Video: Tesla Model S Battery Charging, Care and Maintenance

FEB 23 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 10

As we’ve reported previously, Tesla Model S owner and constant YouTube video uploader Kman Auto claims his Model S shows no signs of battery degradation after 20,500 miles.

Model S Battery Care Presented by The K-Man

Model S Battery Care Presented by The K-Man

If true, then we think Kman’s Model S is faring better than the norm.

Here, Kman Auto tries to explains how he “cares” for the battery in his Model S.

As the video description reads:

“In this edition of Tesla Explained, I attempt to touch on the best charging practices and battery care.”

Is there some magical way to coax the most life out of a battery pack?

Or is Kman’s Model S simply too young/fresh to be showing signs of battery degradation at this point in time?

Categories: Charging, Tesla

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10 Comments on "Video: Tesla Model S Battery Charging, Care and Maintenance"

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John F

His Tesla is in Wisconsin where the cold temperature slows the battery aging chemistry. It would be interesting to get a battery story from an Arizona Tesla driver with similar driving habits. If chemical rates of reaction double for every 10 degrees C, all battery vehicles in the north should enjoy much longer life than those in the south. Could it be 5 times longer life? I don’t know how thermal management comes into play here.

DocDragon

Good point!

While having my Model S in the cold Wisconsin Climate, the cooler temps do help on one end of the spectrum, we do also have extreme cold. Charging a Lithium battery at temps below freezing, actually causes Electroplating of the battery’s anode, causing permanent loss of capacity. Which is why the battery has a pack heater, and disabled regen when the battery is below a certain temp. Though, unless the car is pre-heated, it does take a pack heater quite some time to bring the pack up to full temp to get most of your regen back (about 30 minutes to get 30kW regen). Problem being, is that the battery also gets stressed more at the colder temps. While not quite accurate, a good rough example is trying to start a internal combustion engine when it is very cold out. It requires more power from the battery to do the same thing. The thermal management of the Model S is designed to keep the pack below the 113*F (above that can cause cell damage as well), so these heat issues should not cause as many issues down south, as say, the Nissan Leaf has had. The leaf ONLY has a… Read more »
John F

You are saying the Tesla thermal management keeps the battery below 45 degrees C. If heaters keep the charging temperature above 5 C, the range of temperatures is between 5 and 45 or 40 degrees C. At the limits, this would allow for factor of 16 difference in the temperature rates of reaction for some of the battery aging chemistry. Using the limits would not be reasonable, so with no data to back it up, I could guess 5 times better battery life for a northern car compared to a southern car. The point is, your 7 months of vehicle operation in a cold climate could be compared to 1 or 2 months in the south. That is why it would be interesting to get info on an Arizona Tesla.

Eventually, BEVs will get to the end of their useful battery life. We should see a pattern where cars get some average life. However, northern cars might get a few more years, or southern cars a few years less. People will want to know this when deciding to buy both new and used BEVs.

DocDragon
Nice video presentation, but there are just a few details in his explanation of battery balancing that make me cringe. Generally, the lowest voltage that a lithium battery should have is 2.9V — unless Tesla’s “proprietary” battery chemistry is so completely different. If you overdischarge a battery cell, it will NOT catch fire or explode. This happens only if you overcharge it — and even then, a battery cell usually does not “explode” but will go up violently in flames. To use a simplified explanation, overdischarging a battery is bad for the battery’s life because the (positively charged) lithium ions would supposedly *permanently* attach themselves to the cathode (negative side of the battery), and therefore, the battery cannot be fully recharged anymore since there are less Li-ons in the electrolyte (the medium in which the Li-ions would travel) to go back to the anode (positive end of the battery) during the recharging process to build up the voltage differential. This is how you lose capacity and voltage. Also, balancing a battery *pack* does not simply imply that when *one* battery *cell* has reached its full voltage (4.2V), the entire charging process would be cut off! That’s what “balancing” is for:… Read more »

Hello, I am sorry if I was not as clear as I could have been in my presentation. I do the best I can, and can’t always organize my thoughts.

As for the lowest voltage, yes, 2.9 is the lowest voltage you really should ever have. When you go below that, you do get major capacity loss. In my experience, for battery health, about 3.2v is usually considered “dead” or “empty”.

Correct, over-discharging a lithium ion battery will not cause it to catch fire or explode (Completely SAFELY discharging a lithium cell is highly recommended before disposal to reduce the chances of shorting the cell which may cause a fire).

I think you mis-understood what I said about balancing. A un-balanced pack, will cut off charging or discharging, when the lowest brick of cells reaches it’s minimum low or maximum high voltages (Dead of Full). The purpose of balancing would equalize all the cells in the pack so each would read the same voltage. I think you mis-heard and heard it backwards from the video.
Cheers!

Mikael

K-Man has been making up things in his videos from pure mistakes to outright lying and decieving. Why do you even bother showing his videos here?

Just take it down and ban his videos from this excellent site.

Could you be kind enough to tell me what I have been outright lying about? As for mistakes, everyone makes mistakes. So I am sorry if I used the wrong term here and there, or mistakenly said something, or not always have 100% accurate information. I never “outright lie”. I simply provide as much information as I can to the best of my ability, as well as help as many people as I can. If you are that dis-satisfied with my videos, please discontinue watching them, and maybe start making your own. I do the best I can with what little resources I have.

Bill Howland
One lie was claiming the wind chill was -58 degrees fahrenheit while he was outside of a garage. He also had no frost in his breath (he claimed the sensible temperature was -30F. When the camera panned to the houses or an ‘out of service’ Continental that wouldn’t start because supposedly it was too cold, that was an indication that the continental’s heater was not running. NO frost anywhere, not on the house windows nor on the continental’s windows. He said he was freezing his nuts off. In true cold weather, that would not be a problem. In -30 degree weather, and exposed face would cause breathing to be painful, even through the nose. So that’s lie #1, a great fairy tale. Lie #2 was where he stated supercharger cables remain stone cold at 330 amps going through them. Unless superconducting (I’m joking) there will be heat coming from the cable. I would hope what he spends an inordinate amount of time to get to the point, is nothing out of the ordinary. By careful driving, I can still get the listed 244 miles out of my 2 3/4 year old Roadster with 31,000 miles on it. I’ve lost some… Read more »

All I can say is, look at the date the video was uploaded, then go back and check Wisconsin Dells, WI weather records. End of story.

The supercharger cables do remain cold to the touch. I have not used a infrared thermometer, but by simple touch, no noticeable temperature increase accept at the exact point where the cable connects to the car, which gets slightly warm.