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Supercharger etiquette?

Discussion in 'Model X: Battery & Charging' started by RossRAllen, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. RossRAllen

    RossRAllen Member

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    #1 RossRAllen, Feb 23, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
    Would those of you who have supercharged at a busy supercharger share you experience?

    For example, if people are waiting, is it acceptable to charge to your destination or the next +1 supercharger (meaning to nearly full range), or do people take only what they need — a partial charge to get to the next opportunity — and move on?

    I'm planning a trip with SCs along major highways, so I might not be lucky enough to find an empty stall every time or be able to charge for an hour. Being a polite sort of guy, I'd like to know the rules and expectations for "proper supercharger behavior".

    I know, for example, that a few months ago Tesla pushed back on people who were supercharging frequently and too close to home.

    Sorry - after posting I found something under "Similar Threads". Very useful. If you have any additional thoughts, I suppose they could go here as well.

    Thanks! Maybe we can all get along.
     
  2. cman8

    cman8 Member

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    SC are meant for people just like you, people on road trips. I dont know where your going but I believe outside of California, SC arent really all that busy all the time because of this. At least that was the case when I drove from SLC to Las Vegas. I saw max 2 cars at one point in LAs Vegas when i went to charge. All other SC I hit up where empty except for me and 1 other time 1 more MS charging. I think if there would be people waiting, you need to charge to what you can without putting yourself in a bind but know that thats not whats expected, it would just be something cool to do. The people that tesla reprimands are people whom use SC for their daily charging when they could charge at home for the most part.
     
  3. RossRAllen

    RossRAllen Member

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    @cman8 - I'm in Northern CA. I'm planning a trip to San Diego, and Trip Planner suggested I stop at a SC only 50 miles from my home. I thought that to be a waste of time when I could recharge at 150 miles.

    I've just read all 9 pages of the Super Charger Etiquette (by Patrick W) in the S forum. Highly-recommended. The most interesting thing is charge sharing in dual stalls, and remembering the diminishing charge rates as the battery becomes full could make it more time-efficient overall to leave with a 60-70% charge and go onto the next SC.

    Most of the advice was common sense courtesy, especially deferring to those on long trips (if you somehow know that), and leaving your contact info on the dash if you leave the car. Using your smartphone app while you're away from the car to determine state of charge and return when its done makes sense, too.
     
  4. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Whether people are waiting or not, don't charge to near 100% unless you really need it. The charging from 90 to 100% is extremely slow.
     
  5. EcoHeliGuy

    EcoHeliGuy Member

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    As others above have stated your wasting time staying at the first charger.

    In the simplest form it works like this.

    When charging a Battery more amps will flow with a greater voltage difference.

    So in your Car the battery when drained is at a lower voltage then the supercharger is. As the capacity of the battery fills up, the voltages get closer to each other and less amperage is drawn.

    Two stops for example from 40%-70% will take a lot less time then one stop from 40%-100%.

    But if you are in an area with little supercharger traffic, and your option is to sit down for a good dinner, then judge that based on how many chargers are in use. If your the only car with 8 free chargers then enjoy the meal.
     
  6. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Absolutely correct on more short stops taking less time than fewer longer stops.

    Incorrect on the charge rate being a result of Voltage differences. The rate of charge is actively managed, limited by how much the battery can safely accept and what is available in terms of charing power. However, battery Voltage does rise as the SoC increases.
     
  7. EcoHeliGuy

    EcoHeliGuy Member

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    As I mentioned , simplest form, the charger does limit current flow. But voltage potential ( deltaE ) is what determines the the draw rate of electrons into a battery, as well as max current potential of the charge system. Doesn't matter the size of a charger if the voltage potential is exactly the same. In order to over charge a battery you must provide higher voltage then the battery has at full charge.
     
  8. EcoHeliGuy

    EcoHeliGuy Member

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    A charger limits current to keep the battery stable, limit thermodynamic runaway and degradation.
     
  9. Mark Z

    Mark Z Active Member

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    Consider the wind conditions. If you are driving against the wind, then you should add extra range. This may be more critical with Model X, but I doubt I'd be charging above 90% with the improved distances between Supercharger locations. (Primm, NV and Amarillo, TX for example.)

    Don't worry, the vehicle will warn you if you are driving too fast and must slow down. It happened to me between Shamrock, TX and Tucumcari, NM. Just use navigation and have the next Supercharger location as your destination so the vehicle can make the calculations.

    One more thing... Remember this post about pairing: Supercharger Etiquette - Page 3
     
  10. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    From a time efficiency perspective, you are better off working the bottom half of you battery pack. The only times when you might not want to to this is if its your last stop on the SC highway before your destination, or if you are going to be hanging out anyway, such as for lunch. But even in the latter case, it would be good etiquette to keep an eye on any waiting cars and unplug once you have enough to get to your next stop if there is a line.
     
  11. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    You'll be fine as long as you can avoid peak times and locations. Sat/Sun afternoons, Fri night and holidays. I have made several long trips (LA, Tucson, Vancouver Island) and have only found full or close to full SCs in CA (San Mateo, Fremont, Vacaville). I even lucked out at Tejon on a Sunday, arriving with only 1 other car there. On my Tucson trip in January, I saw fewer than 5 Teslas the ENTIRE trip. Unfortunately, here's how bad it was on Saturday after Christmas (certainly the worst yet reported example):
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/59542-%28Reported-on-12-26-2015%29-11-car-wait-at-Tejon-Ranch-AVOID-IF-YOU-CAN!/page3?p=1293941&viewfull=1#post1293941
     
  12. RossRAllen

    RossRAllen Member

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    @ReddyLeaf - Yikes! Looks like the Oil Embargo days! Probably a $1million worth of thirsty Teslas there.
     
  13. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    I'd say only take what you need if people are waiting. Don't be afraid to put in whatever buffer you need to be comfortable getting to the next stop, but don't charge to skip the next charger, especially since charging goes substantially slower when you're near full. A partial charge is the fastest option anyway if you can get back on the road right away. If nobody is waiting, then of course take as much as you like.

    Don't be afraid to second-guess the Trip Planner. It's been getting a bit better, but its recommendations can be stupid. If it tells you to stop and charge 50 miles from home when there's another one at 150 miles then bypass the closer one for sure unless you're leaving home with a depleted battery.

    If I'm thinking about skipping a SC but Trip Planner wants me to stop, what I like to do is put the more distant one in as a direct destination. Tell it to remove charging stops so it shows me directions straight there, and more importantly my estimated charge when I arrive. If that estimated charge looks OK then I'll go for it. I'll double check when I'm a few miles before the stop I'm planning to skip to make sure the margin still looks good, and make the final decision there.

    Hopefully this will all be moot and nobody will be waiting in the first place!
     
  14. Frank Neal

    Frank Neal Member

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    Charged outside of DC last Sat. (2/20/16 Bethesda,MD-Montgomery Mall around 8:45PM). They have one 80 amp, one 40 amp and 2 superchargers. Both superchargers were occupied but only one was actually charging. I happened to connect to the 40 amp (at the time I didn't know they were different). While waiting a gentleman from Canada arrived about the same time the man came who was actually using the supercharger. I ask the Canadian if he minded if I used the supercharger and he told me to go ahead. We chatted a while and when my wife and her sister came I explained we had enough to get to the next charger in Newark DE. They agreed we should leave even though it meant charging again about 26 miles away form our home in PA. I wish the other guy parked at the supercharger was checking his app. it probably added about 40 mins. to our one day round trip to DC. But it worked out and I got to meet a Tesla owner from another country.:)
     
  15. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Bethesda is a special case. Only two stalls, in a prime parking location at a busy mall, and mixed in with non-supercharger Tesla spots. It's a perfect recipe for Supercharger disaster, and worth avoiding at nearly all costs. Thankfully, this is far from the norm, and once the Laurel Supercharger goes in, it should become unnecessary.
     
  16. ptsagcy

    ptsagcy Member

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    #16 ptsagcy, Mar 1, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
    I made a couple of these little signs to put in the windshield if we leave the car while it is charging.

    charger sign1.jpg
     
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  17. cman8

    cman8 Member

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    Thats a great idea. Im going to copy that solution. I do that all the time for my parking situation where i work, since i have to double park people.
     
  18. vandacca

    vandacca Active Member

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    I plan on doing the same thing when I get my Model-X. Ptsagcy, can you please let me know if anyone needs my spot. :cool:
     
  19. Monkey

    Monkey Member

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    Here's another little thought or etiquette request... Try to avoid taking the pull-through or deep charging bays if you're not towing anything, to leave it open for people who are. Of course, when a SC is busy and that's all that's open, go for it, but be mindful that those who are pulling a trailer with their X are also at an extra disadvantage in terms of charge spaces that will work for them. At most SC's we'll still have to drop the trailer and back in.
     
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  20. openwyder

    openwyder Member

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    What's gonna happen when 10's of thousand of M & X 's roll out and on the road, plus 100's of thousands of model 3's in ~3 years?
     

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