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Public Charger Networks and Accounts Summary

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by iffatall, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. iffatall

    iffatall Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
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    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    I am getting my Model S this weekend, and have spent some time looking around for all the options TMS owners have for charging on the go. Besides charging at home and at superchargers, what accounts/memberships should we maintain for convenience of on the go public charging? I am not sure I have a complete answer to this yet, and I am sure there are others like me. It would be extremely helpful if other experienced owners can put in their experience and opinions about this. Specifically, let's say we want to pool in the answers to the following questions in this thread:


    • What are the prevalent charging station networks that we may want to join in order to have the best coverage? (Blink, etc.)
    • What is the payment system used in these networks - per hour, per charging session, complementary with parking, etc. - with and without membership? Are there free public charging stations (perhaps installed by the govt.)?
    • What kind of adapters we use for each of these networks of charging stations?
    • What are the best websites to look for available charging stations around? What are the pluses and minuses of these websites?
    • What region are you talking about? (Country level or state level or worldwide)

    I think having the complete information at one place would help new and experienced users to make the best choice of what suits their requirements.

    [I tried to look for existing similar threads, but could not find one. If I missed one, please feel free to point out.]
     
  2. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
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    #2 wraithnot, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
    First off, Tesla Superchargers are BY FAR the best option for charging on the go. Most public J1772 chargers are so painfully slow (usually around 17 miles of range an hour) that they are best suited to charging overnight at your destination. Chargepoint and Blink have the best public networks where I travel (California and Las Vegas so far) and getting a chargepoint card and a blink card is a good idea. If I remember correctly, they both charge your credit card by the hour. The plugshare website and smartphone app seems to have the best database of charging apps (especially since they merged with recargo) but there is still some information on racargo that doesn't appear on plugshare yet.

    Many hotels and RV parks have NEMA 14-50 outlets available (e.g. the Oaks hotel in Paso Robles, the Aria in Las Vegas, the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, any RV park with 50 amp hookups) so you should bring your UMC and 14-50 adapter as well as the J1772 adapter on road trips that are beyond supercharger range (and your wall outlet adapter if all else fails, but those are excruciatingly slow). Mechanic's garages ofter have 6-50 outlets and residential garages ofter have electric dryer outlets (10-30 or 14-30 depending on when they were installed) so those adapters are worth the investment if you plan to venture beyond supercharger range ofter.

    I'm planning a trip to Las Cruces NM later this week so I also bought a CamCo 50 amp RV extension cord just in case. The Tesla HPWC at Chiriaco summit will get me between the Hawthorne and Quartzsite superchargers and it will take a stop somewhere along I-10 (probably the 70 Amp J1772 at the Bowlin's travel plaza in Picacho), an overnight charge at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, and a few hours at the Magic Circle RV park in Wilcox to make it to Las Cruces.
     
  3. iffatall

    iffatall Member

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    That was very helpful wraithnot. I suppose you answered almost all the questions I had in mind.

    Since I have not got my car yet though, I am not 100% sure about the names of all the adapters you mentioned. Could you (or anyone else) please indicate which of these adapters are included with the car, and which ones we should purchase separately? From what I gathered, 14-50, J1772, wall plug adapters are included, and 6-50, 10-30, 14-30 are not. Is this correct?
     
  4. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    Unless they've changed things since I bought my car, your car should come with the J-1772 adapter (used in most public EV chargers), the NEMA 14-50 adapter (modern electric oven outlet, 50 amp RV hookup), and the NEMA 5-15 adapter (standard wall outlet). I bought the other adapters here for $45 a piece: Shop Tesla Gear Charging and Adapters

    I bought the 6-50 adapter since I plan to charge at Chiriaco summit and I want to be as prepared as saprolf was if the Tesla HPWC blows a fuse again: EV Charging Location - Chiriaco Summit - Chiriaco Summit, CA

    And since I was already ordering the tire repair kit and the 6-50 adapter, I figured I would get the electric dryer adapters (NEMA 14-30 for modern dryers and 10-30 for older electric dryers like the one in our garage) while I was at it.

    I also got the NEMA 14-50 extension cord (Amazon.com: Camco 55194 50 AMP 15 RV PowerGrip Extension Cord: Automotive) in case a parking spot closest to a 14-50 outlet is blocked. I found it interesting that several reviews were from Model S owners rather than RV owners :)
     
  5. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

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    @wraith Yes those adapters came with my car on delivery.
     

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