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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tesla - Gory Details

So ....many of our friends reached out trying to get the inside scoop.
If you were considering getting in line- for folks who have ordered in October 2012, they were just asked to pick the options, and their delivery date is end of April. So  about a 7 month wait period. But get in line quickly, this thing is creating a buzz
NOTE: We ordered in May 2009, and we picked our specs in September, and finally delivered in January - even though the target delivery was November/December

Back to the "inside scoop".
Firstly I would recommend the Tesla Forum
But here is a quick summary based on the "usual" questions
In particular, the details of the 220V connection is spelled out below - that is the most complex issue you will deal with, as it pertains to switching to an electric car.
We are overall quite pleased, love the power, and Tesla has truly catered to the *high* end luxury car market segment. If you were driving a fancy sports car, you would not be able to tell the difference. Is it worth the money? Time will tell.
There are simple issues (No spare tire, water entering inside the pop out handle during the car wash etc) so we are considering getting the extended warranty and purchasing the service plan outright. 

State rebate of $2500 check apply from here - http://energycenter.org/index.php/incentive-programs/clean-vehicle-rebate-project
Once you are approved, you should see the check arrive into your mail-box.
Federal Tax $7,500 is more complex

Details are here http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml
Remember to send the information to your accountant to include in your 2013 tax returns


 OPTIONS: http://www.teslamotors.com/models/options
Options are really dependent on your interests, But check out the forums on what folks are saying
The one option I would want you to consider is to go with the largest 85kwh battery size / the 320 mile range, for a variety of reasons.

Tesla provides a standard adapter to charge directly from the 120V socket in the garage. That makes it easy! We are currently working on the 220V connection (see below)

Tesla is building a network of Superchargers throughout North America along well-traveled routes. Superchargers are designed to give road-trippers half a charge in about half an hour. Includes all hardware, software, testing, and unlimited free charging at all Supercharger locations.  Here are the locations of these superchargers

The new 220V connection in the garage


With all the standard cables and power adapters that Tesla provides, you are essentially good to go. You don't need any special install - but may want to consider getting the optional components to get a faster charge.
Read about single versus dual here http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/single-vs-twin-charger
If you have a 220V charger at home, and not planning to take it for long drives, you don't need the Dual Super charger

SUMMARY of work effort for the new 220v connection
Our home amperage was at 125AMPS
The Tesla 70 Amp high power charger will suck up much of it.
It was imperative for us to upgrade to 200 AMPS, and while at it, why not go to 400 amps and have the ability to charge a couple cars simultaneously.
So the new 400 amps line coming into our home will be split into two- 200 amps for the home and 200 amps for the charging stations in the garage.
We currently have a panel that is maxed out with the number of breakers.
We are considering getting an additional breaker panel that will feed into the old panel. Both these are dedicated for the 200amp into the home. The reason we want to keep the old panel - is not to be "that" disruptive and make changes with the electricity being fed into the house.

Then an additional panel dedicated for the charging with about 4 breakers.
Also, because you can leverage the subsidized PG&E billing (see details here) for electric cars, you may want to have metering setup separately.PG&E currently offers two "EV plans". E9-A and E9-B. E9-A is timing vary rate that allow you to use electricity as cheap as $0.037/KWh during the summer and as cheap as $0.0468/KWh. But to avail the E9 rates, you need a dedicated line for your charging station. So essentially you need 2 meters - one for the home and one for the charging station.
And ...you need dedicated 220v wiring from your existing panel to your charging location (garage)

Here are the details and the steps 
- Call PG&E and tell them you want to increase the amperage to 200 or 400 amps
- Line up an electrician who can change your panel and install the 220V wiring for your home 
- PG&E will send some docs to sign, along with a bill.  Sign and mail
- PG&E will now send you the specs of the trenching and the work to be done.
You need to trench a 30" x 8" pathway all the way to your panel location. PG&E is willing to do it, but they are super expensive. 
- Before you begin trenching, call 811 and a 3rd party provider will call all the service companies (phone, cable, electric, gas) to come down and mark the lines (areas where you should NOT be digging). 
- Once the trenching is done, making sure you don't dig over the lines 
Once the digging is done, you will need a sand layer of a couple inches at the bottom of the trench, lay the new conduits (schedule 40 and 30)
- Call PG&E to lay the new 400amp wiring.
- Cover the conduit with sand (a few inches) and fill the trench with stone-free soil.
- Call PG&E for 2nd inspection
- Once approved Call your electrician, have them come down to do the following.
PG&E will turn power off before this work begins.

You will need to pull a permit with the city for this step
Ideally, the electrician should start in the morning and wrap by evening
 * Lay the new 220 v wiring all the way to your garage (from the panel)
Install the new panel
  * Install the new meter (for the charging station) by the new panel
  * Install any wall charging unit.
* Ideally you want the ability to charge outside the garage as well as inside.
Some folks just run the charging cables to the driveway through the garage door (it will still close). You may consider making a small depression  in the garage floor to help facilitate that.
-  PG&E comes back, does the checks and activates your power.
Model S iPhone App available now (also on Android)
You sign in with the same email and password as their website and it automatically links to your car. The menu includes Home, Controls, Charge, Climate, and Location across the bottom of the screen.
Home - shows current status, can sign in and out there.
Controls - vent roof, lock, unlock, honk horn, flash lights
Charge - switch from standard to max range, start and stop charging
Climate - shows current interior temp, turn climate on and off
Location - map view of the car location, direction to get to the car (goes to Maps app)
A San Antonio owner of Tesla Signature writes... the feeling is mutual too. feels like bragging but feeling good.
Yes, MB has sold 3 M cars in USA and Porsche 1.5 M but still this is made in the US. I really hope this car succeeds.

Tesla = Apollo Program
Posted by txcattledog on January 24, 2013
OK before y’all lacerate me, read me out. And no, there are absolutely no Space-X puns coming.
We have had our Model S for exactly two weeks. The reception we’ve received is unbelievable. The public’s fascination with this car is beyond comprehension.
I have been trying to figure out why. People have a crush on this car, complete infatuation. OK, it’s beautiful on the outside, superbly simple on the inside, quiet, crazy fast, unexpected. All those are OK, and unexpected starts to get close to it.
I think it’s this.
I think everyone approaches the Model S with one essential thought – NO WAY.
Not as in a good, “I don’t believe it,” but as in a really skeptical, “I don’t believe it.”
They are in the womb of automotive expectedness – the ICE world of the last few decades – and in a span of about 60 seconds (approach car, beautiful, handles extend, OMG, get in, stunning, flat screen stares at them, panoroof slider bar, foot on break, speedometer flips over, roll away silently, first straightaway punch it, memories of first rollercoaster ride, fat-ass grins all over faces) they are shot out the birth canal into the bright light of a new, awesome world (sorry for the graphic overlay, but it’s like that.)
And then they think, NO WAY, as in NO WAY has this freaking out-of-nowhere company kicked sand in the face of 100 years of automaking. NO WAY have they done it, NO WAY is it American, NO WAY is it 8,000 laptop batteries flipped back and forth in the right kool-aid. NO WAY did you buy another one from that super-sized iPad, NO WAY did I just laugh my head off driving in a 3/4 mile loop around your neighborhood (seriously, there’s NOTHING inherently compelling about that).
When did you hear about Tesla? How long has it been reserved? How many are there in San Antonio? Is it really all electric? Where do they make it? Who makes it? WHO MAKES IT?
My wife’s been chased down in the school parking lot, our kids’ friends want to keep going for rides, laughing their heads off. I’ve been blockaded in my driveway, thumbs up from freeway passers-by, blank stares from Maserati owners, people on cell phones behind me at lights talking about it (it goes like this – person drives up, eyes widen, cell phone comes out, speed dial, big smile hand gestures, pointing, etc.).
Our neighbor was leaving for the airport this morning, her driver (towncar instead of cab, just the way they do it) was parked out front. I parked in front of him, got out and went to the door to get their daughter to take to school. “Sir, excuse me sir, is that your car?” “Yes.” “Sir, that is the nicest car in San Antonio!” “Thank you, well, there are a lot of nic…” “SIR – THAT is the nicest car in San Antonio.” “Umm, thank you.”
Power Consumption
It’s our Apollo Program.
People are proud of it. Of the balls to try it. Of the audacity to pull it off. People we don’t even know are proud of us for buying it. They feel like they’ve bought it by seeing it or riding in it. No one is lukewarm about it. Is this how Columbus felt?
I think everyone’s pumped that someone can still kick ass and take names, without going to war to do it.
It’s sort of indescribable.
I’ll add insulation and solar panels if I want to feel greener. This is way beyond that.
Let them make one for you.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Very detailed analysis Rishi - Thanks!

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