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PracticalMac

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 22, 2009
2,857
5,242
Houston, TX
I am SOOOOO ready to get an EV.
And while I looked at others, it is very hard to beat a Tesla.
Just the "gimmicks" alone are a attractive (and I am not a gimmick guy).
It is so UN-like a car.

I am not going in blind, Engineering Explained has great critical videos on his experience with EV's.
He does a good job of a neutral review of the basic, and is critical of somethings, but so far not enough salt to discount a Tesla.

In past I was considering a Leaf and a Volt (and other plug-in). Ironically Prius Plugin is not on lots in Texas, dealer does not say why.
And I do not go to country like I used to, so almost all in a (very big) city.

What you fine folks think?
 
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KennyJr

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2020
304
294
I've owned a LOT of cars. Ever since I bought my first turbo, a Saab 9000 my emphasis has always been on off-the-line torque. If you love that (as I do), get an electric car. I owned a BMW i3 then bought a Chevy Bolt Premier for the greater mileage. Here are some points to ponder:

. They're a blast to drive - definitely not boring

. If you live where the land is flat you'll get the advertised mileage. Hilly terrain definitely takes its toll (more than you would think).

. You need a 2nd car, a conventionally powered car for longer trips (you don't think you will, but you will).

. Then again, if you want the best of all worlds get a Toyota RAV4 Prime. It's a plug-in hybrid with 94MPGe and 42 miles of EV even before the engine kicks in. And, this 302HP SUV gets 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds. And that same torque is there at higher speeds. It's AWD and has 8.1 inch ground clearance. If your round trip commute is less than 42 miles, the only gasoline you'll buy will be for any non-commuting you do. If interested, definitely check out the review videos.

P.S. I have no experience with Teslas.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 604
May 22, 2008
7,196
1,180
Milwaukee, WI
Well, I'm all for saving the planet...
Average range of EV is about 250 miles. Now, Tesla has one that claims a range of 600 miles. That would be practical for out of town trips, but it costs $189,000.

Recharging from a standard house outlet gets you about 4 miles per hour of charging. With a 110-volt outlet, you get about 25 miles per hour, so you'd need a whole day to fully charge it after pushing it next to the outlet. I believe it costs less for charging an EV than for the gas needed to drive a full combustion engine car.

But, I'm not there yet. Any faster way to charge it? When will the initial cost come down?
 
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jabbawok

macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2004
314
82
Worcestershire
I've had my Model 3 since September. It has its flaws, but I'm pretty happy with it. The supercharger network makes it the only viable EV for the kind of traveling I do. The Public charging network is a mess in the UK. There are loads of providers which you need to sign up with to use. A lot of them are not DC fast chargers, so pretty much useless if you're not sleeping there. I have a 7.5kW charger at home that is set to charge after midnight when the electricity is cheap.

I don't know if the range is good enough for the USA but on our little island I can get pretty much anywhere with a stop long enough to get a coffee.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors G3
May 3, 2014
8,321
6,398
Kentucky
A Tesla is the last car I would buy, EV or not, even though I will acknowledge they have the most advanced and mature EV technology around. I hesitate to even mention this as some people are so locked into the Cult of Tesla that it's a personal attack on them if you dislike the company, but it is what it is.

With that said, EV has a lot of promise. At this time, I could make a case for something like a Leaf or even a plug in hybrid since my commute is ~60 miles(and I'll be back in the office 4-5 days a week in the fall) and my work does have chargers. My big hindrance now with home charging is the 100A service to the house is pretty well spoken for(4x15A circuits inside, which are still short at time, plus 30A to the AC) and upgrading to a more reasonable 200-250A along with rewiring the house to make logical use of the extra power is a much bigger expense than laying down the money for the car(even if it ultimately is a good thing for the resale value of this nearly 70 year old house).
 

Moof1904

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2004
1,053
87
I'm on my third Tesla and while I'm the first to say that Tesla, as a company, has some annoyances, I've never been happier with any of my cars than I have been with my Teslas. The annoyances I've experienced with the company remind me a great deal of the growing pains Apple displayed in the late 80's: Difficulty reaching customer service, poor communication, etc. In the eight years I've been driving Tesla, I've seen a great many of their annoyances diminish as they improve their processes.

Someone upthread said that charging at home "With a 110-volt outlet, you get about 25 miles [of range] per [charge] hour..." and, while that's technically true, virtually no Tesla owner charges at home at 120 volts. About 80% of the owners have a 50-amp outlet installed in their garage (the same kind of outlet that electric ovens use) at very little cost. Charging in that way is considerably faster (about 6x or 7x faster). The other 20% or so have a dedicated charger installed for a little more expense that allows even more convenient (and even faster charging).

The current Tesla Model 3 has an EPA rated range of >350 miles. All of my around town commuting and errands are more than handled by that range, so all I need to do is plug in when when I get home and the car is recharged even before I go to bed. Most people drive >95% of their annually driven miles around town, so charging during a road drip is only an issue during the other few percent of the miles driven. For that, Tesla has built a network of Superchargers around the world (supercharge.info is a great source of where Superchargers are located and where new ones are planned). Using a Supercharger on a road trip is way way faster than charging at any traditional AC connection. It's typical for a Supercharger to charge at a rate so fast that it typically takes 15 - 30 minutes every 200 miles or so driven. A road trip of 400 miles, for example, would therefore only require one, 20 minute or so charging stop in the middle. Personally, I'm going to stop for 15 or 20 minutes in the middle of a road trip that's 400 miles long anyway.

My Model 3 uses about 1 kWh of energy to go three miles. At my electricity rate, that means I spend about 3 cents per mile to power my driving. That's way cheaper than gasoline. Factor in the lack of oil changes, radiator fluid, etc. that isn't necessary on an electric car and the per mile cost is way cheaper than for an equivalent internal combustion engine vehicle.

Couple this cost savings with the increased fun that electric vehicles offer and there's just no comparison. The momentary lag when accelerating in a gasoline car just isn't there with an EV. Gone, too, are the little things like need to keep one's foot on the brake at stoplights, the vibration of an idling car, the annoying engine stopping and restarting that many newer cars do in order to achieve today's stricter mileage and emissions requirements.

Yeah, Tesla isn't perfect. And because TSLA is one of the most shorted stocks traded today, there's more false anti-Tesla FUD spewed by those who make millions from a drop in share price than FUD about any other company. (Oh, and they never advertise, so news publications are biased against them in favor of car companies that advertise.) Despite Tesla's flaws, they are doing a million things right and just like Apple drove the clumsy mobile phone into the direction of the smart phone when they unveiled the iPhone and, by doing so, compelled other phone manufacturers to follow suit, Tesla has accelerated the development and adoption of the electric vehicle for the benefit of the entire world.
 
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Madmic23

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2004
895
986
I want my next car to be an electric. I'll wait for GM's Ultium platform to finally release some cars, hopefully in the next two years or so. I was looking at the Volt but now that's discontinued. The new Bolt EUV is nice, but it's not using the Ultium platform like the Cadillac LYRIQ is. The LYRIQ looks great, but it's probably going to be more than I want to spend.

Why GM? I've always driven GM cars. I qualify for the family pricing which helps. Plus, the dealership is close to my house and work, so service is a breeze. Tesla looks great and I see their charging stations in all of the areas that I usually drive, which is great. But, where do I get it serviced if I have an issue? Also, I like to actually test drive a vehicle before I commit thousands of dollars to buying one, and that's not an option where I live.
 
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AustinIllini

macrumors G5
Oct 20, 2011
12,686
10,518
Austin, TX
I have a Model 3 and my wife has a Model Y. There are definitely some issues with the build quality and they're expensive to fix in say something like an accident or hail, but they are overall amazing and not going to the gas station is worth it.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
10,191
26,679
SoCal
Have a plug-in (Prius Prime) for over 4 years now and am super happy with it. While commuting, I got ~ 40 mile EV range, nowadays it dropped to ~ 28 (advertised with 25).
I did consider an EV back then, specifically a Bolt, but not big enough on the inside for me, plus back then my daughter was in college and we made frequent 400 mile one-way trips to see her, the charging infrastructure just does still not exist, and I'm in CA.
Today, 1 EV in the household would be ok, but the 2nd car would preferably be another plug-in, we don't do that many long trips anymore.
I do charge at 110V at home, takes ~ 6hrs to charge up (~6.5kWh).
 

mknelson

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2020
35
77
My 2006 diesel Smart was murdered by a Honda driver who didn't look both ways before pulling out of an alley. T-boned me… (October 2019).

Kia/Hyundai weren't available here at the time due to short supply and focus on other markets (with larger rebates), Tesla was too costly and would have taken too long to deliver, plus quality issues. Nissan - lack of thermal management was a no (also only one black one available in town at the time). One dealer in the city had plenty of Chevy Bolts in stock, service manager drives one, reviews were all good.

Specced one out and had it dropped off at work only 9 days after the crash, including waiting for insurance to finalize. No regrets.

It works great in the winter (-38C high), smaller size vs Leaf/Tesla is great for parking. Slowish DC charging (50KW limit) is the only potential downside if I need to go on a long drive, but for my urban driving I've been charging at home without any issues. Recall complete (4V/0 variance during the test).

CarPlay, Bose speakers (and no real vehicle noise!). MyChevrolet app is great. >500km range on a charge for city driving in the summer.

I will be envious of the future models with Ultium, mostly for the faster charging.
 

PracticalMac

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 22, 2009
2,857
5,242
Houston, TX
A Tesla is the last car I would buy, EV or not, even though I will acknowledge they have the most advanced and mature EV technology around. I hesitate to even mention this as some people are so locked into the Cult of Tesla that it's a personal attack on them if you dislike the company, but it is what it is.
Might as well say same about Cult of Apple.
Tesla is very simply the very best (not perfect) EV out there.
Yes, there are other EV, like previously mentioned Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and that's it(!!!!)
There was a handful of other EV's that did not last.

So, Tesla is like the 2007 iPhone when everyone else is flip phones and Blackberries.

I looked at Hybrids, but was very disappointed with exception for Chevy Volt, IMHO the best Hybrid ever made (and the clever semi-hybrid Dodge truck).

2021 is becoming the year of the EV. The floodgates are open! But none of them come close to Tesla.
So you have opportunity to get the Cult Free EV of your choice!

With that said, EV has a lot of promise. At this time, I could make a case for something like a Leaf or even a plug in hybrid since my commute is ~60 miles(and I'll be back in the office 4-5 days a week in the fall) and my work does have chargers. My big hindrance now with home charging is the 100A service to the house is pretty well spoken for(4x15A circuits inside, which are still short at time, plus 30A to the AC) and upgrading to a more reasonable 200-250A along with rewiring the house to make logical use of the extra power is a much bigger expense than laying down the money for the car(even if it ultimately is a good thing for the resale value of this nearly 70 year old house).
My proximity to places allow me to use home 110V and have full charge in 2~3 hours.
And a Plug-in hybird will give you best of both worlds.

You did have good counter points to discuss. Thanks
 
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A.Goldberg

macrumors 68030
Jan 31, 2015
2,543
9,710
Boston
I am not entirely opposed to the prospect of an EV, however I don't think the technology and infrastructure is mature enough for me at this point. Given my daily commute is 12 miles round trip, on paper an EV I sound like a prime candidate. The problem is I own a condo in a brownstone building in a city and have garaged parking. The problem would be installing 240v charging in garage that I don't independently own, which would likely end up being horrifically expensive if it's even really practically feasible at all due to the way things are arranged. It would likely cost many many thousands and it's just not worth it to me to spend many thousands of dollars that will never be recouped. For this to happen at a sensible cost would likely require everyone in my HOA to agree make the investment together, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon- especially as some of the units are rented and adding EV charging likely won't command a higher rent.

My workplace does not have charging stations either at the moment. Driving to the nearest fast charger and waiting to charge my car is not something I want to deal with... plus the fast charing (supercharging) is not the ideal way to charge a battery if you're looking for longevity. Once more charging stations are available and better, faster technology exists, this will be less of a problem.

As for the cars themselves, I'm not in love with most of the options out there. Tesla makes the most sense due their charging infrastructure and generally more advanced technology. That said, I don't find their cars to be that nice, the quality appears to be questionable, and the service/support seems to be quite underwhelming. It's one thing for a car to have problems, it's another to have problems getting the support you need, especially in a timely manner. And this is the biggest complaint I hear from Tesla owners. Their insurance costs are also quite ridiculous. According to Car and Driver the average Tesla annual insurance rate is over $4500. Presumably this may come down with Tesla's in-house insurance (allegedly 20-30%), but that's only available in CA at the moment.

Frankly, I don't find most the EV's on the market compelling- either way too expensive, not aesthetically appealing, or lacking sufficient range. They often, regardless of price, seem to cut corners on the interior to make the car more affordable or to balance the high cost of the drivetrain technology. I expect this will change in time. While I only drive 12 miles a day, I do take occasional extended trips. I would want at least 300- ideally 400 miles of actual, real world range to minimize the need to stop and charge.

Plus, considering the current price of gas (excluding the current blip due to the oil pipeline hack) and what I pay for basic electricity here (almost $0.30/kWh!), for the amount of driving I do the financial incentive is not that great.... especially when you factor in the cost of adding a home charger, the potential premium you pay for EV versus comparable ICE vehicle, and in the case of Tesla, likely higher insurance and potentially higher repair costs depending on how reliable the car is.

Presumably EV's should be more reliable due to less complex mechanical drivetrain systems. In the case of Tesla, based on the anecdotal experience of people I know and research from Consumer Reports, this is not the case. Even Elon Musk has admitted recently Tesla has quality issues. China has put a lot of pressure on Tesla regarding their poor quality out of the factory. At best, quality/reliability is highly inconsistent and unfortunately Tesla does not have the best access to service and parts supply.

For example, my fiancee's father has (IRRC) a 2016 Model S 90D... which cost well over $100k brand new. Despite the model S being released in 2012, this thing had multiple drive motor replacements, multiple power door handle replacements, the power mirror failed, the touchscreen hand to be replaced, etc, etc etc. Getting service appointments is a hassle, getting a loaner is near impossible, parts can take forever to get. As a loyal Lexus owner since Lexus' inception, he suspected Tesla would not have Lexus reliability, but "could not have predicted" just how bad it would be (worse than his 1995 Land Rover Defender, which says a lot). That said, he loves the car otherwise and it's unreliability is less of an issue for a guy in retirement with 3 other cars in his garage.

In the meantime, I'm still driving my 2009 BMW 535i xDrive with 150k+. It's not the most efficient car by any means, but in the time I've owned this I could have bought 3-4 new cars as some people do, which would have a far greater detrimental impact on the environment. Plus, I occasionally bike to work. During the peak pandemic this was a nice because there was so little traffic. Now that the traffic is back unfortunately this can be a little bit sketchy.

In 5-10 years it very well might be something worth considering when the technology and infrastructure is in place to make owning an EV in my situation just as convenient as owning a ICE vehicle. I'm not a big fan of the hybrids/plug-in hybrids... I'd rather have full ICE or full EV. Having two systems powering the car just seems like an inevitable reliability and cost of ownership issue... especially since if one system is broken the car won't function at all.

It would also nice for car/battery manufactures to make an effort to ethically source their lithium, cobalt, and other battery elements that tend to be sourced in poor, African nations by child and slave labor, amongst other human rights abuses. Little concern is given to preventing environmental damage in the mining or refining process (refining mainly occurs in China, where environmental regulations tend to be nonexistent or not enforced). While everything has an environmental impact, if we're going to call these vehicle's "green", we should really start off on the right foot by ensuring such detrimental impacts are avoided as best as possible from the start. Admittedly oil companies, especially in the past and in poorer places of the world, have ruined ecosystems and communities due to intentional environmentally unfriendly practices (I'm not talking about accidents) just to save a buck- and rightfully so there has been backlash against this. The same standards should be applied here.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 604
May 22, 2008
7,196
1,180
Milwaukee, WI
Someone upthread said that charging at home "With a 110-volt outlet, you get about 25 miles [of range] per [charge] hour..." and, while that's technically true, virtually no Tesla owner charges at home at 120 volts. About 80% of the owners have a 50-amp outlet installed in their garage (the same kind of outlet that electric ovens use) at very little cost. Charging in that way is considerably faster (about 6x or 7x faster). The other 20% or so have a dedicated charger installed for a little more expense that allows even more convenient (and even faster charging).

Thanks for that information. The website where I found charging rates did not mention either of these options.
 

neutrino23

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2003
1,881
391
SF Bay area
I just got a Prius Prime last October. I’m still on the original gas tank. Haven’t bough gas yet but I’m down to a quarter tank. I get about 30 miles on a charge. From a simple 110 outlet that is about 5 hours. Half that with a public charger or home 240 volt charger. I like it a lot. The Toyota build quality is great.

I was going to get a full electric car but I think we are just on the cusp of major battery improvements. There has been a huge investment in batteries over the last decade. This has improved battery performance quite a bit, but the next commercialized improvement should be impressive. I expect we’ll see longer range, lower prices and better lifetime usage within three years.
 
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Huntn

macrumors Core
May 5, 2008
23,545
26,659
The Misty Mountains
Well, I'm all for saving the planet...
Average range of EV is about 250 miles. Now, Tesla has one that claims a range of 600 miles. That would be practical for out of town trips, but it costs $189,000.

Recharging from a standard house outlet gets you about 4 miles per hour of charging. With a 110-volt outlet, you get about 25 miles per hour, so you'd need a whole day to fully charge it after pushing it next to the outlet. I believe it costs less for charging an EV than for the gas needed to drive a full combustion engine car.

But, I'm not there yet. Any faster way to charge it? When will the initial cost come down?
A 110v outlet is a standard outlet. Now 220v might be better. An entire day to charge an EV at home? I think not, not for me that is. :)
 
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jaymc

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2012
503
264
Port Orchard, WA
Have had a 2013 Tesla Model S P85+ now going on 8 years and it's still going strong; well strong for an 8 year old car. But considering no trips to the gas station, free supercharging, rear wheel driving, real leather, still getting updates, and paid for for the last 5 years - I'm satisfied. ?
 

Huntn

macrumors Core
May 5, 2008
23,545
26,659
The Misty Mountains
I am SOOOOO ready to get an EV.
And while I looked at others, it is very hard to beat a Tesla.
Just the "gimmicks" alone are a attractive (and I am not a gimmick guy).
It is so UN-like a car.

I am not going in blind, Engineering Explained has great critical videos on his experience with EV's.
He does a good job of a neutral review of the basic, and is critical of somethings, but so far not enough salt to discount a Tesla.

In past I was considering a Leaf and a Volt (and other plug-in). Ironically Prius Plugin is not on lots in Texas, dealer does not say why.
And I do not go to country like I used to, so almost all in a (very big) city.

What you fine folks think?
No way. Too long to charge between drives. Then there is the battery liability issue. :)
 

jaymc

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2012
503
264
Port Orchard, WA
No way. Too long to charge between drives. Then there is the battery liability issue. :)
What battery liability issue? I've got an 8 yo Tesla (with older type batteries) that takes twice as long to charge than the current models. When traveling using superchargers I see newer cars come and go while I continue to charge, but am happy considering I'm charging for free.
 
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Huntn

macrumors Core
May 5, 2008
23,545
26,659
The Misty Mountains
What battery liability issue? I've got an 8 yo Tesla (with older type batteries) that takes twice as long to charge than the current models. When traveling using superchargers I see newer cars come and go while I continue to charge, but am happy considering I'm charging for free.
Replacing batteries or ready to sell a 10 year old car whose $5k (or more) batteries just **** themselves. :)

When traveling using a super charger, how long does a full charge take?
 
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Apple fanboy

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Feb 21, 2012
55,486
53,314
Behind the Lens, UK
I'm on my third Tesla and while I'm the first to say that Tesla, as a company, has some annoyances, I've never been happier with any of my cars than I have been with my Teslas. The annoyances I've experienced with the company remind me a great deal of the growing pains Apple displayed in the late 80's: Difficulty reaching customer service, poor communication, etc. In the eight years I've been driving Tesla, I've seen a great many of their annoyances diminish as they improve their processes.

Someone upthread said that charging at home "With a 110-volt outlet, you get about 25 miles [of range] per [charge] hour..." and, while that's technically true, virtually no Tesla owner charges at home at 120 volts. About 80% of the owners have a 50-amp outlet installed in their garage (the same kind of outlet that electric ovens use) at very little cost. Charging in that way is considerably faster (about 6x or 7x faster). The other 20% or so have a dedicated charger installed for a little more expense that allows even more convenient (and even faster charging).

The current Tesla Model 3 has an EPA rated range of >350 miles. All of my around town commuting and errands are more than handled by that range, so all I need to do is plug in when when I get home and the car is recharged even before I go to bed. Most people drive >95% of their annually driven miles around town, so charging during a road drip is only an issue during the other few percent of the miles driven. For that, Tesla has built a network of Superchargers around the world (supercharge.info is a great source of where Superchargers are located and where new ones are planned). Using a Supercharger on a road trip is way way faster than charging at any traditional AC connection. It's typical for a Supercharger to charge at a rate so fast that it typically takes 15 - 30 minutes every 200 miles or so driven. A road trip of 400 miles, for example, would therefore only require one, 20 minute or so charging stop in the middle. Personally, I'm going to stop for 15 or 20 minutes in the middle of a road trip that's 400 miles long anyway.

My Model 3 uses about 1 kWh of energy to go three miles. At my electricity rate, that means I spend about 3 cents per mile to power my driving. That's way cheaper than gasoline. Factor in the lack of oil changes, radiator fluid, etc. that isn't necessary on an electric car and the per mile cost is way cheaper than for an equivalent internal combustion engine vehicle.

Couple this cost savings with the increased fun that electric vehicles offer and there's just no comparison. The momentary lag when accelerating in a gasoline car just isn't there with an EV. Gone, too, are the little things like need to keep one's foot on the brake at stoplights, the vibration of an idling car, the annoying engine stopping and restarting that many newer cars do in order to achieve today's stricter mileage and emissions requirements.

Yeah, Tesla isn't perfect. And because TSLA is one of the most shorted stocks traded today, there's more false anti-Tesla FUD spewed by those who make millions from a drop in share price than FUD about any other company. (Oh, and they never advertise, so news publications are biased against them in favor of car companies that advertise.) Despite Tesla's flaws, they are doing a million things right and just like Apple drove the clumsy mobile phone into the direction of the smart phone when they unveiled the iPhone and, by doing so, compelled other phone manufacturers to follow suit, Tesla has accelerated the development and adoption of the electric vehicle for the benefit of the entire world.
I've not had to keep my foot on the brake for the last 5 years since I bought a petrol car with an electronic handbrake.

Although I'd like to drive a green car, there is no way the UK at least is ready for EV. There are nowhere near enough charging points. Also when there are limited charging points at say a service station you've planned to stop at, then what happens if you get there two minutes after the guy who's just plugged in for the next hour?

Also Tesla is the only one with the range I'd consider, but I spend nowhere near that amount on my cars. Hybrid just sounds like two things to fix to me.

Also the Tesla interior is so ugly. iPad screwed to the dash and that's about it. Not my idea of a design classic!
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Feb 21, 2012
55,486
53,314
Behind the Lens, UK
Replacing batteries or ready to sell a 10 year old car whose $5k (or more) batteries just **** themselves. :)

when traveling using a super charger, how long does a full charge take?
Exactly. Plus lets be honest those advertised ranges are based on warm climates. We all know what cold weather does to batteries.
 

Huntn

macrumors Core
May 5, 2008
23,545
26,659
The Misty Mountains
Exactly. Plus lets be honest those advertised ranges are based on warm climates. We all know what cold weather does to batteries.
Hot climates also do a number on batteries. I’ve replaced more batteries since moving to Texas than I ever did in Minnesota. Now I admit there may not be the same parallel between a regular car battery and a EV battery when it comes to heat. I’ve not looked into that.
 
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