My body still on East Coast time, I happened to wake up a bit before 6AM today. Remembering a story from Steve and Jesse, I decided that I should check on the car to see how charging was going. It was a good thing that I did, as it wasn’t. At some point, the charger had decided to stop supplying power to the car . A quick call to AeroVironment (who I must say was there to answer the phone again, this time the day after Christmas at 5 something AM) and they restarted a new charge session. Perhaps there is a time limit on charge sessions?
In the end, the delay in charging was a secondary delay for the day. A quick check of the weather ahead showed a snowstorm still raging in the mountain passes which wouldn’t be lifting for a few hours. With the summer-only performance tires still on the car, I decided it was time to go back to bed.
A number of hours later and a minor modification to my EVSE identified (which was easy to work through in the warmth of the hotel room) and we were packed and ready to go. At this point, we had been moving bags in and out of the S for three days, mostly in rain. I have to give the designers of the rear hatch a shout out: Every time I opened the hatch, the water covering it was perfectly funneled to the sides and off into channels below waiting to be whisked to the ground rather than on my belongings.
We made it through the passes easily as front loaders cleared the black pavement ahead. After making it through and into California we found our next RV park. The owners were happy to have an EV charge there and didn’t mind us plugging into two 50A outlets. This time the EVSE came up without issue and after a number of final checks I gave it the command to combine input sources and feed them to the S. Almost instantly the relays clicked and the S escalated charging up to 80A at just over 240 Volts. Charging was going by so quickly that we went ahead and charged to a full range charge. We determined that we should just be able to make it to the Superchargers at Folsom. The drive was smooth, but as I’m still dialing in my ability to arrive at my destination within my desired margin, the 10 mile margin I had calculated gradually slipped away. I finally arrived at Folsom with 3 miles left and somehow managed to bring it down to one as I slowly hunted for the Superchargers.
When we did find the Superchargers, using them could not have been easier. We pulled in similar to how you pull up to a gas pump, walked over to the cable (which is easier to handle than a gas pump handle), pushed the button on the handle which causes the battery door S to open and plugged in the Supercharger cable to the S. I took a video of this, but as it was taken in the middle of the night I’ll have to edit it before posting.
At just about this time, the local security guard, who had apparently been watching a suspicious car slowly meander its way around the closed outlet center, came over to see why we were there. He had never seen an S use the Superchargers before and by the time we finished showing him and wrapping up our discussion, the car had charged up to 65 miles. Charging progressed at almost 300 miles for quite a few minutes until it slowed its charge rate (to protect the batteries). We only charged to ~180 miles, as that was plenty to be able to make it over to Fremont and on to Menlo Park. Having substantially filled up, we zipped over to a hotel that split the difference between Folsom and Fremont and called it a night.
Today was quite a day. We went from charging on the generally available J1772 Charger at 19 miles/hr to charging on my custom EVSE at 65 miles/hr to charging on a Supercharger at almost 300 miles/hr! What a day!