Long-term Tesla Motors Battery Study from Plug in America

One of the things to consider when making the switch to an Electric Vehicle (EV) is the combination of the battery and electricity IS the fuel that is consumed to power an EV. As such, batteries and range degrade and may eventually need to be replaced. Therefore, one of the questions that these new Model 3 reservation holders ask is “how resilient is the Tesla battery?” or phrased another way, “how long will the battery last?”

The Model 3 announcement did not really cover how different or similar the battery technology in the Model 3 will be from predecessor vehicles from them. The Roadster has a different pack than the Model S and Model X. So, how does one get the comfort of knowing that “Tesla knows what they’re doing with batteries.” I suppose we can just trust them.

Fortunately, that is not our only option. Over the past few years, long-time Electric Vehicle advocate, Plug in America Chief Science Officer, and Tesla Motors Roadster owner Tom Saxton has been conducting several long-term battery studies hosted on the Plug in America site.

For those unfamiliar with Plug in America, they’re the folks that formed out of the advocates that tried to stop the “murder” of the GM EV1 and other Electric Vehicles of that era that was documented in the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car?”  Or, as they describe themselves in their webpage:

Our Mission

Plug In America drives change to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation’s dependence on petroleum, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Our History

Plug In America is a coalition of early adopters. We’re the EV trailblazers – RAV4‐EV drivers, former lessees of Honda EV+, GM EV1, Ford Ranger and Ford Th!nk City electric cars – that passionately advocate for energy independence and clean air. Before 2008, we functioned as a loose network of individuals organized around various websites like dontcrush.com and saveEV1.com. We then coalesced into a chapter of the Electric Auto Association. On January 2, 2008, Plug In America became a separate California non‐profit corporation. On August 18, 2008, we became an official 501(c)(3) public charity!

The battery studies that Tom Saxton have been running for years rely on nearly semi-annual updates from respondents that drive Tesla Roadsters and Tesla Model S as well as the Nissan Leaf and the first generation Toyota RAV4 EV.  In email correspondence with Tom, he has indicated that he is looking to expand the study  in the near future to include the Model X as well.

Tom’s long-term battery study has been invaluable not only to the greater EV community but specifically to Tesla fans as well.  The take rate for participants for the Tesla Roadster study is close to a 7% sample, from what I gather and the Tesla Model S one had a healthy start, but could use more participants.

With the new range numbers from the redesigned front fascia of the vehicle, I am sure I’m not the only one to wonder what the long-term differences would be between a 90D classic fascia vs a 90D new fascia.

Providing a third party study of the effects of long-term battery health enables all concerned with a greater understanding and comfort to know “that Tesla knows what they’re doing.” Furthermore, it gives current non EV drivers a sense of comfort when making the switch to electrically fueled car ownership.

So, if you own a Tesla Roadster and haven’t participated in the study. Or perhaps you’re one of the lucky few to have upgraded to the new 3.0 battery from Tesla, please fill out the Tesla Roadster battery survey.

Perhaps you’re a Model S owner and you’d like to help add to the number of respondents to this study, fill out for the Tesla Model S battery survey.

What has Tom been able to share with the public so far.

Well, for the Roadster, he’s published an entire study three years ago including a paper entitled “Plug in America’s Tesla Roadster Battery Study.” The advent of the 3.0 battery upgrade may require a new study and the addition of almost another three years since the publication of that study might give more information to the study, but that’s entirely up to Tom and his cohorts at PiA.

The Model S Results page is more dynamic than the Roadster results publication.

I have taken screenshots as of April 27, 2016 of a few of the dynamic charts that are provided on the results charts page.

The first chart that caught my eye is the chart on the battery capacity vs. the miles that particular Model S iterations. With new EPA numbers with the launch of the new fascia should further complicate this chart.

Battery Survey - Model S Battery Capacity-Miles

This same chart can be used to also track how a particular respondent’s vehicle matches with the universe of respondents. The Vehicle in black on the chart below shows the performance of my vehicle in relation to other respondents’ cars.

Battery Survey - Model S Battery Capacity-Miles - Specific Vehicle

The third chart that was of interest is the reliability of certain components, namely the Drive Unit, battery, and chargers on the Model S. I wonder if the increased reported failures on chargers for 2014 vehicles resulted in the movement from the old chargers to the new 48A charger.

Battery Survey - Model S Major Maintenance - Model Year

Lastly, the inspiration to my exhorting fellow owners to participate in this survey was the chart of participant vehicles.

Battery Survey - Model S Survey Vehicles

For as many Model S are on the road now, I wonder as to the ability of this study, in its current count, to fully report on the vehicle with a small sample size. The Model S battery survey form is fairly straight forward and serves our common purpose. Tesla has been great, but it’s also good to have interested third parties run a check against what they claim and provide.

What’s the big deal with the Model 3 trunk (boot)?

I was surprised to hear about all the turmoil regarding the PROTOTYPE Model 3 trunk (boot.) One of the first places I heard about this complaint was on Jalopnik’s article This is the Tesla Model 3’s Biggest Design Fail.

In the article, Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky showed the following photographs:

Tesla Model 3 Trunk picture 1 - Jalopnik 4/1/2016 article

Tesla Model 3 Trunk picture 2 - Jalopnik 4/1/2016 article
Model3Ownersclub.com‘s owner/administrator TrevP (also on Twitter at @model3owners.)

Posted on the thread – The Trunk the following photo:

Wider Trunk photo from Model3Ownersclub.com

Electrek also talked about the Model 3’s Frunk titled “Opinion: Tesla’s Model 3 AWD ‘frunk’, as shown in prototypes, is just a glorified glovebox”.

Tesla Model 3 Frunk picture - Electrek 4/3/2016 article

As previously mentioned, the Model 3 designs that everyone has been discussing are prototypes. As such, I expect them to be close to what will be released, but don’t expect the cars to be exact. Remember, the Model X prototypes had cameras rather than side mirrors.  Additionally, the Model X prototypes also had the same front nose as the now classic Model S design. (black nosecone).

The prototype for the Model 3 shows a smaller car than the Model S and Model X.

Long-time readers will remember that I preferred the Active E to the Model S.  It was all about the size of the car.  I have since gotten used to the size of the Model S and it doesn’t bother me anymore.  However, I still prefer a smaller format vehicle.  My wife’s Roadster is great, but it’s her car, and it is smaller than I’m comfortable driving regularly (should she even let me borrow it to drive.)  Though I haven’t seen the Model 3 in person, I surmise based on the pictures and information that this Tesla will be closer to the BMW Active E size and definitely outperform my old, beloved BMW Active E.

So, is the trunk and frunk too small for me?  Well…  Let’s see.

I drove the BMW Active E for two years.  It was a great little car, full battery electric and a range between 80-100 miles.  As for the trunk, there was a reason that I used to drive the car to do our Costco Wholesale shopping.

Here is a picture of the BMW Active E Trunk.  The Active E labeled portion of the trunk is the motor for the car.  Beside the motor is a full laptop/briefcase and that was pretty much it for space.  So, when I shop at Costco, I saved money.

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The trunk had a little more space and there are two shelves under the floor.  One fits several tools and the like and below that is space for the emergency Level One EVSE (110V.)

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Here’s the one for the Level 1 EVSE.

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Though the car seems to have minimal space, I proved that back in 2012… Looks can be deceiving.  So, a “small” Model 3 trunk, probably not an issue for me.

Just to remind folks, the Model 3 isn’t the only Tesla with a small trunk.  Check out the Tesla Roadster trunk below, it’s big enough to carry a set of golf clubs… For the driver OR the passenger.

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Folks are disappointed in the Model 3 trunk size because they have the Model S to compare it to.

Here’s a loaner we had during our charging disaster with the Roadster.

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Here is the Model S from Quicksilver Car Service that we used when we picked up our Model S at the factory.

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It had plenty of room for luggage.

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With the classic Model S with a single motor that we have, the frunk has a LOT of room as well.  So much so that we now carry a spare tire in it when we do our roadtrips.

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For a comparison, the Dual Drive Frunk on a Model S 70D loaner that I used in September 2015 is markedly smaller than the frunk on our classic Model S.

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Since we didn’t opt for the Premium Sound package, we get side storage on both sides of the trunk.  I’ve always found it the best place to bring home some flowers for the better half.

The space in the back of the .@TeslaMotors Model S is perfect to make my wife smile with some roses... Just because!

So, yes. I can see both sides of this. Tesla knows how to make a hatchback, but should they make the Model 3 a hatchback? Perhaps they will, perhaps they won’t. At the end of the day, it’s a PROTOTYPE, so Tesla can still change things. Personally, I’m fine with the trunk space. It’s not what attracted me to the car anyway. Besides, if they keep the trunk as is. I would probably save a lot of money at Costco. 😉

Now, if they can make the Model 3 a Coupe… Or better yet, a hardtop convertible… That’s an option I would love.

Third Year’s tracking of Hybrid Garage use.

So, it’s been three years since I’ve started tracking our garage’s EV vs ICE use.

As I previously wrote (three years ago on my Minimizing Gas Use article; on my update two years ago; and the one from last year) we drive a hybrid garage.

For those that need a refresher, a hybrid garage is one where some of our cars are EVs and the others are internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. As a family that is a part of the rEVolution, why do we still have ICE cars, it’s because we’re not as good as those that have gone to an all electric lifestyle. Hats off to them, but there are just times that I like to use vehicles that happen to use gasoline.

This winter” was supposed to be better than any of the previous “winters”, but we did not brave the mountains with our fifteen year old BMW X5. The X5 lets us go to the mountains around LA when there are restrictions to drive when the snow is fresh.  Additionally, when we need to buy large items to move, we’ll use this same workhorse to help us move them.  Granted the Model S does have a LOT of space, but we prefer to beat up the X5 with hauling stuff rather than put the Model S to work.

That being said, I understand the costs of our addiction to oil and gas and we continue to try to minimize our gasoline use.

In preparing for the last article on Celebrating Four Mostly Electric Years, I noticed that I had transposed some statistics and noticed that I had overstated the EV miles by 36,000 miles, so I wanted to make sure to correct that.

Three years ago, I started tracking the number of miles my household used ICE vs. EV to see what percentage of our private car travels are electric and what part are powered by internal combustion engines.  Our methodology was to count the miles driven in rental cars to this spreadsheet and the miles that we’ve lent our ICE vehicles (and EVs) to our friends and family when they visit Southern California.   This is why I created some tracking spreadsheets and tracked mileage for a year.   The results year over year are still impressive even with the mileage transposition error in year 2.

In the first year of the study, we drove EV a total of 81.20% of the time and ICE 18.80% of the time.

In the second year of the study, we drove EV a total of 92.64% (vs. what I thought was 94.78%) of the time and ICE 7.36% (vs. what I thought was 5.22%) of the time.

As a whole, the household (as defined earlier, my wife and I and when we lend the cars to family and friends) drove about 46,000 total miles (both EV and ICE in the previous period) in the first year, about 40,000 miles in the second year, and we drove a total of approximately 41,000 total miles in this third year. That’s approximately the same number of total miles between years one and year two.  Even though a good number of those miles were the 8,245 miles of coast-to-coast driving from our Here, There, and EVerywhere trip in May 2015.

Because of the error in Year Two’s calculation, I thought that we would be close to 150,000 EV miles this year, but still at 126,000 All EV miles since we started driving EVs.  For the study, we’re closer to 112,000 EV miles and 14,000 ICE miles for a study average of 88.7% EV vs 11.3% ICE three year average.  Definitely an upward momentum.

Looking at the monthly figures, for the third year shows a big blip in the ICE use for month 34 and that is mostly December 2015 and my sister and her husband was visiting us and most of those miles on the X5 was because we had lent them our ICE car for that month.  The approximately 1400 miles of ICE that was driven that month is more than half the total ICE miles for the year.  Until we have an EV to lend out to family, we’ll have to take those spikes.

Here’s to hoping that this next year’s study will have a greater EV momentum.  And we continue to look forward to seeing what else we can achieve with our hybrid garage next year.  Perhaps another coast-to-coast EV journey.

Celebrating Four Mostly Electric Years of the rEVolution.

On February 23, 2012, we joined the rEVolution with the addition of our BMW ActiveE.

This was one of the first pictures we took of our ActiveE when we picked up the car at Long Beach BMW. Shows a very happy, young rEVolutionary:

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Brought it home and plugged it in… We didn’t even have our Level 2 installed at the time and had to charge a BEV with an 80-100 mile range on 120V.

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Granted, my commute at the time was 70 miles roundtrip if I took the most direct route, and the “fastest” route used the carpool/HOV lanes and that was 100 miles roundtrip.

BMW’s friendly policies for ActiveE Electronauts meant that I was able to charge at Pacific BMW (a 10 minute walk from my office) J1772 station and ensure that I recovered my miles that first week.

Side by side ActiveE 1

I wrote about my first year of electric driving on the blog three years ago.

Once you go electric, it’s hard to look back. At the time that we picked up the Active E, we had a few ICE vehicles in the garage. The Active E was outnumbered by ICE vehicles and we figured to keep the ICE for our hybrid garage.

After taking delivery of the Active E, we we sold our Honda Civic Hybrid. There was no real need to keep it since we originally purchased the Honda as a commuter vehicle and the Yellow HOV stickers were expired by the time we picked up the Active E.

The two year lease of the Active E meant that there was pressure to see what “the next car” will be and we decided to place a deposit for the Model S. However, at the time, the plan was for my wife to get the S and for me to look for a replacement for the Active E.

We received our “configure your Model S” message in the beginning of 2013. However, we still had another year on the 2 year lease on the ActiveE and we didn’t think we would run with 2 EVs concurrently, so I took the time to test out other cars for me to use when we decide to become a 2 EV family, after all, the Model S was going to be her car.  Since I wanted to ensure to get the Federal Tax Credit in 2013, we delayed the delivery of the vehicle to the end of the year.  The ideal delivery would be December 31, 2013, however, understanding the Tesla process and to ensure that I get the vehicle with some “buffer” we settled to take delivery in November 2013.

Long time readers of the blog and participants of the now defunct Active E forums will remember the many test drives (a few sample test drives: CodaFiat 500e,  Smart ED to name a few) and discussions over what my next car will be. I was really hoping to love the i3 and my wife was “under protest” if I went with the i3. At the end of the day, we skipped the i3, a decision that I discussed on a previous posting.

To make November 2013 delivery, we figured that we needed to start configuring our Model S on August 2013.  It was at this time that we noticed a bunch of Tesla Roadsters being sold as Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) and my wife fell in love with her Roadster.  So, it was at this point that we decided to pick a Roadster up and the Model S became my car.

Here is the Roadster on our pick-up day:

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And here I am with a rare (driving my wife’s baby) picture:

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Picking up the Roadster was awesome, but not without problems.

And a few months later, we did our first roadtrip with our Model S when we picked it up at the factory. And live-blogged the weekend a few hours before and a few days after. I summarized the whole weekend.

Here is our Model S on pickup day:

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After the early start, factory tour and pickup of the Model S, our first recharge for the car…

The driver and passenger needs to refuel.

…was for the driver. Needed Starbucks.

Though we started the year thinking that we wouldn’t need to drive 2 EVs, we ended up with 3 EVs from November 2013 until the return of the Active E to BMW on February 2014. The second year anniversary was a bittersweet one.

The following year of EV ownership strengthened our positive impression of Tesla Motors. The BMWi debacle in the launch of the i3 in the United States made us adjust back to the original plan of 2 EVs for daily use. Originally we wanted to get a third EV so that we can minimize the miles in the Roadster, but my better half was having too much fun driving her Roadster and didn’t feel like swapping it out on daily drives. So, we saved some money and skipped the third EV.

I didn’t even write a 3rd EV Anniversary post.

So, from February of last year to now, we’ve settled into a life with our two EV, one ICE hybrid garage.

This past year, we’re really just living the rEVolution on a day to day basis. We took our Model S on a Roadtrip Coast-to-Coast and back, and it was a blast. With over three years of EV driving, we don’t suffer from range anxiety, however the trip solidified our “can do” attitude as far as driving our EV for distances and this past year we took more roadtrips than we’ve done the previous years.

I would have loved to say that we hit 150,000 miles of all electric driving, but I will just have to settle on 148,404 electric miles vs 14,194 ICE with a little under 3 hours from the time we brought our Active E home 4 years ago (9pm Pacific vs. 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific right now)). [EDITED 2016-March-5, Looks like I had an error in my tracking spreadsheet…  We’re closer to 125,000 EV miles…  I had transposed numbers in Month 16 of our tracking spreadsheet that overstated total miles by around 20,000 miles for totals.  I was preparing for the Year 3 of our EV vs. ICE posting, and found the error…]

So, what’s in store for our EV future?

To begin with, we’re about 2 weeks from the third anniversary of my ICE vs EV statistics that I’ve been tracking and we broke 90% EV vs 10% ICE use after almost three years. But that’s another post.

My Thanksgiving 2015 post gives a good hint of what I’ve been up to. Additionally, I am happy to report that my client, EV Connect, Inc., was selected for three of the nine Electric Charging Highway Corridors for the California program. This project, when completed will allow all EVs equipped with CHAdeMO and/or CCS DC Fast chargers to complete the travel from the Mexican border to the Oregon border with Level 3 charging stations.

Additionally, the Model 3 reservation process will be open on March 31st for a $1,000 deposit. We’re trying to see if we’ll take advantage of this or not.

Lastly, we’re thinking of expanding our long EV roadtrip plans. We are tempted to do another coast-to-coast trip using one of the newer routes. Perhaps we’ll finally join the Teslaroadtrip folks on one of their cool get togethers. This year, they’re planning on something at Colonial Williamsburg, and we’ve never been. We’ll have to see if things work out for this trip.

Here’s to hoping that the Model 3 and its competing EVs become massive successes and we transition from ICE to EV at a faster rate.

In the meantime, time flies when you’re having fun.

Driving the Model S. P85, P85+, and P85D (or loaners while the Roadster was in for its second Annual Service)

The following experience with various Model S was before the release of 7.0 and Auto Pilot.   It was drafted and the experience was in September 2015.

In the beginning of September we brought our Tesla Roadster in for its second annual service. We scheduled the service far enough in advance to ensure that we would have access to a loaner.

As is customary with Tesla Service loaners lately, we received a CPO P85 for our use while the Roadster was in service. This is not the first time that we drove a P85 or P85+  Longtime readers would remember that we suffered a charging disaster the first day that we picked up our Roadster from Tesla.  Since the initial draft of this post, it has been reported on teslamotorsclub.com that Tesla no longer provides loaner Model S for Roadster Annual Services, i can’t confirm this post’s assertion as we’re still under our CPO Warranty, and don’t know if that provides a different level of service than Roadsters ex-warranty.

The differences between each iteration of the Model S is quite subtle. From the Sig P85 to the P90DL, the car looks pretty much the same. Most stock Model S that have spoilers are Performance models and without the spoiler, usually a Standard model. Additionally, most of the Model S with Red Calipers are also Performance models, but that’s not necessarily a guarantee.

The P85 that we initially received for my wife’s Roadster scheduled annual service was Blue and had a Vin number almost double ours (in the 40XXX) and had 19,276 miles when we took delivery of that loaner as they took her car in for service. It was a CPO vehicle that the previous owner traded in as was evident when the car was lent to us with “regular” California license plate and not the typical MFR or DLR plates that is indicative of an “inventory” Model S.

It had the same blue as our Model S, but had both the Spoiler and the red calipers. As a newer P85, it drove very quickly and performed well while we used it in lieu of the Roadster or even our own S85. As our car was close to the 50,000 mile initial warranty limit and I wanted to delay the inevitable “buy a warranty or pass on it dilemma” I wanted to delay that decision as long as I can.

Her vehicle was taken into service on September 8. We had hoped to get both the Roadster and Model S in for service the week leading up to National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) 2015, but there were some issues found on the PEM and some of the wiring that connected the PEM to the rest of the car that we had the loaner with us as we participated in the first weekend’s activity for NDEW 2015.

Here is the loaner P85 at the LA NDEW2015 event.

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Aside from the power of a P85 vs an S85 to clue me in that I was driving a loaner and not my own vehicle, the loaner P85 had cloth seats and black gloss interior versus the Obeche Wood Gloss that we had.

The P85 Model was nice and clean and served as a nice proxy as we attended NDEW 2015 events in Long Beach, Diamond Bar, and Los Angeles CA.

The vehicle was a lot quicker than our vehicle and was more of an electricity hog as it was equipped with 21 inch wheels and had a bigger motor. Into the second week of our use of the P85, it started to have some systems fail. The first was the driver’s side door handle started to get stuck and we would be unable to let ourselves into the car via the driver’s side door handle. We had to enter in through the passenger door and open the driver’s side from there. The service center was quite busy and did not have a replacement loaner at the time. The day after the vehicle developed this door handle issue, my wife had used the loaner to go on an errand. While out and about, she stopped to charge the car and the car started to fail. It displayed some sort of low-voltage error and stopped charging. We called Tesla and it appeared that a 12V fault had occurred. Lucky for us, there was another loaner available, and Tesla drove out to her to swap out loaners with her and wait until the tow-truck arrived to take away the P85 that had issues.

The second loaner that she was provided was a Grey P85+. This P85+ was another one from the CPO inventory as it also had regular CA plates, 17,551 miles on the odometer when my wife took delivery of the vehicle. We had driven over 423 miles in the Blue P85 loaner and would add 333 miles to the Grey P85+ loaner that took its place.

I could not tell much difference between the P85 and P85+ as they both had the same motor and the enhancements to the plus were negligible. The VIN # on the P85+ was in the 19XXX and is thus older than our vehicle and it did not have the parking sensors and other enhancements that came by the time our vehicle was delivered to us in November 2013. It’s amazing to see how low the mileage was on the P85+ that we were using for a few days. Tesla had to reclaim that vehicle from us because it apparently sold online to a soon to be new CPO owner and they were still working on my wife’s Roadster.

They quickly located another vehicle for us to drive while the Roadster spent its time getting repaired and the like. Tesla brought us another Grey Model S. This time, it was practically new. The car was a grey P85D with only 228 miles. It was an Inventory model and didn’t have any plates on it, yet. The inventory vehicle came from a store that just took delivery of a P90DL, so the P85D as moved to loaner status.

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The P85D was equipped with the latest sensors and the like.  It had the active cruise control on, not auto-pilot, but at least the hardware for it.  As I mentioned in the beginning, all these experiences was in September 2015, before auto-pilot was released.

Aside from the label on back, we know that the vehicle is a P85D because it was equipped with Insane Mode and not Ludicrous Mode.

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Thought to do a little recycling with the P85D.

Even @TeslaMotors P85Ds stop off to do recycling!

Thought to try out the CHAdeMO adapter (ours) on the loaner.

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One of the deficiencies of the D is the small Frunk (for a Model S, big if comparing it to the i3.)  They had to make room for the second motor, so that takes the place of where a large frunk would be.

After several weeks with the various P85 models, we finally got our Roadster back and the P85, P85+, and P85Ds were all returned to Tesla… But that’s just part of the story…

Since the Model S was scheduled for service as well, we got a 70D to try out while the Model S went in for service.  But that’s another post… (perhaps in a week or so…)

[edited, added 2/20/2016 9:47AM Pacific / 17:47 GMT]

Figuted that this might be helpful to those looking at these “out of production” Model S –

http://ev-cpo.com/

or the official Tesla Motors site:

https://www.teslamotors.com/models/preowned

Our third year of Solar usage.

Projected Usage 2015-09-09

This is a third year update. Click here for the 2nd Year of Net Metering.

It’s been three years since our PTO was approved, we originally estimated our savings on driving the Active E or a vehicle like the Active E. Since then, we moved from one EV to two EVs to three EVs back to two EVs. We’ve also driven around a lot and our mileage has grown significantly since then. I haven’t done the math, but estimated that we’re either at break-even this year or definitely in a few months.

In our first year of Solar use, we had a credit. Which, as we found out, we could not claim. Because, it turns out, Net Metering means that though we’re credited for the production at a $ rate, customers are paid out on OVERPRODUCTION of power and not on the CREDITS earned. What this means is the system produced greater kWh of energy than consumed by the end user. If this is the case, the customer is PAID OUT the power times the wholesale rate of production. Last year, we paid over $200 to SCE for the entire second year of Solar. This third year, coupled with our nearly a month of travel to Maine and back in our Here, There, and EVerywhere roadtrip, we’ve been out of the house for about a month. So, that created a month of overproduction. As a result, the annual net metering statement was for approximately $40 for Year 3.

This full third year of solar production is basically the Model S and Roadster. What is interesting is that our usage this past 3rd year probably would have cost us less than Year Two’s Annual bill. But the month off really helped. At less than $4 a month for power for the third year is greater than I expected. So, I chalk this third year as a monumental year. Considering our average electric bill prior to going EV and solar was closer to $200 a month, it is incredible to get most of our transportation and home energy use at so little.

Now, this current fourth year, I wonder what our bill will be. Most of the past three years our electric tariff was on TOU-D-EV. This was a special whole house rate with a discount for EV drivers. A few months ago, Southern California Edison got rid of that tariff and adjusted the Time of Use tariffs so that the times that start with Peak, Off-Peak, and Super Off-Peak.

Under TOU-D-EV, the Peak rates were from the hours of 10am-6pm M-F, the Super Off-Peak hours were from midnight-6am every day, and Off-Peak is any other time. This was great because Solar was credited during the peak times most days and helped off-set a lot of the costs.

Under TOU-D-A, the Peak rates are now from the hours of 2pm-8pm M-F, the Super Off-Peak hours are now from 10pm-8am every day, and Off-Peak is still any other time. Though the Super Off-Peak hours are longer, the effect of moving peak time to the hours between 6pm-8pm means that we’re no longer generating credits at the Peak rate between 10am-2pm. Additionally, we’re spending more between 6pm-8pm because we’re paying at Peak rates and not Off-Peak rates.

So, I’m projecting paying a little bit more for electricity next year… Unless we go on yet another LONG roadtrip.

Interested in going solar? Get a quote from my solar vendor – Real Goods Solar.

MyEV post-mortem review…

A few months ago I published a guide to install the MyEV on our Tesla Model S. What I didn’t share in the original post, but did on subsequent comments is the purpose of the support of the Indiegogo project – MyEV Electric Vehicle Logger and App.

Since we’re a two electric vehicle family, there is some healthy competition between my wife and I on who is the “more efficient” EV driver. The marketing for the MyEV project introduced the fun, social gaming concept using the loggers that MyCarma built for the MyEV product. Since my wife drives a 1.5 Tesla Roadster, I made sure that the folks at MyCarma are able to support her car for the purchase of the two units. I was pleasantly surprised by their positive answer.

The original version of this post was to be along the same lines of the installation guide for the Model S, but we ran into some snags with the way that the Roadster reports itself. Furthermore, it appears that we were the only Roadster owner to support the project for the Roadster. In the end of the day, the Roadster reported data at a rate that was too much for the logger. I appreciate the effort from MyCarma to try to resolve this challenge. Especially since I needed them to make the product work in conjunction with OpenVehicles.com OVMS.

Here is the Custom Roadster cable to the MyEV unit.

IMG_20150429_162640The folks at MyCarma were aware of my requirements to have the unit work with OVMS, so they sent me a Y-cable for the Tesla Proprietary diag port with custom OBD adaptor. IMG_20150429_162701

Like I said, this one is built for the Roadster

IMG_20150429_162728Here is the cable chained up. IMG_20150429_162807

And connected

IMG_20150429_162838Here is the footwell with the OVMS installed in the Roadster. IMG_20150429_171344

Pulled the cable and OVMS off…

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When connected, the Bluetooth connection should work.

IMG_20150429_171029And start transferring the log files. IMG_20150429_170949

Here’s what the setup looks like, before it is tidily installed.

IMG_20150429_170848Then put it back in place. IMG_20150430_135749

So. It all hooked up just fine. The problem lay with the fact that though it looked like the unit was logging and transferring it actually wasn’t. I tried playing around with it and finally asked for help.

Tech Support at MyCarma replaced some cables, did some programming and generally tried to help me for at least a month if not longer. At the end, since we were the only Roadster purchasers of the product, it became cost ineffective for them to figure it out and offered me a refund for the unit. I explained to them the reason why we purchased two units (one for the Model S and the one for the Roadster) and they went ahead and refunded us for both units.

The app looks like a lot of fun, but we really needed it to work for both vehicles and it was quite good customer service of MyCarma to provide us with the resolution. I continue to hope that they fix the Roadster, but lacking any further sales. It’s like Waiting for Godot.

[Added at 10:20 PM 9/27/2015 – I forgot to add pictures of what the software looked like when I was using the product]

All these screens are for the Model S as the Roadster one never really processed the data properly. The roadster processed at a speed that the logger could not figure out.

Here is the summary of the power charged for as long as the unit was plugged into the Model S.

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Here is the charging histogram of when the most amount of power was added to the car. Considering that the unit was installed before the start of our Here, There, and EVerywhere roadtrip in May 2015.

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Several leaderboards, this one is for the Same Model (Model S) in the Same Region (California?)

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The next leaderboard is for All Cars in the Same Region. IMG_1040

The last leaderboard is for all cars in all regions.

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