Problem supercharging (AC charge OK...just no DC charge!)

Problem supercharging (AC charge OK...just no DC charge!)

Anyone else have supercharging problems? I am not one of those biased journalists...but here is my story:

I recently set out on my second road trip, having used the supercharger in Barstow when going from LA to Vegas about 2 months ago. I love the car and left 3 perfectly capable ICE cars at home to take the Tesla. I'm confident estimating range and planning out charging stops.

This time, while home-charging and all else seemed to be working great, I got a nasty surprise at the Tejon Pass charging station: my Model S would not take a DC charge. While all blinked green and the dash showed 380V, no current would flow. Other cars were charging fine - and we tried 3 different stations. There happened to be some engineers from the factory at the charging station (with prototype cars running the next software version) and even with their valiant efforts and having support on the phone it seemed nothing could be done (phone support sounded like Microsoft: "I'll reboot the car and see if that fixes it"). The best theory (from an Engineer at HQ): the contactor (in the car) was not switching from the AC charging path to the DC charging path. So, we ended up leaving the magnificent Tesla at Enterprise rent-a-car and driving a Mazda for the remainder of our trip :-(

OK, so all cars can have a failure and leave you stranded (though not so common on a 100k car with under 4000 miles on it!), but with this one there are a few things that make it tougher:
* there is almost zero chance of getting anything fixed on the road or nearby
* there is ZERO warning before leaving home that your car is not road-trip ready
* despite all the great phone support and engineers on site, there seems to be no way diagnose what is wrong

It seems to me that, at a minimum, you need to be able to do SOMETHING to know if your car is ready for a weekend road trip. Without that, I'm not sure I'll feel confident taking my shiny new toy on a road trip again, which really tweaks me.

Kleist | February 17, 2013

happens with all cars new or old - if something critical breaks your road trip is over.
But it is good to keep it in mind, so I will never pass the Gilroy SC without testing if SC works.

Carefree | February 17, 2013

I am not sure why this is any different than the experience with an ICE car. My Touareg TDi stalled out on me in the middle of nowhere and there were no indication at all when I had left home that something was wrong. It took a 4 hour tow truck drive to get to the nearest VW dealership because other shops could not read the VW readouts.
AT least with the Tesla you can get an initial diagnosis from the Tesla team because they are connected to the car and can potentially fix it over the air - coolest thing ever:-)

Salman | February 21, 2013

@cliff, are you back from your road trip? Any update on what's wrong with your car, and what it'll take to fix it?