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Newbie - want to learn about charging

Discussion in 'Model S' started by dmode, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. dmode

    dmode Member

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    Hi All - I just picked up my S 60 yesterday. Pearl White, Sunroof, Premium Seats, Premium Package, AP 2 with Enhanced Autopilot. I have been on this site for a while, but just became an owner yesterday. I traded my X5 for the Tesla . This car is soooo much better than any other car I have owned. Truly the first 21st century car.

    Anyways, one thing that I was slightly disappointed during my delivery was the lack of charging orientation. I am new to EVs, and would be good to get a primer on charging infrastructure in the US. I live in the Bay Area, so I do have access to a lot of charging infrastructure, but looking to get started on things like - Do I need a ChaDemo adapter ? Should I buy a ChargePoint card ? What is EVSo ? Tips and tricks on various adapters etc. Is there an FAQ or a document I can read up on ?
     
  2. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    It's really going to depend on your situation.

    Do you charge at home?

    Do you do frequent road trips? If so, where? You can filter PlugShare.com to only show chademo stations. I would say most do not buy this adapter, but some benefit greatly.

    Regarding ChargePoint, i believe it's free to signup. So, even if only as a backup it's worth it.
     
  3. AustinP

    AustinP Member

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    Congrat's and welcome!
    Can't advise you on public infra in the US.
    Personnaly, charging at home with a Tesla Powerwall Connector is all I need. And on rare occasion where it's not enough, the are SuC not far away anyway.
     
  4. Troy

    Troy Member

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    #4 Troy, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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  5. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Great questions! It really is something you tend to pick up quickly as you go through your Tesla experience, but some sort of summary would be great to share with new owners.

    1)There are basically 3 levels of charging-- Level 1 is 120v, like your home outlet, Level 2 is 240v and various amperages and includes things like the public J1772 chargers as well as your standard NEMA 14-50 outlet you probably have at home or the HPWC you may have. Level 3 are the CHAdeMO or Tesla direct DC chargers--typically quite high voltage and amperage.

    2)You may or may not need a CHAdeMO, most of us don't, but you don't clearly say where you're from and in some parts of the country they can be very useful, others (talkin' to you California) they're completely unnecessary. The other UMC (universal mobile charger) adapters you probably won't ever need unless you travel somewhere specfic on a regular basis and need to use one--my parent's live in a place with no charging options and I plug into their 30amp dryer outlet and have an adapter that fits that, for instance.

    3)Yes, get a ChargePoint card. You'll inevitably be someplace that you want or need to charge and chargepoint will be your only option. I have 2 or 3 other similar cards, if they're free or cheap, it can't hurt to have them, but they'll rarely get used unless you happen to be someplace where there are a lot of them.

    4)Perhaps you know, but charge rates vary. For a Model S a rule of thumb is 3 miles of range/hr for a standard 120v/12a residential outlet, 18-20mph for a J1772, 30mph for a NEMA 14-50, 52mph for a 72amp HPWC if you have the upgrade to the onboard charger to accommodate that, and fast but variable for the Level 3 options.
     
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  6. Polly Wog

    Polly Wog Member

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  7. dmode

    dmode Member

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    Great feedback. Thank you all for your responses. I live in San Francisco Bay, 8 miles from the factory. So, I guess a CHAdeMO adapter is unnecessary. I am planning to install the 240V outlet in my garage, getting quotes from electricians currently.

    @efusco other than ChargePoint what other cards did you get ? And is the J1722 adapter good for most ChargePoint and public chargers ?
     
  8. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

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    Congratulations on taking delivery!

    As others have said, a lot depends on your situation, like whether you can charge at home (a huge win in terms of convenience), whether you do a lot of long trips and if so where to, and so on.

    You said you're in the Bay Area. Did you pick up your car from a Bay Area service center? If so, nothing wrong with going back there and saying you'd like someone to go over charging with you. You can go to pretty much any service center or store for that matter (we're fortunate in the Bay Area to have a lot of points of Tesla presence).

    In addition to a ChargePoint card, you might want to sign up for EVgo as well (different charging network). They have a plan that is slightly expensive but with no monthly fee or contract, handy to have on a "just in case" basis, there are a fair number of charging stations in California if you have to travel away from the Supercharger network. (I used to depend on EVgo plus a CHAdeMO adapter for trips into the Central Valley although subsequent Supercharger buildouts have made that unnecessary.)

    On TMC you may want to browse the California sub-forum for more local information.

    Bruce.
     
  9. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    The J1772 adapter is necessary for all non-Tesla public charging locations at Level 2. (In other words, public 30A charging stations--there are a handful of higher-amperage ones out there, but they generally are few and far between.)

    There are about 5-6 proprietary companies out there that offer public charging at Level 2--ChargePoint and EvGo seem to be the most common. They typically have their own design charging station. In addition, Clipper Creek makes EV charging stations. Many of those stations have been installed by property owners and there are no fees to charge. The common denominator is that all of these public stations utilize the SAE J1772 standard. This standard is incompatible with the charge port on a Tesla; hence the adapter that needs to be attached to the plug before you insert the plug with adapter into your charge port. (Just remember to remove it when you are done!)

    If I could offer a suggestion: Take some time and lay out your common driving destinations--work, relatives, day trips, etc. Determine the round trip mileage for these drives. (Use EVTripplanner--it is an invaluable aid for determining range and charge level.) From this data you can figure out if the trip is easy to make if you leave home with a 90% +/- battery level. If your destination will leave you short for the round trip, then you can decide where to plug in--either en route or at your destination.

    You may find that there is a Supercharger en route, so you won't need to seek out a charge at your destination. On the other hand, a Supercharger might be out-of-the-way, and you will need to find a place to grab some electrons during your stay. Plug Share is great for locating EV charging stations.

    Finally, Tesla has partnered with numerous hotels, beds and breakfasts and other locations to offer "destination" charging. These locations use Tesla's HPWC, so no adapter is necessary. You definitely can take advantage of these destination chargers if you spend the night. Many locations will permit you to grab some juice for an hour or so if you stop in and have lunch or dinner, or purchase some refreshments--just call ahead to make sure they are working and available.

    Congrats!
     
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  10. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    I use only my garage 240 outlet for about 98% of my charging. On a trip, I use SCs. I have thousands of miles of trips accumulated, never a problem. I pick my motels based on if they have an outlet or are near a SC.

    I have never been able to rationalize using a Slow L2 charger, or paying the outlandish fees in order to sit there for hours while it charges, or for paying outlandish fees for ChaDeMo, when home and Tesla are free (I have solar). Charging helps determine my trip route to some extent, but they are pretty much everywhere now, so it doesn't change things.

    You won't have a problem.
     
  11. MSBanx

    MSBanx Member

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    I agree with @roblab. There are many good super chargers in the Bay Area and if you have charging in your garage you will use that most of the time. I took a road trip immediately after taking delivery of my MS last month. SF to Santa Barbara and then continued down to San Diego where we stayed a week. Although I did open the Chargepoint account before going I didn't use it a single time. To be honest, the prices that all of those pay accounts charge is very high and the charging is very slow from what I have heard.

    I did pick my hotel in Santa Barbara based on whether they had a Tesla Wall Charger but that essentially meant that every day we would wake up to a car that was ready to go. Without that I would have had to park in a public lot and use Chargepoint.

    San Diego was more difficult since we were staying with family with only a standard wall plug. I ended up having to plan my day around a super charger stop or a stop at the Tesla Showroom at the mall. I will say that destination charging (hotels, restaurants, etc.) is a great draw for businesses. I picked my restaurant a couple of times based on whether they had a Tesla charger.

    I was nervous (mostly excited) about the first road trip. After over 1,000 miles I can say with confidence that the charging is something that you will pick up very quickly. At home you just need to have good reliable charging and know where your SCs are located. On the drive back from SD I was trying to figure out a scenario where I would use Chargepoint and to be honest, I couldn't come up with one.

    Congrats on your new car!
     
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  12. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    For the first few "representative" trips I recommend resetting one of the TRIP counters and making a note of actual wH/mile, e.g. normal summer day, cold winter day, torrential rain day. Wifee hates maths, so I have a little chart of distance vs. percent SoC and also recharge times at home / supercharger to make it easy to guestimate. Suggest you try Tesla Log and TeslaFi which will log data about your journeys and save you having to make notes as you drive etc.

    The "habits" that I have developed include:

    I drive with SatNav on (even familiar journeys, I MUTE the sound) then on the Energy Graph on TRIP which shows graph of predicted energy use vs. actual. If arrival prediction falls below 10% (about 20-25 miles for my P90D) I slow down, if it goes above 10% and I am, say, less than 30 minutes from home I stop checking and speed up if I want to. If it falls very low, say 5%, I reduce speed to 50 MPH and if I had a considerable distance to go I would aim to splash-and-dash charge. Here in UK on a long journey I am almost bound to hit either road works or traffic on highway, that 15-ish minutes at 50 MPH does wonders for my estimated arrival SoC !! I have been confident enough to [driving slowly ...] arrive home with 1% and less than 5 miles range left, but I prefer not to!

    When recharging at SuperCharger I leave as soon as the Trip Energy Graphs predicts arrival SoC above 10%. No need to waste time charging more (I did at every recharge when I first had the car ... :) ). When I SuperCharge I reset the Charge Limit to 100% in case I am delayed shopping / pee-ing etc. so the car makes use of any extra time - but I am also alert if the site is busy and their might be cars waiting (its only happened once)

    I drive 15 minutes out of my way to get to a supercharger, rather than using some other charger (which will be, at best, only 50% of the speed of Supercharger).

    I charge to 100% if my journey is 160 miles or more (my real-world range is 175 miles in lousy weather, lead-foot, 200 miles if careful, and say 225 miles if I drive at 50). This has meant that on a 175 mile journey I can detour, "hurry up", or encounter torrential rain / wind etc. When I first had the car I thought 90% was enough for a 175 journey - it IS but it is OFTEN tight ...). Also, I always put RANGE MODE on if my journey is more than 160 miles (this may make much more difference on a D than a RWD).

    I charge from 90% to 100% just before I leave (it takes me over an hour to charge that last 10%) in order not to leave the battery sat for long at 100% ... but I've read plenty of threads here which suggest that worrying about that is nothing like as significant as I first thought, but that said: if I did charge to 100% and then my trip was cancelled I would probably drive to the shops and back :)

    If plugged in I take the opportunity to pre-warm / pre-cool the car on Shore Power before I set off (make sure RANGE MODE is off, so that the battery is warmed too)

    Full charge means no regen. For me, by the time I have driven the 10 minutes to the highway, I've used up pretty much enough to get Regen back again. Need to remember there is no regen when I get to the first bend though!

    I use EV Trip Planner to plan all longer distance, unfamiliar, trips. Although A Better Route Planner has matured to the point where it is starting to look better.
     
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