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Will relying on a public station be a problem?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by mattmass, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. mattmass

    mattmass Member

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    First, I just want to say how awesome these forums are! I've been reading up on Tesla and the Model S for months now, and I've gotten a ton of excellent information here. Thank you all!


    Here's my situation:
    - Been dying to own an EV for years
    - Love the Model S to death, and just so impressed with what Tesla has done
    - Live in an apartment complex which has a ChargePoint station installed (one J1772 and one 110V)
    - Station already used by a Volt owner regularly
    - Infrequent regular driving requirements (10-20 miles per week)
    - Frequent road trips (Boston to Montreal and back approximately once per month, about 350 miles each way)


    I felt like its finally all come together. I have the means to own the car, and I finally have a living arrangement that seems like it could be compatible. Tesla is making the Boston-Montreal trip more and more realistic, and I expect there will be enough superchargers installed that it will be worry-free this year. So, I just hit the order button.


    But, now that I've read the owners manual, I'm a little more apprehensive. The Model S owner's manual is crystal clear - leave the car plugged in. According to ChargePoint support, it won't be possible for me to keep an active session going once the car stops charging. So, while I will have a place to charge at home, I cannot really leave the car plugged in, as the manual urges me to do.


    So, I'm going to have the car parked for days at a time, frequently. And I'l be able to plug it in every day. But, I won't be able to leave it plugged in with guaranteed access to power. Will I run into any trouble with this charging arrangement?
     
  2. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Plugging in daily should be fine for your driving pattern and the health of your battery, even in Boston winters.

    However, a lot of owners increase their driving when they get a Model S. I would work with your appartment complex to get a dedicated outlet installed. It is always better to have more charging available than your minimum need. I would try for a 240 V, 30 A outlet (NEMA 14-30), but a dedicated 120 V outlet would be fine if that is significantly easier to get installed.

    GSP
     
  3. Rheazombi

    Rheazombi Member

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    Hey fellow Boston driver who also has no dedicated charging! I think you'll be okay :D

    I was a bit worried at first as well, but I've definitely made it work for me the past ~6 months (my apartment doesn't even have a garage so I have to just park in a random spot on the street if I'm lucky enough to find a space). I use a variety of charging locations, parking garages, Superchargers while driving around, and grocery store parking lots. I drive about 1000-1500 miles a month.

    Because of my situation, I decided not to get a LEAF because the range was too small for not having home charging. However, the 85kWh Model S (with dual chargers) is PERFECT.

    I also go to Montreal a couple of times a year, haven't done it in the Model S yet but the SC network seems to soon be able to make that trip super easy!
     
  4. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    These kinds of questions will become more and more frequent as EVs spread from mostly house owners in suburbia to people in all kinds of living situations. The nightly charge is not a guarantee in many places, no matter how convenient when it is possible.

    I'm not a battery specialist, so I have nothing more to offer than the observation some people definitely already do what you plan to do. I know some people who can't charge at home at all, so they charge at public chargers or office buildings when possible. Some poster mentioned that in London some people rely on superchargers solely as their regular charging solution. Many of these cars are still too new to have real empirical evidence as to what effects it may or may not have.

    At the very least, what you plan to do doesn't seem unheard of. What its long-term implications may be, I'll to others to hopefully comment and speculate.

    Perhaps some long-term Roadster owners could chime in their experiences, if they can't charge nightly? Has it affected the battery noticeably?
     
  5. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    Welcome!

    I think once a day charging will be fine for you. The battery management system (BMS) does things like heating/cooling the battery when needed, and I believe the system will come on when you use the app to turn on the climate control system even when the car is not plugged-in. From what I've read here, the BMS also balances the battery after charging is complete, so if you can leave the car plugged-in to a 120 V outlet or a Supercharger once every two months for a few hours (120 V) or 15 minutes (Supercharger) after charging is complete, that should be better for your battery. The ideal battery charge state for longevity is approximately 50%, so if on some days you won't need more than a 50% state of charge, you can set the car to charge to 50-60%.
     
  6. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    With your driving, using the 110 alone will be adequate for most of your needs. I suspect you can work with the Volt driver and work out a plan that if he's fully charged you can just unplug him and vis versa if using the J1772. Might be worth planting a bug in the apartment complex owner/manager's ear about expanding charging options, perhaps even offering to pay for a HPWC and a monthly charge for the used electricity if they'll install it. In any case, you should be absolutely fine with the limited options you have.
     
  7. kota23

    kota23 Member

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    Condo owner in Chicago here with no dedicated charging. I park on the street in year round now and use combination of work chargers, public chargers and extension cords at home(rarely) to get by. I drive 60-100 miles a day, you'll be fine. I leave it unplugged for long periods with no issue.
     
  8. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    I got to ask, out of genuine interest, how do you use an extension cord at your condo? Straight down the balcony to the street? :)
     
  9. mattmass

    mattmass Member

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    Thank you everyone - I'm feeling way better about this already. My primary concern was leaving the car unplugged so frequently. But, it sounds like others have a similar setup.

    It does seem a little funny that ChargePoint stations would cut power after the current draw falls, as opposed to the connector being physically disconnected. I'm totally willing to pay for the power!
     
  10. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    That's not my experience with ChargePoint. I have restarted a finished charging session via my phone many times when plugged in to a ChargePoint charger after it was done charging. Maybe not all chargers are the same.
     
  11. mattmass

    mattmass Member

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    That's really encouraging to hear. I contacted ChargePoint support tossk about this. They told me I would need to physically disconnect and reconnect to start a new session. They did not know what station I was talking about. Sounds like this might would exactly as I'd like.
     
  12. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

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    Sounds like you will be fine. Another consideration is vampire drain. In NorCal this time of year it is 4 - 6 rated miles per day. In Boston it is probably a little higher. A reason to use that 120v outlet at least if you can.
     
  13. kota23

    kota23 Member

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    I live in a ground floor condo and need to have one of a few spots right up front. Cord across the grass and taped into the crack of the sidewalk. Definitely not ideal at all. I also just recently installed a Nema 6-50 in the alley out back, but don't really use that either beyond loading the car for a road trip. That spot is reserved for my wife's Smart Car since it's located in a small alcove that her car fits in perfectly.
    IMG_20141220_173117 (1).jpg
     
  14. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    I'd say:

    - Congratulations, I think that if you're here asking, you'll be happy to make it work and will find that it will.
    - Talk to the complex owners and ask about getting another dedicated slot
    - Talk to the Volt owner and ask about sharing the J1772: unless they're die-hard that's-why-I-don't-own-a-BEV, I think you'd find they'll be happy to share, especially since your battery buffer will allow you to use it infrequently.
    - You (and the Volt owner?) could try talking to other people in the complex to ask whether they're interested in getting a plug-in and lack of charging is holding them back. It might be that you can pass information to the complex owners that would get them to do some systemic work, instead of piecemeal installation. (Be prepared to pay!)
     
  15. mattmass

    mattmass Member

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    Thanks everyone, for the stories and advice! I'm feeling way better about this setup, and optimistic that the ChargePoint station will be more convenient that their support person made it sound.
     

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