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Supercharger Spacing

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by napabill, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    This is not going to be a popular post for the 60kW folks, but I'm becoming a bit annoyed at the roll-out of the Supercharger network. It appears to be designed to allow for 60kW road trips, necessitating far more locations along a given route. When I committed to the 85kW in 2008, I did so on the basis of wanting to have the range for extended road trips. The 60kW was presented as the best alternative for local driving. While I do think that having Supercharging spacing eventually to allow for the 60kW travel, I was hoping that the initial 2 year roll-out would have focused geographic spread, with 180-200 mile spacing. It's why I paid the $10K premium for the 85kW. I feel a bit snookered. The close spacing on the west coast has used resources that could have, IMHO, been used to spread the network more nationally. Then back-fill where appropriate to shorten the distances to allow for 60kW cars after the national network is established for the 85kW cars. At this point I'm not sure why someone would pay the premium for the additional range.
     
  2. Adm

    Adm Active Member

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    Just calculate how many stops you would need San Francisco to LA in a 60kWh and a 85kWh Model S. I would guess it saves you 1 stop! That's 40 minutes of your live you don't get back.
     
  3. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    #3 NigelM, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
    The more Ss there are on the road, the more Superchargers will be needed in any case. I'm happy the 60kWh version is bringing more people to all-electric driving but I still know I'll be able to do trips faster and with less stops in my 85kWh.

    Look at it this way Bill, 60kWh owners will always have to watch their speed/power consumption on roads trips; with an 85kWh battery pack you can zoom carefree from SC to SC.
     
  4. bradc

    bradc Member

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    The other way to think about it is that as both 85 and 60 kWh packs degrade over time, the 85 will always be able to make it, and the 60 will have to manage it more carefully. Elon has said pretty much from the start that Superchargers would be spaced about 150 miles apart, and it appears that's what they're doing.
     
  5. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Keep in mind that Supercharging a 85 is going to be faster than Supercharging a 60.

    A 85 can charge at full speed until 132 rated miles. A 60 can only charge at full speed to 100 rated miles.

    The actual maximum charge rates also seem to be lower (and it makes sense). I've been able to charge at 280mph (on the current 90kWh chargers). It seems a 60 can charge at a max rate of 205mph:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/19391-San-Jose-to-Las-Vegas-Supercharger-Trip-on-a-60kw-Model-S

    Between the tapering and charge rate a 85 should be saving you 15 to 25 minutes per SuperCharger stop over a 60. And then you also get to skip some chargers in the 85.


    I also have this nifty spreadsheet that says that using a 130mile SuperChargers spacing, the maximum average speed of a 85 is 60mph (travel 80mph, stop 30 mins). The maximum average speed of a 60 is 48mph (travel 60mph stop 32 min).

    So don't feel bad about getting an 85 - the SuperCharger experience is indeed significantly better, even if the distances are short enough for the 60s to reach.
     
  6. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I don't agree with the assessment that Tesla gamed the customer here. That said, you have a good point that it does make the 85 kWh bump more compelling if the rollout were breadth first rather than depth first. Heck, that's actually a good thing for all owners. If I had a 60 kWh and was taking road-trips, I'd rather have "go farther, with more conservative driving to make it to the next SC" than "can't go as far because some states don't have any SCs yet". By "can't", I'm including time budgeting (cost of charging) here w/r/t available vacation time.
     
  7. garcilamd

    garcilamd Member

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    I'm not quite sure what assumptions you made with the spreadsheet (balancing max speed versus needed charge time for best overall trip length?). However, real life driving from Miami, FL to the new Port St. Lucie supercharger was 113 miles for me. Without any drafting or other distance maximizing measures, I made it easily with over 40 miles to spare. Of course, charging time at the supercharger was considerably longer than your 32 minute stop. If you add drafting to your driving, it also considerably reduces the power used.
     
  8. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Right, but I assume you charged to a full (90%) charge at home and then traveled the 113 miles?

    If you were to do a 90% charge at a SuperCharger it will slow you down more than you will gain in average mph. The optimal between travel speed and supercharger time happens at the 66% charge point, which happens at 30 mins on the 120kWh chargers. Of course charging a 60 to 66% only gives you 133 mile rated range, meaning you have to travel at 60mph or you won't make it.

    You can charge for longer and then go faster, but your average speed will drop as a result.
     
  9. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    #9 PhilBa, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
    Why did I get an 85? Was it because the superchargers would be space too far for a 60? No, I bought the 85 because I like having more range. period. In fact, I didn't give a whit about SCs when I ordered my car. Not sure why anyone would feel conned over this.
    In parting, I say - Relax, have a homebrew...
     
  10. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    This is not going to be a popular post for the California folks, but I'm becoming a bit annoyed at the criticism of the roll-out of the Supercharger network. It appears to be designed to allow for Californians to engage in road trips, necessitating far more locations in the state of California. When I committed to a Model S in Georgia, I did so on the basis of wanting to have the range for extended road trips. While I do think that having multiple routes with Supercharging eventually in California, I was hoping that the initial 2 year roll-out would have focused geographic spread, with stations on my routes of travel. It's why I paid for the $10k premium for the 85kWh. I feel a bit snookered. The dual routes in California has used resources that could have, IMHO, been used to install stations in SC, GA, NC, TN, and AL. Then expand where appropriate to allow my travel of people other than myself. At this point I'm not sure why someone wouldn't pay the premium for the additional range, because it seems that having to slow charge on my trips longer than 200 miles would be excruciating.

    But honestly. There are a lot of cars in California. Putting Superchargers there, along congested travel paths makes more sense. As the superchargers get saturated more charge points are needed. I think it is much better to offer those additional charge points at other locations. Don't think of it as X miles between chargers. Think of it as Tesla needs XX chargers between LA and SF. Instead of putting them all at Harris ranch, why not put 1/3 at Harris Ranch, 1/3 60 miles north, and 1/3 60 miles south. This allows people perhaps a better ideal supercharger stop, greater coverage, and still satisfies the need for chargers/vehicle in region.

    And I can drive non-stop to my brothers house in an 85kWh, not so in a 60. I can drive non-stop at whatever speed wont get me locked up going to and from the University(sic) of Georgia and my house which would not be possible in a 60 without seriously watching my speed. There are great advantages to the 85kWh even if supercharger spacing makes road trips doable in both.
     
  11. garcilamd

    garcilamd Member

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    That's what I assumed regarding your prior post that you were balancing time efficiency of the entire trip with travel speed and needed charging time. Makes sense.
     
  12. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    I see your point but I think more not less are the key, and since they are using the same crew for long stretches it seems worthwhile to put them in as often as possible even though it takes time to spread out and fill in all the areas. my biggest beef so far is the way these are spaced but not that they are too close. the assumption seems to be that you are always going between cities. each city needs a SC at it's center, not many miles from it's perimeter. if a city is the destination one needs to "fill up" to allow for easy travel within the city and on day trips throughout the stay. finding decent speed charging at hotels is not too hard but if you are staying with a friend, it's a wild card as to whether you will be able to conveniently charge in their garage. Destination charging is the big challenge with the S. cities need to be included as well as a few SC's in remote areas, for camping/hiking/wine tasting etc.

    there are millions of gas stations and we certainly don't need that many SC's, but I suspect a few thousand are necessary not a few hundred... in time I hope.

    that said, I'm extremely happy with the progress so far, it's marching forward with much more velocity than anything Ecotality/blink has done in this area!
     
  13. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    I'll say this. More reports of superchargers opening in CA or FL or NY bore me. Bring them to the heartland, baby! The IL supercharger made me more excited then the entire network in CA. Such is the life of a Missourian.
     
  14. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    I know it's easy for me to say but take heart in a decent network going even in somewhere other than your area. what we need are not just more SC's be examples of functional networks. a functional network exemplifies what is possible for those on the fence about buying or about the technology as a whole. if Tesla put in random chargers all over the country to be "fair" rather than branching out people would complain that they were "a bridge to nowhere". the other advantage for folks like you is that the technology is improving and tweaks are being made to new installations that are probably not all that easy for retrofitting like position or max kWh's. some CA chargers are 90kW while the new ones are 119kW's capable. probably not much consolation but worth thinking on while you wait.

     
  15. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    The original post puzzles me. Tesla was always clear from early on that the 40kWh was going to be the car that was good for going around cities and that the superchargers would be spaced for the 60kWh. I'm not sure why you would have ever thought otherwise. Whether you believe that was the right strategy is one thing, but implying that Tesla somehow deceived you has no basis in reality. That said, I got the 85kWh for the range going where there aren't superchargers, and I'm not sorry about that. Even with the proposed 2 year map the 85 gives you a lot more flexibility if you aren't just driving straight from one big city to another.
     
  16. voidptr

    voidptr Member

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    The premium for a 85kWh over a Supercharger-Enabled 60kWh is only $8k, since the 60 does have to pony up for Supercharger access.

    I ponied up for the extra range because a little headroom is always useful, and sometimes you want some margin for detours along the way or not show up at the destination with a completely dead car.
     
  17. SuperCoug

    SuperCoug Model S Res #7734

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    THANK YOU PhilBa, I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm constantly surprised by the number of different topics that some folks on this board find to feel cheated or snookered about. I never would have guessed that Supercharger spacing would become the next item for owners to be agree about (especially saying they are too close together). If they were spaced so far apart that only 85 kWh cars could use them then the folks who dropped an extra $2000 for the SuperCharger option on their 60 kWH cars could maybe feel snookered. Besides, the 85s are only rated for 50 miles more than the 60s so and there are only so many logical locations for the Superchargers so it would be pretty difficult to simply "back fill" some more locations to accommodate the 60s after the fact.
     
  18. Ben W

    Ben W P85 #61, Roadster #108

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    #18 Ben W, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
    Speaking from 10 months of P85 ownership, and a recent drive from LA up the 5 to San Jose, then back down the 101 to Santa Barbara...

    The current spacing of the superchargers is just about ideal. It makes the long-distance trips possible in the 60, and ideal in the 85. Keep in mind that the "optimal" way to use the superchargers is to use the battery range from about 70% down to about 10% (for a safety buffer), then repeat. Assuming a realistic 350Wh/mi, that's about 145 miles between chargers. Of course you can start the trip with 100% Range charge, which helps. Spacing the chargers at 200mi intervals would mean a significantly slower charging time, requiring topping the 85kWh battery up to 90% at each stop, and making the trip nearly impossible (or risky) in a 60kWh.

    As it is, I think the current spacing is quite nice. Up the 5: Hawthorne->Tejon = 77mi, Tejon -> Harris Ranch = 117mi, Harris Ranch->Gilroy 112mi, then down the 101: Gilroy->Atascadero 138mi, Atascadero->Buellton 80mi, Buellton->Hawthorne 142mi. Importantly, this spacing makes the trip possible in an 85 even if one of the superchargers is offline. On my 310-mile trip from San Jose down to Carpinteria, a 30-minute charge in Atascadero was more than sufficient for the entire trip.

    I do look forward to the network being built out further, and I expect the pace will accelerate. The next couple years should be very interesting!
     
  19. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

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    #19 scottf200, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
    In some case the SC spacing considerations has to include winter driving weather/range (more heat/defrost/lower_efficencies_road_when_wet/snowed). Not every place has CA or FL weather. Chicagoland IL has some pretty high gas prices and is a good fit for EVs. Also doesn't that make the old 85 distances between SCs to seem more like 60 distances (Broder Model S review).

    I agree as it will work for my future trips in the Model X.
     
  20. Lump

    Lump Active Member

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    If roughly half of all MS's sold so far have been to California then it would be only fair to have half the SC's, right? Maybe we should complain that we are supsadizing the buildout in other states, but i haven't seen anyone do that.

    If you plan long term then you have to consider Gen 3 users, probably a lot more of them down the road then 85's
     

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