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.

Tesla Targets Sentry Mode Vampire Drain: Upcoming Update to Slash Power Use by 40%

By Kevin Armstrong
Sentry Mode Update is Coming
Sentry Mode Update is Coming

In an exchange on X, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, addressed the concerns regarding the power consumption of Tesla’s Sentry Mode. Responding to a user inquiry, Baglino confirmed the company’s commitment to reducing the feature's energy use by approximately 40% through a software update expected in Q2, which begins on April 1.

This announcement follows feedback from Tesla owners regarding the 'vampire drain' experienced when using Sentry Mode, highlighting Tesla's responsive approach to customer feedback and its dedication to continuous improvement. Another X user stated that there should be a breakdown or battery usage. This information already exists, but Baglino politely responded: The energy app provides a wealth of information about where your energy goes. He also linked to our Not a Tesla App article explaining that system.

Understanding the Drain of Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is an advanced security feature for Tesla vehicles, leveraging the car’s cameras and sensors to monitor and record surroundings for potential threats when parked. Sentry Mode has proven invaluable for vehicle security by activating various deterrents, including pulsing headlights and alarm sounds.

Despite its benefits, the feature’s energy consumption, referred to as “vampire drain,” has been a concern, with estimates suggesting a small yet consistent drain on the vehicle's battery life. By optimizing Sentry Mode's power usage, Tesla enhances the feature's efficiency and extends the usability for owners, particularly when parking for extended periods without access to charging facilities.

Battery Management: Recognizing the importance of battery preservation, Sentry Mode automatically deactivates when the battery level falls to 20%, ensuring that the vehicle remains operational for essential travel.

Activation and Customization: Owners can activate Sentry Mode via the vehicle's touchscreen or mobile app, with options to customize settings, such as disabling sounds or excluding specific locations, tailoring the security feature to individual preferences and requirements.

Tesla's forthcoming software update aims to significantly reduce Sentry Mode's power usage, making it more adaptable for various situations without impacting the car's range or battery longevity. This enhancement aligns with Tesla's commitment to continuous improvement via over-the-air updates, directly responding to customer feedback with practical solutions. Owners looking forward to this change appreciate the balance between maintaining Sentry Mode's security benefits and preserving battery life for everyday needs.

Tesla Adds 'Rose Gold' Cybertruck Wrap and Two Other New Colors

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors

Remember when there was concern that the appeal of a Cybertruck would die down because there would be too many stainless steel beasts on the road? True story. If there was a concern, it appears to have been handled with wraps; not only Tesla’s wraps but more customized wraps are showing up on social media daily.

More Tesla Wraps

Firstly, Tesla has expanded its palette of Cybertruck wrap options, introducing three vibrant new colors. The chic Satin Rose Gold, the deep Satin Abyss Blue, and the sleek Slip Grey are joined in the lineup alongside the classic Satin Stealth Black and Satin Ceramic White. However, several Cybertruck owners are not waiting for Tesla wraps as more unique Cybertruck wraps are showing up on social media.

Priced at $6,000, while the newly introduced Satin Rose Gold and Satin Abyss Blue wraps are slightly pricier at $6,500. This differentiation in pricing reflects the unique appeal and quality of the new wrap colors.

Tesla outlines several key features and advantages of their Cybertruck color paint film, including:

  • A self-healing, urethane-based film that is significantly more durable and twice as thick as the average vinyl wrap, ensuring superior protection against scratches.

  • An environmentally friendly alternative to traditional vinyl wraps, covering all exterior stainless-steel surfaces of the Cybertruck, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and resilience.

Customized Wraps are Taking Off

Since Tesla wraps were introduced, the company has been criticized for the price point being far too high, while consumers can go to other wrap companies and get their own customized look. Even the unique wraps spotted on the Cybertruck before the delivery event are unavailable. But that is not stopping consumers.

It was after Investor Day in 2023 that Morgan Stanley's managing director, Adam Jonas, a well-known figure within the investment community and someone who has been dubbed a Tesla Bull. Jonas outlined several reasons why he believed the Cybertruck might not fulfill the grand visions held by Elon Musk and the Tesla team, describing it as potentially becoming a "financial side-show," a marker of cultural zeitgeist, and a niche product for enthusiasts.

Jonas argued that the Cybertruck, with its avant-garde design, might not align with this broader affordability mission. He believed that the unique aspects of Cybertruck would be lost and that "indescribable something," when several were on the street,

Yet, the landscape around the Cybertruck and Tesla's position within it has continued to evolve. Contrary to concerns, the burgeoning market for custom and aftermarket wraps for the Cybertruck tells a different story. This vibrant ecosystem of personalization options highlights the vehicle's position as a mode of transportation and a canvas for individual expression.

The concern that the uniqueness of the Cybertruck could diminish with its popularity overlooks the creative solutions that owners and enthusiasts have embraced. From bespoke wraps that offer myriad designs outside of Tesla's offerings to the DIY spirit that has taken hold among the Cybertruck community, it's clear that individuality remains a cornerstone of the Cybertruck experience.

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