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SuperCharging

Hi Tesla forum!

I just have a quick question. I am a new Tesla model 3 owner (1 week), On my delivery day the one representative had said that it harms the battery to charge your vehicle on the superchargers more than once a week. Is this true? I cant seem to find and supporting information to that claim but would love to get some input form actual owners! Has anyone found that this is the case? If so, wouldn't that make it more difficult to do more frequent long distance trips?

Also, side-note kind of related. When I plug in my car I have been noticing every now and then I would get a notification from the app saying charging interrupted (for only a minute or two at a time) even though I can see it has not moved. I was chalking it up to maybe power supply? Or is this a feature from the car that may be limiting the supply?

Thanks in advance for any help/ feedback!
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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Nov 28, 2018
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Here is one of the many threads on the topic, that also links to another thread on the topic with a video by someone in the industry of large industrial batteries.

Read both of these threads and you will have more information than you know what to do with on the subject.

Frequent supercharging killing my battery range? Only 1800 mileage.
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
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Buford, GA
Will it harm the battery? Just letting the battery age by a day shortens its life. But at this point, some of the highest mileage cars Supercharge once or more per day. Is it okay? Probably. Is it the best? Probably not.

Charging at home or work is by far the best EV experience that you can have. I charge at home and don't ever even think about it, unlike my gas car I'd have to watch the fuel gauge and decide when to go visit the pump. I just plug in at home.

The car WILL let you know if you charge to 100% multiple days in a row. I also believe that same may happen if you Supercharge multiple days in a row.

If Supercharging is your ONLY option, then don't worry about it.
But inly if it is your only option. Try charging at home or work. There's a Supercharger 5 miles from me. That's the last one that I will probably will ever use, because I 'll never need to.
 
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Will it harm the battery? Just letting the battery age by a day shortens its life. But at this point, some of the highest mileage cars Supercharge once or more per day. Is it okay? Probably. Is it the best? Probably not.

Charging at home or work is by far the best EV experience that you can have. I charge at home and don't ever even think about it, unlike my gas car I'd have to watch the fuel gauge and decide when to go visit the pump. I just plug in at home.

The car WILL let you know if you charge to 100% multiple days in a row. I also believe that same may happen if you Supercharge multiple days in a row.

If Supercharging is your ONLY option, then don't worry about it.
But inly if it is your only option. Try charging at home or work. There's a Supercharger 5 miles from me. That's the last one that I will probably will ever use, because I'll never need to.

For the first year of owning this vehicle I will most likely charge at work, which has been working fine. I know this is all apart of the adjustment period from a gas vehicle to an EV. Just want to make sure I am doing the best practices to 1. Not void any warranties and 2. have my range maximized for as long as possible since I have a quite a far daily commute to work.

I am sure the Tesla Rep was trying to air on the side of caution, but his warning made me hesitant to start planning long trips with multiple stops at the Superchargers. Thank you for your reassurance and feedback!
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
4,292
Buford, GA
For the first year of owning this vehicle I will most likely charge at work, which has been working fine. I know this is all apart of the adjustment period from a gas vehicle to an EV. Just want to make sure I am doing the best practices to 1. Not void any warranties and 2. have my range maximized for as long as possible since I have a quite a far daily commute to work.

I am sure the Tesla Rep was trying to air on the side of caution, but his warning made me hesitant to start planning long trips with multiple stops at the Superchargers. Thank you for your reassurance and feedback!

Absolutely don't hesitate to take trips, for many people, that's what Superchargers are really for. (unless you are in SoCal) I'm at 26,000 miles in my Model 3 since 3/18 and have taken a number of trips and Supercharged on those trips a number of times. It's actually important to help you get over the range anxiety that comes with buying am EV.

Enjoy the car, don't worry about the battery. That's what Tesla wants you to do.
 
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AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
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San Diego
every now and then I would get a notification from the app saying charging interrupted (for only a minute or two at a time) even though I can see it has not moved.

For this issue, does it happen if you charge at home? How about at work? How many amps are you charging at and what sort of outlet are you using?

Often this is a sign of bad wiring, bad outlet, or excessive voltage drop during the charge for some other reason. However, if it happens no matter the charge location, charge rate, etc., that would point more to the car (unlikely).

In any case, this is something worth taking a look at, since it could indicate a safety issue. If it happens when you are charging at 32A, take a picture of the charging screen before the current ramps up (0/32A) and after.

If you are charging off of a 120V outlet, also worth a picture. You’re not using an extension cord I assume.

My understanding is that if the utility supply voltage drops during the charge, it can interrupt the charge because the car identifies it as a wiring (resistance) issue.

Anyway, more very specific info is needed.
 
For this issue, does it happen if you charge at home? How about at work? How many amps are you charging at and what sort of outlet are you using?

Often this is a sign of bad wiring, bad outlet, or excessive voltage drop during the charge for some other reason. However, if it happens no matter the charge location, charge rate, etc., that would point more to the car (unlikely).

In any case, this is something worth taking a look at, since it could indicate a safety issue. If it happens when you are charging at 32A, take a picture of the charging screen before the current ramps up (0/32A) and after.

If you are charging off of a 120V outlet, also worth a picture. You’re not using an extension cord I assume.

My understanding is that if the utility supply voltage drops during the charge, it can interrupt the charge because the car identifies it as a wiring (resistance) issue.

Anyway, more very specific info is needed.


Thanks for your feedback. It mostly does it at work, My building provides charging from harnessed solar energy (plus back-up if needed), which may be related to your voltage drop comment. It charges at a rate of 231 V and 32/32 A (I have watched the screen and not notice this change). They have the standard Tesla cable that plus right in, no need for an adapter which is convenient, but also ads to the why is it happening.

I have had it happen once at home which made me wary of maybe it being the car, but that was with a 120V outlet using the mobile charger provided with the car, and it may have been the extension cord (is this a bad idea ?). It has happened probably a total of 3 times at work and just the once at home, but thought I would reach out incase I need to change a my habits.

I can provide photos if this information is not enough.

Thank you for taking the time to send a thorough response!
 
Absolutely don't hesitate to take trips, for many people, that's what Superchargers are really for. (unless you are in SoCal) I'm at 26,000 miles in my Model 3 since 3/18 and have taken a number of trips and Supercharged on those trips a number of times. It's actually important to help you get over the range anxiety that comes with buying am EV.

Enjoy the car, don't worry about the battery. That's what Tesla wants you to do.
Thank you! This does help ease some of the charging/ range anxiety like you said. I love the car so far and just want to try and preserve it for as long as possible so thanks for your advice.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
13,368
17,020
San Diego
My building provides charging from harnessed solar energy (plus back-up if needed), which may be related to your voltage drop comment. It charges at a rate of 231 V and 32/32 A (I have watched the screen and not notice this change).

I'm curious what it is at 0/32A when the connector is first plugged in. 231V is fine if it starts at 238-240V. But probably not good if it starts at 245-248V (many people have this sort of open circuit voltage, but it depends on your utility and distance from substation, transformer, or whatever). That would be over a 5% drop and I think then you might start to get errors from the Tesla. The potential issue here is that the EV charging stations are just poorly wired with insufficiently robust wiring.

Hard to tell from your description, but if the installation is not always grid-connected, it is possible that fluctuations in the generation of the AC power waveforms as solar production varies and it has to switch to backup, would cause interrupts. Seems less likely though, as this sort of thing has to be pretty robust for the power company to approve it being connected to the grid.

that was with a 120V outlet using the mobile charger provided with the car, and it may have been the extension cord (is this a bad idea ?).

Tesla doesn't recommend it, but with a quality extension cord for occasional use with a quality outlet, it is probably fine. It probably stopped due to voltage drop along the cord, which was probably not sufficiently heavy gauge.

Overall it sounds like this is not related to the car though.
 
Thanks for your feedback. It mostly does it at work, My building provides charging from harnessed solar energy (plus back-up if needed), which may be related to your voltage drop comment. It charges at a rate of 231 V and 32/32 A (I have watched the screen and not notice this change). They have the standard Tesla cable that plus right in, no need for an adapter which is convenient, but also ads to the why is it happening.

I have had it happen once at home which made me wary of maybe it being the car, but that was with a 120V outlet using the mobile charger provided with the car, and it may have been the extension cord (is this a bad idea ?). It has happened probably a total of 3 times at work and just the once at home, but thought I would reach out incase I need to change a my habits.

I can provide photos if this information is not enough.

Thank you for taking the time to send a thorough response!
So much to unpack here and more information needed but let me give my thoughts:

1) Don't worry about the supercharging, sounds like you have charging at home and at work so I would use those as primary means of charging and just supercharge when needed and don't worry about it. Only charge to 100% when needed for trips and you'll be fine. There are cars that only supercharge and they are fine as well.
2) Charging interruptions can be caused by lots of things so that needs more investigation and information: Cable too hot, bad connection (poor spring contacts in the outlet), voltage drop, cable in the sun, bad charger, and the list goes on. If it happens frequently then investigate further, if it rarely happens then it will be very difficult to diagnose.
3) Charging on 120V is slow to start, using an extension cord will add even more losses. Make sure you have a high quality heavy duty (big wires) and good quality outlets that have strong spring contacts. That will help the electrical connections and reduce the losses and heat generation. Tesla does not recommend using extension cords but I use them, I even have a 240V 50ft cord I use without trouble.
 
So much to unpack here and more information needed but let me give my thoughts:

1) Don't worry about the supercharging, sounds like you have charging at home and at work so I would use those as primary means of charging and just supercharge when needed and don't worry about it. Only charge to 100% when needed for trips and you'll be fine. There are cars that only supercharge and they are fine as well.
2) Charging interruptions can be caused by lots of things so that needs more investigation and information: Cable too hot, bad connection (poor spring contacts in the outlet), voltage drop, cable in the sun, bad charger, and the list goes on. If it happens frequently then investigate further, if it rarely happens then it will be very difficult to diagnose.
3) Charging on 120V is slow to start, using an extension cord will add even more losses. Make sure you have a high quality heavy duty (big wires) and good quality outlets that have strong spring contacts. That will help the electrical connections and reduce the losses and heat generation. Tesla does not recommend using extension cords but I use them, I even have a 240V 50ft cord I use without trouble.


1) that helps! It seems this is the consensus and will work fine for me, just was really surprised to hear that form the Rep, he was probably just being cautious.
2) I can see the car charging from my desk, It sits under the solar panels so is mostly shaded from the sun, and I have not noticed it being hot when I unplug it. It does seem to only happen periodically and I get the notification while working so I haven't really dropped everything to go investigate just yet, if it becomes a pattern I may ask to switch chargers and see if that helps.

My other suspicion was playing off of AlanSubie4Life point that if the voltage drops it may trigger the notification. I was curious if this happens when someone else plugs in beside me. There are about 20 chargers with Tesla ones alternated in. I have tried to be vigilant when I get the notification but can't always be staring at the car ( as much as that would be nice) when I am supposed to on task actually doing my job. I will keep an eye out and see if I can notice a pattern if it continues. But the last time I got the notification there were more EV's present.

3) This is good to know! I knew it was going to be a slow go, but still is enough to top me up over night. I will try a different outlet, I was thinking the original one may not be the best but after the original notification it was quiet for the rest of the night and worked fine.

Either way, It doesn't seem like I should be worrying just yet from everyones responses. I have only had it for about a week, but just trying to make sure I am well informed on the best practices. Thanks for your help!
 
I'm curious what it is at 0/32A when the connector is first plugged in. 231V is fine if it starts at 238-240V. But probably not good if it starts at 245-248V (many people have this sort of open circuit voltage, but it depends on your utility and distance from substation, transformer, or whatever). That would be over a 5% drop and I think then you might start to get errors from the Tesla. The potential issue here is that the EV charging stations are just poorly wired with insufficiently robust wiring.

Hard to tell from your description, but if the installation is not always grid-connected, it is possible that fluctuations in the generation of the AC power waveforms as solar production varies and it has to switch to backup, would cause interrupts. Seems less likely though, as this sort of thing has to be pretty robust for the power company to approve it being connected to the grid.



Tesla doesn't recommend it, but with a quality extension cord for occasional use with a quality outlet, it is probably fine. It probably stopped due to voltage drop along the cord, which was probably not sufficiently heavy gauge.

Overall it sounds like this is not related to the car though.


That is good news.

I was curious if the 5% drop happens when someone else plugs in beside me. There are about 20 chargers with Tesla ones alternated in. I have tried to be vigilant when I get the notification but can't always be staring at the car (as much as that would be nice) when I am supposed to on task actually doing my job. I will keep an eye out and see if I can notice a pattern if it continues. But the last time I got the notification there were more EV's present.

also, I will monitor the 0/32A next time I plug it in and see if this may be the case. It may be the wiring but like you said it has to be pretty robust in order for it to be connected to the grid. The building is supposed to be a energy positive building where it produces more energy than it consume, so I am wary to think it is shotty wiring (but I know I am not an expert on electrical connections either way and am not a reliable judge on it)

Thanks for your thorough feedback! Definitely learning a lot!
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
13,368
17,020
San Diego
I was curious if the 5% drop happens when someone else plugs in beside me. There are about 20 chargers with Tesla ones alternated in

I could see that potentially being a problem if the feed to the EV charging stations was insufficient. As you say, it's hard to monitor constantly. If it starts up charging again on its own after an interrupt (I don't know whether it does), I wouldn't worry about it too much, if the basic checks I mentioned above don't show any glaring problems. In theory, if it stops charging, it should "resample" the new (lower if there are 19 other vehicles charging) open-circuit voltage, and then happily start charging again with a much lower probability of another interrupt. (My poorly-sourced theory is that it monitors the difference between open-circuit (@0A) and loaded (@32A or whatever) voltage and makes sure it isn't too large - that's one of the ways it protects against fires - voltage drop means heat.)

That being said, not sure how Tesla's algorithm for this works. If it works as described above, I'd expect that you'd have interrupts more frequently when you're the first one to the charging stations. If there are 18 vehicles when you arrive, then I'd expect you wouldn't have an interrupt issue - because the open-circuit voltage will already be starting at a low level and there won't be much additional sag from added loads.

But again, I have no idea how they do this detection - this is a really simplistic model for it.
 
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I will try a different outlet, I was thinking the original one may not be the best but after the original notification it was quiet for the rest of the night and worked fine.
I would also recommend checking the heat at the plug, if it is excessively warm then you likely have a bad outlet.

If you are handy it is extremely low cost to replace the outlet, if you aren't, it still isn't too expensive and is cheap insurance.
 

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