 full in less than 1/2 hour.

My work is only 9 miles from home, but I go meetings quite a lot for the past 11 months. 400 or more each way (almost 900 miles per round trip). My odometer is now more than 29,000 miles. I don't have another car. This is my only car. And I haven't used one single drop of gasoline so far!

Bighorn | December 15, 2013

plugshare is just a way for average folks to offer up their charging stations or find public stations--variable mix of kWs

Jewsh | December 15, 2013

@ Tam:

"My odometer is now more than 29,000 miles. I don't have another car. This is my only car. And I haven't used one single drop of gasoline so far!"

That is amazing! You got to drive a great car and pay much less for fuel vs an ICE vehicle. :-)

dario.d | December 15, 2013

I see there will be chademo adapter available for tesla. There are few chademo statiins by my routes and it says you get 170 miles for hour of charging. That would make my mid charging easy

SJones | December 15, 2013

Yep, sounds like you looked at the chargepoint website some. the Chademo adapter is coming soon(should be a moth or two), listed here( Otherwise, charging rates vary between charger setups. If you had your car setup with dual chargers you could also use 70-80 amp systems (or a HPWC, which will give you 50-60 mph charge, which could also be useful. I'm sure the downtown Tesla guys could help you locate some chargers too, there super helpful (and maybe give a hint on the future supercharger)

SJones | December 15, 2013

oops, sorry, mis read and thought you couldn't find the adapter.

jbunn | December 15, 2013


One of our members here already has 50,000 miles on his Tesla. He's in love.

I would also say if you spend 1100 a month in gas, you are prime Tesla material.

robert | December 15, 2013

I don't think I have ever read a post with a more clear-cut answer to your question:


Think of the fantastic amounts of CO2 you save the world from. Only that.

And you can do 300 miles, if you drive as several persons recommend.

It would seem to me that yours is the very situation that Tesla dreamed the car up for.

Do it!!!

shop | December 15, 2013

I think the answer is yes. Get one with an HPWC and dual chargers, and then get the CHAdeMo adapter when it comes out.

Any available Supercharger or CHAdeMO will give you mid day charging without even having to wait long at all (10-30 minutes).

An HPWC will help at home with 60 miles of recharge in an hour.

And there may be 70 amp public J1772 chargers around that would give you about 50 miles per hour.

Do some research of likely routes and charging stations.

As far as wear and tear on the car, all indications are that this car can take more abuse than an ICE. Certainly the motor and drivetrain will last a lot longer than an ICE engine. And the battery has an 8 year unlimited warranty.

Let us know if you decide to pull the trigger!

mcfadyena | December 16, 2013

Just heard back from Tesla Toronto regarding warranty. As suspected, the KM/Mileage is still not unlimited.

"I haven't heard anything about them taking the mileage out of the question on the extended warranty. My understanding is that it is still the 160km/8years whatever comes first. I'll confirm with service but that's something I think I would have heard about it if was officially changed."

To the OP - I spend $650/month on gas. This is why I went with the Tesla. Delivery Friday, and I couldn't be more happy with the decision.

Rocky_H | December 16, 2013

Andrew M, could you specify what type of warranty you are talking about? I think this issue is getting confused. The Tesla website still says "85 kWh battery has an 8 year, unlimited mile warranty." The battery warranty is for unlimited mileage, but the overall warranty of the car, doesn't seem to be unlimited mileage. I think on a few forum threads there are issues of the people writing thinking of one thing, while the people reading it are thinking of a different thing.

Tâm | December 16, 2013


This dashboard picture below with 50,001 miles in less than a year belongs to My5bAby posted at Tesla Motors Club:

This dashboard below with 29,29682 miles is my very own car in less than a year:

These 2 pictures above say: distance is not an excuse!

Rocky_H | December 16, 2013

Since Superchargers are far above any other method of charging when you're out and about, I thought I should throw this out there for Dario. There is a new Tesla Service Center that should be opening in about another week or so in Highland Park, IL, and it will have four Supercharger stations out front.

So Dario, if your driving all around the Chicago area takes you close enough that you could swing by Highland Park for a 20-30 minute stop on those long 300 mile days, you should be golden.!

Low CG | December 16, 2013

No brainer.

mcfadyena | December 16, 2013

@Rocky - I wasn't the one who brought up the unlimited warranty in this thread. @Tam did. I questioned where he got the info and was told it "had been discussed at length" and then provided with a link and a quote that said the mileage stipulation had been removed.

I was told directly by Tesla that it hadn't been removed, so I checked with the Toronto team today. I posted their response.

My belief from the start was that the battery on the 85 was 8 years unlimited. And the information I was told about the mileage stipulations being removed was refuted by Tesla.

mcfadyena | December 16, 2013

Dario - did you decide yet?!

Tâm | December 16, 2013


Andrew is right about the source which comes from:

smd | NOVEMBER 2, 2013
I emailed ownership about this a few months ago and got an email confirmation that the mileage stipulation has been lifted.


Hi Jim,

Thank you for contacting Tesla Motors. Derek here with the Ownership Experience team. You are correct, the mileage stipulations have been removed. You are free to bring in your vehicle once per year, regardless of mileage with your 4-year plan. If you have any other questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to reach out to me directly at (650)681-6788.


Derek Shu | Ownership Experience Advocate
3500 Deer Creek Road | Palo Alto, CA 94304 | (877)79-TESLA


Please note that this has not been formalized and it is not reflective on any documentation that you can see.

BUT you can hear from the horses' mouth first :)

dario.d | December 17, 2013

Andrew M i have still not pulled plug. Still thinking if it is right thing to do. If i do go for it it would be after new year. Just worried about charging network speed and being charged so much daily flr my use how will my battery last.

Mathew98 | December 17, 2013

@Dario - If you do drive 50K miles per year and TM offers 8 yrs/unlimited miles protection for the battery, what is keeping you from the purchase?

How many vehicles out there have warranty for their power train for 400K miles? As far as I know, the most generous one is 10 years or 100K miles. You would blow through the warranty on standard ICE cars in just 2 years.

MacDaddyDude | December 17, 2013

@Dario - your range is also very dependent on how you drive. If you're having lots of fun, or in a hurry, or speeding down the highway...your range will suffer...a lot. If you are using surface streets, driving around 40mph, going easy on the acceleration, and making good use of regen then your range could easily extend beyond 300 miles.

We've had our S85 for less than a month, and range anxiety is more about us holding on to out dated fears than a physical limitation (we live in sprawling Dallas).

It does take more thought and planning, but I've also noticed that when I drive the Model S, I am more attentive, more calm, more patient. I am a better person.

dario.d | December 17, 2013

I would be doing a lot of stop and go due to stinky traffic and on highway I usually average 60-70 mph. I would not do crazy driving. Had no idea 300 miles is even possible on single charge. I was counting using a/c in summer and heat in winter with average driving I would be able to get 200 miles on full range but then I would not know unless I really drive it for a day. There are none in chicago for rent to tedt it. I will most likely pull a plug and hopefully its a right thing. There are days when I sit in one hour traffic for 16 miles many times.

MacDaddyDude | December 17, 2013

Not sure about a/c in the summer, but we can go 200 miles using the heat and only charging to 85% of capacity. Typically, we charge to 70% and that gets us 173 rated miles.

The great thing about the Model S is that it doesn't suffer very much range loss in stop and go traffic. It uses energy to move the car, it recaptures some of that energy when slowing down, and hardly uses any when waiting at a light.

mantin | December 17, 2013

I just used the Mossy Nissan charger in Pacific Beach (San Diego) which gave me 19 miles per hour of charge. All Nissan dealers have such chargers though some are upgrading to Chademo (Tesla adapter coming soon) which is like Tesla Superchargers. Call your local Nissan dealer and get permission to charge - most invite you in - and my dealer even had free popcorn and TV to watch. Previous management of this dealer was reported as unfriendly to such use, but Nissan requires 5 such charge points in each dealership (for the leaf). I have not checked with Chev dealerships re the volt chargers. But I have had the car since 12/2 and can't imagine going back to an ICE car. Best of luck and happy holidays.

mantin | December 17, 2013

I use my 40 amp 240 volt line to charge at home and get 230 miles or so on a 70% charge; 266 on a full trip charge. I went to San Diego and used 132 miles distance but 150 miles charge; then as reported above added 3 hours of charge at the Nissan dealer and got home fine, with a 6 minutes stop at the Hawthorne airport (Los Angeles) Tesla SC location to add 30 more miles. I have listed my home garage charging line to PluginShare. that is 30 miles per hour. You can do it with a bit of thought. Also, chargepoint is usually free and if the 1772 connection is there, as reported above, very fast charging. 110 volt line gives only 3-5 miles per hour charge, which won't work for you. But many parking garages have chargers now and maybe near your work you can find a parking garage that could give you service upon arriving. Check out chargepoint or pluginshare for sites near your work. My wife is high anxiety about running out of juice but the San Diego trip showed her with flexibility, you can make it work. I have a green with tan interior - what an outstanding combination - great raves from the Nissan folks.

Rocky_H | December 17, 2013

I saw when I was looking around Plug share that there were a pretty good number of higher current charging stations. The Whole Foods stores in the Chicago area all seem to have them.

Funny how the stop and go traffic jam situation is flipped upside down and is actually pretty good for an electric car's range versus being really bad for a gas car.

Tâm | December 17, 2013

It is understanding that you have lots of questions.

Supercharger does not break your battery even with frequent use.

Tesla will replace your 85 kWh battery if it fails in 8 years regardless of your mileage.

Battery price is expected to drop as time goes by, that is why the next Detroit Auto Show would display a Tesla Model E that will cost $40,000 (battery included of course.)

So you might worry what happens after 8 years?

Let's at look it this way:

It currently costs you $1,000 of gasoline + $100 Synthetic Oil or a total of $1,100 per month.

$1,100 x 12 months x 8 years = $105,600.

In 8 years, you can have an option of:

1) keep driving it until it croak or

2) buy a new battery or

3) just get a new Tesla or

4) two

from $105,600 that you don't have to pay up for the oil industry!

CraigW | December 17, 2013

You have to remember that your motor is not running when you are sitting still in traffic and, if you drive somewhat carefully, you will not be using your large disk brakes very much either - read I expect over 100,000 from my disk brakes. The electric motor in traffic is where the electric car really kills the ICE, and then you add in the regen when you are slowing down and you simply cannot afford not to own this car.

If stop-and-go traffic is what is making you think twice, then you simply have to reorient your thinking. It is one more reason to make the move.

Your biggest problem will be keeping your foot off the accelerator leaving the stoplight. It is such a feeling of total power and control.