Question: Running out of "gas" Tesla stories? How to prevent...

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#1
Hello,

As a future Tesla owner i've been having a few conversations with colleagues at work who are extremely interested (I think its jealously...) that I may have a model 3 by this winter. One common conversation we have, and I don't have all the answers because i'm new to the community and currently drive a Fusion, is:

What is the best course of action if you are low on "fuel" (energy) and there isn't a supercharger, or official charging station, near by?

I can only play this scenario out in my head a few different ways. Extremely bad traffic jam (?), extremely bad PLANNING, or just a complete mistake/human error.

Does the Tesla have the capability to plug into the a normal household 3 prong outlet in a strangers garage or outside of a gas station etc? Has anyone had this happen to them where they were running out of energy and needed to come up with a plan?

I'd love to hear thoughts, and stories if you are willing to share, of scenarios like above. And feel free to provide feedback or further commentary on the "out of gas" scenario I'm thinking in my head. My wife and I look forward to day trips and weekend getaways in the pacific NW and south to California, but I keep thinking about this! :)
 

garsh

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#2
What is the best course of action if you are low on "fuel" (energy) and there isn't a supercharger, or official charging station, near by?
Preventative. With an electric car, you just "top it off" every night. There's no need to wait until your tank is getting low before charging.
I can only play this scenario out in my head a few different ways. Extremely bad traffic jam (?),
Actually, electric cars don't idle, so they are usually *more* efficient in a traffic jam.
Does the Tesla have the capability to plug into the a normal household 3 prong outlet in a strangers garage or outside of a gas station etc?
Yes.
Has anyone had this happen to them where they were running out of energy and needed to come up with a plan?
I've run out in my Leaf. Each time, I had *almost* made it to the parking garage at work. I had to borrow a friends' trickle charger and plug it into an external outlet outside the local Panera. I'd have to let it charge for 3-4 hours at this slow rate before it would have enough juice to turn on again, at which time I could drive into the parking garage right next door and plug into the Level-2 charging stations inside.
 
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Preventative. With an electric car, you just "top it off" every night. There's no need to wait until your tank is getting low before charging.
Actually, electric cars don't idle, so they are usually *more* efficient in a traffic jam.
Yes.I've run out in my Leaf. Each time, I had *almost* made it to the parking garage at work. I had to borrow a friends' trickle charger and plug it into an external outlet outside the local Panera. I'd have to let it charge for 3-4 hours at this slow rate before it would have enough juice to turn on again, at which time I could drive into the parking garage right next door and plug into the Level-2 charging stations inside.
Thank you so much for the answers, and the honesty that you HAVE ran out of energy in your Leaf.

I guess transitioning to a little bit more of a preventative, planning mindset is the answer. And that is great news that a Level 1 Trickle Charger is included with a Tesla. I guess i'll just leave it in the trunk for those long road trips. I just found this website that was very informative to me: https://www.pluglesspower.com/learn/tesla-model-s-charging-home-public-autonomously/

Hopefully its accurate as it provided with a great basic understanding of charging terminology etc.
 

KennethK

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#4
Thank you so much for the answers, and the honesty that you HAVE ran out of energy in your Leaf.

I guess transitioning to a little bit more of a preventative, planning mindset is the answer. And that is great news that a Level 1 Trickle Charger is included with a Tesla. I guess i'll just leave it in the trunk for those long road trips. I just found this website that was very informative to me: https://www.pluglesspower.com/learn/tesla-model-s-charging-home-public-autonomously/

Hopefully its accurate as it provided with a great basic understanding of charging terminology etc.
Actually the model 3 comes with a level 2 EVSE aka UMC. It is able to supply up to 40 amps or 9.6kW to the model 3 charger.
 

garsh

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Actually the model 3 comes with a level 2 EVSE aka UMC. It is able to supply up to 40 amps or 9.6kW to the model 3 charger.
Correct. It's not a "trickle charger" like what comes with the Leaf. However, Tesla does include a NEMA 5-15 adapter for plugging into a 110v outlet.
 

MelindaV

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I can only play this scenario out in my head a few different ways. Extremely bad traffic jam (?)
better 'fuel economy' while sitting in traffic is probably one of the things I'm looking forward to the most! (and of course, using EAP while doing so).
In this video by Michael Sabasic he talks about pulling into the Central Supercharger after a traffic jamb and it making no difference in the range.

34m:40s
 

SoFlaModel3

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Good answers already, so I'll give you a few more tidbits....

1) The standard outlet at your friend's house will add 3 miles of range per hour. I hope you like that friend as you're going to be there a while. You will want that friend to unplug their dryer and hook you up at a charge rate of 30 (for base battery) and 37 (for long range battery) miles of range per hour.

2) Sign up for an account with ChargePoint. It's free, so I already did it in preparation. They have chargers all over the place and an app to help you find them.
 

AEDennis

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I've driven in traffic going 50 miles each way in my previous job. I had NEMA 14-50 at the office and five different (four at the time) ways to charge at 240V at home.

Additionally, I've driven from Southern California to Maine and back in 2015. I've never been lower than 20 rated miles of range on my S... And have charged at 1 mile per hour in a LONG 120V run in New Jersey in my cousin's garage. But it was all good, as we were ensuring that we didn't have any vampire drain and were close enough to a supercharger in New Jersey.

In my ActiveE, I've rolled into home at 1 mile of range, but often carried a 100 foot heavy gauge 120V cable, just in case...

It's fine to charge at 120V, you just need the time and expect 3-4 miles per hour, but don't be surprised if the quality is bad and you're dropped to 1 mile per hour.
 

Model34mePlease

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Good answers already, so I'll give you a few more tidbits....

1) The standard outlet at your friend's house will add 3 miles of range per hour. I hope you like that friend as you're going to be there a while. You will want that friend to unplug their dryer and hook you up at a charge rate of 30 (for base battery) and 37 (for long range battery) miles of range per hour.

2) Sign up for an account with ChargePoint. It's free, so I already did it in preparation. They have chargers all over the place and an app to help you find them.
I'm not so sure it would be that easy to use a dryer hookup. Most dryers are NEMA 14-30 or NEMA 10-30, I believe. Two issues: it produces less power (so fewer miles of range per hour) and your NEMA 14-50 plug won't fit. Better bring lots of adaptors.
 

MelindaV

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#10
not to mention, not every dryer is in a garage... Mine is upstairs on the opposite side of the house as the street/garage.
maybe it's a regional thing, but I can not think of anyone I know here with laundry IN the garage, and very few with a laundry room near the garage making the run more than 20' from where I would park. so no matter the connection, it's just not practical to expect your host to have a dryer plug you could use.
Now, in comparison, my friends/family both in the Bay area and Southern California, everyone I can think of have laundry in the garage!
 

SoFlaModel3

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#11
not to mention, not every dryer is in a garage... Mine is upstairs on the opposite side of the house as the street/garage.
maybe it's a regional thing, but I can not think of anyone I know here with laundry IN the garage, and very few with a laundry room near the garage making the run more than 20' from where I would park. so no matter the connection, it's just not practical to expect your host to have a dryer plug you could use.
Now, in comparison, my friends/family both in the Bay area and Southern California, everyone I can think of have laundry in the garage!
Laundry in the garage in Florida would be miserable and would lead to instant mold I'm sure. My garage sits at a pleasant 90-95 degrees most days :(

The door into my house from the garage though is my laundry room and I assumed (shame on me) that that was a common thing.
 
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#13
Awesome feedback and great points! Here in the Seattle region newer homes have laundry on the second floor and older homes usually have the laundry room on the first floor "near" the garage.

All good tips and I guess it won't hurt to buy and carry a heavy gauge 100 ft 120v extension cord for long trips etc. Once again, looks like planning and using the websites with charging station maps will be the best bet.

Thank you!
 

Randy

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#14
Laundry in the garage in Minnesota would lead to frozen clothes.
Same thing here in Canada. Frozen clothes and broken pipes .. lol
One thing I have wondered about ,is it possible to completely shut down the vehicle to avoid the vampire drain? Imagine going on holidays for a week or two and being parked in an airport. I would hate to come back from a trip to find I don't have enough charge to get out of a parking lot.
 
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SoFlaModel3

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Same thing here in Canada. Frozen clothes and broken pipes .. lol
One thing I have wondered about ,is it possible to completely shut down the vehicle to avoid the vampire drain? Imagine going on holidays for a week or two and being parked in an airport. I would hate to come back from a trip to find I don't have enough charge to get out of a parking lot.
There is a mode you can place the car in when it will be parked for an extended period.
 

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Thanks ..always wondered about that. I saw a video on you Tube that stated an owner came back from a trip and needed a tow truck. I will have to read the manual from end to end ,That's for sure. Now if we could only download that manual b4 we get our new cars.
 

KennethK

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Same thing here in Canada. Frozen clothes and broken pipes .. lol
One thing I have wondered about ,is it possible to completely shut down the vehicle to avoid the vampire drain? Imagine going on holidays for a week or two and being parked in an airport. I would hate to come back from a trip to find I don't have enough charge to get out of a parking lot.
Yes, the is a shutdown option to decrease most electrical drain.
 

SoFlaModel3

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Thanks ..always wondered about that. I saw a video on you Tube that stated an owner came back from a trip and needed a tow truck. I will have to read the manual from end to end ,That's for sure. Now if we could only download that manual b4 we get our new cars.
I'm sure we'll see it soon enough!
 

Model34mePlease

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#20
What is "Vampire Drain?"
Vampire power usually refers to the things in your life that actually are taking power all the time, in particular, when you aren't using it. In most cars, it's just things like the clock. On a Tesla, with all its smarts, there is certainly a larger drain while it is just sitting there.