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The gang from Tesla left their Silicon Valley home base to pay a visit to the vicinity of the Big Apple this week. Part of the purpose of the trip was to spend some time with some of the people in the area who've plunked down cash toward a Roadster but haven't yet taken delivery (which would be almost everyone on the customer list at this point). One interesting note in the article from Greenwich Time is the length of time required to charge up the Roadster's battery. They note that charging the battery from a normal household outlet could take up to 30 hours. The Roadster's battery has a capacity of 53kWh. Tesla quotes a charge time of 3-3.5, but that is based on charging from a 220V 80A circuit. If, on the other hand, you plug the car into a typical outlet in your living room, you would only have 15A flowing at 110V. That's 53,000W / (110V * 15) = 32.12 hours. So if you plan to get yourself a plug-in electric car with any kind of serious range, be prepared to have an electrician install a high current outlet to charge it. At the very least you'll want a 220V/40A circuit for overnight charging in 6-7 hours.

[Source: Greenwich Time]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 3 Months Ago
      *deep sigh*

      Like #8 (Graham) and #9 (Doug) :

      Why is this news Now ?

      Well, llike #1 (BlackbirdHighway) : it's slow news sunday - what do you expect ?

      Bright idea ! Turn on the tap and let some of that good ol' TESLA-ISM trickle through, of course !

      I can't even start to think what they're paying the columnists for all this exposure.
      Them Tesla lobbyists shure know the trade !
      - Really, it's as awesome as it is revolting.
      Man, it wouldn't be surprising if you end up rejecting that icon out of sheer fatigue !

      Suggestion to those suffering severe Tesla-ism to seek proffesional help.

      This is getting weird

      :S
      • 3 Months Ago
      The math is pretty simple.

      Another way to think about it is since you'll be using about 250 Wh/mile, if you use a (110V x 20A) 2.2 kW plug, you'll be charging at about 9 miles range per hour.

      For what its worth, my boss had a 240V x 50A plug put in a waterproof box on the side of his house (where it was accessible from his driveway), for ~$750 including city inspection and everything. As axiom says, the cost of the plug is really pretty trivial next to that of the vehicle.
      • 3 Months Ago
      The point of this post if you actually read through the whole paragraph was to point out that charging any EV, not just a Tesla is dependent on the circuit you plug it in to. It doesn't matter if you have a battery capable of quick charges if you have a slow feed. If you expect to charge the battery quickly, you need a high-voltage, high-current outlet.
      • 3 Months Ago
      This is why, as part of a home remodeling project, I upgraded my home's electrical service - and left a virtually unused 240V 100A panel in my garage.

      Sadly, no money left over for a Tesla...
      • 3 Months Ago
      Just have your servants bring you your other Telsa when you're getting low. Then they can drive it back to the garage to charge while you're using the other one. Nyuck, Nyuck.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Around where I live, 400 amp service has been the standard power company service since the 70's. Still, even though the feed wires are 400 amps, most houses have a 200 amp panel and main breaker.

      You are allowed in the code to have the total of the load circuits be well in excess of the main breaker. It just means that if you run every possible appliance at the same time, you may blow the main breaker and have to reset it. Usually, it's next to impossible to do that:

      * You would have to run your electric heat and air conditioner full blast at the same time
      * and put your electric stove in self cleaning mode
      * and run the washer and electric clothes dryer
      * and somehow get a circuit with half a dozen 60 watt bulbs to draw 1800 watts
      * and plug in blow dryers into every outlet circuit
      * and recharge your Tesla at the same time

      The Tesla has a timer, so most of the time you'll be charging late at night, when other power draws are at minimum. Lots of power companies also give you a break on the price at nighttime.

      If you're charging during the day, you may want to avoid running the stove, dryer, and AC all at the same time, or maybe upgrade your electric panel.
      • 3 Months Ago
      I was there and that was my question!!
      • 3 Months Ago
      Doesn't virtually all homes have a high current outlet for washer/dryer/electric oven?

      But I doubt it'll deliver 80amps, so 40amp doesn't seem all that urneasonable for a conventional home to have.

      Where are the electricians/engineers?

        horvathp
        • 3 Months Ago
        Not an electrician - but most homes have 240v 40amp or 50 amp lines (AC and Electric dryers). However, very few homes will have room for an additional 240v/40amp line. Most homes have 200 or 250 amp service and are very close to their limit with their current wiring. Probably will require most people to have a new line run from the electric company / a new circuit box, and new wiring to their garages. Probably a couple thousand dollars.
      • 3 Months Ago
      What? Nobody offered the quote, "220... 221... Whatever it takes" yet?

      I bought a heavy duty 220w heater for my detached garage a couple of years ago. Swapping out the 110w breaker for a 220w breaker was a piece of cake, as was laying the heavier guage wiring and mounting the outlet. A requirement for this type of outlet really doesn't pose much of an obstacle.
      • 3 Months Ago
      This is cool stuff
      • 3 Months Ago
      That's a huge battery to charge... And where do you charge it if your not at home? Better off with cheap hydrogen home made at 40 cents/gallon. Or some bio-diesel homemade with a small algae bio-reactor.
        • 3 Months Ago
        Well, you charge it at an available electrical outlet, they are everywhere. RV parks have plenty of 220 volt 50 amp outlets available.

        But where will you refill your H2 car when away from home? Darn few locations, mostly run by oil companies. It is a bit disingenuous to castigate EVs for "away from home charging" (which isn't that big of a problem), yet suggest the alternative is home made H2!, Charging can be done at home too, using 1/3 as much electricity of even the best electrolysis unit available. .

        I'm a bit confused by your reference to "cheap hydrogen home made at 40 cents/gallon". H2 is a gas, normally measured in kilograms, as the volume changes drastically when compressed. So at what pressure is that gallon of homebrew H2? At standard atmospheric pressure, a gallon of H2 is the energy equivalent of just a drop of gasoline. A rough calculation estmates that your "40 cent/gallon" homebrew would be the "per gallon of gas" equivalent cost of of $1,333.33 That's absurdly expensive, even by H2 hype standards. Maybe you've just got a horribly inefficient electrolyzer!
      • 3 Months Ago
      The cost of electricity is nothing compared to the cost of the battery.


      The tesla uses about 6800 lithium ion cells, and based on the the pack voltage and the rated capacity we can estimate that each cell has a capacity around 2100 to 2200 mAh


      Let us assume that each cell costs $5 - $10
      A replacement laptop battery runs $100 and may have 16 cells (6.25 per cell) so this seems reasonable.

      what is 6800* $5 ?

      $34,000 for a battery pack.


      If we assume the pack will last 5 yrs.


      If we assume 40 miles each day 5 days a week for 5 yr that is 52,000 miles

      $34,000 / 52,000 miles = $0.65 per mile in battery cost

      Ignoring the cost of electricity that is like getting

      6 mpg

      $4 per gal / 6 mpg = $0.66 / per mile


      If you are spending $100k on a sports car fuel economy can't be too much of a concern.






      http://www.teslamotors.com/display_data/TeslaRoadsterBatterySystem.pdf
        • 3 Months Ago
        Has anyone published a TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) analysis for the Tesla Roadster? Edmunds.com has TCO's for lots of other cars (depreciation, insurance, loan interest, fuel, maintenance, etc...), but not yet for the Roadster.
        • 3 Months Ago
        Tesla estimates the pack will last 5 years or 100k miles before capacity drops to 80% of new. They estimate replacement will cost $12000 in 2013 (discounting for inflation makes that only $10750 in 2008 dollars).
        • 3 Months Ago
        I don't think it's quite fair to use the battery pack cost as an mpg equivalent, after all, it's a sports car and $100k isn't far off for a 0-60 in under 4 seconds sports car.

        I think the fuel economy is still of SOME concern here b/c a lot of people buying this car wants at least very high plug-to-wheel efficiency. Yes it's a sports car, but a large part of the market for this car still wants that green image.
        • 3 Months Ago
        The Tesla article says the car uses 6800 type 18650 Li-ion batteries At today's prices they are nearly $10.00 each. http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=4869

        I suppose if you buy 6800 of them you will get a quantity discount. But yikes.
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