Dual charger option - should I buy it?

Dual charger option - should I buy it?

I've just ordered my S85 with delivery scheduled for "November".

Yesterday I got a call from an inside sales rep telling me that Tesla has decided to offer the twin charger separate from the high power home charging option. The price is $1,600 (Canadian). I must decide by the end of the week if I want this in my new car.

Apparently there are a lot of 90 amp charging stations being deployed across Canada and the twin charger will get the most from these.

This does sound like a useful piece of future proofing, but I thought I'd ask the group before making my decision.

Many thanks,

SCCRENDO | September 30, 2014

I also wish I got dual chargers and was not fully aware of the implications. Although being in California it is not really a big deal. I think I would prefer to fork out $1000 for a Chademo adapter as a road trip charging backup rather than pay for a dual charger retrofit and HPWC.

dortor | September 30, 2014

if you believe you will encounter > 40 amp chargers then dual chargers are very worth it - twice the charge rate is almost twice as good - strange how math works like that ;-)

I personally have dual chargers but have been continuously disappointed at the lack of any meaning infrastructure with which to use them - I keep hearing it's just around the corner and "more are going in every day" - but I'm still waiting…

dual chargers are better - no question - but they are pointless if you don't find >40amp chargers to use…

dortor | September 30, 2014

I did use a > 40 am charger at the parking garage in San Luis Obispo, CA - it was very very fast and I was happy to have the dual chargers - however I didn't really need them because SLO is very close to the Atascadero SuperCharger on HWY 101 in California…but that is one of the 3 to 5 times I used my dual chargers in the past 18 months of ownership.

ScoobyDoo | September 30, 2014

I don't have twin chargers, and after 5,000 miles I don't miss them. If $$$ is not an issue, then I would go for it. A loaded Tesla is a happier driver.

+celtrog is right on the mark - 99.999% of time charging happens at home. I even dialed down my charge rate from 40 to 32 amps for allegedly optimal charging.

cpanatier | September 30, 2014

Are the chademo adapters available yet?

tmaz | September 30, 2014

@cpanatier -

I tend to agree with mrspaghetti; perhaps in a less blunt way. I've learned that you typically find much more reliable information on this forum than you do speaking with your sales and/or DS guy. Perfect example - I heard about the new tech releases on the car here and immediately called my sales & DS reps; neither of which had any idea what I was talking about. My sales manager went as far as to go around the lot and take pictures of the front bumpers of each car and send them to me to show me that none of the cars had the new sensors.

For whatever reason, Tesla does a poor job educating their staff on the latest and greatest information; thus, resulting in poor advice being given to customers. I highly recommend that you always obtain multiple inputs before making any vitale decisions such as dual chargers, which can cost you so much more to retrofit down the road.

Captain_Zap | September 30, 2014

One of my pet peeves has been the Tesla reps not understanding the value of the dual chargers or their purpose. I think that bundling the dual chargers with the HPWC caused confusion.

At a minimum, Dual Chargers future-proof your car.

The only people that are going to tolerate slower public chargers are those that have cars that have small batteries. That limits the market for charger companies, so they will have to adapt to survive. Charging will only get faster as time goes on. Non-profits and other groups that know what they are doing install the 80A/100A charging stations. They are cheap and easy.

Dual Chargers were even more important and more useful than Supercharging on my car for a long time. Even with a Supercharger on my route I still use them out routinely.

If you are going to any town, the first place you stop will be the highest amperage charger in the vicinity. It's a no-brainer for those areas that rely on tourism.

Cutting charging time in half is a big deal. It can make the difference between a couple hour visit or no stop at all.

tmaz | September 30, 2014

@cpanatier. Yes - many nissan dealerships have the chademo adapters; at least the ones by me in the northeast..

cpanatier | September 30, 2014

thanks tmaz.

Bighorn | September 30, 2014

Hold up--Nissan dealers have chademo adapters for the Model S?! I've yet to hear of a Model S owner acquiring one, so that would be a bit bizarre.

SCCRENDO | September 30, 2014

Chademo adapters are not available yet. Were meant to be available late May, early June this year. Last I heard they were coming 'soon'

tmaz | September 30, 2014

Sure thing - just as another side sales rep tried talking me out of the dual chargers too and I almost agreed until I went home that night and noodled on it. I figured even if I did not use the dual chargers often, if they came in handy once in a while they would pay for themselves as opposed to me sitting in a parking lot waiting for the car to juice up. often times if you are cost conscious, they'll start telling you that certain features are not really necessary in hopes of closing the deal. Initially, my guy told me that only the tech package was a necessity......Really???? I added the pano roof - if for nothing else more headroom, parking sensors, leather, cold weather, HPWC, MC Red paint (he tried telling me the flat white looked the best), and gloss wood.

Point is - it's your car - you are shelling out the money and at the end of the day, do what you feel is best for you. None of these guys working in sales depts are experts (their frigin car salesmen) and at teh end of the day almost every decision is personal preference. Sucks that you will now have to pay extra $ if you want the dual chargers, but if you plan on keeping the car for a number of years, it may be a worthwhile investment. Also - definitely can't hurt resale value.

tmaz | September 30, 2014

oh crap - sorry i rescind my last statement regarding the chademo adaptors. I meant that chademo chargers are available at most nissan dealerships; not the adaptors. sorry. that is waht I get for trying to work and stay up on the forum threads simultaneously.

mrspaghetti | September 30, 2014

@cpanatier: I don't know why you're being so obstinate about it. Are you Elon Musk's kid or something?

I wish.

Google it? Ask the forum? Sure those are all legitimate points. But I figured why don't I just ask the company itself? You know, the primary source. You're saying I basically shouldn't have trusted what they told me? Sorry, I think asking the company directly was pretty responsible.

The Tesla employee gave you factual information. It's not up to him or anyone else to hypothesize as to the number/locations of 80 amp chargers at some point in the future, nor to discuss at length with you the likelihood, frequency, routes and destinations of your road trips over the next 10 years or however long you plan to own the car. It's your car, it's up to you to make a decision based on whatever criteria is important to you regarding each option. If you don't like one of your choices, it is 100% your responsibility.

cpanatier | September 30, 2014

Was I supposed to get a J1772 adapter with my car? I don't think I did.

SCCRENDO | September 30, 2014

Look in your adapter bag. You should have.

cpanatier | September 30, 2014

Anybody got a picture of one? I only had the 14-50 and the 110v

Captain_Zap | September 30, 2014

There is a special location in the glove box that holds the J1772.

SCCRENDO | September 30, 2014

Mine came with my adapter in a bag.

sbeggs | September 30, 2014

Our J1772 adapter fit into left rear glove box area.

Jolinar | September 30, 2014

Dual charger is must have in Europe, there is a lot of charging places with 3*32A (22kW).

Bighorn | September 30, 2014

There have been times when certain adapters were out of stock, even for new deliveries--you'd best ask your DS.

cpanatier | September 30, 2014

I found the J1772 hidden at the bottom of the bag. So glad I got it. Makes things a lot easier. | September 30, 2014

I didn't even get leather so dual chargers wasn't really on the table. I am banking on the retrofit price coming down in the future, more HC public chargers, and most importantly, more expendable cash in my wallet :)

jcaspar1 | September 30, 2014

In California, at least Northern, I have never seen a public charger greater that 40 amps though I hear they exist. We have several CHAdeMO chargers and it seems a CHAdeMO adapter would be far more useful. It is about 2-3 times as fast as a twin charger and a lot cheaper. Still don't think I would need either one with Superchargers and overnight destination charging to travel anywhere in California. Overnight, twin charging is faster than needed for overnight and on the road, it is far too slow even if I could find a high amp charger, IMHO...

Many be a totally different story in Canada.

f-tal | September 30, 2014

I remember when I was configuring my car, that the concept of HPWC (home charging) and 'dual chargers' appeared to be conceptually linked. Fortunately, when I configured early 2013, I could get the dual chargers without getting a HPWC. I think many on the forum are aware, but I'll mention it for the benefit of those that may not be aware. [Even if a hotel has a HPWC, you can use it with a single charger]

The car has a maximum amount of AC power it can receive at a given time, and a charger has a maximum amount of AC power it can deliver at a given time. They talk to each other, and the lower limit applies.

So - You can use a HPWC with a single charger car, it just limits you to the amount of power that can be handled by the sigle charger (eg - 40A, 240V). This is also the max power you can get through your UMC. So, there are only 2 places I know of where you can charge and take advantage of dual chargers

1 - An HPWC properly wired and fused for > 40A.
2 - An EVSE with a J1772 that delivers > 40A.

I think most of the Sun Country Highway (Canadian charger network from coast to coast) uses chargers that deliver > 40A. The specs for J1772 is about the same as the HPWC, it's just that most units and installations are smaller (because most cars can handle less than 6kw). As more BEVs and plug-in hybrids hit the market with larger batteries, and have larger AC chargers, the more likely we'll see more proliferation of higher power charging stations.

I got dual chargers for faster charging on road trips outside of the super charger network. I've never used a >30A J1772, but I now have a HPWC at home, and have used one other one on the road. I wouldn't worry too much about the single charger. You can always upgrade later if you have to have it, but honestly, you probably wouldn't have that many chances to be able to use it, and need to use it. Remember, most destinations with HPWC are for customers only. Unless you are renting by the hour, you are probably spending the night, which at that point, doesn't matter - single charger is fine.

Brian H | October 1, 2014

As shown in a few examples above, the company generally refers to its original intention in evaluating an option. But the reality of how it gets used trumps that, and you are far more likely to find that here, before the co. gets the message.

1gremlin | October 14, 2014

I'd have my Telsa for nearly 4 month. I can say authoritatively it depends. If you plan on doing most of your charging at your home overnight and few road trips it's not worth it. My house is rented out next 16 months and had NEMA 14-50 outlet installed prior to moving the our home. It wasn't a big deal until my job location changed from DC, where I could charge the car during work for free.

Now that I'm working at corporate, it's 72 mile round trip no charger nearby in Western NOVA. I'm forced to wait 3 1/2 hours - 4 hours on public charger, which has me picking up the car up usually 10 ish most nights.

Most public chargers give me 19 miles /hour a charge single charger. The conversation rate from AC / DC is 84 percent efficient. Getting the second charger saves time and money in the long run. Once on the highway I use the Supercharger not needed. I plan on getting the second charger installed prior to this winter. Put there are plenty of locations in VA where supercharger isn't close by. For example VA beach, route 81 corridor, VA Tech area, etc.