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CHAdeMO Initial Impressions...

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by tcampos, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. tcampos

    tcampos Member

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    #1 tcampos, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
    Well, got my CHAdeMO adapter yesterday (I was # 205 on the waitlist), and just had a chance to try it out. Thought I would share my initial impressions. Key takeaways -
    1) SOOO much better than charging with a standard Level-2 charger.
    2) some weird, but acceptable differences between charging with Level-3/CHAdeMO stations vs Level-2
    3) There are (in the Bay Area, CA) quite a number of Level-3 chargers out there, but some don't work
    4) the pricing to charge is pretty exorbitant, but probably worth it.

    Unboxing the adapter was pretty uneventful. It comes with an instruction card, the adapter itself, and that's it. The adapter is pretty big. If you don't have rear seats it will fit nicely under the floor in the rear trunk. I do have rear seats, and the adapter still fits in there with the seats folded down, but it would be in the way if I were using the seats. The adapter is too big to fit in the cubby on the side where I put the mobile charging adapter. The frunk is another option, but with the P85D the frunk is also limited so the adapter takes an annoying amount of space. Still, the Model S has a lot of space so it is a relatively small issue.

    IMG_9606.JPG

    Last night after work, I tried going to two Level-3 chargers, and was unsuccessful. The first was a Nissan sponsored charger at a mall. When I got there the charger was in some error state and wouldn't do anything. It had nothing to do with the adapter. I tried again at a grocery store a few miles away, but that adapter was an eVgo adapter and despite signing up online, I needed a fob which hasn't come in the mail yet.

    This morning, I went to work where we have a Blink Level-3 charger and tried away. I had a few problems getting it going. First, if you want to use the charge port open button on the adapter, it needs to be plugged the adapter needs to be plugged into the charging station to get power. However, then the charging station doesn't recognize it when you plug the adapter into the car. As such, you have to re-plug the charging station into the adapter after it is plugged into the car. This pretty much makes the charge port open button on the adapter useless, but since the new Model S charge ports can be opened by pressing them, it is not a big deal.

    IMG_9631.JPG
    Once plugged in, I then realized you have to spend some time (with the Blink Level 3 charger at least), telling the charging station what you want to do. This is different than Level 2 stations where you just plug in and go. The Level 3 charging station talks to the car and knows the car's level of charge. It asks you then what level you want to charge the car at. This is redundant because the car has it's own charge limit. It appears that the car stops at whichever limit comes first (the car's or what you set at the charger), so it makes sense to me to just tell the charger to always charge station to 100% and continue to control the limit from the car.

    Once I figured all that out, I started to charge, only to have the whole thing error out. I have no idea what caused this and it happened 3 more times. I set the charging limit on the station to 80% and tried again and this time it worked. However, it worked on subsequent attempts regardless of what limit I set and I haven't seen the error return. In any event, once it got going, the charging station I was using started making quite a bit of noise (cooling fan), and off we went.

    IMG_9632.JPG

    This was a standard Level 3 charger. My charing output started at 42kw and slowly inched up to 47kw. For a P85D, this works out to a peak of 148 rated miles/hr. Pretty awesome. Since charging at work on a level-2 charger gives me roughly 17 mi/hr, this is about 8.5x faster (note: something is weird with rated mile calcs because the charging output of a level-2 charger is 6kw and 47/6 = 7.8x more power, yet 148/17 = 8.7x more rated mileage. Haven't quite figured that out. Anyway, the car is still charging, but it looks like it is going to go from 27% to 90% in just about one hour.
    A few other notes:

    There are no start/stop charge controls on the mobile device when using the level-3 charger. This is both with Tesla's app as well as Blink's. So, if the car stops charging for whatever reason, you have to go back out to the car to start it up again. You can stop the car from charging, but you have to use the charge limit to do so.

    IMG_9636.JPG

    There is also no estimated time to complete on the mobile app.

    Where I live, there are a lot of level 3 chargers so this whole thing is very complimentary to the supercharging network. I generally don't use superchargers due to their location and the fact that I don't do a lot of road trips on the car, but with this charging adapter, I can definitely see driving my car in more distance scenarios. The only issue, is that a level 3 charger is not cheap. Most of the charging rates I saw were between $0.50 and $0.65 per kwh. If the average charging session is 45Kwh, that is between $20/$30 a charging session which is not cheap. Still, the convenience it enables is probably worth it. Given the availability of charging stations where I live, this will definitely increase the driving range for me of the car.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 7.46.22 AM.png

    Overall, I feel pretty good about the $450 investment.
     
  2. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    The difference is the efficiency of the on-board charger or AC to DC converter. On an L2 connection, you are measuring AC power which is converted to DC to charge the battery by the on-board charger. On an L3 connection, the AC to DC conversion and efficiency loss happened outside of the car, in the L3 charger.

    If we assume that the on-board charger is about 90% efficient, then your ratios are remarkably close; 7.8/90%=8.7, one of your mph ratios.

    For a 2WD S85, I have found the following energies per rated mile to be pretty accurate:

    • 290 Wh/RM — DC out of the battery or driving.
    • 300 Wh/RM — DC into the battery or Supercharging/L3 Charging. 3.3% charge/discharge loss.
    • 333 Wh/RM — AC into the battery or AC Charging. About 10% efficiency loss in the AC to DC conversion in the charger.

    BTW, that last number means that charge rate from an AC source is very close to 3 Rated MPH per kW of AC power.
     
  3. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    Thank you SO SO much for the write up!! im waiting for my adapter that's supposed to arrive today but have been curious how much the fee is. We bought ours for coastal travel between wa and OR and without this it would have been a painful trip and with little ones $20-$30 is well worth it IMO.

    Can i ask in addition to the blink fee did you also have to pay the chademo fee? (Maybe this is a Wa state thing.)
    also one last thing (since I've never used any other charger besides my home charger and the Superchatger. Can you share a list of the L3 companies you signed up with if need be to be able to use this?
     
  4. tcampos

    tcampos Member

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    Totally makes sense. I've completely ignored the efficiency loss, particularly due to AC to DC conversion. Thanks for this.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The CHAdeMO adapter we have at work is administered by blink but has no usage charges, so I didn't pay anything for this test. Generally, I find that plugshare.com (there is a mobile app as well), does a pretty good job of cataloging whatever the fees are for each individual station.

    As for charging companies that I've signed up for, I have tried to sign up for as many as I can find so that I always have the ability to charge (note: I personally think it is stupid that many of these companies require you to get a card in the mail before you can use them). Anyway, here's the list I use so far:
    - ChargePoint (http://www.chargepoint.com)
    - Blink (http://www.blinknetwork.com)
    - eVgo (http://www.nrgevgo.com)

    None of these have monthly fees just to have access to the network.

    I'm in the Bay Area, CA so I'm sure for WA there may be others, but perhaps other forum members have thoughts.
     
  5. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

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    Awesome review, thanks for sharing! Not many L3 charging stations in the Midwest at least not in Cleveland, Ohio. But there are a few spots out east that I'll be near that I could see using this adapter. Once the I-80 span of Superchargers opens down the road it'll help, but for now this $450 device would allow me various short-cuts. But as you said, there is a cost to charge on top of the unit itself. Once again great review thx for sharing!
     
  6. Danal

    Danal electricmotorglider.com

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    Excellent and detailed review. I am probably not going to purchase one of these (DFW area and HPWC at 80 amps at home). Still, this helps me decide, and if I change my mind, gives me a ton of info.

    THANK YOU.
     
  7. mmh

    mmh Member

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    Great review! I think you just sold me on a CHAdeMO adapter.
     
  8. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    If Tesla would be more accurate and open about its Supercharging plans, it would help me make the right decisions. As it stands, I'll probably pick one up just to ensure that I could make it to Florida without having to go 400 miles out of my way, because Tesla doesn't want to enable the I-24 corridor. It helps that Nissan in Tennessee has been great about building stations there.
     
  9. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    CHAdeMO is great for destination charging where there are usually no superchargers.
     
  10. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    Why would you say that? CHAdeMO is the worst for destination charging. $25-75k for the EVSE. If you stay overnight, you need a full charge in 6-8 hours which you can do at 208v/40a with a HPWC or J1772 at an EVSE cost of $700-2,500. How would charging in 1.5 or 2 hours help? Do you want to get up at 2am to let someone else charge?
     
  11. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    @Alysashley79
    For the AV CHAdeMO by the deli in Skykomish, I was told $7.50. I don't recall whether it was per hour or per charging session. I haven't gotten the bill yet.
     
  12. Benjamin Brooks

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    I think in general CHAdeMO charging costs will be either on par or more expensive than gasoline costs, at least until gas prices shoot back up.

    For 150 miles of range on EVgo (assuming 1 hour charge time, likely best case), cost = $4.95 session + $0.20*60 minutes = $16.95.
    For 150 miles of range in an average ICE (ex. 30 mpg) = 5 gallons. If gas is cheaper than $3.39/gallon, ICE gas is cheaper than EVgo CHAdeMO.

    For 150 miles of range on Blink in California (assuming 300Wh/m = 45kWh), cost = $0.59/kWh*45kWh = $26.55.
    For 150 miles of range in an average ICE (ex. 30 mpg) = 5 gallons. If gas is cheaper than $5.31/gallon, ICE gas is cheaper than Blink CHAdeMO.

    Not to mention, it's way faster to fill up 5 gallons of gas at a gas station instead of charging for 1 hour.

    Unless the price of typical CHAdeMO charging stations comes down a bit, I don't think I will be using it very much.
     
  13. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    1-2 hours is a charge during dinner, which is easy enough to work into a travel schedule.

    When visiting friends, they usually don't have a HPWC or even a 240 outlet available. Also I don't like asking for their electricity. I never asked them if they had any Gas I could borrow when visited them in the past, and asking for electricity (even though I offer to pay) makes EV's look inferior.
     
  14. Benjamin Brooks

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    It's $7.50 per session, which I think makes AV the cheapest (of the fee required) public CHAdeMO charging networks on the US west coast
     
  15. MassModel3

    MassModel3 Member

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    Since the CHAdeMO adapter allows charging at such high rates, I can't help but wonder if those rates can be reached on a car that doesn't have supercharging enabled (like mine). My assumption is that "enabling supercharging" only tells the car that it can now talk to the actual supercharger units, but that the car is already capable of high charge rates if it can be connected to faster charging devices (like CHAdeMO). Thoughts?

    BTW, great write-up!
     
  16. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    You must have Supercharger capability enabled in order for CHAdeMO to work. Otherwise, you can't do DC-direct charging and are limited to 10Kw per onboard charger (20Kw max)
     
  17. RyanT

    RyanT Member

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    Yep, or $20/month unlimited charging. I think I'll do the monthly to support them. Plus we do a lot of road trips and they are all over in Oregon image.jpg
     
  18. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    Ok, now I'm waiting for the first report that someone went to a CHAdeMO charger in a Tesla and found that they were able to borrow an adapter from the operator. Well, if they are going to charge those prices, they should be willing to put up an adapter to increase their customer base...
     
  19. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Is there some assumption that I have to sleep overnight everywhere I want to go?

    For example, I could make a day trip from here up to Napa, drive all over the place exploring, charge at the CHAdeMO downtown for an hour during lunch or dinner, and still easily make it home.

    That's just one example of situation I've encountered, and I'm sure others have their own. Tesla has so far neglected destinations for Supercharger locations. That was a good decision while they build up the network, but until that occurs, at least in CA there are tons of CHAdeMO around to fill in the Supercharging gaps.
     
  20. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    Also, even if you sleep overnight you might not want to be limited to the hotels that have charging. To be clear, it makes for great destination charging when the place you are staying doesn't have charging, but there is a CHAdeMO in the area. I've done similar with a non-hotel HPWC, but it wasn't fast enough to charge during dinner, so I had to walk back to where we were staying and then walk back to get my car later that evening (the charger was at a realty office, and I didn't fancy leaving it there overnight).

    Unfortunately, in California there aren't many destination CHAdeMO available yet. I can stay overnight anywhere in the bay area and get home without bothering to charge at all. Wine country would have been useful, but with Petaluma and hopefully Napa soon it will be redundant there as well. Outside the Bay Area there really aren't any CHAdeMO where there aren't already superchargers you can use (maybe one I can see near Mendocino and one in Merced).
     

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