2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: HPWC Default Charge Rate 80 Amps Again

December 06, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

Since the April-May timeframe all Tesla Model S sedans like ours have been operating under firmware restrictions that dialed back the default charging rate of Tesla's HPWC (High Power Wall Connector) to 60 amps instead of the 80 amps they were designed to deliver.

This was done because fuses were popping left and right inside the early HPWCs. Tesla sent out the charging restriction in one of their periodic over-the-air firmware updates as a temporary fix while they worked out a hardware solution.

All of this went down without a recall because the fault was not onboard the car itself. And a large number of Model S owners were oblivious because they do not own or use a Tesla HPWC for charging.

Because ours was one of many HPWCs affected, the 60-amp default remained in effect even after our replacement unit with uprated fuses was installed. We've been able to charge at 80 amps, but only after manually punching up the charge rate to 80 amps after first pushing past an "Are you sure?" screen each and every time.

Until last week.

2013 Tesla Model S

Per my usual routine I ducked inside our Tesla Model S after first plugging-in to up the charge rate to 80 amps. But I was greeted with the above screen instead. It would seem that 80 amps is the HPWC default once more. I no longer have to manually access it as a "custom setting" by tapping the up-arrow 20 times. Huzzah!

I swear it wasn't like that the week before Brent drove the Model S to Fresno for a spell. I can't pin down the precise date because the update must've been received by our car while it was in his hands. And he wouldn't have noticed because he was charging via the NEMA 14-50 socket he happens to have in his garage.

Anyway, it's quite a relief to finally have our HPWC working at full song. Now we just plug in and walk away, which is what we expected all along.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 12,702 miles

Most Recommended Comments

By kirkhilles
on 12/06/13
11:15 AM PST

Cool. It really is neat how things like this can be adjusted remotely by Tesla as a workaround and then fixed without having to take your car once into the Dealership. It also shows, however, what happens when you're an early adopter. 5-10 years from now, these types of issue will (hopefully) be a thing of the past.

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