Welcome to my build thread for the Tesla Model S!
This page will be dedicated to anything & everything Tesla related. As you know, I go through at least 2 cars per year (at the going rate); however, that is stopping now with the Tesla! This is not only a personal goal of mine, but a contract the wife and I have, signed, and stored in our safe 🙂 lol
I really did love the Charger, as I have with all the vehicles i’ve owned (minus the FJ Cruiser), but I came across a great deal on this one (2012 model) with only 29k miles and in pristine condition! I was toying with the idea of going the electric route for a little while simply due to the drive I have everyday to and from work (50 miles round trip, 5 days a week). That is 250 miles per week, and roughly 1000 miles per month (not factoring in any other places I might drive to). Needless to say, the last two vehicles i’ve owned (Rubicon and Charger) weren’t the most economical of vehicles when it comes to MPG. So, I decided to go electric…
Electric you say, why not just go and pickup a Nissan Leaf?! HA! Come on, you would be lucky to get 70 miles on a single charge out of that thing, in ideal conditions, not to mention…it’s..a..Leaf! So, the only possible choice was the Tesla Model S, a car i’ve loved from the time they were released, but obviously they’ve been on another level from an acquisition perspective. Fast forward 5 years, let it take the depreciation hit from the MSRP, and I was able to pick it up for just a little more than the Charger.
The Model S comes in many flavors as well. 60, 70, 85, 90, 100, D, etc.. If money was no object, I would be riding in a brand new Model S P100D with ludicrous mode doing 0-60 in 2.5 seconds! LOL But, for a 150k, i’ll pass for now. The Model S I did land on wasn’t the base model (60), but the 85 model. The number indicates the kWh the battery comes in. For example, the Model S 60 is a 60 kWh battery pack, whereas mine is an 85 kWh pack. This equates to distance and range potential, as well as additional power. Mine isn’t just the base 80 model; however, it is the “P” 85, which stands for Performance.
The performance option provides a fully adjustable suspension system that automatically lowers at a pre-set speed, such as 55, to improve aerodynamics, and can intelligently raise to high or very high levels when going over steep inclines & rough terrain, and does this “intelligently” with geofencing. So, the first time you take a trip to Publix with a ton of speed bumps, you raise to very high, and never have to worry again, because on your next trip, it remembers that geofence and raises itself automatically! Pretty slick! In addition to the suspension system, it comes with a much more aggressive turbine 21″ rim. Mine is rated to do 0-60 in 4.1 seconds; however, many are able to achieve sub-4’s!
Acceleration.. If you have never rode in a Tesla, and aren’t already considering buying one, DON’T! Especially if you enjoy a fast car with performance. You have to remember, it is 100% electric. No combustion, no power bands, no transmission, no torque converter, no nonsense. It is 100% torque, instantly, whenever you floor the “accelerator” (can’t call it a gas pedal anymore lol). The P85 is SO smooth under normal driving conditions, effortless, quiet, I absolutely love it!
Charging.. Obviously with a 100% electric car, you can’t just swing into the nearest Chevron for gas, you have to charge instead. This was one of my primary drivers in getting the car, NO GAS, ever! Gas prices right now in the Southeast are relatively low, around $2.25 for regular at the time of this post; however, in the Scat Pack, I was running 93. I don’t have to worry with gas prices.. With a rated range of ~250 miles on a full charge, that isn’t that far off from the regular range on the highway of the Charger, and frankly, better range than the Charger in stop & go city driving. In order to charge the Tesla, there are basically 5 ways this can be done from what i’ve gathered so far:
- Tesla Mobile Charger (regular 110 outlet): This is PAINFULLY slow! Plugging your mobile Tesla charger (comes with all Tesla’s) into a regular outlet in your garage will yield you around 3-4 miles of range per HOUR of charging. Do the math, if your rated range is 250 miles, and you’re at 30% charge, you could literally be charging for days to reach 100% 🙂 This is acceptable for destination charging if you plan on parking the car for a day or 2 while you enjoy your destination, etc.. For me, this is nearly useless though, only for emergencies.
- Tesla Mobile Charger (220 outlet): This is more like it. If you can commandeer someone’s dryer outlet, your Tesla mobile charger comes with a NEMA 14-50 adapter that will let you plug into a 220. Typically, dryer outlets might not sync with this, so there are other adapters you can add to your mobile charging arsenal. RV parks are a common place to find NEMA 14-50 plugs, so in an emergency, you could swing into an RV park and juice up in a few hours. If you can use a friend’s dryer outlet overnight, you will be 100% charged by the following day, as most of the time, the 220 options can yield anywhere from 18-30 miles of range per hour of charge time.
- Tesla Wall Connector (220 hardwire): This is what I use for my garage charging setup. Very sleek charger, permanently mounted on the wall (another reason to fight the urge to swap down the road lol), connected directly into the panel on it’s own breaker. This allows for around ~30 miles or so per hour of charge, more than plenty to charge up overnight. The Tesla also lets you configure charge times, so you can schedule this to happen at say midnight during off peak hours to avoid excessive utility bills.
- Public EV Chargers: Although you can sometimes find Tesla wall connectors mounted on posts in public places (which are free to use BTW), finding traditional EV charging places are much more common. ChargePoint is one popular network of EV charging locations, and your Tesla comes with an adapter to be able to use their services. These; however, more times than not, are not free. Free doesn’t necessarily mean expensive though, as i’ve found the average is $1 to $1.50 per hour of charging, and most highly deter you from spending more than 2 hours there as once you go over that 2 hour mark, they can skyrocket to $20 per hour! These are clearly designed to stop, go run errands, juice up while you are doing whatever it is you’re there to do, then leave. In an emergency, it’s better to have the option than not 🙂
- Tesla SuperChargers: THESE, ARE, AWESOME! First, with most Tesla’s, these are also 100% free to use. Only recently has Tesla started adding a line item to NEW orders for unlimited supercharging power, but for 2012’s, 100% free for life! These are also ALL over the US, making road trips possible! Without the Tesla SuperCharging network, road trips in a Tesla wouldn’t be possible IMO. The Tesla navigation system is so sophisticated, all you do is plot in your final destination, and it will automatically either A.) route you straight there, assuming you have adequate battery to make it or B.) route you through the closest supercharger, and even tell you how long you need to stay and charge in order to make it to your next destination. These things pump in a TON of juice, very quickly, especially in the first 30 minutes or so. Where the highest i’ve seen with my garage setup is around 30 miles of range per hour, these can pump in 300 miles per hour 🙂 So, clearly, an hour of charging can fully top you off to 100%.
…final thought on charging. For everyday city commuting, charging is such a nonissue, I don’t even worry about it. I have ~220 miles or so of range every morning, with a 50 mile commute. I’m good. That’s like filling up with gas everyday. For road trips, it does take extra route planning to be sure you can make it and there are superchargers along the way to leverage; however, as far as the # of stops, very similar if not the same as a typical gas engine. The only difference is time. You can’t just swing in, fill up, use the restroom, and keep going. At each stop, you will need to spend a little while juicing up your car, but I find this refreshing personally. It gives you some time to stretch your legs, take a walk, bathroom break, lunch, etc.. And most times, the superchargers are located in popular areas with things to do.
I LOVE the Tesla! It’s a perfect car for day-to-day commuting, tons of range, very stylish, tons of tech, and smooth as silk. Without having to spend $45-50 bucks a tank at each fill up with 93, coupled with the average of 6 tanks per month I was consuming, adds up to a nice little savings for me. Thanks for stopping by!