Level 3 Charging Station

Level 3 Charging Station

I am having a level 3 charging station installed at my business. It is a 480 Volt 63 Amp DC charger. "Blink"

Since the Tesla has chargers on board that convert AC to DC, does it have any effect hooking up a DC charger? Is it even allowed? Are there any advantages or disadvantages to having that much juice entering the vehicle? (other than time) Does a DC charger have any negative effects on the life of the battery?

Thanks in advance for any input.


Volker.Berlin | 15 juin 2012

Eric, I can only assume that there should be no problem. I know that does not help you much, b/c you are looking for definitive information. It should become available very soon.

In the mean time, suffice to say that the announced "Tesla Super Chargers" that are intended to charge your battery 50% in 30 or 40 minutes, will go precisely that route: Feeding DC directly into the PEM, bypassing the built-in converter(s). Each of the built-in AC/DC converters can digest a maximum of 10KW, and you can have two at most ("Twin Chargers" option). The "Super Charger" must feed about 80KW to achieve the announced charge times. Does not compute.

All said, the Model S should accept your DC just fine, even if it is 480 Volt.

VolkerP | 15 juin 2012

Tesla Model S has a proprietary connector & charging protocol. The AC part is compatible with SAE J1772 and Model S comes with an adapter. Little is known for the DC part, but it is expected that Tesla can make a "dumb" adapter for the new SAE Combo plug for DC charging. "Dumb" meaning no embedded controller or electronics required to do protocol conversion.

Your Blink DC charger comes with a CHAdeMO connector. This is not compatible with the Tesla DC charging protocol and it will require a "smart" adapter to fake the CAN bus traffic expected on the CHAdeMO side. Such an adapter might only be possible for Tesla to build, and they haven't yet committed to that task. Their point of view is that both SAE DC Combo and CHAdeMO solutions "suck".

Thus, no way yet to charge a Model S with your Blink DC charger.

Brian H | 15 juin 2012

Bite the bullet and also have Tesla put in a Supercharger? They might even do it for free!

The Supercharger network is, after all, fundamentally a marketing tool and expense for the company.

Etographer | 15 juin 2012

I would prefer to have a Tesla DC charger. It is pretty crazy, but my local Electricity Company (Pacific General Electric) now, PGN thanks to Enron approached me to install 1 level 3 charger and 2 Level 2 chargers at no cost to me (I don't even have to pay for the electricity). It is part of the Gov't and Ecotality partnership to build up electric charging ports. As it was explained to me the level 2's are about 8k each and the level 3 is about 50k. After installation charges it is close to 100k in product or services. Its a pretty sweet deal. I would love to talk to tesla and have made efforts, but have failed to connect.

Basically, PGN likes my location because I am right off of I-5 and I have a transformer that can handle the load.

David70 | 15 juin 2012

Where on I-5 Etographer? i.e., what mile marker in which state?
What is your business, and if not a restaurant, are there decent restaurants nearby?

Etographer | 15 juin 2012

Exit 271
Woodburn, Oregon
Our business is a restaurant named "Elmer's"

The charger's are in te permit phase at the county and should be coming soon!

@David are you an Oregonian?

David70 | 15 juin 2012

No. Washingtonian. But I travel down to southern California at least once a year. Is Elmer's a chain? I'm sure I've seen the name before.

phb | 15 juin 2012

Crap, just what I need, another excuse for my wife to make me stop at the outlets.

skystream3.7 | 15 juin 2012

do we get a tesla discount at Elmer's????free toast, side of pancakes

dahtye | 15 juin 2012

One of the sales reps at the Tesla store (either Santana Row in San Jose or Menlo Park store) said they do not recommend using a super charger more than 1 out of every 50 normal charges (on average). So, if you've had 200 charges, you could use 4 super chargers in a row.

I imagine that this is due to accelerated wear on the battery when charging at that fast rate.

DallasTXModelS | 15 juin 2012

I had thought about getting a commercial charger at home but after reading that the Supercharging is bad for the battery and should only be used sparingly in the case of extended road trips I have chosen not to.

pilotSteve | 15 juin 2012

@Etographer - great news! We eat at your restaurant often on our way between Vancouver WA and Bend OR. Perfect location. Lets hope that Tesla give us some reasonable way to use CHAdeMO.

jerry3 | 15 juin 2012


The HPC with twin chargers will charge at 62 mph (70 amps) and will not degrade the battery. However, there has been some analysis done on the Roadster which indicates that 40 amps is the most efficient because only a minimum amount of extra energy is needed to cool the battery. Perhaps surprisingly, a lower rate of charge also uses more electricity (I believe that's because of line losses).

MarkV | 15 juin 2012


I can only echo others in that I tried to get a Tesla DC charger to use in conjunction with solar power and was told that the Tesla DC charger was only available to commercial entities. I could use our business as a front for that but was also advised, as were others, NOT to use the DC charger routinely because doing so will adversely affect the batteries. I was also told specifically NOT to use any DC charger other than the Tesla version.

hwye81k | 15 juin 2012

Etographer, what is your reservation number? I've stopped at Elmers there several times and would love to see your car charging. Of course I stop at Starbucks there a few more times.

Etographer | 15 juin 2012

@Everyone. I am there M-F in and out we have the Salem Franchise as well, but my office is in WB. I would love for anyone to come in and ask for me. My name is Eric.

@David Elmer's is a Regional Chain and I am a franchisee.


P5377 but don't look for it until late this year. I am opting for the 60kw. Partly because I will have charging options in my lot.

Feel free to contact me for my cel #. I love to talk about EV's etc.


DallasTXModelS | 16 juin 2012


I had the HPC and twin chargers on my configuration because I liked the look of the wall charger. My configuration specialist said that unless I was using the car for business and would be driving routes in excess of 300 miles a day that it's an unnecessary expense. She was also the one that said that the supercharger should not be used every day.

The new charging section says basically the same thing.

jerry3 | 16 juin 2012


That's basically correct. It's not actually needed in most cases. The reason, other than frequent long driving days, is to allow other Tesla owners to charge reasonably rapidly when they are visiting your area. I suspect it will take several years for Tesla to get a decent supercharging network out there (unless you live in California and like vacationing on the Interstates--I avoid traveling on the Interstates whenever possible, state highways are much happier) and until that time comes it's up to Telsa owners to help make up for the deficit.

Until the charging section came up, I didn't realize that the supercharger bypassed the built in chargers. My bad on that one.

Timo | 16 juin 2012

@Brian H

The Supercharger network is, after all, fundamentally a marketing tool and expense for the company.

It is also creating a de facto standard that supports only their cars and also a tool to get bigger viable market (the people that would not buy their cars because they absolutely need the longer range) without making cars too expensive.

It is expense to company, but a smart one that pays itself back.

Brian H | 16 juin 2012

Yes, Elon's hints make me think there will be no charge for the electricity on the stations; it's a trivial amount, really. Perhaps $20/charger/day.

The SC degradation suggests that using standard AC charging overnight on the road is a good idea wherever possible. OTOH, if we expect batteries to jump significantly in quality and range/$ in a few years, why not go ahead and exploit the existing one as fast as possible; why save it when it will soon be obsolete?

Timo | 17 juin 2012

I wrote to autoblog that Tesla creates a lot of mini-solar power plants around the country with this. That's the right way of delivering solar power, not with a huge solar power plants, but with rooftops and other places otherwise already used. If charging pays even small amount of maintenance of those it is worth it (service ranger goes to station which is reporting lower input and cleans the panels).

Brian H | 17 juin 2012

Solar supplying the Supercharging stations? I doubt it; they'll each be pumping out about 1-2 MWh per day per connector.

Timo | 17 juin 2012

With the lack of cars charging solar is more than enough to cover energy expenses, you just need to store the energy "in the grid" (IE. when not used, feed the grid, when used use the grid). At least in sunny regions.

You forget that more than 99% of driving is done within Model S range, and for even that 1% most don't need full charge. Even with all cars being BEV:s there would be very few doing fast charging at any given moment. Those would never be busy like gas-stations.

Brian H | 18 juin 2012

5 cars a day would be ~300kwh. Figure the acreage of panels and duration of sun per day needed for that. Good luck. Solar is great if you're isolated from the grid, and/or have lots of sun, and/or can leech off non-solar grid customers (subsidies). Otherwise it's dilute, expensive, and unreliable.

Timo | 18 juin 2012

5 cars a day full charge is a lot, I would estimate it is more like half a battery pack a day average for several years unless number of BEV:s increase fast.

24hours a day, maybe 10 hours worth solar, 300kWh requires 30kW of power average. 1000W/m^2, 15% conversion 150W/m^2. 200m^2. ~14x15 meters. That's not a lot.

Solar is not expensive if done right. It is in fact quite cheap. Problem is not the cost, it is the required area and maintenance (keeping the panels clean mainly). A lot of rooftops and distributed stress is a right way of doing that, not some huge power plants.

Brian H | 18 juin 2012

That's not full charge, that's about 70% for 5 Sigs. Don't quibble.

For each charge station 210 square meters of PV? Dream on. And only a couple of hours a day get "full sun". And every cloud kills output.

As for rooftops, it's been calculated that using every rooftop in the US would cover just a fraction of residential demand, and none of the even larger industrial and transportation demand, at an install price about 5X the existing conventional sources of power. Stupidity on Stilts.

Timo | 18 juin 2012

Which is about four Sigs too many.

Why would a cloud kill the output? Didn't you read my message?

Stupidity is to count using the most expensive PV in equations. That's like counting battery costs using a lab-only product, you get million dollar 85kWh battery. Solar can be cheap. It isn't full solution to everyone everywhere, but it helps quite a lot. A lot more than you seem to realize. Residential demand at summertime could be covered completely by solar just by using rooftops (and smart building). At winter use something else.

For our calc, 300kWh/day would cost around $270k if cheap panels were used. At 300kWh a day produced it makes $3000 / day worth of electricity. That's over million a year. Even with rainy days and winter cutting production to low figures it still pays the initial installation cost back in just few years. Then if you get the maintenance cost covered by passing BEV charges, it's very good business.

EdG | 18 juin 2012

@Timo: are you saying $3000 / 300kWh = $10/kWh?

Mark E | 18 juin 2012

Brian H:
my normal house uses around 25kWh per day. Less in moderate weather when I'm not heating or cooling it. Friends of mine with PV systems report around 4kWh generated for each 1Kw of panels. I'm in Australia, but that is around the national average.

300kWh average per day would need 300/4 = 75kW PV system.

My house has around 200m2 of roof space.

Commercial panels readily available today generate 190W in 1.2m2. This means that you'd need about 480m2 of panels.

The cost of solar has reduced dramatically - and will continue to drop dramatically as the technology improves. Like an electric car the savings in solar are not the initial purchase price but the ongoing reduced costs. Aside from cleaning, they don't require maintenance and generate power for free.

Back in 2010 Bloomberg predicted price parity with fossil fuels within 10 years..

In my case a 2.4kW system would completely offset my daily driving in a model s.

Timo | 18 juin 2012

EdG, oops, divided when I should have multiplied (by 0.1). Should be $30 not $3000 obviously. I wondered why that looks like a lot. Like "why the ... everybody is not already using it-a lot". $10k year. Not so good anymore. (note to self, when in doubt double-check everything).

I wonder if I made similar mistake with price... 75kW * 4 = $300k. Unfortunately not. Takes 30 years to pay back with electricity only, you would need to charge something from charging.

Brian H | 18 juin 2012

With the land and construction and security and maintenance costs, it would be (will be) FAR cheaper to tap the grid.

The FF project is progressing well. If it continues, the whole issue will be moot, as the generated power costs will drop by a factor of 10, making solar even less attractive (=reasonable, economic, sane).

Dilute power sources are retrograde, the exact opposite of everything that has permitted advanced civilization. One EU country after another is running into the Reality brick wall, and slashing subsidies, with suppliers howling, folding, and fleeing en masse.

As usual, it's too late to prevent major damage from renewables projects, as so much is now installed or already in the pipeline. But little or no new build-out will committed.

Captain_Zap | 18 juin 2012


We were at Elmer's Restaurant this weekend after a day of racing at Portland International Raceway's Rose Cup weekend to dine and toast a good day on the track. It

EdG | 18 juin 2012

What is "The FF project"? Final Fantasy? Fast Forward? Google and I don't seem to know what you're referring to... (Apologies to those who've already heard too much about whatever this is.)

Captain_Zap | 18 juin 2012

Sorry but the whole message didn't make it due to a loss in wireless connectivity... Here's the whole message:


We were at Elmer's Restaurant this weekend after a day of racing at Portland International Raceway's Rose Cup weekend to dine and toast a good day on the track. It’s now a routine rendezvous location for race teams. Elmer’s is the most convenient restaurant near the track and several hotels frequented by teams. While at Elmer’s we were fantasizing about track days or racing Teslas at PIR... or just bringing ours along for the car shows that go on during racing. Meanwhile we wondered which restaurant or hotel would come up with chargers first.

Past Rose Festival events had EV endurance races at PIR after the high octane races were done for the day due to noise limits. Competitors were usually EV hobbyists and schools.

Go for it! We’ll be loyal customers.

Volker.Berlin | 18 juin 2012

EdG, please don't ask. We've had it once too often already.
But of course you are even more curious now, so here we go.

LPPhysics has been mentioned frequently in these forums, and always by Brian H. The last time this came up, another forum member posted a reply that I found rather enlightening:

Ahh, LPPhysics. Let's see what they can do for energy in the future and let's do a little due diligence before investing hope and money in this outfit.

LPPhysics = Lawrenceville Plasma Physics. Lawrenceville is a nice town just down the road from Princeton Univ, Princeton Physics department, and the Princeton Plasma Laboratory. How many of the people at any these institutions are moonlighting at LPP for a little extra cash and stock options? NONE!

Staff of LPP. The President, Eric Lerner has a BA in Physics from Columbia University (commendable, if not impressive.) Lerner did graduate work in Physics; code for "did not get a graduate degree."

The CFO, Aaron Blake, has a BA in Social Work and an MBA from Trident Univirsity International, a for profit on line school; very impressive. Oh, and Blake "proposed the idea of injecting angular momentum into the plasma filaments, which was written into the patent." The others are just as impressive :-)

From the Technical Section at the LPP site: Magnetic Field Effect "The effects of magnetic fields on ion-electron collisions has been studied for some time. It was first pointed out in the 1970s by Oak Ridge researcher J. Rand McNally (does this guy also make maps?) in a non-quantum mechanical form, and more recently astronomers studying neutron stars, which have powerful magnetic fields, noted the quantum mechanical form of the effect, which is much larger. However, Lerner was the first to point out in 2003 that this quantum effect would have a large impact on the plasma focus, where such strong magnetic fields are possible. Experiments have already demonstrated 0.4 giga gauss fields, and DPFs with smaller electrodes and stronger initial magnetic fields can reach as high as 20 giga-gauss, Lerner calculates. This should be achievable in the next round of LPP's experiments. NOTE: (DPF)=The Dense Plasma Focus (DPF)"

So how much is a giga gauss magnetic field? Well, 10,000 gauss = 1 Tesla (magnetic field unit, not car). So, 1 giga gauss = 100,000 Tesla. How much is that? Here is a portion from a recent story in Physorg(dot)com:

"World record: The strongest magnetic fields created
June 28, 2011
On June 22, 2011, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf set a new world record for magnetic fields with 91.4 teslas. To reach this record, Sergei Zherlitsyn and his colleagues at the High Magnetic Field Laboratory Dresden (HLD) developed a coil weighing about 200 kilograms in which electric current create the giant magnetic field – for a period of a few milliseconds. The coil survived the experiment unscathed." Also interesting later in the article is: "In order to examine as closely as possible the electric charge in the materials of tomorrow, researchers need higher magnetic fields with, for example, 90 or 100 teslas. "At 100 teslas, though, the Lorentz force inside the copper would generate a pressure which equals 40,000 times the air pressure at sea level," calculates Joachim Wosnitza. These forces would tear copper apart like an explosion."

So, if 100 Tesla is larger than the strongest magnetic field yet produced here on earth (not a Neutron Star) what are the chances of producing 10,000 times that field in the next five or ten years? Not too good! And, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near Lawrenceville or Middlesex NJ when they throw the switch.

Etographer | 18 juin 2012


Sorry to have missed you, look forward to meeting you.


EdG | 18 juin 2012

If he'd said "LPPhysics" I wouldn't have asked. I probably don't want to know why "The FF project" = LPPhysics.

Captain_Zap | 18 juin 2012


Perhaps next year it will be The Rose Cup, The Festival Trophy, The Pirelli Cup, The Porsche Cup AND The Elmer's Tesla Cup at PIR?

Volker.Berlin | 19 juin 2012

EdG: "Focus Fusion".

Brian H | 19 juin 2012

VolkerB quoted a cynical editorializing put-down, of course. Look at the site yourself; much has gone on lately, and papers have recently been published in reviewed plasma and engineering journals.

Sorry it confused you; I was addressing Timo, who is up on the subject, and didn't consider the other readership!

One odd fact to keep in mind: the DPF device, paradoxically, produces more powerful "pinches" the smaller it gets. LPP's is, I believe, the world's most compact, and significantly shrunken ones are planned for the next stages of testing and research. LPP is between one and two orders of magnitude closer to "breakeven" on the Lawson scale/criterion, btw, than any other fusion project on the planet (as far as is known in the open literature).

Its other critical advantage is that it is designed for direct power output without need for steam/heat cycles to spin turbines. Just straight pulsed DC power, easy to control and convert to any desired standard AC votage and frequency.

The discussion/supporter/bulletin-board site is .

Volker.Berlin | 19 juin 2012

Look at the site yourself (Brian H)

Absolutely. And also use Google Streetview (or any comparable service) to have a look at their "research center". ;-)

Timo | 19 juin 2012

It is a very low budget research project done in small place, so obviously it doesn't have any cool facade. The results they have got with the little they have are amazing. LPP does create fusion far more reliably than any other fusion project, all it now needs to do is reach breakeven energies.

The person that you quoted, Volker.Berlin, didn't have a clue about the physics behind that project. The mentioned magnetic field is created in completely different manner in LPP, the max. field is reached outside of the coils in the "pinch" where the plasma is and where fusion happens.

I emphasize that it does create fusion already in reliable manner unlike any tokamak. What is left is to create enough energy from it to reach breakeven point with aneutronic fuels (hydrogen-boron), so dissing it without actually being familiar with the subject is plain stupid. I suspect that your hatred about LPP has roots in your hatred of BrianH (which has roots in who knows where).

I don't quite share BrianH optimism about the cost of the energy though. It is hard to even get to the breakeven, so predicting costs is not something I would like to do. What if the energy produced is so tiny it hardly pays the equipment? It's still aneutronic fusion produced from very abundant resources, so it would be clean and abundant energy, but it too can be expensive like solar. I hope it would not be expensive, but hoping is not knowing.

@BrianH, I didn't say that recharge station would not have connection to grid, quite opposite. Same system as with houses with solar, feed the grid when not in use, use grid when solar alone is not enough.

Brian H | 19 juin 2012

Well, economics, dismal science that it is, will decide. I would suspect that if TM uses solar near/with the chargers it would be "written off" as promo for sister firm SolarCity.

Here's the latest image of the FF "energy budget" in a 'Sankey Diagram':

Volker.Berlin | 19 juin 2012

Timo, I insist that you replace "hatred" with "skepticism". Other than that, you're not too far off. More precisely, I'm skeptic about LPP and I'm skeptic about anything Brian H says, independent of one another. The fact that Brian H keeps bringing up LPP just makes me even more skeptic.

Etographer | 19 juin 2012

Sorry to interupt...I talked with TM this morning. They confirmed that there was a new store opening here in Oregon at the Washington Square mall. They don't know the exact date, but its coming.

Brian H | 20 juin 2012

"Sceptic", except to the sloppy English user, is not an adjective, it's a noun, specifically a person. "Sceptical" is correct usage. Do you say, "I am hunger" instead of "I am hungry"??

Fortunately, as noted, LPP has about a 10X to 100X advantage in quality of results vs. any and every other fusion research project in the world. So your scepticism is not evidence-based. Just sour and uniformed.

Brian H | 20 juin 2012

Typo: uninformed, probably not uniformed.

favo | 21 juin 2012

I think you mean skeptical (unless you're a Brit).

Volker.Berlin | 21 juin 2012

Brian H, I'm so glad that you are fluid in your mother tongue, and that you even get the spelling right most of the time. I, too, know my native language pretty well, plus some secondary languages that I know well enough to make myself understood. Thank you very much.

Citing sources and clearly marking personal opinion, among other basic communication skills, seem so much more important to me than an (occasional) glitch in grammar or spelling. Your priorities are clearly different.

Etographer, I apologize for further continuing this side track in your thread. It seems to have gotten hopelessly off-topic, anyway, so I hope I don't do much harm.

Timo | 21 juin 2012

Well, it's kind of on topic still. BrianH note about LPP was related to charging stations, because that LPP reactor is small enough and cheap enough that you can add one of those to each charging station. If it does what it might do (5MW each), then grid connection and solar panels would not be needed and there would be plenty of power to charge any kind of BEV.

I hope LPP success because that would revolutionize energy production in our entire planet. No more oil, coal, solar, wind or any other kind of would be needed. Even ships and trains would use that (it's small enough to easily fit into locomotive). ICE cars of any size would become permanently obsolete with cheap fast charging would be available anywhere. Even hydrogen fuel cell would become green with hydrogen produced from water by electrolysis.