Buying a Tesla

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RetiredScientist
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Buying a Tesla

Post by RetiredScientist »

I am 78 with portfolio over two million. I have no debts and retirement income about 160K a year. I want to buy a Tesla Sedan (@$80,000). I cannot justify this purchase other than I want it. Some thoughts?
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Brianmcg321
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Brianmcg321 »

Buy it.

If you don’t spend your money, someone else is going to.

Enjoy your Tesla. Go ahead and get the performance version.
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squirm
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by squirm »

Buy and enjoy, not sure what the question is.
If you feel your money could be spent better elsewhere, perhaps donate it to an environmentist group instead.
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Nate79
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Nate79 »

Pay cash and enjoy the car.
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NRI
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by NRI »

I'll also jump on the wagon. Buy it. They're wonderfully fun cars. I bought my M S 100D when that was the new thing and I still love it. There's value in the enjoyment.
bloom2708
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by bloom2708 »

Buy it if you want it. Don't buy it if you don't want it.

My dad is 75. He refuses to put new tires on his 2000 Ford Ranger. Tires are bald. Also sitting on >$2 million.

He gets no joy from buying anything, so he just doesn't. Some people like things to stay the same.

I know that doesn't help. Both actions may be 100% correct for you.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
Cruise
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Cruise »

I'm younger than you, but appreciate your situation. I've been looking at the Tesla as my car to eventually replace my 10-year old Infiniti. I'm going for it, and hope you do too.

Are you considering the purchase of Ludacris Mode? That would up the purchase price, but you can afford it!
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ResearchMed
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by ResearchMed »

RetiredScientist wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:29 am I am 78 with portfolio over two million. I have no debts and retirement income about 160K a year. I want to buy a Tesla Sedan (@$80,000). I cannot justify this purchase other than I want it. Some thoughts?
Yes, get it, and more importanty, ENJOY it! :happy

After all, isn't this part of the reason you saved $2M?

Going overboard on a massive spending spree isn't advised, but that's not at all the same as, at this stage in life, please don't forget to *enjoy* some of the fruits of your labor.

[And as an aside, do make sure that you are all set with plans for future care if needed, and also any necessary Medical proxies, Powers of Attorney, etc.]

We are about your age (although DH hasn't retired yet, as he really gets great satisfaction from his work), and about 6 years ago, we suddenly realized that it was *time* to start taking some of those trips we had been dreaming about. And we did. We've got most of the list "checked off", with wonderful memories, and photos, too.
And especially now with the travel restrictions due to COVID, we are so, SO glad we did.
"One never knows..."

Get the car while you have some nice time ahead of you to enjoy it!

You are probably a good example of "you can afford [almost] anything you want; you just can't afford everything you want"! --- a nice place to be!

Enjoy!

RM
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iamlucky13
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by iamlucky13 »

RetiredScientist wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:29 am I am 78 with portfolio over two million. I have no debts and retirement income about 160K a year. I want to buy a Tesla Sedan (@$80,000). I cannot justify this purchase other than I want it. Some thoughts?
What kind of justification are you looking for? Are you uncertain about affordability or impact to the sufficiency of your retirement savings with respect to other spending priorities?

Are you uncertain if this is a reasonable purchase if you can meet your needs with a less expensive vehicle?
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HomerJ
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by HomerJ »

RetiredScientist wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:29 am I am 78 with portfolio over two million. I have no debts and retirement income about 160K a year. I want to buy a Tesla Sedan (@$80,000). I cannot justify this purchase other than I want it. Some thoughts?
What are your retirement expenses? $400,000 a year? Then you probably shouldn't buy the Tesla,

Or are your retirement expenses less than $200,000 a year? Then you can buy it, and frankly, you couldn't have been a very good scientist if you can't do that math... :)

(Just messing with you)

I'm guessing your hang-up is that you don't NEED it, and feel like it may be a waste of money, but that's just in your head. You have the money, you earned the money, I'm guessing you don't need the money for other expenses, so you can spend the money.

I bought an ice-cream cone the other day. I didn't NEED it, nor could I justify it other than I wanted it. But that's good enough justification, because I had the extra money and could afford it.

Same thing for you.
Last edited by HomerJ on Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jack FFR1846
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

If you have driven one and like it, then why not.

Don't just buy one without driving it because of the hype.
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Starfish
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Starfish »

Is it safe to drive a very fast and very heavy car at 78?
Is it safe to drive at all?
Is the answer is yes based on neutral evaluation, financially there is no problem.
Jim Baround
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Jim Baround »

Starfish wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:24 pm Is it safe to drive a very fast and very heavy car at 78?
Is it safe to drive at all?
Is the answer is yes based on neutral evaluation, financially there is no problem.
It's no problem, the car will drive itself
Normchad
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Normchad »

You’re only 78 once!

If you regret the purchase later, sell it. It won’t have cost you much.....

I’ve got a Tesla. Very happy with it. Hopefully you would be as well!
Strummer
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Strummer »

Sounds like you want it and can afford it, so I can't see a reason not to get one. I think you'll find the safety features helpful, too.

One tip: If you're a Costco member, be sure to get a quote from their insurance partner. When I first insured our Model 3 in 2018, rates varied wildly between insurers and they were by far the best option.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by adamthesmythe »

I've got a few years before 78. But when I am 78, I'm not gonna justify ANYTHING.
palanzo
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by palanzo »

Enjoy your new convertible Model Y. This of course could happen with any new car!

https://www.carscoops.com/2020/10/tesla ... delivered/
jdb
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by jdb »

Your post made me smile. Buy it of course, it will put a smile on your face while driving. Enjoy the vehicle, and good luck.
fareastwarriors
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by fareastwarriors »

Buy it. What's there think about?
newpup
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by newpup »

I bought the Model S fully loaded in 2012 and have enjoyed it immensely. It's held up perfectly and is still my daily driver. It was $100k after state and local incentives, and that high price has impaired my ability to enjoy it freely, and unfortunately gets thrown in my face by my family at times. It is really the only really expensive thing I have ever gotten myself, and I could easily afford it at the time.

My thoughts:
1. Consider NOT getting the highest end Tesla. The Model 3 or Y will likely give you just as much enjoyment as the Model S or X and frankly have newer, simpler, less-likely-to-fail engineering. Also, the acceleration will be better than anything you have almost regardless of which one you get- take it from a P85 driver- you don't need the Performance version. Definitely whip the lower end model on a test drive before forking over for the performance and see if that's enough grunt for you.
2. Consider waiting until January for possible re-instated federal incentive- this could be as much as $7500 if the government gets serious about global warming and decides this is a way to incentive buyers. In addition, Tesla model years are by calendar, so even though my car is from the last week in December, it is a 2012, not a 2013.
3. Consider delaying purchase of FULL SELF DRIVING option. Although this may yet bear fruit, it is a work in progress and can always be added as a software upgrade after the fact. Monitor for technical improvements, sales, and pending price increases which have all happened at increments. Buying at time of purchase will increase your insurance cost, and bought later as a software package may avoid the additional sales tax, depending on region.

Good luck! :D
Maverick3320
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Maverick3320 »

newpup wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:53 pm I bought the Model S fully loaded in 2012 and have enjoyed it immensely. It's held up perfectly and is still my daily driver. It was $100k after state and local incentives, and that high price has impaired my ability to enjoy it freely, and unfortunately gets thrown in my face by my family at times. It is really the only really expensive thing I have ever gotten myself, and I could easily afford it at the time.

My thoughts:
1. Consider NOT getting the highest end Tesla. The Model 3 or Y will likely give you just as much enjoyment as the Model S or X and frankly have newer, simpler, less-likely-to-fail engineering. Also, the acceleration will be better than anything you have almost regardless of which one you get- take it from a P85 driver- you don't need the Performance version. Definitely whip the lower end model on a test drive before forking over for the performance and see if that's enough grunt for you.
2. Consider waiting until January for possible re-instated federal incentive- this could be as much as $7500 if the government gets serious about global warming and decides this is a way to incentive buyers. In addition, Tesla model years are by calendar, so even though my car is from the last week in December, it is a 2012, not a 2013.
3. Consider delaying purchase of FULL SELF DRIVING option. Although this may yet bear fruit, it is a work in progress and can always be added as a software upgrade after the fact. Monitor for technical improvements, sales, and pending price increases which have all happened at increments. Buying at time of purchase will increase your insurance cost, and bought later as a software package may avoid the additional sales tax, depending on region.

Good luck! :D
this could be as much as $7500 if the government gets serious about global warming and decides this is a way to incentive buyers

Not to be that guy, but don't electric cars in essence run off the composition of the local power grid? In some places, you could be buying a coal-powered car, no?
harrychan
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by harrychan »

Buy buy buy! You deserve it. It's hard to accept that but enjoy it!
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
j9j
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by j9j »

This is the clearest Yes, to any recent threads.

Two suggestions is not to get the fastest version as it is pretty much a waste.

Second, unless you just want the S, consider a loaded model Y for the high seat height, newest components and shorter length.
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beernutz
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by beernutz »

I will take "Someone's having a laugh at our expense" for $1,000 Alex.
Last edited by beernutz on Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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stoptothink
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by stoptothink »

Maverick3320 wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:27 pm
newpup wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:53 pm I bought the Model S fully loaded in 2012 and have enjoyed it immensely. It's held up perfectly and is still my daily driver. It was $100k after state and local incentives, and that high price has impaired my ability to enjoy it freely, and unfortunately gets thrown in my face by my family at times. It is really the only really expensive thing I have ever gotten myself, and I could easily afford it at the time.

My thoughts:
1. Consider NOT getting the highest end Tesla. The Model 3 or Y will likely give you just as much enjoyment as the Model S or X and frankly have newer, simpler, less-likely-to-fail engineering. Also, the acceleration will be better than anything you have almost regardless of which one you get- take it from a P85 driver- you don't need the Performance version. Definitely whip the lower end model on a test drive before forking over for the performance and see if that's enough grunt for you.
2. Consider waiting until January for possible re-instated federal incentive- this could be as much as $7500 if the government gets serious about global warming and decides this is a way to incentive buyers. In addition, Tesla model years are by calendar, so even though my car is from the last week in December, it is a 2012, not a 2013.
3. Consider delaying purchase of FULL SELF DRIVING option. Although this may yet bear fruit, it is a work in progress and can always be added as a software upgrade after the fact. Monitor for technical improvements, sales, and pending price increases which have all happened at increments. Buying at time of purchase will increase your insurance cost, and bought later as a software package may avoid the additional sales tax, depending on region.

Good luck! :D
this could be as much as $7500 if the government gets serious about global warming and decides this is a way to incentive buyers

Not to be that guy, but don't electric cars in essence run off the composition of the local power grid? In some places, you could be buying a coal-powered car, no?
This has been rehashed over and over and over again on this board. While emission-free, there isn't any sort of consensus that EVs are (when examining the entire picture) better for the environment long-term. Should be a total non-issue when making this type of decision.

And yes, buy the freaking car.
BH_RedRan
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by BH_RedRan »

I fully expected buyer's remorse when we bought our Model S about 5 years ago as I'm usually frugal when it comes to cars. It has not happened yet. Extremely fun car to drive. And with regard to the need for speed, it's not so much the velocity, it's the acceleration that's the fun part! Still makes my wife smile which is worth quite a bit.

From experience, if you get addicted to the acceleration then buy tires that can handle the incredible torque. My new set shudders just a bit if I take off too hard and I don't even have the Ludacris one. Live and learn.
TonyDAntonio
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by TonyDAntonio »

RetiredScientist wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:29 am I am 78 with portfolio over two million. I have no debts and retirement income about 160K a year. I want to buy a Tesla Sedan (@$80,000). I cannot justify this purchase other than I want it. Some thoughts?
I can send over my wife. I'm 61 and have hinted at a Tesla and she says no way. :wink:
kiwi123
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by kiwi123 »

Congrats on your first post to bogleheads and welcome! Always good to start with a "should i buy a tesla" post :-)
Valuethinker
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Valuethinker »

bloom2708 wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:45 pm Buy it if you want it. Don't buy it if you don't want it.

My dad is 75. He refuses to put new tires on his 2000 Ford Ranger. Tires are bald. Also sitting on >$2 million.

He gets no joy from buying anything, so he just doesn't. Some people like things to stay the same.

I know that doesn't help. Both actions may be 100% correct for you.
I tried the grandkids argument.

That he was putting his grandchild at risk by driving in a bad/ unreliable vehicle.

Also that if he saved all his money his kids would inherit and squander it. He did see the humour in that one ;-)
Valuethinker
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Valuethinker »

RetiredScientist wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:29 am I am 78 with portfolio over two million. I have no debts and retirement income about 160K a year. I want to buy a Tesla Sedan (@$80,000). I cannot justify this purchase other than I want it. Some thoughts?
"Our greatest mistake is to think we have time"

You only live once.
Old Guy
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Old Guy »

I’m 77 and was considering a Y. Wife and I have very substantial federal and state government pensions and SS and over a mil in investments. I decided against buying not because of the cost but because I was afraid I would be overwhelmed by the technology. So if that’s not an issue for you, buy it and enjoy your life and money.
Dave55
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Dave55 »

Agree, buy it. I am not far behind you, we will wait until early next year. We will definitely buy a Y and maybe a 2nd Tesla too, not sure which model though.

Dave
cusetownusa
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by cusetownusa »

Buy it and report back to give us your impressions. Good chance my next car will be the Model Y.
bloom2708
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by bloom2708 »

Valuethinker wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:29 am I tried the grandkids argument.

That he was putting his grandchild at risk by driving in a bad/ unreliable vehicle.

Also that if he saved all his money his kids would inherit and squander it. He did see the humour in that one ;-)
I did the "unsafe" argument. I checked the air in the bald tires the other day for him and one tire had 5 pounds in it. Two had 15 and one had 30.

So not only bald tires, but unsafe inflation. Doh.

I also tried the "every dollar you don't spend, I will spend recklessly.." talk. That didn't work either. :happy
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
ChiKid24
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by ChiKid24 »

Old Guy wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:06 am I’m 77 and was considering a Y. Wife and I have very substantial federal and state government pensions and SS and over a mil in investments. I decided against buying not because of the cost but because I was afraid I would be overwhelmed by the technology. So if that’s not an issue for you, buy it and enjoy your life and money.
I'm not 77 and am generally OK when it comes to technology, so perhaps things would be different for you. But my impression is that the Tesla "technology" is very intuitive and easy to use. You could even argue it's simpler than a typical car because there are hardly any buttons, knobs, switches, etc. My comparison to it would be when the iPhone came out. That was completely new technology, but it just made sense and using it was very easy. Suggest taking a test drive if you otherwise think you would like the car, and you can see for yourself.
bagle
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by bagle »

Old Guy wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:06 am ... I was afraid I would be overwhelmed by the technology. So if that’s not an issue for you, buy it and enjoy your life and money.
We've found our Tesla (M3) to be pretty intuitive to use. We're not 70 plus, but yes 60 plus. My wife is very "low tech" and finds it to be easy to use. For her, the touch screen is like using any smart phone rather than searching among 20 physical buttons.

But you do need to re-learn a few things such as opening the glovebox with voice or touch screen rather than with your hands, or how to open the door with a plastic card if the app doesn't work.
harrychan
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by harrychan »

cusetownusa wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:46 am Buy it and report back to give us your impressions. Good chance my next car will be the Model Y.
Ditto. Waiting for RWD.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
chw
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by chw »

Life is getting shorter every year- enjoy the ride!
palanzo
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by palanzo »

ChiKid24 wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:22 pm
Old Guy wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:06 am I’m 77 and was considering a Y. Wife and I have very substantial federal and state government pensions and SS and over a mil in investments. I decided against buying not because of the cost but because I was afraid I would be overwhelmed by the technology. So if that’s not an issue for you, buy it and enjoy your life and money.
I'm not 77 and am generally OK when it comes to technology, so perhaps things would be different for you. But my impression is that the Tesla "technology" is very intuitive and easy to use. You could even argue it's simpler than a typical car because there are hardly any buttons, knobs, switches, etc. My comparison to it would be when the iPhone came out. That was completely new technology, but it just made sense and using it was very easy. Suggest taking a test drive if you otherwise think you would like the car, and you can see for yourself.
Humans are very well adapted to buttons, knobs and switches. You don't need to look. You can use them with feel alone. Look at Honda putting back volume and tuning knobs because they are much easier and safer to use while driving. This idea that replacing "analog" controls with "digital" controls is better is all wrong. Talk with UI/UX designers.
palanzo
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by palanzo »

bagle wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:39 pm
Old Guy wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:06 am ... I was afraid I would be overwhelmed by the technology. So if that’s not an issue for you, buy it and enjoy your life and money.
We've found our Tesla (M3) to be pretty intuitive to use. We're not 70 plus, but yes 60 plus. My wife is very "low tech" and finds it to be easy to use. For her, the touch screen is like using any smart phone rather than searching among 20 physical buttons.

But you do need to re-learn a few things such as opening the glovebox with voice or touch screen rather than with your hands, or how to open the door with a plastic card if the app doesn't work.
I'm surprised they kept the door handles on the Model 3. After all who needs door handles? You could also replace the steering wheel with a touch screen. What could possibly go wrong? :oops:
av111
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by av111 »

RetiredScientist wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:29 am I am 78 with portfolio over two million. I have no debts and retirement income about 160K a year. I want to buy a Tesla Sedan (@$80,000). I cannot justify this purchase other than I want it. Some thoughts?
OP

I guess the question for you to answer is "why do you want to buy a new Tesla for 80k"

Everyone will give their personal likes and dislikes about any car. They do not matter to you.

Unless you are asking a budget related question, do your own research into your own likes and dislikes

I wonder what the responses would be if someone replaced "buy car" with "marry a 25 year old" in the OPs question.
AV111
angelescrest
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by angelescrest »

This must be some kind of first, or a record, for the very first car thread on Bogleheads where everyone (so far) has essentially given the OP a green light on buying an expensive car. This is something to pause and consider! :sharebeer
02nz
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by 02nz »

Maverick3320 wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:27 pm
newpup wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:53 pm I bought the Model S fully loaded in 2012 and have enjoyed it immensely. It's held up perfectly and is still my daily driver. It was $100k after state and local incentives, and that high price has impaired my ability to enjoy it freely, and unfortunately gets thrown in my face by my family at times. It is really the only really expensive thing I have ever gotten myself, and I could easily afford it at the time.

My thoughts:
1. Consider NOT getting the highest end Tesla. The Model 3 or Y will likely give you just as much enjoyment as the Model S or X and frankly have newer, simpler, less-likely-to-fail engineering. Also, the acceleration will be better than anything you have almost regardless of which one you get- take it from a P85 driver- you don't need the Performance version. Definitely whip the lower end model on a test drive before forking over for the performance and see if that's enough grunt for you.
2. Consider waiting until January for possible re-instated federal incentive- this could be as much as $7500 if the government gets serious about global warming and decides this is a way to incentive buyers. In addition, Tesla model years are by calendar, so even though my car is from the last week in December, it is a 2012, not a 2013.
3. Consider delaying purchase of FULL SELF DRIVING option. Although this may yet bear fruit, it is a work in progress and can always be added as a software upgrade after the fact. Monitor for technical improvements, sales, and pending price increases which have all happened at increments. Buying at time of purchase will increase your insurance cost, and bought later as a software package may avoid the additional sales tax, depending on region.

Good luck! :D
this could be as much as $7500 if the government gets serious about global warming and decides this is a way to incentive buyers

Not to be that guy, but don't electric cars in essence run off the composition of the local power grid? In some places, you could be buying a coal-powered car, no?
This is a favorite argument against EVs ... by those who make money off of hydrocarbons. Coal is a relatively small - and declining - portion of our energy mix. Even an EV that gets all of its electricity from coal will be more efficient than an equivalent gas-powered car. That's because electric motors are dramatically more efficient than gas engines - it uses something like a quarter the energy needed by a gas engine to produce the same amount of output.

And, our energy mix has the potential to get greener over time (it is doing just that, although slowly), so the carbon footprint of an EV will tend to go down over time. That is not true of a gasoline-powered car.
Helo80
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Helo80 »

Buy a Ferrari or RR.

Seriously, you don’t need our blessing.
Helo80
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Helo80 »

RetiredScientist wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:29 am I am 78 with portfolio over two million. I have no debts and retirement income about 160K a year. I want to buy a Tesla Sedan (@$80,000). I cannot justify this purchase other than I want it. Some thoughts?


You need to decide if having this car is worth putting off retirement for a few years...
iamlucky13
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Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by iamlucky13 »

02nz wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:15 pmThis is a favorite argument against EVs ... by those who make money off of hydrocarbons. Coal is a relatively small - and declining - portion of our energy mix. Even an EV that gets all of its electricity from coal will be more efficient than an equivalent gas-powered car. That's because electric motors are dramatically more efficient than gas engines - it uses something like a quarter the energy needed by a gas engine to produce the same amount of output.

And, our energy mix has the potential to get greener over time (it is doing just that, although slowly), so the carbon footprint of an EV will tend to go down over time. That is not true of a gasoline-powered car.
It's more than 1/4 the energy overall.

An electric car should have about 50-60% of the energy intensity of a gasoline powered car. Powerplant-to-battery-to-motors efficiency may be around 90%, while the coal plant thermal efficiency will be 40-50%. Meanwhile, a gasoline powered car will typically average 20-25% thermal efficiency.

Since coal has 1/3 higher carbon intensity than gasoline, that puts the overall carbon footprint at about 2/3 of a gasoline powered car, if the electricity were generated entirely by coal. So there is a savings, but perhaps not as large as some people expect.

And if we're talking about Tesla, their emphasis on minimizing drag to maximize range (versus competitors like Audi who are sticking with more conventional styling and layouts), actually brings that down to probably a little over half the overall carbon intensity.

West Virginia gets the largest share of its electricity from coal, at 75%. The overall US average is 24%.
palanzo
Posts: 1370
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:28 pm

Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by palanzo »

iamlucky13 wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:00 pm
02nz wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:15 pmThis is a favorite argument against EVs ... by those who make money off of hydrocarbons. Coal is a relatively small - and declining - portion of our energy mix. Even an EV that gets all of its electricity from coal will be more efficient than an equivalent gas-powered car. That's because electric motors are dramatically more efficient than gas engines - it uses something like a quarter the energy needed by a gas engine to produce the same amount of output.

And, our energy mix has the potential to get greener over time (it is doing just that, although slowly), so the carbon footprint of an EV will tend to go down over time. That is not true of a gasoline-powered car.
It's more than 1/4 the energy overall.

An electric car should have about 50-60% of the energy intensity of a gasoline powered car. Powerplant-to-battery-to-motors efficiency may be around 90%, while the coal plant thermal efficiency will be 40-50%. Meanwhile, a gasoline powered car will typically average 20-25% thermal efficiency.

Since coal has 1/3 higher carbon intensity than gasoline, that puts the overall carbon footprint at about 2/3 of a gasoline powered car, if the electricity were generated entirely by coal. So there is a savings, but perhaps not as large as some people expect.

And if we're talking about Tesla, their emphasis on minimizing drag to maximize range (versus competitors like Audi who are sticking with more conventional styling and layouts), actually brings that down to probably a little over half the overall carbon intensity.

West Virginia gets the largest share of its electricity from coal, at 75%. The overall US average is 24%.
And natural gas which is also not allowed under Green policies is 38%.

Image

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/ele ... the-us.php

Furthermore one needs to calculate the energy and emissions that went into making the Tesla and the batteries and compare that to a gasoline powered car.
Tingting1013
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:44 pm

Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by Tingting1013 »

iamlucky13 wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:00 pm
02nz wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:15 pmThis is a favorite argument against EVs ... by those who make money off of hydrocarbons. Coal is a relatively small - and declining - portion of our energy mix. Even an EV that gets all of its electricity from coal will be more efficient than an equivalent gas-powered car. That's because electric motors are dramatically more efficient than gas engines - it uses something like a quarter the energy needed by a gas engine to produce the same amount of output.

And, our energy mix has the potential to get greener over time (it is doing just that, although slowly), so the carbon footprint of an EV will tend to go down over time. That is not true of a gasoline-powered car.
It's more than 1/4 the energy overall.

An electric car should have about 50-60% of the energy intensity of a gasoline powered car. Powerplant-to-battery-to-motors efficiency may be around 90%, while the coal plant thermal efficiency will be 40-50%. Meanwhile, a gasoline powered car will typically average 20-25% thermal efficiency.

Since coal has 1/3 higher carbon intensity than gasoline, that puts the overall carbon footprint at about 2/3 of a gasoline powered car, if the electricity were generated entirely by coal. So there is a savings, but perhaps not as large as some people expect.

And if we're talking about Tesla, their emphasis on minimizing drag to maximize range (versus competitors like Audi who are sticking with more conventional styling and layouts), actually brings that down to probably a little over half the overall carbon intensity.

West Virginia gets the largest share of its electricity from coal, at 75%. The overall US average is 24%.
It is 18% YTD and declining

Image

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly ... table_1_01

We now get more electricity from nuclear than we do from coal.
iamlucky13
Posts: 2075
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by iamlucky13 »

Tingting1013 wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:16 pm
iamlucky13 wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:00 pm West Virginia gets the largest share of its electricity from coal, at 75%. The overall US average is 24%.
It is 18% YTD and declining

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly ... table_1_01

We now get more electricity from nuclear than we do from coal.
I used the EIA data, too. It's better to stick with full-year periods than year-to-date in order to avoid seasonal effects, which are definitely present, as can be seen in the graph.

The Electric Power Monthly numbers work out to 20.01% for the latest 12 months rolling, or 23.46% for 2019 full year.

The 24% figure came from the 2020 Annual Energy Outlook. I'm not sure where the slight discrepancy came from:
https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/

The trend will continue downward, but I think the 20% share for the last 12 months is probably a little ahead of trend. We might see a slight short term uptick again, but the trend will continue downwards overall.
palanzo wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:05 pm And natural gas which is also not allowed under Green policies is 38%.
It depends who you ask. If you ask people with economics or public administration degrees who have gotten themselves elected to local positions in my area, they'll say it's not allowed, and they've passed laws to that effect.

If you ask people with actual experience planning energy generation who want to increase solar and wind, I think most of them will say natural gas is going to be a key enabler for decades to come, and a reasonable medium-term compromise considering the carbon intensity is half that of coal.
tdmp
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:12 am

Re: Buying a Tesla

Post by tdmp »

Agree with most posters here: BUY it.
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