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Just saying hello

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Maximus8, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Maximus8

    Maximus8 Member

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    My first post and excited soon-to-be owner of a new MS P90D. My order at the Design Center just confirmed yesterday and I'm looking at a late February/early March delivery. As part of my preparation before taking delivery, my next step is to find an electrician to install the needed power options in my home. Is it important to deal with Tesla recommended electrical contractors on the site or can I (and should) looks for a licensed contractor that is not listed? Has anyone gone with a non-listed contractor? How was your experience? I'm looking forward to learning more about this vehicle from this forum and hopefully I can contribute something meaningful.
     
  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Get quotes from both.

    In my case, it was a huge difference, for others the Tesla electrician was cheaper.
    Tesla approved electrician $1300-$1700
    Local electricians $400-$800
     
  3. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

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    Welcome to TMC and congratulations on your order!

    Just echoing Max*, shop around. There's no requirement for you to use a Tesla-recommended contractor, and people have had good and bad experiences with both Tesla-recommended and non-Tesla-recommended electrical contractors. (Personally I used an electrical contractor who I've known for years, not on the Tesla-recommended list, and he did a great job.)

    Presumably the prices that Max* quoted were for his particular situation. The quotes you get will of course depend on what and how much work is required (need a new subpanel? how long is the wire run? have to run conduit to a detached garage? etc.)
     
  4. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Exactly, I was just showing that for my the Tesla electrician tried to charge 2x-4x of what the job really costs. For others the Tesla recommended electrician has come in cheaper.
     
  5. tstafford

    tstafford Member

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    I had mine done by a non-Tesla recommended electrician. I don't think it's a very complex thing from their perspective. But I'd see what a Tesla-recommended one says because it would seem to make things easier for you.
     
  6. Maximus8

    Maximus8 Member

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    Thank Max* for the response. It's good to know working outside of Tesla's recommended list is okay. I have working with an electrical contractor for work around the house and I'm comfortable with his work so, I'll check with him first to see if this something he could tackle.

     
  7. TampaRich

    TampaRich Member

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    Same here. Tesla contractors were double the cost of non-Tesla contractors. I was originally leaning toward a Tesla contractor because I wanted someone with experience installing the HPWC. I was surprised to find that both of the non-Tesla contractors I spoke to had done dozens of HPWC installs and already had printed copies of the installation guide. I'm sure California is like Florida in the fact that there's lots of Tesla owners, therefore more contractors around with Tesla experience.
     
  8. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    What are you installing at home? If it's a NEMA 14-50 outlet then it's a pretty trivial task that anyone should be able to handle. If you're installing an HPWC then it's a bit more involved, although still something that a competent electrician can handle as long as they're able to read and follow instructions.
     
  9. JeffS

    JeffS Member

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    Don't tell a bidder that this is for a Tesla. HPWC may be different. But for the NEMA 50amp plug ,quotes were 2-3 times higher from electricians who were putting in a Tesla plug vs those that were putting in a welding plug. So soon old...so late smart I am.
     
  10. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    They're smart. I did exactly that, I said an RV outlet. Parked my car way out of sight. Electrician shows up, asks EV? Then nose in or nose out? lol

    And does the job at the quoted price (this was after the over the phone ballpark, but they knew it was for an EV even before he hit my driveway)
     
  11. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    They'll still know it's for an EV if they're not complete idiots, of course. But they don't know what kind of EV, and it also sends a signal that you're a more savvy, price-sensitive customer if you say "NEMA 14-50."

    My own anecdote, the guys who I asked for a "240V outlet for a Tesla" quoted $800, while the guys I asked for a "NEMA 14-50 outlet" quoted $400.
     
  12. Maximus8

    Maximus8 Member

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    This is the tact I'm going to use.

     
  13. theslimshadyist

    theslimshadyist NashVegas!

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    I'm in the same boat, just ordered my vehicle last week and all of this "electric talk" is new to me. The OA at my SC was trying to make recommendations, he even said I don't need to purchase that $795 Tesla charger but I have no idea what I need. He did say I don't want to use 110 as it would take the car like 90 hours to charge from empty to full?

    So, what do I need to be able to fully charge my 85D in let's say under 8 hours? Layman's terms please! :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    And what in the hell is a "NEMA 14-50"??? lol
     
  14. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    NEMA 14-50 is a 240V 50A outlet. You need a 240V RV outlet installed at your house, also called a NEMA 14-50. With your car charger you got two connectors, one is the standard household outlet and the other is a 4 prong outlet. That's a NEMA 14-50, that's what you want to use
     
  15. theslimshadyist

    theslimshadyist NashVegas!

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    Ahhh, ok. What size breaker would be needed to accommodate? What does that $750 Tesla charger give me that the other method doesn't? I just can't seem to figure out why it would be needed and why the OA said I wouldn't need it. Will the recommendation that you gave me above charge the car from empty to full in 8 hours or less?

    Final question, how fast will those Tesla super chargers that are installed across the US charge up my car?
     
  16. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    A 14-50 outlet needs a 50A breaker (that's what the "50" in the name means). This will charge your car at 40A. There's a 20% reduction required for continuous loads like a car, which is why it's 40 and not 50. This will get you about 30 miles of range added per hour of charging.

    The $750 charger is called the "wall connector" or HPWC (used to be called the High Power Wall Connector). There are two advantages here. First is that it can be installed to provide up to 80A. If your car has dual chargers installed (on a new car, this is an add-on that can be installed by your local service center for $2,000) then it can use up to 80A, which will give you about 60 miles of range added per hour of charging. If your car doesn't have dual chargers (I don't recommend them unless you're going to do a lot of traveling beyond the supercharger network) then it won't be able to pull more than 40A. It can still use the HPWC, it just won't go any faster.

    The second advantage of the HPWC is just that it makes for a nice and robust permanent installation. I installed one despite not having dual chargers, as it lets me keep the UMC (Universal Mobile Connector, the charger that comes with the car) in the car in case I need it while I'm out without having to fiddle with it, and it feels like it should put up with constant use better. However, lots of people just charge with the UMC and they do fine.

    Superchargers are really, really fast. Exactly how fast depends on how much charge your car has. They're able to charge faster when your battery is low, and have to slow down as the charge goes up to avoid damage. With the battery under 50%, you can see well over 300MPH charging, with 0-50% taking about 20 minutes. At that point it begins to slow down. 50-80% takes probably another 20 minutes, 80-90% is probably similar, and 90-100% takes forever. Note that there's almost never a need to charge to 100% at a supercharger, though, so that isn't all that relevant. You generally want to charge just enough to get to your next charging stop with enough of a buffer to account for problems, which is typically a 60-75% charge or thereabouts. A normal supercharger trip goes something like: drive for 2-3 hours, charge for 20-30 minutes, repeat. Tesla has a nice graph which illustrates how the charge speed varies here, but note that it's a bit optimistic on the time needed for 100%:

    Supercharger | Tesla Motors
     
  17. theslimshadyist

    theslimshadyist NashVegas!

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    Thanks for taking the time to reply in language that I was able to easily understand. Your narrative above was clear and the best explanation that I've been able to find to date. I understand the logic around your SC explanation as I correlate it to Qualcomm Quickcharge 2.0 in cell phones. If the battery is below a certain percentage it will rapid charge and if above, it will slow down the charging speed.

    I thought I read somewhere that another advantage to having the Tesla wall connector is that you can obtain more information with regards to the charging cycles and it can also be programmed to turn on automatically at a certain time of day?
     
  18. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    I imagine the Qualcomm thing is pretty similar to superchargers. The batteries are ultimately very similar, it's just that Tesla's are way, way bigger.

    I don't believe the wall connector does anything to provide more information. Pretty much all the smarts are in the car. You can program the car to start charging at a certain time of day (very useful if you have low electricity rates at night) but that works with either one as long as it's actually plugged in.
     
  19. theslimshadyist

    theslimshadyist NashVegas!

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    Got it and thanks!
     
  20. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Glad to help, and welcome to the club!
     

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