17 inch Screen

How many people would still buy the Model S if it didn't have the big 17 inch screen with all the bells and whistles. Tesla marketing know that was the big fact selling the Model S. The first Gen didn't have it so they knew they wouldn't be ale to sell more Model S without it. My guess would be around 30-40% of sales

Well, for me, the huge touchscreen was NOT the selling point of the car. I actually do not typically want touch buttons for everything because I like tactile feedback.

At first It turned me off to the Model S because of my experience with other companies touch screens. Luckily, I have watched countless videos on the Model S, and have seen how responsive the screen is and such, and now I do not mind the screen. The Tegra 3 SoC's are definitely the reason that it is how it is. I bet by the time I can order my Model S, they may be thinking about including the Tegra 4 instead...

Anyways, the selling point for me is the Range, the speed, and the all around package. The screen does not make me more or less inclined to buy the Model S. To say that the screen is the selling point seems inaccurate. The screen is definitely a huge differentiator, but I doubt its the biggest factor in people wanting to buy the car.

Range was the key change that makes these cars marketable to the general public, at least in theory. I initially thought the big screen could be a negative, as there was a perception that the virtual buttons would require taking the driver's eyes off the road to do simple things like changing radio volume. This was horribly executed in Ford's Synch and the Fisker Karma touch screens, and the motoring press has rightly hated it. My Ford F150 Synch touchscreen system is terrible, and it has lots of regular buttons too, so I was prepared for the Model S screen to be a compromise.

It has been a very pleasant surprise to us that the touchscreen in lieu of buttons is incredibly well executed in the Model S. Not having regular tactile buttons has been no issue at all. TM must have spent a lot of time and money on the human interface design because it is very intuitive and minimizes multiple menu selections, with quick glances doing the job just as well as old-school buttons. There may be a slight learning curve compared to knowing where a real button or knob falls to hand, but not much.

In short, we have come to see the screen as a huge benefit, and hope that other manufacturers do the same, but it did not affect our decision to buy the car. That decision was driven by an expectation that the real world range would be 250+ as indicated by TM marketing. Our real need was for 220 miles on a regular (weekly) basis, which turns out to not be available without extraordinary measures such as driving below the speed of traffic, a cold cabin, etc. With an appropriate cushion to account for unforeseen events, unexpected weather, or delays, the real world single-leg range for trip planning purposes is 175 miles. So the touchscreen is a happy surprise, but the range limits and over-selling same make the car unsuitable for much of our driving.

Range and the hopes I will be able to increase that range in the future. That is the only reason I bought the car. I purchased no whistles and bells on my car and would have skipped the 17" screen if it was a cheaper option.

The SC network will have to be placed 150 miles apart in mild weather routes and 100 miles in cold climate locations. With all the mistakes people make in not topping the battery, have the heater blowing and going, 100 miles sounds a reasonable distance. It will resolve most of the range anxiety, unless there is extreme cold weather.

Most trips are within the city. This car is not suitable for folks who do long distance regularly. It is ideal for cities that are spread out like Houston, LA, etc. One can burn 100 miles/day going around town on the freeway.

The 17in screen was my 2nd biggest concern with the MS - only the test drive convinced me it is not distracting.

The touch screen is a great talking point! It however does allow upgrading the electronics, however I bought the car because it allowed me to drive 50 to 70 miles daily without any range anxiety and leave my grandchildren with breathable air.

@ Pungoteague_Dave

"With an appropriate cushion to account for unforeseen events, unexpected weather, or delays, the real world single-leg range for trip planning purposes is 175 miles."

That is almost half of the 300 miles that can be read on the Tesla Motors website!!!

That means that the Tesla Model X 85 kWh will have a range that will be even less than that!!! Maybe 150 miles?

Maybe it's wise to wait a bit longer, till Tesla Motors have a 120 kWh battery pack for the Tesla Model X, because then the range will be more.

That's the 60 kwh battery, not the 85 kwh

The touchscreen was a huge reason I wanted the car. The ideas that the controls were all software was very appealing to me. Think about what touchscreen smartphones are like. Developers come up with ideas that aren't initially expected, and they can because capabilities aren't locked down by physical interfaces that can never change.

@ Vawlkus

"That's the 60 kwh battery, not the 85 kwh"

Sorry, I did not know that.

@ Pungoteague_Dave

Would it not have been better to have chosen the 85 kWh battery pack istead of the 60 kWh battery pack? Because then you would not have needed the Ford F150 for your regular weekly 220 miles trips. Please correct me if I am wrong again.

The tablet and the touch controls in the Tesla are simply the best imo. It is intuitive to use and barely needs the manual. Try a BMW, Mercedes or even a Toyota GPS - they are hairballs. Worse is when they got a wheel mouse. I got to read the manuals and by the time I finish I forgot a lot of what read in the beginning.

I prefer plush leather seats, center console, door pockets, etc like a Lexus. That is work in progress. Elon owns Audi Q8, so he should know.

The 17" screen is what first drew my interest to the car. I knew about the Tesla Roadster but I had no knowledge of the S until they put a store at the mall. I was very intrigued about the screen before I knew anything about how the car drove or the range. It wasn't enough to sell me on the car but it was the first point of excitement I had. I think in 10 years almost every car will have a similar interface with almost no buttons. This screen will do to auto interiors/controls what the iphone did to the phone industry.

I have an 85 and Vawkus is wrong. The practical range limit for an 85 turns out to be 175, not 200, not 265, and certainly not 300.

PD -- how do you mean practical range is 175? In sub-32 cold or any temperature? Aren't there many owners experiencing practical ranges over 200? Thanks for your posts...

Maybe P_D is driving around a race track? Or has no idea how to conserve mileage? Or has 60kWh battery in his car and he just thinks it is 85kWh? Everybody else seems to be able to drive easily over 200 miles / charge, so there is something wrong either in him or in his car.

He's equating conservative worst-case with "practical". Idiot-proof. Which is not either what EPA measured or what most are concerned with most of the time.

@ Pungoteague_Dave, Vawlkus, Timo, jk2014, Brian H

P_D does know what he has paid for. So, if he says that his Tesla Model S has a 85 kWh battery pack, then I do believe him.

I think that he can get more milage by driving just 5 miles/hour slower than he does now. But the point is that he wants to drive his Tesla Model S just like he normally drives his ICE vehicles. He does not want to make any compromises. I personally would rather drive just a bit slower in a Tesla Model S (if that would be required to reach my destination), then instead driving an ICE vehicle. Because I do realise that driving an EV requires a different approach than driving an ICE vehicle. I think that we have to accept that application of new technology will require some changes in our habits.

Maybe it is a good idea if Tesla Motors would do a check-up on the logs of this particular Tesla Model S. Some valuable information just might come to the surface?

Benz, tune in better. No one doubts what car P_D has. You are making elementary, almost childish and irrelevant, comments here. We are questioning only the necessity to be fueled at all times as though blizzard-swept mountains might suddenly spring up in your path, even though you are driving through the southern flatlands.

@ Pungoteague_Dave

Have you spoken to Tesla Motors about your "175 mile range"?
I think they should at least look into this situation (via the logs of your Tesla Model S). There must be a explenation for your situation.

My Models S does not have a range problem and is not uniquely incapable compared to others. It is like any Model S. It also has a practical trip-planning limit of 175, which would normally leave 25 or 30 miles in the tank. It is performing to specifications.

I did do one trip that was 240 miles, with 4 miles in reserve. It was a 42-degree sunny day in the Mid-Atlantic. The route was Annapolis, MD to Rock Hall, MD, to Pungoteague, VA, via the Whitehaven Ferry (turned the car off while on the ferry).

I started with a full max range charge, and NEVER drove over 55, used the cruise control most of the time, soft-footed the accelerater (I know how to hyper-mile), drove on perfectly flat land with several miles on elevated bridges, had the driving lights off, max-range setting, etc. When the car put on the seat heaters automatically, I turned them off to save range. THIS SIMPLY IS NOT A REASONABLE WAY TO DRIVE A CAR. Our feet were cold, range anxiety was high throughout, and it took an extra hour to get to our destination compared to driving normally (65-75 in 55-65 limits).

Can we drive our S-cars 400 miles on a charge? Yes, it has been done, but the stunt required starting in the middle of the night, driving an average of 26 miles per hour with every creature comfort turned off, and picking a route in the Everglades with no traffic and no stops. That is interesting, but it was a stunt (and the car had to be towed back at the end). With that as a baseline for max range, we can all adjust or make compromises somewhere between that stragegy and flat-out Autobahn driving, with expected range commensurate with driver behavior.

What I am referencing is driving the car normally, starting with a standard charge (as max range is only for exceptional use and will reduce battery life), in standard temperatures (it is both hot and cold here, so expecting 42 or 92 outside, and using the HVAC for passenger comfort at normal settings), driving with traffic, and accelerating conservatively but not slowly, and avoiding using the brakes most of the time.

Under those typical circumstances, the prudent range, leaving 20-25% "in the tank," as you would with an ICE car, is 175 and not more. Calculated thusly: 243 range upon normal charge, less 15% for driving normal speeds (65 on the highway, not the 55 assumed in the 243 range used by the car testers and long range advocates) gives 207 real world miles maximum range. Leaving 20% of that in the tank for traffic delays, detours, contingencies (do we run our ICE vehicles to zero? It is even less responsible to use all the available range in an EV, where the consequences of running out are much worse), the range is 165. I round that up to 175.

Do I sometimes plan trips of 200 miles? Yes. But only where I know the route well and am comfortable with not having delays or any other issues. And it is still VERY uncomfortable pulling into my charging home with only 10 miles, I believe that is borderline irresponsible - and I own a car carrier trailer and can solve my own problem, unlike most with a Model S. Could I plan a trip of 250 miles? No. Not without an interim charging strategy. For our use, we will never plan longer than 175 miles in areas without fast charging stations (and there are none on our normal driving routes), and even then end up pretty empty. My issue is that TM sells the car for higher expectations, and needs to dial back its range hype and software to more acheivable levels.

That hype had me expecting to make the 193-mile one-way commute to my weekly teaching assignments at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, where there are charging stations. It turns out that cannot be done without too many compromises. The shortest route includes two sections that have 65 mph speed limits, and traffic there does 75. It is impossible to make those 193 miles safely in the Model S, so I am stuck using a motorcycle on nice days, or one of our pickups on bad days. I could do it in the Model S at a steady 55, with NOTHING to spare, but that would be stupid and cost time that I do not have. It will also become completely impossible as the battery ages, which Tesla says will cost another 20% of range over time.

To its credit, the new range calculator on Tesla's website is now very close to my advice above. However, TM still leads all marketing with the ridiculous 300 and 265 claims, neither of which will be acheived in real world use, except by Model S owners in SoCal or Florida who don't mind giving us all a bad name (there is a reason people hate being behind a Prius), holding up traffic or pussyfooting through intersections to minimize acceleration. I now have 2,000 miles on the S, drove it 165 miles from Annapolis to the farm last night, and had 26 miles left. That, folks, is the real world. Planning on more than 175 miles in an 85 kw Model S is too risky in my opinion. With its added bulk and dual motors, the 85 kw X will have even less range.

PD -- thank you for the comment... I agree with your planning guidance of 175. My only concern with making this a selling point for Tesla on its website is that people won't get it. They only see 175, think it sucks, and skip the car all together. People are drawn to the 300/265 ideal range numbers and thus will investigate it more before they put in a reservation. Getting the uninformed to the door is essential. Now, how Tesla takes it from there with managing range expectations is the real challenge as you've highlighted. If they can take what you've suggested and integrate it into the follow on sales pitch to an interested potential reservation holder, then your issues with range expectations might be resolved. Am I close, PD? Thanks again for sharing...

@ Pungoteague_Dave

You have explained your point of view regarding Tesla Model S.

And two important sentences (among many others) are:

1) "My issue is that TM sells the car for higher expectations, and needs to dial back its range hype and software to more acheivable levels."

2) "Planning on more than 175 miles in an 85 kw Model S is too risky in my opinion."

Because many people do not agree with you regarding your above mentioned two sentences. And for me it is also hard to believe you. Although, I also do not want to say that you are wrong, because you are writing down your real world experience with your Tesla model S. I am a bit confused now.

I don't drive my ICE car the way you are driving your Model S, so I dispute your statement that how you drive is "normal". Before you say I'm not a "normal" driver, I'll say that I am not: because I'm a speeder, going 20 km/h faster than 95% of the drivers here. We all drive different ways.


I do not speed, except technically. I go either with traffic or slower than that. Drivers generally will not be ticketed in Virginia or Maryland driving within 10 over the official limit where limits are 55 or above.

I just drove 168 miles ths evening since my last post, between my homes, and set the cruise control at 64 in the sections that have 55 mph limits, 74, in the 65 areas, and 50 in the 45 mph areas. I did not pass anyone the entire time on very busy roads, but was constantly passed by traffic, including several police cars that were just cruising, not on calls. I am considered a slow driver, and in some cases, an impediment to traffic. I had 18 miles left in the tank upon arrival, less than is responsible in my opinion.

Your implication that I drive fast is ridiculous.

jk, so you are saying that TM should put out numbers as bait and then switch expecations after the buyer is hooked by the test drive experience? Misleading is misleading. Marketing puffery is fine to a point, but this is taking it too far. TM should under-promise and over-deliver if it expects to maintain or regain credibility. These cars cannot go 300 miles or 265 miles in ANY normal driving circumstance, so in my opinion they should not say so. The recent change to the online range calculator admits as much.

More importantly, TM should re-calibrate the onboard software, because 99.99% of the time, the car is lying about its remaining range on the center of the dashboard by displaying the "rated range" remaining. The energy screen is a bit more realistic because you can choose options that provide a projected range based on how the car is being driven - I find this is a bit more realistic.

P_D, my apologies, I thought you were talking about maximum range car practically can reach, instead you were talking about practicality of the range you should plan for in order to have safety margin. It explains a lot, and I agree with you with those driving conditions.

It doesn't apply to all places and all routes though which makes your later comment about "These cars cannot go 300 miles or 265 miles in ANY normal driving circumstance" false, because they can reach that range and more. Remember, what is normal to you applies to you, rest of the world might disagree, and some part almost certainly does.

For example here in Finland many twisty little roads have 80km/h speed limit, which translates to 50mph, and normal highway speed limit is 100km/h (at most roads that's also practical limit, unless you want to constantly pass other cars) which is roughly 62mph. You just drive by the limit and reach 265 easily with plenty of margin left.

I'm not blaming your range on speeding, I'm saying your speed AND driving expectations are limiting your available range based on you preferences. Being Canadian means I naturally think in terms of km/h as opposed to mph, but 55 mph is fairly close to the 100 km/h limits that are in place on most Canadian highways. Saying that you're move at that speed, or near it, means to me you're doing a lot of highway travel, which is where electric is naturally a little less in range terms. I would combat that by not traveling on the highway at highway speeds; I'd utilize non-highway roads with lower limits to stretch my range.

It's all in how we choose to drive bro.

So you will let your car determine how you live rather than the other way around! Cars are an appliance, the quickest safe means of transport between two points, with usury deepening on budget. You will pay for a luxury car and then let it steal your time, which I see as more recoils than any other asset?

When we compromise on speed, distance, or comfort, the technology wins and we lose. Elon Musk set out to conquer all three and make the best car ever, no compromises. He got closer than anyone ever has, but missed on one of the three in real world driving range.

EV range will get better as the technology improves. I love my car, would buy it again, but cannot use it for a lot of what was advertised. I do a lot of driving in Canada, although cannot bring my S there because I go where there is no charging available. i. Also have relatives in Lunenburg and the car does not have enough range to make it from Portland to NS, and there is virtually no infrastructure to help make this possible. This would be true whether the real range was 175 or 300, but for now I cannot imagine living in Canada with one if these as my primary auto unless constrained to the big cities or local provincial driving. It is a big place up there, with lots of wide open spaces. On the other hand, the SC network can be more easily completed in Canada than elsewhere. TM can cover the whole country in a single SC string because 90% of the population is posted along a single highway about 100 miles from the US. I prefer the seeing Canada's far northern territories on adventure bikes, and no EV can make it to Labrador or Inuvik... and probably won't in our lifetime. Wave if you see a BMW R1200GSA with license plate FAR2GO.

That's "luxury depending on budget." Tablets suck for typing.

And "precious" instead of "recoils"

PD -- what expectations did you have on range when you bought the car? Did you expect to get the ideal range? How were your expectations misguided by the information avaiable?

Have you brought your issues up to tesla or have you only come to these forums to lodge your complaints?

Sounds like you keep saying the same thing about range issues repeatedly. Hope this isn't because tesla is not responding to your inquiries...

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