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Newbie charging questions

chudiddy

Member
Aug 25, 2018
86
63
NE PA
Hi I am about to pick up my Model X in the next week or so and hoping for a flawless delivery and a 99% perfect car. My daily commute is about 2 miles to work and perhaps no more than 20-30 miles per day of driving. Should I charge the car to 90% each night except for when I know I'll be traveling more long distance at which point I would charge to 100%? Thanks in advance and any other tips to a Tesla newbie would be much appreciated.

Thank you!!

Mike
 

Tdreamer

Supporting Member
Sep 10, 2017
981
1,411
Bedford, Massachusetts
Welcome, and congratulations! I have a 5 mile commute myself. I charge to 75% typically in my X100D, but could easily get away with far less daily charge. I would suggest only charging about 80-90% when you anticipate doing a a lot of errands or trips that might induce range anxiety until you're comfortable with the actual range you get.

If you're like many of us, you will find you drive far more than you used to in your Tesla. I'm approaching my 1 year of ownership anniversary (having just crossed my order and order accepted milestone - yes, we remember those dates too!), and will be crossing 24k miles in the next few days. I was an 8-9k mile/year driver before my Tesla.
 
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Tdreamer

Supporting Member
Sep 10, 2017
981
1,411
Bedford, Massachusetts
90% is probably ok and will cause no immediate harm. But if charging to 90%+ can potentially over time lead to battery degradation, why not charge to a lower level as the norm? Lots of information in forums on this. One suggested site with lots of useful information for Tesla owners is TeslaTap.com. A specific note on charging can be found at Owner’s Manual Companion | TeslaTap.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
5,990
6,910
Boise, ID
I find this hilarious that people can just take it in and believe both of these two statements: that 90% is absolutely perfect, but 91% or higher is bad and not recommended. Use some common sense, people. It is a sliding gradual scale, and the data in battery studies do show this. 90 versus 91% is not some magical cutoff point where a switch flips from good to bad.

If more than 90% is not recommended, then people are just picking a somewhat arbitrary point where it's a little less bad that is acceptable to them as a balance of having enough range to use.

I also have a 2 mile commute to work, and as other people have said, if you're using 90% as your daily setting, and you are never even getting close to using up half your range, that's probably higher than you need. Try 70 or 80% and see if you're comfortable with the amount of range that gives you for regular use. It will be a little better for the battery long term, but you also want to be able to use your car, without stressing about the amount of range you have.
 

Toreador

Member
Sep 10, 2018
39
21
Los Angeles
If your commute is that short, why not charge only when you have 25% left instead of charging everyday?
I understood that keeping a battery in a higher state of charge causes damage, the higher the charge, the more the damage.
Also, going to Zero causes damage, so I think the best compromise in your case is charging only to 50% (since your drive is so short) and plugging back in when you reach 25%
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
5,990
6,910
Boise, ID
If your commute is that short, why not charge only when you have 25% left instead of charging everyday?
Well, because people want to be able to use their cars. And since recharging a car is pretty slow if you need to do it suddenly, it's not a great feeling to find that you need to drive somewhere that's 40 miles away, but you can't make it there and back because you let it get down to 25% (60 miles).
I understood that keeping a battery in a higher state of charge causes damage, the higher the charge, the more the damage.
That is a generally conceptually accurate statement, but you are making the mistake of thinking that it is a straight linear effect, where every % drop has the same amount of effect of reducing damage. It's not linear. The effects get more drastic, the farther toward the extreme ends of 0% and 100% you are. So being at 90 instead of 100 is a huge change. 80 instead of 90 is less change. See?
Also, going to Zero causes damage, so I think the best compromise in your case is charging only to 50% (since your drive is so short) and plugging back in when you reach 25%
That wouldn't be the best, because then you are always between 25 and 50%, or below half all the time. The ideal is to be around that midpoint, not below it. So if you're going to go there, for that best case, you would want to charge above 50% by some amount, and go down to below 50% by some amount, and back and forth. But then this gets to the factor of your car needing to be practical and usable instead of only having some little 80 mile window of use--might as well get a Nissan Leaf then.

So back to the previous point is that you get the most bang for your buck of battery healthiness in bringing your upper limit down into the 70-90ish% range instead of 100%, but that's still high enough to have a good amount of driving range to use.
 

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