I have always planned on getting the 40 kWh. My daily drive is 65 miles round trip, with one day a week being about 90 miles. A car with 160 miles range seemed perfect for me (especially as I will still have a second car)
Now that some new estimates of range and battery degradation are starting to become available, I am starting to have doubts about the long term viability of the 40 kWh pack. This is how I figure it :
the 85 KW Model S gets 265 EPA range. 85/40 = 2.125 and 265/2.125 = 124.7 miles. So lets guesstimate that the EPA range will be 125 miles for the 40 kWh battery. I am assuming that the EPA estimate is in range mode, so lets take 125 *.8 to estimate the normal mode range. This give us a solid 100 miles of normal mode, real world range (not bad compared to the competition)
This would be just fine for me, leaving 10 miles extra on the longest drive of the week (plus an extra 12 miles in reserve if I change the car to range mode). The problem begins when the pack starts to degrade. I drive about 15,000 miles a year, so after 3-4 years, my battery pack will not have the capacity that it did when it was new. Let's say it looses 25% capacity. Now I only have 75 miles real world range, and I am being forced to drive my trail blazer one day a week, and have to think about how far away lunch is if I choose to go out for lunch one any of the other days.
The way I look at it, I have 2 real options :
1. Pay the 10K extra and get the 60 kWh battery. This may mean adding an extra year to the loan, or deferring when my number comes up so that I have more time to save up to pay the difference as part of the deposit.
2. Buy the 40 kWh battery, and just start saving, knowing that in 3-4 I have going to need to buy a new battery. Doing this is betting on a replacement 1, being available, and 2, costing $10,000 or less.
What does the hive mind think, is my drive to long for the 40, or should I stay the course, and hope for the best down the road?