Reader Question: Do I “Have a Problem” With Tesla Model 3?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Peter asks: Do you have a problem with my car whose range is 310 and is powered by a solar array on roof of our home? It took energy to build the car and PVs, but I figure those will be paid off in 7 years.

My reply: I have a problem with the subsidies used to build your car and which helped you “buy” it at a net loss for Tesla. I also have a problem with the economics of a $40,000-plus compact sedan (EV or not) and any discussion of “saving money.”

What you’ve got is a technically interesting toy, which is fine – assuming you paid for it and the company which built it isn’t being subsidized by the government.

And, let me ask you a question!

Would you have bought your Model 3 if it cost $50,000-plus? That’s the ballpark true cost of this car, absent the subsidies.

And: While it’s nice you can power up at home, what about on the road? The 310 miles you quote is best case; assuming moderate driving and it’s not cold outside. Regardless, if you need to recharge, you’ll be waiting for at least 30-45 minutes while I’ll not only not be stopping as often, I can be back on the road in 5 minutes.

. . .

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Coal produced energy is THE dirtiest means except for “nucular” as the shrub would say. At least the heavy metals going into the water table and air will drop out at some point but every one of us is being poisoned right this second by that “nucular” bullshit that’s leaking into the water tables and atmosphere. You can focus on Fukishima and 3 Mile Island but every damned bit of nuclear produced anything is building more poison for everything on this planet.

    I realize there are no free rides….and petroleum and petro-gases produce pollution as well but it’s not being used to produce weapons that can quite literally destroy the entire earth. Battery production…..of the older technologies certainly had their impact on the planet but not nearly to the degree of the newest technology.

    If the greenies have a problem with truck exhausts, no matter that new trucks use much more fuel than older ones, let them live off-grid, cut their wood to heat their home with an axe, and not complain of the fact you can’t see any distance or are dying from breathing all the wood smoke.

    Hell, let’s just become a “shithole” country where there are no sewers or sanitation plants. Wanta see a “natural” epidemic? Live in a shithole country and you’ll be rewarded quickly.

  2. I get the range issue but it feels like you over play it or perhaps over emphasize it. I live in a rural area and drive my truck and car all year. I feel like most people almost never drive that far except for vacation. We do once a year. People who buy them do so to save gas not money. It is not about saving money it is about not using gas. I say go for it.

    • Hi Todd,

      You’re right. It’s the recharge time that’s the real gimp. I find it both demented and sad as well as preposterous to contemplate as a mass market vehicle a vehicle that takes at least 6-8 times as long to recover a partial charge as it takes to fully fuel an IC car. The delays and throughput issues are yuge and the idea that people – most people – will tolerate this is risible. We live in a fast-food/right-now culture and besides, how is it progress to have a car that takes longer to “refuel” and which doesn’t go nearly as far?

      This doesn’t even get into the issue of the wastefulness of the EV concept as currently expressed. The least expensive model on the market – the Nissan Leaf – costs at least twice-plus the cost of an IC economy sedan.

      I do not grok spending $10-$15k extra to “not use gas.” That isn’t an economic proposition.

      It’s a religious one.

      Which is okay by me, I hasten to add. As long as it’s not subsidized or mandated.

      Otherwise, I’m fine with people becoming Moonies or EV People….

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