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Northern VA/ DC/ MD Tesla Considerations

Hello all,

Part of this question is specific to northern Virginia Tesla MS owners. I am planning to take delivery on the vehicle in a few weeks:

-Best insurance plan? Geico gives an overall 10% discount if you enroll their umbrella coverage (about $200-250 a year), which can easily cover 10% of a multi-car insurance plan. Wondering what other companies people have gone with for the MS in northern VA.

-Best financing option? Based on other forum discussions, contacted Alliant, they offer 1.49% (!) with good credit, etc. Need to find out other terms of the loan. But what are your experiences?

-Ohmygosh the personal property tax year after year is going to be a XXXXX. Not a question. Just a comment.

-I will be applying for clean VA plates, but do we get any HOV access in MD/VA?

-Where did you take delivery of your vehicle? It bothers me that the buyback guarantee is valued at a couple hundred dollars on the Tesla website, but is only available through Tesla's financing. Tesla financing isn't available unless you take delivery in NYC/NJ. When I speak to Tesla they say don't worry about it, its not a big deal, but both in principle and as embedded insurance for resale, I think this is a big point Tesla is trying to minimize. For example- 3 years later we have electric cars from all the luxury makers that are just as desirable with 500 mi ranges... and the original model S suddenly isn't as desirable. The difference between a buyback and no buyback is huge.

Any other considerations for a Tesla MS in the northern VA/DC/MD area?

My current auto insurance is with USAA, and I was surprised that the Model S didn't significantly increase my rate when replacing my 2002 Acura TL...

USAA also approved me in about 5 min (over the phone) for $65k loan (3 yr 1.5%, 5 yr 1.75%)... I heard this morning that interest rates just went up, and I'm not taking delivery until next month, so I will need to refresh the application and (fingers crossed) it won't change.

I don't believe there are any HOV benefits for "new" clean fuel plates for VA. The original owners of clean fuel plates (way back when) are grandfathered, and can transfer plates to a new clean fuel vehicle, but you and I are SOL.

It appears that delivery is somewhere in MD (up 270), I was surprised that it's not DC, but I haven't called and told them that they need to get it either to the DC store or to my house (in Fairfax, VA)...

Other considerations: If you have Dominion Power, they have two EV plans. One is for a dedicated meter just for your EV. The rate fluctuates between $0.17 and $0.05 /kWh (don't quote me on the rate, but i'm close) the lowest rate is from 1am to 5am, and i've read some threads that the there might be a way to schedule when to start and stop charging via the TM app (not 100% sure on that). i got a quote for ~$1,400 to install the meter. I will probably just install a 14-50 and pay the standard rate of $0.11 (I calculated it would take a long time to pay back the $1,400 with the reduced rate).

Also, I go to smith mountain lake, and was very concerned that i might need to take my MS there and it's about 230 miles (i ordered a 60 kw)... In searching for charging stations I learned that there are a number of KOA campsites along 29 and 81 that have 14-50 outlets for RVs. you can also charge at any nissan dealership (but those are only 30 amp)... I'm very hopeful that there will be some DC Fast Charge stations installed soon, but who knows...

you can schedule charging on the big screen. it remembers also WHERE you are so schedule is location based.

Some of your questions have been discussed in the Washington DC forums http://www.teslamotors.com/forums/clubs/washington-dc.

VA Clean Special fuel plates: Tesla is not listed on the VA website, but the list is not meant to be a complete list. Tesla will apply for regular tags which you will receive after a few weeks. Safety inspection need to be done within 30 days of getting your VA registration. You then apply for you special fuel plates using the appropriate form (http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/pdf/vsa10.pdf) via snail mail and you will receive your second set of tags in about 2 weeks at no extra charge. Only the owner of the car can apply for Special fuel plates (i.e. Tesla can't).

HOV: Different Clean Special fuel VA plates allow different privileges. The current issue allows "This plate is issued on or after July 1, 2011, and exempts the vehicle from the occupancy requirements of any HOV lanes except those in the I-95/395 corridor and I-66 corridor.". See http://www.dmv.state.va.us/vehicles/#cleanspecialfuel.asp for details.

Opps.

Safety inspection need to be done within 14 days (not 30 days) of getting your VA registration.

Regarding charging at any Nissan dealership, call to verify first. I wanted to take my model S to Penn State about a month ago. There are no public chargers in State College, PA. There is a campsite, but it is about 25 miles from Penn State University. A Nissan dealer is located about 3 miles from the University. I called to ask whether I could charge my car there, and was told no; that the charger is only for the use of their customers. I was very disappointed and ended up driving an ICE car there.

Regarding Geico, I have mixed feelings about them. A deer ran into the front drivers fender of my car. The collision center is Criswell in Annapolis, MD. They serve the MD, DC, VA and WV area. Their labor rate is $48.00/hr, but Geico only allows $40.00/hour. Geico took the position that the car is no different from any other car, and that I could have taken the car for repair to one of their suggested centers. Thus, I had to cover the hourly difference myself. Criswell told me they have had this issue with Geico several times. It is interesting how when you seek an insurance quote, you are told that the Tesla is a special car, yet if it needs body work, they say it is exactly like a Honda or Toyota (I kid not; that is what they told me, and I fought it all the way up the ladder at Geico).

My experience with the banks were terrible. But I pulled it off. I though they were worst then IRS doing an audit. Tesla kept on calling me to pick up my MS but the bank was holding me up. I couldn't do anything about it...

I have Erie insurance I think that's the cheapest. Hands down!

As for HOV if your plate is in VA you can not go on MD HOV and vs I have already checked because I'm a MD resident and sometimes I will use 395.

I picked up my Vehicle at Rockville Service Center make sure that you inpect it well and have it outside on the sun so that you can see it clear. I found fingure print on my celing in which any other cloudy day it would be hard to see it.

I was told today my my DS that Tesla no longer will procure VA plates, DIY now - and pay the sales tax too. I'm nervous as I was also told I'll be getting temp tags from CA. I hear many pullovers and tix from VA cops with the CA temp...sigh

Yeah we picked up ours a month ago in Rockville too. Based in Fairfax. Amin no worries. I drove for a couple of days with the California temp tag in the rear window. Got the bill of sale and other paperwork FedExed by Tesla the very next day and took that to a DMV to pay state taxes and get the tags. Tesla sent me a refund for the VA taxes about a week later. Maybe now it is possible to not pay them as part of the final payment? check with your DS.

I switched to Dominion's "Whole house" EV plan which doesn't require an expensive second meter setup (the meter is actually free but you need to hire an electrician to do all the wiring). THe rate goes down to 5c / kWh from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. as others have noted and that's what I have our S setup to charge at. In effect, to drive 1,000 miles a month it roughly costs us $20!

Details here: https://www.dom.com/about/environment/electric-vehicles.jsp

A couple of things:

1. Tesla no longer applies for title or registration in VA. You will receive via FedEx the MCO (manufacturer's certificate of origin) and the final bill of sale. Tesla cannot accept payment in VA or MD. You must sent your payment to CA. The sooner you make final payment, the sooner you will receive these documents. For me, I paid in full a week before pick up, and I received the docs the same day I picked up the car in MD. I went the very next day to the DMV (see below.)

2. Personally I would pick up the car in Rockville. It's not that far, and you really want to examine the car at the service center so that if you find anything they can fix it on the spot. My car was in fine condition, but one of my adapters that came with the UMC was defective. Tesla exchanged it immediately.

3. I highly recommend going to a DMV select location. I went to the Sterling location around 4pm and there was >zero< wait. I had already completed the DMV paperwork (which Tesla will also send you, but it's available as a PDF online) and the entire process took 7 minutes tops. Much better than waiting at a regular location. You will pay a registration fee, title fee, and the sales tax. They accept credit cards - which for me got me 2% back on the sales tax.

4. I went with Alliant. 1.49%, 100% financing available, and very easy to work with. GAP available for ~$300? The only annoyance with them was after everything was done, they sent me a letter asking for a copy of the insurance declaration and a copy of the title, both showing them as a lien holder. The title in VA by default is kept by the DMV electronically, so I sent them the receipt for the title which does show them as the lien holder. Hopefully that will suffice. I've never had to send these docs on any other loan that I've had.

5. My insurance is with Allstate. The premium increase over my current car was ~$150/6 months.

6. Clean special fuel tags issued now are pretty much useless in VA. I'm not bothering. We have a very early grandfathered tag on one of our other cars (hybrid). We'll likely replace that car with an EV in a few years and will transfer the tag.

7. Dominion's plans: I looked at them and decided not to do it. The $1400 does take a very long time to recover from, and the plans are in "test" or "beta". Dominion is under no obligation to keep the plans after they expire in 2014. The whole house plan may work for some. I need to re-crunch those numbers. The peak rate is pretty bad. 35c/kWh?

Have fun!

Looked it up. 17.97c/kWh at peak. Not as bad as I had remembered.

Andrew, yeah peak time during summer is 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. - easy to watch that with programmable thermostats or better yet with a Nest. Winter is lower than standard for most times.

Trekker- yeah, I just signed up for the whole house+EV plan. When I had originally done this I was looking at installing a separate meter, and all the costs associated with that, plus the additional cost of twin chargers and HPWC. We already use programmable thermostats. The challenge is my wife works at home a lot, so at least one zone is used during the day with some frequency. However, I have an eMonitor system installed and I just looked my actuals. I have very efficient AC units. Even with the A/C running 50% of the time at 17.97c/kWh, the EV usage dwarfs it. Add in the fact that I ordered twin chargers to be future proof and to take advantage of the occasional >40A EVSE in the wild, that cost comes out of the equation. I still have the HPWC cost (to make sure I can fully charge in the 4 hour window), but the math works.

Pepco in MD really offers no plan for EV. Their TOU prices are not helpful as the "discount" during off peak is about one half of one cent, which is far less than the premium for peak. I was disappointed with that. Off topic, but it is actually pretty cheap to get just enough solar panels to offset the MS usage. That's a better plan for me in MD.

In MD, you can apply for a separate sticker to go in HOV if your car is registered in MD. As noted, that won't help in VA.

Does Solar City offer plans there to stabilize savings?

I'm trying to forecast the charging cost per month for my MS if I drive 1,200 mi/mo. I'm getting a 60kW battery with rage of ~190ish per charge.

Is my math below correct?

60kW/190mi = 0.32 kW/mi?

1,200 mi * 0.32 kW/mi = 380 kW per month?

380 kW * $0.11/kW = $41 per month for 1,200 miles of driving?

if so, then cutting the cost from $.11 by 50% (EV pricing plan) would only net me ~$20 per month in savings. It would take 75 months to break even on the installation of ~$1,500...

This is a great thread. I live in NoVA (Ashburn), and picking up tomorrow at the Rockville SC. Convenient, as I work in Rockville... I just gotta figure out how to get from my office over to the SC after taking the metro in tomorrow...

I too paid in full to Tesla in CA ahead of time and recv'd the paperwork to take to DMV.

I signed up for the separate EV meter from Dominion power. Still evaluating costs for the install work.

I got good insurance rates from Liberty Mutual, switching away form Progressive.

Gonna risk no front plates and see how it goes...

Thanks everybody! Now to go find that delivery checklist...

@Brian H I may not go with Solar City as they've been really unresponsive. They were that way when I asked about installing an outlet too. The woman said "we don't work on townhomes". Which doesn't seem right to me. Lucky for me, there are several reputable companies that do offer plans to stabilize savings.

Other way to look at this is the cost to charge from 0 to 60kW (max range) = 60*$0.11 = $6.60 with Dominion. It is possible to drive 200miles in optimum conditions; therefore based on driving 1200 miles in a month, the monthyl cost is $40. (1200/200*6.6)

If it cost $1000 to change infrastructure to benefit 50% cost reduction, then ROI is past 50 months (4+ yrs). Most importantly, the 50% reduction plan expires sometime in Nov, 2014 and no gurantee it will continue past 2014. A decision to conitue past initial deadline is based on demand and not sure when the decision will be made. This is the reason why I am not going with EV Plan.

I love this thread too... my delivery window is 6/11 - 7/3... I've heard nothing from Tesla yet, but it's only been about a week since the order was released to the factory.

Any recommendations on whether I should be reaching out to TM, or should I just attempt to remain calm for a couple more weeks (which is easier said than done)...

I had "Released to factory" for several weeks on my ewb status page before I heard anything... I wouldn't sweat it.

Guys there is a dedicated NoVa/DC/MD forum as well -- things can get lost sometimes in the main Model S forum. A lot of us are regulars there and talk meetups etc as well.

Corey, your math is correct but why spent the $1500 for the additional meter why not go for the Dominion whole house EV plan? You can save even more with that by making some simple changes (e.g. program your dishwasher to come on at night).

@Trekker56 - when i click on the link for the dedicated NoVa... I don't see any posts (it's blank)... using http://www.teslamotors.com/forums/clubs/washington-dc

do i need to register or something, if so, didn't see any place to do that...

corey.maso

I live in Lynchburg, so you're welcome to top off at my 14-50 for your SML trips. I'm on Plugshare ("Lynchburg Tesla"). 170-180 miles away via 29.

Call USAA and ask for your loan rate. On advice from a TMC forum member, I called USAA, quoted the PenFed 1.49% rate and got mine knocked down from 1.99 to 1.49.

Thanks for all the responses!
I'll get delivery from 6/11- 7/2.
Looking forward to seeing you all on the road.

Trekker, I also cannot access the dedicated NoVA,DC,MD forum through that link.

I'll post any interesting updates.

@corey.maso, add 3KWh consumed per day for standing lose (battery lose + 24/7 computer consumption). In the winter (< 40 F?)the battery heaters also kick in for another 5KWh (est.) per day.

Hello All:

I live in Northern VA and I am THIS close to pulling the trigger on a P85. However, I've got cold feet and would like to inquire about other NOVA drivers' experiences before committing to something this massive.

Bottom Line: I can afford this car, but I can't afford both this car and a lot of big-$$$ headaches later. I won't waste your time with the tale of how a 5-Series broke my heart a few years ago and was replaced with a 2010 Camry -- boring and humdrum, but paid for and utterly reliable.

Fellow NOVA Tesla Types: how is this car for driving around this area, both commuting and recreationally, without a second car for backup? 90% of it will be through DC on 395/East-West Expressway, then up 295/BW Parkway to the Laurel area, and back in the evenings -- about 30 miles each way. Maybe 50 more miles on weekends, in-town and Beltway mostly. 5-8 annual trips for several days, as far north as Manhattan and as far south as Suffolk/Chesapeake.

Air Suspension: worth the extra money? I've test-driven an air MS and the increased comfort is apparent, but I'm more worried about costly maintenance problems down the road. It's too early for the MS to have a lot of data about reliability, but has anybody noticed any symptoms of some future thing to worry about?

Pano Roof: any light or noise problems? I'm not concerned with the car heating up as much as with not being able to get out of the sun's glare. If you've ever driven south on the BW Parkway at about 4PM in the summertime, you know what I'm talking about.

Sensors: do they work on low-slung concrete parking dividers, or just on things at the level of the bumpers? I've scraped the underside of too many front ends...

Charging: has anyone taken trips down to the Norfolk area and used the chargers stations at Nissan dealerships? Do they charge you or give you any flak about charging up your fancy-schmancy supercar instead of buying a Leaf? Do they work at all hours, or only when attended?

Thanks All -- I feel really good about this, but still need to get the last few shakes out of my hands -- John

John,

I'm a NoVa guy too. I got my S60 in March. Can't stopping grinning like an idiot. To answer your questions...

1. Range- Not an issue for me, even with a 60, but remember its highly variable. For the day to day driving you described, you should be more than fine, especially with an 85. I haven't gone on a long road trip yet but am planning on taking it to Raleigh soon to visit family and there will soon be 2 superchargers in between here and there. If you're planning to go to NYC, you shouldn't have any problems. I don't know much about the Suffolk area drive. And I've never used a Nissan station.

2. Air suspension- I don't have it, and don't regret not having it. The drive and road feel are excellent (and I just turned in a 535xi to get my S). However, others really like their air suspension. Again, its a personal decision but on NoVa roads I don't think you'll have regrets either way. My decision not to get it was in part driven by wanting to keep things that could break to a minimum.

3. Pano roof- I didn't get it because I didn't want to be roasted in the summer. My buddy (also in this area) did get it and he likes it. He says it blocks 90% of the heat but for me that was still too much.

4. Parking sensors- I don't think they've really been designed for the low parking slabs, so be careful.

Like you, I had a 5 series, which was a good car. But it doesn't hold a candle to the S. I've not had mine long enough for things to break, but by all accounts you will likely not have to cough up $$$ like you did in the Bimmer. And don't get me started about the whole dealership experience. I hate my local BMW dealership with a vengeance. The experience with Tesla was the polar opposite. By and large they're bright, passionate people who really care about what they are doing.

Congratulations in advance. Have fun in that thing and don't sweat the small stuff. Here's hoping there's another grinning idiot in NoVa.

I noticed on the Supercharger page that there's a Tesla Service Center "Coming Soon" in Fairfax, does anyone know exactly where it will be? Thanks

@johnl972001 - Rumors abound, but you can be sure the Fairfax SC will be coming...soon.

Check out the Washington DC Club pages where the issue is discussed in some detail.

John,

I’m a MC Red P85 owner in Leesburg. My commute is only eight miles and I wish it were longer because driving the Model S is phenomenal. I drive occasionally to Silver Spring, Burke and once to Richmond. I never worry about the range, except in winter when you have to add 20% more for cold loss. I’ve had the S since October and drove it through the winter snow on 19” Michelins. It easily climbed 10% grade roads. Amazing for a rear wheel drive car.

This weekend I’m going to charge to 90-95% and go to a wine tasting in Leonardtown, MD of all places. Two hundred miles on a charge I’m told is a no brainer, we’ll see. For your trip to Norfolk, there is a HPWC at Coastal Grill in Virginia Beach on PlugShare that can boost your range to get you back to Glen Allen.

I like the air suspension. It is beneficial for navigating high driveway aprons without bottoming out and damaging the air dam. The very high setting lowers to high at 22 MPH, which may help in deeper snow. From high to standard it lowers at 34 MPH and you can set it to go to low at any speed.

Parking sensors were added after I ordered. In reverse the mirror tilts to show the rear wheel and curb and with the rear camera I can judge the distance behind. I don’t believe they detect parking bumpers; another reason for the air suspension.

In never used the sunroof on my E500. The pano roof I use all the time. It adds headroom and there’s no glare from it on the center screen. I’ve never felt any heat from it driving either. All cars get hot parked, but vent the pano and the AC chills the car in two minutes. If you need a roof rack , it’s the only way to get mounting points.

Like you, I was concerned about possible future expenses and I purchased the extended warranty and bought the prepaid service for a small savings; it includes the tire rotations. The new service center is on Tyco Road in Tysons Corner.

I recommend “Owning Model S The Book” by Nick J. Howe http://nickjhowe.com/tesla/modelsguide.html.

I know you’ll pull the trigger, so welcome the owner’s club and start grinning. While you’re waiting on delivery, enjoy Bøjrn Nyland’s videos on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/user/bjornnyland.


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