Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Supercharger Newbie - Is it normal?

bctomuk

God
Apr 24, 2021
43
23
United Kingdom
So I’ve had my Series 3 just under a month and today is the first time I’ve needed to go a long distance. So I stopped at the Adderston supercharger just off the A1 before Berwick upon Tweed. I’d noticed while planning my route it’s the only 250kw supercharger station I've seen on the map. I had expected to plug in and the car to say it would be fully charged in something like 15minutes (after all 250kw is 35x more than my 7kw home charger), so I was a little shocked to see my car say 1hour to charge. As you can see in the pictures I was the only car plugged in but it was charging at less than 60kw. When I first plugged it it went to around 140kw but quickly fell. Is this normal or were my expectations off?
 

Attachments

  • 7949C89C-DB3B-4BDA-B425-9D07D238E74C.jpeg
    7949C89C-DB3B-4BDA-B425-9D07D238E74C.jpeg
    420.4 KB · Views: 48
  • 2E88341F-4461-4B80-8A1A-011BEBCE7988.jpeg
    2E88341F-4461-4B80-8A1A-011BEBCE7988.jpeg
    399.8 KB · Views: 50

nxsynjs

Member
Jul 5, 2020
278
222
UK
Yes. The speed of charging is on a curve, so the lower your state of charge the higher it goes.. think of it like filling a bath to the brim. When the bath is empty you can have the taps on full, but as it gets closer to the top you turn the taps to make the flow slower so you don’t flood the bathroom. E.g going from 80% to 100% can take longer than from 20 to 79%
 

bctomuk

God
Apr 24, 2021
43
23
United Kingdom
Yes. The speed of charging is on a curve, so the lower your state of charge the higher it goes.. think of it like filling a bath to the brim. When the bath is empty you can have the taps on full, but as it gets closer to the top you turn the taps to make the flow slower so you don’t flood the bathroom. E.g going from 80% to 100% can take longer than from 20 to 79%
Makes sense I suppose and I did have the limit set to 100%. Thanks.
 

Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,645
3,708
Sparks NV / GF 1
Makes sense I suppose and I did have the limit set to 100%. Thanks.
It's one of the biggest misconceptions that new drivers often think the charge will be at a constant maximum rate until the car is fully charged. Unfortunately that is not the case. Rates drop off rapidly as the charge goes up as mentioned above.
 

davidmc

Active Member
May 20, 2019
1,601
1,742
Leicester
Here is a graph of my charge last week which was almost optimal for the SR+ (warm battery and low state of charge) at the East Midlands Designer Outlet SuCs.

I decided to charge to 100% to balance the batteries (not done this for a long time) and had some spare time to kill (chill time), some lunch and a free coffee!

As you can see i hit full speed 170kwh max for the SR+ at 14% (this is what i arrived with).

I went from:

14% to 50% in around 8mins (the toilets are a 5min walk away to get too at EMDO)
50% to 70% in another 8mins
70% to 90% in 15mins
90% to 99.9% in 16mins
at 100% for battery balance - around 50mins



SR+ Charge speed.JPG
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,267
3,229
Scotland
So I’ve had my Series 3 just under a month and today is the first time I’ve needed to go a long distance. So I stopped at the Adderston supercharger just off the A1 before Berwick upon Tweed. I’d noticed while planning my route it’s the only 250kw supercharger station I've seen on the map. I had expected to plug in and the car to say it would be fully charged in something like 15minutes (after all 250kw is 35x more than my 7kw home charger), so I was a little shocked to see my car say 1hour to charge. As you can see in the pictures I was the only car plugged in but it was charging at less than 60kw. When I first plugged it it went to around 140kw but quickly fell. Is this normal or were my expectations off?
As already covered by other posts the charge curve is the main factor but there are other aspects to be aware of to maximise your speed. Firstly you should always put the Supercharger as a destination in your onscreen navigation. The car will then warm up the battery en route so you get the best charge rate. You should also try to plan to arrive at the SC with a low percentage battery… say 10 to 20% rather than say 60%+. Unless there are special circumstances you should not aim to charge up to high percentages but you should only charge to the level you need for the next leg of your journey. Doing it that way means that your stops are shortest.
 

NewbieT

Active Member
Aug 16, 2019
1,183
822
North West
Batteries also need to be warm (50 deg c) to charge at the fastest rates.
  • Do navigate to the SuC on the SatNav - the car will warm up the battery.
  • Try not to charge on an SuC at the start of your journey (if you have a choice) leave it to the end of your journey. It can take over 1h of normal driving to warm the pack - and the battery’s state of charge will be lower.
  • In Winter the first two points become even more important for SuCs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CMc1

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,108
1,097
Leamington
I guess I’m repeating previous posts, but to get high charge rates you need two things:

1) Warm battery
2) Low SoC

Putting the SuC as the destination will trigger battery warming. The time/distance needed will depend on ambient temperature and how long you’ve been driving.

The best strategy for charge speed and SoC is to arrive under 20% and depart at under 60%. Most people go higher, but it‘s a compromise.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,409
5,939
Surrey, UK
An important thing to consider, and I don't think is obvious from any of the above, is it is the car that decides how much charge to take, up to the maximum capacity of the charger. So in reality, charger power ratings are largely a numbers game as the car chooses its own rate which for the majority of the charge will be significantly less even on a V2 supercharger.

Example below. Max theoretical charge of the supercharger 150kW. So between 49% - 85% SoC, the car didn't even get near being limited by the V2 supercharger even though pre conditioning >30m and nearly 1-1/2 hours driving beforehand. Charge rate would have been faster at lower SoC but as graph in earlier post shows, it quickly drops off. Also worth mentioning is the dip at around 12:47, when an adjacent Supercharger started to be used so I had to give up some of my charge. Not an issue on V3.

1622535117277.png
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,267
3,229
Scotland
... and though Superchargers are very much more reliable than virtually any other DC charger they can still have a problem delivering their rated output, even if it's not a Mk1 type and splitting your rate with another vehicle.
 

Mrklaw

Member
Mar 5, 2020
446
232
Berkshire
how much battery does the car use up in preconditioning for a supercharge? I don't always 'plan' to stop at a particular one and would prefer to just drop in ad-hoc depending on if/when my family wants to stop which might mean a supercharger, might mean a third party charger. Don't know how much I'm missing in terms of speed/efficiency (always seems fast enough to top up 25% in 10 minutes or so)
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,044
3,049
Shropshire
how much battery does the car use up in preconditioning for a supercharge? I don't always 'plan' to stop at a particular one and would prefer to just drop in ad-hoc depending on if/when my family wants to stop which might mean a supercharger, might mean a third party charger. Don't know how much I'm missing in terms of speed/efficiency (always seems fast enough to top up 25% in 10 minutes or so)
no idea how much power it uses but in cold weather it does make a really significant difference to the charge speed. On the other hand after a long journey in the summer it will make very little difference. I have preconditioned in the summer and it only kicked in as I was hitting the motorway exit at the services so can't really have made any real difference in the remaining 30 seconds before I hit the chargers . Done it in the winter and it started 20 minutes before. Guessing that would have been much more significant in kwh used and benefit.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Mrklaw

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,409
5,939
Surrey, UK
how much battery does the car use up in preconditioning for a supercharge?

Its quite significant. Could be around 20% less efficient from what I have seen. But you could end up with 50% less peak power on charging, possibly significantly more - my experience based upon V2 supercharger, but its in line with others.

On the journey related to the graph in my post above, the pre conditioning leg I got ~70% efficiency. Similar recent trips on same motorway, but slightly shorter to the destination, I've had ~90%, ~88%, ~106% (latter slightly more of journey done on A road - 70/30 M'way to A road, rather than 95/5). My much briefer return leg on that trip was ~85% but it was only a few miles so not really representative.
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,044
3,049
Shropshire
People have pointed out that charging to 100% at a supercharger is very slow and not worthwhile. Faster to go to 80 and stop again. But should also mention it is not good for the battery either. I don't think you said what type of "series 3" you have. (M3 is the usual abbreviation round here BTW) and if its a Made in China SR+ with the LFP battery it might not be much of an issue but if its not then I really would not recommend it. the last 10% not only takes ages but if its not a MIC SR+ it really is not good for battery longevity either.
 

Mrklaw

Member
Mar 5, 2020
446
232
Berkshire
how much battery does the car use up in preconditioning for a supercharge? I don't always 'plan' to stop at a particular one and would prefer to just drop in ad-hoc depending on if/when my family wants to stop which might mean a supercharger, might mean a third party charger. Don't know how much I'm missing in terms of speed/efficiency (always seems fast enough to top up 25% in 10 minutes or so)
Its quite significant. Could be around 20% less efficient from what I have seen. But you could end up with 50% less peak power on charging, possibly significantly more - my experience based upon V2 supercharger, but its in line with others.

On the journey related to the graph in my post above, the pre conditioning leg I got ~70% efficiency. Similar recent trips on same motorway, but slightly shorter to the destination, I've had ~90%, ~88%, ~106% (latter slightly more of journey done on A road - 70/30 M'way to A road, rather than 95/5). My much briefer return leg on that trip was ~85% but it was only a few miles so not really representative.

I assume the area under the curve when charging more than offsets the loss when preconditioning so its still 'faster' but worth bearing in mind as your previous journies may suddenly be off if you're basing on usual range. Assume the navigation considers increased battery use when calculating range to a supercharger?
 

Louis0w

Member
Mar 6, 2020
142
126
Bridgend, Wales, UK
Looking at the photos the OP provided, I believe the car is a MIC SR+ as there's no recommended 'Daily' and 'Trip' markings shown on the visual in the Battery screen; so charging to 100% isn't being discouraged. The charging curve and time to 100% may differ to some of the examples above for this reason, though the underlying advice of 'warm battery plus low state of charge' to maximise DC charging speed is spot on. I have Scan My Tesla installed, I've found the optimum battery temperate to maximise Supercharger speed is around 50'c .... likely 'warmer' than most think.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,409
5,939
Surrey, UK
I assume the area under the curve when charging more than offsets the loss when preconditioning so its still 'faster' but worth bearing in mind as your previous journies may suddenly be off if you're basing on usual range. Assume the navigation considers increased battery use when calculating range to a supercharger?

This for me was pretty much worst possible case. Cold morning, very very short trip to the Supercharger. It was painfully slow (peaked 35kW) made worse by it being a special early excursion to top up so I spent it sat in the car thinking about having breakfast! You can see how cold the battery was by the charge rate actually getting faster as the battery warmed. I recon this charge was at least 2-3x slower than it needed to be, although it would have tapered off more quickly as we moved past the 80%+ SoC had we been charging quicker. The reality is that I probably didn't need to put quite so much in, but at time of charge, we had an indeterminate amount of battery usage coming up and were aiming for a longer next leg, but that would have been tight so we stopped earlier.
1622547025905.png

ignore the incorrect axis.
 

Billbrown1982

TM3 LR 2021 | Red | FSD
Dec 21, 2020
421
230
Basildon
Only used a supercharger once so far. But will use them on my planned road trip in October.

The battery balancing thing - does it actually say its doing that? Or do you just leave the car at 100% for a while.

How do you avoid Idle Fees if the latter?

Just something I think I will "treat" my car to once this year.
 

GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
884
856
UK
The fastest way to travel is to drive to under 20% and then charge to about 60%, then you are keeping with the region where the battery charges fastest. Clearly this isn't always practical, so it can be useful to plan routes using Abetterrouteplanner.com to get the most optimized charging stops. While the car can also do this it assumes you are happy to arrive at a destination with a low SOC which isn't always practical.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pdk42 and Adopado

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top