Consumer Reports Takes Delivery of their Model S

Consumer Reports Takes Delivery of their Model S

Consumers Reports just posted a news item that they have now taken delivery of their Model S. They apparently bought the car anonymously and had some very good things to say about the buying process. The only “funny” thing in the report is that when discussing the options they chose they said:

We also checked off the twin on-board chargers that allow the car to be DC charged to full in 30 minutes.

We will all be interested in seeing how their ownership experience goes as they can either positively or negatively effect how people perceive the car.

Here is the link:

rlpm | 16 janvier 2013

I'm surprised that an entity as regarded as Consumer Reports didn't do enough research to know that Supercharging, not twin chargers, allows half the 85kWh battery to be charged in 30 minutes, and that Supercharging is included with the 85kWh battery option.

Both the written article and video are incorrect. :(

shs | 16 janvier 2013

That certainly surprised me that they would get that so wrong in so many ways.

olanmills | 16 janvier 2013

Well I guess I don't know my stuff either. I was under the impressions that the Superchargers work at their highest rate if you have the Twin Chargers.

So what you guys are saying is that the only point of having the Twin Chargers is to use with the Tesla HPWC?

olanmills | 16 janvier 2013

Well I guess the language on this page ( basically implies what you guys just said, that the Twin Chargers are irrelevent when it comes to using the Supercharger.

olanmills | 16 janvier 2013

Did they make a typo when they said they made a deposit it in October 2010? That's about a year earlier than me. It looks like I basically have the same configuration but I've already had my car for about three weeks. Their delivery location of NYC vs Seattle for me might have been a factor. I can also indulge the fantasy that they produced and delivered earlier to enthusiasts who were active on the forums and stuff, lol.

Sudre_ | 16 janvier 2013

Maybe some how TM knew who the anonymous buyer was so they took a little extra time building it.

jat | 16 janvier 2013

@olanmills - the twin chargers option is for charging from 240VAC sources between 40A-80A. The HPWC is one such source, there are J1772 chargers capable of 80A as well, and there may be future sources that you might want to use. Even though I rarely expect to charge above 40A, I still got it because I plan to keep this car for 10 years and I want to keep my options open for future developments.

The "charger" is basically an AC rectifier, and may also include current monitoring/limiting hardware that isn't needed in the DC path.

The superchargers use the exact same rectifiers that go in the car,and then provide DC to the car.

portia | 16 janvier 2013

They say 2 years, so Oct 2010 is not a typo. Looks like a blue one! I am sure they will figure out they made a mistake sometime soon about the charging with the twin charger, or as soon as they plug it in!

supercharger can be used with or without twin chargers, or put another way, the twin chargers or any charger does not come to play when using the supercharger, the charger is dumped directly to the battery as they say.

Brian H | 16 janvier 2013

There's also the twin 14-50 trick; see An EE's DIY Multi-Input EVSE. And the Sun cross-country system in Canada will make use of both. Etc.

nickjhowe | 16 janvier 2013

I just posted a comment on the CR article pointing out the inaccuracies.

DTsea | 16 janvier 2013

To be clear- the onboard chargers convert AC to DC. Twing chargers allow double the charging rate from line power. The supercharger hardware BYPASSES the onboard chargers (single or dual) because the SC provides DC power at 400+ volts.

DTsea | 16 janvier 2013

Twin chargers. Twing chargers sounds cool though.

olanmills | 16 janvier 2013

Thanks for the clarifications guys. Yeah I got the Twin Chargers without HPWC mainly to keep my options open and to potentially add a benefit when reselling.

Anyways, back on topic, I look forward to reading CR's final review.

Joyrider | 16 janvier 2013

With seemingly so many haveing a problem with their delivery nice to see Consumer Reports experience was good.

DTsea | 16 janvier 2013

It was interesting how excited the reviewer was. CR is rarely excited about any car made in USA.

rlpm | 17 janvier 2013

@nickjhowe: Thanks. I also posted a comment to the CR page. Hopefully they fix the article & video, even if they approve neither of our comments.

Theresa | 17 janvier 2013

BrianH, I went to the post you mentioned and could not find the multi input EVSE cable post. Do you have a good link to go to to find the details on it?

Brian H | 17 janvier 2013

You just have to read through the journey; there're a few references and descriptions, and requests for details in the comments. The writeups are written retrospectively, a couple of weeks, and Peter has promised a post on the M-I EVSE, but no joy yet. Day job and other distractions, I take it. He posts here and there as Peter7, btw.

Theresa | 17 janvier 2013

Okay, I was really hoping to find the details as here in the Midwest quick charging places are not plentiful. Well really not at all except for the RV park 50 amp stations. So the ability to do a faster charge at one of those places was very exciting for me to hear. I didn't think the S twin charger was going to be able to be used except with a HPWC so I am very excited to see there is a possibility to do that.

Musterion | 17 janvier 2013


I recommend these links for technical details and debate on multi-input and DIY EVSE: [see in particular RV combiner picture posts by 'bluetinc' who is Peter from]

shs | 17 janvier 2013

Consumers Reports has now modified their writeup on the delivery to say:

We also checked off the $1,500 on-board chargers that are needed to optimize charging with the $1,200 Tesla-dedicated High Power Wall Connector.

which is of course accurate now, but perhaps incomplete in that it misses the still fairly scarce high amperage J1772 chargers. The video says that the twin chargers option will allow a full charge in 30 minutes (not saying AC or DC) which is misleading. There are now also two comments on the article, but neither addresses the earlier error about the twin chargers. Maybe they figured it out on their own;-)

Brian H | 17 janvier 2013

I attempted to comment, and got caught in a circular login trap which customer service promised, and so far neglected, to help me escape. I wanted to post as follows:

You're a very untypical buyer in that you haven't pored over the fora dedicated to it. As a result, perhaps, you're a bit under-informed. As I gather others have already submitted comments to tell you, the twin chargers relate only to AC charging, at up to 80A. The Supercharger system, available to all 85kWh and optionally on the 60kWh models, bypasses the onboard chargers with 480V 100A DC. It can add up to 300 rated miles per hour, though it operates that efficiently only in the medium SoC (State of Charge) range of the battery. Hence the ½full in ½hr claim.
You apparently don't have the top model, the Performance. Here's someone's charting of the acceleration differences between the Performance and non-Performance 85kWh cars:

Speed NP P diff.
0-30 2.3 vs 1.7 (+0.6)
30-40 0.8 vs 0.7 (+0.1)
40-50 0.9 vs 0.7 (+0.2)
50-60 1.0 vs 0.9 (+0.1)
60-70 1.1 vs 1.0 (+0.1)
70-80 1.3 vs 1.3 (+0.0)
80-90 1.5 vs 1.4 (+0.1)
90-100 1.9 vs 1.8 (+0.1)
45-65 1.9 vs 1.7 (+0.2)

One of the joys of having the Lazarus add-on is being able to recover such failed posts!