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Old 07-30-2017, 11:19 PM
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Tesla Model 3 anticipation thread


Well, the Tesla Model 3 has been officially launched, even if the only people currently getting them are Tesla employees or big investors.

To get non-Tesla fans up to speed: the Model 3 has been Tesla's highly anticipated midrange model, starting at $35k, and with >215 miles range. In terms of price segment, it's supposed to be competition for vehicles like the BMW 3-series and Audi A4. Not quite cheap, but within financial range for an average American. Especially considering the $7.5k Federal rebate and possible state rebates.

I've had a $1k deposit down for the Model 3 for over a year now (as a replacement for my 14-year-old 330i) and it looks like it's going to happen within several months.

They announced the starting options packages, and opinions are somewhat mixed, but personally I think they sound pretty good. Basic rundown:

$35k base price (220 miles, 0-60 in 5.8 s, 15" main console, fabric seats, autopilot hardware (but not software), supercharging)
+$9k for large battery (310 miles, 0-60 in 5.1 s)
+$1k for metallic/multicoat paint
+$1.5k 19" wheels
+$5k premium package (synthetic leather seats, glass roof, etc.)
+$5k enhanced autopilot
+$3k full self-driving (not yet enabled)

More detailed specs here. The $9k for the big battery is steep, but man, 310 miles... that's great. The cheapest Model S that beats that is >$100k. And no other electric on the road comes close.

I'll have to think about the other options--one thing they've said is that they're keeping the options bundled for now to simplify the manufacturing. So I may have to accept a few things I don't care about to get the other things I do. But that's not hugely atypical in this segment.

The delivery sate predictor says Nov 2017 - Jan 2018. I got in pretty early so I suspect this is about as quick as it gets for non-employees and non-owners. Current Model S/X may get theirs a month or two sooner.

I know a few others here have a deposit on a Model 3... thoughts on the latest?
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:43 AM
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Sounds like a winner to me: http://www.motortrend.com/cars/tesla...-drive-review/
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:12 AM
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The first 30 going to employees/associates is their beta/prototype test. Despite their claims to the contrary.

They can't make 20,000 cars/year at $60-130k a pop with any semblance of quality, I've no confidence they can try to make 500,000 which are any good.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:20 AM
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I'll let you know in a few months .

They say they've learned their lesson with the S and the X. Neither of them had a focus on manufacturability. The Model 3--they claim--is simpler and easier to build. There are a few respects in which that's obviously true: it's made from steel instead of aluminum; it's missing a lot of gimmicky features like the Falcon Wing doors and auto-presenting door handles; it has simplified, bundled options; the initial versions will simply not have certain features like all-wheel drive; and so on.

They aren't going to 500k/yr instantly, anyway. They expect ~100 in August; ~1000 in September, and perhaps 20k in December. They won't hit 40k/mo until next year sometime.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:17 AM
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you realize Tesla is not the first company in the world to start designing and building cars, right?

When they ship garbage like this to customers on their expensive cars, I'm not confident in their ability to deliver anything resembling quality to a $35k price point. Sure, the Elon Musk Adoration Society will gladly take whatever they shovel out, but what happens when they get someone out of their Accord or Camry?

Quote:
it's made from steel instead of aluminum;
There's a company right now making 3/4 of a million pickup trucks out of aluminum every year. Cop out.

Last edited by jz78817; 07-31-2017 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:33 AM
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Sure, the Elon Musk Adoration Society will gladly take whatever they shovel out, but what happens when they get someone out of their Accord or Camry?
I actually agree with this criticism. The Model 3 competes with entry-level European sedans, not Camrys. The Euro sedans cost more for what you get than the Asian vehicles. Already I've seen some complaints in this direction, such as that their Kia Shitbox has heated seats at $20k while the Model 3 does not at $35k; while true, it indicates that they've never tried to price out a 3-series with a decent options package. That's not to dismiss their complaints, but there may be some adjustment of expectations that Tesla will need to manage. $35k is a hell of a deal, but only if you value the advantages that come with an electric and the general Tesla design aesthetic.

Personally, after test driving a Model S, I had a hard time going back to my gas car. It just feels so... janky.

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There's a company right now making 3/4 of a million pickup trucks out of aluminum every year. Cop out.
Yeah, and they're a century older than Tesla, so they have a bit more experience with manufacturing. The transition to aluminum for the F150 was still fairly painful as I understand it. The point is that steel is cheaper, has a longer history and even now is better understood than aluminum. It's just one less obstacle that Tesla has to face when ramping up production.

As for that photo... well, that's certainly bad, but then I've never heard of a manufacturer that's never produced a lemon before. I hope they've fixed whatever defect they had in their QC process.

I do wish there were better competition for the Model 3. The Bolt is the only one that comes close in terms of range, but it's inferior to the Tesla in basically every other way except those factors you get with buying from a more well-established brand. Not even close to worth it, IMO.

Everyone I know with a Tesla loves theirs. Call them fanboys if you want but I'm pretty sure the reason they put up with the annoyances is because the electric driving experience is so fantastic.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:52 AM
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As for that photo... well, that's certainly bad, but then I've never heard of a manufacturer that's never produced a lemon before. I hope they've fixed whatever defect they had in their QC process.


we're not talking about a "lemon." we're talking about a significant defect in structural sheet metal which should have been caught before that panel even got to the body assembly line, nevermind to the end customer.

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Yeah, and they're a century older than Tesla, so they have a bit more experience with manufacturing. The transition to aluminum for the F150 was still fairly painful as I understand it.
there were a few "teething problems" yet it was still managed within a ~4 year product cycle.

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I do wish there were better competition for the Model 3. The Bolt is the only one that comes close in terms of range, but it's inferior to the Tesla in basically every other way except those factors you get with buying from a more well-established brand. Not even close to worth it, IMO.
The Bolt is superior in one very, very critical way- you can buy one right now. But it's languishing because you lot seem to have the end goal of not "buy an EV with usable range," but "buy a Tesla."
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:11 AM
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But it's languishing because you lot seem to have the end goal of not "buy an EV with usable range," but "buy a Tesla."
I want a car that:
- Has decent range
- Looks good
- Has access to a high-speed and widely available charging network
- Performs at a level roughly similar to my 330i
- Has a smooth and well-designed head unit
- Has some kind of self-driving feature. Highway lane-keeping at the least.

The Bolt kinda hits the first one (though they don't offer a 300+ mile version), but none of the rest.

All that said, I think the Bolt would be a fine car for many people, but I don't think Chevy dealerships know how to sell it, or even really want to sell it. Tesla doesn't have the problem of competing with other models from the same manufacturer.
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
I want a car that:
- Has decent range
- Looks good
- Has access to a high-speed and widely available charging network
- Performs at a level roughly similar to my 330i
- Has a smooth and well-designed head unit
- Has some kind of self-driving feature. Highway lane-keeping at the least.
Nothing on your list mentions drivetrain. Buy a plug-in hybrid, say, a Fusion Energi, which has a great lane-keeping system and adaptive cruise control.

Or continue to wait for a Tesla. I think they're overrated, but I can understand people who stick to brands, as I've been an Apple user since the Mac Plus, and we're a bunch of idiots who buy something because it says Apple, and your criticism of Apple doesn't phase me, and I still like my Apple products even when they screw up (Antenna Gate, Bend-Gate, no earphone connection, no floppy, etc., etc.).
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
The Bolt is superior in one very, very critical way- you can buy one right now. But it's languishing because you lot seem to have the end goal of not "buy an EV with usable range," but "buy a Tesla."
Actually, although the press keeps saying nobody wants a Bolt, there is a waiting list: my Chevrolet dealer tells me the delay to get a Bolt is about 5-6 months. (Normal delay for a factory-ordered GM is 2-3 months.)

And the BMW dealer said the delay for an i3 was about 3 months. I didn't ask about the i8.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:46 AM
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jz78817, this is a Tesla Model 3 anticipation thread. Is denigrating Tesla and the insulting the people who want one really productive here? There's another, less pleasant word for that sort of thing.

For myself, it may be a couple of years before I get to buy a new car, but I read all of these kinds of threads about electric cars for information and in anticipation of when I can get into the market.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:52 AM
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I'm keeping an eye out for the UK launch. Hopefully they won't jack the price up too much and it will be similar to the i3.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:09 AM
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I'm somewhat conflicted on the Model 3. On one hand, it looks really exciting, and my hats off to Tesla for maintaining schedule (so far).

On the other hand, there's no way that I could buy one soon enough to get the full $7,500 tax credit, so I'm not all that hot to spend ~20% more than what I could probably get a roughly competitive offering in the 2019 timeframe when I expect to get a new car. Also, I am a little concerned about Tesla's quality issues, even though they seem to generally have better customer service than many major car brands. And finally, I really think I need to actually see the car to assess whether the weird trunk size issue is a problem or not, and to get used to the one-panel center display. I think those are probably not dealbreakers, but I'm not ready to put down $1,000 for a reservation until I know they aren't.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
The Bolt is superior in one very, very critical way- you can buy one right now. But it's languishing because you lot seem to have the end goal of not "buy an EV with usable range," but "buy a Tesla."
It's languishing because it's expensive ($37.5k for base) , the design aesthetics seem to be intentionally more along the lines of "quirky/weirdmobile", and the DC fast charging network for the Bolt is nowhere near charging speeds or quantities of what the supercharger network is. This is maybe just personal preference, but while the bolt's motor has a lot of pep, it should probably be on a RWD platform, as basic EV design (low battery pack along the floor, compact motor) lends itself nicely to that. Plus GM doesn't market it, the GM dealerships don't seem to know how to sell it, or even know it exists.

If GM had put out a sleeker RWD/AWD EV with a bigger motor, and put some effort into a fast-charging network, I'd probably be buying that car instead. I don't care much about Tesla's autopilot features, so I won't even throw that into the mix.

Tesla's aforementioned quality control issues are the only thing that worries me about the Model 3. I'd probably prefer to wait a few years to see how they manage to scale production while not sacrificing quality control. But I'm willing to risk it against the rapidly disappearing $7500 federal tax credit.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:08 AM
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Time will tell whether Tesla can deliver on its promises. I think the Model 3 looks pretty sharp and one major advantage the Model 3 has over the Bolt is an established charging network. Most likely I trade my 2012 Volt in for a new model of Volt before putting money down on a Tesla in the near term. But hopefully there'll be enough early adapters of the Model 3 to increase the size of their charging network.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
... and the DC fast charging network for the Bolt is nowhere near charging speeds or quantities of what the supercharger network is.
Color me doubtful that this is a major consideration in people's choice of EV.

First of all, I'm just not sure how much people actually use these fast charging stations. I think non-EV drivers tend to think of them as gas stations, but that's a bad analogy for a few reasons -- mainly, because they are SO much slower than gas stations. There was an article not long ago that raced a Model S (I forgot the battery capacity) against a Model T on a long drive, and frankly there wasn't much difference between the two. If "filling up" takes the better part of a hour, it just plain isn't good to take EVs on cross-country trips yet.

According to this, the number of fast charging sites (which may have multiple chargers) shows something interesting. If you're looking for a fast charge, odds are that you should buy a Nissan Leaf, because there are like four times more fast chargers for that car than for Tesla. The main difference is that Tesla spreads theirs out far better, expecting that people want to take long road trips in EVs.

What I can't find is any data that shows how much Superchargers or other fast charging plugs are used. If I had to guess, I would not be surprised at all that people actually need to use them quite infrequently, but might use them more if they are free.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:34 AM
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While I was initially disappointed by some of the options packaging (I really want to get the glass roof, but don't want to spend $5k on all the other "premium" features to get it), it was buoyed by some of the initial press coverage that has been pretty flattering, like this quote from the motortrend article linked above:

Quote:
What’s blanching, though, is the car’s ride and handling. If anybody was expecting a typical boring electric sedan here, nope. The ride is Alfa Giulia (maybe even Quadrifoglio)–firm, and quickly, I’m carving Stunt Road like a Sochi Olympics giant slalomer, micrometering my swipes at the apexes. I glance at Franz—this OK? “Go for it,” he nods. The Model 3 is so unexpected scalpel-like, I’m sputtering for adjectives. The steering ratio is quick, the effort is light (for me), but there’s enough light tremble against your fingers to hear the cornering negotiations between Stunt Road and these 235/40R19 tires (Continental ProContact RX m+s’s). And to mention body roll is to have already said too much about it. Sure, that battery is low, way down under the floor. But unlike the aluminum Model S, the Tesla Model 3 is composed of steel, too, and this car’s glass ceiling can’t be helping the center of gravity’s height. Nearly-nil body roll? Magic, I’m telling you. Magic.
And this article from bloomberg
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:46 AM
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When car magazine reviewers say a car is "firm", doesn't that mean harsh and uncomfortable? Most people don't want cars that rides like sports cars.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:48 AM
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If I bought a Model 3 (or S or X or Bolt, etc), I would only be using it to commute and drive around town. Being plugged into a 240v socket overnight in my garage would be amply sufficient for 99.5% of my recharging needs.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:55 AM
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Color me doubtful that this is a major consideration in people's choice of EV.

First of all, I'm just not sure how much people actually use these fast charging stations. I think non-EV drivers tend to think of them as gas stations, but that's a bad analogy for a few reasons -- mainly, because they are SO much slower than gas stations. There was an article not long ago that raced a Model S (I forgot the battery capacity) against a Model T on a long drive, and frankly there wasn't much difference between the two. If "filling up" takes the better part of a hour, it just plain isn't good to take EVs on cross-country trips yet.
Probably 99.9% of my mileage on my current car is round-trips of 100 miles or less. Personally, I doubt I'll even use the superchargers at all, unless I want to start taking it on family road trips (that we currently use my wife's SUV for). But there's a mental block around purchasing a vehicle that doesn't give me the freedom to do those sorts of things, that I don't know if I can rationalize. I don't mind the hassle of 45 minute stops to recharge, especially if we have to eat somewhere for lunch/dinner anyway. But 2 hours+ to recharge just seems something I'd rather have to do without, especially if its at an inconvenient location that may be completely inoperable once you get to it (I've heard reports of stations broken for weeks without anyone dealing with it), or located at a stall at a dealership that the salespeople have decided to completely block off overnight with other parked cars (I've heard Nissan is prone to doing this).
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:43 PM
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After driving a +-85 mile EV for a year, I can attest that my way of thinking about cars has shifted a lot. The vast, vast majority of my driving is commuting rather short to moderate distances. I probably charge twice a week at home when the weather is moderate, if I use a lot of AC or heating, make that three times a week. I have charged not at home in probably less than two dozen occasions: mainly when there's a free charger so I can literally save fifty cents or something on charging at home. Maybe four times have I actually needed a charge, two of which were fast charges that I only used for like 10 minutes to get another 20-25 miles.

We can all recognize that the longer range cars get, the less charging stations are an issue. But I think you did put your finger on an issue in that the non-EV enthusiast will want the reassurance of charging stations because they think of them as gas stations, and gas stations are everywhere! In reality, charging your car is not like filling it up. It's more like charging your phone: you do it when you don't need to use it, as opposed to needing to do it while you're using it. But it takes experience for people to get this, so it is like a chicken and egg problem.

There's other things that I have really discovered that are great about EVs (very low maintenance, very very rarely having to go out of my way to find a gas station because I have one at home, how EVs are simply better cars than ICE cars are, etc), but the whole range anxiety thing is totally overblown for a lot of drivers. Not all, but a lot.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:53 PM
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Just checked my local Enterprise Rent a Car.

I could rent a car or SUV for two weeks, unlimited miles, from $670-$1000.

If I had an EV and wanted to do a two week family of four tour-de-force of say, the West Coast, paying a grand to put miles and wear on someone else's car for two weeks would not be a bad option. Breaks down? "Hey Enterprise, your car broke down. Bring me another!"
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:14 PM
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The Bolt is superior in one very, very critical way- you can buy one right now. But it's languishing because you lot seem to have the end goal of not "buy an EV with usable range," but "buy a Tesla."
Exactly the point I was going to make. There's no waiting list to buy a Bolt. They're available now in many places and will be nationwide before the end of the year. Someday Tesla might be able to compete with GM on electric cars, but until you can walk into a store and buy one with less than a week's wait, it's little to compare.

I've been driving my Bolt since May. I considered a Tesla, but the models available now can't compete with it. I'd prefer a Japanese or Korean-designed car, but their electric cars don't have the range I need. Toyota doesn't even have an electric car. Clunky old GM is beating them all.

Once my Bolt stops working and I need a new car again, I'll take a look at Tesla.

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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
All that said, I think the Bolt would be a fine car for many people, but I don't think Chevy dealerships know how to sell it, or even really want to sell it.
That is certainly true. My dealership was rather clueless. I especially liked how their on-site sales manager's bargaining position was completely undercut by their online sales manager emailing me an offer of way under MSRP.

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Actually, although the press keeps saying nobody wants a Bolt, there is a waiting list: my Chevrolet dealer tells me the delay to get a Bolt is about 5-6 months. (Normal delay for a factory-ordered GM is 2-3 months.)
Must be because they're still rolling it out in many areas. My dealership had something like 50 Bolts on the lot when I bought mine. Quite possibly being in SoCal makes the difference.

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Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
Probably 99.9% of my mileage on my current car is round-trips of 100 miles or less. Personally, I doubt I'll even use the superchargers at all, unless I want to start taking it on family road trips (that we currently use my wife's SUV for). But there's a mental block around purchasing a vehicle that doesn't give me the freedom to do those sorts of things, that I don't know if I can rationalize.
Yep. My family has my commuter car that I drive to work and use when going about LA. For farther trips we use the our SUV (a hybrid Lexus, so not super gassy). Electric vehicles require a change in how one thinks of vehicles.

Once that one breaks enough to replace, we'll definitely consider another electric. Renting a long-range SUV for the yearly road-trip isn't that much of a leap of faith.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:39 PM
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Nothing on your list mentions drivetrain. Buy a plug-in hybrid, say, a Fusion Energi, which has a great lane-keeping system and adaptive cruise control.
Well, we were talking pure electrics. To be honest, I'm done with gas cars. Done with oil changes, done with smog checks, done with stinking gas stations, done with clunky transmissions, etc. A plug-in hybrid would cover my commute but basically nothing else; trips to my parents or SF or whatever would be almost entirely gas.

I don't use any Apple products but their success has changed my way of thinking in some ways; I no longer reject their design decisions based on narrow assumptions of what I need in a product. I thought, when the iPhone came out, that any smartphone without a physical keyboard was a non-starter. I was wrong, both in terms of market success but also usability. So I try not to make assumptions based on technology doing things in the way that I'm used to and instead listen to people that actually use a product.

I had mixed feelings when I first saw the Model 3's minimalistic interior, but now I'm fully ready to embrace the aesthetic. I look at my current instrument cluster and realize how stupid it is in the context of an electric. As main gauges, I have fuel, speed, tach, temperature, and MPG. Tach and temp can be thrown out completely; MPG translates to current electrical efficiency but is really fairly useless; fuel is pointless even in a gas car, and should be "range" (which my car knows but hides in a menu); finally, speed is the only truly useful one but really doesn't demand a front-and-center view. There's nothing left.

That's just one example, but in general I make it a point to reject long-standing assumptions. Lots of stuff stops making sense when the conditions change, and going from gas to full electric is one such transition.

I do look at cars as more than point-A-to-point-B devices; given the amount of time we spend in them, they're virtually a residence. As such, I want them to look and feel nice, just as I want to live in a nice house. Pure electric is a huge step forward in this regard. Hybrids do not achieve this for me.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
[Chevy Bolt is] languishing because it's expensive ($37.5k for base) , the design aesthetics seem to be intentionally more along the lines of "quirky/weirdmobile",...
I'm surprised people find the Bolt quirky. I'm kind of turned off by how boring it looks. It's a plain 5-door hatchback. It doesn't stand out from the likes of the Toyota Yaris / iM, Honda Fit, Chevy Sonic/Spark, Hyundai Accent, etc. If I'm going to buy a non-conventional vehicle, I want it to look distinctive, like the BMW i3.

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Old 07-31-2017, 06:04 PM
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$9000 is pretty steep for an extra 90 miles in range.

Personally I make less than half a dozen road trips a year that are longer than 220 miles. Evenso, with all the Tesla supercharge stations near the interstate now, is the larger battery pack worth it? My road trip is in the midwest, is about 360 miles but even with that there are 6 Tesla superchargers on the interstate along the drive I make. The bigger battery doesn't seem appealing.

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 07-31-2017 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:48 PM
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There was an article not long ago that raced a Model S (I forgot the battery capacity) against a Model T on a long drive, and frankly there wasn't much difference between the two.
Was it actually a race or was the Tesla driver staying within the speed limit? The Model S (and hi-capacity Model 3) charges 170 miles in 30 min (note that this doesn't scale--you don't get 340 mi in 60 min). At any rate, if you maintain a driving speed of 65 mph, you have to stop every 157 min for a 30 min charge. That's an average speed of 54.5 mph, compared to the top speed of a Model T of 45 mph (not including fueling stops).

For me, the difference between 65 and 54 mph is small enough that I don't care, given the rarity of long road trips that require it. And really, that's something of a worst-case, since for some of those stops I'd be having lunch or stretching my legs anyway; it's not really fair to count that as extra time.
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:55 PM
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$9000 is pretty steep for an extra 90 miles in range.
It is pretty steep, but if you look at total dollars per mile, it's a decrease from the base cost. For whatever that's worth.

I don't strictly need the range myself. My longest regular drive is to my parents and back, which is 240 miles. I could charge there if I wanted, but I'd prefer not to be a leech; plus I'd have to install some charging infrastructure for shorter (overnight) trips, since the 3-4 mph from standard plugs isn't really enough.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
Was it actually a race or was the Tesla driver staying within the speed limit? .
http://www.caranddriver.com/features...turies-feature

There were a few fact of life things that made it a fair fight. Mostly, no Superchargers.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:25 PM
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There were a few fact of life things that made it a fair fight. Mostly, no Superchargers.
Ahh... yeah, that would make a difference. Things have changed in the past 4 years, and Tesla claims that they'll triple the number of Supercharger stations in the next year. They'll need the capacity with all the new Model 3s on the road, but as a side effect the stations will have more granular spacing, so there will be less need to plan a stop at a particular place.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
It is pretty steep, but if you look at total dollars per mile, it's a decrease from the base cost. For whatever that's worth.
I'm confused by what that means, do you mean because the battery will undergo fewer charge cycles, the lifespan of the car will be longer? I suppose that is true, a 300 mile battery will only be recharged 67% as many times as a 200 mile battery. Or do you mean cost of the car vs. mileage range.

The extra $8k for the autopilot and full self driving though, I would totally get that.

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 07-31-2017 at 07:55 PM.
  #32  
Old 07-31-2017, 08:28 PM
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Or do you mean cost of the car vs. mileage range.
Just that. It's a bit of a silly metric, but in any case the LR model is $141/mi while the base model is $159/mi (sans rebates). The pack lifetime aspect is definitely a thing too, but if the Model S is anything to go on, pack degradation is not a huge deal. The numbers I saw were roughly 6% loss after 125,000 miles.

One thing about autopilot is that it can be added later if desired since it's just software. They'll charge more later, but that might be worth it if you can't afford it right now or are skeptical of Tesla's ability to deliver on it. The basic autopilot features are already working of course, but we'll have to see how full the full self driving really is.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:12 PM
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I'm also early on the Model 3 list. It's saying the estimated time to get a long range version is November-January and a standard version is February-April. I can't really justify $9,000 for the long range. The only thing that would make me get it is if it was the only way to get the $7,500 federal rebate. I don't think that will be the case, though.

For me, I need a new car, I don't want all the bother that comes with an engine, and I also don't want something boring. That kind of leaves Tesla. Getting a $12,500 discount (federal+state) on a new car is also too good to miss.

I think I'll be getting the standard model, in black, with the $5000 assisted driving package. I can't see getting the $3,000 full self driving package yet, as the software is not written, and the regulations are not in place to use it. I'm expecting that in a few years when it's ready, I'll be able to upgrade. I'm also not paying $5000 for rear seat USB charging ports.

I have a free to use level 2 J1772 charging station at the elementary school across the street. If I'm willing to leave the car a block away, I can probably drive with no electricity costs.

I guess Tesla could still screw things up enough I won't get one. The build quality on some of the prototype Model 3s looked bad. For all the Bolt advocates, the panel gaps were no worse than what I've seen on production GM products. I remember a rental Chevy something, where I could stick my fingers in panel gaps on one side of the car, and the other side was nice and tight. That was 10 years ago, so maybe they're better now. Fortunately people who've seen the production Model 3s say the look better than the prototypes.
  #34  
Old 08-01-2017, 01:18 AM
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The only thing that would make me get it is if it was the only way to get the $7,500 federal rebate. I don't think that will be the case, though.
Yeah, it's almost guaranteed you'll get it unless you wait for the AWD version. The rebate clock starts ticking in the quarter that Tesla sells their 200,000th car in the US. That won't happen until early next year. Then, they get the remainder of the quarter and then another full quarter of the full rebate. If Tesla is smart, they'll delay their 200,000th US shipment until day 1 of Q2 2018 so that deliveries up to September are covered. Then, the rebate is halved to $3750, which lasts two quarters, then halved again for another two quarters. So shipments up to late 2019 should get some kind of rebate.

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I'm also not paying $5000 for rear seat USB charging ports.
Guess you don't care for the glass roof .

One thing that sounds fun to me is car camping. Like in the car. Some Model S owners have taken to folding the rear seats down, putting in some padding, and just sleeping in the car. You can leave the heater on since it doesn't require the engine; it's only a couple dozen miles of range worth per night. Being able to see the stars from under the glass roof sounds great. The Model 3 should work just as well here; actually better since supposedly the seats fold without even a bump at the hinge.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by echoreply View Post
For all the Bolt advocates, the panel gaps were no worse than what I've seen on production GM products. I remember a rental Chevy something, where I could stick my fingers in panel gaps on one side of the car, and the other side was nice and tight. That was 10 years ago, so maybe they're better now.
GM is incredibly bad at this. One of my favorite things to do is walk through their display of current model cars in their world headquarters and look at their gaps and margins (I'm a body in white engineer professionally, by the way).

Typically when putting cars out for public display, you choose the best, or you refit them to be the best, because, you know, they're supposed to represent what you will actually purchase. I guess maybe we can say GM is more honest; they don't put nice looking cars on display; their crappy margins and flushness represents what you'll really buy!

Although it's been a couple of years, the Tesla Model S I looked at in Shanghai had a lot of the same types of issues (this is an honest appraisal; I'm on record somewhere saying that I think I'd enjoying owning a Model S, by the way).

You know who does a good job across the board? Even their crappy, little Corolla is dialed in quite nicely.
  #36  
Old 08-01-2017, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
$9000 is pretty steep for an extra 90 miles in range.

Personally I make less than half a dozen road trips a year that are longer than 220 miles. Evenso, with all the Tesla supercharge stations near the interstate now, is the larger battery pack worth it? My road trip is in the midwest, is about 360 miles but even with that there are 6 Tesla superchargers on the interstate along the drive I make. The bigger battery doesn't seem appealing.
For tesla's current Model S sedan, going up 76 miles in range from a 75D (259 miles) to a 100D (335 miles) is an extra $23k. $9k for 90 miles doesn't seem all that bad, relatively.

There are other benefits to the larger battery size, such as acceleration (0-60 mph times of 5.6 seconds vs. 5.1 seconds), recharging rates, and an extra 20,000 miles on the battery warranty. 220 miles is the rated range, but will be less in cold weather, spirited driving & battery age (expect to lose 1% capacity per year). Also remember that to preserve battery life, you don't typically want to charge more than 80% of full battery capacity unless you're going to use it immediately after "topping off".

For your 360 mile trip, the bigger battery may be the difference between 1 short supercharging stop vs 2, depending on where the supercharger is located and what the weather is.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:48 AM
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Also remember that to preserve battery life, you don't typically want to charge more than 80% of full battery capacity unless you're going to use it immediately after "topping off".
I didn't watch the full video, but there's an interesting article here that estimates that we should more or less stop worrying about losing more than 20% of a Tesla's battery capacity.

http://insideevs.com/do-tesla-batteries-last-forever/
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:53 AM
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EVs/hybrids have pretty sophisticated battery management strategies, they won't let you mistreat the battery.

well, except for the Nissan Leaf, but I think that one was down to inadequate thermal management...
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:54 AM
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I may get a model 3. My reservation time is projecting November. A couple challenges I have, and some have nothing to do with the car itself.
  • The biggest issue is that in my household, I chose the last car for myself, so the other person pretty much gets their pick of what they want. That doesn't always line up with what I want
  • Trunk space is a bit limited. Hard to make costco runs with that tiny trunk.
  • For both the Model S and the Model X, the interior finishes I have thought were kind of cheapish. The dash display is nice, but inside there's little else. The back was either missing or had poorly placed cup holders. Behind the front seats was this odd plasticy material. It was roomy, but didn't seem very useful. I don't know how the model 3 will be.

So yeah, the interior finishes don't scream out, this is awesome! I know, cup holders are a trivial thing to worry about, but I swear the cup holders are the reason I didn't get an M3 before. And with young kids, cup holders, rear entertainment and layout, those are really really important.

Last edited by Bone; 08-01-2017 at 09:54 AM.
  #40  
Old 08-01-2017, 11:45 PM
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I swear the cup holders are the reason I didn't get an M3 before.
That sounds familiar. My 330i has what I'd count as half of a cupholder. Technically there are two, but one is completely unusable as it sits under the armrest, and the other is only large enough for a soda can, not a largish bottle or coffee mug.

Supposedly the Model 3 has improved things over the S/X, including such features as door pockets, but I haven't yet seen a full rundown of the interior amenities. If it has two real cupholders I'll consider it a big improvement .

The rear seats fold down flat or almost flat, so Costco runs shouldn't be a problem unless you bring the whole fam.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:09 AM
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The rear seats fold down flat or almost flat, so Costco runs shouldn't be a problem unless you bring the whole fam.
I can't flip down the rear seats of my Bolt because of the kids' car seats. When I go to Costco, I have to remember their cart holds more than my car's cargo space. Sometimes the kids get to carry groceries on the way home.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:59 AM
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Was it actually a race or was the Tesla driver staying within the speed limit? The Model S (and hi-capacity Model 3) charges 170 miles in 30 min (note that this doesn't scale--you don't get 340 mi in 60 min). At any rate, if you maintain a driving speed of 65 mph, you have to stop every 157 min for a 30 min charge. That's an average speed of 54.5 mph, compared to the top speed of a Model T of 45 mph (not including fueling stops).

For me, the difference between 65 and 54 mph is small enough that I don't care, given the rarity of long road trips that require it. And really, that's something of a worst-case, since for some of those stops I'd be having lunch or stretching my legs anyway; it's not really fair to count that as extra time.
A) That's assuming there's no wait for the charger.
B) It will be quite some time before these chargers appear anywhere buy major metropolitan areas. PHL to PGH is 300 miles, with mostly farms, fields, & forests in between; when do you think that's really going to be possible to do in an electric car?
C) That takes a 5hr drive to a 6hr one. I won't stop on a 5hr drive (other than 3-4 minutes to fuel up); 6 or more hours in a car is the tipping point for doing much, if anything else that day.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:26 AM
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I can't flip down the rear seats of my Bolt because of the kids' car seats. When I go to Costco, I have to remember their cart holds more than my car's cargo space. Sometimes the kids get to carry groceries on the way home.
Totally. This is a real issue and will always come up when we are car shopping. How do I go to costco with this? The bolt was ruled out as a result. The 500e Fiat was ruled out as a result. Seriously, the fiat lease deals made it a net positive in cash flow compared to the SUV we currently use in that the cost of the lease was less than the gas we were spending, and it wasn't close. But the car is so damn small!

And with young kids, they are always with you.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:35 AM
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What irks me is the variability of the rebate schemes in Canada. There's no federal program at all, and the provincial ones vary from $0 (Alberta, of course), to $14000 in Ontario [plus a $1000 rebate for the home charger]. As an added bonus, I get to pay the exchange rate of %30 roughly so my $35000 USD Model 3 becomes $45500 Cad before taxes.
Now, obviously that's not Tesla's fault but it makes it just that much harder to make the leap to an all electric. I'm prepared to make adjustments to the way I drive and treat the idea of driving a Tesla in Northern Alberta in much the same way as my forebears would have driving a Model T 100 years ago in that trips require a bit more planning and preparation. In fact, most of my present vehicle's duties would be admirably suited to a Leaf, Bolt or a Tesla (Although I despise the Bolt's exterior design, and the Leaf for that matter). 99% of any distance driving we do is covered by my wife's Edge, and the little distance we do in my car is usually for maintenance for same. I really want to buy a Model 3, but I'm not shelling out 50 large for a car I haven't even sat in.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:25 AM
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B) It will be quite some time before these chargers appear anywhere buy major metropolitan areas. PHL to PGH is 300 miles, with mostly farms, fields, & forests in between; when do you think that's really going to be possible to do in an electric car?
There are two current supercharger stations between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, one in Harrisburg, the other in Somerset. Shouldn't be more than 30 minutes of extra time tacked onto the current trip to allow for charging, but that's assuming you'll have some sort of charging available at your destination.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:32 PM
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To start with there's nothing wrong with a little fanboy love for the Model 3. A little. Musk has always had a bit of Barnum and Bailey in him. I see it as a multiplier for Tesla. The brand already created big initial pre-sales based on Tesla's sporty image. But the multiplier effect is a two edged sword. It can also hurt long term sales if it there are mechanical problems because I don't think there is the infrastructure in place to handle large volumes of repairs.

Musk took the Apple route. he isn't selling a product as much as he's selling a product designed to generate other purchases. Yes, you can buy a Model 3 for $35,000. If you want wheels and paint it's $40,000. Bigger battery, fake leather, dual motors, a robo-hooker, $60,000.

The only thing I don't like is the display. It's going to cause accidents with people looking at it instead of the road. It's too far off the center line of sight. Hopefully there's a video bluetooth option so people can use their ipads mounted in front of the steering wheel.

Even if sales for the Model 3 are modest the company sits tall in the saddle in the production of batteries and could easily shift production to meet world demand for them.

Last edited by Magiver; 08-02-2017 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:10 PM
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Yup, and my local Ford dealership has a rock bottom Fusion for $17,444 all the way up to a V6 Sports Sedan version for $35,219, or just over twice the price of a base model.

Paying more for extra stuff is no mystery or rip-off. That is the way it has always worked.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:35 PM
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It's going to cause accidents with people looking at it instead of the road.
Has there been a rash of accidents in the Toyota Yaris that I haven't heard about? The Model 3 display is actually significantly less off-center, and it's never blocked by the spokes of the steering wheel.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:58 PM
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Has there been a rash of accidents in the Toyota Yaris that I haven't heard about? The Model 3 display is actually significantly less off-center, and it's never blocked by the spokes of the steering wheel.
I don't know, has there? By default the farther away from the center line of traffic the less you'll see in your peripheral vision.

The Yaris display would be a deal breaker for me. Wouldn't be the first car I rejected because I didn't like the ergonomics.

Musk did address the subject and basically said to pound salt despite consumers requesting a center display. It's his company so at this point the consumer is left with "thank you sir, may I have another?"

Here's a poll on the subject. 81% say they don't like it.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:06 PM
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Does any of this ring true to anyone (passed along email from my Dad):

Subject: Gas vs Electric Automobiles

ELECTRIC CAR...Hmmm... It makes you wonder…

Ever since the advent of electric cars, the REAL cost per mile of those things has never been discussed. All you ever heard was the mpg in terms of gasoline, with nary a mention of the cost of electricity to run it. This is the first article I’ve ever seen and tells the story pretty much as I expected it to.

Electricity has to be one of the least efficient ways to power things yet they’re being shoved down our throats… Glad somebody finally put engineering and math to paper.

At a neighborhood BBQ I was talking to a neighbor, a BC Hydro executive. I asked him how that renewable thing was doing. He laughed, then got serious. If you really intend to adopt electric vehicles, he pointed out, you had to face certain realities. For example, a home charging system for a Tesla requires 75 amp service. The average house is equipped with 100 amp service. On our small street (approximately 25 homes), the electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than 3 houses with a single Tesla, each. For even half the homes to have electric vehicles, the system would be wildly over-loaded.

This is the elephant in the room with electric vehicles... Our residential infrastructure cannot bear the load. So as our genius elected officials promote this nonsense, not only are we being urged to buy these things and replace our reliable, cheap generating systems with expensive, new windmills and solar cells, but we will also have to renovate our entire delivery system! This latter "investment" will not be revealed until we're so far down this dead end road that it will be presented with an 'OOPS!' and a shrug.

If you want to argue with a green person over cars that are eco-friendly, just read the following. Note: If you ARE a green person, read it anyway. It’s enlightening.

Eric test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors … and he writes, "For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.” Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery. So, the range including the 9-gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles.

It will take you 4-1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours. In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.

According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kwh of electricity. It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery. The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned so I looked up what I pay for electricity. I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh. 16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery. $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery. Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine that gets only 32 mpg. $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.

The gasoline powered car costs about $20,000 while the Volt costs $46,000+… So the American Government wants loyal Americans not to do the math, but simply pay three times as much for a car, that costs more than seven times as much to run, and takes three times longer to drive across the country!
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