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Discussion Starter #1
here are my comments. I do realize thousands of folks and more have their opinions and publish them at this point, but this post is as much for me to just take a moment and summarize my thinking.

  • as with my 2012 Nissan Leaf SL (lease-new) and 2013 used Volt (2017-2019), things have turned out largely as I thought.
  • informally I think of the Model S as my first real BEV. "The good stuff" as opposed to the compliance expensive impractical non-luxurious short-range BEV, and one PHEV, I've owned or leased.
  • That it is the "the good stuff" does not mean it is perfect.

So, a few selected points:

- twor three things have gone wrong to the point of taking significant amounts of my time at the service center, but they have worked out in the end. They have included two separate instances where significant digital problems occurred onboard to the point of the MCU failing and a reset not fixing things. These matters were fixed under warranty.

- Once these things got worked out, I have still had a minor digital complaint here or there, but nothing that is such a big deal.

- even with my lower power 2015 S 70, it's wonderful power - more than I want, but useful. If I had splurged on a BMW M5 (or similar) it would probably be the same, I am wild-guessing. Gotta love that wonderful good-stuff BEV advantage in low end acceleration. Never mind drag races and youtube videos. I'm just talking here about smoothness, morning commutes, saving a little time over the life of the owner, and an end to slow acceleration from stoplights. If one is next to icvs, and accelerating from a stoplight 0-45 mph (for example) the ICVs are often left in the dust, not due to making any acceleration effort or racing effort at all, but on the contrary: simply due to conducting the vehicle safely and appropriately as befits a city street, but accelerating simply naturally. The vehicle simply does not take the usual levels of delays built into gasoline engine, mechanical transmission, fuel delivery and other systems to spool up and get out of its own way.

- Not a fan of the safety of looking down and to the right a lot to adjust radio stations while driving and other similar matters. I don't think this sort of thing is appropriate when driving a nearly 6,000 lb piece of equipment in public at a legal 75 mph. I'd like to try a competing product in the future which does not have this, to see what I think.

- Probably my biggest issue so far - Not a fan of the lack of transparency about a battery upgrade path. I do need a different segment and a longer range than I was able to afford last year, so I knew this would not be my forever vehicle, but that in such a seller's mrket, I would take what I could get temporarily. In the long run, and way for Tesla to win more of my business would be to offer improved information (without being asked) months and years ahead of time as to whether/if/to what extent I'll be able to pay for a battery and range upgrade, and on what terms.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tesla are very transparent about this.

You buy another Tesla with the battery or range you want.
Thanks, as with several of our other previous interactions, I am trying and unfortunately basically can't see much from you worth responding to here, other than to clarify for those who might read the thread and momentarily be confused by your attempted misdirect of the discussion for those comments that strike you as unacceptable in discussing Tesla. I certainly agree that trading in is another option, and it is one I will probably personally have to follow (in the end) particularly here in the US where the "seller's market" aspect in used good BEVs is likely to continue for a few more years. Still, I'm a believer in being clear with my suppliers, as a consumer, and letting companies know how they can satisfy me even more, and so I'm laying out one additional path I'd like to see Tesla offer which it is not presently offering.

For others then: I was referring to trying to flag an additional way that Tesla (or another manufacturer) could win my business, other than to offer me a trade-in, which would be to offer improved transparency on upgrade path (not to mention repair paths). Some of us may be interested to retain the vehicle, but to pay for installation of warrantied larger battery and associated electronics where available. I did ask a sales agent about this on the phone the other day and they indicated that Tesla had not issued such information, but that (if I recall correctly) the company had indicated that it might be clarified in future.
 

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Renault Zoe 50
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For others then: I was referring to trying to flag an additional way that Tesla (or another manufacturer) could win my business, other than to offer me a trade-in, which would be to offer improved transparency on upgrade path (not to mention repair paths).
They're not interested.

As we've mentioned before the cost would be prohibitive and you'd end up going the trade in route once you saw the price.

Sorry if you don't like the answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They're not interested.

As we've mentioned before the cost would be prohibitive and you'd end up going the trade in route once you saw the price.

Sorry if you don't like the answer.
The problem is not (nor has ever been) primarily whether I like your answers. The problem primarily is that they sometimes contain a portion of misdirect from my point, and occasionally (if I recall) contain a helping of poor information. My overall posture has to remain similar to the past, which is that if others want to agree or disagree with me, please feel free to address my points directly. [edited down to reduce my rudeness.]
 

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Renault Zoe 50
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You'd like to discuss a hypothetical situation where Tesla will sell you a new battery and buy your old one?
 

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Other than upgrading a software-locked 60kWh to 75kWh, or BMW's i3 deal to buy a bigger pack (for many thousands) I'm not aware of any EV manufacturer offering a battery upgrade service.

Much more profit to be earned sticking some mechanicals and electronics around a pack and selling it as a car, and while battery supply is the limiting factor I suspect it won't be viable for third party EV mechanics to offer such services for a few years.
 

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I don't think it's particularly unfair for a manufacturer have no interest in offering a battery upgrade, I wouldn't expect a legacy manufacturer to swap the engine in a car I purchased from them just because I want a more powerful or more efficient version, they'd just say buy a different model then. A third party on the other hand would do an engine swap for a not insignificant price, if not already the case I'm sure independants will spring up offering battery upgrades for Teslas but it will be very expensive for the time being
 

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Other than upgrading a software-locked 60kWh to 75kWh, or BMW's i3 deal to buy a bigger pack (for many thousands) I'm not aware of any EV manufacturer offering a battery upgrade service.

Much more profit to be earned sticking some mechanicals and electronics around a pack and selling it as a car, and while battery supply is the limiting factor I suspect it won't be viable for third party EV mechanics to offer such services for a few years.
NIO offer this as part of their BaaS (Battery as a Service) and they just as much stick as other EV manufacturers for not offering battery upgrade options.

As above the battery supply is limiting new cars so aftermarket swaps will likely stay at a premium for a while yet.

Oh and you'll also be competing with battery recycling companies as it is much cheaper than using mined materials as it's already at a battery grade of course. I think something like 90% of battery materials will likely come from re-cycled batteries.

If you haven't been following Tesla are moving towards structural batteries so you won't even be able to easily swap bad cells either I assume. The cars will be so quick and cheap to produce eventually they will be practically disposable :)

The BMW i3 can take a later pack and as far as I know the BMS will adjust with no additional updates so was an ideal candidate for a future upgrade. I looked into it for my 2015 i3 but costs weren't coming down anytime soon to moved on to a longer range EV.
 

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“ Not a fan of the safety of looking down and to the right a lot to adjust radio stations while driving and other similar matters. I don't think this sort of thing is appropriate when driving a nearly 6,000 lb piece of equipment in public at a legal 75 mph. I'd like to try a competing product in the future which does not have this, to see what I think.”

It’s a Tesla - why are you driving it at 75mph? It can do that perfectly well by itself.
 
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Some 70's are software locked as well as 60's but it seems to be hit and miss knowing which are and aren't, similar with uncorking. The option to upgrade seems to be inconsistent or comes and goes. Ironically I think the option made things worse not better due to the confusion it caused.

As for hardware upgrades, Tesla do offer the MCU upgrade so I see an argument for a battery upgrade which is actually a lot easier to perform - the MS and MX batteries were designed to be swappable from beneath the car. However the costs would be prohibitive in my opinion. Aftermarket replacement batteries might be more interesting and whether Tesla would allow it as cars will start coming out Battery warranty, so a Gruber type company offering say a 90 battery pack as a replacement for a 70 would be nice to see and Tesla allowing, but I don't think they will.
 

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Probably my biggest issue so far - Not a fan of the lack of transparency about a battery upgrade path. I do need a different segment and a longer range than I was able to afford last year, so I knew this would not be my forever vehicle, but that in such a seller's mrket, I would take what I could get temporarily. In the long run, and way for Tesla to win more of my business would be to offer improved information (without being asked) months and years ahead of time as to whether/if/to what extent I'll be able to pay for a battery and range upgrade, and on what terms.
I would say in this case Tesla are completely transparent - there is no "upgrade path." if you want something different to what you have then you go to the market to find it.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the comments.

Yes, I know Tesla does not presently offer a battery upgrade path, was already unlikely to do so, and now that it is talking about structural batteries is perhaps even more unlikely to do so. I'm a paying customer so I'm saying what I would like to see. If I'm just reporting what I want, then this is not "wrong". It's just what I want.

My experience in advocating for electric vehicles in the 90s and 2000s was that it was useful (in my opinion) to lay out what I wanted, regardless of whether the manufacturers would honor this. This doesn't mean I expect to get it, but I'm just laying it out. Even if my supplier doesn't listen, perhaps (eventually) one of their competitors will.

One of the values of improved path on this would be that it might help the value of a used EV in the general marketplace. If one could know that it's used and for sale, and the battery may be shot but that the manufacturer is known for reasonable replacement terms, then I think this would help with used vehicle value.

In any event, the battery I have is not fully adequate and so my thoughts turn to what options (if any) that I have to address this.
 

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Thanks for the comments.

Yes, I know Tesla does not presently offer a battery upgrade path, was already unlikely to do so, and now that it is talking about structural batteries is perhaps even more unlikely to do so. I'm a paying customer so I'm saying what I would like to see. If I'm just reporting what I want, then this is not "wrong". It's just what I want.

My experience in advocating for electric vehicles in the 90s and 2000s was that it was useful (in my opinion) to lay out what I wanted, regardless of whether the manufacturers would honor this. This doesn't mean I expect to get it, but I'm just laying it out. Even if my supplier doesn't listen, perhaps (eventually) one of their competitors will.

One of the values of improved path on this would be that it might help the value of a used EV in the general marketplace. If one could know that it's used and for sale, and the battery may be shot but that the manufacturer is known for reasonable replacement terms, then I think this would help with used vehicle value.

In any event, the battery I have is not fully adequate and so my thoughts turn to what options (if any) that I have to address this.
I think the mindset of car ownership differs between the US and the UK possibly: in the UK people are more likely to buy new metal, and in the States prefer to stick with a product they like.

Bit of a generalisation, but very few people in the UK buy a new car with the intention of keeping it for 10+ years (or if they do initially, they still end up chopping it in for something new).

EVs, being newish technology are being upgraded fairly rapidly (although to be fair Tesla's battery capacity remains competitive even after 5 or 6 years) which perhaps increases the churn rate - have a look at how many EVs many of the regulars on this site have been through in a handful of years.
 

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Put it this way - there are shops that will do a Nissan Leaf battery upgrade or swap.

Most of the time it's cost effective to swap a defective cell or trade the car for one with a bigger battery.

In time there will be places that can re-program a battery to do the swap in Teslas. Just not Tesla itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
One thing I forgot to mention in jotting down my 6 month ownership thoughts is that, on balance, I regret not making a purchase (including financing) through Tesla. These matters are a role of the dice (I might have suffered the same anti-customer fate as some of the recent victims of Tesla's extra billing of accounts) but (particularly in this vacuum of space where there are so few decent used long(er)-range BEV brands for sale in the US), I think it would have been a better-calculated role of the dice in this case to go through Tesla. As it ended up, the experience I went through, of weeks and months of bank and state of Arizona mismanagement of the transaction, resulted in my not being authorized to drive regularly for about 2 months after the purchase. The whole process cost me a lot of time, money and aggravation that probably each would have been lowered if I had just taken the risk of trading in through the Tesla website.

As to my points about seeking transparency on a battery upgrade path, there are a few angles here. Probably more broadly I'd like improved transparency on battery partial or full refurbishment as well, but anyway. From my standpoint, a main thing is to address the compromise I made last August, which is that the battery is not quite at the point where I'm willing to relax and live with it in the long run. So, I have to think in terms of either my next vehicle, or a battery upgrade. The path presently offered by this particular manufacturer is a trade-in, and they seem to be doubling down on that with the structural battery concept (though there is some question of how they will or will not repair or replace components of that battery).

I agree that shops like Gruber or Electrified Garage may be examples of places to go for mods or upgrades to a BEV in future, but there are important decisions for manufacturers to make there, in terms of how they relate to those shops, and how they relate to customers seeking service, upgrades, mods, whatever. Do the manufacturers make OEM parts available for sale and available for installation through certified shops? How do they deal with states like Massachusetts and their "right to repair" legal path (which has been a key enabler for Electrified Garage, if I have understood)? Do the manufacturers help or hinder customers who want either post-warranty repair or modification and upgrade (regardless of warranty timing). From what little I've been able to glean, Tesla so far has not been fully helpful to such 3rd party shops, though I"m not sure this should be said in a sweeping/blanket way.

Let's say I get to 5 years from now, and I am out of warranty, but have paid off and really like my sedan, and want either to upgrade to higher kWh from the initial nominal 70 which by that time will have degraded a bit more, or at least to have a proper refurbishment or replacement of the original pack. When I look around at that time, what path would the shops offer? Will it just be some sort of raw effort to go find a scrapped vehicle with battery intact that can be recycled into my vehicle? Or will it be a 3rd party battery that Tesla tries to discourage but I have to turn to? Or will there be a Tesla part or parts that can be installed for less than a zillion dollars?

Let's say I don't care about any of this, and just want to trade in for a wonderful new BEV much more appropriate to those times, but do care about the value of the trade-in. Isn't a trade-in value of any BEV helped if the next vehicle owner will be able to assess the battery and other equipment inside and bring the range up to a much more modern level?

So, whether I want to drive the vehicle or trade it in at some point, both from a financial standpoint and a personal driving needs standpoint, I want to think through whether there is a path for that vehicle to continue to have a value 5 or 10 or 15 years from now, as a longer-range BEV.

Yes, it's true that we may indeed be on a path to just seeing all of this as moot and the batteries will have such range that all of these refurb/repair/upgrade/mod/replace considerations will evolve and maybe even fade. What difference will it make if I have a 200 or 300 kWh battery in a luxury suv limo in the future if it will have an effective life of 1m miles or if I can just pretty much get a new autonomous one to show up at my doorstep for the next ride without worrying about "my" vehicle? But for now, over the next 10-20-30 years, it seems still relevant to ask the automakers seeking my business to see if they can help me figure out whether they will meet me partway on these concerns over that time period, particularly given the extraordinary global pollution emergency we are in, and the likely global change-out of ~1.4bn+ vehicles over those years, and the possibility that, from an individual consumer standpoint, there may be some challenge to navigating one's own needs against the backdrop of broader market chaos.

Nearly 25 years ago there was a de facto electric vehicle discussion area that developed in the yahoo discussion area for the equity Energy Conversion Devices (which was on path to make batteries for the GM EV1). As here, there was some good discussion to be had, but there was also some non-smart dismissiveness and inappropriate intolerance. I suppose sometimes this was driven in part by shareholding type biases. I've noticed lately that I still sometimes allow myself to get bent out of shape when I run into some of the same discussion issues, whether from Tesla shareholders or others. Not so much in this thread, but as a broad point (such as in a forum local to me that I go to) some of the irrational trolling in recent years by pro-Tesla shareholders has been pretty breathtaking.... really remarkable as a sort of anthropological phenomenon.... in itself (in my opinion) a legitimately interesting discussion point. I know of voices in the industry who have been advocating (very) smartly for BEV for decades who have run into immediate accusations of ignorance and/or unfair anti-Tesla bias the moment they open their mouths in recent years to offer any criticism of the company at all. When I run into that sort of thing myself, one helpful thought is that I remind myself that the pro-Tesla trolls are not (at all) the first to engage in that sort of dragging down of the discussion. Perhaps there are others here who who might have been in some of those old forums, or who might appreciate learning of the older discussion bottlenecks, and so those are also reasons to note these things.
 

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I think the crux of the issue is in your last post: Tesla has very limited competition in the US in a growth market so you're stuck with their vision of how to achieve expansion.

Competitors such as Jaguar iPace, Audi eTron, and Merc EQC are also interested in selling units with no upgrade path for older cars.

I suspect the way a ModelS70 will remain relevant over the next 5-10yrs will be via improved charging/supercharging infrastructure: if you know you can drive 180-200 miles (~3 hours) at highway speed with a guaranteed rapid charge after that, there is no real need for 100+kWh packs.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
a wonderful informative video was put out in the last few days by Gruber Power, as to battery upgrade path for MOdel S Owners, including mention of their own research and discussions with Tesla on these points, but I looked back today and it was switched to "private" in a way I can't access. [edit - I think they will be re-posting the video, hopefully soon.]
 

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I understand that OEMs are not interested in selling you an upgrade on the battery. From their point of view, the battery capacity is the one identifying aspect of a BEV. BMW will not sell you a standard 3 series and sell you an upgrade to an M5 engine either.

I do suspect however that there will be a rich landscape of 3rd party battery shops in 5 years' time, who will happily install a custom battery for you in your EV. For older vehicles like my e-Niro it might be an interesting option to install a new battery once the original starts degrading and keep the car for 5 more years or longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I understand that OEMs are not interested in selling you an upgrade on the battery. From their point of view, the battery capacity is the one identifying aspect of a BEV. BMW will not sell you a standard 3 series and sell you an upgrade to an M5 engine either.

I do suspect however that there will be a rich landscape of 3rd party battery shops in 5 years' time, who will happily install a custom battery for you in your EV. For older vehicles like my e-Niro it might be an interesting option to install a new battery once the original starts degrading and keep the car for 5 more years or longer.
Fwiw, I don't see it as directly comparable, as to whether a manufacturer will sell me an engine upgrade, and what their considerations might be. In the case of a pack in 2021, or 2025, we're talking about extremely early days to an industry where the vehicles are more or less worthy of being on the road for decades, but the batteries are early efforts that may warrant replacement or upfit in 10 or 20 years. Even if it does not result in an upgrade, replacing a pack that is aging is something I would expect most manufacturers to offer, just as I would expect them to make a key part available for sale and installation on a combustion engine vehicle.

As to 3rd party shops, I think a key question is whether we will be able to buy an OEM pack or if it will have to be made by a 3rd party. Even if some automakers are more "closed ecosystem" in their approach to this sort of question, I wonder if other manufacturers will see it as a commercial opportunity.

My understanding is the Gruber Power video is being updated, but one of the things I can pass along from having watched it is that Tesla had some interesting points to make about the max size of upgrade based on the added weight of a bigger battery. I think the gist of this particular point was that putting a bigger battery into a Model S would be possible, but that one shouldn't go above 90 kWh as that would be too heavy for the suspension/vehicle as set up for the smaller batteries.

If I recall correctly, there was also some price guidance given in the low $20s, but hopefully the video will be posted again soon.
 
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