TaycanEVForum.com - The Largest Porsche Taycan Forum, Community And Owner's ClubAs some of you may already know I recently purchased a Tesla Model S P85+ after doing a lot of research into what I wanted and driving several different Teslas. I was discussing this purchase with a fellow Porsche enthusiasts who asked me "Why did you do that? Porsche is making the Mission E". Initially my answer was simple - because I can buy a Tesla NOW, I cannot buy a Mission E. I also don't see 500,000 people lining up and plunking down $1000 to buy a Mission E like they have for the Tesla Model 3, the first of which were delivered last week and subsequently there has been a lot of information about the Model 3 in the news. Most reviews have been very positive, especially from automotive journalists who were allowed to drive the car. I was talking specs of my P85+ with my buddy who then started throwing some of the marketing FUD from Porsche about the Mission E my way, such as being able to fully charge at some 440amp charger in a matter of minutes, thus claiming to be faster than a Tesla Supercharger. I decided to do a search here on Planet-9 for Tesla and see what had been said about them over the last few years. To my surprise, there is a LOT of misinformation about Teslas in this forum and so I thought I'd first try to clear some of that up before proceeding on to my thoughts about whether or not the Mission E can compete.
Myth #1 - You can't drive cross country and it takes too long to charge!
I flew into Tampa, Florida to pick up my Tesla with the goal of bringing the kids and girlfriend and spending time driving the car the roughly 1,300 miles back to Kansas City, hitting a number of spots along the way. Everything went smoothly with picking up the car and we, of course, had a full charge when we left the Tesla facility and drove to our nearby hotel. The next day we went to Busch gardens and some other places and stayed at the Hyatt the next night. Even though I used some charge running around that day we still had plenty but were pleased to see that the Hyatt had a dedicated Tesla wall charger. In Tesla terms they call these "Destination" chargers and they show up on the car's nav system. These are usually 40 amp chargers which means you typically get around 35-40 miles worth of distance for every hour you charge. This compares favorably to say a Chargepoint station where you might charge a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt, those are typically 20 or 30 amp stations so you charge slower there. We had a full charge (you only charge to 100% for trips, daily charging is usually to 80 or 85% as part of Tesla maintaining your battery) when we set out towards Atlanta. We stopped at our first Supercharger station in Lake City Florida, you can check where that is on the map, we bypassed the station in Ocala, we didn't need to stop there.
People ask me "How long does it take to charge at a Supercharger?" My answer is "How long do you need to charge?" I don't mean to be pithy, but it is true. You don't want nor do you need to charge to 100% while hopping from Supercharger to Supercharger. When you arrive you want to be somewhere between 10-20% charge left, then the Supercharger will get you to 60-70% charge in about 20 minutes and usually that's enough charge to go on your way and arrive in the same fashion at the next station. If you want to charge longer you can, but unless weather dictates it, you don't really need to. I would guess that charging from 80% to 100% takes about as long as it does from 10% to 80%. Tesla automatically throttles the charge rates via amperage changes to protect the batteries. When I was at 20% and plugged in the charger was charging at a rate over 360 miles of charge per hour, the Superchargers are very fast. For those who don't know, they are all across the country and continuing to grow more stations as I type. You can get anywhere in the US with them now. My car has over 250 miles of range on a full charge and if you turn off some conveniences and hyper mile you can make it over 300, but there really isn't any need to drive that way. Think about it, if I've been driving 70mph for 3 hours that's 210 miles, probably about the range I want to go before I charge and after 3 hours I probably need to use the facilities or my kids want a snack or there is some site along the way that we want to see. In fact we made a couple of extra stops along the way because one of the kids had drank too much soda and needed to use the bathroom before our next scheduled stop. Any family that has ever driven across country has surely experienced this in a regular gas powered vehicle.
In addition to the Nav system showing you the preferred route, we also made use of a 3rd party app that does the same but supposedly is more efficient, there were a couple of times we could have skipped a station/stop but ended up not doing so for some other reason or because I didn't want to push it and hadn't yet gotten used to the car and what to expect. We continued from Lake City, Florida to Macon, GA and from there to Atlanta. Our hotel in Atlanta had a Chargepoint station, no problem, overnight that's easily a full charge so the next day it was on to Chattanooga and into Nashville where we stayed, although our hotel there didn't have a charger but a nearby business did. I didn't really plan the trip based on where hotels had chargers but all but one of our hotels had at least one. From Nashville it was up into Kentucky then Mount Vernon IL, then we rolled into Saint Louis for the night. The next day it was Columbia MO then into KC. We left Tampa on Wednesday and arrived in KC on Saturday and along the way saw all sorts of sites, went to amusement parks, museums, science centers, the arch, etc. It was a great little family road trip and the Tesla worked just fine for it. My "fuel" cost between Tampa and KC? $0. (Saved $150 in gas)
Myth #2 - It's hard to find a place to charge
Nope, go download the app called PlugShare or the Chargepoint app and look up how many stations are in your area. The Tesla comes with adapters for other chargers so I can pretty much charge anywhere I want to, and most of the time it is free (Always free on Tesla Supercharger network for Model S, some Chargepoint or 3rd party stations do charge, but it is always less than the price of gas.
Myth #3 - Charging at Home takes a long time
Charging at home depends on what type of outlet you plug into or whether or not you have a Tesla home wall charger. Most owners plug into what looks like a dryer outlet and that is equivalent to a level 2 charger and even if you are completely empty (you drove 250 miles around town the day before) you can still charge fully overnight. If you have a high speed Tesla wall charge like I do, I can fully charge from zero to 250 miles of range in about 4 hours, but again, I'm never at zero, even if I drive 100 miles around town in a day, I'm going to be fully charged on the high speed 72amp charger in a couple of hours max. It's like having a gas station in your home, I never need to stop for gas, I never have to stop or pay for oil changes, if Quick Trip or 7-11 want my business back, well maybe they should put in a charger!
Myth #4 - It drives weird, it's not a sports car
First off, I have to say that different model Teslas drive differently, I was recently surprised how a P90D felt substantially different from my P85+. I opted for the rear wheel drive car with the better handling suspension over the all wheel drive model both due to cost as well as the driving "feel". The P85+ feels more alive and more agile to me, in fact surprisingly agile considering how much these cars weigh with all the batteries. It turns out that the P85+ models are now more sought after as being the earlier raw more sporty version of the Model S whereas newer ones are more technically superior but lack some of the driving dynamics, at least according to enthusiasts (perhaps similar to 993 911 vs. 991 911) My car isn't one of those 2.2 second 0-60 Ludicrous + machines, but still plenty quick at 3.9 seconds 0-60 in a 4 door sedan full of passengers. There is no substitute for torque and this is where electric cars will always beat gas powered cars. For example, on our trip back I was in the slow lane coming up behind a semi and looked in my mirror to get over and noticed a Mercedes sedan coming up fast in the fast lane. In a gas car I would have just waited until the Mercedes passed even though it meant tapping the break and coming out of cruise. In the Tesla I just stab the go pedal and I'm instantly there in the gap and around the semi and back in the slow lane letting cruise take over again. Now as more cars become electric the ability to do that vs. other cars will fade, but for now it's like having a supercar picking on a bunch of 4cyl VW Beetles in traffic, it really is no contest. The car is very comfortable but it does take some getting used to just pressing the button on the stalk to put the car in park, open the door, get out, close door and walk away. No button to press, no key to press, nothing to turn off, car does it all for you.
Myth #5 - The batteries won't last very long
If you had a Nissan Leaf I would say that this is true, especially the early ones, the batteries have not held up well. Fortunately, Tesla is not Nissan and Tesla has put a lot of research into their batteries and how to care for them. When I plug in my car at home the car communicates to the wall charger and over the web and charges the car in a safe way to a variable preset limit and then floats the battery. My car is a 2013 and has less than 1% battery degradation in the last 4 years. Tesla warranties its batteries for 8 years and 120,000 miles and independent tests show that existing Gen 1 batteries should last about 500,000 miles, Gen 2 batteries may be closer to 1 Million miles before the pack needs replaced. So while my girlfriends 2012 Leaf has gone from getting 85 miles of range down to about 65 miles of range in 5 years, my Tesla has suffered no such battery degradation in the first 4 years of its life.
If there are other myths I'm happy to discuss them, but these are some of the ones I found here on Planet-9. I could also spend a large amount of time telling you about all the great features of the Tesla Model S, such as my Homelink garage door opening being controlled by GPS so it opens and closes my garage door automatically for me, I don't have to press that homelink button! I can raise or lower the car and have it remember where I did so, say at a speed bump at the office parking garage, and from that point forward it will do it for me automatically, not need to manually raise and lower it each time, unless you want to. No need to start the car, just walk up with the key, open door, sit down, select drive (or reverse) and go. Yes it can be a bit strange as it goes against habits we have developed for years in driving ICE cars, but it also shows what is possible.
So where does Porsche stand with Mission E? I have no doubt that Porsche is working hard on building an all electric sedan. Tesla Model S's far outsell Panameras and will leave them in the dust at a stoplight, that can't make Porsche executives feel good. Tesla has freely given away its patents on its electric cars and Porsche has some great engineers so I'm assuming the end result will be a well designed electric car. The questions I struggle with are whether or not anyone will buy it at the price point Porsche is likely to ask for it, and will it be any better than anything Tesla or any other manufacturer is selling 3 or 4 years from now when it finally comes out? Where is Porsche getting its batteries? Porsche doesn't have its own battery plant, will Porsche source from Tesla? Porsche doesn't have a nationwide network of supercharging stations. Barring some miraculous battery advancement that allows the Mission E to go 500 miles on a charge, the Mission E is still going to have to stop and recharge along a city to city or cross country drive. Where and how will it do that? (I should add that Tesla superchargers are not AC current but direct DC current chargers) Given that Tesla already has autopilot and is offering it on the new low cost Model 3, it would seem like a de facto requirement of the Mission E but AFAIK Porsche still doesn't have a working autopilot system. I suppose they could buy one from someone else. The Mission E does look sexy, great curvy lines, but is that what the finished product will look like or is that just a prototype? I understand that Porsche had to get "something" out into the market in terms of marketing FUD otherwise customers might fear they are doing nothing, but I haven't seen Porsche really start wetting people's appetites for the car by talking about specifics or demonstrating working prototypes, etc. just that Porsche is on a mission to build the Mission E.
Part of what makes Tesla so successful is that it doesn't think like a traditional car company. If there is a new piece of hardware or software available to improve a Tesla then Tesla adds it midstream and just keeps going. This can make it difficult for people interested in buying a pre-owned Tesla to know when feature X or feature Y first became available because Tesla really doesn't think in terms of model years. Recently Tesla improved the efficiencies of its electric motors and that's why you see the new Model 3's getting more range out of the same size battery pack that used to get the Model S maybe 60 miles less range. Those improvements are already getting rolled into the Model S's rolling off the lines in the last few months as well. Tesla is more like a software company and less like a car company, perhaps it would suit Porsche to spin off it's Mission E initiative into a new holding company and let that company work in its own way towards the goal of producing the Mission E as opposed to being hamstrung by a lot of traditional automotive restrictions or old ways of creating and improving upon a car. They could call it E-Porsche or Porsche-E (pronounced Por-sheee)
I'm happy to answer any questions that you have about Teslas to the best of my ability even though I'm still learning myself. You all know me, I'm a car guy, doesn't matter if it is a 1950's Jaguar, GT4 or Tesla Model S, I try to enjoy a car for its strengths and uniqueness even if it doesn't fit into someone else's mold that's OK. Enjoy some of the pictures and let me know if you have any questions!
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