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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/10/24 4:13 p.m.

I'll write a full update once I've tested it, but look what arrived! 
 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/10/24 4:57 p.m.

Did you manage to get your order in early, or did you get to jump the line as a Good Person To Befriend?

Nice looking piece, fairly compact considering. Also, I like the power situation on your workbench :)

 

Oh, a Tesla friend says these are basically the Magic Dock adapter with an additional latch to lock the NACS charger into the adapter. And they may actually be made by Tesla.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/10/24 6:06 p.m.

I got my order in early--number 475--so I didn't even need to ask for any favors.

Yeah, this is exactly like the magic dock adapter, I'd totally believe it's made by Tesla, or at least made according to Tesla's drawing. 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott UltraDork
4/10/24 6:07 p.m.

Is this just a Ford thing or are other manufacturers going to also have access to Tesla stations?

We're shopping for an EV for my wife.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/10/24 6:21 p.m.

For now, it's just Ford and Rivian. Most of the others have announced they're working on it, but I'm not sure on timing or if free adapters will be mailed out.

I should note that I'm pretty darn happy Ford mailed me a ~$200 widget for free, even though I didn't buy the truck new and even the original owner was never promised this functionality. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/10/24 8:01 p.m.

Everyone (I think) has adopted the charging standard. That's just the plug and protocol. Getting access to the Supercharger network may require some negotiation with Tesla on the part of other manufacturers but I'd expect it to happen. Ford's just ahead of the rest of the pack - as the second largest EV manufacturer in the US market should be. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/13/24 9:45 a.m.

Ta-dah!


 

Roadtrips have long been possible in this truck, as I've proved. Today, though, they've become downright easy. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/16/24 11:33 a.m.

Just realized I didn't cover another long trip: I used the Lightning as our lead car on the Orange Blossom Tour a few months back. This was roughly 1000 miles of driving through rural Florida. And, like past road tours, it was a non-issue. We never do more than 200-250 miles per day, which means zero fuel/charging stops and zero worry about range. Every morning, the truck was full in the hotel parking lot. That's it--the full extent of my worries about fuel. 

In fact, it was nearly an issue, as I couldn't really answer folks' questions about gas stops. "Should I fill up my car before or after the driver's meeting? How many miles is the next leg? Do I have time for a gas stop after lunch?" 

Yeah, uh, no idea, sorry. I don't do gas stops anymore. (puts on my tour promotion hat) fortunately, though, we do actually plan all of that out in advance, as well as print a list of stations and suggested stops in each guidebook. It's crazy the amount of worrying/planning that's involved when road-tripping a gas-powered car vs. an EV.laugh

After the final tour's dinner was over, I drove home and hooked up to a 6x12' U-haul trailer full of stuff for our Amelia Island Kickoff. I towed it up to Amelia Island for concours weekend. This was a 195-mile trip, with 120ish of those towing, and I started with about a 50% charge after touring for the day. Shockingly, this trailer hurt range more than my 8.5x20' enclosed full of tools with a race car in it--I suspect the brakes were dragging, but that's more of a U-haul problem than a me problem, and the truck has so much power that the wheels could be locked and I'd still set the cruise and chill at whatever speed I want. But that extra drag meant an extra charging stop, so I visited a Mercedes-branded charger at Buc'ees for dinner and some electricity. 

At the Amelia Island Kickoff, we realized that thanks to all the rain, the power outlets were extremely flaky--half the venue had no power, with GFCI circuits tripping and more rain in the forecast. That's a big problem, as we needed to power a giant PA system. So rather than call electricians or hope we got lucky all day, we just plugged the system into my truck instead. Success!

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/16/24 11:39 a.m.

The Lightning also visited the $2000 Challenge and the GRM Track Day at the FIRM, and by now you probably know the basics of my next update. No public charging stops, though I filled up for free at both venues because why not, and I ran stuff off the truck's built-in power outlets. I also drag-raced the truck, and ran a 12.891 without even turning off any nannies or taking my tools and such out of it. 

Spearfishin
Spearfishin Reader
4/17/24 8:27 a.m.

Tom, can you elaborate on "Every morning, the truck was full in the hotel parking lot."

Are you hooking an extension cord to an exterior outlet at the hotel? Or seeking out hotels that have electric car chargers? Or some other solution I'm not understanding?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/17/24 11:35 a.m.

I'm guessing he's choosing hotels with destination chargers (aka Level 2). Hotels.com will let you filter on that. We will always stay at a hotel with a charger if possible, or at least take it into consideration when trip planning.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott UltraDork
4/19/24 11:35 a.m.

Has the new adapter changed how fast the Tesla station will charge?  Do you get the full juice?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/19/24 11:41 a.m.

yes, the new adapter is faster than the Magic Dock--I'm getting full power. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/19/24 11:47 a.m.
Spearfishin said:

Tom, can you elaborate on "Every morning, the truck was full in the hotel parking lot."

Are you hooking an extension cord to an exterior outlet at the hotel? Or seeking out hotels that have electric car chargers? Or some other solution I'm not understanding?

I just plug into the hotel's level 2 EV charger. They're really, really common, including at the nicer hotels where we base road tours. You'll rarely see signage and the hotel website will never advertise it, but it's easy to filter for them when looking. Attendees on the road tours always ask where I'm charging, and when I point across the parking lot at the charger they're usually shocked it's there. 

I usually stay at Hilton properties when I travel, and their site makes it really easy to find hotels with chargers. Note that this doesn't seem to influence price, and EV chargers seem to actually be more plentiful at the cheaper brands I prefer. I've never checked the box and then watched all of the cheap hotels disappear from the map.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/19/24 12:57 p.m.

Interesting that you're getting a faster charge with the adapter. I guess the non-Magic Dock Superchargers don't have the throttling, even though the adapter is basically the same.

I view hotel EV chargers as being like wifi in the early days. It was actually the lower cost hotels that figured out it was a cheap way to set themselves apart, the higher-end chains tried to charge for it. Now it's basically free everywhere because it's become a commodity instead of a perk.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/19/24 1:22 p.m.

I'm assuming the Magic Docks are probably faster now--I charged at one back when they were fairly new and the adapters weren't yet out there. I suspect Tesla was just being careful while they collected data.

Here's a screenshot of the truck pulling 165kw from the adapter: 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/19/24 1:41 p.m.

I believe the Magic Dock units were throttled for thermal management. But in the case of a NACS Supercharger (see below), it would have to know if it was charging a Lightning with an adapter or a Lightning that has a native NACS port. Or Tesla has done more testing and has determined the thermal load is not an issue.

Obviously, in the name of investigative journalism, you need to go on another short road trip to the nearest Magic Dock Supercharger in...St. Petersburg. THat's a little closer than I was expecting, I thought I was going to be able to make a joke about driving to NY.

FYI, came across this for those who are getting confused:

There are 3 types of Tesla Superchargers:

  1. Tesla-only Superchargers, which only work for Tesla vehicles.
  2. All EVs Superchargers, which are available for all EVs to charge with a “Magic Dock” adapter that is provided at the charging post.
  3. NACS Superchargers, which will become available gradually, by vehicle manufacturer, and can be accessed through an adapter. The adapter has to be provided by your vehicle manufacturer. For new vehicles that are NACS-equipped, no adapter will be necessary.

The following vehicle manufacturers have access to NACS Superchargers:

  • Ford
  • Rivian
Spearfishin
Spearfishin Reader
4/19/24 2:04 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:
Spearfishin said:

Tom, can you elaborate on "Every morning, the truck was full in the hotel parking lot."

Are you hooking an extension cord to an exterior outlet at the hotel? Or seeking out hotels that have electric car chargers? Or some other solution I'm not understanding?

I just plug into the hotel's level 2 EV charger. They're really, really common, including at the nicer hotels where we base road tours. You'll rarely see signage and the hotel website will never advertise it, but it's easy to filter for them when looking. Attendees on the road tours always ask where I'm charging, and when I point across the parking lot at the charger they're usually shocked it's there. 

I usually stay at Hilton properties when I travel, and their site makes it really easy to find hotels with chargers. Note that this doesn't seem to influence price, and EV chargers seem to actually be more plentiful at the cheaper brands I prefer. I've never checked the box and then watched all of the cheap hotels disappear from the map.

Thanks. I'll have to start paying attention. I want an EV, but I have to admit to a fear of "road-trip-ability". 

That's not "nothing" when it comes to trip planning. Not much more onerous than finding a gas station for an ICE vehicle, necessarily, but not nothing

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/19/24 2:09 p.m.

It is pretty much nothing when you're booking your hotel. You just have to click the "EV charging" box when looking for hotels. Done. It's difficult to lower the bar any further.

That's assuming that you book your hotels online, which you should because it's a WHOLE lot cheaper than walking in and asking for the rack rate. Doesn't even need to be very long in advance, I've done it from the hotel parking lot a few times.

There are a number of us who have roadtripped EVs. It's not that big a deal, especially if you're going along major routes to major places. If you're searching for the most remote area in the country and trying to put down 1000 mile days, it's more of a challenge.

Spearfishin
Spearfishin Reader
4/19/24 2:40 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

It is pretty much nothing when you're booking your hotel. You just have to click the "EV charging" box when looking for hotels. Done. It's difficult to lower the bar any further.

That's assuming that you book your hotels online, which you should because it's a WHOLE lot cheaper than walking in and asking for the rack rate. Doesn't even need to be very long in advance, I've done it from the hotel parking lot a few times.

There are a number of us who have roadtripped EVs. It's not that big a deal, especially if you're going along major routes to major places. If you're searching for the most remote area in the country and trying to put down 1000 mile days, it's more of a challenge.

I book mostly with Chase travel portal, which sucks in many ways, but it's where I can use points. I don't think I can filter for that, so it would represent an added layer for me to search on one platform, choose and then move to Chase to find it to actually book. Not that big a deal, but one more thing. 

How does it work when you stay at valet only locations? They know how to charge?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
4/19/24 3:08 p.m.

I don't usually valet, but have a few times. Usually you just ask and they'll plug it in. Remember, rich people have been valeting Teslas for more than a decade, so your EV won't be new or exciting for them. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/19/24 4:51 p.m.

In reply to Spearfishin :

Fair enough. 

I don't let other people drive my cars, so any hotel with valet parking is a no-go. I once was forced to do so in downtown Montreal and I got back a Miata with back end damage after they let the garage door close on it while retreiving the car. Driver still had the nerve to put his hand out for a tip, too. So I filter for free parking and EV charging :)

Spearfishin
Spearfishin Reader
4/19/24 5:22 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to Spearfishin :

Fair enough. 

I don't let other people drive my cars, so any hotel with valet parking is a no-go. I once was forced to do so in downtown Montreal and I got back a Miata with back end damage after they let the garage door close on it while retreiving the car. Driver still had the nerve to put his hand out for a tip, too. So I filter for free parking and EV charging :)

I abhor it (valet), but often in cities it's non-optional. In DC for a wedding, valet told me my clutch was "tricky" after handing me keys to my C6. I'd heard him stall probably 5 times coming out of the garage. 

"Nah, it's not..."

 

Timely real life edit(!): in Richmond for a night. Met wife and kids after a work thing. Hotel isn't valet only, but has no self park options, so you're on your own. Wife had kids alone so valeted when she arrived. When we walked out just now for dinner, valet informed her that day shift valet in the morning can't drive stick, so my wife's Golf will be out front, keys at front desk. 

Honestly, I prefer that. 

Edit 2 to add pic of GSW in it's proper placement among German peers!

Final edit: didn't charge us for the valet, since they couldn't drive the car. So, three pedals saved us $33!

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle UberDork
4/20/24 4:04 p.m.

How many times has the hotel charger been occupied when you get there?
 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/20/24 4:46 p.m.

This thread doesn't help with my thoughts of getting a proper EV as the next "sensible" vehicles. I guess I have to see how the planned fleet consolidation is going to work out and then go count pennies.

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