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Would Tesla consider loaners for trips?

Discussion in 'Tesla Discussions' started by NOGA$4ME, Aug 22, 2017.

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  1. NOGA$4ME

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    I have what I don't think is a truly uncommon situation.

    The standard range Model 3 is plenty of range for 97-98% of my planned use. I do take one (sometimes two) long distance trips a year (about 750-800 miles each way). I've gone through the analysis, and in my opinion, 250 miles of range is the bare minimum needed for long distance travel. 280 is around the sweet spot. 310? Maybe a bit overkill (was really hoping for $42K 280 mile large battery). Anyway, I'm pretty much prepared to go with the long range for that one trip a year (my hope is to dump gas completely with the Model 3--we currently use a Volt for that trip).

    Now there are good arguments for not lugging around and paying for a huge battery that you only use once a year. But we've tried the dealer loaner path with our second LEAF, and well, it's kind of inconvenient and limiting, not to mention the fact that we ended up using gas for the whole trip and using up our precious limited # of loaner days while the car sat parked at our vacation spot for a week.

    It got me to thinking: would Tesla ever consider running a loaner program--even at a cost. I.e. I could buy the standard range car, and for my annual trip I trade it for a loaner long range car. And for a cost I could even trade "up" for features like a Model S (or X) and autopilot and "free" Supercharging.

    Yeah I know intuitively it may seem that Tesla would prefer to get my $9K up front for the larger battery. But on the other hand, as it is, I probably won't be buying the premium package because of the large premium on the large battery, and they may be able to make more money on selling me premium features than a larger battery. And they could definitely turn their loaner fleet into a revenue producing operation. I mean isn't this ultimately the direction they want to head anyway with their self-driving fleet?
     
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  2. SoFlaModel3

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    2 thoughts....

    1) Long range battery isn't just long range. It seems everyone forgets that it's long range, increased performance, and extended warranty.

    2) For 2% of the time why not just rent a car and for 98% for the time buy the car that meets that need?
     
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  3. NOGA$4ME

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    Standard range performance is still plenty good for me. Yeah, warranty is a consideration, but not a $9000 consideration.

    Yep...that's the thing. Like I said, we tried that with Nissan's loaner program which was even "better" than renting because it was free, but the issues we had with it were that we had to pick up the car the evening before we left and drop the car off the day after we returned due to our departure and arrival times being very early & late. This ate up 2 extra days which were precious (Nissan only gave us 2 weeks for 3 years). And renting a gas vehicle means we not only have to pay pretty expensive rental fees, but then pay for gas on top of that. And I really don't want to drive gas.

    So essentially what I am proposing is to rent a car for the 2% of the time, but I would like to rent from Tesla directly who I think would offer a more favorable price for their customers than a Hertz/Avis/Budget/Enterprise/... that charge exorbitant prices for hybrids, much less actual BEVs.
     
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  4. MelindaV

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    probably not likely, but with Turo (and some others) there are Tesla options out there.

    (also just out of curiosity, what route are you taking that 220 is not adequate but 250 would be. care to share?)
     
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  5. NOGA$4ME

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    Yeah, it's a bit of a story, but definitely don't mind...there are two issues.

    The primary one is simply about charging time overhead. My wife and I take the 750 mile journey in a gas car in one day (on the way back anyway). On paper it is 12.5 hours, but it takes us 15 hours, so we are already stopping for various reasons for 2.5 hours. That is the benchmark we are trying to hit. I am assuming about 80% charge (I should probably even assume 70%) to account for not wanting to cut it so close as to get below 10% SOC (or not being able to due to imprecisely located Superchargers) and not wanting to wait for the last 10% of charge due to taper off. I'd like to shoot for 3 hours of driving time between stops, which is around 200 miles, which is the 80% point of 250 miles. So that's my minimum figure. 80% of 280 is 224 which definitely exceeds the 3 hour point. I don't see too much reason for going much beyond that actually. Additionally, at 220 miles we're definitely talking 4 stops (the last one might be a "splash and dash"--I guess we need a new term for that!) And since the standard range car Supercharges more slowly, we can probably assume 45-60 minutes per stop which would definitely impact that 2.5 hour benchmark we are trying to hit. 250 opens that up slightly to be able to be able to feasibly make it with 3 stops, but it would probably be tight and depend on near perfect SC siting. 280 would be almost no issues. With 310, we can almost make the trip with only a single stop! Plus I have to consider things like battery degradation over the years, additional vehicle weight on trips, weather including rain and possibly cold temps up north depending on the time of year, so even the 250 miles would start to get tight. Now I realize that in the real world scenario even with the larger battery we'd probably stop more frequently (but for less time), but the options start to become more limited. Heck, even assuming a nicely built out 150kW CCS network, I consider the Bolt's 238 miles to be insufficient even though it's only 12 miles below my minimum. 250 is where I draw the line. And yeah, I can hear you say that I should be willing to make a slight compromise and take an extra hour or so, but believe me, with a 15 hour driving day, pushing that to 16 is really not attractive.

    The second point is really the sticking point for me though, and this relates to the actual route I take. Our preferred route is from Durham, NC north through VA on US-29 to Staunton, VA where we hit I-81 and go north from there. On this particular route, the first SC is 278 miles away in Strasburg, VA. This is particularly an issue for the return trip where perhaps we would only charge to 90% of 310, or 279 miles! With a 220 mile vehicle we would be totally screwed.

    Okay, so there are a few other options...
    1. Divert to the soon to be built Charlottesville SC. This will add around 25 miles to the journey. Distance home would still be 199 miles, pretty tight for a 220 mile vehicle.
    2. Change the route to hit the Lexington, VA SC on I-81 south of Staunton. This "only" adds 10 miles, but that 10 miles cuts across a mountain pass with switchbacks at 25mph. We went that way once and it was really not fun. That would probably also add 30 minutes to the trip. Plus it's still 183 miles to home, again pretty tight for 220 mile vehicle.
    3. Stop at a CHAdeMO station in Harrisonburg or Staunton, VA to "fill up". Not only would this be a longer stop, but I generally wouldn't want to rely on the reliability and availability of a single charging station. Plus it's still 205 miles home from even Staunton!
    4. The very first fast charge station between Staunton and home is in Hillsborough, NC. This is 24 miles from home, so we wouldn't need to stop for long, but even that best case scenario is 188 miles between charging stations. This is 85% of the 220 mile range and requires 2 slow/risky CHAdeMO stops.
    5. Hope that a restaurant we always stop at just south of Charlottesville accepts my plea to put in a destination charger. This is our one big stop of the day and it would be nice to continue to stop there. Yeah, we'd probably only get 25 miles or so, but this gives us the ability to stretch between Strasburg and home in the 310. Doesn't really help much with the 220.
    6. Screw the whole US-29 plan and take I-85/I-95 instead. This is probably what most would do, but we have been caught out in heavy I-95 traffic so often that this really is not an attractive option. And again, the last thing you want on a 15 hour driving day is the risk of extending that by 1-2 hours because you're caught in traffic.
    Unfortunately there is just this giant fast charger desert in central Virginia along the US-29 corridor (which by the way is really a highway for good portions--the speed limit is even 70 mph for a section near Lynchburg). But being that it's not an interstate, it probably won't get attention from Tesla.
     
  6. MelindaV

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    I'm getting 196 miles from Durham to Staunton on US29. do you detour to add on the extra 80 miles?
    and maybe I missed it in your post, but what is your destination? Raleigh/Durham to..... ? I'm a visual person and like to see this on a map ;)
     
  7. Akilae

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  8. JWardell

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    I think we will have the equivalent to this soon enough once Tesla's car sharing network gets rolling. The nice thing is your driver profile follows you.

    @MelindaV mentioned Turo but at $200-300 a day for a Tesla I don't think anyone could consider that an option. I wish they were more reasonable, I would have rented one for the fun of it a few times by now.
     
  9. NOGA$4ME

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    Distance is from my house, which is not in the center of Durham, but rather the extreme southeast corner (literally across the border from Raleigh, so yeah, worst case scenario).

    Ultimate destination northbound is Potsdam, NY (about 800 miles total)

    Southbound we start in Macomb, NY (about 775 miles total).

    Other potential destinations would be on the southern tier of western NY in which case we depart I-81 in Harrisburg, PA. This too is somewhat challenging on the remote end, but a new SC is being built in Corning, NY which while not exactly on the way is close enough to not be a huge problem.
     
  10. NOGA$4ME

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    Yeah, those are good tools. I've also tried EVTripping which is good too. With the long range, it's just about where I expect it to be (about 2:17 hours overhead vs. my budget of 2:30). It does divert to the Burlington, NC SC for a 6 minute charge, but I suspect this would not be necessary with a destination charge at the restaurant mentioned, or if I was willing to go below my 10% leg end SOC for the last leg.

    With the short range vehicle, though, it forces a stop at Lexington, VA and an alternate route through Greensboro, NC and a total trip time of 18:17 with 3.5 hours of charging! If I "avoid" the Lexington charger, it doesn't find a route at all!
     
  11. Akilae

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    What I have encountered on the tripplanners are that sometimes they put in an additional SC just to be sure or because it is faster to stop at an additional one instead of charging to 70% instead of 80%. But I guess this are things you can manually optimize by looking at the plan.
     
  12. NOGA$4ME

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    Agreed...are you talking about the car sharing with self-driving capability or something a little less ambitious? I'm not holding my breath for the self-driving capability to be available nationwide and on all roads I need to travel on for quite some time, nor do I think a week long trip is the intended application for that!

    Yes, it needs to be competitive with rental rates at car dealers. Nissan for example will rent a car for between $30-40/day.
     
  13. NOGA$4ME

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    Yeah, I don't have a problem with that because it reflects the reality of having to get out to pee more often than the car needs to recharge, plus it's more time efficient if you have to stop anyway and the SC isn't far off the route. In particular I like how abetterrouteplanner did the routing. There was no fluff there! I would probably need to ADD a few additional stops!
     
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  14. JWardell

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    I hope they will have a normal sharing version like Turo to bridge the gap before FSD sharing. I need to pay for this car somehow :)
     
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