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2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited September 2014 in Tesla


  • kirkhilles_kirkhilles_ Member Posts: 151
    "Especially since Superchargers don't charge."

    This is definitely a concern of mine. If Tesla becomes big and fulfills the destiny the stock price currently represents, how long before they DO start starting? They use proprietary connectors and chargers (as far as I'm aware) and I'm sure the technology is patented to the teeth. If Teslas become commonplace, will $40-$50 charges become the norm? Not like you'll really have a choice or competition...
  • jeepsrtjeepsrt Member Posts: 88
    I saw a Tesla Model S with Nebraska plates up in Breckenridge,CO a few months ago. I was pretty impressed he drove that far as I didn't think there were any Superchargers around Colorado.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Yeah, it is nice to have options. For most people, though, a race weekend is just that - a weekend. They have to be back at work Monday; they can't be spending half of Monday driving home. They have to leave the track at the end of racing Sunday afternoon and drive the 311 miles back home. The race started at 2 and took 2:45, so it was over at about 5. Bake in some time leaving with all the race traffic, and you're going to be getting home at about 10-10:30 at night, if you leave with a full tank of gas. But you have the Tesla, so you have to also bake in another hour at the supercharger, when all you want to do is get home and get to bed. None of this is a crippling flaw, but this weekend worked for you only because of all the supercharger locations there and because you could take Monday too, because really driving these LT cars IS PART of your job. I want to take in a race weekend at Watkins Glen - can you direct me to the supercharger I would use en route...from anywhere?
  • stoneymonsterstoneymonster Member Posts: 28
    @kirkhilles For 85kwh cars, it's baked into the cost of the car. For 60kwh cars, you have to pay a $2000 option to enable supercharging. It is "free" as in "free healthcare".
  • rysterryster Member Posts: 571
    Is there any security at these charging stations? It just seems odd to me that you plug the car in and walk away for an hour. The opportunity for vandalism seems high. Either that, or some joker walks by, unplugs the car, and walks off. You come back an hour later to find the car hasn't charged. Now you have to plug in and wait another hour.

    If these Teslas really take off, imagine having to wait in line to use the charging station. You wait 30 minutes to use the charger, and then another hour to charge the car. Your recharge turns into a 90 minute affair, versus less than 10 minutes at a conventional gas station.

    I like the Tesla, and the future it represents for electric cars, but it doesn't quite seem like it represents worry-free driving at this point.

    I can drive 500 miles in my Hyundai Sonata, stop for a 10 minute fill up, and then drive another 500 miles. My trip is done in 16 hours. In the Tesla, I would have to stop every 250 miles and spend 1 hour recharging. The 16hr trip becomes a 19-20hr trip.
  • farvy_farvy_ Member Posts: 9
    No such thing as a free lunch.

    This car starts at $60,000, & Edmunds car cost $105,000. What part of the Supercharger network & the electricity itself is "free"?

    Same thing for those people that say "I get free maintenance on my new car!" You just paid tens of thousands of dollars, or hundreds of dollars every month, for that new car.

    You are paying for this "free" stuff whether you know it or not. And as noted in a previous comment, you never know if in the future Tesla will charge for the electricity.

    All that being said, I really like the Tesla. It looks sharp & performs well. I really hope it succeeds.
  • mayhemmmayhemm Member Posts: 6
    Well I can tell you one thing; whether a permanent arrangement or not, Superchargers are a heck of a lock "free-er" than anything you'll find on a gas car. Doesn't matter if it costs $15,000 or $250,000. And, to me, that's worth quite a bit.
  • mfennellmfennell Member Posts: 91
    http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger It looks like there will be superchargers in (roughly) Buffalo, Syracuse, and Ithica next year. Fordson1 will make it to Watkins Glen. Rejoice!
  • drcomputerdrcomputer Member Posts: 82
    Tesla has said that the SuperChargers will be free for life. Also, to address security concerns the cable gets locked to the car when the car locks so a vandal can't just walk by and unplug a charging car. Since the newer stations are being built with 8-10 charging spots and the average person only charges for 30 minutes, the likelihood of having to wait more than a few minutes if you arrived to a full station is very minimal.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    mfennell - LOL - I live 25 miles north of Buffalo, so the Glen is around 160 miles from me. With a SC location in Buffalo, that doesn't help, because when I pass through there heading to the Glen I will still be almost fully charged. Unless I can find a charging solution in the vicinity of the track, though, I don't know how I could make it home. I guess I could bake in a trip to Ithaca to charge up there, but that involves driving 50 miles out of my way. drcomputer, do you know of any law, natural or man-made, that would make it so that there could only ever be 10 cars at a 10-charger SC location, rather than 13, when you pull up? You are positing both that a) Superchargers will provide free refueling forever, and b) there will never be a waiting line for that free refueling.
  • arcticbluetsxarcticbluetsx Member Posts: 79
    Is it bad for the batteries to leave the car charging overnight? Like a cell phone battery, you're not supposed to leave them plugged in overnight or it could cause them to hold less of a charge if done repeatedly. I suppose you could simply go to a battery swap location to circumvent this, but that's not really what I'm asking.
  • jvonbokeljvonbokel Member Posts: 14
    @arcticbluetsx: The reason it's not good* to leave your cell phone plugged in overnight is that it reaches 100% charge and then stays there, which is one of the two most detrimental states a lithium ion battery can be in (the other being high temperature)
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