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Weird Supercharger Incident (Reduced Charge)

esk8mw

Active Member
Oct 6, 2015
1,333
7,073
Midwest
I was supercharging at a Service Center late last night. It was about 90 out. It started off great, pulling around 290 Amps, 400 volts. After about 20 minutes (when SOC was like 30-40%) the amps dropped off to 74 (volts remained around 400) and would not exceed 74 for the rest of the charging session. Took forever to charge the rest of the way! The other stalls were empty so it wasn't a case of a paired supercharger. Very odd. Did my car or the supercharger equipment malfunction? I've used this stall in the past and no issues.

Doubt it's relevant, but I'll also note I got a software update available around the time the amps dropped off (2.28.19 --> 2.28.60). I didn't install it until after I got home after supercharging. Any ideas?
 
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gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
3,552
4,191
San Diego
This sounds similar to what some have observed when they supercharge at a site local to their home - aka throttling

Others have adamantly denied such a thing would ever be done by tesla.

In the future, try unplugging and restarting the supercharger - it probably will work just fine (why?)
Also, give tesla a call and you can check if there are issues with the supercharger site
 

esk8mw

Active Member
Oct 6, 2015
1,333
7,073
Midwest
This sounds similar to what some have observed when they supercharge at a site local to their home - aka throttling

Others have adamantly denied such a thing would ever be done by tesla.

In the future, try unplugging and restarting the supercharger - it probably will work just fine (why?)
Also, give tesla a call and you can check if there are issues with the supercharger site
Interesting; are there other reports of throttling for local supercharging? I find it odd that I'd get some miles at the full rate and then the throttling occurs; wouldn't it make sense to throttle from the beginning of the charge if that's what's happening? Is it possible that service is reduced to the SupC during some hours of the day?

For the record, local supercharging (which I do very late at night to ensure I'm not creating a line) is the only reasonable option available to me right now as I fight with my condo board to allow me to install an outlet at my deeded parking space--solely at my own expense--...but that's another issue for another day!
 

Electric700

Active Member
May 21, 2013
1,760
437
Florida, United States
Interesting; are there other reports of throttling for local supercharging?...

I haven't seen any. Did you try to stop your charging session, then after a minute restart it when you noticed the low current condition?

At the Charlotte, NC Supercharger center I had to actually move my car from one of the B Superchargers to a different Supercharger, labeled A, due to the pairing setup even though no other cars were charging. I think that was an older design, and it might have been updated since.
 

esk8mw

Active Member
Oct 6, 2015
1,333
7,073
Midwest
I haven't seen any. Did you try to stop your charging session, then after a minute restart it when you noticed the low current condition?

At the Charlotte, NC Supercharger center I had to actually move my car from one of the B Superchargers to a different Supercharger, labeled A, due to the pairing setup even though no other cars were charging. I think that was an older design, and it might have been updated since.
I didn't try moving or restarting, I suppose I should have in hindsight.
 

scole04

Member
May 30, 2011
191
90
Washington DC
This sounds similar to what some have observed when they supercharge at a site local to their home - aka throttling

Others have adamantly denied such a thing would ever be done by tesla.

In the future, try unplugging and restarting the supercharger - it probably will work just fine (why?)
Also, give tesla a call and you can check if there are issues with the supercharger site

Wk057 has confirmed that superchargers work if the cars software has been enabled on the car for supercharging but theres no VIN identification or other identification for supercharging to work at this moment. Conclusion no throttle if supercharging doesn't identify the car out side of if the feature is enabled in the software.
 
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David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,295
1,978
DEDHAM, MA
Interesting; are there other reports of throttling for local supercharging? I find it odd that I'd get some miles at the full rate and then the throttling occurs; wouldn't it make sense to throttle from the beginning of the charge if that's what's happening? Is it possible that service is reduced to the SupC during some hours of the day?

For the record, local supercharging (which I do very late at night to ensure I'm not creating a line) is the only reasonable option available to me right now as I fight with my condo board to allow me to install an outlet at my deeded parking space--solely at my own expense--...but that's another issue for another day!

Hey, you sound like me!

I also live in a condo and have been working (I won't say "battling" because I have succeeded) with the condo board for many months, as well. So I also charge at a local Supercharger.

I have another thread under the New England section where I reported an experience very much like yours. I also suspected "throttling" (which indeed was reported by some owners last year) Long story short, it turns out there was a technical issue with the particular charger I was using. I called Tesla, they assured me it was not my car, and suggested a different stall to use. I had similar problems three times, called each time, and each time was able to get normal charge rates at a different stall.

So, call the Tesla phone number posted on the S/C stand while you are there and report the problem. I have found the S/C phone team to be very nice and responsive.
 

esk8mw

Active Member
Oct 6, 2015
1,333
7,073
Midwest
Hey, you sound like me!

I also live in a condo and have been working (I won't say "battling" because I have succeeded) with the condo board for many months, as well. So I also charge at a local Supercharger.

I have another thread under the New England section where I reported an experience very much like yours. I also suspected "throttling" (which indeed was reported by some owners last year) Long story short, it turns out there was a technical issue with the particular charger I was using. I called Tesla, they assured me it was not my car, and suggested a different stall to use. I had similar problems three times, called each time, and each time was able to get normal charge rates at a different stall.

So, call the Tesla phone number posted on the S/C stand while you are there and report the problem. I have found the S/C phone team to be very nice and responsive.
Glad to hear its likely not my car! Thanks for the info.
 

FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
7,054
7,071
Silicon Valley
There is no intentional throttling going on at the Superchargers ...do not spread FUD :cool:
I had a similar experience at the Gilroy supercharger on a hot day and contacted Tesla.

They stated they were aware of the problem and would dispatch a service crew to the location.
See attached photos of super charging at the ludicrous rate of 24A @ 326V and 38A @ 327V.

IMG_5094.JPG
IMG_5093.JPG
 
Last edited:

SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,200
5,803
Houston, TX
I was supercharging at a Service Center late last night. It was about 90 out. It started off great, pulling around 290 Amps, 400 volts. After about 20 minutes (when SOC was like 30-40%) the amps dropped off to 74 (volts remained around 400) and would not exceed 74 for the rest of the charging session. Took forever to charge the rest of the way! The other stalls were empty so it wasn't a case of a paired supercharger. Very odd. Did my car or the supercharger equipment malfunction? I've used this stall in the past and no issues.

Doubt it's relevant, but I'll also note I got a software update available around the time the amps dropped off (2.28.19 --> 2.28.60). I didn't install it until after I got home after supercharging. Any ideas?

I had virtually the same thing happen to me on a road trip this weekend. Charged at 114 kW for about 5 mins, then amps dropped to about 60A and stayed there. Tried another stall, same deal except the amps fell almost immediately.

The issue was Range Mode: If you leave range mode turned on, the forced cooling fans do not run -- the car attempts to cool everything through the passive radiator, and that's not enough on a hot day. The charging rate will be limited due to high battery temperature.

The next day I turned range mode off and charged at the same supercharger and everything was fine.
 

FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
7,054
7,071
Silicon Valley
I had virtually the same thing happen to me on a road trip this weekend. Charged at 114 kW for about 5 mins, then amps dropped to about 60A and stayed there. Tried another stall, same deal except the amps fell almost immediately.

The issue was Range Mode: If you leave range mode turned on, the forced cooling fans do not run -- the car attempts to cool everything through the passive radiator, and that's not enough on a hot day. The charging rate will be limited due to high battery temperature. The next day I turned range mode off and charged at the same supercharger and everything was fine.

Good to know ... did Tesla confirm?
 

SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,200
5,803
Houston, TX
Good to know ... did Tesla confirm?

No, I did not confirm with Telsa. But the forced cooling fans were not running at the times that the amps were limited, which is highly unusual, as it was 102F outside and I was charging from a very low SOC (about 5%). In addition, there was another Tesla at the same supercharger (not paired with me) and his cooling fans were running full blast. The following day, temperature was slightly lower (about 95F) because I was charging earlier in the day, and fans were running within 10 minutes of starting the charge (having turned range mode off).

I can only surmise that the range mode setting attempts to:
  1. Run the battery in a wider temperature range to avoid having to use forced cooling or the battery heater.
  2. Never uses the forced cooling fans -- instead it will reduce cabin cooling such that whatever heat load needs to be rejected can be handled only by the passive radiator.
  3. Limits cabin fan speed.
  4. Favors the front motor on AWD vehicles.
Since it wouldn't run the forced cooling fans, I believe it reduced the charging rate such that the heat load could be handled by the passive radiator.

It seems to me that the modifications in the car's behavior that range mode actuates should be automatically suspended during charging.
 
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I had this happen to me a couple of times on a recent 4300 mile trip. Once, the charge started normally and then dropped off, and on another, the charge rate never spooled up. Both times, I moved to another stall, both times I was there alone, and charging proceeded normally. It didn't occur to me to call Tesla support at the time.

I'm not sure if range mode would cause the cooling fans not to run. I just read in the manual that the car pulls power from the charger when plugged in, not the battery. As such, there would be no reason not to run the fans just because range mode was selected. The fans might have not run because of the lower amperage, not the other way around.
 

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