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Portable Charging

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by PRSIST, Mar 3, 2017.

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  1. PRSIST

    PRSIST Member

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    I live in the Phoenix metro area and was speaking to a gentleman from Montana about Tesla. He indicated that the closest town to him was 150 miles away and when thinking of driving a Tesla to that town, he was experiencing range anxiety. He said that chargers are sparse, especially at the town he would be driving to. So this brought up something I have been thinking of since I first learned of the Model S.

    Have any of you current Tesla owners ever tried to charge your car using a portable generator like maybe a Honda 240v generator? I've always wondered what the practicality of carrying a portable generator in the trunk or frunk (if it would fit) would be when traveling to areas sparse of chargers, like the gentleman I spoke to from Montana.

    I look forward to hearing about what you experienced about charging with a portable generator.
     
  2. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    Sounds like you want a Chevy Volt ;)
     
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  3. Model 3

    Model 3 Active Member

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  4. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    How about putting a Powerwall-2 on the Model X trailer hitch? I wonder how many extra miles range would that provide?
     
  5. Thomas Edison

    Thomas Edison Member

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    25-30 but someone else can do the exact math
     
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  6. PRSIST

    PRSIST Member

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    From the replies thus far it appears that nobody who currently owns a Tesla has attempted to charge their car with a portable generator. BTW...the last car I would ever own is a Volt. I'm not asking this question to derive a permanent everyday solution to charging my future Model 3, but instead of a possible rare case where I know I am going to be going somewhere where I know there is no charger.
     
  7. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    Island Bay / Kmanauto has done it. Check out his YouTube videos under Kmanauto.
     
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  8. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I think the sort of generator you could haul in the trunk of a sedan wont be able to add much range in any sort of reasonable timeframes. So its not all that practical.

    In reality even if there aren't EV chargers around, there are often RV campgrounds with 30 and 50 AMP service in many remote areas of the country. A better contingency plan would be to carry adapters for the common RV plugs (the car will work with 50 AMP service, but will have to be adapted to any 30 AMP service places you find)

    And if you are driving a BEV to an area remote enough to not have RV campgrounds or household electricity, I would rent an ICE. I often venture into the backcountry at Death Valley. I take my Tacoma on those trips.
     
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  9. int32_t

    int32_t Tesla Spotter

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    Chargers may be sparse but electricity is everywhere. Likely you'd be starting out with a full "tank" anyways, right? What are the chances of getting stranded out of range of a gas station vs stranded out of range of electricity? I don't know the entire situation but I have to be sceptical of range anxiety by default. For good reason, it's been said that only ICE drivers have range anxiety. ;)
     
  10. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    A Honda 2000/1600 watt generator only weighs 46 pounds. You could keep that in the frunk as insurance. You can connect two of them and then you would have 3200 watts of portable/light/reliable charging.

    I don't see this as a great option....but in the right scenario it could function well enough. You could just leave one in the car for range anxiety relief, or two for a practical charging option.
     
  11. mrsandman

    mrsandman Member

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    Sort of like how AAA carries a few gallons of fuel to help stranded customers, they should also carry a power wall or equivalent to charge EV customers.
     
  12. smak

    smak Member

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  13. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Generators are OK if they have a clean, consistent sine wave. Most don't. The small Honda generators are pretty good. But like others have said, they aren't very practical. int32_t summed it up pretty well. People only think about generators if they don't drive a Tesla.

    Two different Tesla Roadsters have driven all the way around the world. A guy from Spain (by himself) and a team of 2 from Switzerland. They didn't use any superchargers. They would sometimes start driving without knowing where the next charging stop would be. If you think Montana is remote, try the Gobi Desert with temperatures approaching 120 deg F. Both Roadsters made the full journey as did about a dozen Model S. None of them had a generator.
     
  14. Vancouver ClearBra

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    I assume a Honda Eu2000 inverter series generator would work as it would work on high end audio electronics with no issues from what I could tell.
     
  15. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Several people have reported the Honda inverter series generators work well including the EU2000.
     
  16. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Yup. But even with a 5-20 adapter on the UMC, you're looking at 4 miles per hour of charging - and the car locks out motion when the cord is connected, so forget about those trailer mounted charge while driving ideas.

    It could work, if you were seriously desperate and didn't have any options at all. There aren't many places in the continental US where I think this approach makes sense these days.
     
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  17. dsvick

    dsvick Active Member

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    Probably about as many you lose towing a powerwall on a trailer hitch. :D
     
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  18. Booga

    Booga Member

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    Make sure you've checked plugshare.com to determine your options. It might not be as bad as you think. Superchargers should expand this year and that will provide a nice boost to the travel distances of these cars as well. Destination chargers will be a plus though I worry about availability a little bit.
     
  19. ccutrer

    ccutrer Active Member

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    3.2kW is not "practical charging," especially if you're on a trip and want to get on with it. A 14-50 at an RV park is 9.6kW. Which gets you 26-30 miles of range per hour (depending on X/S; maybe up to say 35 in a 3). If you're really this desperate, a regular 5-15 is 1.4kW charging. Or use (build) one of those bedeviled adapters to combine two circuits into a 240V circuit, and you're up to 2.8kW. Heckuva lot easier and cheaper than carrying along two generators (which you presumably keep gassed up, cause they're for emergencies, right. So now you're leaking noxious fumes into your car that doesn't even otherwise pollute!)
     
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  20. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Electricity is everywhere. Use plugshare, have adapters, and plan. Simple as that. The last time I had range anxiety was over 4 years ago before I bought my model S.
     
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