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Non daily charging - any issues?

Hey there!

Took delivery of my LR RWD a few days ago and have a quick question. I live in a condo building with a shared Chargepoint charging station. It's not always available when I get home from work, I work off hours (1PM to 10PM). So my plan is now only to charge when I get to 40% or so one or two times a week up to 90%.

Any issues with this type of charging pattern? Also if I charge like this it gets me to where I'm not hogging the charger as it'll be a full night of charging then I can move it in the morning. Otherwise if I did just "top it off" I'd be parked without charging until I can get back to the car the next morning.

My backup charging is an Urban Supercharger at a local mall a few miles away.

Thanks!
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
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Mar 8, 2012
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Small frequent charges are better for the battery than large infrequent ones. Also starting every morning with a full tank is one of the real advantages of an electric car because you never know when there will be an emergency or power outage requiring more than the normal day's driving.
 
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darth_vad3r

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May 6, 2019
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Hey there!

Took delivery of my LR RWD a few days ago and have a quick question. I live in a condo building with a shared Chargepoint charging station. It's not always available when I get home from work, I work off hours (1PM to 10PM). So my plan is now only to charge when I get to 40% or so one or two times a week up to 90%.

Any issues with this type of charging pattern? Also if I charge like this it gets me to where I'm not hogging the charger as it'll be a full night of charging then I can move it in the morning. Otherwise if I did just "top it off" I'd be parked without charging until I can get back to the car the next morning.

My backup charging is an Urban Supercharger at a local mall a few miles away.

Thanks!

How do you plan to charge at 40% if the charger isn’t always available? What if you are at 40% after skipping available charging for a couple days, and then when you are at 40% the charger is then unavailable for a few days in a row? Now you have to go Supercharge?

I would plug in as frequently as you can, so every time it is available. If it’s a short charge, be courteous and move your car as soon as you can so others can charge as well. e.g. If you don’t leave for work til noon, unplug when you wake up, not at noon. Likewise, if it is full at night and others leave for work in the morning, go move your car in the morning to charge before you leave for work.

Strike up a conversation with other station users. If people are aware that others are wanting to plug in at 11pm, they may be able to shift their charging slightly earlier or be more likely to move their car before they call it a night.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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Nov 28, 2018
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OP,

I doubt its a "problem" for the car, it just doesnt match the charging profile that tesla recommends in the manual (which is to plug in every day). Many (many many) people here do not plug in every day. The only thing I have noticed from reading the battery threads here (and there is a new one talking about something about the battery every 24 hours or even faster), is that in general, it appears that people who dont plug in every day start seeing some lower numbers in the RATED range.

Meaning, the screen shows that their 100% charge is now 300 when it used to be 310 for example. The vast majority of those posts (not all but the majority) are from people who either dont plug in every day, or dont charge to 90% but charge to some lower number, or both.

It appears to me that this is just a display number, not real battery degradation, but that number going down even 3-4 miles drives some people up the wall, even though they are certainly not driving to 100% every day.

So, if this is your only option, then that is what you need to do. I would do what is convenient for you, and not worry about it all that much, as long as you are not charging to 100% and driving down to <30% on a regular basis. I would also be prepared for the little number on the screen to start reading a lower max charge number, and understand that this is normal, especially during the first year, whether you charge every day or not.
 

srs5694

Active Member
Jan 15, 2019
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Small frequent charges are better for the battery than large infrequent ones.

This is true, but IMHO it overstates the issue. Real-world battery degradation data suggest that an owner has to seriously abuse the battery on a regular basis before degradation starts to happen. Even then, it's likely to take years (or more to the point, many charges) to manifest itself, so the question of how long the car will be owned (and how many miles driven in that time) becomes important. If the owner plans to keep it for three years and put 30,000 miles on it, then not much damage will be done, and that damage will be minor. If the owner plans to keep it for ten years and put 300,000 miles on it, and charge this way all that time, then the damage would probably be noticeable, but would still likely be limited to a drop of a few percent of the original range (maybe 10% or 20%, vs. maybe half that if the battery was pampered).
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
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So my plan is now only to charge when I get to 40% or so one or two times a week up to 90%.

Otherwise if I did just "top it off" I'd be parked without charging until I can get back to the car the next morning.

Seems fine. I would recommend charging when you arrive home with less than about 50-55% though.

As others have mentioned, regardless of the situation, very soon after your car is done charging, definitely move it unless (perhaps) it is a station which can access 4-8 spots (they exist) and the usage is such that all those spots are never/rarely full - and you leave a note saying your car can be unplugged when charging is complete, with description of how to tell. Easiest to just move when complete...

The only thing I have noticed from reading the battery threads here (and there is a new one talking about something about the battery every 24 hours or even faster), is that in general, it appears that people who dont plug in every day start seeing some lower numbers in the RATED range.

My friend plugs in all the time and is at something like 290 @ 100%, 15 fewer miles than me. I’m not sure about this being the key - we’d need extensive data from people correlating the charge habits and rated range, which is basically impossible to get.

Can’t hurt, of course, to plug in nightly.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,269
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Austin, TX
Seems fine. I would recommend charging when you arrive home with less than about 50-55% though.

As others have mentioned, regardless of the situation, very soon after your car is done charging, definitely move it unless (perhaps) it is a station which can access 4-8 spots (they exist) and the usage is such that all those spots are never/rarely full - and you leave a note saying your car can be unplugged when charging is complete, with description of how to tell. Easiest to just move when complete...



My friend plugs in all the time and is at something like 290 @ 100%, 15 fewer miles than me. I’m not sure about this being the key - we’d need extensive data from people correlating the charge habits and rated range, which is basically impossible to get.

Can’t hurt, of course, to plug in nightly.


So many factors. Lots of pedal to the floor may have an impact too. Hard to get a statistically valid study.
 
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darth_vad3r

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May 6, 2019
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so the question of how long the car will be owned (and how many miles driven in that time) becomes important. If the owner plans to keep it for three years and put 30,000 miles on it, then not much damage will be done, and that damage will be minor. If the owner plans to keep it for ten years and put 300,000 miles on it, and charge this way all that time, then the damage would probably be noticeable, but would still likely be limited to a drop of a few percent of the original range (maybe 10% or 20%, vs. maybe half that if the battery was pampered).

I say, if you can make the battery last longer for the next owner and the next owner and the next owner with simple changes in charging habits that don't inconvenience you at all ... then why not do what you can to make the battery last a million miles instead of 500,000 ... even if you only plan to keep it for 50,000 miles.

Besides, you might change your mind and decide to keep it way longer than originally planned for some reason.
 

darth_vad3r

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May 6, 2019
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It works fine for me, for the last 18 months

Lots of people smoke for 18 months without cancer too. The truth is we might think it's bad or great, but we don't know.

We know smoking is bad and can avoid it. We have some evidence that certain Li-ion charging practices are better than others... if it's easy to follow best practices, I say go for it. Do whatever you can to make that battery last a million miles with less than 10% degradation.
 
Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I'll make an attempt to charge as often as I can, but not sweat the details. It seems that more and more residents of my condo building are getting EVs (there are now at least three Model 3's here now, plus an i3). I'll be speaking up about them installing more chargers, as there's currently a need!

Thanks again!
 

user212_nr

Active Member
Aug 26, 2019
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US
Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I'll make an attempt to charge as often as I can, but not sweat the details. It seems that more and more residents of my condo building are getting EVs (there are now at least three Model 3's here now, plus an i3). I'll be speaking up about them installing more chargers, as there's currently a need!

Thanks again!

I was told by a building that I was looking at that they had 2 charge point stations and that they had no plans to add more. "we'll give you an outlet instead", ie. free electricity.

Lets say that you use $30 /month on charging = $360 a year, and the charging station costs $6,000 or $90 /month (actual numbers from Google for ChargePoint, maybe outdated, from 2013). That means, with upfront investment, it will take them 17 years to break even with giving you free electricity. Something to think about.

You paying them $50 /month for the outlet, plus covering the install cost (with or without HPWC) is the easy way to go.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,269
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I was told by a building that I was looking at that they had 2 charge point stations and that they had no plans to add more. "we'll give you an outlet instead", ie. free electricity.

Lets say that you use $30 /month on charging = $360 a year, and the charging station costs $6,000 or $90 /month (actual numbers from Google for ChargePoint, maybe outdated, from 2013). That means, with upfront investment, it will take them 17 years to break even with giving you free electricity. Something to think about.

You paying them $50 /month for the outlet, plus covering the install cost (with or without HPWC) is the easy way to go.

Chargepoint has initial fees plus monthly fees... I generally agree. HPWC at $500 is a pretty good deal!

I do feel like places like apartments would be better off charging for parking at the special spots and not bothering metering the electricity. Say $20-30/month.

Even airports. Austin has reserved (non-charging) spots that people can reserve ahead of time. They are numbered. To reserve you go online, pay, and print out a code to put on the dash. Could easily do same for EV charging.
 

DirtyT3sla

Member
Apr 17, 2019
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Holly
My biggest concern is that it's not like a gas tank where you have 70%, park, and 2 days later you still have 70%...there will always be some amount of idle drain, even with all options off. And sometimes, for no reason, the car won't sleep and can drain much faster. Then you're left hoping you have a charger available last minute.

I'm sure 99% of the time this situation will be fine, but those 1 or 2 times where it's REALLY inconvenient to not have a full charge in the morning...it'd make me question the entire EV purchase.
 
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darth_vad3r

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May 6, 2019
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My biggest concern is that it's not like a gas tank where you have 70%, park, and 2 days later you still have 70%...there will always be some amount of idle drain, even with all options off. And sometimes, for no reason, the car won't sleep and can drain much faster. Then you're left hoping you have a charger available last minute.

I'm sure 99% of the time this situation will be fine, but those 1 or 2 times where it's REALLY inconvenient to not have a full charge in the morning...it'd make me question the entire EV purchase.

Fair point for OP to consider. If there's a supercharger backup, if it happens horribly like 70% -> 20% at least it's not TOO inconvenient to go spend 10-20 minutes to juice up.

Lots of stuff shuts off at 20% ... does the vampire drain slow down even if you already have all those things off I wonder?
 
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Fair point for OP to consider. If there's a supercharger backup, if it happens horribly like 70% -> 20% at least it's not TOO inconvenient to go spend 10-20 minutes to juice up.

Lots of stuff shuts off at 20% ... does the vampire drain slow down even if you already have all those things off I wonder?

I do have Supercharger access close by plus a number of Chargepoint stations (including at least one that's free) so I'll never be far from some juice.

The building I've found has already begun discussions to add additional charging, although this is in the early stages. I'll find out more at the next board meeting.

I'm comfortable with my charging options at this point and don't think I'll have any major issues.

Again, thanks for the additional info!
 

Bob M

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Feb 12, 2019
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So many factors. Lots of pedal to the floor may have an impact too. Hard to get a statistically valid study.
How difficult would it be for Tesla to just tell us what would be best for battery life under a number of different scenarios. I probably average about 30 miles a day and have 32amp charging capability in my garage. My only limitation is the time of day I charge. I charge daily, sometimes twice a day at the cheapest rates for me. I charge to 80%. I have heard all variations of recommendations to extend battery life, including occasionally running the battery down to 25% then right away charging to 100% at a Tesla charger. Can anyone give me an authoritative answer?
 

darth_vad3r

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May 6, 2019
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How difficult would it be for Tesla to just tell us what would be best for battery life under a number of different scenarios. I probably average about 30 miles a day and have 32amp charging capability in my garage. My only limitation is the time of day I charge. I charge daily, sometimes twice a day at the cheapest rates for me. I charge to 80%. I have heard all variations of recommendations to extend battery life, including occasionally running the battery down to 25% then right away charging to 100% at a Tesla charger. Can anyone give me an authoritative answer?

The authorities on this would be Tesla, Elon Musk, or Professor Dahn. What they've said has been posted around many times.

Tesla has a daily trip slider that goes from 50-90. If you charge to 91 or higher multiple times in a row it warns you in the car this isn't the best thing to do for your battery. Picking anything in that range should be "fine" for your battery. What is "best" is somewhere like exactly in the middle of that range (70%) which is what Professor Dahn has said. Elon said 80%, he said Dahn was right, but he says 10% extra for convenience is worth it because little noticeable benefit going down to 70%. If that extra 10% isn't giving me any extra convenience though, then why bother going to 80 if 70 is best? I'll go to 70 every time, and go higher if it makes something more convenient for me.

I haven't heard anyone say charging to 100% is good for "battery life". The only time I hear that 100% tossed about is when people are paranoid over their battery range display calibration and want to know their "true" range. Even then Tesla's recent advice for that seems to be to charge to (and leave at) 90% after using it a bit more than usual if you are a very shallow user (say 80-70-80-70 normally, try 90-40-90 for example). Repeat for weeks. See if calibration adjusts. Only do this if you are bothered by miscalibration.
 
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brkaus

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Jul 8, 2014
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How difficult would it be for Tesla to just tell us what would be best for battery life under a number of different scenarios. I probably average about 30 miles a day and have 32amp charging capability in my garage. My only limitation is the time of day I charge. I charge daily, sometimes twice a day at the cheapest rates for me. I charge to 80%. I have heard all variations of recommendations to extend battery life, including occasionally running the battery down to 25% then right away charging to 100% at a Tesla charger. Can anyone give me an authoritative answer?

I do not believe it matters to any statistical significance. Just avoid the extremes.

Tesla does not want to make this complicated. They say charge to 90%. Stay plugged in.

done.
 
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