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VW ID.3 Worst Edition & Tesla M3 LR
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BMW will not sell you a standard 3 series and sell you an upgrade to an M5 engine either.
The engine analogy doesn’t really work for me, it’s more akin to asking BMW if they’d fit you a bigger fuel tank or replace one that’s shrunk in size...

The answer would still be ‘No’ though.
 

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The engine analogy doesn’t really work for me, it’s more akin to asking BMW if they’d fit you a bigger fuel tank or replace one that’s shrunk in size...

The answer would still be ‘No’ though.
If you could prove that the fuel tank on your 3 year old BMW had shrunk, I would expect BMW to grumble and replace it with one of the original size.😂
I tend to think that upgrades will have to be an aftermarket thing, exists for some other earlier EVs, the question in my mind especially re Tesla is the level of 'ownership' they retain in software, for example if you or someone else works out how to add a higher capacity pack Tesla will be aware and may/will switch off supercharging for you... And I can see that just allowing a cobbled together selection of cells to charge at 150kw might not be a smart thing to do.
 

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It's not so much "lack of transparency" as "lack of offering" IMHO. I'd like a sunroof fitted to mine, but have to accept that they don't do it.

However, the notion that one never truly owns a network-connected vehicle as much as a lump of metal with no smarts is an interesting one. Effectively this makes upgrades and modifications tricky - a bit like the need to jailbreak an iPhone.
 

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2015 Tesla Model S 70
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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
All:
Thanks for the various thoughts.

I probably should have talked a bit more in general terms about parts "replacement" rather than parts "upgrade", but we are in these unique early days of the industry where we (or one of the previous owners) is spending $50k to $100k+ for a vehicle in an industry where, in the early days of the industry, the battery specs are changing somewhat rapidly. If the rest of the vehicle seems well worth keeping, whether to the initial buyer or to a later owner, and if all it requires is a few parts replacements or upgrade, then it seems worth asking if the automaker could clarify the matter now rather than a decade from now. In any event, a request for improved transparency on battery upgrade path is arguably part of a request for a manufacturer to think through how they can win and keep my business as to my service and support expectations. It doesn't mean I expect each manufacturer to choose an approach to service and support that I like, but I think let's start with clear information and then go from there.

For example, if I did go to Gruber or Electrified Garage or some similar place (as the industry fills out, hopefully there will be many more places), or if I did want just to go to Tesla on this point on the future, post-warranty, then how about some clarity, from Tesla, on:

  • would a replacement or upgraded battery be available to purchase directly as a new battery from Tesla?
  • Would the part itself have a warranty as a new part?
  • How would pricing look per kWh or mile for the part? How might it look in the future?
  • Would I be able to retain the no-fee occasional supercharging that seemed to come with my purchase of a 2015 MOdel S 70? Would I be able to get any supercharging at all? Would supercharger access depend on whether I got the install done by Tesla or a third party? If so, then why?

With respect to 3rd party service shops that may be encouraged or discouraged by a manufacturer, now or in the future, from performing work on the vehicles, certainly they factor in the discussion (and I've communicated with them a bit, and for awhile now), but I'm not sure how they're necessarily mutually exclusive with a call by an existing or prospective customer to ask which manufacturers are going to offer greater transparency on battery upgrade paths.

Does anyone have a link to clear information directly from Tesla on their present or past or future position on post-warranty battery replacement or upgrades? We did have this one famous upgrade path they offered:

Roadster 3.0
The Tesla Team December 26, 2014

"....1. Batteries
The original Roadster battery was the very first lithium ion battery put into production in any vehicle. It was state of the art in 2008, but cell technology has improved substantially since then. We have identified a new cell that has 31% more energy than the original Roadster cell. Using this new cell we have created a battery pack that delivers roughly 70kWh in the same package as the original battery....."

This is good to see, especially since it offers what I thought would be there as a rationale (that energy densities had increased dramatically since the earliest days). This is not to downplay the importance of the other key efficiency improvements offered in that package, but, as to the batteries, it's good to see. It's also a matter of coming directly from Tesla and not relying on hours and days of research by people who enjoy following Tesla and translating one-on-one customer discussions into de facto dissemination of key information.

It also offers some transparency I didn't realize Tesla had issued, as to Model S battery upgrade path, though it still does not meet my full request.

"....The Roadster 3.0 package applies what we've learned in Model S to Roadster. No new Model S battery pack or major range upgrade is expected in the near term....."

Taking a very quick additional look around, I don't seem much else clarifying some of the additional questions I listed above, though I do see a little bit more from other owners with questions similar to mine. The Gruber Power video that was issued the other day, which unfortunately seems for the moment to have been taken down, also (if I recall) mentioned at the top that they get questions in this area.

This is a somewhat famous early statement by a competing manufacturer, in 2014:


At the time, I called them some time later to ask if we could get access to a battery upgrade (At some point they moved to a bigger one) but was told, if I recall, that this would not be possible, I think due to the electronics complications (it's not just about the battery form factor or what-have-you). Anyway, it was not likely I would do this, but I couldn't help but be curious, and I was basically impressed that they at least issued the pricing information on the replacement, though they still left the question of upgrade to waiting for a customer to ask.

So, I'm saying as a driver, to Tesla, Audi, Jaguar, etc. that a key point that's important to me for a few years from now, when I go to take a next-step into something even better, is not if they have teething pains now (yes, I know, Audi and Jaguar nominal EPA range in 2020 was not that great), but how and to what extent I see them meeting owners and lessees partway on these matters of expectations for getting into a bev that takes cognizance of the early-days failings of the vehicles and reasonable-seeming expectations, still within the manufacturer's good graces, for bringing a used BEV into a 2.0 or 3.0 generation well-maintained safe long-range good-handling luxurious condition.

Sorry for the lengthy and probably prohibitively-enervating-to-read posts, but part of my point here is to work out and develop my own thinking on these matters, fwiw.
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
I would add:

- Tesla has famously given Rich Benoit (of the Electrified Garage) a mixed response, including in some ways a hard time, when he has gone to repair Teslas, and has discussed in public some of his experiences. I don't know if they are presently giving Electrified Garage itself (which is a somewhat separate business entity I think) a hard time, such as in whether they will sell EG replacement parts, but it seems worth noting that a manufacturer does not have to be hostile to a 3rd party (certified or otherwise) which offers service and support. I suppose there could be regulations in this area. As well, it's an area where (I am guessing) each manufacturer has competitive, strategic decisions to make (as to how they want to relate both to their own dealers (if any) along with 3rd party supporters... and these decisions impact not only themselves and the would-be 3rd party service centers, but customers and customer satisfaction.

- Not all industry participants (nor all forum discussion participants), can just state every piece of information they want to discuss without thinking through competitive ramifications of discussing matters in public. Also, sometimes they may need to consider regulatory compliance considerations. Sometimes I get the feeling that some other forum participants may not be fully aware of this.
 
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