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Charging Anxiety Log

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by smorgasbord, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    #1 smorgasbord, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
    Lately I've been reading a number of posts from people configuring their Model S, and this being their first EV, are exhibiting what I'm calling "Charging Anxiety," or CA.

    That's the fear of not being able to charge quickly enough.

    As a result of CA, people are configuring their Model S's with twin chargers and even getting the HPC for home. As myself and several Roadsters have recommended, the HPC at home is never needed and charging on the road at higher than 40 amps is almost never available. So, that $2700 is almost always better spent on something else.

    I'm asking Roadster and early Model S owners to record in this thread the times when they've needed to and used more than 40 amps of charging. Here's my complete list for over 14 months and 14,000 miles of ownership:

    #1 - Trip from SF Bay Area to Santa Barbara. Charged at 70 amp Rabbobank in Salinas & Atascadero both ways. Not my Roadster, btw.
    #2 - Trip from SF Bay Area to Morro Bay. Charged at 70 amps at Rabbobank in Atascadero going there and in Salinas coming back.
    #3 - Trip from SF Bay Area to Santa Barbara. Charged at 70 amp Rabbobank in Atascadero both ways. Watched movie during one of the charges.

    That's it.

    Now, I have used HPCs at other times, but it didn't save me any time. Even yesterday in Carmel Valley Tesla graciously put my Roadster on their HPC during the test drive I was a passenger for. However, if they had put me on the UMC at 40 amps, it would have been just fine, including driving home at very fast freeway speeds. I had over 80 miles of range left when I got home.

    If the Rabbobanks along 101 did not already have 70 amp HPCs, I would not have ordered my Model S with Twin Chargers. Everything else on the road, except Tesla stores, is 40 amps or less, and I've never felt my charging at home wasn't fast enough, even with Roadster owner friends visiting. With the upcoming SuperCharger network, I don't believe we're going to be getting new HPCs on the road for the next few to several years. It's either going to be SuperChargers or 30ish amp J1772s on the road, with the occasional 40-amp RV park connection. The twin chargers don't help with any of those.

    Save your money or buy something more useful is my advice. I'm hoping other Tesla owners will record their experiences here.
     
  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Totally concur.

    I've needed the 70amp chargers on a roundtrip drive from my home near Sacramento to Newport Beach. And I'm looking forward to using them on a trip up to Portland/Seattle at the end of this month. I don't need them at the hotel I stay at -- I need them wherever I need to recharge on the road. So that's two trips in a little over a year.

    The only other time it's handy is when I've stopped at Tesla Menlo Park to get charged up before heading home again.

    I've NEVER needed more than 40amps here at the house. Not once have I gotten up and not had full range in the car.

    Edit: In full disclosure, I am considering putting in a 70amp line. But that's not for me - that's for the various friends who come through the area and need a place to charge. I'm happy with my NEMA 14-50 outlet.
     
  3. ModelS1079

    ModelS1079 Member

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    Okay. It's me. I think I may have succumbed to CA (charge anxiety, aka Chargitis). When the realities of car buying and my desire for audio and tech superceded by desire for range, I went 60kWh for my Model S. And then in set in. First as an idea a (CF) bulb in my head went on that said: "add a twin charger". I have a 70 amp line heading to the garage. So I can use it on this rare times I head from our llavce in new Hampshire to home near Boston and onwards the same day to cape cod to see family. Then someone noted that 70 amp charging stations do exist "out there". And the supercharge may have some odd extra fee. And it's a little abusive of the battery. So I added a twin charger to my configuration.

    So I'd welcome being talked out of it and maybe even back into an 85kWh. Or I'd welcome reassurance that my thoughts make sens. The point is I really don't know enough to know what I really know. EV Rookie, consumed by Chargitis.
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I'm thinking that charing anxiety is more for those who don't live on the west coast.
     
  5. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    My location has nothing to do with how I charge my EV at night. (But yes - it does have everything to do with roadtrips.) If I moved to the middle of the country in a spot with very little infrastructure, I'd still install only a NEMA 14-50 40amp outlet. I've never needed more.
     
  6. PhatCat

    PhatCat Kisco Kid

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    Thanks smorgasboard and bonnie. I came to this conclusion but have absolutely no EV experience to back it up. Better to put that $$ toward Performance.
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Agreed. It's road trips I was thinking of.
     
  8. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    Not in my case (MN roadster owner here).
    I have never charged on more than a 40amp plug, and never felt the need for faster charging. 30 miles per hour of charge has always been plenty with the range I have.
    I can certainly understand wanting faster charging I you are using your full range or more each day.
    With EVs like the Leaf or Miev that probably isn't that uncommon.
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Most of the trips I take are just over 600 miles each way. (Three so far this year.)
     
  10. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    More agreement; have never needed anywhere near 70A at home. I only have a 50A outlet (so I can only pull 40A), and not only has that always been enough--I set the charge rate even lower, and never recall needing the full 40A. However, I do remember at least once that I needed 32A, so 24A hasn't always been enough for me. Obviously you need to consider your own driving; somebody on these forums mentioned coming home on Friday from a long commute and then needing to take off for the weekend that evening, so they needed 70A at home. I work at home, so I never hit that issue. Others want 70A at home for visitors, even though they themselves won't use it.

    I am on the West coast and have taken several long road trips; there I do use the full 70A from the HPCs. But aside from the fact that most people don't have 70A chargers available for their trips, most people in my situation would take the gas car or fly rather than drive an EV on those trips. If you're in an area with no 70A chargers, or even if you are but you are not going to do the long trips and wait for L2 charging (even at 70A), then you don't need twin chargers for road trips either. That net probably catches an awful lot of people right now.

    That said, high-speed L2 charging is a LOT easier and cheaper to install than DCQC, and with federal infrastructure funds drying up (which included an L2 restriction of 30A!) it is possible that in the future we may see more 80A L2 than DCQC. Maybe. Supposedly you can add the second charger later, so maybe you want to wait and do that only if the infrastructure shows up.
     
  11. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    I don't think many actually "need" the twin chargers, and the wall mounted HPC, it's more of a desire to have the capability if you run into a charging location that has a 70A J-1772 EVSE.. The wall mounted HPC is also more of a convenience so you can keep the UMC in the frunk/trunk and not pack it up with you each day. Many places don't have the massive J-1772 rollout that the West Coast has, we easterners are more likely to keep our UMC in the car, than many in the West, where J-1772 EVSEs are nearly on every other city block.
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    70A is wonderul to have on the road. It is totally unnecessary at home. I have an HPC and I normally run it at 40A.
     
  13. spleen

    spleen Active Member

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    It'd be cheaper to buy a 2nd UMC to keep in the garage / carry with you for $500 though than to pay for the HPC. A 70 amp J1772 in the wild is really rare - I would imagine that it would be even rarer on the East Coast where you don't have as many J1772 chargers to start off with. In my case, going from a 3.3 kW charger in a Leaf to a single 10 kW charger in the Model S / X will feel like a luxury! :)
     
  14. Jack

    Jack P-880

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    Hmm. So i get back from a Red Sox game at 11PM to midnight on a Thursday, head to work the next day at 6AM, and then down to the Cape at noon to 2PM to beat traffic (not uncommon for me). 150 miles of charge may be ok, but not if i head to friends for dinner on the outer Cape and back. With a ~300 mile range, not sure i'll have the 10 hours all the time. As with 1079, i'm also a rookie with no experience with EV's, and appreciate the experience-based advice above. But the math doesn't seem to work going forward for me, and the cost is less than 3% of vehicle value - a small price to relieve some anxiety (even considered a Volt or plug-in Prius for a bit, due to RA, much less CA - glad i didn't go down that path).
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Bonnie, tell him what we learned about words like "never".
     
  16. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    We don't actually know the cost or even if the UMC2 will be availble, it's entirely possible the UMC2 will be MORE than the $1,200 cost of the HPWC. Show me where Tesla has ever published/announced the price of the UMC2?
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Very true. I'm currently only aware of one within driving range of where I live, and I was responsible for getting it installed!
     
  18. spleen

    spleen Active Member

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    TMC user reported Admittedly, it's not as good as it being on the Tesla website but given how slowly they update it for these details ... :)
     
  19. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    With more than 12,000 miles of EV driving there is only one time I have needed a fast charge, on a trip to EVCCON (Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention. There I did 500 miles in 24 hours and while I would have gladly paid for a 70 amp charger I have yet to find one in the wild. At home there is only one time I really needed more than 40 amps and that is when a fellow Tesla onwer stopped by for a charge. I hope 70 amp units do come but for now they are only a dream in Tennessee. So on a trip bring a jacket and a good book.
     
  20. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    This sort of advice was given to me prior to configuring my car...and I very nearly followed it. Indeed, I will/would probably have been fine had I followed said advice. But 1)I don't live on the West Coast. 2)I don't live within 200 miles of a public charging station. 3)I travel 180-225 miles to major cities in my region of the country on a fairly regular basis.

    Now, given that I'm getting the 85kWh pack that probably further supports the OPs contentions, even given my circumstances. But it is not that unusual for me to drive 120-180 miles in a given day, come home for a mere couple of hours before heading to work, then back home (another 30 miles RT). So, maybe with a top up I'd still have plenty of range, but yea, I've never had an EV before, have no other location to charge than my home, and yes, have some anxiety that I'll be forced to choose between driving my Model S or taking a gasser if I can't quickly top up.

    Finally, because of my location, I hope/anticipate serving as a bit of an oasis/way-station for other Tesla owners who may want to commute through this rather remote part of the country and need a top up. It is $2700 and I think that for 95% of Model S buyers it's probably the wiser choice to not get the twin charger/HPC combo, but I definately would have had to either get a second UMC or pay for the HPC even w/o the twin charger, so for the price difference the beautiful and convenient HPC made sense and the extra $1500 for a second charger that may well help me accomodate a quick charge at another Model S owner's home sometime made sense.

    One could certainly argue that it makes more sense to get the HPC/twin than it does to get the performance upgrade--that's purely for fun/bragging rights, there's no practical need for that sort of power.
     

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