Total Cost of Ownership

Total Cost of Ownership

Does anyone have any good estimate of what they might think the resale value might be after 5 years? 10 years? I'm trying to figure out total operating costs and that would help. Has anyone contacted any insurance company that has been able to provide an insurance quote for the Model S? Also, based on experiences with the Roadster, what have maintenance and repair costs been yearly thus far? Thanks.

EdG | December 13, 2011

Jack1: what kind of tires do you use? | December 16, 2011

Thanks for your input thus far everyone. I appreciate it. This issue with the tires is very intriguing and also potentially very disappointing. I hope the the wear on the tires is due to the tires being performance tires rather than standard. I've taken my own stab at trying to estimate the cost of ownership on the Model S and I am working on a list to compare it to many cars. I have more to go, but if you're interested in seeing my arguments, I've posted them on a website at I've called that section "Teslanomics." I'd be interested in input regarding my attempt at estimating these costs. Thanks.

Leofingal | December 17, 2011

For a second reference point, my Audi TT burns through tires as well (performance). I usually only have them mounted on the car for 6-8 months of the year and winters the rest of the time, and I still have to replace them every 3 years or so, and I only put ~9k miles/year on the car. I might be getting 20k miles per performance tire set. As a result the tire situation doesn't surprise me, however these tires will likely cost more with 19/20 inch wheels than my 17s for the TT.

Thumper | December 17, 2011

Z rated tires have much less tread depth to begin with. Too much tread depth causes heat at high speed and tire failure. Compound may well not wear as well too.

ncn | December 18, 2011

Brian wrote:
Yep, you'll be driving a quaint antique by then!
I intend to be! :-) "See, kids, this is one of the old lithium battery models with squirrel cage motors..."

Anyway, regarding tires: what we know is that model S will allow for either 245x35ZR21 (which are expensive and will wear out fast), or 245x45R19.

I'm not sure how the stock 19" tires will do, because I don't know what Tesla will choose to ship.

What I do know is what's *available* in that size, based on Here are their category descriptions:

In the 19" size, there are plenty of "performance" options, but there are also "grand touring" all-seasons (better choices for those of us who want comfort rather than speed).

And now we look at the UTQG rating for treadwear. :-) I know it's not a very exact measurement, but it gives a good sense.

The 19 inch size features tires with ratings from 560 down (which isn't great) and reviews which are somewhat worse. The one with the best treadwear rating (600) is the one designed for "crossover/SUV" use, which would give an extremely hard and bumpy ride. But there are a lot in the 400-500 range.

In the snow tire situation, there are no UTQG ratings, only "performance" tires are available, and only two types. But both have good reputations for snow handling, and apparently pretty decent reputations for treadwear.

The situation with the 19" size is much better than the situation with the 21" wheels. The best tires on for the 21" size have treadwear ratings of 340, and the worst have ratings of 220.

And -- the final take-home fact -- *all* of these are *much* better than the Roadster OEM tires, which have treadwear ratings of a measly *180*.

The front tires on the Roadster appear to be a weird size, so there's absolutely nothing you can do about that; there are no better tires. The back tires are a standard size and you could replace them with something with a much better rating (hint to Roadster owners).

- the model S with the 21 inch wheels will have tires last 1.2 to 1.8 times longer than Roadster tires.
- But the model S with the 19" wheels will have tires available which will last from 2.2 times as long to 3.1 times as long as Roadster tires. You can definitely get all-seasons to your liking (a wide selection) with a 400 rating, and may be able to find suitable ones with as high as a 560 rating.

And all these 19" tires are fairly reasonably priced; the most expensive all-seasons are under $330.

(You can get expensive max performance summer tires with terrible wear ratings in the 19" size as well, but if you're doing that, the 21" tires are cheaper.)

Mycroft | December 18, 2011

Yep. That's why I'll be rotating between Summer sport 21" and Winter all-season 19".