No Limits on Supercharge Cycles!

No Limits on Supercharge Cycles!

Talked with Supercharger chief engineer tonight at event and definitively confirmed:

1. You can Supercharge as often as you like with NO degradation of battery.

2. TM software manages everything. You just hook up.

3. Charges to 50% at high rate, then tapers. After 80%, it slows more to protect it (but keeps charging)

4. Optimal use is fast (30min) charge from near empty.

The technology and the business model are game changers for EVs.

When you go 1,000 miles on sunlight for free, why would you spend $200 burning gas?

This SuperCharger is a total win.

ggr | September 29, 2012

@adlink (and maybe @volker), I don't recall TESLA ever saying to limit supercharging. It's charging in range mode that hurts the battery. The fact that they changed a year or two ago to saying "160 miles in half an hour" rather than "full in an hour" is actually pretty interesting.

adlink | September 29, 2012

@ggr i have asked a Tesla Service guy at the DC store a while ago and more recently in September when talking to my product specialist I asked if there were any limitations and he said it's ok 2 or 3 times a year. I then said so what about a trip in which you need to super charge 2 times each way he said that would be OK but that should be limited - he said you would not want to do that once a month and given went as far as to say i could call Tesla and let them know i was going on a trip and would be supercharging more frequently. I think he said if I did that once or twice a year it should not be a problem. When I asked what if the effects are not known until 5, 6, or 7 years down the road and we come to find out that in fact it did cause greater battery degradation he said they would look at the normal battery degradation and try and understand those situations that were outliers and why. He said they would have the data to know how often the car was supercharged.

I guess it makes me uncomfortable not knowing the effects for sure until it is too late and then being told it is not covered under the warranty because that was "normal" degradation given the number of times it was supercharged, yet if I knew from the beginning I would not take the chance. If they told me 4 times a year then I would not do it more because that is an expensive proposition if the battery has to be replaced or if there is so much degradation that five years from now you can no longer travel where you thought you could.

Sudre_ | September 29, 2012

hmmm. interesting. I didn't think of it that way. Supercharge all you like the reduced battery life per supercharge is considered normal use. Still if the C rating stays low it should not hurt the battery.... right?

As far as I know there are four things to damage the battery.
Topping off
high temperature
zero voltage
too cold

Holding all those is an acceptable range just leaves normal degradation. I am no battery expert tho.

mw | September 30, 2012

I read the warranty and it does not say anything in regard to supercharging. It refers to charging and care of the battery in the owners manual. The owners manual makes no mention of supercharging that I could see. I think Telsa needs to update the owners manual to address SuperCharging. Here are 4 direct quotes from the owners manual:
1)If the Battery’s charge level falls to 0%, you must plug it in. If you fail to do so within a month, you can permanently damage the Battery. This damage is not covered by the warranty. 2)To achieve the maximum driving range, you can change the charge level
to MAX RANGE. Although this setting charges the Battery to full capacity, avoid using it frequently because it reduces the
life of the Battery. 3)The most important way to preserve the Battery is to LEAVE YOUR MODEL S PLUGGED IN when you’re not using it. 4)Do not expose Model S to ambient temperatures above 140° F (60° C) or below -22° F (-30° C) for more than 24 hours at a time.

jerry3 | September 30, 2012


Topping off and leaving it sit in the topped off state is more accurate. Topping off and driving isn't a problem.

Brian H | February 25, 2013

Just confirmed. "####", a field engineer in vehicle charging systems, says that at their remote testing site with numerous vehicles (using a Supercharger on a flatbed) they have found that after hundreds of sequential Supercharges, degradation is undetectable. Exceeds their most optimistic projections.

Pungoteague_Dave | February 25, 2013

Brian H

If I read your nearly undecipherable post correctly, I am disappointed in you. I did not think you would stoop to making stuff up. There is NO SUCH THING as a supercharger on a flatbed. It is technically impossible, as there is no power source with enough kWh that could be temporarily hooked up to power through a portable system on a truck. It WOULD be nice, because we could call for battery charges akin to the AAA empty-fuel service...

nickjhowe | February 25, 2013

@PD - that's a bit strong. No technical reason why this can't be done.

Put a 100KW diesel generator (or bigger) on the back of a truck..

and/or stack 5 or 10 Model S battery packs up there.

Either start out in the morning with a completely full set of packs and then dump them into S's via a SC cable as needed, or fire up the generator to provide real time charging for a car or to refill the packs.

Don't think this particular post required quite the beat-down.

kevjo | February 25, 2013

Getting back to the original point of this thread which was that a TM Supercharger engineer said supercharging has no negligible effect on battery life (I'm paraphrasing here). That may be well and good but I think we would be wise to follow whatever the "official" TM advice is here. Remember TM may, and probably does, have a complete record of your charging history. Do you really want to take the chance that if (and I realize it may be a long shot) your battery degrades more dramatically than what is forecast by Tesla they tell you, sorry you "over-supercharged" against our recommendation, you are SOL. IMHO the prudent owner should follow TM's stated recommendations on charging.

Mark K | February 25, 2013

Well said Nick.

Kevjo - you can use the SC less if you prefer, but I think the SC designer knows his stuff.

Those logs BTW, enable TM servers to enforce any SC protocol to protect your particular car if they need to, but I think it's not necessary.

Hey, how did this old thread get bumped back up? There's a newer one about a Step Change in Supercharging. It's more current.

cloroxbb | February 25, 2013

Didnt Pungeousomething Dave say that on page 17 in the owners manual, that it SAYS the Super Chargers do infact affect battery life?

Can anyone check their manuals and confirm?

Electron | February 25, 2013

@cloroxbb Unless my pdf search function in my broswer is broken, there isn't a single mention of superchrargers at all in the manual. Certainly nothing on page 17.

stevenmaifert | February 25, 2013

I'm pretty sure I have the latest Owner's Guide, and it does not discuss Supercharging at all. The only reference to a negative effect on battery life reads "To drive as far as possible, change the charge level to MAX RANGE. Although this setting charges the Battery to full capacity, using it frequently reduces Battery life."

nickjhowe | February 25, 2013

There's definitely been a confusion (not saying it is the case here) where folks mix max range charging with supercharging. TM are definitely on record (e.g., in the Owners Manual) saying too much range charging is bad. I don't recall TM ever saying too much SuperCharging is bad. But then again my memory isn't what it used to be.

Brian H | February 25, 2013

Sit on it. I think it's accompanied by a mofo big generator to power it, possibly with a battery bank. I'll ask. When I get around to it.

Not "a bit" strong. Mustard gas out his bunghole.

Robert22 | February 25, 2013

@Mark K

<< Hey, how did this old thread get bumped back up? There's a newer one about a Step Change in Supercharging. It's more current. >>

Ha! Get it? Supercharging, it's more current.....

It doesn't get any better than this ;)

Mark K | February 25, 2013

An unintentional pun. Shocking!

Brian H | February 26, 2013

It pole-volted over the other one.

Brian H | February 26, 2013

Resistence is futile! Even if it works.

Pungoteague_Dave | February 26, 2013

Isn't it interesting to see how many regular forum participants have dropped out of sight since September? This thread is illustrative. It was also more civilized when Voelker was in the room. I will be more careful....

Mark K | February 26, 2013

As to the question that was aired and reactivated this thread -

1. Range Charging (>90%) does reduce life.

2. SuperCharging (50-70%) does not.

This is true because the driving factor of degradation is what happens in the battery chemistry and structure due to extremes - either of charge or discharge.

The car software pretty much manages this for you to avoid these extremes.

If you plug in daily and you let the computers do their thing, you pretty much don't need to think about it.

If you want to actively manage it yourself, stick to the 80/20 rule. Keep your charge between 20% and 80% and you will extend the life of your pack beyond what's typical.

On road trips, you will actually improve life by more frequent supercharger stops instead of any Max Range charges.

Again, SuperCharger damage is a misconception.

Deep charge/discharge is the thing to avoid, and their software pretty much tells you what to do, so you don't need to be a tech nerd to figure it out. Just do what the gauge tells you, similar to a gas car.

Pretty worry-free if you go with the flow.

Tiebreaker | February 26, 2013

FWIW - Pungoteague_Dave never said supercharging damages the battery.

He quoted the page from the manual stating that range charging reduces battery life (thread about 17" screen on the General forum, stumbled upon by chance).

Tiebreaker | February 26, 2013

@Pungoteague_Dave - I recon most of the old regular forum participants got their MS-es since September, and now they are enjoying the drive. Antidote for forum addiction. (Volker quit cold turkey... different story.)

DouglasR | February 26, 2013

Brian, there is a pun hidden somewhere in your solecism "resistence," but I'll be damned if I can find it.

mikeadams | February 26, 2013

One other thing that I read some time back is that if you do a range charge, try to time it so that it is close to when you actually need to use it. i.e. it is worse for the battery to leave it sitting on a full range charge for an extended period.

Brian H | February 26, 2013

my spelling error. But resistance is ohmic, and is part and parcel of "work". So "resistance is futile" is usually false, because there must be resistance to have anything that does work. So the Borg were actually misstating the general case.

DouglasR | February 26, 2013

Ah . . . so your spelling of resistence was just a deversion.

Mark K | February 26, 2013

write.mikeadams - true statement. But best is simply to dodge using Range charge is you can.

Brian H | February 27, 2013


reitmanr | April 10, 2013

I just got a note indicating Aerospace engineering says if we charge greater than c/5 rate we will degrade the batteries. This does not seem to agree with the reports from Tesla. What am I missing? I use the sc stations on all long trips.

shop | April 10, 2013

@reitmanr - what??? Are you saying you got a note talking about Tesla batteries or about some other Li-ion battery?

reitmanr | April 10, 2013

I got word from a fellow engineer MS owner re Li batteries.
Presumably the chemistry is universal. I am guessing that TM has taken all this in to account and thats how they came up with their charging programs. Just want to be sure as I use SC on all my distance trips and top off in Gilroy when I am down there. Would love to hear from TM directly.

mrspaghetti | April 10, 2013

Well since Tesla is warranting the batteries, it's their word that matters.