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Thread: Supercharger for the Roadster

  1. #11
    Senior Member jcstp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEG View Post
    I think we have speculated about this in the past, but my opinion is that it would be a lot more than just a "software issue".

    The Model S with Supercharging capability likely has newer generation cell technology that could be more amenable to quick charging. As far as I know, the existing Roadster ESS has no provision to allow external DC connection to hook to a 'supercharger'. There could be cooling issues. Of course they would need to test any such changes extensively, and I doubt that would make financial sense for them to provide it. Sure, conceptually it is a nice idea, but I think it is unlikely that they would go to the effort of re-engineering things for a small number of Roadsters that would be willing to spend money on such an upgrade.

    With all that said, all we can really do is wait and see if they do something...
    maybe they transplant the charging/supercharging system from Model S into the Roadster!
    Is this doable?

  2. #12
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    I would like to revive this thread now that quite a bit of speculations regarding "something really cool" for 2014 is centered around SuperCharging.

    Lets just assume Tesla wants to retrofit Roadster for SuperCharging capabilities (lets just ignore current maximum Kw). What is involved?

    Battery - assume new batter cells and layout design. Now its gotta accept DC current. If it bypasses PEM, do we need significant PEM modification? Is the current cooling method sufficient?

    PEM - how much design change is needed if a new battery is used?

    Wiring - a big fat pipe is of course warranted ....

    Any thoughts?

  3. #13
    Roadster 919, S 2006 Doug_G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackyche View Post
    I would like to revive this thread now that quite a bit of speculations regarding "something really cool" for 2014 is centered around SuperCharging.
    ...except that, again, Elon stated emphatically at Teslive last year that Roadster is not and will not be compatible with Supercharging. Coming to any kind of "conclusion" about this is very likely going to result in disappointment.
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  4. #14
    Petroleum is for sissies ChadS's Avatar
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    My first thought, as a Roadster owner, is that this would be AWESOME.

    But I really, really, really doubt it will happen. Changing the battery, PEM and wiring may cost almost as much in parts and labor as some old Roadsters are worth. Plus Tesla would have a lot of engineering expenses (including opportunity cost of having precious engineers work on an old product!) and they can't possibly recoup those expenses given how few Roadsters there are, and how few owners would buy such an expensive upgrade especially given that the Roadster is not a particularly good car for road trips (and there is an alternative now). And they are battery constrained so I doubt they want to put new batteries into existing cars (though somebody did mention the possibility of frankenbatteries for the Roadster built from underperforming Model S cells).

    Not to mention that Tesla has been consistently dismissive of the possibility. If they want to offer something expensive, a 3.0-second performance package (inverter, tires, gearing, suspension changes...?) might make more people notice how cool EVs are. If they want to offer something free to owners, putting 80A HPCs at Superchargers could do.

    I still like the idea of offering a FUTURE battery upgrade at a low cost - pay $X now, get a Y lb Z kWh battery in 5 years. They don't actually have to build anything until they have extra battery capacity and prices come down, but Roadster owners can breathe easier about the future of their cars and prospective Model S buyers would feel more comfortable "taking a gamble" on batteries. But from Elon's recent remarks, it doesn't seem they are going this route - it sounded like they would offer something this year, not just a promise of a future upgrade.
    Roadster #690; Model S #112; Model X Reserved Plug In America How to plan a road trip - how long will it take?


  5. #15
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    Certainly all very valid points Chad. Here's why, IMHO, it makes sense for the SuperCharger to be retrofitted to Roadster:

    1. Battery - this issue has to be addressed regardless. The existing cells are discontinued. Some people pre-paid for new packs. If you're going to redesign a battery pack, might as well bring it up to standard.

    2. Timing - any "financial/future incentive" type of announcement doesn't need to wait till 2014/2015. You can just announce.

    3. SuperCharger itself - Elon's absolute refusal to install HPC's in SC stations points to a)they plan on retrofitting to Roadster or b)completely erase Roadster off the history books.

    4. R&D - Tesla actually had lots of time to develop this already. Its not like SC's were announced last month. Tesla's been working on SC's since the beginning of Model S development. The other side to this is, Tesla has been and continue to be resource constrained. Its not like they had a bunch of free engineers available all this time.

    Not really betting on Tesla offering SC's. But more of what you technically brilliant engineering guys impressions/opinions of what challenges presents itself for a SC retrofit.

  6. #16
    Roadster 919, S 2006 Doug_G's Avatar
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    @Jackyche,

    1. Yes, they will eventually design a new Roadster pack. They kinda have to, even though they'll probably lose money on it (small volume).

    3. When did Elon absolutely refuse to put HPCs at the Supercharger sites? Citation needed.

    Personally, I think a 3 second Roadster would be really cool. But I would prefer better cooling so it would have some endurance on the track.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Vger's Avatar
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    Nat at all to stir the optimism, but just as a historical note...

    Tesla was at least THINKING about fast DC charging well before the Roadster was even finished and shipped. When my wife and I went for our first look at and ride in the engineering prototypes, in the old "garage" shop in San Carlos, I remember it was plainly discussed. I suspect that it was deferred, then dropped for the Roadster, when the cost overruns and fading cash put the whole company on life support.
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  8. #18
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    Why would supercharging a Roadster have to involve the PEM or a new battery at all? The cabling topology could be the same as the MS. It just takes a few contactors to re-route the inlet from the chargers (PEM in the Roadster) straight to the battery. The main thing is how much cooling capacity does the Roadster have for battery cooling. Model S "A packs" require a lot of cooling, so I would imagine the Roadster is the same.

    Speaking of the inlet, would anybody pay for a retrofit to a Model S inlet, even if it was still limited to AC charging only? What about a J1772 inlet?

  9. #19
    Roadster 2.0 VIN939 djp's Avatar
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    Supercharger for the Roadster

    I think the upgrade is more likely to be a swap of the Roadster port for a Model S port to let Roadsters use the new Model S UMC and HPWC - without SuperCharging.

    This would simplify support for Tesla and guarantee the long term availability of charging hardware. It's a straight-forward wiring exercise and we've already seen one in the wild belonging to a Tesla engineer.

    I agree SuperCharging for the Roadster isn't going to happen. It's too major a change and too expensive to test and implement. Elon was very clear this isn't on the roadmap (and this was after he said something cool was coming for the Roadster).

    I'll need to go back to the transcript, but if I recall correctly it's more than just contactors that would need to be added. The fundamental architecture of the battery doesn't support Supercharging. There's something about the design in the way that two parts are bridged that prevents an easy implementation. I'll try to find the quote.
    Last edited by djp; 2014-06-06 at 05:07 AM.

  10. #20
    Senior Member WarpedOne's Avatar
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    Agreed, charging port replacment is lowest hanging fruit.
    I believe in Tesla as a concept, a brand, and a suite of products. No matter who conceived, started, runs, or maintains, I hope it ultimately prevails and lasts.
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