Is The Tesla P100DL Upgrade Worth The $20,000 For P90DL Owners?



Is the Tesla P100DL Upgrade (details) worth the $20K for P90DL Owners?

Before I give you the answer, I want you to go back to the 90s and the era of Pentium computers. Remember when you would order the best of the best Pentium based PC and you got it and you said to yourself: Wow! I got the best computer ever! Well, that was probably true for a few weeks and soon your Pentium was obsolete and a new model was on the market.

Perhaps not directly but you could apply the same analogy to the Tesla vehicles especially if you desire to have the fully loaded Model S or X and when you actually take delivery you can proudly drive it knowing that you have the best of the best until of course Mr. Musk sends a Tweet about something new and now your best vehicle is no longer the best.

Musk Tweets On Enhanced Autopilot, Ludicrous +

You never know what the next Musk tweet will bring

As some of you probably guessed that has happened to me when I received my updated facia P90DL in late May of 2016. Since that time the vehicle has gotten 3 revisions: P100DL, AP2, and Full Glass Roof. When the P100DL was announced, an upgrade option for $20,000 was available for all P90DL owners and of course I have signed up. The rumor was that it would be January of 2017 before it could happen. (the rumor was not true, it is still not here)

Michael's "Refreshed" Tesla Model S - check out how to remove that front plate here

Michael’s “Refreshed” Tesla Model S – check out how to remove that pesky front plate here

Of course you want to test something before you buy and last month P100DL demo model arrived in Atlanta and I got a chance to experience it.

If you are using your P90DL to its max, meaning driving in Ludicrous Mode, using Max Battery Mode and having a few launch modes, you will want to do the same on P100DL. To my surprise that difference in power was about 5 to 10%. As far as range, sure you get 10 more kWh but knowing the usable amount, that is more like 7.

So now for the question of the day: Is it worth the $20K to upgrade to P100DL and get the 2.38 second car? My answer is yes, but not at $20K.

I place the value of the upgrade at $10K. And here is why: It does not come with AP2.0 hardware. Once Auto Pilot 2.0 was announced the value of that upgrade became less significant as the benefits of getting AP2.0 on P100DL is far greater compared to just the acceleration.

I asked Tesla if they would consider a $10K option but received no official response.

What do you think? Is the upgrade worth the $20K?

Categories: Tesla


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59 Comments on "Is The Tesla P100DL Upgrade Worth The $20,000 For P90DL Owners?"

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The fact that you can upgrade your car without having to sell it at a loss, and buy a new one is great news. Not a lot of car offer this possibility.

++ on that. Musk would say your 100% markup is going to fund the development of a mass market car. Which it is. It would be the same with any luxury name plate.

BTW.., When you buy a NEW CAR the Entire Car is “NEW” not just the “Battery Pack”….Let’s not overlook that aspect of it..And If batteries are coming down in Price ???? Well ???

So you know that even today, getting the Fastest Intel Processor, vs. the Second Fastest Intel Processor is not economically justified, the performance bump is just 5% at a hefty price.

But, if you deserve the best you buy the best. — Marketing.

If you Deserve the Best, you buy the Best…Some must be so much Better & so much More deserving than the Rest. Nice Word Choice…

That’s the guiding philosophy of a certain political group’s economic policies. If you have more money, you obviously deserve more money. And you should be treated better as a result. If you have less money, well then clearly you did something wrong or are just lazy.

It’s sickening when you think about it. But hey, that’s Capitalism for you!

That’s “AMERICAN GREED” Ever watch that show? Some people want what belongs to them, and everything else that doesn’t belong to them as well. All This on the backs of the Hard working Good unsuspecting people.. We are living in The “WORST OF TIMES”…..Rich Get constantly Richer and always want more, the MORE that they Don’t even need, at hard working little people’s expense..

You’re drunk on political coolaid. Rich are not getting richer. It’s the middle class that become rich. Bill Gates’ parents were not billionaires, neither was 80% of billionaires. They come from (surprise), middle class backgrounds.

If it’s not for the rich hiring people, they’d be working for the government like they do in North Korea. Then there will be mass starvation, all the while idiots like you bemoan the greedy rich and how wonderful starvation is. If you don’t like the rich, please leave and move to North Korea. They have equality there.

Well SparkEV, your blog was very informative about the Spark, But your opinion posted above shows an entirely different side of you.
What a bizarre comment. (IMHO of course)

Bizarre is comment that rich are some sort of evil beings perpetually placed there like some children’s fairy tale. There is huge income and wealth mobility in US, and rich is not some static class that Jim (and much of left) demonize.

Let’s face it, most of us work for rich people, and we should be thankful that they took the risk to be rich. As mentioned, most come from middle class background through hard work, persistence, and bit of luck. Talking about them as if they’re putting guns to “little people” heads to exploit them is nonsense. Frankly, I’d love to have more rich people.

As for my blog, there’s so much more stuff to write about, but still getting over the damn flu. I’m finding that SparkEV is the world’s most efficient car in history.


Btw , This Drunken Idiot Doesn’t rely on the Rich For Job or anything else.. I AM MY OWN GUARENTEE…Not Rich But I have Enough & then some to live my life as I wish, do & buy whatever I want. I am reliant on No one,Only Myself , .. Mr Einstien…

Ha! Cute! Do you dig wild roots, live in a cave you found on your own, drink water from a stream passing by?

If not, the you likely have a Business, since you suggest you don’t work for someone else at a Job! So, congrats!

However, can you show me any business that does not sell a product, service, or intellectual property? Also – who is buying what you sell, if not people with jobs or other businesses?

In the end, every business sells to people, so there is no business that is an Island Unto themselves!

Even Donald John Trump, for all his pride, depends on thousands of ‘little people’, to help his wealthy clients make their loot!

A wise person has said ‘Pride Goeth Before A Fall’. That was shown quite plainly in the Movie ‘The Firm’, as well!

SparkEV said: “Rich are not getting richer. It’s the middle class that become rich. Bill Gates’ parents were not billionaires, neither was 80% of billionaires.” Wow, so your “rich not getting richer” claim is based on the idea that you’re born a mere millionaire rather than a billionaire, that doesn’t count as the rich getting richer?!? 😯 Well, this is the sort of very firm denial of reality that we should expect someone who describes those who regularly ride city buses as disease-ridden vermin with filthy personal habits. Honestly, Sparky, you should leave your class warfare, “I’m not only entitled, I’m extremely entitled” posts to political forums. They’re badly out of place on InsideEVs. In the real world, outside your one-percenter class warfare fantasy, by far the majority of millionaires earned their money the old fashioned way: They inherited it. Oh, Bill Gates? Here are some actual facts, not the “fake news” you copied and pasted: Bill Gates attended an exclusive prep school while growing up, and then he attended Harvard… When the time came that he wanted to start a company with some of his old school fellows, Gates turned to his parents, who provided support for him. Even… Read more »

If you think going to prep school is rich or $1M in inheritance is rich, you’re just delusional. Even with under $100K/yr income you can accumulate well over $1M and send your kids to prep school. Only ideologically blind will see prep school and $1M inheritance as “rich”. Those are, as Wally George used to call them, “liberal lunatics”.

Class warfare is only in the delusional minds of some (most?) on the left, just like delusional ignorance of stink in buses. It’s simply envy of those incompetent for the competent. Not anyone can grow their wealth by 1000 fold just because they start with $1M. Just look at the lottery winners. Being rich means you have done something productive to earn that money, not just win the lottery.

By the way, it’s your definition of the rich who are buying / keeping Tesla afloat. If you’re a fan of innovation of any kind, you should be thankful for the rich for innovating or supporting innovation. Otherwise, we’d be in mid-20th century China where the poor “won” the class warfare. Indeed, anytime the left “win” the class warfare, it leads to disasters.

Is the upgrade worth $20,000.00????In My Opinion The Entire 100kWh Battery Pack Would be 0VERPRICED @ $20,000.00…This Is all getting more Ridiculous by the day..I’m beginning to realize Most People are “right” There will never be an EV for the masses @ these prices..I WONDER HOW MUCH A REPLACEMENT BATTERY WOULD COST??Ten yrs down the road..

“Most People are “right” There will never be an EV for the masses @ these prices”

Wasn’t the Bolt supposed to fit that criteria?
Or did someone lie to all of us?

I don’t think the idea that a $37,500 automobile is a “car for the masses” came from GM. I think it came from some EV enthusiasts who allowed their enthusiasm to overcome common sense. I wouldn’t call it a lie; more like a delusion.

EVs such as the Bolt and the Tesla Model ≡ are only “semi-affordable”; they’re priced higher than truly “affordable” cars. We will have to wait a few more years for the true Everyman EV; one in the price range of $28,000 or less; a category in which you’ll find all the world’s best-selling cars, at least the last time I looked. (And please note I did specify “best-selling cars“; best-selling light trucks tend toward higher prices.)

Well, interesting enough, I have some coworkers that often earn twice as much as me, but they don’t buy new cars of any kind! Also, his house is already paid for! Funny thing is, I lined up to put a deposit on the Model 3, did so by 09:35 AM on March 31, 2016! So, which of us is smarter, me – or him? Beyond that he only buys used vehicles, I sold him my 2004 Prius in Winter of 2015 that I bought used, in fall of 2012. Now he loves that car, mostly because he got a good deal on it from me, at a time he needed a car in a hurry! Even if he used Autotrader to look for a car, used EV’s in Ontario sell for about double what they sell for in the states! Still, for some time yet, the used EV will be as close as we come to an ‘Everymans EV’, when prices are as they are! I doubt that the stats for the ‘Average Selling Price’, of a vehicle, counts used vehicle sales in the mix! I could well be wrong, but I doubt it! On the other hand, when I… Read more »

Thats,just crazy! ^

U can email me a beer later.

Tesla , The car company that REVOKES All Your Privacy & Knows every move you make & perhaps every word that is spoken if Not Video taped as well, in the Very Privacy of “WHAT YOU THOUGHT” Was your Very Own Bought & Paid For EXPENSIVE Car..

You sound like a cry baby

JJJJ, Well, you could always build your very own Electric, High Performance, Sedan – from scratch!

Or just take the $ you would have spent on a Tesla, and build yourself a realy Nice Classic Car Replica, with your own EV Drivetrain in it!

People are still doing that today, even though most of them could just buy new, retail, EV’s! They get the satisfaction of driving something They Built! Tesla Drivers don’t get that!

People are building their own Aircraft, some from scratch, some from plans, and some from prepped kits; many for more cost than any Tesla, and flying them, themselves!

Probably more people build a Kit Plane today, than build themselves an EV Conversion, even though the costs are 3x to 10x as much!

“So now for the question of the day: Is it worth the $20K to upgrade to P100DL and get the 2.38 second car? My answer is yes, but not at $20K.

I place the value of the upgrade at $10K”

This is painful to read. You ask a specific question, and supposedly answer “yes”, but really your answer is no. Do you want the upgrade? yes. Is it worth $20k to you? No. It is worth $10k to you.


That’s how a lot of hardware upgrades are implemented in the industry. It’s a little surprising for something as pricey as a battery, but not out of the ordinary.

I would put zero value on it as well. The P90DL is already far more than I need or want. The more I think about it, the more I realize that a fully stripped down base Model-3 is still more than I need or want. But if they can really offer it for $35k, they might sway me to buy. They won’t get my reservation money, though.

I AGREE 100% + , We’ll Never See a $35000.00 M3, $35,000.00 is 0nly the carrot in front of the Horse….They will Build The Most Fully 0ptioned 0ut ones 1st. By then there will be a Price increase.. So $35000.00 M3 Is “FICTION” Elon Musk is So Ahead of the Curve & So Very CALCULATED That most will REFUSE to believe it..Musk is the “TRUE” master of Disguise .Sweet Dissception.

J, why do you say that? I have a pilot friend, who bought the 40 kWh Tesla Models S, for the original price it was specified for, even though he ordered it online, the day they announced the cancellation of the 40!

Still drives it today, but has upgraded it to the 60 kWh and added the Supercharger Access option!

I know when Tesla was a baby, they had issues with production cost overruns on the Roadster, and raised up the prices a couple times before delivery, but I think they have a bit more Pressure on them to hold the line, now!

even if the hardware is in place, you are paying for the right to use it. if you don’t want to pay the price (which is a part of the product offering), then you don’t want to use it.

if you want to do a rational economic analysis, then the answer is simple: it’s *not* worth it. but as is the case with any luxury purchase, the decision is a visceral one: if you want it, then it’s worth it; on the other hand, if you look at the price and decide that you don’t want it, then it’s not worth it.


Definitely NOT worth it.

Amen to that brother.

This is “Insanely Ludicrous” ..{pun intended} With all this Trickery that I’D have to contend with.,You Go ahead and Keep Your Cars Mr. Musket..

Lol. CPO Tesla’s are in the $40,000-$50,000 range so $20,000 for a few extra miles is simply Ludicrous.

This is only for the rich people that don’t maintain their money and just spend whatever since they have so much. But since its Tesla it’s going to a better company than any other car company at least.

I work building toys for the uber wealthy! At $40 Million Green (before fully customized interiors are added), our company had concers they could sell a 100 of them to cover development costs! We are now more than 700 delivered, and under way on number 770, and stating a newer, classier one, that goes for about $70 Million+, with lots of orders in the books!

It is amazing how much $ is out there! And we are but one player in Aerospace! We might get 15%, to 30% of the market on great years!

If you live in CA and you factor in the tax incentives for State and Feds on the LG Bolt, for a few thousand more added to that $20K, you can get an LG Bolt…

Tesla is standing by the performance. Sure, go for it.

Something is missing in the numbers of the Upgrade cost. Which is new 100 kWh battery pack and recycling old 90kWh pack.

— Tesla blog post-New Tesla Model S Now the Quickest Production Car in the World
The Tesla Team August 23, 2016 —
“Tesla Model S P100DL for $135,000
Tesla customers who have ordered a P90D Ludicrous, but not taken delivery, can upgrade to the 100 kWh pack for $10,000. Existing P90D Ludicrous owners can also upgrade to a 100 kWh pack, but for $20,000, as their used 90 kWh pack will have to be recycled.”

P100DL upgrade post reads like it is just a software upgrade which it is not. To upgrade from the P90DL to a P100DL the 90kWh Battery pack needs to be replaced with the 100kWh Battery pack that is 10k half of the cost and another 10K of that 20K goes to recycle the old 90kWh Battery pack. Also the badge changes but, if the any of the other “Upgrades” such as the 60kWh to 75kWh the title on the car will still say it is a 90kWh. If that really matters.

If that is really the case then we are throwing 0UT Perfectly GOOD Battery Packs… That would be a HUGE Waste…

“Recycle” is not “”throwing 0UT Perfectly GOOD Battery Packs””
Not sure if you have heard about this small project Tesla has this Building it is building to make Power Packs, Power Walls among other things. Which just happen to fit into 210kWh Power Pack and 14kWh Power Wall units. Or at least that is part of the over all plan.

If you recycle a perfectly Good Working Battery Pack as the 90kWh just get another 10 or maybe even only 7,5 Kwh more , which isn’t very old and/or not even close to being completely exhausted , To me that is wasting Money & resources , when that item has many more yrs of use remaining…..

Waste, is the norm so much today! Hardly even see shoe repair shops anymore! Food gets tossed! Clothing is worn once or twice, and then is not ‘new’ anymore!

It is quite annoying, actually! Restaurant’s even refuse to make donations of excess food to food banks for concerns of ‘liability!’

Re: What do you think? Is the upgrade worth the $20K?
I have a Sig P90DL obtained in Mar’16 after a large 3 year deposit (thought it was going to be 1 year). Based on my experience in traveling and especially in the winter/wind I would love to have the 100 kWh battery instead.

I would pay $10K for it but not $20K. Perhaps this is selfish (or pick a better word), but I think Sig owners should be given that option as we took quite a leap and waited way long than anticipating giving Tesla a ‘free loan’.

And what of the hundreds of thousands of Model 3 reservations? Each “loan” is smaller, but the sum total is much greater. They got a piece of paper with a sketch of the car they can’t drive for another year or two!

You’re comparing an individuals $1K vs $40K in trust and faith? Way diff risk level. Also 3 years is a long time to tie up that kind of money vs the timeframe it was supposed to be out. Sig holders of the S or X generally have to deal with quite a few more service calls and flaws but it provided Tesla with a lot by accepting them. Agree or disagree. I’m saying a **discount** for sig holders while they are still likely making a profit is not much to ask IMO.

you made a $40,000 deposit on a car, sight unseen!?!

Easy Come.., Easy Go…

Yes, but it was 100% refundable. It was also after quite a few Model S were on the roads in various countries. That is when I started actually believing Tesla could be successful. Dealing with manufacturing and regulation in various country is very difficult. And I thought it was going to be less then 1 year but it kept creeping farther and farther.

based on the comments by captylor, it seems that $20,000 is not an unreasonable upgrade charge. it appears that tesla is charging $10,000 for the feature only, and another $10,000 to recycle the existing battery in the car.

apparently, when tesla upgrades a s90 to an s100, tesla has to remove the 90kWh battery pack and replace it with a 100kWh battery pack. that means that they have to recycle the 90kWh battery pack as a result of your choice (versus having to replace the battery pack because it had “aged out”). recycling a lithium battery is a lot more complex than recycling a lead acid battery, and the economics of recycling lithium are not favorable.

so, it appears that tesla is giving existing model S owners the option to upgrade to a 100kWh battery pack (as opposed to making you buy a whole new car), but they want you to pick up the cost of recycling the replaced battery pack. that doesn’t sound unreasonable to me.

The $10,000 update to order vs $20,000 retrofit can be simply explained. The $10,000 was simply to improve your order and have a 100 kwh battery fitted instead of a 90kwh, noting the architecture in the 100 was different and helped with the 0-60 times. The $20,000 is actually more likely to be a $30k cost of battery minus the 90 kwh recycling benefit, say $10,000. The retrofit means they have to put a brand new battery into a car vs simply putting a 100 kwh battery in, instead of a 90 kwh, they also then have to find the most valuable use they can for the 90kwh battery, probably stationary storage with re-use more likely than recycling imo.

Use the old battery, as is, for a 90 kWh Powerwall (litterally, a Wall, not just ‘On the Wall!’)

Or, sell it, as a battery that offers 60 kWh, for a very, very, long time!

they could reuse the battery in a powerwall and sell it as “new”. that would constitute consumer fraud. at best, they would have to sell the powerwall as being “reconditioned”, and sell it at a discount versus the price of a new powerwall. i’m not sure that that would be a sensible course of action from the perspective of tesla.

A good friend of mine buys a brand new luxury car for himself every couple of years. I found out one year that he doesn’t even bother negotiating, he just pays full sticker price.

I asked him why not, saying I got the same dealer to knock nearly $8K off the price of a car with hard bargaining.

He responded “I could negotiate. I don’t want to.”

Not everybody values money the same.

A f00L and their money always go separate ways..Either that or he’s so rich & unselfish (selfless) that he feels sorry for the poor working salesman and figures what the Heck. Throw a dog a Bone..

Maybe worth $20k before Autopilot 2.0, for only for people that really value the quickest car.

Not worth it now. Best to trade an Autopilot 1.0 P90DL for a new build P100DL with Autopilot 2.0. Before doing that, I would wait until the autopilot 2.0 software is released and see how well it works.


Classic and long lived fact of automotive engineering and marketing, my experience:
(not a beloved brand here) I bought a BMW 528i (back in the stone-age when ‘i’ meant something, lol) because the ‘upgrade’ was pennies on the dollar compared to the 525, used.
New, the 528i (exact same car/equipment, different engine) was a 25% price increase for a 10% performance improvement.
As many have already said, if you can’t “wanna” bad enuf, Nope.. not worth it. Universally? No such answer, about anything automotive, among other things. This ain’t FB

As suggested many times, lease and get the best you can afford. Or buy a new one every year.