Supercharger activation = ???

Supercharger activation = ???

I have received recently an offer from TESLA to "activate" my supercharging capacity.
Now, by using activate instead of installing or upgrading my car to supercharging capacity,
does that mean that hardware is already in my car but is dormant and just need an activation firmware or something similar to be working, or is it just an ambivalent choice or words and the hardware isn't in all car and need to be retrofited like I always thought it needed to ?

Thank you.

SCCRENDO | 12 October 2013

I am assuming you have a 60. If so the hardware is apparently there and all it take is $2000 to activate it.

DouglasR | 12 October 2013

Even if you have a 40, the hardware is there (because a 40 is actually a hobbled 60).

Bonlaw | 12 October 2013

Read email, clicked on buy button, installed via internet, and off to Hawthore to test.

SCCRENDO | 12 October 2013

I am assuming he is in Europe. So probably won't be testing it out in Hawthorne. Also not sure if it $2000 in Europe. By the way Bonlaw hi. I am your neighborhood buddy.

leclair.frederic | 12 October 2013

I am in Quebec Canada. Thank you for answer.

I find is pretty misguiding because I was told by sales rep when I asked if I could later be retrofited supercharging if I choosed to have it installed in the future when there was actual supercharger in Canada, that "it was a very costly and difficult process, because they had to open up and install hardware in already built car"...

Bonlaw | 12 October 2013

@SCCRENDO. - Have we actually passed each other on the road? Next time wink instead of a grin.

SCCRENDO | 12 October 2013

@bonlaw. We can discuss it at the Super Bowl party or better still we need to arrange an evening out in our Teslas.

AmpedRealtor | 12 October 2013

@ leclair - you may be confusing supercharging with twin chargers. It's the twin chargers that would require a hardware retrofit. Supercharging and twin chargers serve different purposes. Twin chargers allow you to charge at up to 80A using AC chargers (HPWC, public charging stations, etc.), but the supercharging upgrade is to allow fast DC charging (superchargers, CHAdeMO once the adapter is released, etc.).

DouglasR | 12 October 2013

@leclair - When were you told this? There was a period when TM first released the 60s and told people they had to decide about supercharging at the time of configuration. Shortly thereafter, however, TM admitted that ALL cars would be produced with the supercharger hardware, and the 60s could choose to activate it either during configuration or after delivery.

My speculation is that they originally planned to produce cars either with or without the hardware (just as they originally planned to produce cars with a 40 kwh battery), and then later decided there wasn't enough demand for the non-SC cars to justify two different configurations.

leclair.frederic | 12 October 2013

Ampedraltor, no I am sure it is supercharging that was discussed with the sales rep, since I have already twin charger (and this was mentionned in the question to the sale rep).

DouglasR, that would make sense; hopefully it's this answer, because the other possibilities are a bit scary in their implications.

I reserved my car in August 2012 and received it in July 2013, this discussion happened somewhere between 08-2012 and 05-2013.

DouglasR | 12 October 2013

Maybe the sales rep was just misinformed about the change in policy. That happens a lot, unfortunately. But if I recall correctly, it was around September of 2012 that the change was made:

leclair.frederic | 13 October 2013

I am pretty sure this happened after sept 2012.

tes-s | 13 October 2013

The good news is you got the hardware at no additional cost, so if you decide you want DC charging capability all you have to do is write a check - no additional hardware needed.

If you never opt for DC charging capability, you are all set.

Bighorn | 13 October 2013

Be aware that the $2000 upgrade cost is a promotion. It used to cost $2500 and may well revert to that without warning.

tcoyle | 14 October 2013

It just ordered the supercharging for my 60. It is essentially a firmware upgrade. Spoke to Tesla on the phone and they said the software push typically happens about 24 hours after receiving payment.

Chuck Lusin | 14 October 2013

@DouglasR The 40 has the same specs and performance of a 60, we just only can charge to 72%. No hobbled here!

TSLAholic | 14 October 2013

Not sure if this has already been discussed before or not, but shouldn't a "40" owner be able to range charge (72%) every single time without any negative effects on battery life? Does Tesla openly encourage this?

Bonlaw | 14 October 2013

I called Tesla up and they did it within the hour. Tested it today - worked just like it is supposed to.
Now I just need them to put a SC near San Diego so that after another disappointing Chargers game I can fill up and drive home in a car that I love driving in.

Bonlaw | 14 October 2013

@sccrendo. Hi! Of course we will see you at Superbowl, if not sooner.

Brian H | 14 October 2013

The range is so low that SCs would have to be much closer together (i.e. more numerous) to serve 40's. And their time per charge would be the same as the larger batteries, but much more frequent. So they would hog a very disproportionate share of SC time and expense.

Chuck Lusin | 14 October 2013

From the Supercharger page "Charging the final 20% takes approximately the same amount of time as the first 80% due to a necessary decrease in charging current to help top-off cells".

So a 40 (which is really a 60 software reduced to 72% max charge), could charge in 30-35 min. Having only around 400 of the 40 version would not create a bottle neck and hog the chargers. For the 2 or 4 times a year I might use the SC, it would be nice to have that option there. After all it's just one of many options.

Xerogas | 14 October 2013

Because 40s are actually 60s that are only allowed to charge to 72%, then wouldn't it make sense that you could supercharge a 40 at exactly the same speed as a 60? Wouldn't it reach 72% charge in exactly the same amount of time that it would take a 60 to reach 72%?

If 60s regularly charge to 80% at superchargers, then it seems like 40s would be able to charge to 72% even faster, and then simply stop once they hit 72%.

Xerogas | 14 October 2013

Woops, I misread the previous post; I guess we were saying the same thing, but in different ways.

There are plenty of supercharges in Calfornia that are closer than 200 miles from each other; I'd love to pay the $2500 for supercharger upgrade so that I could go from San Diego to Santa Barbara.

Better yet, how about a battery swap rental for ~$500, so we could get an 85 for two weeks of cross-country driving, then come home and retrieve the original 40 battery?

Chuck Lusin | 15 October 2013

@Xerogas +40


PS: I think you are high on the $500, it might be closer to $125. I totally would go for that.

Darmok | 15 October 2013

My understanding from talking to an owner of a 40 is that range charge is not available on a 40. The charging slider won't slide to the right like it does on a 60 or 85.

Chuck Lusin | 15 October 2013

We have a charging slider, it just stops at 72%. So standard and range charge are both 72%. Approx 135 - 140 Miles.

ChrisPDX | 15 October 2013

@leclair - Tesla announced the post-production availability of Supercharging on March 31, 2013. It was in this announcement:

Chances are if you talked to a sales rep before this date, then they would have been right as far as policy was concerned at that time.

TSLAholic | 15 October 2013

@Brian H.

Perhaps I should have been more detailed in posting my question as I was not referring to supercharging.

"We have a charging slider, it just stops at 72%. So standard and range charge are both 72%. Approx 135 - 140 Miles."

This answers my question. Thanks Chuck!

Brian H | 15 October 2013

Not sure about swapping and 40kWh batteries. The announced price, IAC, is local equivalent of 15 gal of premium gas. Assuming you return the battery and recover your own. $60?

Chuck Lusin | 16 October 2013

@Brian H

There are no 40kwh batteries, the 40 version of the Model S has a 60kwh that only can charge up to 72%.

So swapping, supercharging, and everything else, for the 40 is just the same as a 60.

@TSLAholic +1 Thanks!

Brian H | 16 October 2013

True, physically. I wonder whether that 72% limitation would survive the swap.

Chuck Lusin | 16 October 2013

Hi Brian,

It would be great if it did not. Rent an 85, use it for a long trip, and return it and get you original software limited battery back. Would work perfectly.