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Author Topic: Tesla added battery capability for Florida residents.  (Read 532 times)
Fly320s
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« on: September 10, 2017, 12:41:48 PM »

Tesla remotely activated increased battery capability for their cars in Florida so people would have an easier evacuation.

This is the original article I read:

http://jalopnik.com/tesla-remotely-extended-the-range-of-its-florida-owners-1802955287



And this is the follow up article which brings up some interesting ideas and possibilities.

http://jalopnik.com/teslas-hurricane-irma-update-taps-into-our-deepest-fear-1803081731
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Ben
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 01:21:42 PM »

I read about that this morning, and had the same concerns as in the second link - and more, as this stuff applies to way more than cars.

It seems that as technology advances, it's creating a "social system of goods" in which we pay for things, but don't really own them. The manufacturer (or government) can change things up on us on a whim via OTA.
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 05:23:48 PM »

Wow! 30 whole extra miles!

What's the range of a Tesla, and then what's the recharge time? What good is having their recharge network if power goes down for most of the state? And, even if there's a charging station available when you get toward the end of your range -- how long does it need to recharge? If you can find gas (which you can carry in Jerry cans, in an emergency) you need all of five to ten minutes, at most, to refill (well, not counting time waiting in lines at the pumps). Don't electric cars require several hours -- as in, like, overnight -- for a full charge after running the batteries down to near depletion?

[Edit to add] Looks like the range for a 60D is about 200 miles -- under more or less ideal conditions, and downwards from that under less then ideal conditions. Miami to Jacksonville is 350 miles, so it would take two full charges to get out of Florida from Miami -- and that still doesn't really get you out of the storm's path. Even my 18-year old Jeep Cherokee can go 300 to 350 miles on a tank, and a pair of 5-gallon Jerry cans adds another 100 or 150 miles to the range.
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230RN
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 12:45:51 PM »

Let alone the possibility of shutting the device down completely the day after the warranty expires.  $X.00 to "repair" it remotely.

Or maybe a week or two after the expiration, to avoid direct cause-and-effect suspicions.

Oh, and maybe we'd better start paying for "extended warranty" programs for what, about 15-20% over the regular retail price.

Or.

Else.

Terry, "it ain't paranoia when you've seen all kinds of crap like this before," 230RN  Cheesy
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 12:58:16 PM by 230RN » Logged

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Fly320s
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 01:18:47 PM »

Wow! 30 whole extra miles!

Tesla didn't have to offer anything.  And if they didn't, no one would have known.

I haven't heard of GM or Ford or VW offering to help people leave Florida by flashing the ECU to gain more MPG.
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slugcatcher
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 01:26:02 PM »

Tesla didn't have to offer anything.  And if they didn't, no one would have known.

I haven't heard of GM or Ford or VW offering to help people leave Florida by flashing the ECU to gain more MPG.

Well VW did get into a little bit of trouble for doing just that with diesel.
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Firethorn
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2017, 01:47:44 PM »

[Edit to add] Looks like the range for a 60D is about 200 miles -- under more or less ideal conditions, and downwards from that under less then ideal conditions. Miami to Jacksonville is 350 miles, so it would take two full charges to get out of Florida from Miami -- and that still doesn't really get you out of the storm's path. Even my 18-year old Jeep Cherokee can go 300 to 350 miles on a tank, and a pair of 5-gallon Jerry cans adds another 100 or 150 miles to the range.

Can you routinely refuel your Jeep at home for pennies?   Not ever have to visit a gas station?
Drive it around in a warehouse without worrying about monoxide?
Beat almost all vehicles off the line?

They knew what they were getting when they bought the car.

Charging times. Cripple charging is basically overnight, but superchargers are about 80% in half an hour.  Go have a meal.
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2017, 02:07:14 PM »

Tesla didn't have to offer anything.  And if they didn't, no one would have known.

I haven't heard of GM or Ford or VW offering to help people leave Florida by flashing the ECU to gain more MPG.

Tesla was asked by an owner and "magnanimously" made the upgrade, then decided on their own hook to extend it to other owners in the path of the storm. It wasn't the fact they did it that attracted my attention, it was the very minor improvement, and how useless that 30 mile increment really is. I did some research. If charging from a 110 (or 120?) volt outlet, the charge time is ONE HOUR PER FIVE MILES OF RANGE. So for a range of 200 miles, in your home garage it needs 40 hours to recharge.

Bump it up to a 240-volt outlet and the charge time jumps to something like one hour for 20 miles of range -- so a full recharge if you ran to "empty" would still require 10 hours. That's not cool when you're trying to outrun a hurricane. Even 14 MPH (for the storm) is a lot faster than "I'm parked on Elm Street and plugged into the back of Herb's Hotdog Emporium."

The difference between Tesla and Ford, GM, and VW is that Tesla was able to "flip the switch" remotely. To reflash the ECM in a Ford, GM, or VW requires having the vehicle in the shop and connected to the factory scanner.
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Firethorn
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2017, 02:48:47 PM »

Tesla was asked by an owner and "magnanimously" made the upgrade, then decided on their own hook to extend it to other owners in the path of the storm. It wasn't the fact they did it that attracted my attention, it was the very minor improvement, and how useless that 30 mile increment really is. I did some research. If charging from a 110 (or 120?) volt outlet, the charge time is ONE HOUR PER FIVE MILES OF RANGE. So for a range of 200 miles, in your home garage it needs 40 hours to recharge.

I've looked at this a bit.  If you're buying an EV, does it make any sense for you to NOT install a 240V charging port in your garage?

A model S uses about 260 watt-hours to go 1 mile.  1.3 kWh for 5 miles.  12Amps@120V = 1.44 kWh/hour, off a 15Amp circuit.  Close enough.
Go to a dryer socket, 30A@240V, charge at 24 amps, and you have 4 times the charging speed.  Should actually be a bit more, you should be able to pull 26-28 Amps long term without burning the breaker, and you're less likely to have other stuff on the circuit, thus can pull more that way as well.  5 times the charge speed is more likely.  This means 8 hours from empty.

Thing is, you're not restricted to a 30Amp circuit.  The Tesla can use a 50 or even 100 Amp circuit.  Put a 100 amp charger in?  You can be charged in 2 hours.

As for flipping the switch remotely - it's true that Tesla is a leader in OTA updates, but that's generally a good thing.  It means that you don't need to go into the shop for an upgrade, and Tesla has been good about keeping OTA updates to actually being upgrades and fixes, not disabling things.  Well, after the one Tesla ran over one of those multi-ball trailer hitches on the road, where it penetrated the battery and the car ended up burning, they disabled some of the height adjustment(rides lower on the highway for improved stability and mileage) until they were able to install a titanium shield that, well, ensured that whatever the car hits either smashes flat or lifts the car before the battery pack is penetrated.

However, it doesn't mean that you still need to bring the newest Ford, GM, or VW vehicles in for firmware updates, especially GM.  What do you think ONSTAR is?
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sumpnz
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2017, 08:53:54 PM »

In Tesla's defense, if you can get to a "supercharger" station it's half an hour to go from empty to 80% charge.  After that it slows down and is probably another hour to get that last 20%.  By unlocking that additional 15kWh of battery capacity it might have actually helped some owners get through to the next charging station.

But, in all reality, there was likely fewer than 10 Tesla owners that actually saw a benefit from this during their evacuation, and that benefit was tenuous at best.  Maybe a few hundred more that will see benefits between now and when that "upgrade" expires. 

At the end of the day I still think Tesla cars are impractical for my own uses, and way too expensive even if they were practical.  From a business perspective I find the company fascinating in that they are able to not only maintain stock price but see it go ever higher in spite of financial fundamentals that should have the company seeking bankruptcy protection and basically seen as radioactive by the investor community.  I would short Tesla, but the market can remain irrational far longer than I can remain solvent.  They have had, what, 1 quarter with net profits in the last 8 years, and that only because they hoarded ZEV credits and then cashed a bunch in all in that one quarter.  The company is a cash bonfire, and has no path to profitability that I can see.

When that company finally goes bankrupt it will be epic, and the schadenfreude will be thick.
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TommyGunn
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 08:09:22 AM »

In Tesla's defense, if you can get to a "supercharger" station it's half an hour to go from empty to 80% charge.  After that it slows down and is probably another hour to get that last 20%.  By unlocking that additional 15kWh of battery capacity it might have actually helped some owners get through to the next charging station.

But, in all reality, there was likely fewer than 10 Tesla owners that actually saw a benefit from this during their evacuation, and that benefit was tenuous at best.  Maybe a few hundred more that will see benefits between now and when that "upgrade" expires.  

At the end of the day I still think Tesla cars are impractical for my own uses, and way too expensive even if they were practical.  From a business perspective I find the company fascinating in that they are able to not only maintain stock price but see it go ever higher in spite of financial fundamentals that should have the company seeking bankruptcy protection and basically seen as radioactive by the investor community.  I would short Tesla, but the market can remain irrational far longer than I can remain solvent.  They have had, what, 1 quarter with net profits in the last 8 years, and that only because they hoarded ZEV credits and then cashed a bunch in all in that one quarter.  The company is a cash bonfire, and has no path to profitability that I can see.

When that company finally goes bankrupt it will be epic, and the schadenfreude will be thick.

Aren't teslas   highly subsidized by govt.?   Or am I thinking of some other eco-friendly endeaver?
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 10:42:54 AM »

The real question should be why can't you usually have the whole capacity?
Is that a buffer so people don't realise the battery pack is going bad early?
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zxcvbob
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2017, 10:56:22 AM »

The real question should be why can't you usually have the whole capacity?
Is that a buffer so people don't realise the battery pack is going bad early?

Perhaps so you don't reverse charge the weakest cells in the stack when you discharge near the end of the capacity.
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sumpnz
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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2017, 11:47:13 AM »

More like Tesla wanted a way to squeeze more $$ out of customers later on.
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MechAg94
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« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2017, 11:59:13 AM »

If an electric only car is all you have, it might be useful to also own a small generator capable of charging it and a gas can so you can recharge it on the side of the road if needed.  I wonder how many people anticipated the need to evacuate when they bought their car. 
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Ben
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« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2017, 12:04:50 PM »

If an electric only car is all you have, it might be useful to also own a small generator capable of charging it and a gas can so you can recharge it on the side of the road if needed.  I wonder how many people anticipated the need to evacuate when they bought their car. 

I'm curious if a plain jane little generator would work? I think the chargers for those vehicles are pretty complex.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2017, 12:30:33 PM »

The real question should be why can't you usually have the whole capacity?
Is that a buffer so people don't realise the battery pack is going bad early?

Early model S's had the option for different sized batteries, at different prices of course.  All current models use the same size batteries, but are software limited based on what trim level a person buys.  A person with a 60kwh battery can upgrade it to 70/75/90 or whatever it is for a fee and a software change,
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Fly320s
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« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2017, 12:31:53 PM »

I'm curious if a plain jane little generator would work? I think the chargers for those vehicles are pretty complex.

Yes it will, but it will take a long time.  All Teslas can be charged with 110/120 household power.
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dogmush
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« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 01:04:14 PM »

If an electric only car is all you have, it might be useful to also own a small generator capable of charging it and a gas can so you can recharge it on the side of the road if needed.  I wonder how many people anticipated the need to evacuate when they bought their car. 

According to Tesla's website, You can recharge a Model S at the rate of 45 miles (with of charge) per hour with a 15.4 KW generator.

You can buy a LP powered gen that size and run it on a trailer behind your Tesla, and (according to Generac) it'll run at full load at ~3 gal of LP/ hr.  So your Tesla could get about 15 mpg. And that's about as efficient as it gets. The smaller gens make the charge time/ mile more untenable.
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Firethorn
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« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2017, 01:58:07 PM »

Aren't teslas   highly subsidized by govt.?   Or am I thinking of some other eco-friendly endeaver?

Tesla's major subsidies have expired, there were phaseouts on basis of numbers of cars sold.

The real question should be why can't you usually have the whole capacity?
Is that a buffer so people don't realise the battery pack is going bad early?

More complicated.  When Tesla was first taking pre-orders, they were offering a 40/60/80 kWh lineup.  So few chose the 40 kWh option that making the 40kwh pack didn't make sense.  So they honored the 40kwh orders with 60 kwh batteries software limited to 40 kwh.  Though that should be closer to 80 miles so.  You can pay to have the other 20kwh restored.

30 miles sounds like a 10% buffer.  Hiding that isn't just a 'hide the battery pack going bad', it is also how they keep it from going bad.  With lithium ion, that last 10% of charge is more wearing than the first 90%.  Set the max at 90%, and you can triple the life of the battery.  Might matter less for small objects like cellphones where you expect it to be replaced in 3 years, but if you want the car battery to last...  Limit the charge to 90% all the time and you will have more capacity at 90% max after two years than 2 years at 100%.

Quote
I'm curious if a plain jane little generator would work? I think the chargers for those vehicles are pretty complex.

The battery charger is located in the vehicle.  It is also very smart in the case of the Tesla.  Feed it power that is roughly AC between 110-220V and it will work.  It will try to guess the amps from the connector, but you can limit that if your generator isn't big enough.

Also, little doesn't quite cover it when the car can charge at 80A@240V, 21kW.  

This is one big enough for a full speed charge:


Though there is talk of using a generator with a power line to the car.  In that case, a 12kW unit should be sufficient.
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Ben
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« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2017, 02:09:55 PM »

Though there is talk of using a generator with a power line to the car.  In that case, a 12kW unit should be sufficient.

I reckon that will still create some difficulty with the "take the generator with you" situation, at least until Tesla comes out with a truck. My little 9KW genny weighs over 200lbs. While it has wheels, it's still not exactly easily portable, and if you're gonna get a bigger generator and trailer it, I'm assuming, related to what Dogmush posted, you're going to get diminishing returns by hauling around the extra weight. At some point, at least if we're talking the "flee as far as you can" scenario, a person is probably better off with a 40MPG Toyota Corolla or even a Prius.
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« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2017, 03:06:37 PM »

It's a short-putt to DHS or some other alphabet agency demanding the "keys" to everyone's cars for reasons...
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« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2017, 03:46:12 PM »

Tesla's major subsidies have expired, there were phaseouts on basis of numbers of cars sold.
........

That's shocking.   Shocking, I say!    Tinfoil Hat Smiley   But hey, I'm down with it! cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2017, 04:05:41 PM »

This talk of having a generator along with your electric car reminds me of of reading about back when the age of sail was ending and that of steam was beginning ship designers thought they could get the benefits of both by building steam ships that also had masts for sails.

So you'd have the sails up when there was wind but would still be able to make way even if the wind was weak.

They soon found that the extra weight of the masts and sails caused them to burn more coal than using them saved. That's in addition to having a crew that had to have both sails-men and steam-men aboard. Plus getting rid of the sails opened up more cargo room and room for coal.

So in time, steam won out.

A similar process happened in the transition from rowed galleys to ships with only sails.

It's better to have a vehicle that runs on one source of power, and does it to the best of it's ability rather than a vehicle that's trying to work both angles and makes things over complicated.
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« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2017, 04:31:55 PM »

Sounds like a small generator isn't practical for doing a full recharge, but if you get stranded, a small generator might get you somewhere you can do a full recharge.  I was thinking about those small generators that might fit in a trunk.  Do those cars have any trunk space?

I agree with the comment that having a second car/truck that uses gas is probably more practical. 
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