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Small Generator as backup

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by Tom_Vic, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Tom_Vic

    Tom_Vic New Member

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    Melbourne, Vic
    Hi,

    Been reading this site for days on end and wish the thank the members for the their content.

    Before I pull the plug on a purchase, I have one issue, my wife ;(

    Is there a small Gen that fits in the Trunk, enough to get you out of a bad point.

    Yes I understand calculations etc, but if you end up just short, can you do it?

    Negate fuel required, could be from a passer buy.

    Personally, I think selling this car to my wife is harder than the Telsa sales guy tried to sell it to me.
     
  2. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

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    Hi Tom & welcome!

    I think it might be a good idea to respectfully explain to the wife that there are more power outlets than petrol stations. If you’re really going to travel that far away from Superchargers, then I think the much better investment would be 3-phase adapters so you can charge quickly in just about any smallish town in Australia. If there aren’t any 3-phase options where you’re going then there’s always 10A with the UMC @ ~ 10 km/h charge rate. Very slow but you can charge up absolutely anywhere without the need for a smelly, noisy generator. Hopefully that’s convincing :)
     
  3. jeebb_

    jeebb_ Member

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    Gold Coast, QLD Australia
    Is this from being worried it will run out of charge? 2 good points,
    - there are far more power points than petrol stations in the country
    - you get road side assistance

    Depending on what model it was, you have to watch the range gauge go from about 420km-520km all the way to below zero (it keeps going for a while, there are videos)

    If someone isn't aware of the status of a car and numbers on the dash they shouldn't drive any vehicle, not just electric.
    Plug it in at home each night for normal use and you leave the house every single day with a full "tank", doesn't happen often with petrol. From your location in Melbourne you can drive to Sydney with the supercharger network, or hours is any direction non stop without needing a top up. There really shouldn't be an issue, hope that helps make your case!
     
  4. moemoke

    moemoke Member

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    Moe, Victoria, Australia
    I don't think carrying a generator around would be a good idea, you car would end up smelling like an ICE which wouldn't be nice.

    A bit OT but would one of these phase changers be an option for those without 3ph but looking for a quick charge!

    Home Page | Phase Change Converters
     
  5. EcoCloudIT

    EcoCloudIT Member

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    I think Tom has gotta be taking a lend of us :wink:

    Anyone that's talked to a Tesla sales person will have any of those fears addressed.

    -ECIT
     
  6. Tom_Vic

    Tom_Vic New Member

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    You think wrong,

    Please don't judge on your own experiences

    - - - Updated - - -

    A bit OT but would one of these phase changers be an option for those without 3ph but looking for a quick charge!

    That's the question I'm asking
     
  7. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    also be aware that the best you'll likely get out of a small generator is 15A, which is still quite a slow charge (and only 50% faster that the standard 10A plug you can find almost anywhere). If your wife is happy with a 15A (~15km/h) charge, you should be able to convince her that a much lighter and easy to use adaptor is the better option.

    However, it does seem like all of us are trying to steer you in a particular direction. To answer your question - sure. Anything's possible. I imagine if you'll be asking someone else for petrol you won't be in the complete wilderness, and you should be able to just find a power point. If you're worried about not keeping an eye on the power gauge and just running out with no warning.. well that's a behavioural issue you'll have to solve some other way ;)

    The generator idea does allow for some interesting tangents. Will the car allow itself to be driven while charging? You could have the generator charging the battery as you drove... essentially making the car an ICE conversion :p
     
  8. Tom_Vic

    Tom_Vic New Member

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    yeah that post was mine
     
  9. ColinA

    ColinA Member

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    A Model S plug in hybrid... Now there's a scary thought!

    Tom, the fear you are expressing is probably the single greatest fear of people prior to owning the car, and probably the last fear of people who do. Having gone through all those fears myself initially I totally get where you are coming from, but the other comments about ready availability of power are spot on.

    One of our forum members recently did an extensive tour through the remote parts of Tasmania where there are no superchargers at all. He had no dramas, and even in the more remote areas plenty of places he could get a charge.
     
  10. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    nope. converting a single phase to 3 phase won't magically make the car charge faster, in fact it'll probably be slower as the conversion process incurs some losses (thanks Lex)
    You can get 3 phase generators, but I don't know if you could find one to fit in your boot.

    huh?
     
  11. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Maybe also explain to your wife that it's not really that big an event for the car to run out of charge.

    I think that's the most obvious obstacle is in people's mind - "What do you do if you run out of charge??". I've seen this a few times talking to friends. They have a "solution" in their mind for running out of gas - you use a gas can and fill the car back up. Problem solved. And in their mind it doesn't translate into EV's. How do you bring a charger closer to the car? How do you run an extension cord long enough? Can you charge from another Model S? How about a generator?


    No, you simply do what you do with any other vehicle that gets stuck on the road - you call a tow truck and get towed.

    You can probably get towed 5 times for the cost of a generator, AND it would be much quicker than waiting for a generator to give you enough charge to drive 10 miles.
     
  12. AndrewNSW

    AndrewNSW Member

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    Hi Tom, I'm guessing your wife's concerns are maybe her thinking about a specific circumstance / remote location? For general everyday use considering the number of kms a charge can do it's really not a concern as long as it's plugged in at night and topped up - not usually to 100% as not ideal for the battery. I normally charge mine to 80 or 85% which gives me around 400kms. I drive to Sydney every day, around Sydney to different locations then home and plug it back in which then starts charging at my off peak power time. I've done this for 3 months and always had min 100kms remaining at the end of the day, sometimes driving for 4 hrs.

    When I first got it I kept watching the kms left and was certainly a bit nervous about how it would go. Now that worry isn't even on my list - one thing I found is it uses almost an identical amount of charge to do the same trip - to the point that I'm almost able to guess how much I'll have by the time I get home. Plus it's estimation as to how much you will use to get to a location s very accurate, so it would be very difficult to run out. I suppose it's a bit like looking at your fuel gauge before you leave to go somewhere rather than just driving then realising you are running out and trying to find the closet petrol station - just a slightly different mentality.

    So it works well as long as remembering to plug it in at night so you've always got ample the next day. It actually saves you time as no more wasting time at petrol stations filling up. My wife was initially sceptical about range / charging / etc but now loves it and is wanting to plan some trips up to Qld. Sure it takes more planning but we've found that's not necessarily a bad thing and if you know where you can plug in and charge you'll find there are many options - which seem to be increasing daily!

    I reckon once you've got it your wife will love it!

    - sorry I haven't mentioned the generator idea which maybe you could agree may be an option but I'm sure once you've got the car this will be furthest in your mind as I'm sure you won't need it.
     
  13. danielp

    danielp Member

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    Hi Tom, curious if your wife has been for a test drive? Also, if you can tell us where you live and travel to we can comment on the infrastructure present.

    Anyway, many of us had a similar concern, and for me, we kept our ice. Since I got this car however I actually drive 5x more. It's replaced over 100 flights now - places I would never think about driving to, but I do, because this car is inspiring and really practical. I want to explore and take road trips.

    For now road trips require a little bit of planning - there are plenty of tools around to help with this.

    Good luck. Maybe keep an ice for a while, just in case. It will do what mine does, and ironically, it's battery will go flat from no use.
     
  14. alpal

    alpal Member

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    Hi Tom - for goodness sake don't pull the plug. A lifetime worth of regret.

    My wife was iffy too about my purchase. Fortunately, Brendan, the then sales guy at Tesla Melbourne was right onto it. He came around and she had a test drive. I signed up five minutes later.

    She loves it almost as much as I do (naaah - not possible).
     
  15. paulp

    paulp Member

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    Personally if I had to go down to bunnings and buy the cheapest generator and shove in the boot so that the wife is comfortable with tesla ownership than I would do so with the knowledge that the generator will never be used, but at least I get a tesla.
    it's strange, before ownership I was really concerned about range. Having now owned since july and the 2nd one since oct, stuffed if I can work out why I was so concerned. Havnt even come close to pulling my emergency connector out of the frunk yet.
    Once your wife is past range anxiety, you can sell the gernerator for a small loss, but a small price to pay for a much richer driving experience.
     
  16. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    There are a number of threads in other parts of TMC. My take on these is that any generator light and small enough that a person can lift it into the Frunk will charge the car very slowly and finding any 10 Amp plug would by faster.
    In addition the Tesla will sometimes refuse to charge off the generator due to the wave form of the power it generates.
    Still you could just buy a generator and stick it in the Frunk then after a year or so stick it on eBay when she realises it's not necessary.
     
  17. Blue heaven

    Blue heaven Member

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    Hi Tom, there are more than 120 million outlets in Australia to charge a Tesla, 10amp, 15amp, 3 phase, and so on, range anxiety is a non-event unless your planning a trip across the Canning stock route, just buy the car, your gonna love it!
     
  18. jgs

    jgs Member

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    The answer to that question is no, of course. It's why you can't drive away with your car still plugged into the wall.
     
  19. eclectricdave

    eclectricdave Member

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    i used one on Saturday. I have a remote property in Vic with no power. It is a Honda cyclo gen which means it generates a 3 ph output at high frequency and has an onboard mains frequency inverter. can produce 12A at 230V. you could hook up to Tesla 3ph charger using the 3 ph connections and get more power. it weighs about 3o kg and fits in the trunk. There are cheaper sets from Aldi and Masters. Transport without fuel in tank. If used let it run out of fuel. Stops fumes. I dont know if you could move with the charger working, wont let you.
     
  20. houdini

    houdini Member

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    Personally I've gotten a bit harsh with my replies now. When they ask "what happens if you run out?" I say "then I'd be an idiot". You know how much range you have getting in. Just like a petrol car. If I need to do a trip that's 59 kms and I have 40 kms range I can't do the trip. If I tried and ran out then it's my own fault. This is a more real world scenario IMHO. Having depleted the battery you suddenly need to go somewhere and there's not enough range left in the car. Happens to me sometimes (I only have 110kms range and use 70 everyday). We're lucky in that most households in Australia have two cars. One ICE and one electric. So if you don't have the range and need it you'd use the ICE. If you want to push the limits and run out then you've probably made it to within a k or two of home and can get it towed home. Embarrassment and a few hours lost. How many people have run out of petrol? But you never talk to people about their ICE and ask what range does it have and what happens if you run out if petrol.


    I feel this is linked to the speed of refueling. If you needed to go 50 kms and had 20 kms of range left in your petrol car you know you can go to the local servo and fillmup on the way and it takes 10 minutes. Not so with your level 2 home charger. Probably not as much of an issue in the US or Europe where you can scream down to the nearest supercharger and "fill up" in 10 minutes. We don't have enough fast chargers in Australia yet - that's the problem.
     

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