Off Peak Charger Timer

Off Peak Charger Timer

I can get off-peak utility rates from midnight to 6am. If I plugged the car in when I got home from work everyday, to use this special rate would require either that the car can be programmed to start charging at midnight, or use a 50A 240V timer of some sort.

Anyone know if either of these two is possible?

ptrubey | 29 November 2012

Sorry, just read on the Model S page that the car can indeed be programmed to start charging at midnight or whenever.

Here in San Diego, this actually is a big deal - if you are relatively high electricity user, their special time of day rates (I think only available if you have an EV) can save you a lot of money even without changing your consumption patterns.

nickjhowe | 29 November 2012

Although it is in the specs it isn't here yet. Check out item 39 on the Punch List.

Brian H | 29 November 2012

Someday there will be an app for that.

stevenmaifert | 29 November 2012

My Leaf has two programmable charge timers. It ain't that hard. Tesla - Get with the program... pun intended :)

mrspaghetti | 29 November 2012


In Tesla's defense, I bet if the Leaf were Nissan's first mass-production car and they were relying on it to bring in the rent, they may not have had the charge timers ready for the first buyers either :)

stevenmaifert | 29 November 2012

@tesla.mrspaghet - The lack of programmable charge timers is not that big of a deal to me. But, that along with a few other long advertised features (think WiFi for one) are still not functional and it's a source of irritation when you are paying either side of $100k for a premium vehicle. Defend Tesla if you must, but I don't think it's all that unreasonable to expect that what you paid for be working when the car is delivered. Do you think NASA expects anything less from SpaceX just because they are new and have accomplished a lot in such a short time?

mrspaghetti | 29 November 2012


Your comparison of Tesla and SpaceX in this context is not reasonable. Consumer products are entirely different from space station resupply missions or satellite launches and I'm sure you're aware of that.

We're also all early adopters, which means you should expect irregularities and imperfections. I'm thinking those who aren't tolerant of those things should probably not buy the first gen Model S.

splitsec002 | 29 November 2012

Although I am tolerant of these little things that are missing when they were clearly advertised and talked about by Tesla, I agree with Stevenmaifert that when you're buying something in general, the product should be ready for the public with all the features a manufacturer states it would have. It doesn't matter if it's 100.00 or 100,000.00. It should be ready with all its features. Doesn't matter if we are early adopters or not.

If you went and bought a tv that said it has 10,000 contrast ratio. But then the tv only came with 8,000. Would it be acceptable of the manufacturer to send someone to bring it up to 10,000 at a later date?

mrspaghetti | 29 November 2012


If it were Panasonic or Samsung, no. If it were a startup making a product entirely unlike any other that kicked ass and that I really, really want, yes.

stevenmaifert | 29 November 2012

I said it was an irritant, not a show stopper. I still bought the car.

dahtye | 29 November 2012

I hope they add this feature soon. It is irritating that it wasn't included when I first picked up the car. I have the Time of Use (TOU) rates from my electric company (PG&E) and the rate between 12M and 7AM are half the rate at other times. So I'm loathe to plug in until 12M. Luckily I charge mostly at work and don't need to charge much at home unless I'm going on a long trip from home.

Brian H | 30 November 2012

Console yourself by comparing to gasoline costs for the same miles until you get the scheduling app. ;)

DouglasR | 30 November 2012

Tesla should offer reservation holders the option of deferring delivery until all the bells and whistles are in place. The price of the option should be around $2,500. ;)

jat | 30 November 2012

Be sure and calculate what Time-of-Use rates will do to your overall electric bill. In my case, Georgia Power offers a really cheap rate for middle-of-the-night (<$.02/kWh). However, taking that rate raises your peak rate from ~$.075/kWh to $.19/kWh. Since I currently spend an average of $15/mo in electricity to charge my LEAF, even if that went to zero from a new rate, the savings would be dwarfed by paying more than double the rate during peak hours. The only way it makes sense to me is if I had solar or a whole-house battery that would offset the electricity use during peak hours (and in the case of the battery, I could charge it at the EV rates).

So, I don't plan on charging the car in the middle of the night. However, I would like timer functionality so I can have the Tesla charge when the LEAF isn't (it will be able to charge faster, but I would have to cut the current back to charge both the LEAF and the Tesla at the same time). Ideally, I would be able to program something like "charge up to 50% capacity whenever it is plugged in, charge the remainder only between 2am and 7am" -- but I don't expect many people would want something like that.

GoTeslaChicago | 30 November 2012


If you have a 85 kWh Model S and drive a lot, then Time of Use rates will most likely save you money. Although the deciding factor is the percentage of use you can shift to night time. If you have a small cottage, and no air-conditioning, then even shifting a leaf to TOU pricing might save you money. Conversely, if you had a 10,000 sq ft mansion in Tucson, even two Model Ss might night use enough nighttime electricity to offset your very high daytime usage.

An electric car AND solar panels at home with TOU are a great combination, since you will be producing power when it is expensive, and using it when it is cheap.

stevenmaifert | 30 November 2012

This may not be universal, but generally speaking, if you are a solar PV customer (I am), your utility company will switch you to Net Energy Metering (NEM). Time of use (or generation) is not a factor. Your electric bill is reconciled once per year and if you used more than you generated, you pay them. If you generated more than you used, depending on your state's PUC tariffs, they may owe you. Don't expect to make money on excess generation. They pay you a meager wholesale rate.

Rubik | 30 November 2012

We have PV with Net Energy Metering with PG&E and the time of day for usage or generation does matter. In summer, PG&E defines "peak" time as 1pm-7pm weekdays and charges 30 cents per kWh - right when we're generating, spinning the meter backwards. Late at night (off peak), when we'll be charging, it'll spin forward at 9 cents per kWh. We figure, with my commute, it'll cost ~89 cents per day to charge the car.