MyEV for Tesla Model S:  A Hardware Installation Review.

Almost a year ago, on June 20, 2014, I contributed to my first, and only, so far, Indiegogo project. The project is the MyEV Electric Vehicle Logger and App.

We received the product in mid April and I got around to installing it a few days later. The instructions from MyEV are pretty straightforward, but it is somewhat disjointing having to remove the center console to access the Tesla proprietary cable to connect the logger to.

What do you get in the package?

1) proprietary Tesla to OBD 2 cable

2) Model S only OBD logger

3) the myEV window sticker (with QR code)

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A couple of pictures of the logger..

Note that this is only for a Tesla Model S

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The Micro SD card is 512mb so there’s a lot of room for stuff…

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I attached the OBD logger to the cable to get it ready.

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Accessing this part is the “scary” part because you have to snap it off.

First you snap the little shelf from the center console…  
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Find the proprietary cable and pull it out

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Here it is ready to plug into.

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Plug in the cable so that you can install the OBD MyEV logger.

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Snake it in, tuck some of the cable so that it is easier to reattach.

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It may have been scary to get it opened up to plug the logger in and installed, but…

It’s all good after it’s done…

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So, how’s the App?

Pretty good, actually.  But, I’ll cover that later.  It provides the gamification and competitiveness between owners of the system, as was originally planned.  Firer more, it’s supposed to provide a snapshot of the car’s battery health.  Have yet to see those estimates.

Tesla’s “non-automotive” announcement tonight.

So, the day is here. April 30, 2015.

In about three hours, Tesla’s event starts, which means the announcement will probably be about 30 minutes to an hour later.

I am assisting a couple of my favorite EV and Tesla places with coverage of the event via Twitter.

I am joining a group tweet with folks from teslarati.com via the hashtag (at the time of the planning of) #TeslaEnergy (though that might change.)

I will also be representing the good folks of Transport Evolved at the event via the hashtag #TEatTesla.

It seems that energy storage is on a lot of minds. So, who else is in this space? Well. I did cover the Green Charge Networks folks in my article on the Shore Hotel for TransportEvolved.com. So, they have an interesting model regarding demand management.

Additionally, the remnants of what had been the Coda Automotive has reformed to be Coda Energy. I have yet to study what Coda Energy does, but it really does look like there is something there. After all, this is the first month that my home is on the 2015 TOU-D-A rate on Southern California Edison. Our previous tariff of TOU-D-T-EV or something like that, used to define the PEAK hours for electricity between 10am-6pm M-F which lent itself to being optimized for Solar Photovoltaic rates. This change in tariff now defines the peak hours as between 2pm-8pm M-F. Considering that most times of the year, the hours between 6pm-8pm are in darkness, this nearly guarantees that the Utility company will be able to charge me for some peak usage, while netting out the energy that I produce at an Off Peak rate.

I’ll have to see what the effect is at a later post.

Either way, if you have access to Twitter, you might want to just follow me there.

Prelude to an EVent. April 30, 2015. Tesla’s non-automotive product announcement.

It’s been widely reported that the Tesla Motors event on Thursday evening will be about stationary battery storage and what Tesla has been doing with Solar City and Walmart on these fronts.

Still, as I previously wrote regarding Elon’s “anti” Avengers scheduling of the announcement, I am interested in attending the event at Tesla’s Hawthorne Design Center. Well, I got the invite, so I’ve made the necessary schedule changes.

We’re attending the Tesla Event at 8pm Pacific Daylight Time/11pm Eastern Daylight Time/4am BST/3am UTC.

I will be live tweeting this event via my twitter account, so go ahead and follow me there. Haven’t decided whether to play around in Periscope or Meerkat, but that’s a possibility. It all depends on signal availability.

So, what about the Avengers? We decided to catch a showing after the Tesla event. Probably, the next day. Looks like the rEVolution won out over superheroes.

If you’re interested in other battery storage solutions, in the meantime, take a look at an article that I wrote for TransportEvolved.com that was published over this past weekend. The article covered an event that I attended last week that demonstrated the installation of a commercial battery system to enable Level 3 charging site sponsors to offer the service with less operational costs by shaping demand charges.

Why is Elon Musk against the Avengers?

Iron Man may be a part of the Avengers, but Elon Musk’s latest actions show that he may be anti-Avengers.

The latest Avengers movie, the Age of Ultron, is set for a May 1st US opening. So, at first glance it would seem that there is no overlap between the Tesla Motors upcoming (April 30th) battery storage announcement and the Avengers movie.

However, the May 1st release date for the Age of Ultron is a bit of a misnomer. Many movie theaters are actually releasing the movie in the United States on the 30th of April at 7:00 PM local time. What this means is that the upcoming Tesla event will be clashing with the Avengers release. As a person that is interested in both events, the choice should be simple, right?

Well… Not really. I’d like to be one of the first in the US to see the movie, but that Tesla event is mighty tempting to go to.

After all, Tesla knows how to throw a party. As is evidenced by the D Launch and the Battery Swap events.  At first, it was going to be an easy decision…  We were going to SKIP both events as it is a rather significant birthday for nephew #2…  But, as the younger generation is apt to do, he decided to celebrate his significant birthday with his brother and their friends.  So, the family event was postponed, and now we find ourselves with having to make the choice between two equally good choices.

It’s not that we’ve gotten an invitation to the event on the 30th either.  But, we expect an invitation to the event.  And should it arrive, I would like to go.  However, I would also like to go to the Avengers Age of Ultron first showing, should we be uninvited to the event on the 30th.

As is often quoted by my nephews, “it’s a First World Problem.”

Hand Washing a Tesla Model S

So, one of the things that I was asked on Twitter was to do a Periscope with the Model S. It’s a little difficult because the only device that I have space for the videos is an iPad. Well, that’s pretty bulky and hard to shoot the Periscope (or Meerkat) while I drive the Model S. So, earlier today, I was inspired to wash the Model S when I was following the folks at Teslaroadtrip.org do their 2015 “Reach the Beach” edition. So, I figured, why not just do two things at the same time.

So, how do I wash a car in drought conditions. Well. I learned from my detailer Moe Mistry at Glistening Perfection. Granted, this is what I heard and internalized and hope that I remembered his instructions properly. Moe’s methods are very precise and excellent. What I did today is what I would call my “in a rush” method, so it works, but not the most detailed one that I could have done.

Before I start washing the car I hook up my CR Spotless system DIC-20 to the hose and a low power pressure washer to the CR Spotless. The CR Spotless is great because it doesn’t let water spots form on the car. The pressure washer is great because it lets me use only the water I need to complete the job.  When I’m not using it, water stops flowing.

Step 1 is Cleaning the Tires and Wheels

If you can’t view the embedded video, click here.

Step 2 is Washing the Body Panels and Glass on the car

If you can’t view the embedded video, click here.

Step 3 is Drying the Body Panels on the car

If you can’t view the embedded video, click here.

Step 4 is Drying the Glass and Center touchscreen – Step 4

If you can’t view the embedded video, click here.

Step 5 is Applying the Silica Spray Sealant

If you can’t view the embedded video, click here.

Step 6 Mission Accomplished! Woohoo clean car!

If you can’t view the embedded video, click here.

So, hope you enjoyed these stored Periscope videos, not sure if I’ll do more, but you can always follow me on Twitter @dennis_p. I use the same handle on Periscope and Meerkat App as well. [Because of some iOS challenges for some and feedback, decided to move the hosting of the videos from Flickr to YouTube.]

In migrating the videos to Youtube, gained a few more things.

Click here for the six videos in a playlist.

Or here are all six videos in an embedded playlist

Oh yeah… Thanks for the reminder…

Two Roadster posts in a row… Must be some sort of record…

Well, I got the following in the mail the other day…

Thanks for the oil change reminder, Just Tires...  The @TeslaMotors Roadster doesn't need one #EV #EVBenefits

I guess having work done at non-Tesla locations subject one to some really interesting car offers.

A few months back, we found a nail in the Roadster’s tire. The tread was still good, and the leak was slow, so we had the tire patched at Just Tires.

This was an interesting repair because, the Roadster did not have a standard location to jack the car up to get the tire removed, so Just Tires refused to do the work… Initially.

So, I called the nearest Tesla Service Center (which was less than 2 miles from the Just Tires) and requested them to remove the tire, instead of doing it at their location, Tesla sent a Ranger to the Just Tires parking lot and removed the tire, waited for the repair to be done, and re-mounted the tire back on the Roadster. That’s the sort of service that’s somewhat screwy, but above and beyond. Tesla refuses to patch the tires, but understand that customers may opt to do this anyway (within reason) and the service center staff are reasonable enough to adjust and have workarounds that they help with.

Needless to say, I was happy with the work from Tesla.

Just Tires did a great job with the patch. They also patched the Model S a few months ago when I got a similar road debris issue with the Model S.

I think that Just Tires does have to figure out how to make their CRM system understand the needs of electric vehicle drivers may not be the same as internal combustion engine drivers.

A day with the Tesla Roadster… 16,061 Miles

Got to take the Roadster out for a “spin” this past week and it hit 16,000 miles in the process…

Unfortunately, I didn’t catch it at 16,000, so I remembered at 16,009 miles… But that’s kinda boring.

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So, I thought, 16,016 miles would be a good shot…

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Well… That’s nice, but not quite “memorable” enough for me. I figure a palindrome would be better…

So, let me present… 16,061 miles…

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Now… What have we learned in the nearly 14,000 miles that we’ve owned the Roadster. Well. It’s squeeky. Especially with the hardtop on.

I spent part of my day stopping by the Tesla Motors Hawthorne Design Center (also known as the site of the original Tesla Los Angeles Supercharger.) It’s now pretty empty, looks like more people stop off at Culver City or Redondo Beach now that those two are open. I stopped off at the Design Center because they have a bank of eight Model S HPWCs for folks that don’t need to supercharge.

I thought the start of charge looked promising (started around 205V and 61A) the rate with which the Roadster with the CAN SR charged fluctuated between 205-208V and 44A. That’s not much faster than using a 40A UMC at 240V at home. Still, I wanted to see the behavior, so I stuck around for a little while to recover some miles and hung out with a few Model S at the center.

Hanging with some Model S at @TeslaMotors Hawthorne Design Center using CAN S-R to charge our Roadster!

Here’s a Panoramic of the eight HPWCs with Model S charging at the occupied ones, with the exception of HPWC 6 which I was charging at:

Panoramic of using the CAN SR at @TeslaMotors Hawthorne Design Center. Charging a Roadster off Model S HPWC

The HPWCs were all well labeled, and I only tested one of them, so, I don’t know whether the others will provide the full 80A to a Model S or 70A to a Roadster with the CAN SR. I posted my statistics on teslamotorsclub.com and Henry Sharp (hcsharp) advised that perhaps the PEM was overheating. I was driving for a while before the stop, so that could have affected it. I know that the adapter and car work at 70A because I’ve had it tested at the Service Center on a Model S HPWC and I’ve seen it at that speed on OVMS.  So, I’ll have to try charging it with a cooler PEM in the future.

It would seem that what looks like premature battery degradation on the Roadster can be rehabilitated. Since then, we’ve been closer to a CAC closer to 149 and full standard daily ranges closer to 177-179 miles. One of the things that we’ve done since July of last year has been to leave the car unplugged until it really needed to charge. In general, in a protected garage, the vampire losses on the Roadster are minimal, especially compared with the Model S. So, what does this mean? The battery on the Roadster seems to perform better when you let the charge drop low (but not too low.) We’ve been advised to let the car drop to 40 miles or slightly less at least once a week. We do this closer to lower than 60 miles of range rather than 40. It’s just how the math works with the car’s usage patterns. For the record, the Service Center did a range charge the last time I had it in and that looked to reach 226 miles in Range Mode. So, that’s increased as well.

Another thing that we learned in the approximately 14,000 miles that we’ve owned the Roadster, is that the squeaks can be taken care of, at least for a while. There is some sort of lubricant that the center applies to the hardtop to take care of these squeaks.

The car’s not so squeaky with the soft-top, but we like to use the hardtop, so squeaks it is.

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Apparently, before installing the hardtop, apply some of the substance above to the parts of the roof and car that touch each other and it lessens the squeaks. And it works great. For a while. However, a Roadster is not the comfortable car that the Model S is. It’s a driver’s car, and the adrenaline that comes with driving it is really part of the “fun.”