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Older Teslas limited to 90kW Supercharging

Tommy

Member
Mar 3, 2010
882
3
The great OC
My stats:
Model S 85 Standard
Manufactured: 11/12
Delivered: 12/05/12
Original Battery replaced late December '12/early January '13 (no paperwork best recollection)
Replacement Battery: "B"
P/N# T12L0002812

Have not Supercharged yet
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,631
22,277
Texas
Have we heard anything atall back from Tesla in regards to this topic are they still dead silent???

This topic started Dec 5. It's now Jan 4 and there were effectively two weeks of holidays during that period--meaning that during that period one or more of the decision makers and critical support staff were not available. I don't think Tesla has had enough time to think through the problem and decide on a course of action. Tesla generally does the right thing, but it's never an "instant fix".
 

apacheguy

S Sig #255
Oct 21, 2012
5,081
1,241
So Cal
I dunno. When I think about how often I'll use superchargers (when I have my X), vs. how much time I spend on this forum (not just this thread) ... the 15 minutes doesn't look so bad.

Just think of it as 15 minutes to surf the forum that you'd be spending on TMC anyway. :)

'always a silver lining'

Normally I'd agree, but I don't treat my time equally. 15 extra minutes per stop while I'm road tripping is much more valuable compared to the 15 minutes (or more) that I spend browsing the forum in my free time.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,748
9,972
United States
My stats:
Model S 85 Standard
Manufactured: 11/12
Delivered: 12/05/12
Original Battery replaced late December '12/early January '13 (no paperwork best recollection)
Replacement Battery: "B"
P/N# T12L0002812

Have not Supercharged yet

You REPLACED your battery? why?
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,526
2,994
Tesla also never said 60's wouldn't get the full 90kW before that I've ever seen, nor that we wouldn't get the full 120kW now, but I don't see anybody complaining about it.
Then you're not looking hard enough. People were complaining about the 60s at superchargers before 120 kW charging even arrived.
 

markb1

Active Member
Feb 17, 2012
3,038
652
San Diego, CA
Then you're not looking hard enough. People were complaining about the 60s at superchargers before 120 kW charging even arrived.

Really? I've always been under the impression that my car would charge at a rate proportions to 85kW packs. And I'm thrilled to be able to charge at 105kW, which exceeds what I expected when 120kW was announced. I don't remember seeing much in the way of complaining regarding supercharger rates for 60s.

I probably would be at least somewhat upset my car didn't get any boost when 85s got 120kW, though.
 

dirkhh

Middle-aged Member
Jul 7, 2013
3,638
126
Portland, OR, USA
Really? I've always been under the impression that my car would charge at a rate proportions to 85kW packs. And I'm thrilled to be able to charge at 105kW, which exceeds what I expected when 120kW was announced. I don't remember seeing much in the way of complaining regarding supercharger rates for 60s.

I probably would be at least somewhat upset my car didn't get any boost when 85s got 120kW, though.

I was one of the ones complaining that Tesla made rather generalized, unqualified and exaggerated statements about charging speed on they website. I've sent them a couple of emails but never really got a response. The difference comes from the pack voltage, not capacity. So we get 7/8 (350V/400V).

But after being annoyed about the lack of communication I moved on and now simply enjoy the still insanely fast charging when I'm on road trips.

Edited to add: looking back it's ironic and somewhat embarrassing. Turns out that my car charges faster now than those of some of the early adopters I argued with when I first realized that supercharging performance wasn't as advertised...
 
Last edited:

Eggplant

Member
Jun 5, 2013
234
1
Hillsborough, NC
I thought I'd post my battery sticker, since it's a little interesting.

May car is July 2013. I had my battery replaced in November 2013.

I don't have my old battery sticker, but this one is obviously a refirb. It has a new style small sticker, but you can see there was an old style sticker removed and replaced. Battery date appears to be May 2013, which is older than my car. I get great performance out of this battery. 120kw charging, and no real degradation in range.

IMG_2856.JPG
IMG_2865.JPG
 

gimp_dad

Member
Mar 6, 2013
82
3
Silicon Valley, CA, US
It's not really a negative in this sense, is it? That would imply it actually got worse. It's simply stayed the same. Yeah it sucks to not quite get the same speed as newer cars (or in the rarer case, some cars that are older than yours), but it's really not as big a deal as many are making it I think.

I respectfully disagree, Gear. It is a negative in the sense that we thought we had the faster charging (including taper) and found out we don't. That was a negative surprise. I have not said I deserve the faster charging or made ridiculous demands that it should be given to me free.

As a matter of fact charging on the road is generally a negative about my MS, not a positive. Supercharging just helps mitigate that negative. I am allowed to love, hate and not care about various aspects of my car. Recognizing relevant things that are "negative" helps them to improve. Slower is less good in a situation where charge rate while traveling is already the preeminent issue with the car.

I have also gone on record many times saying I would never trade the 17 months I have had with my MS so far. I would not go back and change a thing given the choice to get it later but with faster charging (or less rattles, or even properly torqued suspension parts :)).

And I completely agree with you that this negative is far outweighed by all of the positives. I never expected to have a viable road trip solution with my MS. I still don't think I do have a very good road trip solution, but I am less patient than some others. That said, if I had to make a road trip in my MS I would not feel upset. Just given a choice (and I do have a choice) I will take the vast advantage in convenience of an ICE.

I expected to drive my MS somewhere between 30-80% of the time when I got it, depending on how everything worked out (remember this was pretty early on). As it stands, I drive it as much as I can, conveniently. That turns out to be at least 95% of the time. And in my normal driving within my local area, the convenience factor goes the other way since charging in my garage when I don't need the car is far superior to going to a gas station.

I still love the car. I still love the company. I don't even find their communication style on this specific topic to be much worse than other car companies but that doesn't mean I like how they communicated it.
 

Tommy

Member
Mar 3, 2010
882
3
The great OC
You REPLACED your battery? why?

Replaced by Tesla under warranty due to a firmware fault in the battery causing the car not to operate. The story: Drove fine during the day, plugged the car in at night and awoke to find the "red circle of death" lit on the charging port and an inoperable car. Car flat-bedded to SC and battery replaced after Tesla diagnosis of the cause.
 

dennis

P85D
Jul 26, 2012
1,942
4,865
Silicon Valley CA
I sent the following email to Jerome late last night. I'm hoping it gets a response.

Jerome,

I wanted to alert you to a group of Tesla customers who are currently very dissatisfied with Tesla’s communications. The issue, which I am sure you are aware of, is the inability of approximately 2500 early Model S VINs to utilize 120kw Supercharging. The crux of the issue is as follows:

1) When 120kw Supercharging was announced, there was no statement from Tesla that a subset of the Model S customers would only be able to charge at 90kw. It was described as a Supercharger hardware and Model S firmware upgrade, and all customers assumed they would get 120kw Supercharging since Tesla did not state anything to the contrary.

2) There has been no official communication from Tesla that there are in fact 2 (or possibly 3) versions of the 85kwh battery, and that owners who possess one version of the battery will be limited to 90kw Supercharging while others will enjoy 120kw Supercharging. Furthermore, Tesla has not told owners how to determine which version of the battery powers their Model S.

In the absence of an official statement from Tesla, owners who have discovered they are limited to 90kw Supercharging have tried various avenues to get an answer from Tesla as to why this is and how it will or will not be remedied. A couple who have contacted you have publicly posted your reply to them. As a measure of the energy around this issue, in the 25 days since the thread was first started on TMC, there have been over 700 posts. Many owners are now posting photos of the battery labels from the wheel well in an attempt to discern what the algorithm if for determining if they have a 90kw or 120kw capable battery.

I am writing to you to suggest that as soon as the quarter is over that Tesla work to quiet this unrest, because it is not going to go away. Previous concerns about the lack of P+ suspension or parking sensors being available for early VINs were addressed by Tesla by either stating that no upgrade would be available (parking sensors) or attaching a price to the upgrade (P+ suspension). I believe Tesla needs to make an official communication to the owners of the affected cars that indeed they cannot Supercharge at 120kw as previously advertised and offer whatever remedy Tesla deems to be appropriate (none, discounted battery upgrade, etc.). In the absence of an official communication owners will continue to speculate/vent/criticize and that is not good for Tesla and its desire to have satisfied customers.

Respectfully,
Dennis xxxxxx
Signature #00463

After resending my email to Jerome yesterday, I received the following the following reply at 3 AM this morning (I hope he is on vacation in another time zone):

Dear Dennis:

Thank you for your messages.

I responded to all customers who have contacted me regarding this topic and I would hope that an email from me would be considered as an official communication from Tesla.

As I stated in my messages to the customers who contacted me, for a customer charging from 20% to 90% (more than enough to go to the next supercharger station), the difference in charging time between an early car and a current car is less than 4 minutes! Of course, charging times vary, based on the supercharger load, temperature, etc.

I would like to stress that we did not take anything away from the early customers. As I wrote earlier, the more powerful superchargers were developed after the early cars had been developed. We decided to err on the side of caution and maintain the supercharging rate in the early Model S at their initial 90 kW.

Tesla has continued and will continue to develop improvements for the Model S. We are committed to innovation and to developing and building the best possible cars: while we try to share the benefits of these improvements with all Model S owners (for example, with free firmware updates), the simple truth is that not all improvements can be retrofitted to all prior cars. In particular, as you can imagine, battery technology continues to evolve and it is fair to assume that improvements are implemented every week in battery technology. All our customers and investors expect us to improve and that’s what we do.

Many thanks again and … happy new year! Best regards,
Jerome Guillen


I read that as a definitive "Tesla is not going to anything for owners of the earlier battery packs." Oh, well.

The one lingering question for me is does the data on comparative charging rates collected by owners here support Jerome's statement that "for a customer charging from 20% to 90% ... the difference in charging time between an early car and a current car is less than 4 minutes"? If so, it is hard to argue with their position.
 

yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,929
531
Skaneateles, NY
The one lingering question for me is does the data on comparative charging rates collected by owners here support Jerome's statement that "for a customer charging from 20% to 90% ... the difference in charging time between an early car and a current car is less than 4 minutes"? If so, it is hard to argue with their position.

If you've been keeping up with the other '120KW supercharging' thread, they have confirmed through testing and data points that Jerome's statement is accurate and that the time difference here is just about 4-5 minutes. See this post: Finally 120KW Supercharging! - Page 23
 

apacheguy

S Sig #255
Oct 21, 2012
5,081
1,241
So Cal
Seriously? That's the official response from Tesla? Wow.

In particular, as you can imagine, battery technology continues to evolve and it is fair to assume that improvements are implemented every week in battery technology.

No, Jerome. Your CEO is on record stating that battery tech isn't likely to improve for years until Gen 3 is out.
 

wormhole

Banned
Mar 31, 2013
424
4
Westchester, New York
I thought I'd post my battery sticker, since it's a little interesting.

May car is July 2013. I had my battery replaced in November 2013.

I don't have my old battery sticker, but this one is obviously a refirb. It has a new style small sticker, but you can see there was an old style sticker removed and replaced. Battery date appears to be May 2013, which is older than my car. I get great performance out of this battery. 120kw charging, and no real degradation in range.

Where do you see that the battery is from May 2013?
 

JohnQ

Active Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,612
75
Redding, CT
...
No, Jerome. Your CEO is on record stating that battery tech isn't likely to improve for years until Gen 3 is out.

Sure it does. The battery chemistry may not improve radically but there are certainly improvements to the thermal management system and other "in total" aspects of the Tesla battery pack.
 

JRP3

Hyperactive Member
Aug 20, 2007
19,788
44,421
Central New York
Would have been informative to have a specific response about some newer cars having older limited packs compared to some other older cars with newer packs. Saying advances are made and can't be retrofitted is one point, saying it's a crap shoot as to what pack you'll get is another.
 

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