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Adding a Second Charger?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by beeeerock, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    I'm pondering whether I should add a second charger or not. Living on the TCH Supercharger corridor as I do, I've learned that I'm relatively spoiled, especially compared to those of you in Alberta and points east - until you get into the SE Ontario/SW Quebec region. The future build out doesn't look good for the jump from Calgary east either, according to Tesla's mapping. And north? Nothing.

    When I spent a bit of time in Alberta a few weeks ago, I made use of the Peavey Mart SCH units. My single charger was certainly a bottleneck. However, it became clear to me that full 80 amp charge stations are few and far between. The SCH units I saw seemed to be in the 60 amp range. So a second charger would help me, but without typical availability of the full 80 amps, it obviously wouldn't let me get on my way in half the time very often. So it becomes a question of balancing the extra cost of a second charger with the value of the variable reduction in charging time.

    When I ordered my car, the second charger was no longer a factory-installed option. I likely would have added it, had the option been there. So now I'm looking at the Supercharger plans and wondering whether it will ever get big enough to make Level 2 charging an infrequently-used failsafe solution... and I believe we will be relying on an expanded network of Level 2 for the foreseeable future, at least until more non-Tesla DC fast charge facilities are constructed! I've about convinced myself that the second charger will be worth the bucks - at least in Canada.

    So my question... those of you who are stuck to rely on Level 2 charging... how often do you find charge stations that would allow you to make use of a second charger?
     
  2. sagaboy

    sagaboy Member

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    I only had the 70d in Ontario for 2 months and I have seen a good bit in my travles already. But opt not to use them in favour of the SC. If I am driving far enough their is a SC. The 80amp are normally in urban communitiesand are normally HPWC I find though. You can use plugshare to pin pot them as their are other MS ownerrs that visit and take pics. My overall experience with the dual charger as I had it installed @ the SC before delivery has been a good one. I guess knowing if im stuck, I can always charge @ 67amp or 80amps (or whatever the output is) which I have seen as a time saver in the long-term (4-5 year) ownership of my MS.
     
  3. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

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    The Peavey Mart units, and indeed almost all the SCH units across the prairies, are SCH CS-90s. These will reliably give you 69A (not, as you might guess, 90, or even 72 which is 80% of 90). Typically at ~ 200V. So 14 kW. Contrast with 8 kW. That's pretty close to double speed.

    As to how you find higher power stations - it's simple, look at what it says on plugshare.com - they will generally say "Sun Country Highway CS90, 70 amp service." If you look in the comments section you will generally get confirmation of the actual power provided.
     
  4. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    What I've found, by examining plugshare (and I'll do it quite regularly - ponder a theoretical trip and then see if it can be done according to the site) is that not all of the charge stations are reliably described - you often have to look in the comments for a clue as to what they actually are. Comments will be seen that say things like 'sloooow' and I assume it's a station that is below 40 amps. My personal experience in BC has been mostly with Add Energie stations that are marked at 30 on the unit and able to provide 20 at 200 volts. Better than nothing, but certainly nothing to write home about. However, my experience in Alberta did suggest that 69 amps was more typical, where you could find a station. I visited only two at Peavey Marts (plus a slow station at U of C), so my experience with them has been limited and most of my other stops (in BC) have been at sub-40 amp stations. But the key here is, my experience has been limited and perhaps I've just been unlucky. I've mostly done runs along the SC network...

    Pondering how the SC network is likely (or unlikely) to be built out, I expect Level 2 charge stations will be what we rely upon in Canada for quite some time moving forward, so I expect I'll have enough occasions to take advantage of a second charger to make it worth the price. And hopefully plugshare information will improve over time.
     
  5. InternetDude

    InternetDude Member

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    I just did a trip relying solely on SCH chargers (SK/AB). A single charger would have been painful. Fortunately I stopped at 2 80A chargers, they were great. Also there were a few 70A. If you ever plan on driving east of Calgary/Edmonton, absolutely get the second charger installed.
     
  6. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

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    I have never seen anything other than 30A from an AddEnergie (or Chargepoint) station. I'm curious: where did you see 20A?

    I too just completed a trip using SCH chargers, all the way from Barrie to Canmore. (All the way from Ottawa to Victoria in total, but thankfully the rest is covered by Superchargers). Every charger was an SCH CS-90 providing 69A. Thank goodness the one in Dryden worked, as there is no alternative to that one.

    (And even at 69A, the trip is painful compared to Superchargers.)
     
  7. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    With the dual chargers and a CS90 or CS100, it's essentially drive-an-hour, charge-an-hour (in 2-4 hour chunks). That's something my wife will not do again (Winnipeg to Vancouver, before Squamish opened)! I can only guess with a single charger that would be drive-an-hour, charge-two-hours. Arrrrghghg.

    When I talked with the Emotive people at their Victoria Royals booth in January during EV Night, I suggested as strongly as I could that if they are going to focus their funding on providing still more public charging infrastructure, they make sure they only put in Sun Country CS90 or CS100, no more of these 30A efforts. My reasoning to them was that 30A is just too slow to provide any value, for anybody who is taking a short stop (including Leafs, MiEVs, etc). So if I stop at the Tim Horton's in Langford for a coffee, I can get about 3-5km out of their L2 if memory serves - with a CS100, I could get 35-40km. Although other cars can't currently handle the full CS90 output, they'll get better in the next several years, so might as well plan for infrastructure that will work into the future. They said they hadn't thought of it that way, however, I noticed the latest announcement a few months ago didn't include high-amp L2 stations, just more of the same but with additional emphasis on chademo.

    To answer OP's specific question, quite often. Even a 60A will deliver 48A so you're getting that extra 8A with dual chargers (woot!!). But part of that is if we're on a trip that will require mid-way charging I make sure I know where the CS90 and CS100 stations are -- except for overnight, I think 30A chargers are a waste of time.
     
  8. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    Heh... they were 30 amp stations, but delivered just over 20 at about 195 volts. Turns out there was a 'miscommunication' with the electrician and he installed a very long run of wire that's just too small for the current. Until I stopped at this location I hadn't realized how much attention the car gives to the charge station. It ramped up the current, detected an unacceptable voltage drop and backed the current down to around 20 amps, just to be safe. A message on the dash informed me I might be using an extension cord or that there was a wiring fault at the facility. It's getting sorted out at my insistence, so shouldn't be an issue in a month!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've pretty much decided I'll buck up for the second charger. Any additional current above 40 amps is going to be somewhat beneficial, so it makes sense to do it. I could be on to my second Tesla by the time the Supercharger network extends into the hinterlands of BC and Alberta (not to mention Saskatchatoon and Manitoba! ;-) )

    You've pretty much reiterated my comments on charging sizes. If it's a destination charger, intended for overnight guests and not transient visitors or restaurant guests, 30 amps is fine and will fill the tank by morning. But anywhere else, the more current available, the better. And at 240, not 208 volts, thanks very much! There is no need to get a car charged in half a night at a hotel - nobody will be out at 2 AM to move it for the other guy, so let it charge all night. I'd rather see several charge points available at a lower current rating than fewer with big amps... but only at hotels or overnight locations. Everywhere else - let the electrons flow!
     
  9. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    If you sent a PM to Mayhemm, he'd be able to contribute to the knowledge. He's done the cross-Canada E-Mazing race in his P85+.
     
  10. rypalmer

    rypalmer Member

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    I've been thinking about this lately since I've ordered a 70D. One potentially overlooked factor is that the onboard heating element is capable of drawing 6kw, which amounts to a considerable portion of the charger's capacity. So if you want to charge fast when it's really cold, expect some losses if you also need to heat the pack and/or the cabin.

    (I say this not fully knowing if or how much heating is required, since I understand the act of charging itself generates some heat.)
     
  11. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    Well, I ordered a second charger last night. $2,000.... USD! At current exchange rates that's... let's see... carry the two... About $250,000. Ouch. I sure wish the store would let us price things in $CAD like it does the actual car.
     
  12. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

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    At least installation is included.

    And the price used to be much higher. My memory could be faulty but I think it was $1500 US when delivered with the car, $3600 US if installed afterward. They changed this to "you can't configure it new, it's always installed at the service centre" and changed the price to $2000 US installed. Shortly after that I had one added to my car. :) (I bought an inventory car which did not have twin chargers; if I had been ordering new I'm sure I would have included it.)
     

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