Adapters

I have so many adapters now since I bought the whole set for my cross country journey.   I stopped by the Fremont service center prior to the journey to pick up all the available adaptors knowing they would likely have the best selection.  I had written in my post that I purchased five but if I look at the actual invoice, I purchased only four!

In all this confusion, I thought a detailed post with clearer photos would help clarify the adapters and which ones are the most useful.

SAE – J1772  — Varied Output

J1772 Front View

J1772 Front View

J1772 Side View

J1772 Side View

 

This adapter has a different appearance than the other connectors.  I received this with my car,  and I have used this connector the most as it is the most common connector for public charging stations.

The J1772 theoretically can charge up to 80 amps but the vast majority of public J1772 charging stations charge much slower at about 8 to 22 miles per hour.   So most public charging stations will allow you to fill up your Tesla Model S overnight.

Although public charging stations are often quite slow, they are ubiquitous and often conveniently located.

As you can tell from the photos, the adapter already has a little wear and tear.

14-50 (1014324-00-D)

240V / 40A  / 10kW / 29 miles per hour of charge

14-50 RV Park Adapter

14-50 RV Park Adapter

This adapter is typically given with the car and included with the mobile connector bundle.  I oddly did not have this standard adapter in my bag.  Somehow Fremont also gave me the 14-50 adapter when I purchased the other four.

This adapter is very common in RV parks and is the one I used most frequently on my cross country road trip.  I used it in an RV park and in a hotel garage parking lot.

Modified Version of the 14-50 with New Grey Faceplate

Modified Version of the 14-50 with New Grey Faceplate

Turns out a lot of newer buyers are opting to just use this plug with the mobile connector at home instead of installing a High Power Wall Connector.  For an overnight charge this solution is quite viable if your garage or charging location has sufficient amps.

This particular adapter was part of a recall in January of just the adapter.  A few of the adapters heated up and some actually melted.

Oddly enough the Fremont service center gave me an old version of this adapter.  When I arrived home from my trip I received the new version with the mail with a return box.  The new version on the other end has a grey faceplate instead of a black faceplate.

I have to admit I have not gotten around to returning the adapter.  I wanted to blog about the adapters first and I don’t work in an office with regular fed ex pickups.

 

 

5-15 ( 1014355-00-B)

110V / 12A  / 1.4kW / 3 miles per hour of charge

5-15 Standard US 110V plug

5-15 Standard US 110V plug

This adapter is the simple plain 110V standard household outlet used in the United States.  The folks at the Atlanta service center told me that several of their customers use 110 all year and only had problems charging sufficiently in the winter.  My blog post on Living with 110V is one of the perennially popular ones, so I suspect a number of customers use 110V for a period of time.  This adapter comes with the car.

5-20 (1016258-00-B)

110V / 15A  / 1.8kW / 4 miles per hour of charge.

5-20 Adapter

5-20 Adapter

This adapter I tried to use at my friend’s house near Nashville, Tennesse.  The horizontal slot increases the amps for a 110V outlet to 15A.  Turns out their plug was the mirror of this adapter and did not work with the Tesla.

They had installed this outlet in their garage for some construction equipment.  This adapter costs $45.

10-30 (1016174-00-B) Older Dryers

 240V / 24A / 5.8kW / 17 miles per hour of charge.

10-30 Adapter Older Dryer Outlets

10-30 Adapter Older Dryer Outlets

This adapter works great for charging from a dryer outlet and used it last weekend during an overnight stay at a friend’s house.  Their house is only ten years old so I am not sure why the term “older dryers” is applicable. This adapter costs $45.

14-30 (1018243-00-B) Newer Dryers

240V / 24A / 5.8kW/ 17 miles per hour of charge

14-30 Newer Dryer Outlets

14-30 Newer Dryer Outlets

I have not yet used this adapter.  This adapter costs $45.

 6-50 (1016021-00-B) Welding Equipment

240V / 40A / 10kW / 20 miles per hour of charge

6-50 Adapter for Welding Equipment

6-50 Adapter for Welding Equipment

I have not yet used this adapter either.  When driving across the country another $45 dollars for an adapter “just in case” seems like a wise investment.

Chademo US

This adapter will be very expensive at $1,000 but a number of charging stations exist in the US that can take advantage of this at the rate of 150 miles of range per hour.  I have seen a few of these stations in California but am not yet inclined to spend that much money.

Another detailed guide about adapters is available here. http://cosmacelf.net/Home%20Made%20Adapters.pdf

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Charging Adaptors

Before heading out on the cross country trip, I stopped by the Fremont Service Department to pick up a few adaptors.  I ended up buying five adaptors.  The adaptor on the left is typically used in residential homes.  My friend in Nashville has a plug like this that is used for charging heavy construction equipment.

The rest of the plugs are for charging in campgrounds.  Apparently RV campgrounds have no standard type plug and you need to carry all four adaptors.  I am reminded of the many adaptors I have for traveling throughout the world.

The final bill for these five adaptors was just under $200.

Five More Adaptors

Five More Adaptors

Living With 110V

Unfortunately, my adapter from my Roadster high power wall connector to my Model S is on backorder.  I am living with the 110 connection in my house.  My dryer is in the middle of my house, so there is no 220 plug in the garage, only the Roadster high power connector.

The following information might be useful for someone else with only 110 connection permanently or in a short term situation such as on a road trip with limited charging options.

Precarious 110 Connection

Precarious 110 Connection

Although the charging is extremely slow, I have not found using a slow charge to be a large issue.  So far I have been able to take the car wherever I have needed to go without any range anxiety.

I have encountered four limitations with the 110 cable so far.

1.  The cable is quite short, the model S is quite long, and the plug is in the back of the car.  I think even a few more feet of cable would be a great improvement.  Particularly in light of the wording in their contract

“that an extension cord should never be used to charge your vehicle.”

2.  The 110 adaptor plug is an awkward shape.  I think it should be more “short and wide” then “long and narrow”.  When plugged into a high socket, the weight of the plug and wire make it difficult to keep a strong connection.  The first outlet is about 3 feet off the ground.  Reminds me of days when you had to travel with an adaptor plug and a transformer to switch voltage.

The connection is not strong with the two plugs and unfortunate weight distribution.  I had to push it in extra tight before the car would start charging.  Also because the cable is short, it is easy to trip on when walking by as there is not enough extra cable to easily drape it flat along the garage floor.

 

Where Did the Tesla Go

Where Did the Tesla Go

My solution for the short plug was to rearrange my garage, and put the Model S in the third bay.

The car has been exiled to the back of the garage.  I did exaggerate the photo a bit by only lighting the bay filled with toys, not cars.

The third bay has storage cabinets and a shelf with two sets of outlets.  In this configuration, I can rest the plug on the open shelf, and get a much tighter seal.

 

3.  While in this new configuration, I did have the fuse trip during one day of charging.  I did not notice this and lost a lot of charging opportunity time.  I had driven quite a bit the day before, so this was unfortunate.  So far, the fuse has only tripped once, but I have only had the car for one week, so time will tell.  But I can easily monitor this from the wonderful Tesla App.  Would be even nicer if the app sent you a text message when power was interrupted.

4.  I would also prefer to not use electricity during PGE peak periods, so my car will cost more to drive until the adaptor arrives.

Better Seal When Cable Can Rest

Better Seal When Cable Can Rest

 

Tight Connection

Tight Connection

 

 

 

 

 

Model S Delivery

I picked up my car at the factory and took a tour.  What a fun experience for myself and 3 companions.  We had a tour with I think 10 folks and a great guide.

When you drive up to the entrance there are several gates listed but no number 5 as is listed on their web page.  But the missing gate number 5 is the main gate listed between gate 4 and gate 6. Upon entering the Main Gate, there is a sign that says you are entering a US Free Trade Zone.  Neither the guard nor the employees knew what this sign meant. One of the oddest things is they have an archaic sign in station for visitors that is cumbersome and silly unlike everything else Tesla does.

The tour itself was fabulous.  We were not allowed to take photos.  It lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes.  Our group had a lot of questions.  The guide avoided answering questions such as “How many cars are you building now?”, “How are the batteries put inside the steel frame?” and “What is the base operating system of the touch screen?”  Look to the images on below to get some serious hints on the third question.

Flash Player Warning

Flash Player Warning

Obvious Hints Here

Obvious Hints Here

A lot of employees on bicycles and scooters as the place is gigantic.  The factory still has a lot of items left over from the NUMI days, and Tesla has made use of a lot of things that were left behind.

We all loved watching the robots, which are the German Kuku brand.  Tesla still has a lot of employees doing manual assembly work putting in the wires into the frame and other tasks.  Some of these tasks cannot be automated. Most employees seemed super serious and intense about their job. The employees were mostly male, although there were definitely more than a few female ones, and mostly on the younger side of the scale.

Interesting facts learned during the tour:

1.  The Palo Alto development location will continue to exist.  Rumors that everyone is moving to Fremont is not true.

2. Green and Brown are rare colors.

3.  The battery weighs the same for 60KW and 85KW.  Dead cells are put into the 60KW battery in order to keep the weight the same.  This odd feature is to avoid performing  two sets of crash tests.

4.  The window glass except for the panoramic roof are tinted green.  The green is not visible to the naked eye when installed in a single thickness on the car.  In the factory they are stacked up in a line, and they are very green.

The car delivery was very nice in our own little bay.

Car at Delivery

Car at Delivery

With four of us, we went over all the detailing and mostly found bits of dirt or wax and one tiny spot on the side of the car.  The spot is very hard to see or photograph even with my SLR but the delivery specialist did put it down for the service guys to fix.  The car had quite a bit of dust and wax.  A little better of a final cleanup would have been appreciated.

Also when I turned it on the Air Suspension rose up.  He said this would not happen again and was an anomaly.  The car had only 11 miles on the odometer.

They unfortunately did not deliver my Roadster to Model S adapter for charging!  So I have to charge with 110 until it arrives.  I also have no idea of an estimated arrival time, and do not have a designated contact to ask.   I think this process needs improvement.

I would also have appreciated an email confirmation when Tesla received my money via wire transfer.

First Impressions Driving the Model S

1.  It is super comfortable for four people.

2.  The car is super quiet.  With the windows rolled up we could not hear the nearby 880 freeway.

3.  The sound system is wonderful.  I was singing all the way home.  Occasionally the bluetooth connection broke up for a few seconds.  I think the overall experience is great particularly since the car is so quiet.   I did get the upgraded system and do not regret the dollars.

4.  The car is very quick to accelerate.  As a Roadster owner, I did notice that the first second feels slower than the Roadster both with my non-performance and the performance during the test drive.  My companions thought I was a little nuts, but I could definitely feel the difference.  I suspect difference is mostly due to the huge difference in weight and the feel of the car.   The Model S feels like I am almost mid air even with sport suspension on.  Not in the same way as cars of yesteryear where you were on a pillow that floated around a bit, but almost mid-air.  With the Roadster, you feel every nook and cranny and get more noise feedback from the environment.  You definitely hear the inverter squeal when flooring it on the Model S.  I feel like I am in my little happy bubble.

I did save the 10K on getting a performance model though.   I just couldn’t justify this cost for the performance version for a one second experience.  If that were the only important criteria, I should keep the Roadster.  I found with the Roadster during regular driving, there were so few times where you could accelerate from a dead stop to beyond 40mph due to other cars around.

5.  I also noticed a large difference in the feel of regenerative braking versus the Roadster.  With the Roadster, you feel like the car immediately stops.  Due to the weight of the Model S, this feeling is diminished.

6.  The road to my house has a 17% grade for about 1/4 of a mile, which is very difficult to ride a bike up.  The car accelerated up like a dream.  On the downhill, the behavior seems tuned quite different than the Roadster, and I have not been able to quantify it yet.

7.  I went on a few winding roads and love the way it handles with the 21″ wheels.

8.  I did try the AM radio.  It had some static but was stronger than the Roadster AM signal, which I reported many issues with on this blog.  I did try to use the internet streaming version, but I was not successful due to the problems in the first two pictures in this post.

9.  I still have new car smell on the exterior.  My garage smells different!

10.  So far I really like the climate control.  I drove for a bit on a sunny 58 degree Fahrenheit day with the panoramic roof open and the heater on to get just a bit of sun.  The cabin stayed warm, and the sun felt good for ten minutes even on the freeway.

11.  I spent some time talking to folks already about the car.  I was visiting a friend at a hospital 30 miles away from home, and asked them to point me to the visitor entrance.  Once I spoke to them, they asked me a few questions about the car.

12.  The navigation worked as advertised.  I didn’t really need it but decided to play with it.  It does give me a very odd way to leave my street and get out on the main road via two other streets that no other navigation package has done:  my Roadster, my former Mercedes, my Highlander, Mapquest nor Google.

Gratuitous photo of the car going to its new home.

Rear View Car at Home

Rear View Car at Home

Model S with its New Best Friend

Model S with its New Best Friend

As I mentioned before, they did not deliver my adapter, and my laundry room is in the center of the house, so I am on 110 for a while.  I will need to keep the car plugged in at all times in order to keep a good charge.

Unfortunately Using the 110 Plug

Unfortunately Using the 110 Plug

Slow 110 Charge Times

Slow 110 Charge Times

Plant Shopping

I had an event on a Saturday morning that got canceled and ended up at a nursery.  I was surprised how well my plants fit in the trunk!  Of course an environmentalist like myself is buying drought tolerant succulents and veggies.

Plenty of Room for Plants