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Battery range in the UK ...again!!!

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Billygarrett, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Billygarrett

    Billygarrett Member

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    I live in North Yorkshire in the UK and have booked a test drive for the MS on Sat 9th August with every intention of signing up straight away! The money is in the bank ready and waiting!!

    My friend Peter NOW has me worried as he has also been considering a purchase of an MS.
    He has just sent me the following email, with questions that I hope can bring forum answers to alleviate my worries:

    There are still some questions their salesmen do gloss over.


    As speed rises the range drops, they won't publish more than 70 mph figures but with big battery you get 225 miles range with a new battery (range will deteriorate as the battery wears out, this is never mentioned).

    So after about 200 miles you have to pull up and charge, with the most powerful public 22kW 440volt chargers and you having 2 chargers fitted in the car the charging rate is stated as 68 miles per hour (no doubt 68 miles range is not at 70 mph) so being optimistic you have at least a 3 hour time to wait before you can do the next 200 miles, that's a long long lunch ! On another web page they actually quote 4 hours 23 minutes as the charge time on the highest power 22 kW home and public station, ouch, can't tour Scotland with 4.5 hours stops.

    From a normal 13 amp socket (3.7 kW) in your hotel room dangling out of the window you need 6 times as long so is that nearly 28 hours charge time !


    They mention Chademo chargers rated at 50 kW which would be twice as fast and Tesla's Supercharge chargers that are rated at 120 kW so 5 times faster so around 1 hour, now that's more like it BUT there is only one down near London, how long before they are all over the UK including the wilds of Scotland ?

    120kW at say 500 volts to the car is 240 amps ! So you might think they want cable 18 times thicker than home mains wire, I suppose the cable to the car is so short that thinner cable won't cause too much power to be lost in the cable.

    Assuming they put 10 Supercharging stations into a motorway services to cope with peak demand, you certainly don't want to queue for an hour before being able to do your hour charge !


    10 x 120 Kw = 1.2 Mw for each side of the motorway = 2.4 Mw total that sounds like too much for the cabling and the transformer that feeds the service station so who is going to put in all the extra cabling and transformers required to support all these charging stations, have Tesla got the cash to do it ? Will the government subside it ? As most of our petrol money goes to the government as taxes what is the incentive for the government to want electric vehicles that don't pay fuel tax ?


    Have fun playing with the salesman who will be trying to ignore quite a few of these calculations.

    If you can't do long trips then it becomes an expensive commuter / local car.

     
  2. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    Does Peter plan to drive 200 miles for lunch? Seems Peter is taking the extreme/edge cases in every scenario.

    I've had the car for 18 months, 25k miles, and I'll never go back to non-electric (probably never go non-Tesla again).

    Look at your own lifestyle/usage, and then decide if the car is right for you.
     
  3. Billygarrett

    Billygarrett Member

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    Good point. Thanks.
    My longest journey is likely to be to Tipperay in Southern Ireland via Dublin.
    If there is to be a Supercharger in Dublin, I should be ok to my family's house, wher I hope I can plug into their 3 pin domestic socket ( I haven't asked them yet!!!) So that could be oK
    The other could be to Scotland for a long promised holiday, 200 miles or to London at least 250 miles...
    I hope there will be some SC's in both directions...
    But as Peter says who is going to pay for all this SC power?...
     
  4. Zextraterrestrial

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    SC power provided by Tesla

    Untitled.jpg

    $2K per car goes to SC buildout



    fuel tax and road tax are good questions. west coast US is starting to deal with that a little
     
  5. rpo

    rpo Member

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    Tesla pays for the electricity...it's free for you....for life. That is clearly stated on their website.
     
  6. GoBlue88

    GoBlue88 Member

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    #6 GoBlue88, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
    So far there is a lot of evidence out there that there is very little battery deterioration over time and miles. Check out Bjorn Nyland's video on this - he has put 53,000 km on his car and is showing degradation of about 0.5% (2 km of range). Tesla Model S P85 Battery Degradation After 33,000 Miles - Video.

    Superchargers are coming to the UK. I count something like 11 by Winter 2014-2015 on Tesla's coming soon site: Supercharger | Tesla Motors

    Seriously, how often is this guy going to be taking 200 mile road trips? Get a 50-amp outlet installed at home and charge overnight routinely. He seems to be really reaching to make this out to be the most extreme possible scenario.

    Even with how busy Barstow is, I've never heard of an hour-long line to wait before charging at an SC out here. Ever.

    Tesla is paying for SC installations. Funded probably mostly by purchasers of the 85 kWh battery. The electricity is free for life, also paid for by Tesla.

    I think this guy has a lot of preconceived notions that don't line up with the facts. He's made up his mind already. Bully for him if he doesn't want to drive the future.
     
  7. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Canada is much bigger than the UK, and when I bought mine we didn't have one Supercharger (now we have only one) and I asked during my test drive all about charging times, travel, etc. and all my questions were answered truthfully. None of my questions were "ignored". It should also be pointed out that there really are no salespeople with Tesla in that you order online and no one makes a commission off your sale, like a regular cars salesperson. When people went from horse and buggy to cars, there were people like Peter who complained that you have to stop for gas, with very few gas stations, but you could feed and water your horse anywhere. Some people are just stuck in the past. Either that or perhaps Peter works for Big Oil? Or perhaps Peter is just one of those people that enjoys raining on the parade. In my opinion, if you follow Peter's advice you will be missing out on one the greatest pleasures in life --- owning a Tesla!
     
  8. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    #8 mgboyes, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
    I've had my UK RHD Model S for just over a month now, replacing an Audi A8 4.2TDI.

    It is absolutely fantastic, and in all likelihood I will never buy a petrol/diesel car again.

    That said, it is clearly not for everyone. A sales rep who regularly travels hundreds of miles in a day should stick with a nice economical diesel. A person who lies awake at night worrying about the fact that they might need to go on an unplanned 300 mile journey should stick with a nice economical diesel. If you want to go on a roadtrip across the wilds of Scotland and cover many hundreds of miles every day then the Model S may not be for you.

    The reality for me, in the UK, today is this:
    * The vast majority of charging happens at home, overnight, while I sleep. This literally could not be more convenient. It's like I have a petrol pump in my home, with a butler to stand and operate it for me. Every day I wake up and drive off in a fully charged car. The whole concept of "oh bugger I need to stop for 10 minutes to buy petrol" simply doesn't exist. The car has all sorts of energy and range displays that you can call up on both the centre console and the instrument display. I never look at either of them. It simply doesn't matter to me.
    * Charging times from empty to full are irrelevant, because unlike petrol cars where you deliberately wait until the car is nearly empty (because buying petrol is annoying and dirty and inconvenient), you charge your EV at every opportunity because it's pleasant and clean and effortless. Who cares if a full charge takes 12 hours when my typical day's driving is only 30 miles and that only takes an hour or two to charge up, overnight on cheap Economy 7 electricity?
    * Once in a while I want to make a long journey, and today that does require more planning than with an ICE car. It's a bit like flying a small aircraft - you need to have a Plan A and a Plan B, and know your routes etc. But given the traffic jams we get on UK roads I was doing this sort of planning anyway even with the Audi. Of course this is more of a hassle than just jumping in an ICE car, but it only happens once every couple of months.
    * So overall this car really, genuinely, is easier to refuel than a petrol/diesel car.

    When I do make a long "road trip" journey (only one so far, so I admit I am short on data) I can charge for free at hotels, friends and relatives' houses, motorway service stations, shopping centres and other locations. At all of these places it takes more than the 10 minutes it would take to buy petrol, but it's not like I have to stand there while I'm doing it; I can go away and do something else while the car is charging. Mostly what I do while I'm charging is sleep. Even with a plain old 13A plug (running at 10A in case someone's home wiring isn't quite up to spec) I can pick up 80 miles of range overnight, and the two hotels I've visited in the last month have both let me plug in for free. When did you last stay somewhere where they gave you 3 gallons of free petrol as part of the nightly rate?

    Today the fastest I can charge at is 22kW which is about 70 "typical" miles per hour. (Actually there's one supercharger but it's not in a useful location for me as I live about 10 miles from it).

    By the end of the year I'll also be able to access high speed DC chargers at nearly all UK motorway service stations that run at 50kW (160mph) as well as a handful of Tesla Superchargers at 120kW (half a charge in 20 minutes!). All of these will start out free, and the Tesla Superchargers will be free forever. Tesla have an enormous amount of money (and they do generally cover the costs of getting the local supply upgraded), and Elon has stated that the UK is the single most important market for superchargers for him today (ahead of US and China; sorry guys!). 1.2MW sounds like a lot to you and me, but it's completely business as usual to an electricity company.

    In the UK the cars show a full range of 245 "typical miles". Day to day like I said I simply don't care about range; I drive the car however I like. On a long journey it's quite possible to hit "typical" range i.e. to get 245 miles from the car, without having to drive like a granny in the inside lane.

    If it's important to you to be able to bomb along for long distances at 100mph+ on empty motorways then you'll see much reduced range. Don't buy the car if this is you.

    As others have said, you should keep asking questions here, you should talk to the staff at Tesla (who aren't really salespeople and don't get commission and won't push you into buying the car), and you should definitely try the car for yourself as much as you need to to make yourself comfortable.

    It's not like they're short of people who want to buy the cars; if you get one and regret it not only will you have had a bad experience but you'll have deprived someone else of a car too!
     
  9. twinklejet

    twinklejet Member

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    #9 twinklejet, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
    Firstly, I think you're unnecessarily panicking - I'll help you with some of the main points in summary:

    1) Deterioration - As someone above has mentioned, you may lose about 1.3 miles of range for every 33,000 miles of driving (based on a Tesla owner based in Norway).
    Based on the large tesla roadster population where the cars are mostly all about than 5 years old - Tesla has shown that their batteries have negligible deterioration when compared with competitors such as the Nissan Leaf due to Tesla's supposedly better battery management systems built into the car. You can search the forums for further information on this.

    2) Charging - You can ignore most public chargers if you have at least an S85 (Do not buy an S60 as it will likely not be suitable for you based on your post).
    Your main issue is home charging, destination charging, and en route charging.

    a) Home Charging: Tesla sells a high power home charger, which will recharge your car from empty in about 4 hours (Your car needs to have the dual chargers option to fully utilise this)
    This product is advertised by Tesla as coming in late 2014 and will add 68 miles of range per hour of charge.
    You usually only charge at night - while you sleep so just about every day, you will wake up with a fully charged car.
    READ: Tesla Charging | Tesla Motors

    b) En route charging: For destinations that exceed the range of the car, you will need to charge along the way and take a short break while the car charges.
    Your concern seems to be about the slow public chargers available, and the lack of superchargers, and you appear to have been misinformed about superchargers in UK.
    A Tesla press release in June 2014 accompanied the UK launch. There are more than 10 planned locations for Superchargers (SC) in the UK, in or around some of the followering: London, Portsmouth, Exeter, Bristol, between Liverpool and Manchester, Leeds, Sunderland, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen.

    By February 2015, Tesla should have the following superchargers operational (red dots):
    UK-Ireland-Supercharger-coverage-by-Dec-2014v2-750x562.jpg

    By February 2016, Tesla projects that they will cover the whole UK and Ireland as follows:
    UK-Ireland-Supercharger-coverage-by-Dec-2015v2-750x562.jpg

    Once in place, you can forgo all other public chargers for en route charging.

    c) Destination Charging -
    If the location is within 100 miles from your home or a supercharger, you can get there and back with no issues. No need to charge at the destination as long as you leave your home/supercharger with a full charge. You simply return to the supercharger or home to charge accordingly.
    If the destination is outside the "2 way return" range from your home or supercharger, then you will have to allocate sufficient time to stay there for your charge to reach a sufficient amount to at least reach the nearest supercharger with a safe buffer.

    You are aware of the slow charging on the 13 amp outlet, so this is clearly unfeasible unless you will be staying at the destination for a really long time (A resort stay for a few days for example)
    Most owners call ahead to their planned hotels/restaurants/etc. to find out if they have parking and charging for electric vehicles. Almost any form of Electric Vehicle charging point in the UK should be sufficient to recharge your car with enough charge to get to a supercharger after a few hours of charging since you will usually dwell at your destination - e.g. Movies, Shopping, Meetings, Meals, Work, etc.
    This is of course after the nationwide supercharger rollout is complete in 2016.

    Once again, you can read all about charging in England here: Tesla Charging | Tesla Motors

    3) Payment for supercharging - It is free*. You can use the superchargers as often as you like. The supercharger stations are all unattended and have no payment facilities.
    You can visit the London supercharger right now: The Crystal (London) Supercharger | Tesla Motors

    *Free for life after you purchase a Model S. The cost of supercharging is included in the purchase price of the S85, P85, and P85+ models. It is a £1,800 option in the S60 model. (One-time fee)
    It is actually written on the ordering page when you order your Model S at Model S Design Studio | Tesla Motors

    4) Cables, transformers, supercharger infrastructure - Tesla pays for it all. You simply buy the car and the cost of supercharging is included in the car as I've said above. There have also been no incidents or accidents with regards to supercharging with their current design, electrical loads, and cable thickness.
     
  10. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    #10 mgboyes, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
    Just in the spirit of full and honest disclosure, I should point out that the for the large majority of UK owners the "High Powered Wall Charger" will not be a viable option. I don't expect them to be common in the UK at all. To charge in 4 hours in the UK you need to have 3 phase mains supply at your home, and most homes do not have this and would have to pay thousands of pounds (or more) to have it installed.

    But as I said it really is not a big deal - we have a 7kW charge point (installed for a total cost of £95 thanks to a government grant) and that's ample for our needs. It can refill the car from empty to full in 12 hours (though it's never actually had to do that!).
     
  11. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    Well, it's a long way to Tipperay (crap joke, I know).

    Others in this thread have addressed most of your concerns. The main thing is, just drive it, you'll be convinced, I promise you. Drive it like you stole it, then you'll be even more convinced.

    The question of declining range the faster you go is a valid one. Over here when driving between major cities, I'd do well to get a 70mph average. It varies, but my most recent trip was just shy of that. The traffic, speed limits and numerous radar/laser traps make it tricky. In the UK, assuming no roadworks, rushhour etc (a big assumption, I know), it's very easy to average 85-90mph on the motorways. I used to do that all the time on my commute around half of the M25. I assume that the range drop-off is not linear as you go faster, so that might be a valid concern, but still not one to prevent the purchase of a Model S, unless you frequently expect to do long trips (over 200 miles without charge).
     
  12. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    Very high speeds are very bad for range. If you really do a steady 100mph+ cruise for long periods you won't get much more than 120 miles from a full battery. Most of the energy used to propel the car is used to fight wind resistance and if you double your speed you need four times as much energy over the same distance just to push against the air.

    One thing that is worth mentioning though is that the Model S speedo is very accurate, which means that 100mph in a Model S really is 100mph. To do the same speed in a Merc or BMW you would probably have to have almost 110 showing on the speedo.
     
  13. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Ha! It made me laugh out loud!
     
  14. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

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    #14 bluetinc, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
    Billy,

    Having just returned from an 8000 mile road trip (16 days) of which the last two very long days were 1000 mile days each, I can honestly say that long trips are very very possible.

    There is of course some truth to some of the issues he raised, but the real reality is that their are sacrifices to long distance travel in an EV. Most of these turn out to be related to some extra advanced planning, especially when you are getting use to road tripping in your EV. There are of course many sacrifices that many make when driving an ICE, but generally everyone accepts them to the level of not even realizing they are making them.

    A couple details about supercharging, the 120kW is only for the beginning of the charge cycle starting from 0 miles of range (~355V * 333A), by about 45 miles of range it starts to slow down. By about 120 miles of range it is at about 90kW and it continues to slow. The graphs shown on Tesla's Supercharger page show this fairly well. The single supercharger is paired to two user plug heads, so the setup your friend describes is actually 40 charge stalls, 20 on each side of the highway. I'm not sure how the power distribution network is set up there, but locally here in MD, in the US, the medium voltage lines run at 15kV, which a main transformers is run off of to provide the 3 phase 480V for the Superchargers. I would expect that they would set this up with 2 transformers per side. This means that the medium voltage lines can be kept fairly thinner than expected, ~750 mcm Al (just over 1" per wire) in this extreme case. The lines to the car are a bit thinner, as they only need to be able to handle ~350A, and while they do get warm, they are well within limits.

    Here is a pic from our latest road trip, taken in the middle of a very long stretch of road where the cruse control was set at 86 for the entire previous 30 miles. Full disclosure, there was a bit of a tailwind that day, so the number is about 10% lower than I would expect. Of course, if you add summer only sticky tires, or a head wind, or bitter cold (say 5F) then the amount of energy would go up, sometimes by as much as ~35% dropping the range from ~260 miles to ~177 miles. This matches Teslas range tool. This certainly shouldn't be too surprising as it happens in an ICE also, but most don't realize it.

    Enjoy your test drive, and worry about the rest after :)

    photo(2).JPG
     
  15. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    Your friend Peter thinks he knows way more about the MS than he actually does. If you're listening to him for advice on this car and he talks you out of buying the MS, I feel sorry for your loss. And if you think your petrol burning car gets the same mileage at 75-80 mph as it does at 65, I have a bridge I can sell you.
     
  16. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    :) I agree Peter does seem overtly anti-Tesla, reading his message is like reading the comments sections on nearly every positive Tesla news article. There's still an immense challenge of public perception of EV's (not just Tesla, but they're the current poster-child, so take more of the flack and focus). Even his first sentence, there are no "salespeople" in Tesla, at least not in the traditional, commissioned sense.
     
  17. simonog

    simonog Member

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    @mgboyes says it well: if what matters to you is a 300 mile drive every workday then you will need to wait a few years for the 500 mile battery that we should see. For now, as a UK (early) user, I am conscious that I will need to do planning of a different nature to that which I do with an ICE.

    As an example, I am about to go to a business meeting 285 miles away. I shall leave in the morning with a full battery, and on the 3-4 hour drive (no superchargers available) I shall stop for a cup of coffee and comfort break and take the opportunity to put 20 mins of electricity into the car.

    It turns out that the business I am visiting has three phase electricity and is entirely happy for me to plug in. When I leave, I shall have a full battery for my journey home. Another short stop to top up, and I shall have spent less time in fuel stations than with my ICE.
     
  18. Billygarrett

    Billygarrett Member

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    That's what I call organised!!
    BTW, is it feasible to carry a small light 3 Kw petrol generator in the trunk, in case of running out of current?
    It would just give a max of 13 amps at 240 volts, but I might not be stranded!!!
    Just an idea !

    Thanks everybody for your comments. I am sure I will be laying out my deposit next week!!
     
  19. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    I wish that were the case. I've got 25,000 miles and I'm down to low 250s on range charge after starting at 268 (I think I remember a 272 when I very first got the car, but I'm sure I had 268). So, I've lost around 5% or 10x Bjorn's 0.5%.

    Now, I'm on pace for 20% at 100,000 miles which is on par with what Tesla was, at least informally, stating back in the day so I'm not overly disappointed.​
     
  20. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member

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    Do you have a "A" pack compared to his "B" pack? Or did he also get the older battery?
     

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