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SuperCharge every day?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by paco3791, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. paco3791

    paco3791 TMC OG

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    With the upcoming installation of a super charger(SC) at the new service center in Highland Park, IL (see this thread http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/24986-Highland-Park-IL-Service-Center! for more details) I will have a SC that is almost directly on my route to work everyday. This means that I could use the SC as a part of my daily commute and cut out charging at home almost entirely. My commute is roughly 30 miles one way with the SC closer to work than home. With all that in mind I'm curious about a couple things.


    • Is anyone doing this already? I have to imagine there are other Model S drivers that are in a similar situation.
    • What effect, if any, do we think this will have on the long term health of the battery? I haven't seen anything on the forums or from Tesla about the effects of frequent use of the SC's.
    • Would Tesla care? IF I decided to try this I think I would talk with the folks at the service center first and my guess is they wouldn't care but who knows.

    I want to re-emphasize this is something I could do, not sure it's something I will do. I definitely plan to use the SC since it's so conveniently located but even with that, it's not as convenient as just charging when I get home, so I'm not sure the extra 15-20 mins added to my commute would really be worth it. And while there would be some savings on my elec. bill from not charging at home as much, it isn't a huge number.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. iffatall

    iffatall Member

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    I am getting my car this weekend, and am kinda in a similar situation.

    My total commute per day is around 40 miles, and I do not have a charger installed at home yet. There is a supercharger on my way to work. So as of now, I am planning to charge at the supercharger weekly at least for the first month or two.

    I am pretty sure Tesla does not care, but I too would want to ensure this does not affect the battery adversely.
     
  3. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    Superchargers are meant as a in route charger for distance travel. Not as a replacement for daily charging. Placement of the SC's are (at least at this time) meant to enable people to go the long distances. I know, if I go to Chicago from Milwaukee, and want to do any kind of in town driving, I will need the SC TO GET HOME. If you can make your round trip, with no issues and still make it home, with charge to spare, then the SC is not meant to be used. Now, if you have a busy day, lots of errands to do, and you find you will run out or get uncomfortably low before doing your daily home charge, by all means, GO FOR IT! But, using it daily so that you don't need to plug in at home, please do not do this. This will just take up space at the (currently) few superchargers that are in operation. Safe the SC's for people the NEED them to get to their destination or home. For the time you will be wasting as well, your not saving much. It costs me $3 (almost exact!) to COMPLETELY recharge my 60kW battery from completely dead to 100% range charge at home. Your not saving enough to make your time worth it.

    Also, given that you'd be doing it daily, you will always be closer to your full state of charge, meaning, the SC will charge your car SLOWER! to charge from say, 70% to get to 90%, your talking almost the same amount of time it would have taken to get from 10% to 70% (Rough example).

    Now, iffatall, in your case, if you do not have means to plug in at home, and would be doing it temporally, go for it. I would recommend waiting to SC until your battery is a bit lower in charge, that way you can take advantage of the full SC charging speed. Please also concider charging at times when commuters that NEED the SC are at less demand of the units, or even possibly, find a level 2 station close to home.
     
  4. paco3791

    paco3791 TMC OG

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    All valid arguments. This is more of a thought experiment than anything I personally intend to implement on a daily basis (charging at home is just that easy!). It will be interesting to see how busy this particular SC gets with the number of MS's in the northern 'burbs of Chicago.

    Aside from the state of charge issue do we know how close the 120kW charging gets to the max charge rate for the battery?
     
  5. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Ignoring the social behavior/contract component of the argument, I just think the logistics will be a huge negative. At first it will be fun, watching the miles tick up (although at an ever slower rate as your SOC increases). Plus you can sit in the car and muck around with the technology. Then, after a while it will become tedious. Then a PITA.

    I have charged at the Darien chargers (I literally pass within 100 yards of them every day on my commute) exactly 3 times. Once to test it out and twice because I wanted a quick bite to eat on the drive home from the airport and it was convenient. There's no way I would increase my commute by 25-30% on a regular basis to use the SC.
     
  6. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    This.

    And, as others said, it's not a practice that really fits in with what Tesla has stated publicly their goal for them is.

    I certainly would want to go by and TRY it once just for the fun of it (and to validate supercharging works on my car before the first long trip)... but after that, let the folks on trips use em. You'll appreciate others doing the same when you need one on a road trip 200 miles from home...
     
  7. jeffhre

    jeffhre Member

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    If you use 120V while you are sleeping and use the supercharger once a week or so until you get a charger at home sounds about ideal, no?

    Though I wouldn't want to get out of my car for an extra stop several times a week ad infinitum, to save a few pennies. If that was the case, why waste money with a Model S, when a bicycle will do the same commute for vastly less, and no stops for charging, or the hassle of putting in a charger at home - ever.
     
  8. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    Well stated. This is exactly what I did when the Port Orange SC opened - once out of curiosity and twice to top off on the way home from Orlando. Haven't been there for almost 2 months.
     
  9. Zextraterrestrial

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    I met a man at the Folsom(CA) SC in April with 16k miles on his car ( in 3 months) he worked in Folsom but lived 160 miles south and put > 300 miles on his car daily
    Awesome gas savings!

    I agree with the others though that charging at home is way easier. Occasional SC if you do shop locally at an SC location (no shops I want to shop at near Folsom SC though...all commyjunk)

    last year I tried to use local chargers some but the $ savings over convenience isn't worth it at all.
     
  10. SamGarber

    SamGarber S85 "Whale Shark"

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    I have over 3000 miles on the car already only 6 weeks into ownership. Supercharged 3 times so far, twice more planned in the next 2 days. Mostly Tesla stores, garages where work pays and some small amount to top up at home.
     
  11. swegman

    swegman Member

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    Keep in mind that Tesla can determine if you abuse the Superchargers. I was at the Rocky Mount NC SC last week and had a problem. Called Tesla to report the problem. They were able to determine which charger port my car was attached to and the VIN of my car without me providing that info. When I said something to the Tesla SC rep, he told me that the log shows every SC I have visited and the results of each charge, including the charge level I did.

    If you make a habit of charging at one SC on a regular basis, Tesla will know and may say something, especially as more cars get on the roads. The SC are meant for driving between long distances, not to replace home charging.
     
  12. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Just to say it, when I hear about people who drive over from home to charge just to save a buck or two, and they are sitting in this $75,000 car, it sort of does not compute. They can't afford to put in an outlet at home (come on, it doesn't even require a "charger" like the other EVs!) and it will charge on 110.

    If I were to pull into a SC area and it was full and I had to wait, and then found out that one of them was just there to save a dollar, I just might think some unsanitary thoughts that direction.

    It has to be a personality thing. I couldn't do it.
     
  13. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    This is probably not that good of an idea(especially if you are trying to save a few dollars on home electricity). Risking degredation on a $45k battery to save a dollar or two is crazy.
     
  14. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I still think this is a non-problem. Tesla didn't place any conditions on SC usage other than must have a Model S. I sure didn't read anything about it in the purchase contract. So if some guy buys a $75K (more likely 100K) MS and cheaps out on charging, that's his prerogative. I wouldn't waste the extra time just to save a few bucks and suspect most are like me. So, it's probably a diminishly small number of skin-flints. And, as much as I would think the guy had truly misplaced priorities, it's his call. This is America, after all.
     
  15. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    In short: No... without knowing Tesla's exact battery chemistry we don't know for sure.

    But, given that fact that the current superchargers are 120's, and Elon has publicly mentioned 135's... I suspect it's gotta be getting close. Already some folks have claimed they have had their cooling systems activate full-bore while supercharging... ostensibly the BMS trying to keep the pack cool.

    I'd assume if the battery could accept 2C+, it wouldn't make sense to roll out 120kW superchargers, only to then have them outmoded by the 180's, and thus need to be replaced.
     
  16. NoMoGas

    NoMoGas Member

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    No they won't, nor can they. The SC service is advertised as unlimited, not under certain circumstances, unlimited. I have no doubt they will use the data to plan roll out, expansion, future pricing but wile it may get some people;s panties in a bunch the reality is if you paid for it, you can use it whenever you darn well feel like it. That said, try to be courteous.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Exactly. Is it smart? No... but he's welcome to if he so chooses.
     
  17. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Yeah, but as you alluded to, we can try and influence the social norms around this very new environment to lean towards the side courtesy.
     
  18. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    #18 yobigd20, Dec 16, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
    There are not many of us in the 30k+ miles club :) I only know of about 6 including myself. But one of those I think had 35k or 40k already. If I recall him and his wife split usage (drops him off at work then does her daily thing then picks him up etc etc something like that), and they travel something like 300 miles daily. They use the supercharger not once, but twice daily. It was on these forums somewhere...

    I myself drive 210 miles daily and I can't make it round trip on a single charge. I charge at home to 80% which is about 200 rated miles and drive 100 miles to work leaving me at 15-60 rated left. This uses anywhere from 38-50kW and varies depending on traffic, speed, weather, and heat. and I drive fast. Btw yes those number are right, I've used up to 50kW go 100 miles (500kW/mile avg) a few times (and that's not even counting charging efficiency from the wall). So technically it pulls up close to 60kW sometimes.

    When I reach my garage in the city I then plug in on a charge point and charge back up to 80% and repeat the 100 mile trek back home. . So I do charge at home and at a parking garage in the city. I try to keep it within the 80% -> 20% range always. I basically do a little more than two half cycles daily.

    But there is a supercharger about to go under construction on my route. I use about 2500kW per month for the car alone with all the mileage I do and we do not have discount rates like you guys got out there in CA. So there's a very likely chance I might switch to SCing daily if it saves me about $350-$425/month in electricity. I wouldn't 100% charge solely there and not charge anywhere else (not talking about range charge, but amount of time spent charging at home vs SC). I'd probably calculate and time the charges in a way that I'd stop there once daily to charge from 15-85% and be on my way. Aka do something like schedule a charge at 40A and hour before I leave which would be enough to get me to the SC - in other words structure it in a way to maximize the free electrons while still keeping the battery somewhat around that safe zone (non-extremities). I'd probably park somewhere cheaper too if I don't need to charge at the garage anymore. Anywho the exact details of all that I would need to run but the point being is that I might consider doing this daily to save a few hundred bucks a month.

    AFA it's effect on battery , all my research and even comments from Tesla employees and managers say that supercharging is the worst thing you could do for your battery outside of bricking it by leaving it dead or damaging it by leaving it at 100% in scorched weather. But Tesla's "official" word is that it's safe and the battery is warrantied and not to worry about it soooo the jury's still out on that one. Who knows.

    I realize opinions on this will be very subjective. Some would say I could just continue what I'm doing now and not use the SC. Others would say "hey, we paid for it". Some might say "it's all free energy anyway so who cares?" (Assuming of course Tesla builds all those solar arrays). But who draws the line? Is there a specific mile have amount that warrants it being 'ok'? Or is it the purpose of your trip? Weekend leisure travel vs daily commute? Inter city driving vs "it's on the way home"? What if your like me and its a daily commute but it's far as hell and honestly I go past several cities daily? lol.

    IMO there are no clear day and night rules here. The other thing to consider is that these superchargers on the easy coast go mostly unused unlike CA. The only competition we have out here for the supercharger spots is against a-hole ICE vehicles hogging the spots because they are too lazy to walk 10 feet further (and that IS a problem out here, and there have been a few very close road rage/fist fight incidents with these ICE drivers bc of that). While CA superchargers , well specific ones, seem to be used 24/7 I can see how a daily commuter would annoy travelers if all the spots are always taken. But for the time being that's going to take another year or so out here to get up to those levels...
     
  19. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I'll stay out of the SC 'hogging' discussion except to say that I no longer think my 30 minute commute to work is so bad.
     
  20. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    ha, 30 miles to me would feel like going to the grocery store.
     

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