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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings from Los Angeles!

I'm tired of giving my money to the oil companies. They are singlehandedly endangering the human race, they've been lying to us for years, filling our government with their puppets, and polluting our world so they they can enrich themselves. I want to vote against them with my dollars.

I've always been a big tesla fan, and have been eagerly awaiting the Model 3, for which I've put down a $1000 deposit and have a good spot in the reservation line.

But as the release date approaches, I have a few questions in my mind.
One is the tax credits - will they still be available?
Another is tesla build quality. I've heard a lot of horror stories.
I'm also not crazy about the M3's interior. No driver instrument cluster? That giant computer monitor? I want a high tech car, but I don't see why that means I have to have a giant screen in my face when I drive.
Also I think they tesla supercharger network will be overwhelmed by the coming wave of teslas, meaning those long distance trips you imagine won't be possible in reality.
I've also never bought a new car. I prefer to let someone else take the depreciation and buy it when its 2-3 years used. I'm unsure what the depreciation on the M3s will be, and I'm wondering if I'd be smarter waiting a couple years and then grabbing a used one.

So my alternate options are a used 2014-15 volt or a used BMW i3.
Both of these have depreciated rapidly and are much more affordable for me. In fact I could get one of each for the price of a new tesla M3.
I test drove the i3 and loved it, as well as the interior design. I hated the exterior at first, but I've come to kind of like it.
As for the volt, I like the old gen1 design much more than the new design, which is far more bland to me. Gen2 Looks like a an old person car or rental fleet car to me.
I haven't test driven one yet, but I'm not expecting it to be as fun as the i3, but I know it would be much more useful, without the i3's long distance limitations, and still allow me to commute to work without using any gas.

The other consideration is my fiance HATES the way the i3 looks. Doesn't care for the volt either, but doesn't think it's as bad as the i3. Obviously she'd rather be escorted around in a new tesla. Women and their competitive consumerism ;)

So I'm just here to learn more and help me make my decision by the time the Tesla M3 comes out.
 

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The Volt is the simplest option - due to the dual fuel nature of the car, it can drop in to anyone's life with no changes, and gradually convert them to mostly electric driving. They are solid cars that have served people well.

We'll have to see how the 3 interior plays out - I'm still betting there will be major changes for the actual production car - possibly a big augmented reality HUD.

Tesla reliability stories are overblown - build quality has improved over time, and the core of the cars mostly wasn't problematic anyway (though Tesla replaced a lot of still functional drive unit for noises - drive units that are a lot different from what most Teslas now have.)

There is a real problem getting repair parts for crashed cars at the moment, but that won't necessarily continue.

I wouldn't worry too much about the Superchargers - Tesla has promised to double the number this year, and 90% of charging is at home/work anyway. They are now doing real time status in the car's navigation system, and in the future I expect to see them actively adjusting Nav routing and supercharger targets to deconflict routes.

Not really a fan of the i3. It could have been a great car, but came out weird and oddly limited, with a checkered reliability and odd exterior and interior in my opinion.
 

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Interesting that the Bolt isn't on your list but the M3 is. The Bolts are available right now and the M3 isn't. Is the fiancé going to help pay for it?
 

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Interesting that the Bolt isn't on your list but the M3 is. The Bolts are available right now and the M3 isn't.
I wondered the same. Take a Bolt EV test drive at least. Same for the Volt.
 

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Agree with Saghost

Voting with the pocketbook is the best way. Start now.

I would go with 2015 Volt premier for the reason you stated then get a used Model 3 later. Don't wait. You will enjoy the performance.

Not a fan of the i3 either.

Based on some article I read, the model 3 for the most part will not be here soon enough to take advantage of the Tax Rebate.
 

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The Volt is a no excuses car for getting your feet wet in EV driving.
It would serve you well for a few years until the M3 is available to you.

A Bolt with DCFC would give you M3 functionality now,,, almost. The DCFC network is increasing all the time.
The Tesla SC network will not be free for M3's. Road trips may cost very similar with these two EV's. But one is here and now.

Since you and her are into 'Looks', you'll just have to fight it out!:p
 

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A Bolt with DCFC would give you M3 functionality now,,, almost. The DCFC network is increasing all the time.
The Tesla SC network will not be free for M3's. Road trips may cost very similar with these two EV's. But one is here and now.
With respect, I don't agree with this at all. So far the fastest demonstrated Bolt charging is around 45 kW - less than half of what the 3 will probably manage on Superchargers, and really too slow for convenient road trips. The ramp also seems pretty ugly as SoC rises.

Tesla is including 400 kWh/year free on the S and X now and will probably do the same on the 3 - that'll cover a thousand miles of road trips. Even after that, Tesla's rates are a fraction of any other DCFC I've seen, despite being much faster charging on a bigger network. They mostly seem to be about 20% above what residential power costs in the various areas - and about half what most DCFC vendors charge.

The Bolt doesn't have onboard Nav or adaptive cruise control even as options, but every 3 will have second generation Autopilot Hardware, and over the air updates will make it a better car as time goes on (GM said they can do those now on the Bolt - we'll see how committed they are to actually make it happen.) DCFC is actually an option on the Bolt?!?

So yes, the Bolt seems to be a good car, and is here now - but no, it isn't almost the functionality of the 3 except in the very basic 200+ mile sub $40k EV part in my opinion, and no, road trips aren't likely to be equally easy or equally expensive.
 

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I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the build quality of either generation Volt. There are major upgrades with the gen 2 that depending on your lifestyle you may really benefit from (more electric range, better gas mpg using regular instead of premium, Apple Carplay/Android Carplay, etc.) but if you don't plan on using much gas anyway, then the range and premium gas penalty may be acceptable to you and you'd get out with a cheaper purchase price on the gen 1. I have both and can say I honestly love both of them. If I absolutely had to pick a favorite, it would be the gen 2 because of the upgrades, but I'm still in love with my gen 1 as well.
 

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Get a non-materialistic fiance that says "Get whatever you want. It's your car and your money."

(now if she is a sugar-mama and it is HER money, scratch what I said and practice the phrase, "yes, dear".)

The i3 was designed as a European city car. The Volt and Bolt were designed for American commuters. The M3 is still just a promise.

The Gen1 Volt is the best deal going IMO. Inexpensive, reliable, fun, good for the environment and giving the finger to OPEC.
 

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First, to the OP...

No one outside of Tesla even knows what the production Model 3 interior will look. So we'll have to wait on that.

As for tax credit availability... it's a crap shoot. Did you get your M3 reservation in person before the unveiling event? That would give you a big leg up, and being in CA would help too. But there are so many unknowns still about how Model 3 production and delivery timelines will play out.

As for depreciation, it's been pretty awful for almost all new EV's -- with the exception of Tesla. However, you're right that the huge numbers of M3's that Tesla hopes to build could completely change that dynamic. So a used vehicle would definitely help insulate you from that.

It's hard to go wrong with a Volt. I like mine a lot. I'd probably have upgraded to a Gen 2 Volt if the Model 3 wasn't right around the corner. Also, you might consider a used Gen 2 Volt instead of a used Gen 1 if you don't mind paying more. I like my Gen 1, but the Gen 2 is better almost all-around. (Darn homelink omission!) :p

A Bolt with DCFC would give you M3 functionality now,,, almost. The DCFC network is increasing all the time.
The Tesla SC network will not be free for M3's. Road trips may cost very similar with these two EV's. But one is here and now.
With respect, I don't agree with this at all. So far the fastest demonstrated Bolt charging is around 45 kW - less than half of what the 3 will probably manage on Superchargers, and really too slow for convenient road trips. The ramp also seems pretty ugly as SoC rises.

Tesla is including 400 kWh/year free on the S and X now and will probably do the same on the 3 - that'll cover a thousand miles of road trips. Even after that, Tesla's rates are a fraction of any other DCFC I've seen, despite being much faster charging on a bigger network. They mostly seem to be about 20% above what residential power costs in the various areas - and about half what most DCFC vendors charge.
Very true.

I think Tesla's Supercharger network's advantages over the SAE CCS DCFC network are VASTLY underappreciated:

  • all SC locations are strategically located (both in terms of geographic location and also proximity to restaurants and/or shopping)
  • all SC locations have a minimum of 4 plugs (and typically more)
  • all SC locations have consistent power ratings* (*absent malfunction, at least. I know this is an issue Tesla needs to fix.)
  • all SC locations are operated by one company (no worrying about subscriptions to various networks)
  • low-or-no cost pricing (no worrying about paying absurd $/kWh or $/minute prices that are way more than gasoline equivalents)
Going on Plugshare and filtering by SAE CCS chargers, you will see a lot of pins on a map. But that's SO not the whole story.

That SAE CCS map is full of high-cost, subscription-requiring chargers, many with only 24kW of power and none with more than 50kW, and many times with only a single charger at a location, which is often a hotel or car dealership.

The "laissez faire" approach being taken to the build-out of the SAE CCS DCFC network in the USA -- combined its limited charge rates (to-date, at least) -- looks like a near-disaster to me (from a prospective BEV owner's point of view) and a hugely inefficient use of resources.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Interesting that the Bolt isn't on your list but the M3 is. The Bolts are available right now and the M3 isn't. Is the fiancé going to help pay for it?
Yeah I don't like how it looks. Too boring. Like a honda fit or chevy spark. Plus for that price I'd rather go with the M3 and have something that looks awesome. The choice is between spending a lot and getting a tesla M3, or saving a lot with a used gen1 volt or i3.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A Bolt with DCFC would give you M3 functionality now,,, almost. The DCFC network is increasing all the time.
The Tesla SC network will not be free for M3's. Road trips may cost very similar with these two EV's. But one is here and now.


Actually I reserved early enough so that I'll still have free supercharging if I buy the M3, which I think would add to the resale value if I sell it. (If that can be transferred like a warranty or HOV stickers.)
 

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If your commute is under 30 miles round trip, and you have access to a 120v outlet at home, for you the 2011-2015 Volt will act like an EV but with more punch than a Leaf has. And no range anxiety, ever. A Volt is significantly quicker than Prius and more nimble.
They love stop-n-go traffic which often increases your range instead of decreasing it.

And you get a HOV sticker that allows you to drive the HOV lanes without a passenger.

Nobody has a clue what Tesla Motors will ship as a 2018 Model 3. Or a 2018 Volt. Or a 2018 Bolt.

What we do know is GM's specs for the Volts and Bolts are unlikely to downgrade. The Model 3? Anybodies guess. I do not think they will be able to make $35k high HP 215 mile range cars in 9 months. But I never expected them to when I reserved on day one.

No, you will not get free supercharging on Model 3's unless something changes. It will have Supercharging hardware on the car, but the supercharger stations will cost you money after 400kWh(?) or so they say.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
No, you will not get free supercharging on Model 3's unless something changes. It will have Supercharging hardware on the car, but the supercharger stations will cost you money after 400kWh(?) or so they say.
It says free supercharging is over for models ordered before 2016.
So placing a reservation in 2016 doesn't count as placing an order? Bummer.
 

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It says free supercharging is over for models ordered after 2016.
So placing a reservation in 2016 doesn't count as placing an order? Bummer.
Correct. A reservation is a placeholder for ordering. It determines when you will be able to order. First will come Tesla Employees, then Tesla Owners, then California supposedly. So you get to order in 2018 sometime if they keep on schedule.
 

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Yeah I don't like how it looks. Too boring. Like a honda fit or chevy spark. Plus for that price I'd rather go with the M3 and have something that looks awesome. The choice is between spending a lot and getting a tesla M3, or saving a lot with a used gen1 volt or i3.

But you LIKE the i3? Well I guess they're ok if not the two-tone variety. That to me just enhances the ugly. Heck whatever's most important to you.
 

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To the OP, I think a used Volt is a great way to dive in today. My wife used to not be keen on one either. Now we have two, and she loves hers. It's versatile, has enough range for your daily driving, and will never leave you stranded thanks to its full performance gas engine for extended range once the battery is depleted. As others have suggested, get one, and then if you want a Model 3 in a couple years, go for it. Until then, reap the benefits and get your fiance hooked on EVs in the process. ;)

A Bolt with DCFC would give you M3 functionality now,,, almost. The DCFC network is increasing all the time.
The Tesla SC network will not be free for M3's. Road trips may cost very similar with these two EV's. But one is here and now.

With respect, I don't agree with this at all. So far the fastest demonstrated Bolt charging is around 45 kW - less than half of what the 3 will probably manage on Superchargers, and really too slow for convenient road trips. The ramp also seems pretty ugly as SoC rises.

Very true.
I have to disagree with your disagreement, saghost and jsmay311! Hehe. :) But let me explain why (in my opinion at least)...

You can't compare a 60kWh Bolt EV charging rate on a 50kW DCFC to a Tesla Model S 75kWh or higher on a Tesla SC, for a few reasons.

  • The Bolt EV (AND Model 3) will be limited by its smaller battery, inherently limiting charge rate

    The faster SuperCharger rates rely on a larger battery. Even 60kWh Tesla Model S sedans have a 75kWh battery, so they're able to charge faster. This will almost certainly not be the scenario with a Model 3, if Tesla wants to make any profit. It will have a battery sized like the Bolt EV, and as such, will charge slower than the Model S. To date, every manufacturer seems to cap their fast charging rates at 1C for the most part, with small amounts of time charging faster than that. The Model 3 will be no exception. (C = 60kWh so a 1C rate is a max rate of 60kW)

    GM seems to actually be the most confident with their batteries and their ability to dump lots of charge into it quickly (the Volt has the same amount of regen that a Model S has, for example, at 60kW, despite a much smaller battery). Given that confidence, I would expect the Bolt EV to be more likely to accept higher charge rates during fast charging than the Model 3.

  • The Bolt EV will be limited by (currently) slower DCFC rates that are based on a 500V specification

    Current "50kW" charging stations are based on 500V and 100A. So with the Bolt EV (and likely a Model S), the Voltage never gets that high. The station will max out at 100A but since the Bolt will be at 400V, for example, you'll only achieve a 40kW rate. At some point as the voltage goes higher, the battery can't take 100A of current anymore and charging switches to Constant Voltage mode, and the amperage starts to decrease. When there starts being 80kW or 100kW DCFC out and about, you should see a Bolt charge a bit faster.

    What I am really looking forward to is someone to report what CURRENT they're getting at a DCFC with the Bolt EV (maybe using a ScanGauge?). That would hopefully confirm what I've stated, that at low battery charges, the Bolt EV is limited by the maximum current the existing DCFC can deliver.
So in short, is a Bolt EV inherently slower to charge than a Model 3? Doubtful. It's likely limited by current DCFC stations at the moment more than anything else, and that limitation will go away as more advanced DCFC are rolled out.

Regardless, you can't compare Model S charging rates with larger batteries and assume the Model 3 will have the same charging performance. It is highly unlikely the Model 3 will have any appreciable difference in charging compared to the Bolt EV, since its charging speed will also be limited by its battery size.

See also: http://insideevs.com/supercharging-tesla-model-s-60-kwh-versus-85-kwh-video-graphs/
 

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To the OP, I think a used Volt is a great way to dive in today. My wife used to not be keen on one either. Now we have two, and she loves hers. It's versatile, has enough range for your daily driving, and will never leave you stranded thanks to its full performance gas engine for extended range once the battery is depleted. As others have suggested, get one, and then if you want a Model 3 in a couple years, go for it. Until then, reap the benefits and get your fiance hooked on EVs in the process. ;)



I have to disagree with your disagreement, saghost and jsmay311! Hehe. :) But let me explain why (in my opinion at least)...

You can't compare a 60kWh Bolt EV charging rate on a 50kW DCFC to a Tesla Model S 75kWh or higher on a Tesla SC, for a few reasons.

  • The Bolt EV (AND Model 3) will be limited by its smaller battery, inherently limiting charge rate

    The faster SuperCharger rates rely on a larger battery. Even 60kWh Tesla Model S sedans have a 75kWh battery, so they're able to charge faster. This will almost certainly not be the scenario with a Model 3, if Tesla wants to make any profit. It will have a battery sized like the Bolt EV, and as such, will charge slower than the Model S. To date, every manufacturer seems to cap their fast charging rates at 1C for the most part, with small amounts of time charging faster than that. The Model 3 will be no exception. (C = 60kWh so a 1C rate is a max rate of 60kW)

  • The Bolt EV will be limited by (currently) slower DCFC rates that are based on a 500V specification

    Current "50kW" charging stations are based on 500V and 100A. So with the Bolt EV (and likely a Model S), the Voltage never gets that high. The station will max out at 100A but since the Bolt will be at 400V, for example, you'll only achieve a 40kW rate. At some point as the voltage goes higher, the battery can't take 100A of current anymore and charging switches to Constant Voltage mode, and the amperage starts to decrease. When there starts being 80kW or 100kW DCFC out and about, you should see a Bolt charge a bit faster.

    What I am really looking forward to is someone to report what CURRENT they're getting at a DCFC with the Bolt EV (maybe using a ScanGauge?). That would hopefully confirm what I've stated, that at low battery charges, the Bolt EV is limited by the maximum current the existing DCFC can deliver.
So in short, is a Bolt EV slower to charge than a Model 3? Doubtful. It's likely limited by current DCFC stations at the moment more than anything else, and that limitation will go away as more advanced DCFC are rolled out.

Regardless, you can't compare Model S charging rates with larger batteries and assume the Model 3 will have the same charging performance. It is highly unlikely the Model 3 will have any appreciable difference in charging compared to the Bolt EV, since it will also be limited on how fast it can charge by its battery size.
But the 2012/2013 60 kWh Model S also charged at ~100 kW with a real 60 kWh pack - likely smaller than the Bolt's that we think is ~64 kWh nominal - as this video shows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYPeequUD4s

Tesla has never followed your 1C limit - and neither does the Spark EV, for that matter (50 kW with a 24 kWh pack, right?)

If the Bolt is limiting power at ~50% SoC as appears to be the case, then a faster DCFC station won't help from that point on - which doesn't leave much room for overall improvement.

I think you'll find that the will be a substantial difference in DCFC speed between the two cars.

Even if you were right, that's only one aspect of the car - there are several other areas that make the 3 worth waiting for over a Bolt IMHO, some of which I attempted to touch on above.
 

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possibly a big augmented reality HUD.
Aftermarket obdii huds exist today; if you just want obdii info they're all over ebay/amazon for under $30 shipped...Then there are others with built in maps or gestures, while they are hundreds of dollars, to get OEM HUDs often you needed top trim and option packages to get the feature...

Buy a Bolt and get tax credit.
If he qualifies for the tax credit...Same could be said about the Volt or any other EV/PHEV...

Get a non-materialistic fiance that says "Get whatever you want. It's your car and your money."

(now if she is a sugar-mama and it is HER money, scratch what I said and practice the phrase, "yes, dear".)

The i3 was designed as a European city car. The Volt and Bolt were designed for American commuters. The M3 is still just a promise.

The Gen1 Volt is the best deal going IMO. Inexpensive, reliable, fun, good for the environment and giving the finger to OPEC.
If you want a fun and fit girl in L.A., most tend to have some materialistic qualities and while might not be after you for your money, they have the expectation that their man is able to provide for them...
 
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