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Reduced Model 3 SR+ Max Charging Rate

MichaelMedford

New Member
Sep 18, 2019
4
8
Albany, CA
I purchased my Model 3 SR+ last June and it is updated to version 2020.24.6.9. There are two v3 supercharger stations within 20 minutes of me, both of which I have charged at several times. At both of these locations I have been unable to get above 75kW, even when my car is the only one charging and it's early in the morning. Both of these locations (Emeryville, CA - Powell Street Plaza Supercharger & Richmond, CA - Pierce Street Supercharger) are listed as "up to 250kW" on the Tesla website. It is my understanding that SR+ cars updated as of last December are supposed to peak around 150kW at v3 superchargers. Websites such as the EV database confirm that this should be expected performance.

I called Tesla support and they gave me a long list of suggestions of how to improve the supercharging on the car (go when others aren't there, precondition the battery through the map, etc.) all of which I have already done. They also told me all the ways in which the proprietors of the superchargers can throttle the power to the superchargers. Ultimately they ended up telling me that because the superchargers are rated at "up to 250kW", I shouldn't expect the charge to go up to that value. When I told them that I'm getting well below my SR+ expected value, I was told that they could run a diagnostic remotely right now, and that the car looks "perfect". I was then told I could bring the car into a service center to get another diagnostic if I wanted to, and that it would probably be covered by the warranty, but that couldn't be guaranteed.

Have other people had similar experiences? I love this car, but the battery has already degraded about 12% after one year and ~15,000 miles, which I know is already much more than the average. It's a bit concerning also to have Tesla assure me that the battery is "perfect" and to suggest that my performance can only be explained by other factors. Are there any suggestions on how to monitor my battery's health or get Tesla to seriously address my concerns?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,358
13,192
Riverside Co. CA
Agree with @Rocky_H ... and OP before you say "but I am in california, its not that cold!".. so am I. My drive to work is 40 miles one way, and even though I park in a fully drywalled garage with insulated garage doors, that never gets below 50 ish degrees at night no matter the season here the car still is "cold" in the morning.

I know this because I have regen dots every morning when I need to drive to work, no matter if I charge to 90% or forget to charge and have a lesser charge. In fact, the regen dots dont fully go away until I am almost at work (my 40 mile commute) and a large portion of that commute is on a freeway that averages 80 MPH when there is no traffic, like there is right now.

Translation, the car is cold in the morning and a 20 minute drive is likely not long enough to warm the battery fully, even in places like california.

On the "how can I monitor my cars health better / get tesla to take me more seriously, I am not touching that except to say that, if you charge at a supercharger all the time, its likely that you never sit plugged in anywhere, so your cars BMS likely has developed some drift... so you likely dont have the "loss" you think you do / the rated range shows.

There is nothing you can do to "get tesla to seriously address your concerns" because your battery has not met any kind of threshhold that requires them to do anything.
 

MichaelMedford

New Member
Sep 18, 2019
4
8
Albany, CA
Thank you for the suggestions! Very helpful. I will say that even when I go to these superchargers in the afternoon I still never break above a charge rate of 75 kW. Is there another possible explanation besides cold weather or cold battery?
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,188
Vernon, BC, Canada
I wanted to first point out that the link you had saying your degradation is more than expected is for a Model X. You have a Model 3. The batteries, battery management, and representation of the battery are very different between these vehicles.

By the way, how'd you calculate the 12% degradation? It is a bit more than I'd expect, but only a bit (and definitely well within the warranty terms). Unfortunately there are "right" and "wrong" ways to calculate this.

I arrived at the Richmond charger around 10am this morning with 15% charge, still wouldn't budge above 75 kW.

I need to make a few assumptions. I am assuming, for this charge, that:
  • The battery was "warm enough" at the start of your drive, i.e. the overnight low was around 68F.
  • You entered the Supercharger in the navigation, and it displayed something like "Preconditioning battery for fast charging"
  • You took about 20 minutes to drive there, giving it time to heat the battery
If any of the above were not true, you cannot expect the max rate. Though it does not need to get very hot at only 15% to attain the max charge (perhaps 90F, rough recollection), it needs time to generate that heat. With an SR+ specifically, I'm not sure how "good" it is at doing this either. The AWD can fully use the front motor in waste mode to heat the battery while using the rear for driving; the SR+ only has the rear motor. If you want to truly verify this, go when you charge is low (<20%, around 10% would be best) and it's hot (e.g. after a long drive, after a longer trip where you've Supercharged once already, or when you've done some driving and the car has sat outside for a while on a very hot day).

But at the end of the day, it sounds like you use Supercharging a lot. Is this right? It's entirely possible you might be rate limited due to excessive Supercharging. Lots of people do this, some people seem to get limited sooner than others. My personal opinion here is that Tesla limits charging based on measured battery characteristics like internal resistance and perhaps imbalance (both of which could be made worse by frequent Supercharging), not simply a "this car has been Supercharged x times, therefore limit it".
 

Aphinity

Hydro power is best!
Jun 9, 2020
107
67
North Vancouver, BC Canada
I've also been at an L3 supercharger with another Model 3 across from me, getting 143kW, and me getting 72kW. The difference, they said, was that they were at 30% and I was at 45%.

I've never seen more than 75kW out of any supercharger, including L3. My car is now a month old, so I don't think it's degradation.
 

Celledral

Member
Sep 11, 2018
128
139
Los Angeles
I've also been at an L3 supercharger with another Model 3 across from me, getting 143kW, and me getting 72kW. The difference, they said, was that they were at 30% and I was at 45%.

I've never seen more than 75kW out of any supercharger, including L3. My car is now a month old, so I don't think it's degradation.

Yeah, that's definitely an issue. While the others here have plausible explanations, to consistency get 75kW each and every time, is an issue.
 

Tectonic

Member
Jan 27, 2020
294
574
Colorado
In my experience, your battery needs to be pretty hot to get optimal charge rates. You might try again after driving 80 mph for an hour when it's 90 degrees out. When the loud battery cooling system comes on while you're charging, you'll know it's hot... :)
 
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MrMassTransit

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Mar 7, 2019
299
515
Washington, DC
12% degradation sounds extremely high. How are you determining that figure? That would would mean if you charge to 100% and drive at 220 Wh/mi on average to 0, you are only getting 211 miles. I have an early 2019 SR+ (purchased the first week they were available) although I only have 5,000 miles on it. I only have about 1% degradation and on a recent trip stopped at my first v3 Supercharger. I pulled in with 5% battery left and was able to get 176 kW, after having driven for 2.5 hours, so my battery was nice and warm. Given the right conditions, your SR+ should be able to hit high Supercharging speeds. Have you tried pulling into a supercharger with under 20% after 2+ hours of driving? If not, the battery very well may not be warm enough to hit those charging rates.
 

mrgoogle

Member
Dec 29, 2019
100
67
Eindhoven
12% degradation sounds extremely high. How are you determining that figure? That would would mean if you charge to 100% and drive at 220 Wh/mi on average to 0, you are only getting 211 miles. I have an early 2019 SR+ (purchased the first week they were available) although I only have 5,000 miles on it. I only have about 1% degradation and on a recent trip stopped at my first v3 Supercharger. I pulled in with 5% battery left and was able to get 176 kW, after having driven for 2.5 hours, so my battery was nice and warm. Given the right conditions, your SR+ should be able to hit high Supercharging speeds. Have you tried pulling into a supercharger with under 20% after 2+ hours of driving? If not, the battery very well may not be warm enough to hit those charging rates.
Even with -13.8% on your SR+ you should get above 75kW.

I have reached max charge speeds on regular v2’s last three weeks on long vacation trips. (And I have the worst m3 sr+ confirmed worldwide: 208/240mi rated left)
 

Zoomit

Active Member
Sep 1, 2015
2,262
4,394
SoCal
If you are scheduled to arrive at the supercharger with less than 18%, the car doesn't precondition the battery.
I don’t doubt this, but do you know this based on your own experience using SMT or is this documented somewhere else?
 
Last edited:

mrgoogle

Member
Dec 29, 2019
100
67
Eindhoven
I don’t doubt this, but do you know this based on your own experience using SMT or is this documented somewhere else?

it does allow the battery to get “heated” passively up to 45c though at least at some points. That is about 10c higher passive target then normal.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,188
Vernon, BC, Canada
If you are scheduled to arrive at the supercharger with less than 18%, the car doesn't precondition the battery.

Sort of almost correct. The target temp is a moving target, lower at lower SoC. If your battery was at, say, room temp, it will still heat it. Not relevant to most people this time of year in the northern hemisphere, but that changes. If I was nearby a Supercharger at low SoC today, it would absolutely precondition on the way there (battery is probably sitting at 18C/65F in the garage). The 45 minutes it takes me to actually drive to one though, it would maybe be hot enough.

In spring/fall/winter, as long as not somewhere like Florida, preconditioning is likely performed for most even at low SoC.
 

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