As soon as we took delivery of our Model Y a couple of months ago I knew we’d eventually need a set of winter tires. I always buy a set of dedicated wheels for them as I’d rather swap them myself on my schedule than be at the whim of the tire place. So I found a new take-off set of wheels and tires with wheel covers identical to the ones our car came with and ordered them from ebay. The one thing they didn’t come with were the tire pressure monitor sensors as the seller had used those on his new wheels. Tesla sells them for $75 each which is steep but they seem to be the only source as for the Y they switched to a new Bluetooth version as opposed to what almost every other car (and other Tesla model) uses. At least they were in stock at the service center so I picked up a set.
Finding tires was a bit tougher than expected, everyone was already out of stock for most options in the 255/45-19 size that the Model Y Long Range uses. Apparently it’s not a particularly common size and the main winter tire makers didn’t plan for enough. I usually go with Blizzaks for my winters but they don’t even offer this size at all (Yet, I bet they will next year). I never have luck with Pirelli tires and Michelin was out of stock in both their tire options, as were the various options of the Nokian Hakkapeliita line.
After checking repeatedly at Costco, Discount Tire and TireRack, I ended up ordering a set of Vredestein Wintrac Pro tires in the appropriate size. I’ve wanted to try Vredestein for years, they are usually highly rated in Europe (as these were) but not overly common here. However TireRack sells them now so why not, in this case they are a Performance Winter Tire with a V-rating. We likely won’t be traveling fast enough to use all of that rating but our winter is usually cold without prolonged periods of snow on the roads so high speeds are common and I’d rather the feel of the tires stay more consistent after switching than otherwise.
I took it all over to Discount Tire and they put everything together for me for $80 so now I also have an extra set of summer tires and a spare set of wheel covers in the garage (as they came with the take-offs I bought). To jack the car up I first tried my trusty 3-ton jack and then realized the side of the car is lower than my Porsche was so for more clearance I had to drive it up on a set of 2″ boards I had left over from a house project. Of course I chocked the rear wheel with a spare chunk of 4×6 I had laying around as well.
To jack the Tesla up requires special care as the bottom is flat with the battery casing at the bottom of the chassis. There are four holes built in to it for jack pucks. These look like hockey pucks with a little nipple and a red o-ring that holds them in the holes while you place the jack. I got this set off Amazon for around $20 including the rather nice carrying case. I’ll only need one puck unless I use a four point lift or multiple jacks.
The wheel covers that come on the 19″ wheels of the Model Y Long Range pop off easily with a light tug, they are held on with spring clips on the back. In fact they don’t even cover the entire wheel, the outside edge of the rim protrudes a bit beyond the cover so you pull from between the spokes to remove it.
Here’s the other side with a bunch of attached clips, they come off and reattach with relatively light pressure (no tools required at all) but seem secure when on. Note the inspector’s paint pen marks around the perimeter, likely checking the clips are in place.
Once those are off and the lugnuts loosened slightly, then the car can be jacked up and the lugnuts removed entirely. I was surprised to see them being hollow, I’m more used to the acorn style (or just bolts). They are fairly large, the threaded portion is at the bottom of the holes here and the top part is the only part that fits the socket, in this case a 21mm, so they could be the acorn style but aren’t. Tesla will sell you little covers if you want to run the wheels without the covers. I have a set on hand in case I ever do, it comes with center caps for the alloys as well.
Once the wheel is off, the brakes present themselves. Normally you can’t even see these with the wheel covers on. They are quite large with 14″discs in front and the calipers turned out to be made by Brembo (in Mexico though, not Italy). Elon seems to do what he can to take cost out of his cars to keep the price as low as it can be which can turn out to be mildly frustrating at times but he doesn’t seem to skimp on the stuff that really matters from what I can see. I don’t think we will be needing to replace these anytime soon as we have both quickly mastered one-pedal driving which is surprisingly fun.
The car has enough regen built in to stop the car from speed, after just a short while you get quite adept at figuring just when to let up off the gas to get it to stop perfectly as and where desired. There are two regen settings (normal and light) and you can also set the car to hold when stopped at a light or creep like an automatic. We have ours set to hold and it does so without any intervention when stopped, even on an incline. Yes, the brake lights do come on when you jump off the gas to make it slow itself down without using the brakes. Using regen feels kind of like a steady moderate push on the brakes, nothing like just coasting.
Here’s the flat underbody from the front towards the back (I took this after moving the jack to the rear). The hole for the jack puck is near the upper right of the picture. The flat floor ties in with plastic aero covers front and rear so it’s more or less smooth from bumper to bumper.
The front suspension is a double wishbone design with a lot of aluminum used. I was pleased to see the assembly was neatly done with everything attached securely and routed in a manner that should keep it in place. Tesla doesn’t seem to waste any money painting parts that aren’t seen often…
This is a different angle of the same upper suspension mount casting but from the other side of the car, I like looking at these castings…Like I said everything looked and felt secure to me but if you see something that looks about to fall off, let me know!
Here’s a slightly lower viewpoint from back on the original (left) side of the car.
And from the other side of the brake. You can kind of barely see a bit of the front motor unit in the back with the orange connector. The half-shafts are actually made by a Hyundai company according to the label I saw on it but most things are tagged with Tesla labels and often with their logo molded or stamped into them.
Backing out of this assembly here’s a different angle of the brake caliper. I love that hub, it looks so clean and perfect here. The rotor hats seem to have a coating on them as well to prevent rust, this’ll be interesting to see again after the winter to see how everything fared.
Time to put the new front wheel/tire on, the lugnuts require 129lb-ft of torque (that’s the highest any of my cars have ever required as far as I can recall), thankfully my wrench goes up to 150 or so. Yes, the tires appear to have been designed by Giugiaro. No, that didn’t make a difference in my purchase decision. They are made in the Netherlands though as Vredestein is a Dutch company.
The cover pops back on and covers the pretty (to my eyes) alloy and those brakes. Apparently these covers add about 3% of range. Oh, we recently got more range through an OverTheAir update, when we bought the car it was advertised as having 316 miles, now it has 325 due to some efficiencies that were found and able to be updated while we slept. Anyway, let’s now move to the back of the car.
The rear rotor is 13.2″ in diameter (the alloy wheels on my first car, the 1979 Mazda 626, only measured 13″….) and the caliper is a much more mundane design. If we rarely if ever have to replace the front, I doubt we will ever need to touch the rear. This is the end that the parking brake activates. It does it automatically when you push the gear selecter button into Park and hold it there for a second. It releases when pushed into Reverse or Drive.
This shows part of the rear casting of the car chassis. The Model 3 uses 70 different pieces assembled together, whereas the first Model Y’s did this as only two large cast pieces that were bolted together but around the end of September or beginning of October Tesla started casting the entire rear end as one piece.
I’m actually not sure which our car (two pieces of single casting) is as it was produced right during the transition period. One day I’ll probably take the trunk interior apart to figure it out as serial numbers don’t tell the whole story, the cars do not seem to be produced exactly in numerical sequence.
There are a lot of (multiple!) links in a multi-link rear suspension. But again everything seemed well put together.
A slightly better view from the other side of the brake.
Here’s part of the rear motor unit taken from a slightly lower viewpoint but still on the driver’s (left) side of the car.
This is also the rear but from the right side of the car. Interestingly there is what looks a lot like an oil filter just below the halfshaft, you can sort of see the end of the housing at the 4 o’clock position and just to the left of the black electrical thingy with the cable going into it. The other picture I took with the filter or whatever it is unfortunately didn’t turn out. It’s sized like a regular filter for an import car, is black and has the Tesla logo on it.
Doing a little research shows it’s actually a filter for the gearbox but doesn’t seem to be a regular service item. Apparently the filter does a good enough job to extend the life of the fluid to almost infinity, the Model S had a fluid change interval until it was realized that the gear oil was still in perfect condition so then they added the filter for safety and removed the call for service.
Since we’ve magically moved to the other side of the car, time to put that new wheel on as well and torque it up once it’s back down on the ground. Then just need to drive off the plank, remove the chock, mark the old wheels and tires with the corner they came off of and stack them in the garage. And then take a test drive.
The test drive went well, the new tires don’t seem any louder or drive much different than the old ones, at least not for the couple of miles I went. Tomorrow we are supposed to get a bunch of snow so that’ll be the real test and then I’ll take the covers off and re-torque the wheels once more to make sure they are solid. At this point we’ve gone 1,547 miles in the car and I didn’t mean this to be any kind of update, that’ll follow probably around the beginning of the year with some better information as to range in cold weather as well as some other insights into our experiences so far.
I think keeping an extra set of winter tires you can swap on and off is a pretty savvy idea if you have an extra set of rims as well. That’s the thing that’s always bothered me about tires: It’s nearly impossible to get new ones on and off the rims without a machine, so I feel like I’m at the mercy of the local tire shop in my small town (where I burned bridges with the owner a few years ago over my VW). All other maintenance, I try to do myself.
Here in coastal CA, one set of tires will do. I rotate mine with each oil change, and sometimes in between since I go 10k miles on a synthetic oil change.
The more maintenance you can do yourself, the more $$$ you save, and you get a zen-like relationship with what you drive.
Those Teslas sure are sharp looking cars. I would love to replace my wife’s Civic with one if we could afford it. Maybe in about five more years.
This is the part of the underside of a Tesla that’s most like an ICE vehicle. The simplicity is obvious.
Once the limitations – especially the cost – of battery tech is overcome, it’ll be Katie bar the door.
Forget the environmental component. Just the cost savings for an OEM to develop an emission-free electric drivetrain vs. a more-complex ICE that has to meet multiple Federal regulations would be hard to resist.
There will be many challenges over where and how to source the rare earth materials necessary to build BEVs en masse. And ICE vehicles aren’t going away anytime soon. Nor IMO should they.
But a turning point is coming…bring it on.
I drive a 40ft Gillig Hybrid/Diesel bus with very strong regenerative braking and it drives just as you describe the Tesla does. 97% of driving can be done with just the throttle pedal and it turns on the brake lights when you regulate the pedal to slow down. There is no coasting as you could do in a straight Diesel model, you always have to hold some pressure on the pedal to not slow down.
We had buses as far back as 1996 with a retarder built into the Allison transmission behind a Detroit Series 50. Built by New Flyer in Winnipeg Man. They drove just like you describe…not sure if the brake lights came on though.
Yes our straight Diesels (old and new) have the retarder also, and Allison the trans, but that is no where near as strong as the regenerative braking on a Hybrid. The retarder slows the bus down a little but you still need to use the brakes as normal
This is the best backstage look at a Tesla I’ve had. Everything certainly appears to be well thought out, robust, and the suspension pieces appear reasonably accessible.
While I’ve never lived in an area in which having dedicated snow tires were a thing, the downside is one can unintentionally go years without removing wheels, allowing bad things to creep up. Having reason for dedicated snow tires, you see those bits twice annually as part of other maintenance.
One curiosity…in your pictures of the chassis, there is already sand and other debris in the crevices. Will the chassis cover interfere with a good washing, not allowing this debris to be removed? With what appears to be an aluminum chassis that should not be a problem in regard to rust but I cannot imagine everything underneath your car being unsusceptible to corrosion. Am I overthinking it or is the underneath more washable than what I am envisioning?
The front and rear substructures are protected by plastic underbody covers, like bellypans found under many “normal” cars, probably your VW as well. There is nothing above or around the battery itself, it’s an integral component of the floor and nothing spanning the distance between front and rear that’s not inside the car (wiring mostly). So mainly the two ends. Obviously there is steel and steel componentry in there as well but for example the stuff that seems to be rusting (at least on the surface) in our 2015 Jeep and older pickup truck like nuts, bolts, brackets, etc (and those types of vehicles seem to be built as cheaply and disposably as anything I’ve ever seen in that regard) seems to be of higher quality, being either stainless or at least zinc coated. The Porsche was similar in this case, i.e. I owned it up to its 17th year, albeit with lower miles, and it lived in New Jersey and Virginia before me, it had zero corrosion beyond some on the aluminum pieces that seemed merely cosmetic. There was never an issue with any fastener for example.
Note that I’ve never used an underbody wash on anything beyond when I go ice-driving and never remove belly pans etc when washing my cars. If I used a high pressure sprayer I’d probably spray into the wheel wells but not point it right at the motors etc. FWIW, I’d assume that stuff is all sealed to the point of being submersible but there isn’t all the stuff in the middle that causes problems like exhaust, fuel lines, etc.
That rear casting that’s either one or two pieces – in the Model 3 it’s assembled of 70 stamped steel and aluminum pieces, presumably the steel could rust (if those bits are used in accessible places), not an issue here and I assume the 3 itself is getting its own large casting going forward too.
The earliest Model S’s are now almost nine years old, it’d be interesting to take a peek under one that lived in the rust belt and see how it’s faring.
This is all good information. Yes, the VW does have a frontal plastic belly-pan, but that’s it.
Tesla intrigues me and I am eager to hear how your ownership experience unfolds. Other than software and suspension pieces, there isn’t nearly as many things that can go wrong with it – and those items are also on every other car being built anyway.
As a side note, I found an article about a guy who has 750,000 miles on an early Model S.
Take a look at this document, I think you might find it interesting – it’s the Tesla guide for emergency responders. Setting aside the emergency stuff, which is interesting in and if itself, It contains some excellent diagrams/schematics that clearly show where the components are located within the car.
That is interesting and it points out what a hard time it is today for those that have to attempt to extract people from vehicles. So many dangerous areas with all the air bags and then the high voltages present on EVs and Hybrids and every car is different. No way someone could memorize all the details for all the vehicles they may encounter. Now before going too far they need to identify the model and year and look up the appropriate guide.
Thanks for this! Hearing how low the car is I’m wondering how vulnerable the battery is over speed bumps etc? You mention a battery casing, I guess it must be pretty rugged.
The ground clearance is actually 6.6″, no issues with speed bumps, the Model 3 is about an inch lower at 5.5″ – I may have caused confusion here, my jack had issues sliding under the side when the jack puck was on my jack (the nipple protrudes up and got hung up) and on the second try couldn’t clear the side of the puck when the puck was pre-positioned in the receptor hole and thus hanging below the floor. If it didn’t need the puck then there would not have been an issue. The jack’s lifting point is like shallow bowl, the jack puck ends up riding inside it and barely sticking up beyond its edges.
The bottom of the battery case appears solid and for example in the model S at least is protected by a titanium plate after some early failures in high speed crashes, I’m not positive what exactly the bottom is composed of on the Y, presumably similar strength.
@ Jim: I really appreciated this in depth look at the structural components of your Tesla. Although I’ll never own one (I don’t drive enough) I’m still interested in them. We don’t get enough snow to necessitate separate tires, and personally, I like the look of the wheels without the covers. Since I prefer to do my own oil changes, I generally rotate my tires as well and inspect brakes, etc. Looking forward to further installments on your experiences! 🙂
Wow, the Tesla internals look… normal. Thanks for the inside look!
I’d like to get a set of winter tires for our car, but the question would be where to store the other set when they’re not on the vehicle…
Where I live in Ontario the majority of people have winter tires on a second set of rims. Although many store the tires themselves, most dealers and larger garages offer storage. My Subaru dealer charges $40 CDN per season.
Very grateful for all the suspension pictures. I like the car, except for the tablet dash, and the lack of I.C.E.
If I was ever going to get winter rims I would want them smaller and narrower, to fit deeper tyres, to cope better with potholes that come with winter. Steel rims can usually be straightened with a few blows of a hammer, although it’s probably twenty years since I’ve had to do this.
I once read that the two places the auto manufacturers like to save money are the seats and the brakes, so it’s refreshing to see that Tesla does not follow that pattern. Of course, regenerative braking is also a whole different ballgame.
Regardless, it’s another very nice, in-depth article on the Model Y and, frankly, the more I see and learn of Tesla products, the more I understand their allure. As someone else mentioned, they certainly seem to be the face of the future in personal transportation (and not just the upper-tier luxury market) and, at this point, it’s only a matter of time. As the Prius was the car of the 2000s, Tesla is the car of the 2010s.
Thanks for the look under the hem. I’m pleased to see that our Bay Area assemblers are doing a good job, aided I’m sure by good Design for Manufacturing & Assembly (DFMA) and process control. Which wasn’t always the case when I toured the same factory (site and building) that was making RWD GM A Bodies. But $80 to mount and balance 4 tires and TPMS. That seems really cheap. Though having to pay for the aftermarket jacking pucks seems odd; though since I suppose there’s no jack or lug wrench or even spare tire, it may be a moot point. Finally, the one or two piece rear subframe (especially vs 70) seems like good value engineering (that’s the industry term for cost savings) but could really increase repair cost in a small collision.
This was a great tour of the places most people never see. The need to gain a bit of height for your jack to work was interesting, but your method works great. Maybe next time 4 boards at once so you just drive on once and dont need to move them?
Thank you, I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t think of the other side in advance but I did use two boards so handled one side at a time. It’d be harder to get the chock in there good and solid if the wheel was on a plank though. What I really need is a four post lift. But if I’m to cheap to buy a low-profile jack, then that’s unlikely to happen soon either…
An alternative to the 4 post lift is the Quickjack. I picked one up when Costco had them on sale in store a couple of years ago, but I noticed they are in this year’s Christmas flyer. Yeah, way more expensive than a lower profile jack.
Thanks for sharing, I’ll be interested to hear how the tires perform once you have some snow and ice as I recently noticed that Tire Rack has added them to their lineup.
When I was in college the shop I worked at sold Vredestein tires. Well the owner tried to sell them, he wanted us to be a tire store but on average we probably sold 1 set per week, in total. He would push the Vredesteins when they were available in the needed size. We sold mostly other brands though because they were available in more sizes and the private label tires we sold were cheaper. So while I did mount and balance a few sets way back when, the farthest I drove on them was around the block to the parking lot.
The front suspension is pretty common fare, but that rear is unusual, not quite seeing where all the forces are going. It also interesting to see which bushings are designed to minimize the bind.
Note Regen braking does not stop the car, it can’t, it just slows the car and the friction brakes bring it to a stop and hold it there. Yes the motors could be used to bring the vehicle to a complete stop, but it would take battery power to do so and even more to hold the vehicle still on any significant grade. Additionally if ABS is needed the friction brakes will take over.
I’m not an expert and you may be correct but my understanding is that the most recent 3 and Y use different motors than the S/X and thus can and do stop the car and hold it using the regen function and apparently keeps feeding power back to the battery even on that last little bit. They use PMSRM-type motors (Permanent Magnet Switched Reluctance) now instead of Inductive ones. It may well use battery power to hold it in place, I don’t know, it’s not a signficant amount though. Makes driving in stop/go traffic excellent.
However even if they don’t then there is absolutely zero indication from inside the car that it is switching over to regular brakes. In fact sometimes when I do use the regular brakes such as the other day when pulling into the garage I have noted a squeal, never had one using regen.
It is not a matter of if it can stop and hold the car it is whether it makes any sense to do so.
The potential amount of electrical generation, and thus the negative torque it can apply to the wheels, is proportional to the speed of the motor. There comes an rpm where it can’t generate enough electricity to actually charge the battery. At zero RPM it can’t generate any electricity. To make it actually stop or hold you would need to use power from the battery. Using battery power to complete the stop and hold the vehicle stationary would reduce the usable range, particularly in stop and go traffic.
That seems to be a different argument (ability/design to do something vs. what’s best purely from a range perspective if in fact the case). As far as I can tell it is designed to and capable of doing so and doesn’t hurt a thing. It also has enough range that whatever it’s using to complete the stop and hold so far seems immaterial. The use/charge indicator stays negative (charging) until a full stop is reached but of course that could be programmed to show that way. Of course other peoples’ day to day realities may well be different. My point was that it can apparently stop the vehicle entirely without brakes when in “hold” mode as opposed to creep or roll mode. This ability is well worth it (to us, and most other users that seemed to comment on it when it was introduced) and reduces wear on other components (brakes), which of course should still be exercised at times to ensure continued functionality. It’s possible that “hold” actually uses the parking brake and is powered via the conventional 12V battery, haven’t looked into it enough to see if that’s the case. Every Tesla model seems to be designed a bit different and they aren’t static through their production lives or even actual lives once delivered, they continually get upgraded as better tech or features become available or thought of.
In Hold Mode, the Tesla’s service brakes are applied. Apparently one can feel the brake pedal move somewhat if one his their foot next to it gently. That makes sense, as using the motor doesn’t.
This is correct. I tested it yesterday and in fact the brake pedal actually depresses about 3/8″ once the car is at a full stop. There’s an extremely quiet click behind the dash and then the pedal moves down. It’s weird to see it go down, like an invisible foot! The deceleration itself is achieved without brakes.
A long distance friend on mine bought a Y just like yours (same color too) in September. In October, he hit a deer and took out the left front fender, hood, grill area and some behind sheet metal parts. The car is not driveable and sits at a body shop in Colorado near his home. Parts availability for the repair is “estimated” late January.
Be careful with yours.
Thanks for the threads on the purchase, etc.
So happy to see the use of a torque wrench. Many people (and shops) rotate or swap out Summer/Winter tires without one then wonder why their brake discs are warped.
Maybe this should be a QOTD or at least get some research, but as a mechanical engineer who has swapped a lot of wheels in the last 45 years, usually – but not always – using a torque wrench, I’m not sure I see a direct correlation between over-torquing and warped discs. And the only two vehicles on which I’ve had noticeable disc runout incurred the problem several years after the last wheel removal. Yes, I’m lazy about rotating tires. So, are there vehicles with very flimsy rotor/hub/top hat assemblies where this is a problem, or just urban legend?
There’s no need for that. That’s not what causes warped discs; it’s heat.
I spray a little Liquid Wrench aerosol lubricating oil on the back of each wheel. Otherwise I’m tapping each wheel with a large hammer to unstick it next changeover.
Dad always used white lithium grease. I always questioned that?
Grease is put on by at least some mfgs from the factory. They use what appears to be your basic #2 lithium complex grease.
My experience over the years with alloy wheels is that a thin film of anti-seize material around the rim of the center hole (where it makes contact with the wheel hub) makes it possible to easily remove the wheel at rotation time. Without anti-seize, I’ve had sufficient trouble with the rear wheels that I have had to lower the car to make light contact with the ground (with all the lugs removed) to break the bond.
I would never apply grease or similar to the actual mating surface between the wheels and brake hubs (or for that matter to the wheel studs).
Nice to see proper suspension instead of the McPherson strut junk.
Thanks for taking the time to document all of this Jim. I had winter tires put on my Model 3 a few weeks ago, since I’m only keeping the car until my Rivian arrives late next year I didn’t get a set of extra rims but will likely do so with the Rivian as it makes sense for something I’ll keep long term. I found the same issue as you when sourcing tires, I got the Pirellis from Tire Rack but now wish I had tried the Vredestein as they were a bit cheaper, I’ll be curious to see how they work for you. I went up to the mountains yesterday to snowboard and was very happy with the tires and how they performed.
Interestingly Tire Rack uses Firestone as their installer however Firestone was unable to do the swap as they didn’t have the discs needed to lift the car so I had the Tesla service center do it for me.
Look forward to hearing your write up on your early experiences, I’ve just passed the 3,000 mile mark and couldn’t be happier with the car.
Thanks John, I certainly hope you will consider sharing your experiences with the Rivian with us here when it arrives. It (and the SUV sibling of it) looks extremely interesting to me and undoubtedly will appeal to others as well. The Cybertruck is all well and fine as a thing to get people talking but the Rivian seems like a vastly more usable item, even if the cost ends up being more. I think Elon made a mistake not using a much more mainstream bodystyle, or even something like a Tesla Model X / Honda Ridgeline type of thing. But his life decisions have paid off better financially for him than mine have for me (so far anyway) so perhaps he does know exactly what he’s doing… 🙂
Not to impressed with the build quality of the Tesla’s. Not even on par with MB ,same price point here in Europe, with cheap looking interiors and non uni-body width panel gaps. May be just me as what’s the point of building a car to last 20years when the battery will last 1/2 that. More of an i-phone on wheels than a car with the same service life. What a disposable world we live in….
I wasn’t aware that Mercedes actually got their electric vehicle going, here they for whatever reason delayed the introduction. Edit: I guess they did start sales over a year ago but it’s considered an abject failure with less than barely over 1000 sold to date in all of Europe.
I looked at the EQC in Japan at the motor show last year, it’s nice looking enough, sort of a GLC variant, but over here in the U.S. it was scheduled to *start* at $69,000 and that’s with a frankly pathetic range at that price point of 200 miles. They then claimed battery supply issues but at that price and that range would have been pretty much DOA anyway.
How much does the Tesla Model Y cost in Europe? I wasn’t aware it was even available over there yet. I’m not sure what you guys have over there but over here batteries are warrantied by the manufacturer for a minimum of 8yrs or 120k miles. There are plenty of Tesla Model S’s at the 8year mark currently and there are very few if any indications that the batteries are anywhere near needing replacement so not sure where that 10yr claim of yours comes from. Note that the battery packs in Toyota Priuses for example seem to be able to last significantly longer than a decade although it’s not exactly the same scenario. Batteries are also fixable and replaceable if need be and as time goes on, for at least the successful (plentiful) models prices for those services will keep coming down.
If you’re comparing to a gas powered MB then the closest analogue over here would be the entry level Model Y compared power wise to an AMG GLC 63 which I happened to review here about a year ago. I adored that car. However 0-60 it’s close to the same as the slowest Model Y at a significantly higher price point. For $2000 I can make it the same 0-60 (4.3sec). Sure the interior of that one is nice. For $22k minimum more it had better be and I don’t think it’s $22k nicer. (The base fwd GLC 2.0T at $43k is nothing particularly special though.)
I’m actually getting the SUV which will arrive in late 2021. I’ll be sure to share my experience, I attended a Rivian event in San Francisco in 2019 and really like the concept. Originally I was planning to get the R1T (the truck) but when it came time to configure I switched to the SUV. I had a Tacoma for 2 years and loved it, but the SUV has more usable space for my needs so the R1S it is.