April 2023. California.
Part 5 of my 5-year review on the Model 3
Charging at home: I charge my EV in the garage each night. I’ve used 2 approaches for daily charging over the last 5 years. And for those new to EVs, I don’t sit around waiting for my car to charge, it charges during the night while I’m sleeping. I wake up with the car ready for the day ahead of us. I bought a splitter for my clothes dryer outlet from EVSEAdapters and have the clothes dryer and my Model 3 mobile connector plugged into the same outlet. We don’t dry clothes overnight or early weekday mornings so we don’t have to worry about tripping the circuit.
1) For the first 2 or 3 years I had my charge limit set at 60% for daily driving and scheduled charging to start at 3AM when electricity prices were low. I charge on a 30 Amp clothes dryer outlet and about 2 hours of charging would get the car back to 60% SOC each night.
2) Before going on road trips I’d set the charge limit at 90% to make use of the range we’d need to reach our destinations. After getting back from one of our trips I forgot to reset the SOC and just kept the charge limit at 90% the past 2 years. I don’t need the range of a 90% charge for daily driving – in fact I prefer keeping my battery at a lower SOC in the hopes it increases longevity – less time at higher voltage for the cells. So what I do now is charge for 2 hours before leaving for work. I scheduled the car to start charging at 6AM, and I get 2 hours of charging before I leave at 8AM. That adds about 50 miles to the pack, which is enough for the day. RecurrentAuto can track your State of Charge over time so you can see your charging habits on a graph.
Note: There are many ways to approach daily charging, this is what works for me.
Road Trips: First thing I do for road trips is plan my charging stops using ABetterRoutePlanner. Great resource, check it out. On long road trips I average about 150 miles between Supercharging stops and a little over 20 minutes charging time per stop. I use the stops to grab a bite to eat or stretch my legs. At each Supercharger I usually charge up to the distance of the next leg plus 100 miles. That extra 100 miles in the pack doesn’t give me the fastest charging times but it does give me added flexibility in case of unplanned detours. I’ve done road trips alone and with the family – in one case covering 800 miles in a day with the whole family on board and it worked out well.
DC charging on road trips using Tesla’s Supercharger network is dead simple. Park, plug, grab a cup of coffee, and soon after get back on the road refreshed. The Supercharger network was the #1 reason I ordered the Model 3. The range of the Model 3 combined with the Supercharging network has allowed to visit a number of places we’d been wanting to visit – all while driving a low emission vehicle.
This is Part 5 of my 5-year review. The review is broken up into short posts on different aspects of owning the Model 3. Additional posts will be linked below as they go live. Topics covered include:
We bought our first EV in 2013: a new 2012 Toyota Rav4 EV. We absolutely loved that car. The Rav was our daily driver and #1 family car. In July 2020, after 7+ years and 88,000 miles of travel, we sold our Rav. This was the end of a chapter for us, but the beginning of a new chapter for another family. This short post recaps our thoughts on this car and how selling our 7 year old EV worked for us.
This spring we drove to the Grand Canyon to get outdoors and to get a break from virtual schooling during our children’s spring vacation. This post is a ‘road trip primer’ for those considering an EV and is another example to demonstrate that electric cars work well for families.
This article was originally posted on the Transport Evolved website in January 2016.
We live in California’s Central Valley about 100 miles from beautiful spots in the Sierra Nevadas, and we try to get up there as often as possible. Our town sits just above sea level, so traveling to the Sierras involves a climb of 7000 feet. This could be a problem for EVs that have 80-100 miles of range and no options for rapid DC charging, especially in the winter.
This article was published on the Transport Evolved website in 2015 after we added a DC Quick charging port to our 2012 Toyota Rav4 EV.
While market share of electric cars still has a way to go, the number of electric cars on the road today has reached the point where companies are springing up to serve the needs of electric car drivers. Third party companies sell aftermarket accessories, home charging stations, mobile charging cords and more.
Now, we can add to that list a DC quick charging port for the 2012-2014 Toyota Rav4 EV.
Last night I received the 2019.24.4 software update for our Model 3. So this morning I tested Tesla’s CHAdeMO adapter to determine the rate of charge, and see how many miles I’d get and how long it would take to charge from a given SOC. Summary: 45 minutes gave me 139 miles of rated range and cost $8.69. Tesla’s CHAdeMO adapter is easy to use and provides more charging options for the Model 3.
Since getting our first electric car 5 years ago we’ve taken our EV on summer road trips. Last week we took our first road trip in our Model 3. How was it? We saw some great sites, interesting history, and beautiful vistas. Continue reading →
In one respect charging an electric car is no different than filling a gas tank: it’s all about storing energy in the car to power its motor. We use electricity every day to power and charge all kinds of devices: phones, computers, shavers, televisions etc. But since driving an electric powered car is still a new idea for many people, it might help to be familiar with the terms you’ll be using, so we’ll cover that first. Continue reading →
In July 2016 we took our 2012 Rav4 EV, equipped with JdeMO, on a 400 mile road trip to Monterey. (This post was also published at InsideEVs.com, read it here). In July 2021 we made the same trip in our Model Y – I compare the recent trip with the 2016 trip here: To Monterey in an EV: Then and Now.
This post is short on words, long on pictures to give you an idea of what it’s been like for us to live with the all electric Rav4 EV for the past 5+ years, and how an electric car may fit into your life. I initially posted these pics in June 2016, and updated the post in November 2018 to add some pics and a couple thoughts as more affordable, longer range electric cars are showing up on the roads. Continue reading →