Studio711.com – Ben Martens

How Long Does It Take To Charge A Tesla?

Welcome to another Tesla Tuesday! I hope you’re ready for more of this because now that we have it in our garage, I have a few weeks of post ideas queued up.

This week let’s talk about the question “How long does it take to charge?” I get it. I asked the same question when I was researching. The questions is a bit flawed though. Driving a gas vehicle, we think in terms of stopping to fill up. When you’re driving an electric vehicle, it’s most economical to arrive at home empty, not full. It’s significantly cheaper to charge at home. The goal is to make sure that your home charging solution can supply enough juice to let you leave with a full battery in the morning.

When I was doing the math, I kept thinking about how long it would take to charge from 0% to 100%. My home charger adds about 14 miles of range per hour so it would take almost a day to go from 0 to 100%! Is that ok? It turns out that yes, this is fine, because in the entire life of your vehicle, you’ll almost certainly never do 0-100%. Running down to 0% is bad for the battery and charging to 100% isn’t great either (though it’s ok when you’re preparing for a long drive.) A much more likely scenario is that overnight you’ll simply be replacing the charge that you used during the day. We drive around 80 miles per day so in less than 6 hours, I’ve recovered my lost charge for the day. That leaves a LOT of leeway for longer trips on weekends, and even if I didn’t completely refill from an exceptionally low battery state, I’d have plenty for my normal day of commuting.

But charging speed DOES matter when on a road trip. If you’re traveling more than one charge form home, and if you’re not charging at your destination, then you’ll be supercharging. All Tesla superchargers are faster than home chargers by there are a variety of speeds ranging from 72 kW to 250 kW. My 220v 20amp circuit at home is good for 4 kW so these Superchargers are significantly faster. We did a test at a 150 kW charger and added 17% to our battery in 7 minutes. That supercharger was adding around 10 miles of range for every minute we charged and it wasn’t even the fastest charger version!

Further complicating the original questions is that batteries charge fastest at lower charge states and they get much slower as you approach 100%. So if you’re really trying to optimize your stops (like on an EV Canonball Run), you would keep your charges in roughly the 10-50% range. Here’s a chart showing how much juice you can shove into a Tesla battery at various states of charge:

https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/c4kxr9/scv3_fullspeed_250kw_charging_curve/

So how long does it take to charge the battery? I don’t know, and most of the time, I don’t pay any attention to charging speed. If I’ve got enough juice to get through my day then I’m good to go and I know it will be full again the next morning. I’ll think about it more on a road trip, but even then, if I’m stopping for the bathroom or food, it’s going to be ready for the next leg of the trip before I am. Stay tuned for a future post about what it is like to plan and execute a road trip on battery power!

Tesla Model Y Delivery Experience

Welcome to another Tesla Tuesday!

We ordered a Tesla Model Y on October 18, 2021. The original estimate was that we’d receive our car sometime in May 2022. 210 days later, almost exactly in the middle of the original estimate range, our car arrived! While we waited, the estimated delivery date changed many times. I kept track of all the changes and plotted it as the number of estimated days until our delivery window.

Less than a week before the delivery date, we got a call to talk about our trade in. Via a combination of text messaging and the phone app, we shared some basic information and photos of the car we wanted to trade in. They gave us a quote which seemed reasonable compared to other sites like Carvana and CarMax so we went with it. In Washington state, trade in value is deducted from the new car’s price before sales tax is collected so that’s a significant advantage.

The next day we got a text message asking us to choose a date for delivery! We picked the first available spot and then it was time to start filling out forms… online. Everything was done through the app! We got PDFs of all the sales documentation along with a full breakdown of exactly how much we owed. Once I texted back and forth a bit to understand some of their calculations, we completed the payment via the app. Payment is all done via the app whether you’re financing, paying cash, or getting a third-party loan.

We’ve ordered cars from other manufacturers in the past and when they were “delivered”, we had to go to the dealership and spend 2-3 hours going through paperwork and attempted upselling of paint protection film, interior sprays, extended warranty, service plans, and more. With Tesla, it was a true delivery experience. A driver arrived at our house within the two-hour scheduled window and dropped off the car. We did have to do some paperwork for the DOL, but then I signed a form on his phone and he transferred ownership to the app on my phone. (With a Tesla, your phone is your key.) The driver inspected our trade-in to make sure it matched the condition that we had shared earlier and then drove away. That’s it!

The entire process from ordering it online to getting daily updates on the estimated delivery window via the app to texting our sales advisor periodically with questions to the streamlined delivery approach was a joy! I can’t begin to compare it to some of the bad experiences we’ve had buying cars in the past.

Now it’s time to go through that semi-awkward period where we are the “new car people”. It’s a tradeoff between being super excited about this new purchase but also feeling a bit embarrassed about it. Even though I’ve done the math that shows it will pay out eventually compared to what we would have bought instead, that’s not totally true because we could have bought a much cheaper used car to get us from point A to point B.

A lot of the frequent questions I get about owning a Tesla are covered in my original “Why we bought a Tesla Model Y” post, but I’ll update one of them: “How much does it cost to charge it up?” That question is a little easier if I convert it to “What is the energy cost to drive 100 miles?” Our Escape consistently got 22.7 mpg and gas at the six closest stations around my house averages $4.89 today so the Escape would cost $21.54 in gas to drive 100 miles. For the Tesla, if I consider average kWh/mile and a small amount of energy loss to heat while charging, it would be $2.88 to drive that same 100 miles (87% less).

Will this really save us money overall? Only time will tell and even then, we’ll be guessing since we won’t be driving a comparable internal combustion car on all the same trips. It will probably come as no surprise that I have detailed data about the exact cost per mile for all our vehicles over the years (purchase price, trade in value, service costs, registration fees, fuel costs, inflation, etc.) so I’ll be able to make a good comparison. But in the meantime, I’m going to be happily driving around our new computer-on-wheels and thoroughly enjoying not wasting my time waiting in line at slow gas pumps or wondering what the oil drip on the garage floor means!

Church AV Equipment

The audio-visual setup at our church is not very impressive. We don’t ask a lot of it. The main functions are:

  1. Amplifying pastor’s voice
  2. Providing a feed to the screen in the nursery area
  3. Recording the service

Check out this “before” picture. Believe it or not, this is after I had started replacing some gear and throwing stuff away.

Yes that is a CRT TV and yes it was used every Sunday.

I’m the one who ends up running the equipment most of the time so I decided it was time to take this area on as a project. If you’ve been following my @martenswoodshop account then you’ve seen some progress updates in the stories, but over the last couple months I’ve been slowly building up the new solution piece by piece. I wasn’t confident enough to do it all at once since there are so many unique constraints to a project at church. Things rarely play out as expected. This was my rough plan going into it:

Along the way, I was happy to find someone at work who was selling three 24″ monitors and a monitor arm to hold them all. That was the perfect addition to the project because I’m always nervous about stuff toppling over the edge and landing on people. Here’s a look at the end result:

The screen on the left is the video switcher. It takes input from up to four cameras though we only use two today and it combines in the audio from our audio mixer. It records straight to USB (or in the future can live stream to YouTube.) The middle screen is a PC that I’ll use for uploading to YouTube, using extra features of the video switcher, and, in the future, controlling the TV in front of the church. The right screen is for our security cameras.

If I wanted to post a sermon with the old setup, I would come home with two SD cards from the video cameras and a DVD with audio from the mixer. I would have to edit that all together and then upload it to YouTube. That was a couple hours of work for me when I got home every Sunday. So you can imagine my joy when yesterday I recorded the whole service to a USB stick and uploaded it directly to YouTube before I left church!

I hesitate to post this because there are always more things that can be improved (cable management for one), but I do feel like this is in a place where I can slow down for a bit. Not only is this a nicer to use, it opens more possibilities down the road and hopefully it’s not so intimidating for others to learn.

The Wait

Welcome to another Tesla Tuesday!

We’re eagerly awaiting the delivery of our Model Y. We ordered in mid-October and our original delivery estimate was May 2022. I have the Tesla app installed on my phone and I check it at least once a day. It has changed many times (both forward and backward) but it was holding steady for May 8 – June 12. As we got closer and closer to May 8 our hopes were going up that it was going to happen. But this morning, the date range got pushed back to May 24 – June 20. (Tuesday seems to be a popular day for them to change the estimated delivery dates.) So the wait continues…

There is an online spreadsheet for eager Tesla owners where people record when they ordered and when it was delivered. As with most crowd-sourced data, it’s noisy and full of obvious errors, but looking at similar orders in my area, people who ordered around the same time as we did are starting to receive their cars. Hopefully we’re not too far behind!

While I wait, I continue to soak up Tesla content, and while this video didn’t teach me a lot that I hadn’t read elsewhere, I thought it was a good summary of what it’s like to own a Model Y for a couple years:

Microsoft 365 Family Email

I’ve owned the studio711.com domain for a long time. For most of the time it has been registered with GoDaddy and with one of their email offers, I was able to send and receive email from any address that ended with “@studio711.com”. I got in the habit of creating a unique email address for every site because I could see who was selling my info and/or easily block any use of my address.

That was handy and worked fine for years, but it turns out that running a mail server like that also creates a popular place for spammers. Other mail providers would end up blocking various GoDaddy mail servers periodically and I would get emails returned to me (sometimes after 8-12 hours.) It was mostly a background annoyance but finally I decided to do something about it.

A lot of people have the Microsoft 365 Family subscription these days. The main thing it provides is a bunch of installs of Microsoft office on various computers and the subscription can be shared with five members of your household. Reading the list of things that come with the subscription, I found out that you can get custom email hosting if your domain is hosted on GoDaddy.

If you’re not attempting to do the same change, then this post probably won’t be super interesting to you, but do know that if you have that subscription, then you could have your own custom email address for the cost of a domain registration at GoDaddy ($20/year.)

The catch for me was that I would only be able to make one email address per account that the subscription was shared with. I spent many evenings going through my LastPass vault looking for random email addresses and converting them to a common account.

Making the change was nerve-wracking because if I had missed any random email addresses, I’d be oblivious to any failed messages sent to them. But after checking and double checking, I pulled the trigger… and immediately hit a failure. While GoDaddy does host my domain, I use CloudFlare for the nameservers because they give me some additional features and make it easier to do SSL on my website. I resolved this by temporarily switching my nameservers back to GoDaddy and doing the Outlook onboarding steps. I looked at what DNS changes Outlook made on GoDaddy and then switched back to CloudFlare and added those DNS entries back in. Thankfully, that worked!

The next hiccup was that I couldn’t create the specific aliases that I wanted. I’d hit the button to verify, and it would just fail silently with no error message. I finally realized that I had previously set up those email addresses as “send from” aliases. Once I removed them, I was able to create the email aliases. I set up a couple new Microsoft accounts, shared my Microsoft 365 subscription with them, and created the remaining email aliases that I need.

So now I should be fully transferred over to having my email hosted on Outlook.com and if I need to switch email providers again in the future, it will be a lot easier because I won’t have ~600 different email addresses to unify first!

Printable Posable Figure

Getting a 3D printer while working from home has been a great combination as I can easily have prints going throughout the day. I’ve done a lot of “for fun” prints and a couple useful prints, but the one that impresses me most is LUCKY 13.

Before I could ge started with the print, I had to buy some PETG filament. Printed PETG is tougher than the PLA I had been using so far, but it can be a bit more finnicky to print well. My first, and so far only, roll of PLA filament came from Prusa and it has worked marvelously, but since they’re located in Europe, shipping a roll or two of filament is cost prohibitive. I waded into the endless options for filament and ended up choosing Polymaker PETG. It took a few test prints to get it dialed in, but it worked very well on my Prusa Mini.

The downloaded model files for this print were meticulously laid out and they all printed great the first time. I used the gray PETG for the skeleton and blue PLA for the outer skin and face. There were some accessories too which I did in black PLA.

Having done little to no calibration on my printer out of the box, I didn’t know what to expect, but everything snapped together with almost perfect tolerances! The only sanding I had to do was to remove some little fuzzies that were leftover after printing. This figure now sits on my desk and gets repositioned every once in a while using the plethora of different hand shapes and accessories. I got some red PLA and I think I might need to print him a sparring partner!

Furze Tunnel

Colin Furze is a madman. Many YouTubers talk about burnout, but Colin keeps outdoing himself. He’s built a hoverbike, jet bicycle, and screw tank to name a few. Years ago, he built an impressive underground bunker in his back yard, but for the past couple years, he’s been working on an even bigger project: connecting his house, shed and bunker with a tunnel!

Check out his playlist that goes into all the details, but this is an incredible undertaking. Currently he has connected his pantry to the shed and now he’s heading out towards the bunker. In a recent video he also mentioned that he wants to connect to his driveway so that an elevator can lower his car down into the tunnel. He knows no limits!

Auto Industry Sales By Manufacturer

Welcome to another Tesla Tuesday!

While I don’t have sales data to back it up, I expect that our county ranks near the top of Tesla’s sales list. They’re everywhere. At a stoplight a couple weekends ago, there were five Teslas waiting with me. On the highway, there’s usually at least one in sight at all times. But this area is an anomaly. How well are they selling around the country?

Would you believe me if I told you that in January 2022, in the US, Telsa outsold Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler? Check out this data from truecar.com.

ManufacturerFeb 2021 ActualJan 2022 ActualYoY % Change
BMW26,39324,024-7.8%
Daimler20,31720,400-1.9%
Ford161,834142,445-16.0%
GM191,846142,574-13.7%
Honda106,32873,949-22.9%
Hyundai50,73551,51015.3%
Kia48,06242,488-2.6%
Nissan86,13859,742-26.5%
Stellantis151,912125,265-7.6%
Subaru48,30044,1587.7%
Tesla21,55040,16595.4%
Toyota184,249158,676-9.2%
Volkswagen Group46,84637,971-21.2%
Industry1,196,0081,002,006-10.4%

Furthermore, while most manufacturers decreased deliveries due to supply chain issues, Tesla almost doubled their output.

Tesla had two factories (Freemont, CA and Shanghai) each producing about 500,000 cars. Their Berlin factory just came online and Texas is right behind. Those will each add around 500k/year more capacity with even more capacity coming later. It remains to be seen whether Tesla has enough supplies to take advantage of all that additional capacity right away.

Tap to Pay

We’ve had “tap to pay” enabled on our phones for a while, but it really came in handy on our trip to Hawaii. The condo had a keypad lock on it, so when we left the room, as long as we had our phones, we were prepared. It got me wondering about all the options I have for paying in most stores:

  1. Swipe the physical card
  2. Tap the physical card
  3. Insert the physical card
  4. Tap my phone

Which one is the safest?

Contactless payments use NFC (Near Field Communications) which is a subset of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). When an NFC chip gets within an inch or two of a reader, wireless energy is transferred to the chip. It powers up enough to communicate with the reader via a unique encryption key for every transaction. If you’re swiping your card, you’re handing out the same information every time you swipe so if a thief gets your info one time, they are free to use it repeatedly.

Tap to pay has additional safeguards in place too:

  • Transaction amounts are limited, and you’re notified of transactions.
  • Your phone must be unlocked to make a transaction.
  • You are still backed by your credit card company’s zero-liability policy.
  • Less information is shared with the vendor (e.g. no customer name)

If it were possible to use my phone to pay everywhere, that would be the safest option. As soon as I carry a physical card around, I’m opening myself up to more risk. Tapping the card or inserting the chip are good choices if I retain control of the card, but if I must hand it off to someone (like at a restaurant), then I’m adding the risk of a credit card skimmer.

In the end, the credit card companies are the ones bearing the brunt of security breaches and they all recommend contactless payments. They’re not going to recommend something that costs them more money.

For more info, check out this article from Forbes.

Route Planning

Welcome to another Tesla Tuesday!

Tyla has a lot of extended family members in Montana, and a few years ago, we drove to Fort Peck for a fun weekend. When the topic of a Tesla comes up with her family, the question is often asked, “Could you drive it to Fort Peck?” The short answer is, “Yes, but I probably wouldn’t.” The fastest route breaks off of I-90 at Missoula, heads up to 2, and crosses to Fort Peck. The Tesla route planner keeps you on I-90 to I-94 and then heads up to Fort Peck after a final charge in Miles City. It’s 1133 miles instead of 985 miles and it adds charging time too. If you use a third-party route site like ABetterRoutePlanner.com, you can get a little more creative. While not as fast or convenient as a supercharger station, RV campgrounds provide 50-amp service which isn’t too shabby, especially if you’re planning to stop there for a longer meal or overnight anyway. And in a pinch, lots of hotels and shopping centers (even in Montana) have much slower charging, but I wouldn’t rely on that for a trip.

If you look at any of the charging network maps, Montana and the Dakotas are barren except for the interstates. It’s easy to drive across the states but going deep off the interstate gets tricky. This is one of the reasons why we still have a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle. I have no plans to get rid of the truck and it’s always there as an option if it makes more sense for road trips. If you have multiple cars, you don’t need your electric vehicle to be capable of every drive you might ever take.

Ignoring extreme examples like Fort Peck, most of our drives straightforward with the Tesla. The car navigation system predicts battery usage and automatically routes to chargers as needed. One of the longest trips we have planned this year is to the small town of Alsea, OR. Google Maps says it is 292 miles and 4 hours and 42 minutes. If we took the Tesla, we’d have a single 8 minute charging stop along the way.

However, that leaves us with a 10% charge when we arrive at our destination. While I assume there’s a 110v outlet that we could slow charge from, I’m more likely to plan the route to include arriving with enough battery so I don’t have to worry about charging at the destination. Adding that means that total charging time increases (round trip) to 41 minutes spread across three charging stops. I guarantee that the people in the car with me would need more bathroom stops than that anyway.

When we were debating the purchase, I spent a lot of time plugging in our common drives to the Tesla route planner. Most of them don’t require any stops at all, but for the ones that do, it’s rarely more than 20 or 30 minutes of total charging time. It will take a little more planning, especially if someone needs a bathroom break and I try to find an EV charger on the fly to take advantage of the stop, but we’ll definitely be trying it and if it proves to be too annoying, we always have the truck which is a great road trip vehicle.