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Second Thought about Maintaining Reservation

Second Thought about Maintaining Reservation

I reserved the M3 in April 2016 and has been a Tesla fan. i've been putting a great deal of thought about going through the purchase simply due to where I live. I am in Harrisburg, PA and the nearest Tesla store is 2 hours away.

Also, I normally do weekend trip to Philly and Baltimore on the weekend, about 70-90 miles away so the need to supercharge on the way back is necessary if based on 215 miles range. However, Superchargers are not located on my route. If I want or need to take advantage of supercharger, I'd have to travel outside of my route. Normally, I don't have an issue with this but when time is sensitive, it is not feasible to do so.

Finally, when the M3 needs service, I have to drive 2 hours away. If it involves an accident, I must take it to a certified body shop, which I doubt there is one near my house. The recent horror stories about long wait while car is in body shop doesn't help either, though not sure how true they are.

I bet that Tesla would open a store near my location at some point in the future when there are enough Teslas but the problem is not know when. It could be next year or a few years away.

In the end, I want to go through with it because
I believe in making a difference to the environment and I want Tesla to succeed. I also have anxiety of the issues I mentioned above.

I haven't decided yet but would love to hear your experience about where you live and how that might or might not impact your decision.

bmalloy0 | 10 mars 2017

Why would you need to supercharge on a 180-mile trip? Even if the base range is only 215 miles, that would still leave you with about 30 miles. Are you not planning on installing a charger at your house/live in a complex?

Samta09 | 10 mars 2017

That's because if i will be driving around when I get to the destination that will take up more miles, then I wil need to charge it before I drive back. 30 miles left is not an adequate safety margin, in my opinion.

KP in NPT | 10 mars 2017

@bmalloy 30 miles buffer might be tight in the winter depending on conditions. But otherwise, yes I think it's

But OP, you are assuming a few things. First, that the base car will be only 215 miles. We don't know what the base battery range will be, we just know it will be AT LEAST 215 miles.

You are assuming there will never be a supercharger on your route.

You are forgetting there are likely plenty of charging options in Philly or Baltimore to charge up while you are there, so you'd start your trip back with a full "tank"

As to when you'll have a service center, you're right it could be a while and there is no way to know. But there are owners on these forums who don't have a service center within 10 hours and they are fine. Most issues can be addressed OTA, and Tesla has said they are upping mobile services.

My closest SC is about an hour and a half away - more or less depending on traffic. I go once a year for annual service. I have gone an additional time each year for minor things, but they are things that could have waited, but I was going to be in the area for other things and so stopped in. It hasn't been an issue for me. I also believe there will be a SC closer to me in due time, as I know there are a lot more S/X in my area now, and a lot of Model 3 reservations as well. But I'm not worried about when. I haven't found having a far away service center to be onerous, though one closer would be nice. It wasn't a deal breaker for us when we bought our Model S.

KP in NPT | 10 mars 2017

Sorry that first sentence got cut off on my phone. Otherwise, yes I think it's enough.

KP in NPT | 10 mars 2017

Oh and OP, you can always get a bigger battery when you configure your car if you don't like the base range.

Samta09 | 10 mars 2017

KP, that's what I was thinking as well that In my case, i would like upgrade range

alphacompton | 10 mars 2017

Not only will you possibly get a super charger close to or on your route in the future, but you should check with Plugshare or a similar site for other charging options, there may already be a high speed charging option near your route (not super charger fast but reasonably close).

jefjes | 10 mars 2017

I was thinking the same things about battery size, Plugshare charging options and mobile service availability as is pointed out here. The only other point that may address your post is the car itself being made more from steel and less from aluminum may help in reducing repair times in approved body shops. That and the fact that the increased volume of the M3 may mean more replacement parts being available since suppliers will be increasing their production to much higher levels than was seen on the S/X.

jefjes | 10 mars 2017

Almost forgot, you asked about location. My nearest sales/service center is about 1.5 hours away but I do have a SC station in town where I live plus another between myself and the service center so not too worried in my case. I also live about 30 minutes from Gigafactory 1.

dchuck | 10 mars 2017

Before you get discouraged about the lack of Superchargers please Check out Plugshare.com . There are several Chademo DC fast charge locations along either route. A Chademo adapter is $450 and they charge (in some cases a fair amount) to use these faster chargers. But as others have pointed out you should be able to make the trip without charging, just keep Chademo as an emergency backup plan and your set. You also have the option of charging overnight wherever you are staying.

As far as service goes you already indicated that you go to Baltimore and Philly once a month. Both those City's have Service Centers, and both those service centers are open Saturdays... So what's is the problem?

The closest service center to me is a 12 hour drive, talk about inconvenient. Fortunately by the time i am a model 3 owner a new one will be open which is only 3 hours away. But that place will be swamped, between new deliveries and existing model S/X owners i'll be lucky to book service 3 months in advance. Hopefully Tesla will have Rangers available to fix minor problems.

stevenmaifert | 10 mars 2017

Keep your reservation until you have to commit to an order. Reevaluate the charging and service landscape at that point and then decide.

JeffreyR | 10 mars 2017

@stevenmaifert wrote, "Keep your reservation until you have to commit to an order. Reevaluate the charging and service landscape at that point and then decide."

+1 Agreed. No reason to fret about what may or may not happen in time. And, as you can see from @dchuck many folks have it far worse and are doing fine.

A couple of remarks the @OP made stood out to me:

"The recent horror stories about long wait while car is in body shop doesn't help either, though not sure how true they are."

Don't worry about all the "horror stories" you see. First you don't hear very often from the people where things go "okay" because there was no reason to post. Second when things go very wrong you are more motivated to vent. Also, Tesla has stated they plan to increase both Service Center locations as well as Mobile Rangers.

"Normally, I don't have an issue with [adjusting my route to Supercharge] but when time is sensitive, it is not feasible to do so."

As many have pointed out above there many, many options beyond using a Supercharger. Charging overnight while away seems to be best. I rented a MS-40 w/ battery limited to 80% by the owner (he did not say it in the listing). But, my folks have a regular outlet in the garage for charging when I was not out and I was able to charge while at dinner. I even managed to stop by a Supercharger. With over a 200-mile battery you will have it even easier.

Rocky_H | 10 mars 2017

@Samta09, I understand that the first electric car comes with a bit of nervousness. It's the unknown and can seem scary, because the systems we've been used to (gas stations) are not applicable anymore. We've seen a lot of questions along these lines, but your situation doesn't even seem very challenging.

(1) Trip charging: Remember that Superchargers are not the only way to recharge the car. There is a ton of other stuff. Next best thing is CHAdeMO, which is about half as fast as a Supercharger, and I see several in both Philadelphia and Baltimore. If I look at that loop from Harrisburg, along I-76 to Philly, along I-95 to Baltimore, and then back along I-83 to Harrisburg, I see about 24 different CHAdeMO locations. You have plenty of options.

(2) Regarding service, I've had my car for 3 years, and a service center has always been over 300 miles away, but it hasn't been any problem. They've been handling it with service ranger visits to my city. I've never had any urgent thing, so stuff can usually wait a few weeks. Check with the service centers in Philly or Baltimore or whatever is near you and ask if they do any scheduled service ranger trips to the Harrisburg area, or how they cover that region.

retsandy | 10 mars 2017

@Samta09, hold on to the reservation. EVs are catching on with every automaker and more chargers will pop up all over the country before too long. Range anxiety is a normal emotion with just about every new EV buyer, but soon after ownership we have adapted and found solutions that fit our needs. For example an hour plugged in to a plugshare or chargepoint near your destination in Philly or Baltimore, within a mall parking lot or nearby a Starbucks will add about 20-25 miles and take the edge off the worry and increase your comfort level for the return trip. I live in Florida and the closest SC is 40 miles away and I have used it only once....just to try it out. I've used the other charger options about 20 times to calm my range anxiety.

Since you are not a Tesla owner now, your projected delivery will probably be sometime in 2018. If so, there will have been roughly 60,000 to 80,000 (or more) M3s delivered and many of the bugs worked out of the production line. Barring you being unlucky and getting a lemon, your interaction with a service center should be down to an annual event (no oil changes and other routine ICE complications). I'm basing this statement on my own experience with a Model X delivered one year after production started. Keep us posted on what you decide.

Samta09 | 10 mars 2017

Thank you all for sharing your story and encouragement. It appears some of you are worse than me in terms of the SC distances so I can no longer complain there. I still have plenty of time to decide and since most likely i won't get it until 2018, there will be plenty of M3s driving around so more information will be available.

JeffreyR | 10 mars 2017

As @georgehawley has mentioned, it probably makes sense to get an early M3 no matter what. There will be plenty of impatient people willing to make it worth your while.

JayInJapan | 10 mars 2017

There's no need for a Tesla store near you. A service center nearer would be nice, but Tesla has ways to work around that. The closest store to me is 700 km, and the only service center is 1,200 km away. None of that has been an issue in the past 27 months.

johnse | 11 mars 2017

@Samta09 I think you have more charging options than you realize. I just took a gander at Plugshare. For your Baltimore trips, there's a Supercharger in Baltimore. There're also Superchargers in Hagerstown, and Newark. As well as one in Harrisburg, though that one isn't going to help too much...

There are also a bunch of Tesla destination chargers in the Philly area, not to mention several Chademo chargers along the route.

Also, looking at the Tesla Supercharger map, which also has filters for stores and service centers, one of those destination chargers (actually 7 of them) is at the Devon store and Service Center...looks like maybe 90 or so miles away.

There's also a store and SC at Baltimore/Owing's Mills about 75 miles away, which will likely be much more convenient for service than the store you mentioned being 2 hours away.

Hope that helps!!!!

KP in NPT | 11 mars 2017

Article today about the expanded mobile service -

https://electrek.co/2017/03/11/tesla-mobile-service-rangers/

Haggy | 11 mars 2017

First, remember that the reservation is just as refundable in five months as it is now, and you will be in a better position to see.

You can't get an accurate answer, but you can try evtripplanner.com and plug in your route with a Model S 60 to see what you could expect if you have that range. Chances are there will be multiple battery options.

The Model 3 will have a mostly steel body. For minor dents and scrapes, it will be far easier to have any good body shop work on it. With so many on the road, I'm sure Tesla will open things up to more shops. Aluminum needs special training and tools. I don't know if Tesla could justify having special requirements for the 3.

You didn't say what's at your destination, but destination chargers might be an option.

carlk | 12 mars 2017

You have to make your own judgement of if those concerns are a small price to pay for owning a technology advanced and fun to drive clean car. Many people believe so but not everyone needs to buy in.

andy.connor.e | 13 mars 2017

Im having a second thought. Which is one more than i had before. Two thoughts now instead of one. And two means that its two times more than what i had before. 2x1-1/2x4.