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Tesla Model 3


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#1 AliG

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 12:17 PM

Can't believe no one has mentioned this as Tesla seems pretty popular around here.

They confirmed a base US price of $35,000 for RWD, 0-60 in under 6 seconds and 215mile range. I reckon this translates into around £35,000, maybe a little less in the UK once VAT is included.


It seems that you are getting a roughly similar spec as a BMW 330D for roughly the same price. In the US a BMW 328i with similarperformance is $38,000 and probably has less equipment, although Tesla options are very expensive.

It looks like a real game changer, at work I have some research which suggests that the battery costs are down to $200/kwh and more impressively it has around 30% higher energy density than the current batteries. This would make a big weight saving.

I actually have a model X on order, but I am very concerned re quality issues in the US. I will wait and see, the Audi Q6 looks interesting too.

Electric cars are undoubtedly the future, as we get to 2020 and they see price parity with internal combustion then the market will move very quickly. They are better to drive, the only thing you will miss is the engine noise. Although my diesel car makes a miserable noise so that wouldn't be missed.

Even accepting that the electricity is generated using fossil fuels the engine efficiency is the equivalent to around 120MPG. Of course we should be able to charge them from our PV panels.

If anyone is working on their house plans they need to think about the power usage. I am going for a 3 phase supply. You could very quickly get up to 100 amps charging one of these whilst using you induction hob and oven and boiling the kettle.

#2 DavidFrancis

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 12:37 PM

If sales of electric cars do take off rapidly, then unless other things change won't we need a large increase in the national electricity generating capacity to allow for people coming home on a windless day in Winter and wanting to charge up their cars?

#3 AliG

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 12:56 PM

I believe that a Tesla allows you to set the charging time and rate. Unless you are in a hurry you can set them to charge slowly overnight. This would mainly use electricity that goes to waste.

The UK produces around 350 twh of electricity a year. A model 3 will use around 3000 kWH to drive 10000 miles. So a million model 3s would use less than 1% of annual electricity production.

Electricity usage hasn't increased in the western world in the last 10 years and I doubt it will in the foreseeable future due to efficiency measures.

Longer term they could be used to balance the grid, charging the batteries when there is excess supply and running it down when there is excess demand. If you took peak demand out, you could cut electricity production capacity by around 20%. However, the grid wasn't really designed to do this so I am not sure how easy it would be in practice.

#4 jayroc2k

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 12:59 PM

I am tempted by one as well but never liked to bet on my future financial viability (e.g. being unemployed with newborn triplets).
A colleague of mine floated an idea. Telsa 3 for £35 k in 2018 (realistic UK release date) or used plug-in Porsche Panamera hybrid. It would have depreciated to £35k by then J

Edited by joiner, 01 April 2016 - 05:43 PM.
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#5 gravelld

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:15 PM

Are they able to work as home energy storage as well?

#6 Kev78

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:27 PM

Ugliest cars ever. They look tragic.

They might be better to drive than some boring diesels but that isn't the rule generally. They will never match a RWD, petrol performance car with a double clutch transmission.

The manufacturing process has a huge carbon footprint too.

Like you mention. They have had their fair share of build and reliability issues in the us.

I like the home battery packs that link to solar panels though. They are the future.

https://www.teslamot...en_GB/powerwall

Edited by Kev78, 01 April 2016 - 01:34 PM.


#7 jsharris

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:39 PM

Re: setting the charging time, even my Prius Plug-in has this. You can plug the car in, with power to the charger turned on, and the car won't signal to the EVSE to start charging until the time set on the dash timer. The idea is to allow people to schedule car charging with off-peak electricity. In my case I set the time to mid-morning, so there's a fair chance that I'll get a free charge from the PV system.

Interesting that Tesla has made the decision to move into the mass car market. My concern would be spares support, as apparently just about every Tesla made so far is different in some way to every other one. The operate a continuous improvement programme during production that means that changes are made "on the fly". Clearly they aren't really going to be able to operate the same manufacturing model with a car aimed at volume sales, but it will be interesting to see how things go.

Last time I was looking to buy a new car (about two years ago now) I looked very seriously at the Nissan Leaf, and would have bought one had it the same sort of useful internal volume that the Prius has. As it happens I'm not at all sure that the Leaf would have been much cheaper to run than the Plug-in Prius, as I've averaged around 135 mpg, getting over 160 mpg in summer and dropping to maybe 115 mpg in very cold weather. Around half my charging is done using PV, and if the car had a bigger battery then I could probably increase that ratio to around 80% of PV charge, as more often than not it's the limited battery capacity that determines how much PV charge I use.

I'll be looking to buy a replacement for the Prius Plug in either later this year or early next year, and I'm hoping there may be a greater choice of reasonably viable EVs available by then.

#8 gravelld

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:46 PM

View PostKev78, on 01 April 2016 - 01:27 PM, said:

They might be better to drive than some boring diesels but that isn't the rule generally. They will never match a RWD, petrol performance car with a double clutch transmission.
Why do you say that? The acceleration appears incredible. http://www.roadandtr...se-their-minds/

#9 Kev78

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:49 PM

Driving style has a huge impact on Prius mpg.

I remember the top gear episode when they went around a track at what seemed a snails pace. Prius returned 18mpg and the 4.0 V8 M3 returned 23mpg.

I bought a new XC60 D5 back in October. I test drove the Mitsubishi SUV hybrid that claims upto 100+ mpg......I got 32 mpg in traffic.

I get better than that in the diesel Volvo and it has 230bhp.

#10 AliG

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:51 PM

Looks are a matter of opinion, but I think the Model 3 looks pretty good. Tragic is definitely harsh.

https://www.teslamotors.com/model3

The Model S is quite nice too, not so sure about the X, one reason I am considering a Q6 which I think looks very nice, although I like having 7 seats.

The instant throttle response is pretty nice compared to almost any sort of car. Especially when you compare like with like. I have a 911 C4S, it probably has similar throttle response to an electric car, I have driven a Model S. But when you consider that around 50% of cars are turbo diesels and most people drive much lower powered cars then the throttle response is fantastic compared to them. In reality you can hardly ever have any fun driving so may as well have something smooth and quiet.

Jeremy, I have been seriously considering an plug in hybrid such as an XC90. As you say, we rarely drive far in a day and so would hardly ever use any fuel. But they tend to have a quite small electric motor still and so don't have the kind of throttle response I like. I may test drive the XC90, I would consider the X5 and Q7 plug ins but they lose the 7 seat option, the Q7 is also not the best looking.

Edited by AliG, 01 April 2016 - 01:52 PM.


#11 jamiehamy

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:52 PM

I'm not really interested in electric cars - i'll run my beautiful sounding VR6 Corrado 'til they stop selling petrol! But if I was to buy one, it would be something than was designed as an electric car from the outset, not a combustion engined car with a half baked battery power plant shoe horned in.

I'd be interested to drive the Tesla and keep missing opportunities. Who knows...



#12 jsharris

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:52 PM

For anyone who has concerns about electric car performance, then all I can say is go and drive one. They all have stump-pulling initial torque, as they deliver maximum torque at zero RPM. As a consequence, all EVs need traction control, or else you just get instant wheel spin from a standing start.

My first Prius (a 2005 model, so far less grunt than the current version) would accelerate very well in the mid-range, for overtaking and on hills. In fact my party trick was to boot it going up hills whenever I saw some aggressively drive BMW or the like coming up fast from behind. Pretty much every time the Prius would leave the other car standing.

#13 AliG

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:55 PM

That may partly be the benefit of a CVT vs a manual Jeremy. I drove my brother in law's original model Prius and the throttle response was awful. It was if they had created a car so miserable to drive that you would save fuel due to not wanting to go anywhere. They are much improved now and the plug ins will be better again with a larger electric motor.

#14 Kev78

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:56 PM

View Postgravelld, on 01 April 2016 - 01:46 PM, said:

Why do you say that? The acceleration appears incredible. http://www.roadandtr...se-their-minds/

I'm very, very biased. I've always loved cars. Electric cars are sterile and lack character.

I've have a 350z that I've had from new that only comes out on sunny days because I can't bring myself to sell it.

The Volvo is the first sensible car I've bought. I call it "the Volvo" because saying "my Volvo" seems strange.

I admit the new teslas are impressive and they have come a long way....but I'll never like them.





#15 jsharris

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 02:04 PM

View PostKev78, on 01 April 2016 - 01:49 PM, said:

Driving style has a huge impact on Prius mpg.

I remember the top gear episode when they went around a track at what seemed a snails pace. Prius returned 18mpg and the 4.0 V8 M3 returned 23mpg.

I bought a new XC60 D5 back in October. I test drove the Mitsubishi SUV hybrid that claims upto 100+ mpg......I got 32 mpg in traffic.

I get better than that in the diesel Volvo and it has 230bhp.

I've driven them since 2005. Top Gear were shown to be cheats time and time again, and I can say with absolute certainty that you couldn't get any model of Prius to drop down to below about 40 mpg. Like every other car, they struggle to match the mpg test figures, and unlike many cars there is a massive difference in economy between summer and winter, but overall they pretty much do what they say they do (if they didn't I wouldn't keep buying the damned things!).

Very hard driving, or lots of very short journeys, would get the 2005 "Mk2" model down into the low 40's, normal driving gave around 55 mpg, when trying to be economical it could get over 60 mpg. The Mk3 I had next was a bit better, and averaged around 65 mpg. The Plug-in I have now is better than the Mk3 hybrid when not using any charge assist and run in hybrid mode, rather than hybrid plus EV mode, and returns about 72 mpg on commuting runs of around 10 to 15 miles each way, dropping to about 55 mpg at sustained motorway speeds.

I had a 24 hour test drive of a Nissan Leaf almost two years ago, and was generally impressed. It has more low down torque that the Prius, and extremely good mid-range acceleration, but for me it loses out by not having as much usable internal space. My Prius always lives with the back seats folded down, and it's dead easy to fit things the size of a washing machine in there with loads of room to spare. The Leaf just doesn't have that level of utility, otherwise I'd have bought one, as it definitely out-performs the Prius Plug-in on the road at low to mid speeds.

#16 AliG

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 02:04 PM

To answer other questions -

You can't use them as home storage, it would put too many cycles on the battery.

A guy at work was saying that the battery replacement cost would offset the running costs but we looked at the data and it's just not true. The batteries degrade quite slowly and are probably good for 100-200,000 miles. I will almost guarantee that the electronics on the car break long before the battery gives out.

A lot of Americans who buy them seem to come from much cheaper cars and they justify the cost by saying they will run them indefinitely. I think they will be sadly disappointed, but it won't be the batteries it will be the same problems that befall any expensive gadget laden car.

#17 Kev78

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 02:06 PM

View PostAliG, on 01 April 2016 - 01:51 PM, said:

Looks are a matter of opinion, but I think the Model 3 looks pretty good. Tragic is definitely harsh.

https://www.teslamotors.com/model3

The Model S is quite nice too, not so sure about the X, one reason I am considering a Q6 which I think looks very nice, although I like having 7 seats.

The instant throttle response is pretty nice compared to almost any sort of car. Especially when you compare like with like. I have a 911 C4S, it probably has similar throttle response to an electric car, I have driven a Model S. But when you consider that around 50% of cars are turbo diesels and most people drive much lower powered cars then the throttle response is fantastic compared to them. In reality you can hardly ever have any fun driving so may as well have something smooth and quiet.

Jeremy, I have been seriously considering an plug in hybrid such as an XC90. As you say, we rarely drive far in a day and so would hardly ever use any fuel. But they tend to have a quite small electric motor still and so don't have the kind of throttle response I like. I may test drive the XC90, I would consider the X5 and Q7 plug ins but they lose the 7 seat option, the Q7 is also not the best looking.

I agree about throttle response. Even the Nissan Leaf surprised me.

I had a 997 c2s (the one with the exploding engine :)). Cars like that are the reason I don't like electric cars.

With regard to the new xc90 stay away. The 4 cylinder diesel is awful, truly tragic. The seat bases are thin, sound proofing awful, tyre noise unbearable, build quality is very poor by usual Volvo standards.

It's like a transit van dressed as a Range Rover. Never been as disappointed after a test drive. There is even a 2lt diesel front wheel drive model!

Price is very high for what it is. Many buyers are furious with the quality.

The new Volvo Chinese manufacturing method will ruin them. They plan to use the same engine in every model from the v40 to the xc90 and reliability has been really bad so far and Volvo don't seem to have a fix. The new D4 engines constantly go into limp mode.

#18 Kev78

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 02:12 PM

View Postjsharris, on 01 April 2016 - 02:04 PM, said:



I've driven them since 2005. Top Gear were shown to be cheats time and time again, and I can say with absolute certainty that you couldn't get any model of Prius to drop down to below about 40 mpg. Like every other car, they struggle to match the mpg test figures, and unlike many cars there is a massive difference in economy between summer and winter, but overall they pretty much do what they say they do (if they didn't I wouldn't keep buying the damned things!).

Very hard driving, or lots of very short journeys, would get the 2005 "Mk2" model down into the low 40's, normal driving gave around 55 mpg, when trying to be economical it could get over 60 mpg. The Mk3 I had next was a bit better, and averaged around 65 mpg. The Plug-in I have now is better than the Mk3 hybrid when not using any charge assist and run in hybrid mode, rather than hybrid plus EV mode, and returns about 72 mpg on commuting runs of around 10 to 15 miles each way, dropping to about 55 mpg at sustained motorway speeds.

I had a 24 hour test drive of a Nissan Leaf almost two years ago, and was generally impressed. It has more low down torque that the Prius, and extremely good mid-range acceleration, but for me it loses out by not having as much usable internal space. My Prius always lives with the back seats folded down, and it's dead easy to fit things the size of a washing machine in there with loads of room to spare. The Leaf just doesn't have that level of utility, otherwise I'd have bought one, as it definitely out-performs the Prius Plug-in on the road at low to mid speeds.

The Prius is a proven car and they are very good at what they do.

I've only driven the awful Mitsubishi and briefly driven a leaf. The leaf did surprise me with its acceleration if I'm honest. Like a big radio controlled car :)

I just love the sound and smell of petrol engines. I admit I'm very, very biased.

#19 jsharris

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 02:13 PM

View PostAliG, on 01 April 2016 - 01:55 PM, said:

That may partly be the benefit of a CVT vs a manual Jeremy. I drove my brother in law's original model Prius and the throttle response was awful. It was if they had created a car so miserable to drive that you would save fuel due to not wanting to go anywhere. They are much improved now and the plug ins will be better again with a larger electric motor.

The Prius has never had a CVT, it's always had direct drive with no gearbox. The drive unit is just an in-line differential with two electric motor-generators and the engine crankshaft as inputs and the front wheel drive shafts as the output. There are no variable gear ratios, belts, or whatever, the variation in speed between the road wheels and the engine crankshaft is adjusted by varying the speed and direction of one of the motor generators.

The very early Prius had a poor traction control system, following initial concerns with the first test models in Japan. Toyota over-did it, and reduced the low speed torque to far too low a level, to get rid of the tyre chirp when accelerating from a standstill. They sorted this in the Mk2 (the 2005 model that got the car of the year award), but as a consequence it will spin both front wheels for a fraction of a second if you're heavy with your right foot when pulling away. You can get rid of this by selecting "eco" rather than "power" mode, and Toyota did add the irritating feature of the car defaulting to "eco" mode on start-up on that model, which meant having to remember to switch to power mode after you'd started in order to get good performance.

Interestingly the model I have now remembers the mode setting when you turn it off, so it will stay in power mode all the time if you prefer it. I've never seen a significant difference in economy between the two modes, so can only assume that Toyota added the "eco" mode switch for the few people that prefer a car that has less grunt.

Edited by jsharris, 01 April 2016 - 02:15 PM.


#20 AliG

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 02:14 PM

The guy next to me at work has a new XC90, I heard him talking to the garage earlier, I don't know what about, but it has been in to get fixed.

It sounds like you are in the same camp as me on the 4 cylinder diesel Kev, too slow for my liking. The hybrid has a lot more go.

I, or I should say my wife, drive the new model Range Rover Sport. I know it is glitzy and expensive, I would never have bought the last model because it was an overweight, slow ugly beast. It was almost 30% heavier. The new one is just such a pleasant place to be, quiet comfortable, room for 7. It is a great all round car. For the moment I am struggling to see something that first in better with our life so don't know if I will replace it. However, the V6 diesel sounds miserable when revved, the X5 diesel I had before sounded way better but wasn't as nice a car.

I was worried about reliability but I have had only one thing that has needed done in 3 years and that wasn't mechanical, the boot lid was slightly misaligned. Reliability has been a pleasant surprise. This is the main thing worrying me on Tesla, although by the time the X is on sale in the UK it should have considerably improved. I suspect that the simpler Model 3 will be way better.

Edited by AliG, 01 April 2016 - 02:16 PM.