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Newbie Charging Questions

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Eric S, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    Non-owner here, couple quick questions about charging while on road trips:

    1. How do you handle charging while staying at hotels (ones that don't have fancy garages that might include chargers)? I've seen threads here where people report that they can usually connect, as a last resort, via 110v sockets in and around hotel/motel parking lots. Is that really a viable route?

    2. How often does it happen that you arrive at an essential en-route charging station and find it full? Is this a problem that's increasing as the number of electric vehicles sharing the roads increase?
     
  2. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    Sure, due to the amount of time the car sits unused. High amperage can be your friend, but so can the # of hours available to charge.
     
  3. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    I understand that 110V charge is workable, albeit slow. I'm just wondering how actually possible it is to find a plug, and to string out extension cords (i.e. liability issues for pedestrians), etc etc. Just sounds like something that wouldn't work in real world.
     
  4. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    110v charges the Model S via an adapter included with the UMC. Charge speed on those is a dismal 3 miles per hour.

    I have never encountered a public charging point that was fully occupied. I don't charge publicly much. I'm sure others have though.
     
  5. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Download the PlugShare app. You'll find that there are a lot of hotels with charging stations.
     
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  6. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    If there are superchargers on your route, your don't need to charge at hotels, but its nice when you can as the extra charge overnight does save a little time. Many hotels are accommodating. I call around ahead of time where I would like to stop, and if there's two or three hotels to choose from I find that at least one allows me to plug in. More hotels are installing HPWCs for free with Tesla's destination charging program and if there's one where I'm going I always try to patronize that one.

    It takes a little planning but really hasn't been an issue.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    Ok, that's non-viable, then, with a typical 10-12 hour hotel stay.

    Not thrilled to shrink my hotel choices to those with charge stations.

    I've resolved that buying a Tesla would work for me while at home - I realistically never drive more than 200 miles, even with frantic errand-running. But road trips would indeed be tricky, whether staying at friends houses or in motels. That's a problem.
     
  8. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Why not supercharge en route to top-off? That would make the most sense. Do that and no need to destination charge? Really, destination charging is more of a convenience if there are superchargers along the way.
     
  9. LastGas

    LastGas Member

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    That works, except where there are no superchargers. Take Birmingham. AL, for example. Columbia, South Carolina can be tricky to get there and back in an S60.
     
  10. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    That's why if you plan to take road trips in an area without extensive supercharger routes, the 75 or 90 kWh battery is a better choice.
     
  11. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    Even NY Tristate (where I live) has a pretty serious dearth of superchargers. And if I do buy an "S", it's gonna be the most stripped-down, base car possible (cuz I'm already like $60K above budget), so upgraded battery is a non-starter.

    But, even with increasing EV ownership, you guys really don't usually need to wait at superchargers?
     
  12. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    I wouldn't say "tricky", but rather requires "some" planning. Not a huge amount, but some. It's always better to have multiple options (via Plugshare, friends, family, even to the point of asking:eek: along the way if you can plug in). I've done at least a dozen long trips, on and off the supercharger route, without any real problems. One time I arrived at my cabin/hotel with about 20 mi range to discover that the nearest 120V receptacle was up two flight of stairs and my 50 ft extension cord might not be enough. That was my secondary option, and my primary option, a SunCountry J1772 was filled by another Tesla. Fortunately, I was able to contact the owner and share the station. I had another 3 or 4 tertiary options, but they were 20 miles away and I didn't want to risk getting stranded. Another time traveling with my parents (read: ZERO failure rate is the only acceptable path) out into an area with few Plugshare options, I had to call around and finally found enough tertiary options so that I felt comfortable. In the end, I was able to easily recharge to 100% overnight at an RV park that was about 1/2 mi from the hotel. No range anxiety at all, no extra time needed, and no need to test any other of the 4 or 5 charging options, some less desirable, that I had investigated. In this case, I was also able to add to the Plugshare database so future EV drivers won't have to worry either.
     
  13. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    No. Never. But I've never been to California :)
     
  14. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    Interesting posting, thanks, ReddyLeaf.

    I wonder why there's no informal network of private Tesla owners allowing others to use their home charging stations while not charging, themselves. It's not that much of a security risk...it's not like someone in a ford pinto could pose as someone seeking charge while casing your house.

    I wonder if there's any way the company could help (e.g. with liability insurance, etc) in any way to make such a network more viable for owners. Or if it would make sense for smaller groups of folks to form private groups for this (e.g. forumites here). I've seen some kindly invitations here on a one-to-one basis, but nothing organized (if it exists, but it's like Fight Club, then...never mind!).
     
  15. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    #15 ReddyLeaf, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
    ^^^The best informal network is TMC and Plugshare. If you need specific assistance, just ask and you will receive plenty of responses. My previous example included two Tesla owners that I contacted via Plugshare. I didn't need to use them, but they offered home charging if needed. There are people on TMC that will loan out the Chademo adapter, so that's another possibility.

    EDIT: Nope, sorry, you're literally covered with Superchargers compared to some of the areas I've been or would like to visit. I hoped to visit relatives in North Dakota this summer, but have deferred until next year. A trip across Canada, nope, not until a couple more SCs are installed. Instead, I'll plan to cross the US using I-90. Perhaps I'll see you at the Binghamton, NY SC when I visit next time.
     
  16. AndreSF

    AndreSF Member

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    No need to re-invent anything, it's done already. Plugshare app was already suggested in one of the comments, ppl using it that want to share their charger will show up on the map with contact into, charger info, etc.

    In addition, check out this map (in addition to superchargers, there many destination charging locations in US including hotels):

    Find Us | Tesla
     
  17. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    I have only supercharged twice and both times was the only car there. Both were on a Saturday afternoon in the summer.
     
  18. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    One other point for newbies is that range increases a lot if you slow down so if you are ever running low and concerned about reaching your destination, just slow down and you can add a bunch of miles of range. It's better to go 10MPH slower than to rush to a 120v outlet at 3MPH charge speed.
     
  19. BobinBoulder

    BobinBoulder Member

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    Just traveled to Santa Fe from Denver and all in all, it wasn't bad. I'm not a "road tripper" so honestly, any more than 2 hours in a car drives me crazy. So the stops to supercharge weren't bad for me at all. 15-20 minutes and I was on my way.

    NOW, that being said, I did wonder how much I'd hate it if I had to sit there in the car and wait for it to charge in a cold Colorado or New Mexico snow storm. I can't say it was an appealing visual.

    Local stuff is a no brainer, and like I mentioned, I'm no fan of road trips (much less in winter), so hopefully it won't ever be an issue.
     
  20. davewill

    davewill Member

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    In a REAL pinch, you can find a public charging station nearby, plug in, then Uber to your hotel or destination. A lot of hotels have free shuttle service. Also, the CHAdeMO adapter could be a possible help at your destinations. Check PlugShare to find out if there are CHAdeMO stations nearby or en route. It's not a Supercharger, but it's the next best thing.
     

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