Waking up with a full "tank" every morning: Why have we settled for less?

Waking up with a full "tank" every morning: Why have we settled for less?

I was imagining a world in the future where gas was no more. Then I thought, what would that world be like if they never used gas to begin with? I then realized how ridiculous it is that we have to go to gas stations to fuel our cars when instead, we can wake up to a full "tank of gas (really a full charge)", ever morning that we charge in the comfort of our own homes.

So I wrote a very thought-provoking article titled "Cell Phones and Cars in an Alternate Universe."

Here's an excerpt of the article:

After paying some bills and replying to all my emails, I headed to my garage, unplugged the charging cable from my car, and began my morning commute to my office in Century City, as I do every morning, with a fully charged vehicle. I never take for granted knowing that every morning, I wake up to a full range of 160 miles, even though my office is only 30 miles away.

You can read it completely at the website at:

Max Mindel

brianman | 22 janvier 2012 | 23 janvier 2012

I don't watch much TV, so I hadn't seen those ads. Just did...hysterical! Thanks for sharing! Sure makes you think, what the heck are we doing?

Max Mindel

Volker.Berlin | 23 janvier 2012

As a side note to forum readers who find this an interesting thought, there was a related thread going on just recently:

David70 | 23 janvier 2012

I love it Brianman. I hadn't seen it before.

Larry Chanin | 23 janvier 2012


Very entertaining article.


phb | 23 janvier 2012


Thanks for the read! I love the twist at the end.

- Phil | 23 janvier 2012

I had a great time writing it. Thanks Larry and Phil.

David M. | 24 janvier 2012

Very nice article.

Stress, is beginning a day, realizing you didn't charge your cell phone last night.
Btw - I do have to get some gasoline tomorrow. I'm gonna drive a little further to save a bit at that station that's a bit cheaper (cash only).

Just 6 more months of that. | 25 janvier 2012

David, I'm with you 100%. Every nickel I don't spend on gasoline, is a nickel that goes towards my Model S. I can't wait!
Thanks for visiting the site and reading the article.

Best regards,
Max Mindel | 25 janvier 2012

I have a friend who bought a Toyota Rav4-EV in 2001. She brags about waking up to a full charge every morning. She started with the EV-1 before GM took it away from her. Her RAV4-EV is still running perfectly and she hasn't needed to replace her battery-pack.

Brian H | 26 janvier 2012

Re the RAV4-EV: Toyota is sinking $½ bn+ into the Ontario plants which will be (amongst other things) fitting the TM drivetrain into the new version. | 27 janvier 2012

Thanks Brian. I know Toyota has quite a bit invested.

I'd like to get some Roadster owners to talk about their experiences in waking up with a full charge. I'd like to hear how their lives have changed. Can any of you out there contribute? I may to do a re-post of this with a request to hear from them in the Roadster group.

Max Mindel

ggr | 27 janvier 2012

Sure. It's just wonderful. Every couple of months, I have to take the spare car (Mercedes CLK AMG) to fill it up, because I drove it to keep it charged or for the extra seats, and I HATE GAS STATIONS. In my case there's nothing close, so I go to the local Costco, and there is always stupid traffic and lines, then smelly gas, then more stupid traffic, all for nothing!

SteveU | 27 janvier 2012

That's an interesting question (about how waking up every morning with a full charge changes things). I've had my Roadster for over three years. I remember when I first got it I felt odd driving past gas stations. Now I don't even notice them. It honestly doesn't feel all that different... although I *never* worry about running out of a charge and I know I did worry about running out of gas and had to decide when I would have to plan to fill up... so I guess it is a bit different.

Sorry... this isn't a very crisp answer.

petero | 27 janvier 2012

Dear Max,

Slightly off subject.

While visiting my HMO in So. CA I noticed 2 parking spaces each, reserved for: Clergy, Expecting Mothers, EVs (with charging stations).

I have no argument with the first two, but I was royally annoyed that the two EV spaces were taken by Prii and they were not charging. I feel if you are not going to use the charger don’t take up the space!

AndyM | 27 janvier 2012

I don't understand why there is such an importance on placing charging stations in parking lots. Where is the public outcry to put petrol stations in parking lots? A failure to plan ahead to refuel or recharge one's vehicle would be common to most scenarios involving a parking garage - so what's the difference? In fact, as a model S res holder, I disagree with the idea of being "elite" to take up special spaces. If you can sway detractors to your position with facts, instead of pissing them off, so much the better the argument.

We must convince the world that an electric car needs no special break to compete with IC-engine cars. they can compete just fine on their own.

petero | 27 janvier 2012

AndyM. My rant was about inconsiderate parking practices. Just like a large SUV, truck, or mini van parking in a compact spot so you can't open your door to get in.

I do agree, that BEVs have to make it on their own merit. However, the rather large state and federal tax breaks are a nice advantage... for now. | 31 janvier 2012

petero, I can't agree with you more. Each state should have a law preventing an EV from using a charging space if is not charging. I suppose, however, that people who don't need to charge may just plug in even if they don't have the need, just to take up the spot.

Thanks for the off topic, but, important rant.

Max Mindel | 31 janvier 2012


This is exactly what I was looking for! I wanted to hear from Roadster owners who have already experienced this. Your answer is perfect. May I quote you in an article on

Max Mindel

SteveU | 31 janvier 2012

@TeslaRumors/Max: Sure, you can quote me if you want to.

Steve Uhlir

phb | 31 janvier 2012

The parking garage next to my gym has a Blink charger in it but the parking spots on either side are not reserved for EV parking and so they're always occupied by ICE vehicles. I'm thinking that I might need to write the city a letter explaining how silly that is.

Seriously though, spots in front of chargers should only be used when charging. Since an ICE vehicle never charges it should never be in one of those spots. We will need to have a system whereby EVs that park in those spots beyond when they are charged can be ticketed. This will involve notice to the driver in some way and that can be hard to accomplish because we cannot require everyone to carry around a smart phone.

What are your thoughts as to how that should work; balancing the need for people to move their EVs when they're done charging with the fact that people should not have to return to their cars every few minutes to check on charge status?

mwu | 31 janvier 2012

Use the restaurant wait buzzer concept -- the charger buzzes the pager you take from it to let you know when your car is no longer taking a charge. You return the buzzer and move your car. If you disconnect the charge plug before returning the buzzer, the charge station (and/or the buzzer itself) makes an annoying noise at you to tell you that you forgot to return the buzzer.

phb | 31 janvier 2012

@mwu: not a bad idea! The pager would have to be cellular and the device could require a credit card swipe to release it/ start working. That way if the pager isn't returned or is damaged they will be able to charge for it.

Robert.Boston | 31 janvier 2012

Each state should have a law preventing an EV from using a charging space if is not charging. I suppose, however, that people who don't need to charge may just plug in even if they don't have the need, just to take up the spot. -TeslaRumrs

But how does "plug sharing" fit in? You pull into a spot by an EVSE, which can reach 2-4 spots. You plug in and leave for awhile. Another EV driver pulls in to an adjacent spot, notices that your car has finished charging, and so swaps the charger to his car. Do you really think that you should get a ticket, or be towed?

The solution here is more complicated that just a "charge or tow" approach (at least for EVs in an EVSE-accessible spot; clearly non-plug-in vehicles have no business in such a spot).

phb | 31 janvier 2012

Robert, I see your point... but if all four EVs are simply topping of, a decently high amperage EVSE might end up sitting idle.

Your thought about another driver switching the plug to his own vehicle brings up an interesting possibility. What about a situation in which car A isn't done charging but driver B switches the plug anyway. Just because someone's an EV driver doesn't make them a good person.

I know that some of the more sophisticated systems will alert you if the cable is disconnected, but some don't, right?

The answer to all these problems? Charging stations at every parking spot!!! ;-)

David70 | 1 février 2012

I think one way to make the charging spots less desirable to non EV users is to put them way out in the lot where no one else wants to park. Have signs restricting them to EV, but there would probably be no competition for them if no one really needed to charge. Many of the other ideas for notifying the owner when charging is done should also be an option.

JohnQ | 1 février 2012

@David70 - Might be some infrastructure issues with that. It's usually easier to run electrical lines to the close-in spots.

Mycroft | 1 février 2012

Agreed David, that would be the ideal solution. However, there are at least two things providing pressure for keeping the spots near the entrance:

1. The farther from the building, the more expensive the electrical installation of the chargers.

2. The farther from the building, the less "green" marketing value from the chargers.

That basically leaves two types of establishments that would have strong motivation for keeping the charging spots clear for EVs. Restaurants and hotels.

Given the track record of hotels being able to keep something as simple as Internet access functional, all I can say is that Tesla's system holds the most hope for us.

Volker.Berlin | 1 février 2012


3. Better surveillance, less vandalism.

brianman | 1 février 2012

Having been fiddling with hard drives again recently, "serial attached" comes to mind...

Do any current locations allow for [a] multiple vehicles to plug in at once and [b] the "active" port to automatically rotate on an hourly basis?

With this system you could line up 8 cars per workday on a single charger.

Volker.Berlin | 1 février 2012

brianman, I think a solution like that is unlikely or temporary at best. If you can hook up 8 cars, you should provide enough oomph to charge those cars in parallel.

If amperage is limited, it should be limited to the same rate for each car attached, i.e., if only one or two cars are attached they could charge at their max rate, but if more cars attach, charger output is throttled. Thus all cars could still charge in parallel, though not at full speed. Seems to make more sense to me than rotating time slices.

brianman | 1 février 2012

With time slices, you can light up the slots to indicate which is charging. This rewards human involvement of connecting to the active charger rather than the passive approach of just parking in a slot 24x7.

Nonetheless, I get your point.

Klaus | 1 février 2012

Has anyone checked with ChargePoint to see how their equipment works? A card swipe starts and stops the charging. The cable is locked in its holder until someone starts a charge by swiping a credit card or one of their own cards. A message can be received on your mobile device when charging is complete. I think you can also terminate a charge via mobile device. I suspect if you should come across a car that has already terminated a charge, you could disconnect the cord and use it yourself. But the charging stations I have seen up to now serve two spots with a cord for each. Short of pushing someone else's car out of the way, you're stuck waiting for the owner to return. BTW all of the ones I have seen are J1772 plugs 208/240v/30amps.

Sudre_ | 2 février 2012

I am curious, since we are on the charging subject, what prevents a kid or ICE rebel from just unplugging cars on their way into the store just to annoying?

phb | 2 février 2012

As far as I can tell, nothing.

Douglas3 | 2 février 2012

I have a "Tesla Tattler" for my Roadster that would SMS text my cell phone if someone unplugged it.

I'm sure the iPhone application for the Model S would alert you (presumably they'll produce an Android version too).