Tesla Model Y

(This is my first OP in the Parent Cafe…I hope this is a permissible post. If not, Supermods, be kind!)

Does anyone have a Tesla Model Y? We are looking to trade in a gas-powered minivan and need to have another car lined up. I haven’t been a huge fan of Tesla for a number of reasons (one of whom is a human being). Putting that aside, when I look at the Model Y and the lease price, it seems extraordinarily good.

We’re currently considering the 7 seater with three rows of seats (the last, obviously, is for our dog!). We don’t need the self-drive stuff, which adds $10K (!) to the price.

I also want to lease, not buy, as technology is changing so quickly for EVs.

Any guidance from CC folks on the Tesla Model Y would be very welcome! Thanks in advance!

I don’t have a Tesla, so not sure my opinion will be worth much, but we do drive an EV and really really love it. I don’t think we will ever go back to a gas vehicle. I think with a lease it could be a good deal.

I have a Model 3 Performance, not the Y. It is my daily driver, but we have 3 other gas cars.

What do you intend to do with your car? EVs are great at some things (like daily commuting) but not others (like long trips off the beaten path).

Not at all…this is very useful. Thanks.

We live in the Bay Area, so chargers (and Tesla “Superchargers”) are all over the place. That is of real comfort to me.

We probably will need to upgrade our home’s electric panel so that we can have a 220V charger (this is based on advice given to us a few years ago by a trusted electrician). But frankly, it makes sense to do this, both for us generally as well as with respect to having EVs or PHEVs. It makes a big difference as to charge time.

Excellent question. This would be more of a city commuter car, and, on occasion, trips a few hundred miles from here.

We live in the Bay Area so chargers and “Superchargers” are all over the place here. I don’t really see us doing anything except West Coast-based trips.

I have a PHEV which, frankly, I never charge given that we would need to upgrade our electric panel to have it charge relatively quickly. If we trade in my wife’s minivan, we could use some of that cash to upgrade the panel and also consider a solar option

In that case, the Model Y sounds ideal. You are right to avoid FSD, as that’s a complete ripoff. A Tesla wall connector installation is definitely worthwhile as well for quickly topping up the battery so you have an electrical panel upgrade coming up as well. Pro-tip: Get a sub-panel for the garage, and get the wall connector connected to that. That will make it much easier for future electrical work in the garage.

Cool! Your tips are great and much appreciated.

“Refueling” an EV is either more convenient (because you can do it at home; typically you want a 240V >=40A outlet in the garage – continuous load should be no more than 80% of the amperage, so a 40A outlet can be used for up to 32A charging), or less convenient (because you have do it at a public charger and it can take longer than refueling liquid fuel).

More than permissible - your post is perfect! Welcome to the Cafe. :slight_smile:

(I don’t have a Model Y, but I do have a Nissan Leaf, and love it so much I hope to never have to buy another gas-powered car again :electric_plug: )


Thanks, CCAdmin Mike! I agree: EVs are clearly the future, and the future is now.

I looked at the Leaf when we first moved to Bay Area, but the range of pretty much any EV except Tesla, was too small for what I needed (day trips of around 100-150 miles a few times a week without charging). I wound up going for a PHEV.

The thing is, I NEVER charge the PHEV. And that’s mainly because we couldn’t put a 220V charger on our panel. Now, though, it’s very clear that the US is massively moving to EVs and PHEVs. So, putting aside the other benefits of upgrading our panel, being able to have a pure EV that we can charge at home makes TONS of sense.

Love CC, and love how responsive folks like you and the Supermods are. You keep us focused on stuff that matters!

@ucbalumnus: you are wise beyond measure! That’s exactly what I have been struggling with. Charging from home each night makes tons of sense. At 110V, it’s doable but at a basically a “trickle charge” level…having 220 V capability, which will require a panel upgrade and seems warranted, makes it far more palatable. I also want to see, for the future, what we can do with solar.

I don’t understand not charging the phev in overnight. I have a volt, plug it in with a 120v outlet overnight and go months without gas. I don’t think you mentioned which phev you have, but if it has a decent battery with range it should be worth charging overnight, especially when compared to the cost if adding a 40 amp circuit.

That said, I do agree a phev can be used with a standard 120v outlet, a pure ev almost requires a beefy charger unless you can charge at work.

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I don’t blame you for not understanding, because I don’t understand myself. Frankly speaking, I got the PHEV to get the HOV/Carpool sticker, which, in the Bay Area, is miraculous. For example, I have spent nearly 2 hours crossing the Bay Bridge to go from the East Bay to San Francisco during rush hour. With the sticker, it’s effortless (all things considered) and you get far cheaper tolls to cross bridges etc. For all those reasons, given how horrifically bad traffic has been here, getting that sticker is paramount.

Now, though, I want to be a bit more mature and frankly environmentally conscious and do the right thing. If we trade in our minivan, that’s a good amount of cash that we can immediately use for electrical upgrades in our home to make an EV work. And goodbye gas bills!

I have been following the advances of EVs and PHEVs closely given the importance of the HOV/carpool sticker for me. It is INCREDIBLE in the last few years how many more cars now qualify for the sticker than just two or three years ago. And that’s a good thing because it means that car manufacturers are rapidly moving away from fossil fuel vehicles to cleaner energy.

A 120V 15A outlet can support up to 12A charging, but it is safer to use a lower current like 8A if it is on a circuit shared with other things. This gives you 1.44kW or 0.96kW charging. A second generation Chevrolet Volt (example PHEV) has an 18.4kWh (14kWh usable) battery capacity, so a 10-hour charge at 1.44kW or 0.96kW would “refuel” a substantial portion of the battery (14.4kWh or 9.6kWh).

My husband got a 3 about 18 months ago and loves it. It is shockingly big. We have done short 180 mile trips and it is no issue. It takes a long time to charge on a regular outlet but it can be done (at a rental home plug into a regular outlet and charges in about 24 hours). The kids actually think it is more comfortable in the back than my medium size SUV and it has a huge trunk and frunk. We bought it due to refunds, etc.

I was never a big fan of Tesla, but I am getting more and more intrigued by it.

And you mention big…the Model Y has an option to add a third row to make it a seven-seater. I have read that it is very tight back there, and it might be ok for small kids. Our kids are likely too tall. If we get a 3 row Model Y, the last row is for our dog!

And on edit: you mentioned “frunk”. I had never heard that until now, but I just googled it. Wow, that’s a ton of storage space in the front of the car that I didn’t even think about!

I love mine (got it in September). Most days, I drive less than 30 miles. Maybe twice a month I’ll go to the nearby city, so 120 mile round trip. And monthly I go to visit my hometown, about 250 miles away. So I intended to upgrade my garage panel for the Tesla charger, but I’ve never gotten around to it—don’t really need it! I just plug in a few times a week over night, and even though it’s slow charging, it easily tops me off. When I know I’m making a big trip, I’m more conscious in the days leading up to the trip to make sure I plug in every night. For my big trips, I make sure it’s maxed out, but still need to stop at Superchargers along the way. By the way, mine might say it can go over 300 miles on a charge, but I think that’s referring to ridiculously ideal conditions (maybe driving 40 mph???), and in reality, I doubt I could really get over 200 miles range. However, the superchargers are usually fast and convenient. Although there’s real variation in how fast they charge, and I’m not sure I completely understand why. Sometimes the superchargers will say they are charging over 800 mph. Other times, 200. I know it charges faster the emptier your battery is, but this variation is different from that. I do wish that was more predictive, because I’ve had a FEW trips where I was annoyed and quite delayed at the Superchargers. But usually if I supercharge while taking a restroom break and getting a cup of coffee and maybe check a few emails, it’s done. Anyway, maybe eventually I’ll upgrade my garage electrical panel, but I haven’t felt the need. I guess if I was consistently driving over 70 miles a day, it would matter to me. Also, my town has several chargers that I think are called “destination chargers”. They are faster than what you can do in your home, but not nearly as fast as Superchargers. I’ve never felt a need to go to them—it would still take several hours to charge, so I’d much rather travel to a real supercharger if i was in need.

This is REALLY helpful! I don’t see us putting that many miles on many days. However, before the pandemic, I was going down to Silicon Valley at least 4 times a month, and that can be a 150 mile day for the round trip. That’s why I got the PHEV. But your guidance on the various charging options really helps.

And I guess the other point it that you run the same risk of running out of gas!

I have never seen a Y in person so I cant answer that question. I have never been a fan of a third row in anything other than a full size suv so I would guess it is pretty tight. The back seat of the 3 is very ample, my 6 foot tall 14 year old is very comfortable. It is definitely an interesting ride and drive, feels like a video game