Error message on Tesla S during the LA2NY trip, is this something serious?

Error message on Tesla S during the LA2NY trip, is this something serious?

Kudos to the bothers and sisters at Tesla for pointing your middle-finger at GM/Nissan/OPEC and Saudi terrorists, you guys help to break the US oil addiction, thanks for that accomplishment!

But please explain this error message, I did research, you guys are supposed to eliminate this issue because your test vehicles are from the latest production batch (with latest software update). I also noticed that during your trip in IN/OH, you used significantly more energy (turned on the AC to get rid off the moisture?), remember your previous trip in mountainous area at temperature well below 32F, traffic snarl around Denver (you guys confessed that you did not dare to turn on heat in Colorado despite it was REALLY REALLY COLD), yet you use less energy than the trip in Indiana? The temperature was not that cold, and the traffic was excellent on Saturday afternoon between Mishawaka&Maumee. So does this indicate any noticeable battery degradation after multiple fast charge? Can you also reveal the energy use per mile during the last few stops? (in OH, PA, MD, DE, NJ, etc? ) How does fast charge affect battery longevity, I heard it is NOT recommended unless you have to!

It is super to drive through the country without spending a penny on gasoline, keep up the good work, do you expect to shorten the fast charge in the future? 45-50 min fast charge to 70% still not very convenient, that is after every two hour driving? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Timo | 3 février 2014

SC effect on battery longevity is negligible. It's there, but it is so small that it doesn't really matter AFAIK.

Timo | 3 février 2014

Make that 30 minutes / 70% and every two and half hours of driving, not two. On average.

ghillair | 3 février 2014

I think the difference in energy usage in IN/OH was speed. IN CO they were forced to drive slow by the weather conditions. Later they were back up to highway speeds.

linuxguxu9 | 3 février 2014


SC has little effect on batteries? I beg to differ. I talked to people who are experts in batteries, they say their main concern for Tesla would be the longevity and potential safety issues down the road, especially after some battery aging, managing over 7,000 18650 would be difficult when some cells prematurely degrades faster than other cells. (They work the best only when they are of the same performance, for example, all the 18650 lost about 6%, sintead of some losing 6%, some losing 18%)

Can someone explain the error message on one of their vehicle during the road show in Ohio?

Joshua Burstyn | 3 février 2014


I think perhaps there's some clarification required with respect to how lithium-ion secondary cells are charged.

If you charge a Lithium-Cobalt battery (traditional lithium-ion rechargeable) past 1C for the entire session, you will very likely cause permanent damage to the anode and/or cathodes over time. Additionally the heat created by doing so may begin to break the electrolyte down such that the specific energy is down over time.


Tesla does not charge the Model S' pack at such a high rate of speed for the entire session. Rather it's a curve that falls as the voltage rises, leading to potentially much longer cell life.

Furthermore the specific chemistry used in the 'S (LiNiCoAlO2) can take a fair amount of abuse and has great service life in addition to the well-known performance and capacity characteristics:

(See: NCA chemistry.)

Finally it's worth mentioning that Tesla worked with Panasonic to create an automotive grade of their NCA cells. I presume this means they're harder wearing than say a cell destined to be packaged for use in a laptop.

Just a few points - have a great day.

jonlivesay | 3 février 2014

Might be a 12 volt battery issue, not pack issue.

Brian H | 3 février 2014

Also, pack management (charge and thermal) is a BIG deal. It's where most of the Tesla secret magic sauce is, IMO.

Another point: they used more energy in the OH area because they could. It was easily available, and it's more convenient and comfortable to drive fast and warm than cold and slow.

Joshua Burstyn | 3 février 2014

@ Brian H:

Pack mgmt is in my humble opinion the most critical IP that Tesla owns.

We are starting to see what level of wear is noted after heavy Model S use. The picture is looking pretty good so far, overall. The NCA cells are indeed an improvement so far vs. the Roadster's traditional Li-Co chemistry.

SamO | 3 février 2014

Just reviewing video of Dave Duff from 2012 where he talks about 10,000 cycle cell life. Holy smokes.

Brian H | 3 février 2014

Actually, he said 10s of 000s. So if you need a 3,000,000+ -mile battery life, stay in the mid-charge range. If 300,000 miles will do, use it like you stole it.
Of course, that was two years ago. They're better, now.

Timo | 4 février 2014

So if effect of SC is ...lets say 500% increase in battery degradation you still have 2000 cycles. 2000 * 265 = 530,000 miles.

IOW relatively high increase of tiny is still very small.

That is why you can see huge headlines about things like "4x improvement of electric motor efficiency" and still end up having something like 0.01% improvement in entire drivetrain efficiency.

jackhub | 4 février 2014

These are all interesting observations, and some very good ones! But to my knowledge, no one participating is privy to the design of the proprietary, patented Tesla battery/management systems. Neither does it appear that competitors have matched those systems. As an EE, I will simply observe that it is often fun in our profession-but not too informative- to discuss systems when we are not privy to their design- particularly well informed consultants and researchers working on the leading edge.

I expect fellow EEs to take exception to my observation citing immutable laws of physics, practical design limitations, etc. Yet, it is only fair to advise the other participants not to take this discussion too seriously. We are, after all, enjoying ourselves.

Jolinar | 7 février 2014

just to mention: Tesla is using uniqie NCA chemistry with "proprietary cathode geometry" (whatever it means :)

original source from Tesla:

Khalid | 8 février 2014

Hi, I was reading through the posts here (I do this almost everyday) as I'm a huge fan of Tesla and I'm investing my humble savings in it. I read something that was a bit offensive and I decided to say something here.

The OP mentioned "Saudi terrorists" and I am originally from Saudi Arabia. I personally hate Saudi politics and I hate oil as much as you do, and that's the main reason why I moved to Canada 10 years ago. I hate oil not only because it's bad to the environment, but because it created lazy nations with irresponsible leaders wasting people's money and wasting all that valuable resource. More than 95% of the Saudi income is from oil, and they are pumping out an insane amount of oil everyday while none is being invested in the people or in the infrastructure of the country. I personally thought the country is hopeless and I decided to leave it, although my family is doing really well and my life there would've been way easier there. For the aforementioned reasons, I hate oil and everything that works with oil as a fuel more than anyone in this forum! My next car will definitely be a Tesla once my current lease is over because I think it's the only car that makes sense.

Anyways, it's really unwise to assume that the whole country is full of terrorists! And it's even surprising that someone from this forum thinks that way! Please think outside the box and don't let the biased media fool you. I'm really sorry if there is someone who disagrees with me but believe me, Saudi people are not want you think they are!

Brian H | 9 février 2014

Google "Devil's Excrement" for the first OPEC secretary's analysis of the damage dependence on oil income does to a country.

Joshua Burstyn | 10 février 2014


Agreed. It's a travesty now that Canada is trying to follow in Saudi footsteps and extract tar sands oil with little consideration for the damage it's doing.

Timo | 10 février 2014


Anyways, it's really unwise to assume that the whole country is full of terrorists!

This applies to much more than just "terrorists". Every country has every kind of people. It's just the most vocal ones that ruin the reputation for all the rest.

Politics and religion. Hate those. Especially when combined.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." words of wisdom spoken by K from MIB

That means that person that controls the information controls the actions of the people. Also the reason why totalitarian countries hate interweb so much.