TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Can an observer tell the state of charge of a Tesla when charging at a Supercharger?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by brucet999, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,299
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Does anyone know how to tell the state of charge of a locked Tesla at the supercharger? It would be nice to be able, when most of the stations are busy, to choose a station that is paired with a car that is already in taper mode rather than one that just started charging and is still taking a high current rate.
     
  2. David99

    David99 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,048
    Location:
    Brea, Orange County
    There is no way. Once the car is locked, there is no indication how far the charge is or how much power is drawn. I wish there was a a color coded light or some sort of info to pick the stall with the most power available when you arrive at a Supercharger. Many times I arrived and swapped stalls twice or three times to find one with the most power.
     
  3. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,299
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Seems like a simple matter to read charge rate on the in-use stall and display max available rate on the empty paired one.
     
  4. garygid

    garygid Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Laguna Hills, Orange County, CA
    Presumably Tesla could make that data (charging rate, time until done, spaces with cars plugged in) available on one of their website pages for the location that you want to query. That would be a great help.

    For planning of trip timing, they could even show a graph of typical number of stalls occupied/empty by time of day and day of the week.
     
  5. David99

    David99 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,048
    Location:
    Brea, Orange County
    Oh yes it would be possible, but I doubt Tesla will install displays on all stalls showing the max power available. They don't like to talk about the fact that two stalls share one charger. Such a display would be kind of negative marketing as a constant reminder that full power is not available many times, especially when it's needed (when lots of cars try to charge).

    I totally understand the benefits of having one charger serve two stalls. Most of the time it helps a lot making best use of the resources. But it does slow down people trying to charge. The bigger batteries get and the more cars are using Superchargers (and we know both thing are coming soon), the more the shared approach is not good.

    And if anything, I believe Tesla is working hard on battery packs that can accept much higher charge rates. It's mostly a matter of cooling. In fact even current cars and battery packs would be able to cool more aggressively and accept a higher charge rate. Tesla just wants to be on the safe side. But all this is getting OT :)
     
  6. garygid

    garygid Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Laguna Hills, Orange County, CA
    Tesla could easily make the green charging ring light blink N times per second to indicate N x 10 kW of charging power. Then, the flashing would slow as the battery got filled, and stop flashing when charging stopped. No hardware change, just software.

    However, I suspect that Tesla does not want to reveal such information.
     
  7. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Messages:
    505
    Location:
    Stoughton, MA
    In an unlocked car, the charging ring does blink green fast while supercharging, and blinks slower as it fills. This is effective if the owner is sitting in the car.
     
  8. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    If you press down the charge port button on the connector (even on a locked car) then the car stops charging and the charge indicator light comes on. When you release the button charging restarts, and the charging lights stay on for 30s so you can see how fast they're flashing.

    The downside of this is that the owner of the car will get a "charging interrupted" notification which is a bit unfriendly.

    At least that's the case with EU cars; NA may be different.
     
    • Dislike x 1
  9. garygid

    garygid Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Laguna Hills, Orange County, CA
    Actually, this is considered a Very Unfriendly thing to do, since it has other detrimental side effects that are best not discussed here.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,487
    ... then you are displaying bad etiquette, generally being rude. Some people react quite strongly to such behavior.
     
  11. deonb

    deonb Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,019
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    I see what you did there... best not discuss, especially in the context of the OP's question.

    Security through obscurity!
     
  12. chipmunk

    chipmunk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Can't you listen to the speed of the cooling fan on the car? I don't know what happens when it's cold outside, but in moderate or warm climates, the fan starts out quiet, but it quickly ramps up. If it's quiet, most likely the car is no longer charging at full speed.
     
  13. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    Eh, I think people should be made aware of what happens when they push the charge button on someone else's car. Folks like the poster above are probably unaware of the consequences.
    Sure, some asshats will take advantage, but those guys are probably going to figure it out anyways. Maybe if enough people become aware, we can lobby for a change to the software by Tesla to prevent it from happening.

    With that said:

    Jerk who interrupts others charging to get higher amps
     
  14. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    United Kingdom
  15. FrederikBoivin

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    seriously...

    when I charge with the Circuit Électrique, in Quebec, I know if a station is in use before I get there.

    It would be very easy, for TM, to make available, via the SC icons on the map in the car:
    1) if a stall is in use at a specific SC
    2) if in use, what is the SOC of the car

    That would be very helpful, specialy for crowded SC, or SC like the one in YUL, where there are only 2 stalls...
     
  16. chipmunk

    chipmunk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    What would be even nicer is if they could provide a visual indicator on the stall, like the light on the stall pulse if that charger is partially in use, or some other visual indicator letting you know which stalls you should park in. The way it is today, it's a pain trying to read the space numbers and figure out which two are connected if it's a SuperCharger you're not familiar with.
     
  17. garygid

    garygid Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Laguna Hills, Orange County, CA
    Now, others will begin pressing the button to see what happens ... better to remove these posts, quickly, please.
     
  18. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    4,775
    Location:
    North Bay, CA
    The best suggestion for this that I've ever seen (and this isn't the first time it's been discussed) is to make the LED brake light bar across the back window of the Model S be a bar graph showing current SOC while Supercharging. Nothing would need to be installed at the Superchargers, so it would require a software push. Very little man-hours relative to actually changing the charging stalls.

    Admittedly, this would now require that the Model X spoiler remain up while Supercharging (to provide the same data) but that should be software configurable as well.
     
    • Like x 1
  19. chipmunk

    chipmunk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    That is certainly a clever use of available hardware (assuming somebody knows that the software can individually address each LED in the brake light which is a big assumption), but it's difficult to see for superchargers where the cars are backed in. I'd still like more guidance to tell me which spot(s) is least impacted by a charging car. It benefits not only the person trying to find a spot, but also the person who comes later to charge and has to wait for me because I chose a slower spot.
     
  20. garygid

    garygid Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Laguna Hills, Orange County, CA
    #20 garygid, Apr 26, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
    Most likely the Brake Light bar has all the LEDs wired together, for all On or all Off operation. Displaying a bar graph would require individual control of the LEDs, so an expensive retrofit of every Tesla. And, when looking for a spot, where most cars back in, the brake light bar would not be visible. Oops, now I see a new post that came in while I was typing. But I agree.

    Being able to query the state of each supercharger location is already available by tapping the location's icon on the Nav map on the touchscreen. The only problem is ... the minimal status given on the popup is rarely of any use ... that the location is off-line, or not.

    Given access to Tesla's supercharger database, it would seem that very useful detailed status could be presented about every stall ... charging, time to done, done charging, or apparently empty. Users of the system could even indicate when a stall is blocked, ICEd, broken, etc. by clicking a checkbox ... crowd-sourced additional data that Tesla cannot detect about the stalls. Also, add some checkboxes (or a number) indicating the number of vehicles waiting in line, ... that would also be very helpful, I think.

    Then, if your travels give you any flexibility with when and where to supercharge, one might be able to check the current status of the superchargers before committing to get off the freeway.

    Tesla would also get some real time data that it does not have now, especially about blocked stalls. In some busy locations, around half the stalls are marked as shared parking, although usually with a limited time constraint ... like in San Diego.
     
    • Like x 1

Share This Page