Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tesla Model 3 - The Good, the Bad, and the Fugly

Well the dream car arrives, a select few, as the first Tesla Model 3's roll off the lot.

Yes on 28 JUL 2017 the delivery party was held for about 30 employees and about 40 or so Model 3 Teslas. They came in one battery size Long Range with 75kwh ratings and 310 mile range. We also got the scoop on the base model.  Finally a few more questions were answered about specs and features. A few other prices

The next question - what do I think of Tesla and the 'Dream Car'? MSRP $35,000.

The Good:

Specs - excellent coefficient of drag = 0.23 most efficiency of any Tesla to date.
Two battery sizes 55kwh & 75kwh.  Range (est not yet EPA) are 220 and 310 miles.
Weight base 55kwh bat. = 3549 lbs, 75kwh = 3814 lbs. (Model 3 Long Range LR ).

Standard that's just a bit more than the Leaf with 2.3 times the battery - impressive.

Faster than I need in either model-
Base 5.6 sec 0-60mph, 130mph top speed, Supercharging 130 miles in 30 minutes.
LR    5.1 sec 0-60mph, 140mph top speed, Supercharging 170 miles in 30 minutes.

The Bad:

Long range battery is 20kwh more battery for a $9000.00 upcharge. Nine Thousand Dollars. If you want it before Xmas and you stood in line on the first day my fellow East Coasters. Oh and you have another Five Thousand Dollars for the "Premium Package". Like auto pilot and future autonomy? Add Five and Three Thousand more.  Total of must have 'options' for receipt this year + delivery + MSRP = $50,000. Auto pilot and the promise of future autonomy - Fifty Eight Thousand Dollars.  

The Fugly:

That's in black paint. With ok wheels. Add another grand if you'd like a little color in your life.  Even White or Silver.  No one knows how much All Wheel Drive cost is unknown ($4K?) but whatever the cost US residents add at least $3750 if you thought you would receive the US tax credit because it will take too long for the full credit...  Don't ask the price for performance or ludicrous no one knows. Elon tweeted about little faith. Many of us had faith. 

Now after the delivery, admittedly this has me and a number of price sensitive reservation holders down on the configurable options cost. That and still not being able to plan for still unknown options cost.  I think the more average line standers hope to participate in the vision at an upper but attainable cost.  Musk often tweeted or gave investors comments that seem to say options would be reduced from luxury line cost levels. Ah not so far.

I do get the competing view. I'm a stockholder too and I get with 500,000 reservations demand is extreme. So on the other hand I accept Elon having to turn the Model 3 into a solid money maker. His job is to help fund the incredible CAPEX spending ramp that is growth from boutique Porsche sized automaker to a electric Ford sized car company. Given that he has a board of directors like any other CEO he has to walk a fine line between alienating customers and leaving money Tesla must have to survive with on the table.

So despite 'The Fugly" - I'm still in.  One option Elon has kept is the low cost plain Jane TM3 will deliver for many reservation holders within the federal rebate time limits early next year for us line standing East Coasters. Sadly the dual motor option will not. I live on a 1200' hill that gets covered in snow and ice every so often so that option represented safety.  I'll struggle will the lower range too probably and miss the pretty glass roof. The color I wanted:

The color (Black) that comes free, I'll probably do this to afford a single thing - autopilot:

With standard aero wheels and 18" tires:

Let's be clear though.

Color and the other luxury appointments won't matter!  After having my Leaf drop to sub 50 mile range in the winter a new Tesla is on the way.  I also think the cost and difficulties of obtaining the TM3 will be forgiven by all much less myself.  Talk about 1st world problems - ha!

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