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Charging in California

Discussion in 'North America' started by pab5482, May 18, 2011.

  1. pab5482

    pab5482 Member

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    Hey Tesla people - I just ordered my Thunder Gray Roadster Sport (arrives next week) and am already thinking about longer range trips I want to do.

    What's the most common type of charging port that you're seeing? Is it the J1772? Other types?

    And, have any of you plugged in at hotels on your trips? What's the best cable and adaptor type of buy?

    Thanks so much - very excited to become part of this movement!
     
  2. dwegmull

    dwegmull 2013 Model S 85

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    Welcome to the club! As of last month all the public chargers that used to be dedicated to Tesla plugs have been switched over to J1772. At the same time (although more like, at the last minute) TM released an adapter (see here: J1772 Mobile Connector - *Temporarily Backordered Tesla Motors) to take advantage of them. Depending on where you are planning to go, this could be enough. If you want to venture away from established EV "corridors", you might want to consider getting a UMC (Universal Mobile Connector: Universal Mobile Connector - Available in North America Only Tesla Motors). It comes with a 14-50 plug that you can plug in some campgrounds. You might want to get the old and new style dryer plug adapters (either from TM, or make a code challenging homebrew adapter, if you know what you are doing), so you can get a relatively quick charge from friends with an electric dryer located near there garage.
    Look around this forum for various threads about charging and road trips: they contain many tips and tricks. Unless you plan to stay for a full 24 hours at your charging location (friends or family house), the 110V adapter that comes with the car is not practical but is considered by most as the ultimate backup plan. It allows you to charge almost anywhere but at the cost of very long charging times!
    Other will probably chime in, but it sounds to me like some hotel staff will bend over backwards to find a 240V plug for you to charge from. The prospect of a short ride in your Roadster can work wonders on a skeptical manager ;-)
    There are still quite a few older chargers that were setup when the EV1 and Toyota RAV4e were "sold". While you can use the "large paddle" models using an adapter (if you can still find one), it is probably not worth the trouble as J plugs are getting more common.
     
  3. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    I've just joined the movement too! I also bought a natural gas car (Honda Civic GX) as well to gauge the ease of charging/natural gas filling. Both cars have about the same range before refuel - of course the Honda won't take as long! If you have an iPhone, get the PlugShare app to see where people have made their chargers available.
    Join ChargePoint (ChargePoint Network-Fueling the Electric Transportation Industry) and they have a map of their chargers available to use (some free, some charge) - for the level 2 chargers, it's J1772 so you'll need the adapter which is currently out of stock right now. If you can't find a charger, you'll have to plug in to 120V or if you're lucky 240V (need the UMC).
     
  4. pab5482

    pab5482 Member

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    Got it. Thanks guys for all the advice, just joined Chargepoint.
     
  5. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Yep, join ChargePoint. I keep the swipe card in my glovebox to make sure I have it.

    A couple of small clarifications regarding the public HPC chargers. Yes, most have been updated to J1772, but I am aware of two that have not: 1) The Stanford Ranch Office Park location in Rocklin, CA still has a Tesla HPC. I believe that there is also a J1772 charger available. Jack Bowers, a Tesla owner, install the chargers and plans to keep the Tesla HPC until it is no longer necessary, and 2) the ClipperCreek building in Auburn, CA has both a Telsa HPC and 75 amp J1772 outside their business. You need to flip a switch to the one you want to use (very obvious), so not two charging stations, just two options there.

    The J1772 cable cannot currently deal with any signal over 70 amps and will give an error code and not charge the car. I discovered this when I decided to test out my new J1772 adapter prior to a road trip, so I drove over to ClipperCreek for testing on the J1772 there. When we dropped it to 70 amps, there was no problem. Both ClipperCreek and Tesla are aware of the bug and I have emails indicating Tesla will update firmware (yet again) when they have a bug fix, so that J1772 stations over 70 amps can be used. (The good news is that it is extremely rare to find a J1772 over 70 amps. In fact, it's unusual to find one over 30 amps.)

    Roadtrips: RV parks are everywhere - the UMC 14-50 is the only adapter I'd recommend. I also carry the 120v connector - I've never been at a hotel that doesn't have some outside outlets. While it doesn't seem like much, it does add up to 40-70 miles overnight. The two times I've done that, I've talked the valets into letting me park it in their protected area, where they can watch it.
     
  6. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    When you say "we dropped it to 70 amps" you are not talking about something the driver can do via the VDS, right ? It has to be done on the ChargeStation, which is not something a driver arriving at such a (rare) station can do, right ? (Just being picky and to clarify ...) :)
     
  7. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Right. It is not something the driver can do. I was at ClipperCreek, so the ClipperCreek engineers dropped the voltage as part of troubleshooting.

    I also have an email from Tesla today, confirming they are working on finding a fix for this bug. (It doesn't hurt to let your customer service rep know you'd like this fixed.)
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    The Roadster VDS can be used to change the current draw to be less than advertised, but I gather the problem was that the CC EVSE was advertising a current level that the Roadster didn't recognize. It sounds like once they changed it from 75 to 70, then the Roadster recognized it and could pick any current level up to 70.
     
  9. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Yes, exactly right, Teg. It's the initial 75 amp signal that causes the Roadster to error out.
     
  10. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    Somewhere in the code...

    const int kAmpValues = { 12, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 70, -1, -1 }; // TODO - figure out those last two values.
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Your programmer is showing.
     
  12. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    Since Tesla is on the SAE committee and was responsible for expanding the 32A max to 80A ... you'd figure the firmware wouldn't choke over 70A ?! :rolleyes:
     
  13. clea

    clea Member

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    you're assuming that the programmers and designers actually talk to the people who sit on the standards committees ...
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    To be fair to the designers... there's a rule in programming (and engineering): if you never tested it, it doesn't work.

    If they didn't have a suitable power source to test against, the odds of it working were not that great.
     
  15. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    It's easy enough to set up a test circuit that could supply a pilot signal over the entire frequency range that the spec calls for. The amperage vs. frequency "curve" is a simple dual-slope linear relationship that does *not* specify that only certain frequencies are output, but that any frequency in the range is valid. Running a frequency sweep on the complete range is something that I would've done had I been testing it. This is a classic case of a boundary failure that any good engineer knows to check.
     
  16. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    My understanding is that the engineering team did know about this - but communication about this firmware defect broke down somewhere along the line.

    I do have emails from Tesla saying that this is being worked on, but I feel it may not have the sense of urgency I'd like it to have (yes, instant gratification !!). So I encourage you to email your customer service rep asking about when this will be fixed, to keep it at the top of the priority list.

    I understand there are not many chargers out there above 70 amp, but there are some, especially at Nissan dealerships (and will be more and more). And I assume I'll stop somewhere in desperate need of a charge, only to find out it's a 75 amp charger. I bought the $750 adapter assuming it would work with any J1772 charging station because that's how it was advertised - not 'except when you unexpectedly encounter a charger above 70 amps'.
     
  17. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    ??? All of the Nissan dealers I have visited had Aerovironment units rated at 30amps max.
    The Leaf only charges from J1772 at a paltry 16amps, so there wouldn't be much point in the Nissan dealers having higher current versions.

    Nissan dealers in Japan and the UK are getting 50kW (400V+ 100A+) CHAdeMO high speed DC chargers but that is a whole "different animal" and irrelevant to your Roadster charging concerns.

    Have you actually tried to use the J1772 adapter with your Roadster at a Nissan dealership?
     
  18. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    #18 bonnie, May 20, 2011
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
    Personally? No. But another poster (I'll track down his posting) had exactly the same problem at a Nissan dealership and Tesla now believes it was a 75amp charger there. Same error code, same behavior, using the adapter.

    Edit: Adding a link to the post where the same error occurred.

    Edit: The ClipperCreek CEO had his Leaf plugged into the 75amp J1772 charging station in Auburn, CA when I was there.
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #19 TEG, May 20, 2011
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
    I think that was a different problem. Something else to do with the signal from the (30A) AeroVironment EVSEs wasn't working with some Roadsters.
    I think they already have that problem sorted out with a firmware update. The "75A" signal issue seems to be a different problem.
     
  20. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    Yes ... there are several different issues and they affect Roadster 1.5 and 2.0+ differently. The Nissan Dealer EVSEs (AeroVironment brand) are all 30A to my knowledge. *DESPITE* the "Standard" (oxymoron?) different EVSE manufacturers have some inconsistencies ... causing different behaviour when charging the Roadster (or other PEVs). For example, a LEAF L1 EVSE can apparently *not* charge a Volt (can't find the reference right now), but it works the other way around. (Wonder if the LEAF L1 can charge Tesla with that adapter ?!)
     

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