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Charging: a confused new owner...

Discussion in 'Model X: Battery & Charging' started by Hubster, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Hubster

    Hubster Member

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    New to this forum, and new to EV’s. I’m taking delivery of a Model X 75D early in September 2018.

    I know I can charge at home at a rate if 22mph, which is fine UNLESS my wife or I go away on business.

    Superchargers are few and far between where we live (East Anglia), and I’ve tried looking into my question about charging all over the place but threads quickly end up talking about amps, AC/DC etc and just confusing me.

    All I need to know is:

    1. Apart from Superchargers, what other available station-types can I get the fastest charge from (in the UK). Polar? CYC?

    2. Do I need that £400-odd ‘CHAdeMO’ adapter to take advantage of any of these charge stations? Is it really worth it?

    3. If you too live fairly remotely to the Tesla network and use your Tesla for business trips, what is your biggest issue you’ve encountered red with regards to charging and travel?

    The spec says I have an ‘high amperage charger’ (I’ve seen other threads discussing high/standard/dual so I’m guessing that’s relevant!).

    Can anyone answer these three questions in three short sentences please? Bullet points even easier for me...
     
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  2. Asterix187

    Asterix187 Member

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    Hi, welcome to tesla ownership in the uk!

    1) I have a polar plus membership which I use very occasional and the ecotricity app I use even less (ecotricity is quite expensive). I haven’t needed anything else.

    2) I have one now but didn’t get one for 6 months. I have used it 3-4 times when time was a bit tight. It also helps when on a timed charger (per hour etc) rather by kW. Not strictly a necessity though.

    3) in reality you want the supercharger network far away. No point in having them all 10 miles away. If you have one in 150 miles from where you live in each direction that’s perfect!

    Home charging overnight will do about 10% per hour. If you plug in from almost flat when you get home (I doubt you will rarely get him with less than 10%) you will be full again in the morning (don’t charge over 90% if you don’t need it for a long drive).
     
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  3. hiroshiy

    hiroshiy Vendor

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    Doesn't really know about where you are but if you are in Norwich for example, you are about 31 miles away from Thetford Supercharger. This means when you go out of town on business and come back from that direction, as long as you can come back to Thetford SC, you can easily go home.
    Find Us | Tesla UK
    Birchanger Green Supercharger seems to be 81 miles away. That also seems convenient. As @Asterix187 said, Superchargers should be on waypoints on your way to the destination, or on your way back home. It seems there are plenty of superchargers around you and you won't need CHAdeMO adapter.

    Besides Supercharger, CHAdeMO is the only fast chargers you can use with Tesla. Other plug types, don't worry about it for now. If you are going to stay at hotels far away homes, you could charge at the hotel's slow charger, but there are also some Tesla Destination Chargers so check them out at Tesla.com.
     
  4. Hubster

    Hubster Member

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  5. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Only a problem if one of you returns from a long trip without having stopped for a coffee and a Supercharge on your way home and then either you or your wife need to depart immediately on another long trip.
    But all you need in that (unlikely) scenario is sufficient range to reach the nearest Supercharger (and a coffee) on your way out.
    So again, assuming that you arrive home with zero charge (unlikely) you only need a maximum of a couple of hours to gain a minimum of about 40 miles of range.

    Quite a lot of planets need to align for this type of delay. Do multiple business trips appear at a few hours notice?
     
  6. Hubster

    Hubster Member

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    Hi Hiroshiy - thanks for your reply.

    I’m on Wisbech; nearest Supercharger is Thetford but I’m unlikely to go past or close (last time I did was about five years ago, on my motorbike!).

    Most common journeys for me are return journeys from Wisbech to: MK, Bicester, Swindon, Birmingham, Northampton and occasionally Devon way.

    So the longest trip in a day is likely to be Swindon and back, which is straightforward enough with Superchargers as are the other journeys.

    What does bother me a bit is that we often do weekends away with the kids, or a few days during school breaks. If we go to Devon, for example, we stay in Kingsbridge. The nearest supercharger is 40 miles away and not even en-route by a long way; if we did ‘fill up’ there we’d have about 160m range left, which would be pretty much gone within a day of travelling around that part of Devon. A 10hr slow charge overnight wouldn’t, I don’t think, be sufficient to keep us going.
     
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  7. Hubster

    Hubster Member

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    Good point, and no, chances of multiple business trips are narrow, which has just reminded me that absolute worst case scenario is we use the other car!

    My main client concern is longer trips for leisure breaks where charging will be more problematic (Devon and Cornwall, for example).
     
  8. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    #8 malcolm, Aug 11, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    Good point. The type and availability of destination chargers at hotels does require more detailed research (see below), but in the short term, you could just use the Arundell Arms Hotel at Lifton as your base - they have a Supercharger on site (I don't have any connections with them :) )

    Availability of destination charging:

    Find Us | Tesla UK

    ETA: As you can see from the map, nothing in Kingsbridge at the moment, so apart from snail-recharging at your holiday location, chargers are available in four locations in and around Salcombe. Check that you can drop in for morning coffee/lunch/afternoon tea while using their chargers?
     
  9. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️

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    Simplest way to think:

    A kWh (kilowatt hour) is a chunk of energy that will push a Model X about 3 miles.

    Your battery has 75 of them, so will get you about 3 x 75 = 225 miles (I wouldn’t plan a leg longer than 180 miles).

    Your car’s onboard AC charger can handle a max of 17/hr.
    Your home charger probably gives about 10/hr.
    DC chargers can charge faster:
    Superchargers do about 96/hr.
    Chademo does about 45/hr, but needs an adaptor and maybe account.

    Many hotels etc have “destination chargers” which are like a home charger.

    It’s usefel to have your home charger set up to deliver the full 17/hr your car can handle.

    The app “PlugShare” is the easiest way to find chargers.

    Oh also, I gotta laugh seeing someone in the UK worried about finding a charger. You should try Australia!
     
  10. Hubster

    Hubster Member

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    Erm - I do hope not! I was told it would give me 22mph? 10 would be a problem!

    Or did you mean 10 x 3kwh per hour?
     
  11. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️

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    All units in kWh.
     
  12. arg

    arg Supporting Member

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    Swindon is actually the tiresome one on that list, as Oxford supercharger is on the M40 and a big diversion if you are taking the cross-country route via Oxford. I normally stop at Peartree services on the A34 where there is a single Ecotricity unit (so slightly risky of being in use - I always have a plan B in mind).

    Your usage and location seem similar to mine, and IMO for us the CHAdeMO adaptor is still a key piece of kit to make the Tesla a go-anywhere car. If you are prepared to take another other car for tricky trips, or if you live somewhere on a node of the motorway system like London, then it's less important.

    Essentially, apart from Superchargers, CHAdeMO (using the £400 adapter) is the only charging method that is fast enough to be worth using while you sit and wait. It's still slower than Superchargers, but it's really useful for precisely the sort of trips you are talking about here: out-and-back-in-a-day business trips that are just a bit too far for the car's range without charging. A 20 minute coffee stop at a CHAdeMO station may only add 40 miles of range, but that's often all you need on top of a full charge when you left home. Given the shape and size of the UK it's hard to concoct a plausible business trip that doesn't work out OK - either you are driving fast up the main motorway routes (and so will pass Superchargers), or you are driving cross-country on relatively slow routes where your mileage can't plausibly be all that great in a single day (assuming you actually stop to speak to the clients you are visiting) and a modest CHAdeMO topup is all that's required.

    While I use my CHAdeMO often for business trips (as above), I more often use destination charging on these sort of leisure trips. Very often you can persuade hotels or holiday rents to allow you the use of a 13A socket - which only gives about 6 miles per hour of charging, but if you are on holiday you probably spend at least 10 hours overnight so that's 60 miles; I'm not quite sure how you manage to use up 160 miles in a day without going anywhere. Quite often you can find other charging options out and about (public carparks etc.) which mostly charge at the same rate as your home charger (so about 20 miles per hour of charging). Or you can stop at a CHAdeMO if you find one - less convenient as you need to hang around nearby and move the car once charged, but still workable.

    I make life hard for myself by letting my wife choose the accommodation without any regard to charging, but in 4 years I've never had any significant difficulty getting charged on this sort of trip even though we've quite often stayed in places with no option to charge at the place where we are staying. I have however needed to keep on top of the constantly changing scene of charging network operators and what you need to access them.

    Equipment wise, as discussed you probably need to shell out on the CHAdeMO adapter; you should have received with the car the "UMC" which lets you charge from a 13A socket, and also a type2-type2 cable which you will need for public slow chargepoints.

    Personally, I use Zap-map as the first choice website for seeing what charging is available in a given area; Plugshare is also useful, but I normally look at Zap-map first and then check Plugshare for any gotchas and for help in finding exactly where the point is (sometimes this can be more tricky than you expect). For the sort of business day-trip routes discussed above, it's mostly Ecotricity units that I find useful; for other types of trip a quick look at the maps in advance of setting out lets you know which networks you need to be set up to use (coverage is highly regional due to historic government grants):
    • Ecotricity is at pretty much every motorway service area (and a fair number on A roads), usually with two units that have CHAdeMO on them. You need an app on your phone to pay for the charge. Relatively poor reputation for reliability, but the most useful locations for an en-route pit stop.
    • Instavolt is a new network with a rapid roll-out of pairs of CHAdeMO units, needing only a contactless bank card to pay for them.
    • Engenie similarly needs only bank card; they've been around for years but only managed a handful of sites but now look like they may have found some cash for a meaningful roll-out this year.
    • CYC has dense coverage in certain specific locations (council-owned sites). Needs either a card at £20/year or a somewhat clunky mobile app. Also gives you access to the publicly-owned network in Scotland, where the card is almost essential due to poor mobile coverage.
    • GeniePoint (aka ChargePointGenie): again strong regional coverage (notably Cornwall). Mix of CHAdeMO and destination (slow) charging. Needs either a card or a webpage designed to access from a phone. No recurring charge for a card, and you can also use any other card you happen to have already by visiting one of their points and using the website to register it to your account.
    • PodPoint. Mostly destination charging; controlled by mobile app, but unlike the others where you have to use the app to start charging, they have a scheme that lets you charge for 15mins just by plugging in and then you (perhaps later or from a more convenient location) use the app to pay, after which you can charge for longer. A fair proportion of their locations are free-of-cost, but at some of these you still have to sign in on the app to use for >15min.
    • Polar. Mix of destination and CHAdeMO charging. They are aiming for national coverage, but don't really have it yet, and are mostly installing only single units (rather than the pairs for reliability offered by competitors). They really want you to subscribe to their card-based system at £7.85/month, though theoretically offering ad-hoc access (as required by law) with an extremely clunky phone app and higher fees. Card does also give you access to CYC points in England (but not Scotland).
    • TheNewMotion Dutch operator with relatively few locations in the UK so far; currently you MUST have their access card to access their points, but the card is free-of-charge, just apply online and they'll send one. Card can also be used (unadvertised) at Shell-branded chargers at petrol stations.
    • Shell. Operates some Shell-branded CHAdeMO units at company-owned petrol stations (not to be confused with units from other networks that happen to be at petrol stations selling Shell petrol). Advertised means of use is with a clunky phone app, but NewMotion card is easier.
    My advice: download every app you come across to a spare corner of your phone, to save needing to download them in the field in an emergency. For ones that seem useful (particularly Ecotricity) set up an account straight away; others only bother if you think you will need it for an upcoming trip. Maybe apply for a NewMotion card.
     
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  13. Asterix187

    Asterix187 Member

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    Wisbech? You don't work with bags do you?

    I have travelled down to cornwall, up to the highlands and pretty much all other areas of the country (including Wisbech) and do around 750 miles per week.

    The Chademo has been used only on the Cornwall/Devon and Norfolk trips so I would suggest you get one to be honest. It charges around half the speed of a supercharger but still pretty quickly. A coffee and a cake (you will spend more on coffee and cake than electric) and your on your way.

    Chademo and Supercharging have different charge characteristics. Chademo gets quicker the high percent, superchargers get slower.
     
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  14. hiroshiy

    hiroshiy Vendor

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    Hmm, have you tried EVtripplanner.com?

    EV Trip Planner

    I typed Wisbech UK to Devon UK and it says 266 miles. When I click route via supercharger, it shows Northampton and Membury Westbound superchargers as on route, and takes only 6 miles extra, total 272 miles. Are these at very crowded places, off the highway or not open superchargers?
    Just curious. As I don't know the location like @arg my comment may not make sense at all but in such a case I'm sorry.
     
  15. arg

    arg Supporting Member

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    #15 arg, Aug 11, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    East Anglia to Devon is fine, it's what you do when you get there that's an issue.

    On the trip down, I'd want to stop at Darts Farm (Exeter) Supercharger as the last stop, so as to arrive with a fair amount of charge for running around; that one is a bit of a diversion off the motorway, but it's a nice spot (and good for food shopping if your destination is self-catering).

    Last time I did it, I stopped at Oxford Peartree for the CHAdeMO as the first stop and then at Darts Farm, but that was before Membury opened and I'd probably use Membury now (or maybe not - passing Peartree the children were about ready for breakfast and the charging vs eating vs getting tired worked out perfectly on that trip).

    Northampton is too far north for me without a big diversion, but maybe OK starting from Wisbech - in which case it's well located for the return trip from Devon, and also helps out the Swindon day-trip question too.

    Nothing wrong with Membury - it's a large capacity on-motorway site with superchargers in both directions, and for the particular route we are talking about you'd be on the motorway at that point anyhow.

    Northampton is off-motorway (by a junction), so it's accessible for this route that's going east-west across the north-south motorway. It's an older site with only 6 stalls so maybe some risk of crowding. For the north-south traffic on the M1, there's a 12-stall site southbound at Newport Pagnell services just a few miles away, but nothing on the northbound side, so most northbound traffic probably uses Northampton at present (you can theoretically sneak across the service road from northbound to southbound at the services). Once Newport Pagnell northbound gets built (on the map for '2019'), then Northampton probably won't be busy at all - though there's a slight risk they will then close it.
     
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  16. Hubster

    Hubster Member

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    Re Swindon - I couldn’t agree more! Awful journey from Wisbech - A47; A603; A43; M40; A34; M4. Been doing the same journey for about 15 years and bored to hell and back with it.

    I’ve already downloaded a few of the all neatly tucked away into my ‘Telsa’ folder, but thanks to your comprehensive reply I can get rid of some and add others; I appreciate your help.
     
  17. Hubster

    Hubster Member

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    No - they’re just moody sometimes ;)

    My company manufactures bespoke timber framed homes, and retails timber too, hence my trips to Swindon (where we have a presence at the National Self Build & Renovatoin Centre). I usually try to combine client visits at the same time but ordinarily that mean a drive to Swindon, then a meeting 30-40 miles away, and another meeting 30-odd miles away and these are inevitably in lovely little villages off the main I’d soon lose time or charge if I wasn’t careful. I guess I just need to think differently.
     
  18. Asterix187

    Asterix187 Member

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    Ahh its just a did a trip to a client a few months back and they had an i8 and a 530e. After seeing the Tesla they both loved it and thought I thought it might be you!

    You do need to think differently but its a nicer slower place. I normally build in a 30 minute charge time on top of each long drive, aim for superchargers but they use ZapMap to find a rapid charger if a supercharger is not about.

    There is a supercharger in Northampton which will probably be a 10 minute detour (make sure you register on the screen in the hotel reception!) for either a quick charge on the way there on the way back. There are also some rapids (AC will give you 18kW and Chamdemo with the adaptor up to 43kw) in and around Swindon. You could also detour via Membury if you went down the M4 and then up the A34. You could end up doing the whole trip for the cost of half a charge (£5 maybe) at home.

    The fact is it takes a bit more planning, a slightly longer time, but you'll be driving a Tesla and it will cost you next to nothing!
     
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  19. Hubster

    Hubster Member

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    I see; we run an Amarok (on and off building sites frequently) and until we rejected it recently the new Discovery (great car, when it works!). When we needed to look for another 7-seater we were stumped really. I’d looked at the S before, and it works as a business purchase, so we took ourselves over to Cambridge and after an hour in the X we were sold. Loved it; the only thing was the charging but I do feel EV is the future so may as well jump in now!

    Appreciate all your comments - very useful.
     
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