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Elon Musk has mentioned that the use of Superchargers will be free for owners of ALL (future) Tesla EV models (S, X, Gen3, etc.)

I remember having heard him say that in one of his interview's.

But I just cannot remember which particular interview that was (must be several interviews actually).

Therefore I would like some help of you guys to find that particular interview in which we can actually hear him say that.

@Haeze

How many times a year renting a car would you not consider being ridiculous? How about once a month, meaning 12 times renting a car per year, would you consider that ridiculous or not?

Back to the balance between solar energy production and consumption. Every day more and more Model Ses are being delivered to customers. That means that more and more Model Ses will charge at the Supercharger locations. That means that more and more kWh's will have to be produced by the solar panels on top of the canopies. But the space on top of the canopies is limited. Therefore, I wonder how will Tesla Motors keep increasing the production of kWh's as time goes by? Will Solar City do that on other locations? Something will have to be done anyhow.

The SCs are made large and numerous enough to handle peak traffic (Fri & Sun pm). The rest of the week they generate and sell excess power.

To get a good picture about that, we would to make some calculations first.

Suppose that there are 200 Supercharger stations in the US. And all Supercharger stations have canopies with 120 solar panels on each canopy. Then we would have a total of 24,000 solar panels on the roofs of the canopies.

The question then would be: "How many kWh will they produce in a full year"? How about: 1 solar panel produces 250 kWh per year? That would make the total production in 1 year: 24,000 x 250 = 6,000,000 kWh = 6,000 mWh = 6 gWh.

Now, would that be correct (so far)?

I would like to wait with the calculation of the energy consumption part. We will save that for later.

So has anyone with a non-Supercharger M60 tried pulling into a Supercharger to see what happens when you plug in?

@Benz Each module will be more than its Watt rating in kWh. Meaning, a 250W module should produce about 270-300 kWh per year.

My own 8.1KW array already hit 9MWh and it was installed last December and I'm on the cloud-rich east-coast. Today is clear and cooler and should see 55 kWh in total. But it is a bell curve - peak output is under or close to 8KW during 11am-1:30pm.

So, my own 8KW array will produce about 11 MWh this year. Just multiply module wattage by 1.2(k) as a guesstimate for kWh produced per module. 250W = ~300kWh

An SC needs to be grid tied since the draw of a few cars will outpace the array and batteries. I just don't see batteries at an SC being viable until their prices drop dramatically. The solar aspect is good for CA since there are more incentives for businesses to install solar but in many other states, SCs do not have Solar at all. It's another reason Walmart stores in California have grabbed the solar bug and installed hundreds of MW of solar on top of their stores. They are using the government incentives to lower their electric bills - they surely don't need it but if money is being given out, why not grab it?

@bonaire

So, actually my calculation of 6 gWh per year is a little conservative. If we multiply that by 1.2 we get a total of 7.2 gWh per year.

The Superchargers will Always be grid tied. Elon Musk has already said that after about 2 to 3 years each Supercharger station will have a canopy with solar panels and a stationary battery pack. The total cost of a Supercharger station therefore is about \$300,000.

Now back to my calculation.

Suppose that every Tesla EV that visits a Supercharger station charges 50 kWh. How many times can a Tesla EV be charged with 7.2 gWh? 7,200,000 / 50 = 144,000 times.

If every Tesla EV charges ones a month (12 times in a year), than the production of 7.2 gWh is enough for 12,000 Tesla EV's.

In the second half of 2012 + in the first half of 2013 there have been sold 12,700 Model Ses in the US. OK, not all of them will have Supercharger capability. In Q3 2012 many more Model Ses have been sold in the US. So, I think that we already have passed this 12,000 figure of Tesla Model Ses with Supercharger capability.

My conclusion is that the solar panels on top of the canopies will not be enough. More solar power will have to be produced by Solar City. They shall have to invest in large solar power plants.

Elon Musk has said that they will put more energy in the grid with solar panels, than the their cars will consume from the Supercharger stations, right?

Estimate 100K times. There are about 15-20% charging losses along with temperature issues in hotter climates (the hotter it gets, the less electricity flows across wiring and the less output from a solar canopy).

Given that all the SCs would work just fine without solar or batteries - the real issue is are the solar canopies really cost-effective or truly a gimmick to incite green feelings.

Solar PV systems lose about 0.5% of their effective output per year and so that has to be part of the thought-process. If the canopies are somewhat flat (ie. 15% tilt or so) then they need occasional maintenance in the form of cleaning, especially in western states where less rain occurs.

The solar panels do not have to be directly at the SC location.

For Elon's statement to be accurate (driving on sunlight) then all Tesla Motors needs to do is have enough solar panels "somewhere" to completely offset the total SC consumption. I am sure with SolarCity that Tesla can come up with a formula to purchase the equivalent amount of solar energy that they need, then claim that via net metering that Tesla is putting X amount of solar kwh on the grid.

There will be token solar panels mounted on the SCs, for the positive PR image, but not nearly enough to actually power the system.

Just my opinion. The Zombie quote is not meant to be serious. Yeah, if the grid were down you might be able to charge one single Model S from the solar panels that are there, but there is no way that it will be charging at 300 mph.

"If every Tesla EV charges ones a month (12 times in a year),"
@Benz, this might be overstating it, depending on how things play out.

If I remember the fuzzy results from this poll of owners, 12 times a year seems high.
http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/results-poll-owners-how-often-wi...

@NKYTA

OK, no problem. Let's say: "If every Tesla EV charges ones in every 3 months (4 times in a year)". How about that? That is not overstating it, right?

Then we can easily multiply by 3. That would mean: If every Tesla EV charges ones in every 3 months (4 times in a year), than the production of 7.2 gWh is enough for 12,000 x 3 = 36,000 Tesla EV's. Sometime in 2014 (maybe in the summer) that number will be reached. Then what?

And now I will repeat my conclusion again:

My conclusion is that the solar panels on top of the canopies will not be enough. More solar power will have to be produced by Solar City. They shall have to invest in large solar power plants.

Elon Musk has said that they will put more energy in the grid with solar panels, than the their cars will consume from the Supercharger stations, right?

benz;
once not ones
The other factor to take into account is \$\$. With battery packs, the stations can time-shift and benefit from FIT.
And I think the frequency is too high. SCs are mostly used on weekend trips, and not everyone travels every weekend. And I estimate only about 70% of cars have SC capability.

@Brian

LOL, that is a funny mistake that I made. Thanks to you my English is getting better and better.

I am afraid that I do not completely understand what you exactly mean by: "The other factor to take into account is \$\$. With battery packs, the stations can time-shift and benefit from FIT."

SC might not replace all the power it uses, watt for watt. But if it can save solar power in batteries and sell it to the utility at peak periods (don't know what's contractually possible here), it could make a profit that way.

Or use the battery stack to "help" at high demand peaks, same result.

California is tying to figure out the future of the net metering and FIT. There will be a time down the road where the payback of solar will diminish as net metering turns into smart-meter based wholesale selling of generation value only. Wholesale rates go up later in the day's demand cycle.

There was also a WSJ article yeaterday called "a green car named desire" which really shows the imbalance of green fund misuse or "overabundance" in California.

@Brian

Compared to the total annual production of electricity by the solar panels on top of the canopies, those benefits are little. But ok, it can be a bit more. That does not really matter.

My point is (THE BOTTOM LINE) that there soon will be a day (sometime in 2014) as from which day the consumption of energy by the Model Ses at the Supercharger stations (on an annual basis) will be more than that total annual solar energy production by the solar panels on the top of the canopies (on an annual basis). And therefore, more solar energy production capacity will be required (as from that day), if Elon Musk wants to stick to the claim that more energy will be produced by solar and added to the grid than the Tesla EV's will consume in a year. That's my point.

I guess that we will have to wait to see what will happen and how this will develop in the next few years when (almost) all Supercharger stations will be ready and will be equiped with a stationary battery pack and a canopy with solar panels on it?

Benz: "Elon Musk wants to stick to the claim that more energy will be produced by solar and added to the grid than the Tesla EV's will consume in a year"

You mean from the Superchargers specifically. Not at their homes or offices or using public J1772 infrastructure, correct?

That's not really a good claim to make in general. He's saying that he needs to manage and monitor draw versus SC solar production and balance them out and then go back to the claim and resolve perception. By then, people will have forgotten the claim. But it sounded good at the time.

I would never claim that as if the SCs get busy in the evenings or cloudy days or just are very busy, SCTY will need to setup nearby "community solar farms" offsite from the SCs. It's "marketing altruistic" but seems unrealistic. When a car can draw up to 80 kWh in an hour (or more) from one SC socket and if the systems are used a lot then you need a lot of Solar. The SCs in my area (CT, DE) do not have any solar associated with them.

@bonaire

"You mean from the Superchargers specifically."

Yes, that is correct.

Elon Musk made that claim for the first time when he unveiled the Supercharger stations in September 2012. You can still watch the video on the Tesla Motors website.

I'm not quite sure why this solar panel thing is even an issue? Even if all of the power is not provided by solar, at least some of it is. Whether it is or it isn't doesn't really matter, does it?

I owned the S60 for 6 months now and didn't mind paying the \$2K for "supercharging". The real issue is living in NC, we have no SC in sight. The closest SC is in Newark which is 374 miles away. Other than the pictures, I never touched or saw what the SC look like. Heard the Californians in the forum complained about not enough SC in their neighborhood and all, I wish I can find just one in my neighborhood. I went to a Conference for the Labor Day weekend and on the way, I stopped by a Nissan dealer for charging and it was ridiculously slow and after 1 hour I gave up and decided to use the regular outlet for overnight charging. This is what I paid my \$2000 for so far and I wish Tesla can start charging \$2000 for the new S60 owners when the SC is available in their neighborhood, just a thought.

jandkw-building in North Carolina right now according to supercharger thread, so atleat you will have saved 500 instead of turning them on once they are ready.

In Q4 2013 you will see more Supercharger stations popping up in states along the US East Coast.

AR;
Yes, it matters to Solar City, which is paying for the electricity.

Stations without canopies will eventually get them. There's no panic; the costs are not yet significant. I doubt if the imbalance is more than a few \$00/station/day yet, at most.

Before 2020 most of all the Supercharger stations will be equiped with stationary battery packs and with canopies with solar panels on them.

Benz - why do they need batteries exactly?

(explain it in your own knowledge and not the one or two sentences Musk said) It really is not a prudent move to do batteries at the SC's. But it is a good marketing statement.

Elon Musk talked about it during the Conference Call of the Supercharger announcement in May, 2013. A stationary battery pack is one of the plans he has for the future functionality of Supercharger stations.

The battery packs are for the zombie apocalypse. With the grid cut off and non-uniform arrival of survivor-filled Model S's at the super charger, the solar power will need to be stored up locally while there's no one there to charge and then discharged from the batteries when there's lots of cars there (more than the panels could handle).