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Super Charged Anxiety

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by KArnold, May 21, 2017.

  1. KArnold

    KArnold Member

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    Warning - newbie post. Some concerns may be self-inflicted.

    I have an S3 on order. Out of the blue Tesla offered me 24-hour test drive in a model S. Even though I've never driven an EV before, how can you turn that down?

    I decided to take a day trip to visit my son in Cleveland (I am in Columbus), maybe 120 miles each way. According to the map and charge, I could have made it with a 10% charge remaining. Being the newb, that felt too tight. So I stopped at the Super Charger in Mt Gilead - got 20 minutes worth of charge. All was well - destination reserve now said something like 40%.

    Again, being conservative, once there I stopped at the Super Charger in Macedonia, which is about 10 miles from my son. There are 6 slots there and another Tesla was in #2. I started to back into #4 and the owner from the other car came over and said "slots #3 through #6 charge slowly and suggested I not use those". I thanked her and moved to slot #1 next to her car. Plugged in and I have the green quick flash at the connector so I assume all is well. I go browse Best Buy for 30 minutes.

    I come back, the other lady is gone. I'm halfway back to my son's house when I realize I had not received a charge at all - nada. It was the same as when I arrived. Again, it could be "user error" but I am positive I had the fast green flash when I first connected - I don't recall if it was flashing or not when I returned.

    Later in the day, my son and I return to the Macedonia Super Charger as I want more "juice" for the trip back. This time there is an unattended S3 in slot #6. I park in #4, plug in, get the fast green flash, and this time check the car's display. After several minutes, with 30% still in the car, the charge rate was just shy of 20 megawatts - that feels very low. By the way this was a 70D.

    We didn't have a lot if time so we only got 15 minutes of this slow charge. The map on the return trip nicely advised to recharge at Mt Gilead again, where I would arrive with 10% reserve - that felt "tight" but I took it. Arrived safely and connected - got a charge rate of 98 Megawatts. That finally seemed right.

    To end my saga, the Tesla dealer in Columbus is nearly impossible to find in the middle of a crowded, upscale, outdoor, yuppie mall - so I left but forgot to put it in the GPS. I think "no problem - I can list Tesla super charger locations with one button" as I know they have chargers in the parking garage. Well, no. For some reason these super chargers are not on Tesla"s map.

    I love the car. I can manage any range anxiety, but now I have some super charger anxiety. Again, being a newb, I accept I may have done some things wrong.

    Questions:

    1. Do you guys "verify" you are getting a charge on the display when you plug in? Or is the green flash sufficient?

    2. I'm kinda assuming the Macedonia charging station has some issues. Are broken super chargers a common problem? How are they reported?

    3. If going to a new city, what "reserve" level do you not go below? Especially considering that the SC may not be working?

    4. What range of charging rates do you typically see?

    5. Does Tesla keep some "hidden" super chargers like they apparently do here in Columbus?

    Thanks!
    Kevin
     
  2. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

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    First, I will not say a word about 20 megawatts.

    1.The app will tell you if charging is interrupted. I suspect you didn't have the app for a test drive. If you owned the car, you'd have been alerted.
    2. Broken superchargers happen, but infrequently.
    3. New cities don't factor into my reserve level comfort. Distances do.
    4. It's all over the place. Other threads here talk about the fairly wide disparities.
    5. Not that I've ever seen.
     
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  3. mblakele

    mblakele radial cross member

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    1. Yes, but mostly because it's mildly fascinating to see the numbers ramp up and down. I've never had a problem like the one you described.
    2. I assume Tesla monitors the health of every supercharger
    3. I don't like to start a trip if my projected arrival charge is less than 20%, because the vehicle assumes a slower average speed than I drive.
    4. I see 110-120 kW with low state of charge and no pairing or other problems. If you run into problems it might not be the SC: it could be your vehicle. I've only ever seen unexpectedly low charge rates when paired: that is, when sharing a pair of SC units with another vehicle.
    5. Yes, some service centers have a supercharger that isn't listed.

    There's no "S3". It sounds like you're conflating the model S and the model 3?
     
  4. KArnold

    KArnold Member

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    Yes, Mod 3.

    Don't think it's the vehicle though as the other SC site worked well.

    Thank you!
     
  5. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    Range anxiety tends to be a temporary affliction for new Tesla owners. Once you get used to the new paradigm, you will find that it's gleefully ingenious. And just think... no more icky gas stations!
     
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  6. SMAlset

    SMAlset Member

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    Hi Kevin, we're pretty new to Tesla so haven't traveled much with our car yet.

    1. However, we have experienced an early shut down on two occasions. First one, we saw it flashing green so went for a walk. I came back after only 10 minutes to find it had stopped charging. Tried plugging again and same thing happened. No notifications sent through the App even though I signed up for alerts for Start of charge, Interrupted and Completed. Decided from that point onward it was best to periodically look at Charging on the actual Tesla App itself and not rely on notifications (to my phone and/or watch). Hope that situation improves. Hubby experienced an early shut down of charging when the car had said it was going to take longer. That was in Mt. View which is the busiest location around. But in both instances really not sure what happened with the charger.

    2. Wouldn't say it's a common problem but there are times when chargers will be slow with no one paired. Had that happen recently in Gilroy, CA. There is usually a telephone number on the charger where to call to report issues. As far as I know they don't have the ability to remotely monitor them, so rely on people calling in. When we called in about the Gilroy situation, they told us it had been called in already and that they were aware that chargers at x,x,x,and x were not functioning properly. Our next stall worked fine. BTW in some places there have been reports of vandalism so all kinds of reasons why there could be a problem. The updated supercharger map with individual SC location details will come in handy. Haven't explored the ChargePoint and PlugShare apps much yet but they can be a big help too with photos and drivers comments on conditions. Keep your adapter/s in the car in case you need to search out a J1772 location to get you to the next Supercharger when low. Plugshare will show you locals who are willing to share their various charging solutions to help travelers out (usually with some notice). You can use the app filters to show types of chargers. They even list Tesla Wall Connectors.

    3. Too new to have much experience in this area and only once been below 20% when you get the yellow. And we are still learning about planing any long range trips.

    4. We charged to 80% today on our 75D and got 204 range miles. As you read about people's driving experiences you will see how many things can affect the range from speed, outside temperature, elevation changes, wind pattern, etc.

    Enjoy your Model 3, unless the test drive convinced you to go for an S instead. Tesla is expanding its supercharging stations this year and also adding a lot of destination chargers including in shopping centers. I know Ohio doesn't currently have as much coverage as let's say where I'm at but things are looking up and I wouldn't worry too much about it. The Model 3 is still a ways out and EV charging in general is only getting more popular.
     
  7. animorph

    animorph Member

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    We have 6k miles on our X now after an April cross country trip via about 40 different Superchargers.

    1. Yes. It seems common enough to find a Supercharger with a slow charge rate if your read the forum. We had one that seemed about 1/2 speed, but most of the stalls were in use. No problems at any of the others we visited.

    2. We didn't encounter any. There is a Tesla number you can call to Supercharger help.

    3. We usually tried for about 30% reserve, as long as that didn't mean waiting too long. We had a couple of segments use more than expected. I slowed down just 2-5 MPH to keep the reserve constant at about 10%. If a Supercharger is down we'd have to wait for it to come back up or go find a really slow destination/public charger.

    4. Charging starts out fast (we can see close to 120 kW). As the battery charge level increases, and the battery temperature as well, the charge rate will drop. We would see 100 kW up to around 50% charged and then taper down. Usually by 80 kW we had enough reserve and took off. Generally we need to charge for 15 to 45 minutes depending on how far the next SC was.

    5. The Service Center may only have a destination charger. I don't think many have Superchargers.
     
  8. svp6

    svp6 Member

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    1. You will learn to adapt to range anxiety. The "estimated remaining" listed at the time you start driving will usually decrease over the next 10-15 miles; once this initial adjustment is made, it will be extremely reliable in telling you how much juice you will have at destination.
    2. Don't trust the "you have charged enough to reach your next destination" for the reason stated above. I usually plan for 20% buffer, which gives some buffer for #1 but also for unforeseen weather / traffic issues.
    3. There are no "hidden" superchargers - most Tesla service centers do not have a supercharger, just regular wall connectors. The easiest way to find the service center is to select on navigation from the "previously used charging spot" list.
     
  9. Dublin 'Eer

    Dublin 'Eer Member

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    As a fellow Columbus area Tesla owner, there are no Superchargers at the Tesla store in Easton. However, there are some destination chargers on the basement level of the nearest parking garage. Ironically, there are also some free ChargePoint CHAdeMO chargers maybe 20-30 yards from the destination chargers which charge 2-3 times quicker than the destination chargers (there are also several CHAdeMOs at other locations around Easton). The only Superchargers in Columbus are just off I-71 in Grove City.

    As far as traveling, a new Supercharger is nearly finished and ready to come online within weeks in Charleston, WV which will open up I-77 for us. Going east, there is also a Supercharger addition in Cambridge on the 2017 planning map. Although you should be able to make it to the one in Wheeling, WV, this will be a great addition for the winter months. After those are online, you should never have any range anxiety no matter which direction you're traveling from Columbus.
     
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  10. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    A few comments:
    1. The smartphone app is a critical tool to use when charging. It allows you to verify progress of the charge when you're away from the car, and it can provide you notifications if charging is interrupted or when charging is completed. On trips, when supercharging and away from the car, I will periodically check the app on charging progress.
    2. Before leaving the car, I always wait long enough to verify the charging rate on the dashboard - it takes a short period for the charging to ramp up - and I prefer to stay at the car until the charging has reached "full speed" - and I can get a reasonable estimate of how long the charging might take (the Trip Planner app provides an estimate).
    3. When selecting a charging spot, the A/B markings are important - trying to select a spot with a charger that isn't being shared. Though, Tesla really could do a lot more to help with this - such as having the on board software make recommendations on which spots to use, based on current usage. If one of the cars has slowed down charging as they approach 100%, it's possible to share that charger - without losing much, if any charging speed, because the other car is being charged slowly to protect the battery.
    4. The on board Trip Planner does a reasonable job to help in planning out trips and estimating how much charge/charging time is needed before leaving a charger. However, we do our own estimate of target charge level at a charger, based on the distance we have to our destination or the next charger. For our new S 100D, we're using distance to next charger + 20% + 30 miles, which usually means we'll stay a little longer at a charger than the Trip Planner recommends - to give us a little cushion.
    5. Tesla is expanding the SuperCharger network this year - which should add more chargers at some locations, and add additional locations on the major roads and in the urban areas, reducing the distance between superchargers. That should reduce "range anxiety", and on some trips, should give you multiple options for stopping at superchargers.
     
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  11. KArnold

    KArnold Member

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    Thanks all. Interestingly, this dealer does have SC's in the parking garage as you can see them. Maybe they want to use them just for their own use - that's OK I guess. I just assumed they would be public.

    And I'm not concerned about "range" and I am about "SC's". Hopefully my experience was an exception.

    Thanks again. Great group! :)
     
  12. PeterHG

    PeterHG Member

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    The question of how much of a range buffer to leave is heavily dependent on the total length of the trip. If I am driving ~150 miles or more, I plan the trip so that I will not fall below about 30 miles of range remaining. Then I monitor the trip computer and see whether I'm doing better or worse than expected relative to the % of expected battery remaining on arrival. (Even though I usually drive 5-10 mph above the posted limit, I pick up range as I drive.)

    On shorter trips, none of this is necessary, and it's no problem to have less range remaining. An extreme example--if I am 10 miles from home (in "normal" conditions), I would not worry about departing with only 20 miles of range and an implied cushion of only 10 miles or 5%. The reason being that I would need to be consuming 2X the expected battery to run out.

    In general, I think there's too much worry about range. My first EV had a warm weather range of 100 miles and a winter range of 60. Out of necessity, I would regularly run down to 10.
     
  13. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    I was expecting an opinion on what you thought of the way the car drives. Care to share your opinion on that, even though it is off-topic? It was your first EV drive so what did you think?
     
  14. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    #14 Rocky_H, May 22, 2017
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
    Well, there actually are, but they are so rare, that most people have never heard of such a thing--you can count them on one hand that exist in the world. It is a crazy stroke of coincidence that a brand new owner test driving happened to come across this one at the Macedonia service center. The other one is at the service center in Hamburg Germany. You can see them if you look at the map at www.supercharge.info. They are shown with a dot that is half black and half red, showing that it is limited access and hours. So, @KArnold , that is a weird one-off situation you will probably never see anywhere else.
    *edit* Oh, looks like a missed a couple more in Europe. Traun Austria and Munich have them too. But I think that one near Cleveland is the only one in the U.S.
     
  15. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Oh, and I'll give my input on this. When I plug in, I do hang around for about a minute and check the dashboard just to see if it's starting to ramp up some, and that's good enough for me. I've had once or twice that it wouldn't start. Sometimes it was the numbers not going up or actually displaying a connection error. I don't think I've had a bad stall, but you usually need to be really solid wish shoving that handle in there. A couple of times I had been too gentle, and it wasn't locked in all the way and wouldn't go until I re-plugged it.

    I shoot for 20% remaining projection.
     
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  16. KArnold

    KArnold Member

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    The car was very nice. Some surprises due to my own ignorance:

    1. I had assumed that at least freeway to freeway it would follow the GPS. Obviously, no. Guess I expected self driving to be more mature. It felt just like "adaptive cruise control" that many folks have, but with lane keeping. Still, very cool.

    2. Used the GPS but also Waze on the web side. But you don't get the announcements. So I put Waze on my phone but used the car's web map. Seemed redundant. A real Waze option would be great.

    3. Loved the bio-hazard part. Enough said.

    4. It seemed to "lose" the lane positions when on off-freeway but we'll marked secondary roads. Once it pulled surprisingly hard left because I think it saw a mailbox. That's not really ready for secondary roads, or more likely I'm not.

    5. Overall speed and acceleration were better than I thought - 70D model. Nice enough for me.

    6. I felt very comfortable with 90% of the options in that short time - quite intuitive layout.

    Bottom line - there was nothing disappointing about the car at all but the SC experiences were frustrating - again I think that is mostly my fault and my ignorance.

    Being on the model 3 list, but I'm guessing around 180k in line (ordered day 1 but post announcement), and really wanting a "D" model, in Ohio - I think that car is still a year out. So I am solidly on the S/D line. Maybe I need to get the S now - maybe a new, nicely optioned Model 3 would sell for over list in a year? Hmmmmm.
     
  17. owen.shift

    owen.shift Member

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    #17 owen.shift, May 23, 2017
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
    I wouldn't say ignorance; but rather excitement, and thus nervousness. Like others have said here already: once you have some experience with the car, you will gain more confidence. And you will find supercharging to be one of its best features.

    And consider this: The 75(D), the 'smallest' battery you can get today, has 72.6 kWh of usable capacity. The 90D has 81.8 kWh usable – that is just 9 kWh more; not 15 as one might think. So the 90D has actually only 30 more miles of range, making the 75D a really good deal.

    EDIT:
    Well, the software is still pretty new; but the AP2 hardware does support just what you are describing. It's only a matter of time until a software update will deliver that functionality. Same goes for #4.
     
  18. whttiger25

    whttiger25 Member

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    I once got a charge rate of 1.21 gigawatts. It was crazy what happened next...
     
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  19. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    I think it still has the notices that warnings that it is supposed to be used only for highways and not for secondary roads.
     
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  20. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    After 46,000 miles on my S, my only anxiety is when I'm stuck behind someone in a no passing zone...
     
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