How Much Should You Charge Your Tesla

By Henry Farkas

There’s an article in “The Drive” that’s been repeated in other media. Here’s a link if you want to read the whole article.

It’s not important in your day-to-day driving since few people use up all the electricity in their Tesla on a normal day. But, if you have lots of driving scheduled for a day, or if you’re taking a cross-country trip, you have to make allowances for this particularly Tesla problem.

The Results of the Tests

Edmunds, which does reviews on all cars, and which has rated the Tesla Model 3 as the number one best electric vehicle, found that none of the models of Tesla met the EPA range estimates as advertised by Tesla. None of the models. All the other electric cars easily went 20 to 50 miles past their EPA-rated ranges.

How Much Should You Charge Your Tesla

Tesla’s Response

Naturally, the Tesla engineers weighed in, but what they said was not very helpful. They said that the reason the Teslas failed to reach the EPA range is that Edmunds didn’t keep driving them until they couldn’t go an inch farther. Edmunds stopped driving when the range number on the screen went down to zero. So Edmunds repeated the testing and kept driving until the cars actually stopped. Tesla calls this a safety buffer.

Don’t Plan on Using the Safety Buffer

Don’t plan on using the safety buffer. It’s terrible for the battery. It’s just as bad as charging your battery up to 100% and then letting it sit overnight. Don’t do that either. Bad.

Be Kind to Your Battery

We want our batteries to last as long as the rest of the car. So, in my case, I charge to 80% every night. That way, I’m not damaging the battery, and I have more miles than I need for day-to-day driving. I do plan on taking the Tesla on road trips once this furshlugginer pandemic is over. I have the SR+ which, in theory, can go 250 miles on a charge. I won’t plan on 250 miles between supercharges. When my car was new, and I had 1,000 miles or six months of free supercharging, whichever came first, I didn’t actually need any supercharging. Not going anywhere. Pandemic y’know. The six months came first.

My Supercharging Experience

But, since supercharging was included in the price of my car, any time I needed to go somewhere near a supercharger, I went ahead and used the service. Here’s what I found. When the battery is low, the supercharger gives extremely rapid charging. I can’t tell you the exact rate of charge because different superchargers give different rates of charge depending on which generation of supercharger you’re using. But as a general rule, you’ll get extremely rapid charging when the battery is low. You’ll probably get to 80% in 30 to 40 minutes. That last 20% will take longer. A lot longer.

Suggested Strategy

You’ll probably do better in total trip time if you don’t wait around for the last trickle of energy to fill your battery to 100%. Between 80% and 90%, the charging goes painfully slowly. Between 90% and 100%, the charge slows to a trickle. You’ll stop a bit more often, but you’ll spend less total time on the chargers during your trip if you just charge to 80% each time you need to charge. When I take my trip, I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Public Health Advice

One last thought for car trips. Elon Musk gives you video games to entertain yourself during a supercharger stop. If you’re on a trip, don’t play the video games. Get out of the car and walk around. Sitting in a car for long periods of time can cause blood clots in your legs. Don’t let that happen.

Henry Farkas is a retired country doctor. He bought his Tesla Model 3 in the middle of the pandemic.

Two Door Cybertruck is Unlikely Now, But May be on the Radar

By Kevin Armstrong
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
MissJilianne/Twitter

The Tesla crowd of enthusiasts has eyes everywhere. Twitter user @MissJilianne caused quite a stir after visiting the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, which recently opened a new Tesla exhibit. The Model S Plaid owner and FSD Beta tester posted a few pictures of her visit, including some artwork at the Cybertruck display.

The artistic design shows the Cybertruck in a two-door version. Miss Jilianne asks: Are we not going to talk about the beautiful artwork of a two door Cybertruck displayed at the @Petersen_Museum Tesla exhibit?

Her tweet generated discussion on social platforms and Tesla blogs, and it had mixed reactions. @KounisTou tweeted: It's not only that, but it has a totally different, dare I say better looking? A-pillar design with a wraparound windshield like early Semi prototype. Looks great. Except maybe that it looks a bit too much like a Lamborghini.

That may be the biggest clue to this spectacular piece of art. Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer, is a huge fan of the “wedge” design. He grew up with Lamborghini Countach posters on his wall. Other responses to the picture believe it is the origin of the piece of art. It is likely an early sketch of what the Cybertruck could look like, and there were likely several. Given von Holzhausen’s love for the Countach, this is quite likely an early concept he was sketching out.

Elon Musk has publicly stated his support for a smaller truck. On November 24, 2019, he tweeted: Long term, it probably makes sense to build a smaller Cybertruck too.

However, the four-door version is due in 2023. CNBC interviewed von Holzhausen right in front of the Cybertruck. He stated, “Cybertruck will look, for all intents and purposes, just like the one behind us, maybe slightly smaller, a few percentages, but in general, this is what the truck will look like.”

Still, the designer did say something else during that interview that leaves the door open for a possible two-door Cybertruck. The creative mind behind the Model S, 3, X, Y, Semi and Cybertruck was asked to pick a favorite. His response was, "My favorite one is the one that is coming. I can't talk about (it).”

For a man that loves sports cars, it was believed that he was referring to the second-generation Roadster. Maybe he is referring to a smaller Cybertruck that looks a lot like those wedge cars that inspired him to become a car designer.

Tesla has a history of providing sketches to early reservation holders of their vehicles. It waits to be seen whether Tesla will do the same for the Cybertruck when deliveries start next year.

Below you'll find other sketches that Tesla provided to Model S, 3 and X reservation holders.

Model S Sketch

An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
Electrek

Model 3 Sketch

A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
Electrek

Model X Sketch

An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
Not a Tesla App

Tesla reveals the Semi's efficiency, motors and Supercharging capability

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla deliveries the first semi trucks to Pepsi Co
Tesla deliveries the first semi trucks to Pepsi Co
Tesla

The first Tesla Semis have been delivered, and so has the promise to adhere to the company’s mission: accelerate the advent of sustainable transportation. Yes, it took five years from the first peak at the Semi and three years longer than initially projected, but the Semi is set to change the trucking industry the same way the Model S, 3, X and Y changed the automotive industry.

While Tesla has been increasing the number of passenger vehicles it produces worldwide; these large trucks are not needed at the same level. The company states that 15 million passenger vehicles are sold in the U.S. every year, but only a couple hundred thousand big rigs. So why would Tesla put so much time and effort into something that doesn’t sell as many units?

Musk’s response, “it seems like a small percentage, but it (semi-trucks) is actually 20 percent of U.S. vehicle emissions. Because you’ve got a huge vehicle, and it’s being driven all the time.” Musk said, “Over a third of all the articulate emissions (are from semi-trucks). So, from a health standpoint, particularly in cities, this is a huge impact, like gigantic — that’s why we are doing it.”

The Semi is a Recruiting Tool for Truckers

Back in 2017, Elon Musk said he could drive a Tesla Semi. That was quite a statement, given that trucks this size usually come with anywhere from 10 to 18 gears. However, the CEO did just that five years later. He drove the newest member of the Tesla lineup to the event to deliver the Semi to Pepsi Co. Musk said, “It’s like driving a Tesla, literally.” That is because it’s built the same way with a single stalk to put the vehicle in drive, reverse, neutral or park. “It looks sick. I mean, you want to drive that! That thing looks like it came from the future… It’s fun. It looks awesome, there is a big shortage of drivers, so if you are a truck driver and want the most bad ass rig on the road - this is it.”

The Semi is known as the Beast

Senior Manager of Tesla’s Semi Engineering, Dan Priestley, explained why many people refer to the Semi as the beast. “(It has) three times the power than any diesel truck on the road right now. So you’ve got all the power you need to get the job done, but the other reason that it’s a beast is because it is efficient, you can go 500 miles on a single charge on one of these things. It’s the mix of those two - this is a game-changer. What’s awesome is both of those are enabled by our 1000-volt powertrain. This is the first vehicle we are doing with that.”

That max power combined with hyper-efficiency is due to a tri-motor power train system. One motor is for highway driving and will always be engaged, while the other two are for torque and acceleration. Those motors use the system straight out of the Model S Plaid powertrain. Priestly said, “These are clutched automatically. No driver input is needed. It is seamless.”

Musk commented on the Semi’s performance, “It looks crazy. It looks like an elephant moving like a cheetah.” He was also astonished at the size of the motor powering the Semi. It’s described as the size of a football, “I find it amazing that this enormous thing can be pulled by something that you can carry in your hands — it’s like, wow, that is power density.”

500-mile Range

The Semi has been tested in all conditions in the real world, in a lab and virtually. One of those real-world tests was proving the naysayers wrong by taking the Semi for a 500-mile drive, fully loaded, from Fremont to San Diego on just a single charge.

Elon Musk later revealed on Twitter that the Tesla Semi's current efficiency is about 1.7kWh/mile, but that there is a path for Tesla to make it even more efficient. It's not clear whether the additional efficiency could be achieved through software or if it would require hardware changes. The quoted 1.7kWh/mile efficiency is a pleasant surprise, as many were expecting the truck to have an efficiency of about 2kWh per mile.

V4 Superchargers

Speaking of charging, the new V4 Superchargers were also revealed. They produce 1 megawatt of energy and will be used for the Semi and the Cybertruck.

Tesla's Semi Delivery Event

Musk finished the event with this message: This is going to revolutionize the road, make the world a better place in a meaningful way.

More about the Semi can be found in our story, Everything We Know About the Semi.

Semi in Christmas Parade

PepsiCo made quick work of their first Semis, putting them to work in a local Christmas parade for all to see.

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Tesla News

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

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