Spuerchargers to accomodate 40kWH models

Spuerchargers to accomodate 40kWH models

I'm expecting my 40kwh in May/June (I hope!)
I live in Boston.
I want to travel to New York City.
I'm 147 miles from the Milford Supercahrger.

1) Will this car make this trip with any miles to spare?

2) I understand that the way the Superchargers are now configured, they will not accommodate a 40kwh battery.
Does anyone think it's a good idea for TM to add less powerful equipment to the Superchargers that won't damage the 40kwh battery? Or do you suspect a parking space constraint to which TM is subject?

cmeyers | 27 February, 2013

I had always "assumed" that the super chargers would have a standard 240V AC available. Not that I would try to do a long trip but it would be nice.

Carefree | 27 February, 2013

It would not make any sense to have a standard 240V outlet on the super chargers. It would take too much time to charge the cars and would be a major cause for long lines at the SCs.

It was always clearly stated by TM that the 40s could not use the SCs - nothing has changed. The 40s are viewed (and are) get-around-the-town cars. | 27 February, 2013

A couple of things to consider-- If you are doing a long trip (for your battery pack) you want to have recharging points that do not take you to the battery limits (upper or lower). Otherwise you are putting your battery life at risk.

Planning your trip to recharge using RV 50 amp hookups would likely be your best option rather than planning the supercharger routes.

cmeyers | 27 February, 2013

Not for supercharging but for emergency charging. More electrical outlets are better for all electric car owners not just those with huge egos!

I live in San Jose and can drive a 40 to Gilroy to shop and then return back to San Jose no problem, unless something happens then it would be nice to have the option.

They don't put gas stations only where Carefree's gas tank hits empty they put them everywhere there is a market for one.

brookbot | 27 February, 2013

See my trip log in this forum "San Diego to Vegas"

I don't think you'd make 147miles on a 40kWh battery. I was doing 160-170mile trips with 85kWh and had little to spare. Even if you do a conservative 300Wh/m you'd need over 44kWh and that leaves nothing to spare. I was averaging 370kWh @67.5mph and 332kWh @72mph avg. Although this was SoCal w/real mountains, I suppose you could do better on the East Coast if your drive 55mph.

The Super Chargers are DC direct to the battery, not AC as I understand it.

I would consult with local leaf owners about the range they're getting if you know any. Its the same size battery. | 27 February, 2013

If you drive it correctly it should make the trip, prob not too much to spare.

The Leaf has a 24kwh Battery

I have a Ford Focus EV and it has a 23kwh batt. It says 73 miles when it's fully charged but I always get more range. It all depends on how you drive and the slope of the trip. I'm getting the 40 kwh Tesla myself and i expect it to give me double the focus. It sucks they don't have a level 2 on the super charging stations but I'm lucky cause here in Santa Monica, CA and you could throw a rock from anywhere in any direction and hit a charging station.

negarholger | 27 February, 2013

@cmeyers - how much are you willing to pay for that option? Let's say the price would be $8k to cover the risk of warranty failures for the 40 kWh battery. Would that be attractive to you?

negarholger | 27 February, 2013

@cmeyers - Gilroy has J1772 chargers...

Mark K | 28 February, 2013

Most points already covered, but I think anyone planning frequent road trips would be wise to get a bigger pack.

Yes, it is possible to to finesse something, but you are really going against the flow of why the model exists.

The 40 Is a great city car, but you'd have to jump through hoops to make it work for long distance. It's simply not designed for that, which is why they don't offer an SC option.

MandL | 28 February, 2013

@ricardo - I wouldn't count on getting double the FFe. You're talking a much heavier car with less than double the battery capacity.

And the nice thing for all you 40 buyers is that there are already LOTS of EV chargers in the wild that should accommodate your needs.

GLO | 28 February, 2013

Many of the CA Supercharger locations have other chargers in teh same centers (Gilroy, Folsom, etc.). Harris Ranch currently has one surpercharger and one regular. Get Recargo or Plugshare apps for locations of the various types of chargers.

jat | 28 February, 2013

@georgefmoses - Using a Supercharger in the 40s doesn't make any sense, as it can't make it from one to the next (typical 150mi spacing) even driving a constant 55 mph on flat ground with no HVAC with a max-range charge. Plus, the charging gives you half your capacity in half an hour, so you would get far fewer miles/hour than an 85kWh battery would, which would further tie up access to the Superchargers for everyone else.

Even if you can find 80A J1772/HPWC chargers, it will still take a long time to charge, so you really should consider the 40kWh suitable only for driving around town, just with more margin than a LEAF for example.

@brookbot - you were getting lower consumption at 72mph than 66mph? FWIW, I was getting about 370Wh/mi leaving it on cruise at 72 on the interstate with moderate HVAC use (it was 55F outside), giving a range of about 210mi on a standard charge.

@ricardo - YMMV, but driving both the LEAF and the Model S the same way (half interstate at 80mph, half surface roads, both making use of the accelerator frequently [of course the Model S can do more there and use more power by doing so]) I was averaging about 315Wh/mi in the LEAF and 370Wh/mi in the Model S. I would get mid-70s in extrapolated range in the LEAF on a 100% charge. A standard charge (you don't want to do max-range charges frequently) in the 40kWh should get right at 100mi using the same average.

cmeyers | 28 February, 2013

Sweet, a J1772 is all I am asking for. I wouldn't want to super charge a 40 because I do know the limitations.

I think it makes sense for anyone building charging stations to support all EV standards. I am not saying give the electricity away for free. If all the electric car companies work together they can cover more area by providing your standard suite of options.

gimp_dad | 28 February, 2013


Just to be clear, the J1772 charge station at Gilroy outlets has nothing to do with Tesla. It is a public charger that just happens to be next to the SuperCharger.

J1772 chargers are pretty ubiquitous (and certainly will continue to increase in number going forward) which is why I wouldn't expect Tesla Motors to try to add to them as they already have plenty of momentum due to the fact that most EVs can use them.

I hear a lot of people down playing the viability of the 40KWH Model S which I don't agree with since there are so many people already successfully proving that "even" 24KWH (Leaf, Focus) is very viable as long as you plan accordingly. I'm not sure I would even take my 85 on any extended road trip anyway even though its range gives me a bigger radius I can consider for day trips.

In the seven months I have had my Model S I have never had any day of driving I couldn't have done with a 40 and some planning and no additional waiting anywhere. Of course everyone's needs are different. Just giving my point of view. My commute is very short but I have a tremendous amount of variability in my daily bay area driving because I have a lot of meetings throughout the area.

This car is so fantastic, there is no way I would pass an opportunity to buy it if that meant getting the 40.

gocken1 | 28 February, 2013

jat, you said "Using a Supercharger in the 40s doesn't make any sense, as it can't make it from one to the next (typical 150mi spacing)" but this is not true. There will be other chargers in between the supper chargers that can be used. If the 40's had supper charger access it would speed up half your charges. Sounds great to me. I do have to admit that I plan on only using my 40kWh Model S as a city car.

murraypetera | 28 February, 2013

I am sorry but everyone that says the supper charger and the 40 do not make sense are just wrong!

Who says one need to drive from super charger to super charger. Picture yourself driving down the NJ parkway listening to Simon and Garfunkel going to visit your friends who do not have a 50 amp outlet for you to plug into while you visit. You curse along singing In your 40 knowing that you have enough range to get home on your single chage. You pull into your friends driveway and they think your car is Soooo Cool and insist you take the for a spin. All of a suddon you don't have the charge to get home. No problem since Tesla has installed a super charger at all GS rest stops and you can top off. Oh wait they decided the 40 is only a city car no supper charger or HPC at the GS rest stop. Time to call a tow truck. But hey, your 40 looks great riding on the flatbed.

Nissan is putting in DC chargers all over as are others. While it is just silly that tesla has not put in Their HPC charger at all their SC stations since the extra cost is very minimal. I think it is the country of Estonia that is installing dc quick chargers over the entire country to support the Leaf and iMev.

No matter what you battery size is or gas tank size is there are time when a quick top off or few gallons of gas make you fee better knowing you can get home. This is why SC should be an option for the 40 and why they should put in HPC at all SC locations it is not for driving cross country or to another city it is about comfort.

Brian H | 28 February, 2013

That's appropriate for Nissan, etc., because that's all they've got. Short-range comfort. TM is going for the big prize: cross-country capabability. Nissan short-range: 100% of market; TM short-range: 10% of market.

Completely different ball game.

portia | 1 March, 2013

+1 mark k
just look for other chargers along the way, use for example to find them, KOA campgrounnds,
takes longer time to charge, and that is as designed and is the choice you make.
time vs money.

I think Tesla is good to have the option for people who do not want to pay more for SC and EASY long distance, but want to drive the fabulous model S.

fluxemag | 1 March, 2013

I think it's better to keep a proprietary connection on Superchargers, especially considering Tesla pays for the electricity and the install. If you put a standard plug, there could be a Leaf sitting there charging for 3 hours. I ordered a 40kWh, and have no intention of driving it outside of Phx metro, so I don't really have a stake in this argument except as a shareholder.

Vawlkus | 1 March, 2013

No murray, the SCs are NOT built for comfort. They were designed and implemented to make long range trips feasable in BEVs, SPECIFICALLY the Model S 85 kwh variant. Thus, they are intentionally spaced (as close as can be anyway) so that one can travel from one SC to the next in order to extend the distance you travel without needing an overnight stop to completely recharge the car's battery.

The 40s are not intended to travel longer distances; THEY ARE COMMUTER CARS. They have ZERO need to charge as quickly as a car on a road trip does.

murraypetera | 1 March, 2013

Vawlkus "NOT built for comfort"

This this would be a flawed business strategy then. For a company to not leverage it assets to their full potential is foolish. The only reason to not offer SC to the 40 is to push people to upgrade and perhaps this strategy is working.

As we see Cracker Barrel and others installing DC charger that are accessible to iMEV, Leaf, Renault, Honda, etc. the "Commuter" car that cost 2x to 3x as much cannot use them. Why do they install such chargers? For the COMFORT of their customers with EV's.

Why would you not want to have all your cars leverage the SC? It would be great marking material. Tesla has stated that all future cars will be compatible so why not the 40?

Brian H | 1 March, 2013

40s charge at home, do a daily commute or errands or both. Rinse, repeat. No need for superchargers.

GoTeslaChicago | 1 March, 2013

"Right tool for the right job"

I agree with most who say the 40 kWh car is a commuter car, not a road trip car. If you try to do too many things, you may end up doing none of them well.

hsadler | 1 March, 2013

If you bought an ICE car with a one gallon gas tank and then try to cross Death Valley......

Vawlkus | 1 March, 2013

Basic reason murray? Because the 40 wouldn't charge fast enough to warrant NEEDING the SC's capability. It's lower range would take a little longer than a 60 to charge because the SC would need to apply charge more slowly than it would to the 60 or 85.
A 40 is more readily charged at a lower rate charger, like a Level 2, where it can make full use of the charger's ability.

Here, I'll make it simple: if you have a 1 gallon gas tank, you don't go to the fuel pump that's putting out 1000 gallons per second. You go to the pump that's putting out a gallon per minute. That's the difference here.

Oh, and those ChaDemo chargers aren't for COMFORT either. They're for CONVIENCE. An SC is not convient for a 40 kwh battery.

ajitdavemd | 4 March, 2013

Anyone know if tesla is ever going to release an adapter in the US that will allow Model S cars equipped with supercharging capability to also fast charge via the other DC Fast chargers out there like ChaDeMo etc.. I know that the Model S released in Japan will have an adapter allowing ChaDeMo fast charging but havent heard anything about the US

Brian H | 4 March, 2013

That adapter must be a monster. There are 8 data lines in a CHAdeMO, vs 2 in the TM. They may not want to use/sell it except where absolutely necessary.

jat | 5 March, 2013

@BrianH - I don't know why you keep harping on 8 data lines. It really isn't a big deal for a microcontroller to handle them -- inside your computer, it will typically have 64 or more data lines, and that is just for the system memory bus. Apple's lightning connector has 8 double-side connections, and it is smaller than a dime.

Sure, the CHAdeMO connector is larger than the J1772 connector, but not by a lot. There will be plenty of room inside the adapter for the small microcontroller that would be necessary. The issue is how many would they sell at what price to justify the effort. It is likely that only supercharger-compatible Model S's could use it and it isn't going to be cheap, so the volume of them would be much lower than the J1772 connector that Tesla includes with every car for free. Let's say the market today is 1000 of them at $600 - is $600k enough to design a custom adapter, get a short-run custom heat-resistant plastics made, etc? I think they will do it, since they pretty much have to in Japan and will be strongly encouraged in Europe and once they build it they might as well sell it in the US if it doesn't require any changes to the car beyond software, but I also don't think they will do it anytime soon and they will wait until there is a larger market for them.

syow13 | 5 March, 2013

wouldn't a CHAdeMO connector option for quick charging a 40 (similar to a LEAF/etc) be more appropriate for a 40?

at least in the SF bay area there are a ton of those chargers spaced out more appropriately for shorter distance driving...

just a thought

jat | 5 March, 2013

@syow13 - It seems highly likely to me that any CHAdeMO support will require the same hardware upgrades inside the car that Supercharger support does. It is possible that the DC path is already enough for 45kW charging and has the ability to control DC charging, but I wouldn't bet on it.

nickjhowe | 5 March, 2013

Tesla are on record as saying the CHAdeMO adapter will be available in Japan, and will probably come to the US. No dates, and no hard confirmation.

derek | 5 March, 2013

Geez, people. Enough! There is a SuperCharger option for the 40. It's called the 60.

Seriously. You want a Model S with the SC option, it exists. Buy that one. Don't buy the one without, and complain that it doesn't have the option you didn't buy.

Recall that there is also hardware that must be installed in the car (direct to battery DC wiring) to use the SCs. The 40 didn't get it for three reasons:

- the wiring costs more, but the focus of the 40 was to keep costs down for those who just want an in-town car
- a suitably wired 40 *could* get half a charge in 30 minutes, but it would only be getting 50 miles or so of real range. That won't get you to LA.
- at the point where the hypothetical 40 gets the increased investment SC wiring, it might as well also get the 60 battery. Why invest in a fast way to fill a small container?
- there is already a solution for customers who want range and inter-town travel in the 60 and 85. Supply has met demand.
- yes, admittedly, standard business "price discrimination". And if you don't know what that economics/business term is, just look it up. It's not entirely evil, it's a way of segmenting the market.

SC stations cannot have all charge formats on the tower, or they would be clogged up with people pulling a low-amp charge to their other cars for 5 hours. It is a FAST charging station for Tesla owners who chose a model that can take advantage if it in 30 minutes or so.

There absolutely should be other charging options at these same locations, but not in the same parking spot. What a bloody waste it would be to have a 30 Amp charge taking place in the SC spot. Its akin to cars cruising in the freeway passing lane doing 30mph -- they are using a resource that could be far more efficient, and causing congestion for those who are prepared to use the resource to its full capacity.

There are cost, efficiency, and marketing reasons behind the decision to not SC the 40. You don't need to understand them before making your choice. You should understand them before complaining about Tesla's choices.

Cmeyers crapped on Carefree for having a huge ego. What are you talking about? There's no ego at play here. You are free to buy whichever model suits your needs, Cmeyers. The SC club is not exclusive. But don't buy a bench seat pickup truck and complain that it doesn't have the four doors and passenger capacity of the crew cab.

DouglasR | 5 March, 2013


The value of a CHAdeMO adapter to TM is not in the profit generated by building and selling it. The value is that it will help sell cars. CHAdeMO has become the fast-charge DC standard for the West Coast Green Highway (, from Canada down to Mexico, funded in part by my tax dollars. Yes, it competes with the supercharger network (from my point of view, competition is a good thing), but the fact is that CHAdeMo chargers are out there now. They will be installed in many locations where there are no superchargers. When I drive from Seattle to my brother's house in the Bay Area, I would need to go 80 miles out of the way to use the Folsom supercharger, which I believe is intended to service this route. The main point of resistance in purchasing a BEV is the difficulty of using it for long distance travel. Broadening our charging opportunities can only be good for TM's business.

Brian H | 5 March, 2013

I was assuming, I guess, that this was the reason that from the beginning TM has been saying that the CHAdeMO adapter was a difficult and unlikely project. Not certain that it will be released outside Japan, in any case.

jat | 6 March, 2013

@nickjhowe - where are they on record saying so? AFAIK, the only "record" has been an unattributed quote on a Japanese web site.

@BrianH - there may be other reasons why it is difficult, such as if the voltage or control over the current required by the Model S isn't directly supported by CHAdeMO, but the number of data lines is not something particularly difficult to implement.

@DouglasR - I agree CHAdeMO is here now (in some places, there is one in TN somewhat close to me but I haven't seen one yet), but there is still question of whether it will be successful as only Nissan and Mitsubishi are supporting it. All the other manufacturers are behind the SAE DC charging system, which has no cars and no chargers deployed. In Europe, even Renault seems to be embracing high-current AC charging instead.

And regarding selling more cars, that doesn't appear to be a problem at the moment with 9+ months of backlog from the Q4 financials report. By the time they get caught up, there may be more clarity of whether CHAdeMO will win or not.

Anyway, I hope they do make it and I would likely buy one if they did even with poor prospects for ever using it, but I wouldn't expect it any time soon.

nickjhowe | 6 March, 2013

@jat - you are correct. My bad.

Brian H | 6 March, 2013

Since there are 8 different lines, they require 8 distinct inputs. How can TM "implement" that with 2 feeds? Enquiring minds want to know.

Chuck Lusin | 6 March, 2013

The two feeds could be some form of serial communication, not nessessary an on/off indication.

Alex K | 6 March, 2013

@Brian H | MARCH 6, 2013: How can TM "implement" that with 2 feeds? Enquiring minds want to know.

Brian, you keep mentioning those 8 inputs all the time and now something about 2 feeds? Here is a diagram of the CHAdeMO to vehicle interface. The Tesla adapter implements the car part and translates signals to the HPC interface:

cmeyers | 6 March, 2013

I looked up the Chademo pin layout and 5 of the pins are for simple analog enable/disable and start/stop signals. Then they have 2 pins for CAN bus.

Assuming that the two pins on the Tesla connector are for serial communication of some sort as Chuck suggested then the adapter can have a circuit that simply generates these analog signals when told to do that.

Seems like a waste to have CAN bus and redundant analog signals but we are talking about a lot of electrical potential on these systems so redundant safety might be a good thing.

jat | 6 March, 2013

@BrianH - the car almost certainly does not speak the CHAdeMO protocol, and even if it did they would have to have some electronics in the adapter. If you are doing that, it is trivial to put a microcontroller with CAN support (there are many) in the adapter, and it can implement all those connections.

The Tesla connector has two large power pins and ground, and two data lines that surely implement some serial bus. So, the microcontroller speaks the CHAdeMO protocol (over CAN and the open-collector inputs) and talks to the car, and you use the car's contactor for the main power lines.

The only real question I have as far as feasibility is concerned is if the DC voltage/current available meets Tesla's needs and if the controls over it match what the car requires.

Alex K | 6 March, 2013 | MARCH 6, 2013: The only real question I have as far as feasibility is concerned is if the DC voltage/current available meets Tesla's needs and if the controls over it match what the car requires.

The short answer is yes (see

EV is the master of the charging current control. The fast charger controls the output current responding to the charging current request from the EV through CAN communication on a real-time basis. This mechanism enables the most appropriate and fastest charging based on the battery performance and usage environment. In order to make this control possible, CHAdeMO specifies the requirements for the response performance, current ripple, voltage ripple, and measurement accuracy of the current and voltage.

Brian H | 7 March, 2013

Very informative crowd "ambush" interview with GB on the subject of chargers. Menneke will be "native" to MS in Europe.

jat | 7 March, 2013

@AlexK - right, but notice "CHAdeMO specifies the requirements for the response performance..." -- if those requirements aren't strict enough for the Model S, then it will be a problem.