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Supercharger event September 24

Supercharger event September 24

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/13/tesla-supercharger-network-september-...

Speculation?

Looking forward to concrete information...

O

olanmills | September 14, 2012

Cool, that's only ten days away.

Sudre_ | September 14, 2012

This is more news than just supercharging. I saw battery swapping on the list of possibilities. I wish they had more details about this stuff before I locked in my car.

Volker.Berlin | September 14, 2012

It all pure speculation right now.

Since we are speculating anyway: My money is on the supercharging (half hour = half battery), probably powered by solar and/or wind (would require some storage like super capacitors or local hydrogen generation+fuel cell, or they just feed to the grid and take from the grid like most solar installations). I do not expect battery swapping from Tesla. It's not the question whether personally I think it's a good idea or not, I'm just pretty confident that Elon has his reasons not to go that route.

Although, obviously, the swapping solution would be nicely compatible with solar: Relatively slow charging is good for the battery, and energy storage is required anyway. So bottom line: All bets are off...

sergiyz | September 14, 2012

I can bet on no battery swap, otherwise we wouldn't need dual charges in S to take care of high current charging.

Whity Whiteman | September 14, 2012

ideal case:
maybe they do a cooperation with "better place",
they are the founder of the swapping-think...

Teoatawki | September 14, 2012

Sergiyz,

The dual chargers are so you can use the full capacity from the home power wall connector and J1772 high power stations as they come available. The guys on the cross country tour charged using a high power (68A) J1772 charger at Clipper Creek's facility.

The supercharger doesn't use the onboard chargers at all. It uses 10 chargers to dump high voltage dc straight into the battery pack.

jbunn | September 14, 2012

We had heard a rumor about Harris Ranch half way between San Francisco and LA hosting a supercharger. Harris was kind enough to verify the rumor. And if you haven't been there, it's a good place to have a cold beer and a nice steak.

Ron5 | September 14, 2012

Can someone go over to Harris ranch and check out the aliens?

Brian H | September 14, 2012

Swapping requires a bay and lift with robo-rig to manipulate the 400+ Kg. Not happening at Supercharger stops.

lph | September 14, 2012

My guess is that they will be announcing super charger locations along I5, I90 and I10. If they are spaced at say 150+/- miles apart it would be easy to travel long distances even with a 60 kw pack.
I believe that you can use the supercharger as often as you like because there is protection against overheating of the battery. Although it will charge at full rate for the lower 80% of charge, it will slow down considerably after that to protect the battery.
We will know for sure in a few days.

Ron5 | September 14, 2012

Add I95 to complete the rectangle.

Schlermie | September 14, 2012

I believe that you can use the supercharger as often as you like because there is protection against overheating of the battery.

Tesla recommends you use the superchargers no more than 2% of the time.

Teoatawki | September 14, 2012

@Schlermie

Where is that recommendation? I hadn't heard a specific amount before now.

cerjor | September 14, 2012

Tesla recommends you use the superchargers no more than 2% of the time.

If the car is driven 10,000 miles per year and is recharged every 100 miles, that's 100 charging cycles. With this scenario, the supercharger should only be used twice.

Schlermie | September 14, 2012

@Teo,
I overheard one of the Tesla staff talking about it while I was at the Menlo Park store a while ago. Apparently, this is the rule of thumb recommendation they were coached to tell customers about how often you should supercharge. He didn't say anything about the ramifications for exceeding 2%, and I'm sure that's a complex answer.

jerry3 | September 14, 2012

If that's really the case, then it makes supercharging just about useless and road trips would be out of the question. Just the minimum amount of road trips that I take would use 15 or 20 supercharges over a year. (Not that there are likely to be any superchargers along the routes I take).

Robert22 | September 14, 2012

Think of it as crack for your car. Great when you need a quick boost for extra range, but likely to decrease its life expectancy, punctuated by the occasional sudden death.

Teoatawki | September 15, 2012

If I charge my car every night, that's 365x per year. So I have ~7x per year supercharges, right?

Whity Whiteman | September 15, 2012

I'm sure, that it will be possible to adjust the amount of juice per given time... would make sense.
If You -for example- load with 50% of full power, it's not that stressy for the accupack

jerry3 | September 15, 2012

Teoatawki,

Assuming that the 2% is correct. I'm unconvinced. Also that might be referring to a full one-hour charge. A half hour charge may be much less stressful. Elon said that the plan was "drive three hours, charge for half an hour, drive for another three hours, charge for half an hour". That seems to conflict with the only 2%.

Whity,

Well, if you reduce the charge level, then there is no point in having a supercharger in the first place.

LarsT | September 15, 2012

I get very excited about this announcement. For many reasons:

1. Very soon, Tesla Model S owners can take long distance road trips (or cross country trips) practically eliminating range anxiety in just about the same time as those who still travel with fossil fuels.

2. It will feel like going into a VIP-club lounge when pulling your Tesla into the "Tesla-Supercharge-Spaceships", feeling awkward for those with gas cars at these filthy pump areas with spilled Diesel und oil on the concrete, having to spend a fortune for this scarce and expensive stuff. This will be the best marketing for electric drive for so many people who still wonder if electric cars are useful.

3. They will most likely use solar power, locally sourced to charge quite huge batteries in the ground, so that they are 100% CO2-free and they can provide the DC-charge right out the battery (battery-to-battery-charging).

4. Your car will park in the shade underneath the "spaceships" solar panel roof while you catch refreshments, go shopping or go out to eat.

I personnaly do not believe they will offer battery swaps: First, I don't think that many people love the idea to swap "your own" battery for one that might be much older, weaker or with already decreased capacity. And secondly, as Tesla provides warranty plans on the cars battery (8 years), how should they keep this up, if you keep changing the thing all the time.

Concerning the stress for the battery, I do not believe that DC-Charging is such a big issue in these days anymore: There are a lot of new notebooks out that nowadays provide rapid-charges (80% of charge in 30 minutes) ALL the time - and they are not liquid cooled and have advances thermic-control systems like Teslas battery.

So to sum up: One of the most common concern of people about EVs is their range anxiety for the rather rare occasions they want to go on a holiday trip or visit friends in another state. Many people even choose to stick with petrol just for these maybe less than 3% of all trips they take in a year.

With the Tesla Supercharger Network and the range of the Model S itself, Elon is closing this last argument against EVs for ever. In my opinion, this is almost as important as building the Model S in the first place.

jerry3 | September 15, 2012

Lars,

I don't believe there will be batter swaps either. Elon has indicated as much recently. Battery swaps were talked about in 2009 and the Model S was designed to allow rapid battery change, but as a practical matter there is just too much money tied up in the batteries for swapping. If it ever happens, it will be after the next three models are in production.

jerry3 | September 15, 2012

Lars, - One of the most common concern of people about EVs is their range anxiety for the rather rare occasions they want to go on a holiday trip

I don't know about this one. (It's the "rather rare" part I'm taking issue with, not the "it's a common concern" part). I've driven on three holiday trips so far this year, each around 1200 miles round trip. Perhaps my definition of rare isn't the same as yours. Because it will be much less expensive to drive the Model S (even with the maintenance added) I expect to do more driving than before.

LarsT | September 15, 2012

Jerry, this is exactly what I meant. Before the era of superchargers at highway road stops, people would argue, that they wanted an electric car for their everyday drives, but figured they could not use it for longer road trips. I believe, the Tesla Supercharging Network will eliminate this problem. And it will even bring a huge advantage to those of us, who regularly drive longer distances and trips.

jerry3 | September 15, 2012

Lars,

I agree with you on the "but figured they could not use it for longer road trips" and the supercharger will eliminate this problem (unless it's really true that you can only use it 2% of the time, in which case they might as well not do it).

As real EVs become more popular (and right now the only one is Tesla), holiday trips will increase because it will cost $50 rather than $500 in gas.

kalikgod | September 15, 2012

My prediction on the Supercharger stations:

100% Solar Powered - to defeat the long tail pipe arguement.

Off-Grid - stores capacity on its own batteries/capacitors for 10 - 20 recharges. Removes the requirement to have high cost grid electrical connections in remote areas. Hence the Spaceship reference (they can just drop these where ever they feel like without local infrastructure). Remember Tesla was already developing a smaller version of this with Solar City for off-grid houses, just need to scale it up. Elon loves this style of engineering (battery pack, Falcon rockets, etc.)

Design - I am not a graphics guy, so I will not even try to sketch something. How about a large circular roof (think crop circle) covered in solar panels, tilted at about 10-15 degrees so some panels are always getting optimum sun and rain runs off. Underneath is 4 - 6 parking spots all with connectors. Hopefully more people can plug in than charge at the same time and the system will just queue.

Located along freeways at the exits with the most food/shopping. Tesla may even charge hosts to have a Supercharge since it will attract customers and not cost the host anything to build.

I do not think they will have them in actual cities yet, but they really need to. If you drive from city to city and arrive with very low charge, you might need a Supercharge to handle your days activities before settling in for the night.

Communication system - I think they will have some way to check availability/reserve from the Model S, but this will probably be a software update to follow.

Plug - Elon has already talked plenty about this. If anyone has used a CHaDeMo DC QC, you can see why Elon hates it. It is like wrestling a python.

Did I miss anything? I am I way off base?

jerry3 | September 15, 2012

kalikgod,

About the cities. I would assume that the last highway supercharge would take care of the driving after you arrive in the city. Then you'd to a standard charge at your destination (or a range charge if you were heading out the next morning).

Michael23 | September 15, 2012

I really hope the 2% rule isn't true, because that defeats the entire point of supercharging if you can't do it when you need it.

Volker.Berlin | September 15, 2012

kalikgod,

100% Solar Powered - to defeat the long tail pipe arguement.

I agree. Although this argument:

Off-Grid - stores capacity on its own batteries/capacitors for 10 - 20 recharges. Removes the requirement to have high cost grid electrical connections in remote areas.

in is somewhat refuted by this one:

Located along freeways at the exits with the most food/shopping.

Where there's food and shopping, there's also a grid connection. Or would you assume that a grid connection for a restaurant and shop does not necessarily offer the kind of juice that is required to feed the superchargers? Maybe you have a point there.

kalikgod | September 15, 2012

The 50 kW CHeDeMo QCs takes over $100k worth of grid connection equipment. Only super markets or larger industrial/commercial enterprises even have large enough grid connections to spare 50 kW, let along 90 kW of a Supercharger. You don't want to lights to go out at the business because a Model S plugs in.

If they are storing energy in the Supercharger, they could get away with a much lower current grid connection. People could still argue that some of the electrons going into the battery pack are not completely renewable. I think Elon is looking to defeat that argument.

Brian H | September 15, 2012

kalikgod;
Yes, I think you are way off base.

Cross-country? The routes are coastal.

Solar? A week of cloudiness, regardless of batteries, defeats them. So does winter. They will be grid-fed.

Cities? The last places to get Superchargers. It's getting there which is the issue.

jerry3 | September 15, 2012

kalikgod -- People could still argue that some of the electrons going into the battery pack are not completely renewable...

If the nay-sayers don't have that argument, they'll find something else (battery recycling, nickel in the chrome, shipping in parts from Europe or Japan, the list is almost endless).

demetri | September 15, 2012

Does anyone know if they are going to charge anything to use them?

jerry3 | September 15, 2012

dspantidos,

Until the 24th reveal event, it's all speculation.

Mark E | September 15, 2012

It would make sense to have superchargers at the outskirts of cities so that arriving drivers nearing max range can do a 15-30 minute top up.

I'd agree that there is less incentive for superchargers around the city.

On another note, I have spoken to a few hire car (limo) drivers here in Australia about how far they drive each day. The number seems to vary between 400 and 600km, and their major cost concern is fuel.

Most -if not all - take a break during the middle of the day as the majority of fares are to and from the Airport, or after hours. Most customers (inc me) use regular taxis during the day.

If the supercharging wasn't as much of a problem for battery life then the model S could be interesting for them. Then the only issue would be rear headroom & seating/luxury.

bsimoes | September 16, 2012

I'm surprised that no one has seen "construction" of any superchargers at this point. It seems like they will all of a sudden appear! Doesn't it seem like they must have been started to be placed along various corridors? Are they hidden in plain sight? To me, it is curious that not one person has commented on seeing them yet. Maybe they will suddenly land out of the sky like spaceships?! Maybe Elon will use his rocket technology to fly them where they are needed by us!

Brian H | September 16, 2012

Permitting and infrastructure come first, and that's all pretty much outta sight. As in, invisible.

Docrob | September 16, 2012

These could be the perfect test beds for vehicle to grid technology. Solar fed with a grid back up, any power not solar supplied during prolonged overcast weather woulld be trickle fed from the grid or more rapidly replenished at times of lowest demand. At times of highest demand and when solar production is surplus to requirements the supercharger could sell power back into the grid at a premium. This way the superchargers could be self funding and remain free for end users.

kalikgod | September 16, 2012

@Brian H

You don't think they will be operating the day of the announcement? Last comment I saw from Elon was they were waiting on construction to be completed to have the event.

I would be very surprised if he couldn't plug in a car and show that it works on September 24th.

STxTesla | September 16, 2012

I predict that the announcement will include a list of intercity agreements with businesses that will host a supercharger station, (i.e. Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Cracker Barrel). The ability to drive into a city and go straight for a charger while you stop to shop or eat makes sense. The highway stops will of course be there also....but city stops will be more popular. Some people are not keen on stopping at a remote, desolate rest area at night.

MyDreamCar | September 16, 2012

Maybe something like this?? This looks a little like a spaceship....

http://elonmusktesla.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/envision-solar-tree-to-jui...

mrspaghetti | September 16, 2012

@STxTesla - where in TX are you? I'm in H-town, and hoping one of those superchargers will find it's way to Centerville or Buffalo (about 1/2 way b/t Houston & Dallas).

It seems to me it's the areas between major cities that need the superchargers - the places that are not the final destination for most travelers. Once you're in any reasonable size city there are already plenty of charging options. Personally, I don't intend to supercharge any more than I have to since I'm pretty sure it's not good for the battery in the long run.

And I think once the Tesla paradigm of "reasonable range" electric vehicles catches on (and it will), it would make sense that hotels will be the main places in mid to large size cities for chargers to be located (standard chargers, not supers).

You leave your origin with a full charge, supercharge on the way, then "refill" overnight at your hotel. Boom.

kalikgod | September 16, 2012

@tesla.mrspaghet

I am in Houston also. I will be looking forward to seeing a Supercharger between Houston/Dallas, Houston/Austin (Brenham?) and Houston/San Antonio. That would make a 60 kWh pack a perfect fit for Texas.

Unfortunately I am guessing the 24th event will have West Coast only locations. Like the stores, they know where the first concentration of cars will be. I would expect the Supercharger rollout to closely follow the store rollout.

jbunn | September 16, 2012

One of the reps mentioned Elon is driving between Silicon Valley and LA (Tesla and SpaceX) twice a week. I take that with a grain of salt as that's about 20 hours in the car, and he's a busy lad. So take it for what it's worth, but they said he is already supercharging somewhere along the way. I'm guessing they have a private test bed somewhere along the way.

And again it's just rumor, but that would imply that he's also stress testing the pack's ability to repeatedly supercharge.

Teoatawki | September 16, 2012

Reports are the first supercharger is to be at Harris Ranch, roughly midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

jerry3 | September 16, 2012

STxTesla-- I predict that the announcement will include a list of intercity agreements with businesses that will host a supercharger station, (i.e. Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Cracker Barrel).

Does anyone still shop at those places? In the past ten years I've been to Walgreens twice, Wal-mart once, and Cracker Barrel once.

jerry3 | September 16, 2012

mrspaghet -- It seems to me it's the areas between major cities that need the superchargers

That's pretty much the common wisdom. Only in very unusual circumstances would you charge your Tesla anywhere other than your home unless you were on a trip. Then you need superchargers placed about three hours apart. At the destination you charge at the place you're staying.

olanmills | September 16, 2012

Well I hadn't really expected aany to be operating this calendar year, or maybe there will just be a couple between LA and SF. There aren't going to be that many Model S drivers until next year. Even assuming they do deliver 5000 or more this year, most of those deliveries are going to be towards the tail end of the year.

If superchargers are available at or shortly after the announcement, that'd be great, but honestly, I don't think there would be that much use of them until next summer. I think it would be fine if the rollout was slow.

Teoatawki | September 16, 2012

I intend to do some serious long range driving, including 2 cross country trips, left-right and right-left. Just because usage will start out light doesn't discount the value to the few who can take advantage of them. A few more XC in an electric car blogs will go a long way to promote EVs and ease range anxiety.

Volker.Berlin | September 17, 2012

Maybe something like this?? This looks a little like a spaceship....
http://elonmusktesla.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/envision-solar-tree-to-jui...
(MyDreamCar)

Well, not sure about the space ship analogy, but that is pretty close to what I expect. The interesting part will be how they bridge the gap between the trickle-charge characteristics of a photovoltaic array (or wind turbine, for that matter) and the burst-charge characteristics of the superchargers.

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