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Re: Is Tesla Practical As a Ski Car (or Otherwise)?

Postby berkshireskier » Tue May 03, 2016 1:43 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:We just completed one month of ownership, during which we drove 2,554 miles. This included 2 trips to Mammoth and one to Santa Barbara wine country. I used 698kWh at Superchargers and 398kWh at home. The charging speed at home on the 240v NEMA 14-50 is about 26 miles/hour. The marginal cost of electricity at home is about 20 cents/kWh, so that's about $80. A "full charge zero to empty" is theoretically 90kWh or $18 at home. But I limit home charging to 70% to be conservative about prolonging battery life. And when we arrive home from a trip near empty we take the car down to the local supercharger 3 miles away late at night and put 200+ miles of charge on the battery. So the daily home charging is mostly recharging the 20-50 miles we might drive locally each day. I suspect the ~$80/month for local driving is a likely fairly stable cost going forward. The supercharging use is what will vary the most and spring will definitely be the highest Tesla travel season. Winter travel is either by air or beyond the efficient Tesla travel radius of ~400 miles.

I have also had solar panels since 2009 that cover ~3/4 of my electric bill pre-Tesla. Going forward solar should still pay a bit over half, but of course the marginal cost of 20 cents/kWh is the correct way to look at that. In terms of comparing to gasoline cost, California is well above average for the US for both gasoline and electricity, so these comparisons should be done using one's local rates.

The marginal cost of supercharging is zero, but I've read that $2,000 of the price of each Model S or X is earmarked to build out the Supercharger network. The Model 3 is described as "Supercharger enabled." I have not seen yet whether Model 3 will have "free supercharging with cost built into the car" or paid supercharging. One could argue that many Model 3 buyers would prefer a lower initial cost and pay-as-you-go supercharging, especially if the car is going to be mostly used in a radius from home and not much on extended travel. However, the existing supercharger network would need to be retrofitted to accommodate payments, and to distinguish which cars are paid vs. free.


Thanks for the info....very interesting. I'm not sure my math is right and this are "back of the envelop" calculations, but if you drove 2554 miles (in a traditional car with a combustion engine) that averaged 20 miles per gallon, you would have spent approximately $320 at $2.50 per gallon (not sure what you're paying in California for gas). If you had powered up your Tesla for all of your miles at home at .20 kWh, it would have cost you approximately $220 (1100 kWh X .20), so about one-third less? Does this correspond with your own figures?
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Re: Is Tesla Practical As a Ski Car (or Otherwise)?

Postby Admin » Tue May 03, 2016 2:30 pm

And how to figure in the $5000 electrician bill to install the charger, and the relevant share of the cost of the solar panels? Recovering that investment is going to take a while at that rate.
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Re: Is Tesla Practical As a Ski Car (or Otherwise)?

Postby Marc_C » Tue May 03, 2016 3:45 pm

Admin wrote:And how to figure in the $5000 electrician bill to install the charger, and the relevant share of the cost of the solar panels? Recovering that investment is going to take a while at that rate.

The last time I checked into solar for the house was about a year ago. My break-even point for a solar array/batteries/et al with tax subsidies and other incentives was about 22 years. If I were to add an electric car at today's prices, there's a chance that I'll die before break-even.

I'm all for being green, but not with those figures.
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Re: Is Tesla Practical As a Ski Car (or Otherwise)?

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed May 04, 2016 12:22 am

MarcC's back of the envelope calcs are in the ballpark. Premium gas at Costco in CA is $2.85,so $3.00 is a better overall number for a comparable gas car, yielding ~$380 for gas cost of the 2554 miles.

admin wrote:the $5000 electrician bill to install the charger

That's what would have been required to get a new 200amp main. On the User's Forum I found out about using a switching box between the car charger and the central A/C to keep demand from exceeding the 100amp capacity of my 1938 vintage main box. This cost $2,200. If your installation of NEMA 14-50 is straightforward the cost is $500-$800 depending how close your car plug is to the main box.

There are some jurisdictions that will rebate or subsidize an EV home charger. My electrician said Glendale is one of the more difficult cities to get this permitted and there is no rebate. OTOH Glendale's rebate for the solar panels back in 2008 was very lavish.

I do see the home charging issue as an obstacle because EV's are most attractive in urban areas but not so easy to have a home charger if you live in an apartment.

MarcC wrote:My break-even point for a solar array/batteries/et al with tax subsidies and other incentives was about 22 years.

Richard's daughter and son-in-law in Boulder were eager to install solar. I got some info and explained that it was not smart for them at all paying 12 cents/kWh for Colorado power while Richard should do it paying a marginal rate of 31 cents to SoCal Edison. Both made correct decisions based upon my recommendation. I have little doubt that Utah power is cheap and thus solar does not make economic sense there. I also calculated that solar production in Boulder (and probably SLC too) is about 10% less than in SoCal. Richard's break-even is supposed to be about 6 years. Mine looks like 8-9 years.

I've never made the argument that my Tesla Model S will be a money saver. But Elon Musk's design/marketing strategy to build cars desirable first on their own merits is proving correct. Cheap gas prices are depressing sales of hybrids and basic plug-in cars, yet there were 180,000 deposits made for Model 3 on its first reservation date March 31 and about 300,000 by now.
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Re: Is Tesla Practical As a Ski Car (or Otherwise)?

Postby Marc_C » Wed May 04, 2016 11:34 am

Tony Crocker wrote:I've never made the argument that my Tesla Model S will be a money saver. But Elon Musk's design/marketing strategy to build cars desirable first on their own merits is proving correct. Cheap gas prices are depressing sales of hybrids and basic plug-in cars, yet there were 180,000 deposits made for Model 3 on its first reservation date March 31 and about 300,000 by now.

And gas certainly isn't going to stay at $2.25....
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Re: Is Tesla Practical As a Ski Car (or Otherwise)?

Postby Marc_C » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:19 pm

Tangential to the Tesla but related:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/06/09/3786417/solar-beats-coal-oil-gas/
The lede:
The solar industry added more new generating capacity this past quarter than coal, natural gas, and nuclear power combined, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight report released Thursday.

With 1,665 megawatts brought online in the first quarter of 2016, solar accounted for 64 percent of all new electric generating capacity, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) report said. One megawatt of solar power can energize roughly 160 homes, though that depends on average sunshine, average household electricity consumption, and other factors. According to the report, there are now more than a million operating solar photovoltaic installations across the country, representing 27.5 gigawatts of operating capacity. Just one gigawatt is enough electricity to power about 700,000 average homes.
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