Justify the cost to own

lancethibault

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Trucks are expensive. I know. I've always owned them. The CT (tri-motor in particular) is not cheap.
For those willing to lay it out there, I would like to see the pure math argument for ownership. I know there are environmental concerns and other wholistic arguments about the way Tesla does business, but those are not the ones I'm looking for. I want to see how your finances justify buying the CT.

Here's where I'm at.

My current truck is my daily driver. When my daughter is here and not needing her car, I use the Cruz as a commuter. But outright buying a vehicle just to commute never really made good math sense to me. Even if I buy a $2k beater and then insure it. I can buy a lot of gas miles for $2k plus additional insurance. Even though I'm only getting 15.5 MPGs in my truck, a beater that gets 30 MPGs still cost $ to fuel up. Point being, if I spend $210-$320/month on gas now and that gets gut in 1/2 to $100-$150, plus an extra $50/month to insure the beater, that's now $150-$200/month. Yes maintenance (tires, brakes, oil changes, etc) are also less pricey on the beater then what I pay for on the truck, but they also are not free. For the sake of the argument let's say I save $100/month total. That's about 2 years before I break even on a $2k beater. So another 2 years, before I would save enough to buy another $2k beater with the money I've saved by driving the truck less. Sure the value of my truck also holds up better since it has less miles, but this savings after 4yrs of driving a beater just isn't worth it to me. So my truck is my daily driver with benefits!

So given that I'm going to own 1 vehicle to do everything, I've also never bought a new truck for that matter. Buying new (because of depreciation) never made good sense to me either. So buying this CT3 is still somewhat debatable to me. In my head I'm basically paying a $44k premium. I've never spent more then $32k on a truck. (CT3 w/FSD ~$76k minus $32k = the $44k premium I'm talking about).
So initially in my head to justify that premium I need to own it for at least 20 years, which is roughly what I think 2 trucks would normally get me.

When I did the math on purely a gas saving and cost of insurance argument, it came out to 23yrs to break even (assuming my mileage stays the same, gas averages $2.75/gal, my current electricity rates...or cost to charge stay the same at $0.105/kWh, the CT3 battery assumed to be 200kWh, and my current cost to insure is $77/month vs a guess of $100/month for the CT3). I know there there are holes that can be made in this argument. It's just the way this simpleton sees it. I've looked at adding Solar to my house also to bring down the cost to charge the CT3 which I calculated at ~$50/month based on my current driving and the previously mentioned 200kWh battery assumption. Even then the break even point for Solar and the CT3 is about 20 years. I break even on the solar alone after about 10 years.

OK...too much typing. Bottom line; I love the CT. I'm inclined to make the purchase. You can see how I justify it. What say you?
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RonM

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Trucks are expensive. I know. I've always owned them. The CT (tri-motor in particular) is not cheap.
For those willing to lay it out there, I would like to see the pure math argument for ownership. I know there are environmental concerns and other wholistic arguments about the way Tesla does business, but those are not the ones I'm looking for. I want to see how your finances justify buying the CT.

Here's where I'm at.

My current truck is my daily driver. When my daughter is here and not needing her car, I use the Cruz as a commuter. But outright buying a vehicle just to commute never really made good math sense to me. Even if I buy a $2k beater and then insure it. I can buy a lot of gas miles for $2k plus additional insurance. Even though I'm only getting 15.5 MPGs in my truck, a beater that gets 30 MPGs still cost $ to fuel up. Point being, if I spend $210-$320/month on gas now and that gets gut in 1/2 to $100-$150, plus an extra $50/month to insure the beater, that's now $150-$200/month. Yes maintenance (tires, brakes, oil changes, etc) are also less pricey on the beater then what I pay for on the truck, but they also are not free. For the sake of the argument let's say I save $100/month total. That's about 2 years before I break even on a $2k beater. So another 2 years, before I would save enough to buy another $2k beater with the money I've saved by driving the truck less. Sure the value of my truck also holds up better since it has less miles, but this savings after 4yrs of driving a beater just isn't worth it to me. So my truck is my daily driver with benefits!

So given that I'm going to own 1 vehicle to do everything, I've also never bought a new truck for that matter. Buying new (because of depreciation) never made good sense to me either. So buying this CT3 is still somewhat debatable to me. In my head I'm basically paying a $44k premium. I've never spent more then $32k on a truck. (CT3 w/FSD ~$76k minus $32k = the $44k premium I'm talking about).
So initially in my head to justify that premium I need to own it for at least 20 years, which is roughly what I think 2 trucks would normally get me.

When I did the math on purely a gas saving and cost of insurance argument, it came out to 23yrs to break even (assuming my mileage stays the same, gas averages $2.75/gal, my current electricity rates...or cost to charge stay the same at $0.105/kWh, the CT3 battery assumed to be 200kWh, and my current cost to insure is $77/month vs a guess of $100/month for the CT3). I know there there are holes that can be made in this argument. It's just the way this simpleton sees it. I've looked at adding Solar to my house also to bring down the cost to charge the CT3 which I calculated at ~$50/month based on my current driving and the previously mentioned 200kWh battery assumption. Even then the break even point for Solar and the CT3 is about 20 years. I break even on the solar alone after about 10 years.

OK...too much typing. Bottom line; I love the CT. I'm inclined to make the purchase. You can see how I justify it. What say you?
$76K does not include tax, title, tag and shipping. Also $100/month seems very low for a high priced CT3. You can cut $20K by changing to a dual motor and if you need more range order additional battery if possible (300+ being standard on the dual plus talk of it being close to 350).If you do decide to change to a dual, check if it can be done when time to finalize the order and still be able to keep FSD at $7K.
 

egandalf

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I did a TCO evaluation (and may re-do with some numbers from a Tundra I saw on the lot today while getting maintenance done on my Tacoma). I built it in Numbers on a Mac, which exports somewhat messily to Excel, which translates somewhat cleanly to Google Sheets. :)

Basically, CT comes out on top comparing CT Dual -> Tundra at similar initial costs.

I list all my assumptions and sources. Some things we don't have truly accurate numbers on like depreciation, so, for example, I assumed those would be equal although I do really believe the CT will do better here. The assumption helps keep the analysis apples-to-apples, as does the nearly identical price point.

Let me know if this helps:

I can give a download link to the original Numbers or Excel files if anyone is interested.

I also have considered kicking of a YT channel to present information like this. Lemme know if that sounds helpful/appealing or if it would be more noise in the interverse.
 

TheLastStarfighter

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I pay around $550 a month in gas. I pay around $585 a month for my challenger. Total budget for gas+car = $1135.

Total estimated energy cost for the same driving in a Tesla is about $135 monthly. So my budget for a CT is $1000 monthly without it costing me extra. I expect the CT to come in around that. Seeing as the CT is a vastly superior vehicle, this is a no-brainer. And like all renewable energy investments, once the capital is paid off you bank the fuel savings going forward.

If you like driving beater cars, you don't drive much, or fuel is cheap for you, the case is less strong. Personally, I hate beaters. I hate driving in a junk vehicle, and I hate the lack of reliability. A few years ago we went to pick up a kitten and our old jeep broke down. We had to get it towed, with the poor animal screaming in terror the whole way, get a rental, arrange repairs in a strange town. Never want to do that again. If I can afford it, I will never drive a run-down vehicle.
 

Crissa

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Well, everyone's situation is different, but there have been some YouTube channels about this topic.

But also remember, you don't have to cover the entire cost of vehicle to 'pay for itself' - only the difference between what it cost and what you'd have to pay for vehicles over that time frame; replacement cost for parts/vehicles when they fail included.

-Crissa
 

larryboy31

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Gas and diesel will not be under $2 a gallon forever. Electricity may go up in price but solar is always an option to keep costs the same. I have a 2001 Dodge diesel pickup that is in pretty good shape. It only has 107K on it but it is rusting out pretty badly. I will sell it as soon as I get my CT. It will stay nice longer than I will and my daughter will get many more years of use out of it. I buy new but keep a vehicle until I have gotten all the good out of it. You have to calculate depreciation on the full time you own the vehicle. If you trade every year you take a hell of a hit. Every 20 years not so much. I have spent a lot of time driving beaters and as a result I can buy a CT out of petty cash.
 

TI4Dan

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To justify a purchase I think you must you want it first, sometimes it doesn't make sense but it speaks to you. If you are in position to buy and you really like it....a match made in heaven. I personally have to replace a vehicle that I have owned 23 years, I might be on borrowed time with it so a replacement is due and I choose CT. All the positives that are in it's corner are the icing on the cake for me. My home is paid for plus everything I drive has been for years. I don't gamble or spend my paychecks in bars so most of my money stays in the bank. When CT comes along I hope it is everything I thought it would be,
I will buy it.
 

Frankenblob

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I am also looking at it in terms of "off grid application" .

For me to buy a 120 and 240v capable inverter would be around 2,000 then if I add ( this is what I got from other sites about the 4680 batteries) 140kw of storage then my costs would add anywhere from 30-40,000, and depending on quality of batteries, it could hit 70-80,000 thousand and this is NOT including wires, connectors, breakers.... and I get a vehicle to go hunting, fishing trapping AND leisureing.

If the Cybertruck does offer 140Kw then I could power my house for 5 straight days (being conservative) and use my solar to recharge the batteries and NOT worry about "grid down" scenarious from ice storms, rolling black/brown outs or what have you!

And it has been said that these batteries could last 25 years ( provided one uses prudent and caring methods) and still maintain 90+ percent capacity.

And if I had to swap out batteries then I would KEEP the old one and use it or sell it.
 
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cybrtrk_maybe

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A comparable 3/4 ton diesel from any of the current large auto manufacturers, with similar characteristics will cost between $65k - 90k; Give or take, the price is about the same. In my mind, it comes down to the cost to keep it running; Which others have shown will be considerably less than the ICE trucks. BAM (drops the mic).
 

ajdelange

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It is way to early to even think about how a CT could be used in a V2G or V2H application as Tesla has said no more than that it will be available at some time in the future.

That means that if planning an off grid building somewhere one must rely on storage other than that of a BEV and yes, it gets expensive. You probably don't need anything nearly as large as 140 kWh (and be sure you understand the difference between a kW and a kWh). Depending on how long you want to be able to go on battery you can probably get by with less than half of that. You'll need to know your electric use pattern and weather patterns in some detail before coming up with a design. For occasional extended periods of no sunshine (more than 2 - 3 days) a small backup generator is going to be much more cost effective than the battery needed to cover this.,
 

kev12345

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If the Cybertruck does offer 140Kw then I could power my house for 5 straight days (being conservative) and use my solar to recharge the batteries and NOT worry about "grid down" scenarious from ice storms, rolling black/brown outs or what have you!
sure would be nice to use the truck to power the house in a blackout vs the noisy generator! major added value.
 

Frankenblob

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It is way to early to even think about how a CT could be used in a V2G or V2H application as Tesla has said no more than that it will be available at some time in the future.

That means that if planning an off grid building somewhere one must rely on storage other than that of a BEV and yes, it gets expensive. You probably don't need anything nearly as large as 140 kWh (and be sure you understand the difference between a kW and a kWh). Depending on how long you want to be able to go on battery you can probably get by with less than half of that. You'll need to know your electric use pattern and weather patterns in some detail before coming up with a design. For occasional extended periods of no sunshine (more than 2 - 3 days) a small backup generator is going to be much more cost effective than the battery needed to cover this.,

I see, we currently use about 14kw per day (according to our bills and our house is about 1900 square feet) now we do not live high on the hog or miserly with regards to energy consumption, so this would still benefit us after all is said and done...I think.

But mcgyvering this and tweeking that I say it would be beneficial for us, maybe not others tho.
 
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ajdelange

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First let me encourage you to understand what a kW is and what a kWh is and how they are very different.

If you use 14 kWh per day then 56 kWh of battery would carry you 4 days. In an outage presumably you would institute load shedding practices i.e. postpone using the air conditioner(s), clothes dryer, electric range, turn off lights when leaving a room etc. This should stretch you out a day or two more. Obviously if you want to be able to runs solely on the PV's they will have to produce, on average, more that 14 kWh per day. Thirty panels might get you that much in the summer. but in the winter the production could drop to much less than half that.

[Edit]Turns out I'm the one that needs to review kW and kWh. Actually 14 kWh per day is very low utilization amounting to an average power consumption of 600W. If you have on average the equivalent of 5 hrs per day full sun then a 2.8 kW solar system can supply that.

Etc. You can spend a lot of time trying to configure a system. A totally off grid system for 14 kWh per day consumption is going to mean a lot of panels. Probably more than you have roof space for. See correction above. A system with 30 panels should handle things.
 
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