When Tesla announced the Model S, the starting price of $50,000 drew me in. This was only a little bit above the very upper limit of what I was able to pay for a car, and when gas and service savings were taken into account, it was just barely workable. I figured "160 mile is plenty! My longest daily commute is 90 miles, and I could do that with the AC on full and driving like I stole it with a car with 160 miles range" When I put my deposit down, I was planning of getting a 40 kWh Black Model S with cloth seat and no options other than the Air Suspension. I was going to be pretty close to the mythical $50,000 Tesla. I imagine that most people who are planning on buying the 40 are probably doing something pretty similar, and are really stretching the budget to get into a Tesla.
Since I put down the deposit, the Model S has slowly slipped farther and farther out of reach.
First, supercharging is not available on the S40. Disappointing, but its not like the supercharging network is likely to be anywhere close to me in the next few years, I can live with this.
Next, all indications are that the normal mode range for the 40 is going to be around 100 miles (when the battery is brand new). The 1 day a week i drive 90 miles may not be possible for long, and even when the car is new, I am going to have to think about energy usage. At this point, I start to question the 40, and start doing math about how much ramen I will need to eat to afford the 60. With only 30 miles more range than a leaf, I am starting to wonder just how many people would not have their needs met by a leaf or volt, but would have them met by S40.
The final blow to the S40 is the service plan. It is probably safe to assume that most S40 customers are stretching the budget. Adding $700 per 12,500 miles broke the budget in my case (I drive 18,000 a year, and even though a service center is opening up in my state, it just slightly out of what I think the battery range for the s40 will be) Prepaying for the service is also not a good idea in my case, as I would need all available capital to use as a down payment to bring my monthly payments down to a manageable level.
As most of you know, I cancelled my Model S reservation on Monday, and latter that night went out and leased a Volt for 36 months. For me at least, the S40 was no longer a viable product for purchase.
The question for the poll is, for those who originally planned on buying a S40, what are your thoughts on it now? I am just curious to see if I am the only one questioning this product.