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Which charging "cards" should I get

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by mikeg561, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. mikeg561

    mikeg561 Member

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    More planning for the arrival of my new baby.

    I read on the forums here that it is a good idea to have a card (no monthly fee plan) in case you ever need to charge away from home and the superchargers.

    I have seen charge stations from NRG and Chargpoint.

    Are there others? Or those the most common?

    I have seen several local chargers from NRG around me....not that I would need the ones this close to my home.

    Mike
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Could add Blink as well but not sure if that network will be around much longer.
     
  3. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Depends a lot on where you live and work, and what's around you. I'm in NoCA, and, FWIW, I have cards/accounts with ChargePoint, Blink and SemaConnect. I don't have any accounts linked to ChaDeMo. You could go to all 3 web sites and see where each vendor has chargers in the areas you frequent. Basically you give them a credit card and they take a $20 credit. Nice to have...
     
  4. rickgt

    rickgt Enthusiast owner/member

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    I just went out and got ALL of them... if there is a fee vs guest pricing, I went with the guest pricing. Can always change later if/when you find you need it. Here in CA, I find that ChargePoint is the most common. It is what I end up using when I can't get a Tesla SuperCharger or destination charger.
     
  5. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Check on PlugShare at the locations that you travel to and through that have public charging stations. PlugShare will list the location, voltage and amperage, third-party provider and cost (if any.) Also read some of the reviews posted to the locations because sometimes the reviews have better information as to hours available or frequency of use.

    By and large, ChargPoint seems to be predominant throughout much of California, along with NrG, SemaConnect, and Blink. Volta is also installing many free chargers at Whole Foods and other locations. I don't know if you need an access card for them or not.

    Congrats!
     
  6. Khatsalano

    Khatsalano Member

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    I concur that you should just get all of them. NRG/EVgo charges a small fee now just to join, and they are the worst stations too. They are routinely broken and their service is not helpful. They are like the Comcast of the EV charging world. :) I also have Blink and Chargepoint.

    - K
     
  7. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    Also, go ahead and install the GE Wattstation app, create an account, and log in. That will save you some time when you come across those. They have a QR code on the pedestal that you snap with your smartphone and that allows you to start the session.
     
  8. bwilliams

    bwilliams Member

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    I am just beginning my research for my first long trip and it is overwhelming. I'll be traveling from San Diego to Santa Barbara and back. I'd like to stop in Malibu for lunch and charge at 130 miles. I don't have supercharger and I don't want to take the freeway route anyway. I'm considering getting a chademo connector if that's doable on the 60 but don't want to spend the $450 if I don't have to.

    It seems that many of the charging stations I'm looking at are frequently down or iced or charging another car. That would totally suck, obviously. Then there are the various companies (clipper creek, chargpoint, evgo to start) and more confusing the various apps. Some comments talk about complicated connections (like the chademo at costco in Goleta) and other suggest apps that make connecting easier. Here are some example apps recommended on PlugShare: “ev connect app” , "Greenlots app needed". I'm not done looking at every possible charging station so more to decipher, I'm sure. I'd prefer my vacation not be an exercise in frustration.

    Another disconcerting comment because I don't know what's involved: "may need to use power switch". ???

    Anyone familiar with this non-freeway route north of LA? Suggestions? Are these apps really necessary?
     
  9. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    #9 purplewalt, Jun 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015

    @bwilliams:
    I am probably not going to have the cheapest answer for your exact situation.
    It sounds like you have a S60, and your car has not yet activated the Supercharger Option.

    Long trips are really easy and significantly faster/quicker using Superchargers.
    Since you live in California (the Motherland and Mother Load of Superchargers, with 31 locations and growing), the easiest thing to do would be to activate your car to have Supercharger access.

    I have taken multiple trips.
    Supercharger is the only way to take a long trip.
    Period.

    I have driven over 1,200 miles in a single day using Superchargers, and the very best I have been able to do using 14-50 outlets @ RV Parks is 495 miles.
    Standard plugs @ EVgo and such are actually slower charging rate than an RV Park outlet.
    No contest which is the best solution for charging while out on the road.

    I do have blink card, and I have the CHAdeMO adapter.
    Supercharger network is supremely fast compared to any other sort of charging.
     
  10. bwilliams

    bwilliams Member

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    thanks for the suggestion, purplewalt. I don't intend to drive along the supercharger route so I'm looking for other, minimally complicated options. It is a rare thing for us to drive any distance - we mostly fly. We usually take the train to Santa Barbara but this trip will require a car. We'll be traveling along the coast hwy (route 1) for scenery at a "vacation" speed. If we traveled regularly we'd have paid for the supercharger and bought an S85.

    Is the chademo worth it? How complicated is it to connect? Seems like people are having trouble given the comments on plugshare.



     
  11. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    The CHAdeMO adapter is $1,900.00 if you don't already have Super Charging enabled, so you'd be better off getting real Super Charging for a little more at $2500.

    With supercharging this sort of trip is very easy. Going up the 1, you could charge at the Oxnard Super Charger. Depending on where you live in San Diego, you might be able to make it there in one shot, or stop at the new San Diego super charger and jump from there to Oxnard (it's about 170 Rated Miles if your drive drive the speed limit).

    As far as the Char188 Rated miles from my how to Oxnard)
     
  12. bwilliams

    bwilliams Member

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    #12 bwilliams, Jun 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
    Wow, I just talked to Tesla tech support and they told me $450 for the adapter and I was good to go! No upgrade of software change needed! What's the $1900??

    $2500 for one trip is way more than I'm willing to spend (or even a very few trips in the future). Sorry, but it's a total rip off unless you use this regularly. Our dumpy old prius gets 45 mpg so round trip about $30 in gas. We'd have to take over 80 trips to break even!



     
  13. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    I think my CHAdeMO adaptor was $450 for just the device.
    It is available in the Tesla Gear web page, and it had previously been back-ordered.

    http://shop.teslamotors.com/collections/model-s-charging-adapters/products/chademo-adapter

    "For Model S without Supercharging enabled, onboard hardware must be activated to use the CHAdeMO adapter.
    A third party billing network membership is required at many CHAdeMO stations."

    There is a note on the web page:
    ***NOTE: a vehicle software update must be performed at the service center if Supercharging is not enabled.

    So, in light of the above CHAdeMO adapter situation, it looks like Supercharger enabling might still be best.
    Or you will be using much slower Level 2 charging for your trip.

    Sorry I couldn't give you more cost effective information.
     
  14. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    The $1900 is for the
    "onboard hardware activation" if you don't already have Supercharger enabled. Maybe they waived that recently?

    [FONT=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]If this is the only trip you will ever take, then $2500 is a bit much.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif] I personally would not bother doing long distance travel in a Model S without Super Chargers and/or CHAdeMO charging, especially in a 60. It's just not worth the time waiting for hours to charge along the way with slower J1772 chargers. I know some people do it, but it's becomes more of a "challenge" than a relaxing trip.[/FONT]
     
  15. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    Yeah, that's some really wrong information you have there. $450 gets you the adapter, and the SC will need to enable L3 DCFC on the car. That doesn't mean you're entitled to Supercharging, though. Many months ago, they wanted you to have Supercharging enabled. That hasn't been the case since before the thing was released.
     
  16. bwilliams

    bwilliams Member

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    I called the SC this afternoon and the rep told me that I didn't need to do anything other than order the $450 adapter. I said I didn't have supercharging enabled and I thought they had to do something with the software but apparently not. I will double check on this.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've applied for the evgo and the chargepoint card tonight and I put the chargepoint app on my phone for what it's worth. I will experiment before I go.

    There's lots to do while charging at many J1772 locations - unlike the supercharger locations where I've heard it's very, very boring. One person I met had to schlep to timbuktu just to go to the bathroom (though I hear most have easy bathroom access).

    For this particular trip, latest plan, we'll stop at the Getty museum which has free charging. Lunch, gorgeous setting plus museum time should get us a few miles. Coming home, not sure yet but lots of nice places along the coast hwy to hang out, beach, food during charge time. It's a vacation and we're in no hurry. I just hope these charging stations actually work. (I didn't mention I had been a leaf owner with no shortage of Blink charging station nightmares - I don't want to repeat those experiences.)
     
  17. Oba

    Oba Member

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    If you want to try out the CHAdeMO adaptor, I'm close to you and could let you take it to the new San Diego Supercharger for a test. Just PM.
     
  18. ra-san

    ra-san Member

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    That's generous, but what would you do with it at the supercharger? Is there a chademo charger there? I may have missed it in the 60+ pages of that thread since I kind of glazed over at some point ;-) Need to meet at a chademo charging station to try it out.

    To the OP, regardless of the impression the service center gave, I'm certain they will have to change settings on your car to use it, to enable fast DC capability. Cars with SuperCharger enabled already are set up for it, but for non SC cars, they'll set it so you can use the chademo without using the superchargers. They can do it over the air, but it'll have to be done before the car will use the adaptor. They may do this for free now, but that was the extra charge being talked about above. You can use plug share and filter to just those type chargers to see where they are.

    Kudos to thinking about doing the trip. Definitely possible, but takes actual planning, as you are seeing. Beauty of the supercharger enable is that you can still do any of that you want, and utilize the destination / long-stop charging, but also can just go with a lot less worry about time and finding places along the way.
     
  19. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Well, there may not be a "lot to do" at some of the Supercharger locations, but you are probably only there 30 to 40 minutes max. and you will have added about 140 to 170 miles of range charge (YMMV).
    If you want to fully charge, you can do that too, but not really required if there is another supercharger on your way.
    If another car is already charging on the same Supercharger circuit (i.e. 1A and you are at 2A), your car will charge at a slower rate.

    Most of the Superchargers are conveniently located adjacent to a food service or restroom facility or some sort of shopping.
    Plug-in your car, go grab a bite, take a bio break, come back, unplug and continue your travels.

    My suggestion would be for you to visit an actual Supercharger location, and see how quick the charging actually is.
    And also to witness what kind of adjacent Options there are to occupy that 30 to 40 minutes of charging time.
    Heck, the San Diego/Sorrento Valley Supercharger just went LIVE...
    ...so maybe today is the day.


    Charging @ a J1772 location takes a relatively long time, even to get 100 miles of range charge.
    Probably about 17 to 19 of range miles per hour.
    14-50 NEMA plug (@ home or at an RV Park) will get you about 28 miles of range per hour.
    A HPWC charger will charge at about the same rate, unless your car has dual chargers, then it is faster, about 56 miles per hour.

    One of the beauty of Superchargers is you don't have to completely "fill up" during your stop, because you are on your way to another Supercharger.
    Get enough charge for the anticipated distance plus a bit of a buffer.


    There are actually TWO Getty Museums:
    **The Getty Center in Brentwood ($15 parking, $10 after 5 pm), closed Mondays, ride the tram up the hill, Admission is Free, Summer Season open Fridays until 9 pm.
    and
    **The Getty Villa @ Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway ($15 parking, $10 after 5 pm), closed Tuesdays, advanced (free) time-entry tickets are required, Admission is free, Summer Season open Saturdays until 9 pm.

    And both are worth visiting.
     
  20. bwilliams

    bwilliams Member

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    Oba, I would like to give this a try if you're up for that. I just sent you a PM.

     

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