December 22, 2022

From Gerald R. Lucas

Homelab Time & Tesla Calculations

I love spending time tweaking the homelab. Unfortunately, I don’t often get the time to install new services or do any major updates because teaching. I guess that’s why I seem to do much of this work during the winter break. Today was no exception. I set up some homelab services via Cloudflare Zero Trust via tunnels. This process allows me to assign secured subdomains to my services and access them from anywhere behind a secure login without opening any ports on my router. Pretty slick and pretty secure. Now I can maintain and monitor services at home while I’m away, particularly those that are more crucial than others, like my new Ghost installs. I’m finally using in a way that makes sense in naming my homelab services.

Tonight, I made chili for the first time in a while to get ready for the next few days which are gonna have us shivering like a shaved cat. Stay warn, all.


I’ve also been watching some videos on Tesla ownership. There are many. A video by Andy Slye made a lot of sense to me: it explained that while the initial cost of the car is higher, the longer you own the car, the more money you will save on maintenance and “fuel”—not to mention the benefits to the environment and the Tesla experience.[1] These cost savings are significant, say if you own the car for ten years, and mitigate the higher monthly cost. For example, I pay about $550 a month for my Accord lease; a used Model 3 (long-range, rear-wheel drive with enhanced Autopilot) I found on Tesla’s web site costs $37K, or about $750 a month for 60 months. This price is approximate with 0 down (that may not be an option) and the $10 a month for premium connectivity. The Tesla is $2400 more a year not taking into account maintenance and fuel costs. My first-year’s gas for the Accord cost about $600 which is pretty good, since (1) it’s a hybrid that gets at least 45 mpg, and (2) I drive less than most people, say about 5000 miles a year. Tesla’s web site states that electricity costs to power a Model 3 would be about 4 times lower than the average price of gasoline, so that’s $150 a year for me to power a Model 3, a $450 savings. My one oil change was $80, though more maintenance is scheduled before my lease is over. Hm, that’s not much of a savings,[2] but I assume the longer I owned the car, the more significant that savings would be.[3]

Here’s the main issue: I don’t keep cars for long. Every car I have ever owned has started to bore me after a time—sometimes a short amount of time. That’s why I lease.[4] Now, I’m not sure this would be the case for a Tesla, since they have software updates that could keep the car feeling new, but like Apple, Tesla will release new hardware that will eventually lead to my wanting an upgrade. That means: I’m not keeping the car long enough for the cost savings to become significant. This issue could be compounded for the fact that I will likely be purchasing used, so the car will already be older and potentially out-of-date. Would that be like buying a MacBook that’s a generation or two old? That’s not an issue these days, really. I wonder if that analogy is valid.

That said, I will have my GS paid off in about six months, so I can begin rerouting some of that money toward a down payment. However, no matter how I break it down, a Tesla is going to be expensive. Well, Autumn’s lease is up at the same time as mine, so maybe we can get a Tesla and a cheaper EV, like a Bolt? An i3, maybe. Or, maybe by July 2024, there will be something better than a Tesla. We do seem to be heading into an EV future.


  1. This is something I equate to the Apple experience. Apple has always been a premium product, but you pay for what you get. To me, it was worth it to buy excellent hardware that runs software I want to use. This is why I still use Apple. Also, Apple products used to be significantly more expensive, but now their costs have decreased. This same thing could happen with Tesla. It’s bound to as more companies begin producing EVs and the technologies become more mainstream.
  2. With these numbers, the Model 3 would be about $1.9K more expensive a year, but that with the out-of-control interest and higher prices all around right now. These variables might change in a year-and-a-half.
  3. Additionally, insurance is certainly a factor. Apparently, Tesla will be launching its own insurance in Georgia soon, so that could be a cheaper alternative to what I’m paying now. Currently, insurance seems to be comparable (perhaps a bit higher) to what I pay for my Accord.
  4. Even three-year leases are often too long for me. This has its own problems.