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SuperCharger Betting Pool ........ And the Winner is ....

SuperCharger Betting Pool ........ And the Winner is ....

The SuperCharger announcement is due in about a week, so let the betting begin!

1. Charge Time - currently 30 minutes for 50% recharge. What will the new rate be? 20 min, 15, 10?

2. Charge Level - currently slows down after reaching 50% of full charge. What will be the new cutoff level? 60%, 70, 80?

3. Location Spacing - currently 150 mile target distance between SC stations. New target? 120 miles, 100, 80?

The SC network is a unique competitive advantage of Tesla. I expect they will leverage it more and more to propel adoption. It's absolutely unparalleled in the gasoline world.

How quickly and extensively they enhance the network will have a dramatic effect on their growth rate. Improvements on the three metrics above are high value gains.

This is a rare, historic moment where one company, under a single CEO, can play both the roles that Ford and Standard Oil did a century ago. Except this time around, it will get built right, by someone with a vision for a long term solution that can sustain us indefinitely.

The poster with the best combined score gets bragging rights, (and a pinch of immortality) in the forum archives of one of this century's most important enterprises.

Transportation gets reinvented. Is this awesome, or what?

Mark K | 25 May 2013

My shot -

1. 10 min

2. 70%

3. 100 miles

OK, that's a lot, but hey, why not think big?

Carefree | 25 May 2013

1. 20 min

2. 65%

3. 150 miles

TI Sailor | 25 May 2013

1. 22 min

2. 60%

3. 100 mi

Mireille and Conan | 25 May 2013

1. 20 min

2. 80%

3. 120 mi

Brian H | 25 May 2013

I think 2 is already 70 or 80, not 50.

Whity Whiteman | 25 May 2013

120KW SC and new 120Kwh accupack as top line

hsadler | 25 May 2013

1. 20 min
2. 70%
3. 120 miles

Curious-what would be the cost of electricity (on avg) to Supercharge 150 miles, say if a business were to provide a supercharge capability?

Kleist | 25 May 2013

1. 20 min
2. 80%
3. 120 miles with a twin location 20-30 miles away at key locations ( like Gilroy )

note: most interesting aspect of the announcement for me will be how the roll out strategy has been adjusted. TM has some usage data now... Twin locations because I think a single shopping centers is not yet willing to dedicate large amount of parking spaces to EVs only. So in order to get more dedicated spaces it will be much easier to open a second location. Example 101 / 156 intersection - can support 101 south and Monterey weekend travel while providing relief for Gilroy.

Brian H | 25 May 2013

hsadler;
Too many variables. Does the business have high voltage power already? What is its rate schedule? How many years are you amortizing the cost over? Who provides the SC interface/connection HW and SW?

hsadler | 25 May 2013

Just wondered what a single charge cost would be for the electric - not infrastructure.

Kleist | 25 May 2013

1/2 hr = 45 kWh
@ $0.10 per kWh = $4.50
@ $0.36 per kWh = $16.20

full charge lets say 100 kWh ( including losses ) then it would be $10 and $36.

Mark K | 25 May 2013

Brian - according to one-on-one discussion with SC chief engineer at launch event. #2 is 50%. That is why if you arrive with a higher starting charge, it cuts off charging quicker, and you gain less.

Kleist - twin mirror sites is a very cool idea. By being spatially diverse, their utility to users is actually higher. You get more options to meet your need. If you've got a good remaining charge, you take the site 25 miles farther. If you're running on fumes, you take the closer one.

Although this requires more permits, it actually helps minimize the max grid feed requirements at each location.

Compound Benefits

One point to explain further - each of these improvements compounds to increase utility.

For example, if you ask "how many miles can I add in 10 min" here is the differential effect:

Assumptions:

250 miles rated range, current max charge rate is 0.5 x 250 / 30 min = 4 miles a minute currently.

At 10 min rate, you get 12 miles per minute.

Case A. Currently Spec: 40 miles in 10 min.

Case B: 10 min / 70% Spec: 125 miles in 10 min. A huge improvement.

Now compare max gain per stop. If you arrive empty, and fill until cutoff is reached:

Case C: current spec - 125 miles in 30 min.

Case D: 10/70 spec - 175 miles in 15 min.

This major improvement illustrates the compound effects.

Case E: current spec - arrive 20% full, max gain is 75 miles in 19 min

Case F: 10/70 spec: arrive 20% full, max gain is 125 miles 10 min.

So each improvement really adds up. All of this narrows the fill time gap with gas.

Mark K | 25 May 2013

So here's my updated shot with an extra metric:

1. 10 min

2. 70%

3. 100 miles

4. 175 miles max gain in 15 min

rfreund | 25 May 2013

I'd like to suggest that there will be a hint revealed about using the large 85kWh packs to support additional utility 'demand charges' during peak hours. Perhaps the 'vehicle-to-grid, V2G' model will be supported better by this approach, during high demand times (weekday afternoons in July, when industrial loads plus A/C are peaking). Later, when 'spent' packs are turned in for replacement, the duty cycle for such peak support will still function, whereas placement in a car would no longer be viable. (Cars need 'deep discharge' capabilty, but grid level support would only be a 'float service'.) Financial incentives would be established for drivers of capable cars to benefit handsomely. There is a book and website that discusses this called V2G101.com by Len Beck.

Meanwhile, TM's model is evolving. About 1/2 of my 8000 miles to date have been long distance trips (>300 miles one-way). Doing so requires planning and contingencies, as others have stated. But it is doable today, and very satisfying.
Ron95030

Mark K | 25 May 2013

Another way to look at is the flexibility of the network.

When the max gain number is much higher than the SC spacing, the network is far more robust.

Today: 125 miles max gain (quick stop) vs. 150 mile spacing.

If it steps up to 10/70: 175 miles max gain vs. 100 mile spacing.

Expressed as an index of flexibility:

0.83 today vs. 1.75 with wishlist spec.

That'd double the flexibility of the network to meet your travel needs.

Mark K | 25 May 2013

Ron - the whole planning dimension gets much easier as the flexibility index goes up.

More options for where to stop, and less time spent stopping.

Many solutions to these multidimensional variables, but pretty confident Elon and team are intelligently optimizing overall system utility.

Given the constraints, will be interesting to see what they came up with as the new sweet spot.

Mark K | 25 May 2013

Ron - there is already evidence suggesting that local buffer battery packs will be part of the new SC. That's how they'll get higher than 1.2C of today

Batteries in the SC will let them go to 3 or 4 C if the thermal management can handle it. We'll find out soon.

Mark K | 25 May 2013

Crowdsourced average so far:

1. 19 min

2. 71%

3. 118 miles

AlMc | 25 May 2013

1. 10 min

2. 70%

3. 120miles

cgiGuy | 25 May 2013

1. 20
2. 50%
3. 130 miles

Mark K | 25 May 2013

Latest crowdsourced average:

1. 17 min

2. 68%

3. 120 miles

Kleist | 25 May 2013

"...running on fumes, you take the closer one."
And on the map color code the SC locations: green >= 2 stalls open, yellow = 1 stall, red = all stalls are taken.

Mark K | 25 May 2013

Keister - yeah that app can do a least cost analysis in the cloud based on knowledge of all nearby users route demands. Navigation can basically work this all out for the user group so you don't have to guess. Kind of like TCAS for pilots. TM will get there in time and it will be sweet.

Mark K | 25 May 2013

Sorry Kleist, autocorrect seems have its own aims.

DouglasR | 25 May 2013

1. 20 min
2. 70%
3. 130 miles

However, to me the most important metric is the construction schedule. According the map presented at last fall's announcement, TM expected something like 13 stations in California by the end of 2013, plus there was some mention of Nevada and Oregon. So how many stations nationwide do you expect to be in service by the end of this year.

My guess: 25.

Mark K | 25 May 2013

DouglasR - yes that build rate does matter too. I suppose you could express that as SuperChargers per month worldwide.

I thinks it's about 2 a month now, and I bet that will go up to 5 a month by next year.

lvaneveld | 25 May 2013

My guess.

1. 23 min

2. 75%

3. 100 mi.

I am guessing that the announcement will include 25+ locations open to the public by the end of June, possibly end of May.

Kleist | 25 May 2013

86 was the original map by end of 2014... so that is 80 more in 8 quarters or 10 per quarter. Two quarters are gone so I would expect about 20 to be on plan.
Question is where will they be? My guess would be up and down the coasts and some in TX.
For one path to connect the coasts he needs about 25 SC... I think now is too early, but I am sure Elon can't wait to get that done. Even end of 2013 connecting the coasts would make for great publicity.

hsadler | 25 May 2013

Is that 86 locations? (or chargers)
And do both Milford stations count as one location?

Kleist | 25 May 2013

Locations, Milford = 1. You shouldn't take 86 too serious, maybe 100 needed to cover US... 10 per quarter is just a rough estimate.

ajamison | 25 May 2013

So do superchargers stop charging at 50% or what ever the cut off is or does the rate at which they charge slow down and if so how much

Mark K | 25 May 2013

It slows down... to a crawl, like one tenth the speed. For all intents and purposes, at that point you need to unhitch and let someone else get some juice.

So only in the rare case would you be able to sit at the SuperCharger for the several hours it would take to fully fill you up.

Now you see why that percent fill cutoff is so operative on the usefulness of the SuperCharger.

ajamison | 25 May 2013

So pulling into one on a long trip with half a charge left would be pointless as plugging in would not "supercharge" the car?

Mike C | 25 May 2013

It only slows to a crawl (30 mph) at the end of a range charge, it is still a decent rate up to 240. The rate gradually slows down until the end where it really drops off, so it is hard to say where the clear inflection point is and I am not sure I agree with the premise of question 2.

Charge time I'll guess 22.5, linearly extrapolating 90 kw to 120 kW.

My bet is that Supercharger stations will be spaced 80 miles apart. I was told by someone who would know that there will be stations in Oxnard, Atascadero, Buellton along the 101 and San Juan Capistrano between LA and SD.

Kleist | 25 May 2013

Mike C - locations make sense... but that is LA and distances are shorter because of density. Not sure if this will the case on average.
As I said before it will be interesting how did the SC strategy evolve since the Sep 2012 reveal.

Mark K | 25 May 2013

Mike C - because California is the ideal early adoption zone, I also believe we will have a higher density than the average for the US initially.

You are right that the SOC level limit is not a simple step function, but rather the knee of the curve that tapers the charge. For practical purposes though, you drop down from supercharging (250 miles per hour) to regular charging. You might not mind this as much if you went for dinner for a couple hours. But if you are standing there waiting to go, you notice.

And if another car is sharing the same charge source, the charge gets divided and slowed further.

The SC Chief Engineer advised that the best way to use the SC is to arrive empty. That gets the most charge in the shortest time.

AJamison, it's not pointless because you still get 30-60 miles per hour, but you're not SuperCharging so it takes longer. If you just need a 50 mile boost in an hour break, it will do the job.

But the sex appeal of the SC is clearly its fast charge rate operation.

Shifting that SOC (State of Charge) level limit from 50% to higher will definitely help with all of this.

Mark K | 25 May 2013

Latest crowd-sourced average:

1. 18 minutes

2. 69%

3. 115 miles

4. 3.5 SC's / month

Mike C | 26 May 2013

Mark K,

I basically agree, but will say that I still get decent rates above 50% (I.e., at 200 rated miles I would guess the rate is still around 150 mph, it's not until above 250 rated that it slows below 50 mph or so). Also, I am under the impression that this curve is inherent to the battery technology and DC charging and cannot be improved upon, but I could be wrong.

When two cars are sharing a station, the first car is supposed to get all the juice it can handle and the 2nd car gets whatever is left, then once the first car leaves, the 2nd car gets max power.

Mark K | 26 May 2013

Mike C - That's really the point. If we think about the goal of the SuperCharger as succeeding the gas station, it has to have similar utility.

A gas station lets you fully refill, pretty much anywhere in the country, within 15 minutes.

The initial spec for the SuperCharger was a step toward that, but still not as good. It took longer, and you were more limited on how much you could get without waiting too long.

On the other hand, the SC is a total breakthrough in the fuel cost model, and the CO2-free solar power source. With a gas car, a road trip will cost you hundreds of dollars in fuel. With the SC network, the trip fuel is free. That's mind-blowingly better.

What TM is working toward now is to improve time, fill level, and location convenience. Progress on those fronts can narrow the gap sufficiently that even hardcore gas junkies will have to admit there's no appreciable difference in utility, while the fuel deal is hands-down better.

I think the announcement will show they have made material advances on these points.

Regarding inherent battery limits - there's not really a hard wall that says you can't go faster or fuller. Rather, it has to do with being very conservative so as to maximize service life of the battery. Tesla took a very conservative approach to start with, and I think that was very smart.

Lithium Ion cells can be charged much harder and perform well. For example, we manufacture high volume products that use them, and we charge at 1.5C and cut off at 90%. There's no material loss of capacity over 300 cycles. This gives our product a 5+ year service life, which is longer than the event horizon of technology change, so it's overkill. But what the consumer appreciates more is that just a few minutes of charge can last him a week or more.

A car is different than smartphone gadgets. Cars cost more and you keep them longer. So Tesla started cautiously in order to give you the possibility of 10-20 year service life of the pack. They promise 8, but if you pamper it, it will be useable much longer.

Now that they have some experience with this pack design in the field, they have more data and can push it closer to the limits of where life would get affected. They also have a secret weapon that is better than any battery maker in the world. Their closed-loop thermal management is unmatched, and it improves the very choke point that ages batteries - getting too hot and too full. That combo is the killer that grows the dendrites that clog the electrode receptor sites.

I'm excited to see how far they've gotten with the imminent SuperCharger announcement.

Because of home refueling, Model S already beats gas in so many ways. For me, 10 minutes (3C), 70% fill, and 100 mile spacing would pass the threshold of beating gas on road trips too.

Thses guys are hands-down the best practitioners of this art anywhere. Can't wait to see their latest work next week.

Mark K | 26 May 2013

Current crowd-sourced average:

1. 18 minutes

2. 69%

3. 115 miles

4. 3.5 SC's / month

Brian H | 26 May 2013

Mark K;
Brilliant post. Thx muchly.

A take-away is that TM is standing well back from its own "bleeding edge" where it counts, leaving buffer and slack to absorb challenges and to provide a boost/new feature when needed.

Mike D | 29 May 2013

1. 20 min

2. 70%

3. 150 miles

So is this announcement scheduled for next week now or is it possible that we may hear before this weeks end?

David59 | 29 May 2013

1. 15 minutes
2. 50%
3. 75 miles

breading | 29 May 2013

1. 20 min

2. 75%

3. 120 miles

wcalvin | 29 May 2013

Perhaps it will include an arrangement to allow MS to use non-Tesla DC charging stations.

riceuguy | 29 May 2013

1. 22 min

2. 60%

3. 125 mi

dayoreo | 29 May 2013

1. 15 min

2. 50%

3. 150 miles

markapeterman | 29 May 2013

15min

80%

75mi

I think rather than adding more bays per charger, the interval will decrease over time (faster in CA) to 50-75mi. That way you can pass a full one and just hit the next one - online reservations will make this easy.

Brian H | 29 May 2013

How long will the bay be kept clear and unclaimed for you if you're late for the "reservation"? By whom?

Not happening.

TI Sailor | 29 May 2013

+1 Brian H

Probably best case scenario: SC availability via 3G

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