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  • October 31, 2019 2:00 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Model 3 Approved to be NYC Taxi Vehicle

    New York City has long relied on Japanese and the occasional American car for its taxi fleet. Generally speaking, most of the cars are hybrids with some purely gas cars sprinkled in. Although there are currently 37 car models approved to be taxis, there is only one EV and it is the most recently approved: the Tesla Model 3.

    EV’s are continuing to become more and more attractive due to the cost effectiveness of charging. This especially rings true when gas stations are not all that common in Manhattan, where most taxis spend their days picking up and dropping off passengers. On top of that, the average NYC taxi driver typically drives around 150 miles a day. This means that they could get the standard range Model 3 and still have more than enough range to get home at the end of the day. Additionally, the Model 3 is built to last. In fact, a tweet from CEO Elon Musk claims that the drive unit and body of the Model 3 can last for up to 1 million miles!

    Range, Power Boosted in New Firmware Update

    Tesla fans have become used to the regular over the air updates that improve their vehicle’s user experience, slightly change some driving characteristics, and tweak autopilot capabilities, however what happened this week is rather monumental: the firmware update consists of updates that will increase the car’s power and range.

    According to Elon Musk, the power of any Tesla that receives the update will be boosted about 5%. As far as the range update goes, it has yet to come out. This confuses many as the website indicates a 3 mile improvement in both Model X and S long range models. The Model S range gets boosted up to 373 from 370 and the X gets bumped up to 328 from 325. Musk announced that these changes are not from software, but rather just from their testing of the existing cars, which proved the range was in fact greater than they had previously thought. This range update also holds more than what appears on the surface. Previously Tesla had been advertising the range of their cars to the 5 or 10 mark (“325”), but now it seems they are being more precise (“328”).

  • October 24, 2019 12:41 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    One year ago TODAY Tesla Owners Club New York State officially began with our Launch Party. By the end of the night we had our first 26 members signed up and were ready to start spreading the movement to the rest of the state.

    365 days later, we have 558 members spread across NY State. Since last October, our members have...

    * No, we aren't claiming to have made this happen, but the correlation is worth noting :)

    While it's important to occasionally reflect on one's achievements, it's also important to not rest on one's laurels. After all, only 5% of NYS Tesla owners are TOCNYS members and the vast majority of vehicles on our roads are still pumping out poisonous gas - much remains still to be achieved!

    Year #1 was about growth and that won't be changing going forward, but what else can be expected for our second year? We'll be emphasizing the club becoming supported in a more sustainable manner, both in terms of:

    So thank you all for being a part of TOCNYS from its humble starting point and I'm looking forward to sharing this exciting ride with you toward its glorious destination :)

  • October 24, 2019 11:35 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Astonishing TSLA 3rd Quarter Profits Reported

    Once more, skeptics of both Tesla and TSLA were proven wrong. This time it comes in the form of the Q3 earnings call, where the entirety of Wall Street foresaw losses by the company at -$0.42 a share and revenue of $6.33 billion. Tesla reported a surprising gain of $1.91 a share (Non-GAAP), but fell short in terms of revenue, coming in just shy at $6.30 billion. Tesla also made a few significant announcements along with the financial report.

    New Autopilot Information Released

    One other piece of information disclosed was the updated autopilot numbers. Throughout the 3rd quarter, the Autopilot system was involved in one accident every 4.34 million miles engaged, rather than the national average of one in every 0.5 million miles. Although these numbers are highly impressive, especially as the system continues to evolve with features such as Navigate On Autopilot and more on the way, the underlying truth is that almost every Tesla driver only engages the Autopilot system in a situation that they would deem manageable and safe for the system to take control, so there are always more factors than a simple comparison of two numbers can convey.

    In addition to the Autopilot information, there was also information about the new Smart Summon and how much it has been used. There have been over 1 million uses of the feature, according to CEO Elon Musk, and with all of this gathered data, Musk stated there will be an update coming for the feature within a week. He also mentioned that the Autopilot team, of which he recently took control, will have Full Self Driving ready for early access release by the end of the year. Elon also noted that this is just an estimation based on where they are at now, and by no means a guarantee.

    Production Announcements Made Regarding Semi and Model Y

    Although the production of the Tesla Semi, one of the least talked about of Tesla’s upcoming vehicles, was delayed recently, during the earnings call it was revealed that they are now aiming to finally begin production in 2020. There were also updates regarding the Model Y timeline, pushing the production estimate up from the previously announced fall 2020 to the summer of 2020.

    It has been really exciting to see both the Semi and Model Y spotted out in the wild, doing what they are respectively built for. All in all, 2020 stands to be a great year for Tesla fans around the world with hopefully more profitability, many autopilot updates, and the Model Y & Semi coming to life - all helping in the company’s mission to change the world.

  • October 17, 2019 12:16 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Updates on the Model Y and Wheels

    Since the unveiling of the Model Y in March of 2019, there has been a constant stream of spy shots and rumors surrounding the final production specifics. One thing that is apparent is that all of the Model S, X, & 3 owners who paid for “chrome delete” at their local wrap shop will be able to save on that expense with the Model Y. The new Crossover SUV comes with black window trim, side autopilot cameras, and door handles.

    The Model Y has also been spotted several times on the back of transporter trucks near the company’s Fremont, California headquarters. Although only two wheel options are currently listed on the website, both already available on the Model 3, one more has been spotted. The other wheel configuration spotted on a horde of Model Y’s in the wild is one that we have yet to see on any Model 3 or in any previous Model Y sighting. These new wheels could potentially be used in crash testing, range testing, or any other kind of testing they might conduct prior to the mass production planned for the fall of 2020.

    Some additional wheels have been seen on the Model Y, this time coming in the form of the new “aero wheels” that are available on the Model 3 in China. These wheels were likely being tested for implementation in the vast Chinese market which Tesla has only just begun to tap into. In addition to the new sighting of Model Y wheels, there was also a sighting of new wheels on a batch of Model 3’s near the headquarters, which just this week became available via the online configurator. 

    At the beginning of Model 3 production, when they were solely focused on the production ramp-up, they limited the wheel options available plausibly in order to maintain the simplicity of the manufacturing process. Now that production is ramped and streamlined, it looks like they may be expanding the options list on the Model 3 shortly. Due to the fact that they already have the mass production aspect down, it seems on time that they would be now moving onto making more options on the car available.

    Tesla’s Subpar Auto Wiper System Will Soon Improve

    Many Tesla owners who have also driven cars from other manufacturers with an auto wiper system know all too well that Tesla’s system is lacking severely in comparison. The root cause of this issue is the mere fact that, rather than using a rain sensor to detect when and how hard it is raining, they just use the existing Autopilot camera mounted in the windshield. Using the camera poses many challenges, most coming in the form of knowing when it is raining. For many Tesla owners, the wipers will only turn on when it is raining very hard, and will not activate the wipers at a slow speed when it is just drizzling.

    In a recent tweet by CEO Elon Musk, he addressed the common issue by saying that they are developing a new neural network specifically for the auto wipers, which he jokingly calls “deep rain” as the amount of information required to process through the camera how hard it is raining and adjust the wiper speed accordingly. The good news regarding this, is that every Tesla owner will be able to receive the update, although we currently do not have a time frame on it.

    Tesla Shows Off Their “Crash Lab” in a New Video

    The three safest cars ever produced according to the NHTSA, in order are; Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X. Making the safest car ever is not an overnight task, as explained in Tesla’s new “Crash Lab” video uploaded this week. The engineers tasked with testing the vehicle’s crash safety explained the process of creating such a safe car. They also explained how rewarding it is for them, when they find out that there has been a crash in which the occupants would have been killed, but they were in a Tesla.

  • October 11, 2019 2:59 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Everything We Know About the Tesla Pickup

    Since 2012, Tesla has been steadily expanding their model line, reaching more and more segments. The expansion into the SUV and affordable sedan markets with the Model X & 3 was huge for the company and with the Model Y, they will make a splash in the Crossover SUV segment, making a small yet spacious mass-market electric SUV. The remaining highest-volume segment of the American auto industry lies in that of the pickup truck. Hence Tesla’s decision to make yet another splash in a massive automotive segment: enter the Tesla Pickup.

    We only have a limited amount of information about the Pickup as of now, but the little we do have is still enough to get any Tesla enthusiast excited. We think that it will be unveiled some time in November of this year due to a previous tweet from CEO Elon Musk, which he also recently confirmed.

    As far as styling goes, Elon tweeted that it would have a sort of Blade Runner “Cyberpunk” truck look. He also confirmed that it would look even more futuristic than the artist’s rendering above. During the Model Y event, there was a very brief teaser image that flashed after the official unveiling, which no one caught until Musk told people that they had missed it and included this picture.

    He said that the styling of the truck would be futuristic, and not for all. Seeing as most Tesla owners love the futuristic aspects of the cars, one would suspect that the styling would not limit the sales possibilities of the vehicle. Many did not know how to interpret the teaser image, questioning which part of the truck was being shown.

    Concerning pricing, it is said to start below $50,000, which would still be quite a bit more expensive than most base pickup trucks from Ford and Chevy. However, it is after all a pickup truck equipped with great performance, range, and autopilot. To make a truly incredible electric pickup truck is not an easy feat either. To compete in towing capacity, bed space and range would be very tough to accomplish for an electric truck. For one, as many Model X owners who have towed before would know, the battery’s efficiency is severely decreased when towing. For the truck to truly compete with Detroit’s best, it would have to be able to tow big loads for long distances. All in all, everyone is very excited to see what the masterminds at Tesla are able to accomplish with such a blank canvas for them to work on.

    Tesla Helps Those Affected by California Power Outages

    A big part of Tesla’s business comes from their energy division. Whether it be Powerwalls, solar panels, or utility scale battery pack installations, they always deliver a product that is much smarter than the competition and is aware of its environment. With recent intentional power shut-offs from California electric supplier PG&E, Tesla owners in the area have received messages on the screens of their cars, recommending they charge to 100% while they still have power. The power shut-offs happened in an attempt to stop another catastrophic wildfire from sweeping across California.

    In addition to the warning above message, Tesla Powerwall owners in the affected areas have noticed that once a shut-off is announced for their area ahead of time, the power storage devices go into “Storm Watch” mode, which helps them store more energy, which is then only used for essential functionality.

    Beyond the messages sent to area cars and the Storm Watch mode activation, Tesla engineers have considered evacuations as well. For those who will be evacuating their power-less homes, Superchargers will be essential. At all Superchargers in the affected areas, Tesla is currently awaiting permit approval to install “Powerpacks” which can store massive amounts of energy and allow for charging of one’s car without the grid, as well as installing solar panels at many Supercharging locations. Tesla is really going above and beyond here compared to other companies by making it easier to either remain in the blacked-out areas or escape them if need be.

  • October 09, 2019 10:15 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    “So you want us to park our Teslas next to the axe throwing exhibit? Ok, sounds like a good idea...”

    ‘This was going to be a fun day’, I thought to myself. After all, it’s not often that one gets to drink wine, paint pumpkins, take a hayride, squish grapes with bare feet, and watch people throw hunks of sharpened metal, many for the first time in their lives, in the general vicinity of one’s vehicle. Welcome to the 2019 Hunt Country Vineyards Harvest Festival :)

    Fortunately, it turned out we were (of course) far enough to be safe from errant axes, but still close enough to catch the attention of the ancient hobby's spectators, as they continued over to our line of seasonally-decorated Teslas. Being decked out with little hay bales, colored leaves, pumpkins, and squash helped our modern, high-tech vehicles blend surprisingly well into the agricultural setting of the vineyards.

    Though what actually made everything fit so well together was Hunt Country Vineyards itself. Led by Suzanne Hunt, this family-owned, generations-old business has been blazing a trail toward sustainability in the Finger Lakes from the top to the bottom of their operations: yes literally, from the solar panels on the barn roof to the 6000(!) feet of geothermal plumbing extending 375 feet below the ground’s surface. Standing somewhere in between are their suite of EV chargers, including Tesla Destination chargers, that were officially opened during last year’s Harvest Festival. That should allay any residual range anxiety that EV drivers might have at the thought of driving to these beautiful vineyards in the semi-remote hills overlooking Keuka Lake.

    Speaking of of EVs, around 15 of them, 10 being Teslas, were on display over the course of the day, being proudly shown off by their enthusiastic owners who also fielded the usual volley of curious questions. Some came alone, while others brought their loved ones: spouses, kids, dogs, and even pumpkins - it was quite a family affair!

    TOCNYS founding member Harry B. (and Hunt Country Vineyards veteran) had this to say of his experience at the event:

    “We had a great time! Beautiful sunny day. Several Teslas both at the display area and at the chargers. Our dogs were tired when they got home. We picked up a lot of goodies at the crafts booths and in the vineyard's shop... some for now and some for Christmas gifts. All in all, a great day.”

    Member Asa F. added:

    "We loved the Harvest Festival at Hunt Vineyards! Not only was there plenty for the kids to do, it was a beautiful location and we prefer/love to support businesses that are committed to sustainability - so it was a win all around."

    Recent TOCNYS addition David R. (from above picture) had this to say:

    "This was a great time, and a really nice introduction to the Tesla club for me as a new owner. Always fun to spend time with other enthusiasts..."

    In addition to the aforementioned, there was live music, plenty of food to choose from, wine taste-testing, and tours of the wine-making facilities (highlighting the solar and geothermal systems). There were rumors that some even went straight to the vine for some (don’t tell Suzanne) taste-testing of the grapes themselves!

    This wasn’t the first TOCNYS event at Hunt Country Vineyards, and given our overlapping green values, it won’t be the last. As a club, we were honored to be invited to attend and will be looking forward to the next opportunity to do our little part to save the planet, and if it involves a little alcohol and axe throwing, then so be it :)

  • October 04, 2019 11:06 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Yorktown, NY Cars and Coffee Group Makes Amends

    After last week’s article, when it was reported that the Yorktown Cars and Coffee group took over the entirety of the Yorktown Heights Tesla Supercharger seemingly on purpose, this week the issue appears to be resolved. The leaders of the group supposedly discouraged their members from blocking the Supercharger and promised it wouldn't happen again. This Sunday morning at their most recent meeting, a Model 3 owner went to the charging location to see if they had kept their word.

    Thankfully, the group did not repeat last week’s wrongdoing, but rather went out of their way to keep the charging stations clear putting cones down labeled, “Tesla Only”. Though the Tesla community was shocked at last week’s incident, most are glad that they did the right thing and made up for it this week.

    The Tesla owner, Benswing Rich, who investigated the situation this week, even spent some time with the Cars and Coffee group. He discovered that they were not in fact “Tesla haters”, but rather many owned Teslas and just wanted to park together in an otherwise full parking lot. Perhaps if they all had Teslas they could have parked in other lots and “Smart Summoned” their cars to show each other!

    The New “Smart Summon” Feature Launches with V10 and Creates a Stir

    Speaking of Smart Summon, this new feature came with the arrival of V10, which promptly caused the masses of Tesla owners to have their cars driving themselves all over the nation’s parking lots. Of course as with any new massive Tesla Autopilot update, the media had plenty to say about it. Although only a few days after the launch of V10, CEO Elon Musk tweeted that there were over 550,000 uses of the feature, the media still was trying to sniff out every last issue.

    Despite the fact that most owners have been cautious with the feature, only using it in deserted parking lots, a few have tried the beta feature in situations difficult even for humans such as these two.

    The feature has also provided the world a glimpse into our inevitably autonomous future. One very positive use case for the feature is for mobility disabled people. Whether it be crutches or a wheelchair, “Smart Summon” will surely make one’s day easier. The controversy around the feature, as with many things concerning Tesla, has been blown out of proportion. The cars will very cautiously stop at intersections, activate their turn signals, and stop for any movement in front of them.

    In my personal use of the feature, my Model X was driving to me in an empty parking lot with a driveway to the side. The vehicle identified the parking lot and stopped in front of it, presumably letting any cross traffic go. There have been several other very positive use cases captured on video such as this one. After sifting through all of the good and bad behind this feature, one can determine that this is incredible and anyone will be impressed by it, though it has some room for improvement. One situation where the feature consistently drives much more awkwardly and even possibly dangerously, is open spaces.

    The feature does seem to prove to be highly refined in certain situations such as this one where the car navigates a seemingly double-parked car, as well as oncoming traffic which would typically involve driver communication, but is nailed by the self-driving algorithm.

    In conclusion, while the feature has a lot of progress to make, it is certainly far more advanced than anything any other automaker has released. The feature will benefit Tesla in the form of good publicity, from the fascinated and even confused witnesses. Unfortunately, the media seems to report all the negative when it comes to Tesla and only some of the positive. If someone in a parking lot ever inquires about your driverless car, take the opportunity to educate them on what the feature is and correct any misconceptions.

    Though TSLA Stock Falters, Tesla Breaks Delivery Record in Q3

    For the past 3 fiscal quarters, Tesla has broken their delivery records. Each time after, the stock analysts and shorts are quick to say that this is the highest the price can go, despite having been proven wrong many times prior. Tesla has also announced that they are entering Q4 with a larger order backlog than that with which they entered Q3. CEO Elon Musk also reportedly wrote an email to company employees highlighting that they could hit 100,000 deliveries. They fell short, but only by a little, registering 97,000 total worldwide vehicle deliveries. Although the numbers were not as high in comparison to Wall Street’s expectations, it was still a record broken and progress made. Due to falling slightly short of their expectations, the stock managed to drop 6% in after-hours trading. Articles from news sources such as CNBC have already started to downgrade the stock calling it a “demand issue”. The issue lies in production and delivery timing logistics. There were enough orders placed to shatter the expectations, however they could not keep up with the demand and only fell short by a few thousand cars. Despite all of the negativity, this is still immense progress and further demonstrates the company’s domination of the electric vehicle sector.

  • October 03, 2019 3:06 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    The pen may indeed be mightier than the sword, but this past week in Long Island, the keyboard has shown to best them both.

    On September 18, an article with the favorable title of Long Island leads the state in electric vehicle use, report says was published in Newsday, a major Long Island newspaper, which caught the attention of New York City TOCNYS member Stephanie D.

    In response to the article, on Sept. 22 there was a letter to the editor from a Kona EV owner about the dearth of public fast charging. It applied to his vehicle, but implied that there was a lack of fast charging IN GENERAL, which Stephanie knew to not be the case, especially for Teslas. As it turns out Teslas, comprising 89% of nearly 5,000 purely electric vehicles registered in Nassau and Suffolk counties, enjoy 4 Superchargers on Long Island - far more than is available to the non-Tesla EVs.

    Being a volunteer for the Sierra Club, leading a team of other volunteers who write and submit letters to the editor of newspapers around New York State, Stephanie knew an opportunity when it appeared. This was a chance to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by promoting EVs - where the goals of the Sierra Club’s campaign fighting climate change overlaps with the goals of the TOCNYS.

    Armed with the data from NYSERDA’s wonderful online Electric Vehicle Registration Map, she drafted a response to the aforementioned letter to the editor and partnered with Long Island resident Asad N. to submit it. After a brief editing process Newsday accepted the submission and it was published on September 30! Here is the link to that letter.*


    As a testimony to the efficacy of letter writing, several Long Island Tesla owners have since become TOCNYS members, citing Stephanie and Asad’s letter as the direct source.

    If you are interested in writing for the cause of EVs, Tesla, and TOCNYS, please send an email to we'll find you a place on the front lines!

    * Due to a paywall, it’s possible that the letter won’t be easily available to read, so here it is in image form:

  • October 03, 2019 9:57 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    It’s a safe bet that your typical Tesla owner would never part with Supercharging.

    Never mind it being abundant and convenient; it’s downright ingenious.

    Just consider each pedestal’s elegant no-user-interface user interface: no complicated screens, no mandatory buttons, and all the payment transactions happen behind the scenes. With all of that minimalist amenity in mind, read on.

    First, though, let’s give a round of applause to TOCNYS President Patrick Ho for offering to lend out the CHAdeMO adapter in question, bookable here.

    TL;DR, the adapter (valued at $450—if you can find one in stock!) is a leftover from his otherwise $15.94 trip to and from Winnipeg this summer.

    Also, if you need a primer on CHAdeMO or charging in general, please read the handy article that TOCNYS Manager Joe Moore references here.

    Back to the topic of ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on this downright oddity of an adapter.

    You’ve seen a geoduck, right? The not-so-pretty burrowing mollusc (Panopea abrupta) that can live to be over 150 years old? Well, 150 years happens to be the break-even point for this pricey adapter. . . .

    Sorry, I take that back! The adapter just looks like a geoduck.

    Which is to say it’s a beast of an electrical product—hefty, floppy, and generally unwieldy—especially versus the compact J1772 adapter or even the Euro CCS adapter for Model S and Model X.

    It gets worse.

    The weight of the adapter is small potatoes compared to the CHAdeMO “nozzle” (connector) and cable. It defies logic that a 62.5kW-rated setup in the USA (50kW max in use with the adapter) has to be several times heavier than the 150kW or 250kW Supercharger cable + connector combo. Conceivably too chunky for a compact adult or kid to clean and jerk up to the charge port.

    Okay, we know it’s pricey and clunky, but is the sum of its parts worth it?

    In Patrick’s case it actually was.

    Given the state of DC fast charging in 2019, with the Supercharger network still evolving and Electrify Canada not even off the ground at the time, the Winnipeg trip counted on CHAdeMO and Level-2 access. At the destination, though, one of the planned CHAdeMO stops was foiled by an out-of-order charging station.

    All the more reason to plan for the worst, and build in redundancy if that’s ever possible. Fortunately a fee-based “Flo” CHAdeMO station saved the day.

    Or saved a day, as it were.

    In my case, it is not about a road trip, but instead a typical week in the life of a Model 3 LR RWD owner without home or work charging.

    That’s right, I still make a go of it without the luxury of topping off as you would with a cell phone every night. All thanks to a public charging routine that is plenty tenable.

    Until borrowing the adapter, that meant mainly Level-2 charging a few times a week, at destinations where I already spend time or else can hoof it to a meeting, café, etc. Supercharging picks up the slack only about one in eight to ten charges—after longer trips, mostly, or else if I get down to needing more than two or three hours of Level-2 charging. I like to say that range anxiety kicks in when I’m down to 200 miles of range . . . which just means I have no range anxiety.

    That said, my experience with the adapter seems to echo Patrick’s.

    Echo Patrick’s? Yes, I still rely on Level-2 and Supercharging for the bulk of my needs, and when I tried CHAdeMO, half the time there was a major issue.

    My first attempt at this new-to-me Fast DC charging was on the way back home to the Buffalo area from picking up (and I use the term lightly) the CHAdeMO adapter in Rochester. I called up on the in-car browser to find that the sole installation there happens to be across from the airport, at RG&E, and still suspiciously states “Coming Soon.”

    Already, that was false. There is a Chargepoint Express pedestal there, as well as another multistandard unit right beside it. Maybe it pays to read the fine print, though, because the CHAdeMO website does convey that only one station is for public use. Though if you just show up there, that isn’t apparent. Devoid of any labeling, it is a crapshoot and entirely up to the end user to find out which of the two wide-open stations is supposed to be free and open to the public.

    Still, not too tough—it's a 50/50 chance, right?!

    Surprise, surprise: both towering pedestals were on the fritz. I tried in vain to activate the touted free charging, just to say I did it, but no dice. At times like this you wish that Chargepoint support could diagnose and resolve the problem remotely, in a snap. Nope. I can’t recall that being the case, ever, and this call to their toll-free number was no exception.

    A cryptic error message stayed on one pedestal’s screen, and an equally user-unfriendly notice scrolled across the other pedestal’s screen (something about “hours of operation,” even though the website states 24). I left disappointed and wondering how tough it is for the electric company to provide a minimal quality of service from that level of infrastructure.

    It certainly looked impressive! That was about all it had going for it.

    Strike two happened at the relatively new Electrify America setup in Cheektowaga, just east of Buffalo, in the lot of a fresh and clean Wal-Mart. (Take that with a Supercenter-sized grain of salt!) The welcoming committee of gulls going after bags of fast food littered in front of the station was an omen for the quality of experience at that upcoming charging session, including another desperation call to an 800 number.

    Picture a different brand of pedestal (Efacec) but with even more heft built into the handle and cable, to the point it feels like 20+ lbs. Throw in a large LCD that is not a touchscreen, but instead studded with vintage ATM-style stainless steel buttons below the screen’s bottom border.

    But wait, there’s more! A puny, pack-of-cards-sized card reader with its own microscopic typefaces on a color LCD. That one was apparently touch sensitive. In sum, the most cockamamie user interface I had ever seen on an EVSE. Station switchover to the Superchargeresque “Plug & Charge” standard (ISO 15118) can’t happen fast enough.

    CCS/CHAdeMO multistandard charging station, Cheektowaga • Photo by JPW 9/20/2019

    I still had hope, since these same stations were recently overhauled both with hardware and software in a marathon multi-day effort by an entire team of out-of-state technicians. Word has it that their jobs were on the line to get these fussy EA stations active in time to support the debut of the Porsche Taycan this past September 4. A batch of those cars up from their Georgia HQ allegedly used EA chargers to get a DC fix before heading to the official reveal ceremony taking place in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in sync with global events in Germany and China.

    Fat chance! Maybe the CCS worked; who knows. No other EVs were there.

    Not even Porsches.

    I just know the first-time CHAdeMO attempt I was busy making kept running into an obscure loop of failed authorizations and never ended up initiating a charge session. Their phone support staff was more on the ball, luckily, and went through the process of rebooting the station remotely (twice!) before throwing in the towel and waiving the session fee so I could get past the card reader snafu.

    By then I had racked up 20+ minutes of cable wrangling that 20+ pounder plus the Tesla adapter in a strange sort of Simon Says/Hokey Pokey until the power clicked on, then finally I juiced up the car in the heat of the late summer sun. Imagine if all those minutes were in the middle of a winter storm. Or if security were a factor there, maybe later in the evening, whipping out your credit card over and over in the middle of a parking lot.

    The decision behind Tesla engineers to streamline the Supercharger experience to the hilt—even if the EA stations can use an app to pay, once you’ve deciphered the screens and buttons—speaks volumes.

    On the other hand, now imagine finding yet a third style of CHAdeMO station that is free and works.

    Be careful not to interpret this as too glowing of a commendation for NY State, after they began installing Fast DC charging along the Thruway via stations that at first did not support the most popular selling EV on the road (Model 3, and eventually Model Y). Superchargers or even destination charging are yet to be seen on the Thruway proper, and sadly may never appear.

    Their CCS/CHAdeMO stations now do allow Model 3 charging since Tesla released an update over the summer to support CHAdeMO using the adapter.

    Yes, fortunately it does work, and is free for now, at least. A card reader is built into the pedestal.

    The unit I have used a pair of times is located in the new Welcome Center on Grand Island. The building itself is a monumental piece of construction, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s works. Even its restrooms look like a million bucks. Among the bank of three BTC brand CCS/CHAdeMO stations, you have a comparatively spartan LCD (with discrete buttons, despite being a touchscreen—go figure) and connectors that weigh about as much as the Chargepoint ones.

    CCS/CHAdeMO multistandard charging station, Grand Island • Photo by JPW 9/27/2019

    The value proposition for me, as someone who cannot charge at home/work, is probably location, location, location. The Welcome Center is on a direct vector to and from The Falls and Canada, and happens to be that much closer to many of the northern destinations I tend to visit. Contrast that with the present Supercharger at the eastern edge of Buffalo/Niagara’s metro area. Thanks to relatively quick travel times at off-peak hours, and the fact that the Welcome Center is a well-lit, 24/7 facility with Wi-Fi and vending machines (when they work, that is—probably made by the same companies as the RG&E and EA stations), not even the dollar bridge toll spoils this apex charging scenario. It’s even less when using the E-ZPass Green Pass for which all Teslas qualify.

    By now you probably noticed I didn’t mention charge rates and maximum power at these stations. My rationale is the common “Your Mileage May Vary,” along with the usual state of charge of my battery being over 50%. There is no easy way for me to measure peak CHAdeMO performance without a more depleted battery, only I did notice it once at 47.2kW before taper.

    CCS/CHAdeMO multistandard charging station, Grand Island • Photo by JPW 9/19/2019

    Respectable enough. Granted, nothing can top the standard 150kW Superchargers, let alone the new 250kW ones. But when your SoC is in the ballpark of attaining a 90% target in the time it takes to visit a million-dollar restroom and also check your e-mail, that is a win in my book.

    Bottom line, ‘yes’ or ’no’? If you’ve got it (a CHAdeMO adapter), flaunt it!

    Sure, it will peeve you about half of the time, and remind you it’s a workout for your bicep all the time, but enjoy this weird, on-the-verge-of-codependent privilege while the CHAdeMO standard still exists. Rumor has it that CCS will force CHAdeMO into being the first Fast DC player to fall, though it still makes a nice pinch hitter when Level-2 options and Superchargers are both no-shows where you happen to be.

  • September 30, 2019 3:35 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Nazareth College students filing out of their classes were met with a lively scene as the Sustainability Expo took over the Clocktower Quad last Tuesday. From vendors to food samples, sustainable products were spread out in every direction and at the center of it all were, of course, the EVs!

    TOCNYS members teamed up to bring 3 of the most popular EVs to help give the students a taste of what sustainable transportation is like. Brian and Sheri L brought their 2015 Model S, allowing the students to have their picture taken in the driver’s seat and giving them something to work toward owning in the future.

    Sheri continues, “Brian and I answered many questions about range and charging options, as well as pricing, often referring the students over to Rich and his more affordable M3, with its newer tech than our 2015 MS. Some wanted to hear the music at volume and the ability to voice command their favorite tunes. I demonstrated summons at one point, much to the enjoyment of the students. All in all it was a pleasant experience and a lovely day.”

    Rich S, always the consummate educator, with his red Model 3 fielded many questions, remarking that it was a “great chance to do 'early imprinting for later action' with 15 very interested college kids and some adults.”

    Finally Ted K. left the Model 3 in his garage and brought his Chevy Bolt (full battery EV) instead. He noted that he made the right choice as some students lamented that “the Teslas wouldn't be in their reach for some time.”

    Hopefully that’s not true; in that they’re both able to make lots of money AND Teslas become even more affordable going forward. Either way, seeds were sown in the next generation of drivers that will hopefully result in a more sustainable (and fun) future for us all!

    To fill in some more details of the event student organizer Matt C. said there were around 300 attendees, both students and faculty, there was good feedback all around, and overall the event produced zero waste. He and his fellow students are already planning for a similar event around Earth Day 2020, in which TOCNYS members might also have the chance to participate!

    Special thanks to organizer Matt C. and our TOCNYS members for their selflessness and enthusiasm!

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