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Lesson Learned

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by rlawson4, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. rlawson4

    rlawson4 Member

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    Today I drove from Atlanta to the courthouse in Macon. The have had several press releases about their EV charging station at the courthouse. It was about 92 miles each way. I drive aggressively with the idea of adding a couple of hours of charging on the J1772 Level 2 charger. I had court in the afternoon in Roswell and needed about 240 miles total. I did a standard charge.

    Well, the charger was a dud. First thing that happened was a sheriff's inmate van was parked in the EV space. No one had taken it seriously that they had an EV space. It was all for show. I did get a deputy to move the van which took some guts. I was pretty insistent. Then once moved I pulled in. The current was lousy (sorry if current is not the word). In 2 hours I gained 3 miles. It was worse than an 110 outlet and all for show. Here it is Bibb County Courthouse - Macon, GA - Recargo

    So, it messed up the day. I had to go home and switch to my old car just to finish my work. Had I know the charger was a dud I was have done a range charge at home and driven less aggressively. I would have made it through the day without having to switch cars. I have learned the lesson about relying on untested chargers (untested meaning not by me). I hope super-charging comes to Georgia.
     
  2. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

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    Hey Rlawson4,

    I've found that I would love more information on the J1772 sites listed on Recargo and Plugshare, as I've also learned they are far from equal. Up until the S, there hasn't been a huge drive for this info, as it makes little if any difference for the leafs and volts out there.

    Did you by chance note the information displayed on your charge screen? The key notes would be the voltage when charge current is at 0, and then the voltage after the charge current ramps up along with the maximum charge current the unit supplies.

    Peter
     
  3. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Make sure you update the recargo listing for that charging station to reflect your 'so not worth it' experience. That will help the next person hoping to count on it.

    And thanks for sharing your experience. One of my favorite long running articles has always been 'I learned about flying from that', where different pilots shared their close calls and lessons learned. It helps everyone and potentially prevents the negative experience for someone else. So I appreciate you posting, it helps the community (especially those new to EVs). Nice role modeling, rlawson :).
     
  4. rlawson4

    rlawson4 Member

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    I didn't know what I was looking for so unfortunately I did not note my screen and what was on it. Sorry. I will look at my screen next time.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I just posted my experience on recargo. Thanks for giving me the idea. Clearly this EV station is a PR move not taken seriously.
     
  5. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    Looks like Letter to the Editor material to me. This was a government contract used to build a failed charger. And government employees parking non-EV's in the EV space. Early adopters need to be doing some foot stomping on stuff like this considering how bad the public infrastructure is.
     
  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Sorry to hear about this bad experience. Another badly executed government-let contract; I wish I could say I was surprised
    One of the valuable lessons I've learned from these boards is that you drive conservatively outbound, then have fun driving home if power permits.
    Not a Range charge? A Range charge gives 265 rated; a Standard only ~235. Given highway speeds in Georgia, I would worry about getting 240 miles on a Range charge.
     
  7. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Around Atlanta the interstate speeds are stupidly high. But there are so many lanes you can get away with driving 55-60 most of the time. Outside of Atlanta the speed limits go up and the average speed drops a little. Going 55 in a 70 is inconsiderate if people are backing up, but generally the right lane isn't moving more than 60-65 anyway.

    But yes driving on Atlanta interstates, with all of the hills we have, I would expect very poor range with 'normal' driving.
     
  8. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

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    To me the beauty of driving a Tesla vehicle is that you don't ever have to use public charging in your normally daily drive. That leaves public charging only for long distance trips and you are then left with finding working charging locations on routes you rarely ever drive so information on those locations can be sketchy. You might have been best served, once you saw how slow the charging was going, to have found a nearby RV park and plugged into a 14-50 there.
     
  9. EchoDelta

    EchoDelta Member

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    Me too! Maybe we could get someone to do those awesome pencil drawings in the column's style, I just imagined rlawson4 holding his head as he sees his SOC so low, the complexities of the day ahead, and all that after the stress of getting the spot deICEd.
     
  10. rlawson4

    rlawson4 Member

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    I also could have driven slower or range charged.
     
  11. HFh

    HFh Member

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    More true of the north than the south I think....
     
  12. dtich

    dtich #P708

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    +1 bonnie, used to love that column. flying mag right? one of them. sadly i've let my piloting lapse, haven't had enough time.. very much miss it. at least driving the glass cockpit model s feels reminiscent of a cirrus 22 or something... :)
     
  13. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Sarasota, FL
    Here's my MO:


    1. Charge at home to a level higher than I need. You never know if the charger you're counting on will be occupied or ICE'd.
    2. Leave home early and drive carefully (i.e. preserving miles) on the way to my destination. If I can charge at my destination that's great, if not I'm still ok.
    3. Have fun with the accelerator on the way home (where I know a nicely amped charger is waiting for me).
     
  14. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    For some reason, my mind wanted to read it this way the first time:
    "To me the beauty of ... is that you don't ever have to use public [restrooms] ..."

    It made me think of "make sure you take care of business before we leave kids, because the public restrooms are... not where you want to be."
     
  15. ModelS1079

    ModelS1079 Member

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    #15 ModelS1079, Jan 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
    FOXWOODS (or, "Almost left up river without a paddle")

    Dwight Yoakum. You know, I have never been a real, weathered country fan, but I really enjoyed the show. I I just could not lose at Blackjack. The ride home? Less relaxing.
    Left the house at 6 am with a Max range charge of 264 miles. Played a 630am hockey game, car sat and lost about 5 miles in sub-zero temps. Off to work (27 miles) and I managed to leave the car at Chili's and return at Noon to a near-full 258 miles or so. Off to Connecticut, 100 miles. We stopped on the way to eat and charge at yet another Chili's but, alas, could not find it. To Foxwoods where my Model S was paraded by the Valet in front of the Great Glass Doors there (regret not getting a pic of the car in the lights and under the glass there), everyone watching and admiring - avery nice Tesla moment. Minutes after I had the car parked in a garage tapped into 110/12Amps. 112 miles of range as I plugged in. Yes, useless.

    Returned 8 hours later to an earned 7 miles of charge. 119 miles of range for a 100 mile drive in snow and ice.
    Arrived to - yet another - Chili's near home with three - yes, 3, miles of range.

    Lessons learned:
    1. Foxwoods is looking very 1982 without one J1772.
    2. 110v/12A outlet is like a supermodel - appealing only in principle.
    3. I should have charged elsewhere. There is a public J17772 about 7 miles away in Norwich, CT, for which they will give one a free RFID onsite 24/7. I could have left t he car and taken a cab and had a full charge for the return.
    4. Someday - and I look forward to that day - this post will be well-outdated and we can joke about the day when one of the world's largest Casino's didn't have one charge post.
    5. I have already contacted them about getting chargers in there.

    IMG_3734.jpg
     
  16. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    In both my road trips to Leavenworth WA and to Vancouver BC, I drove to 3-5 miles left when I got home. Too close a call. I will get better at planning for my next trip. :)
     
  17. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Sounds like perfect planning to me! My wife would disagree, though :smile:
     
  18. kimbapooch

    kimbapooch Member

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    Seattle, WA
    WOW. Awesome story. Glad to know the car will still move with 3 miles range showing. I've seen a yellow range bar (came on at 36 miles left) but never red. Hopefully I never will. I got the yellow dashed power limit line at 30 miles remaining. It started at the top, limiting me to 320 Kw I think, no big deal. I'm curious what your power was limited to at 3 miles remaining?
     
  19. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    RED 3 MILE CLUB

    @1079: You left out the drama, if any, as your MILES dropped below, say 30. Did you 'press on regardless' or start modifying speed/power?

    Living in 'sparse country' our 'ace in the hole' is being able to set cruise at 25mph for uphill stretches and coast (w/o cc) downhill to avoid going below 30 MILES. Arbitrary figure of course. On my 2 long trips in the S I've arrived home with 38 and 34 MILES left, so was in conservative mode, not yet panic mode.
    --
     
  20. fizzazle

    fizzazle Member

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    los angeles

    Bluetink/Peter is right. Without knowing what the exact voltage was and what the Amps (current) was, it's hard to say what happened.

    Also, note that Amperage is adjustable on the model S. I had my NEMA 14-50 (240V/50A) installed at home and the first overnight charge only added 40 miles (and I was at less than 50 miles on a P85). Turned out the charge rate was slow b/c my amps on my model S charging screen were set too low. I cranked it up to 40A and was fully charged in 3 hrs (for the remaining 150ish miles needed).

    Next time you are at a charging station, check out (and adjust if needed) the amperage! I doubt a J1722 would charge that pathetically....
     

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