The noob (for newbie, or someone who does not know much about something) in the title is directed towards me. My hope is that this post will help others either learn how to charge their Model Ss or will enlighten others on the charging situation in Japan. I welcome any comments below to add to the discussion or make corrections.
The mess above is one corner of my garage. Our other car is a 2007 Honda CRV (I love that car, too.), and it has fit really well in the space we have. The Red Rocket is 43 cm longer than the CRV, so it's quite a squeeze. Anyway, back to the topic: There are pictures below from past posts of the high-powered wall connector (HPWC) when it came and when it was mounted on the wall. Look past the clutter in the picture above, and you can see it. I have the cable set so one big loop is enough to reach the car on the left. I plug it in every night that it is home. The HPWC is known as a destination charger, albeit a very good one, and every Model S bought in Japan gets one (you are responsible for installation; Tesla Motors Japan can suggest a company for you). Destination charging is used when the car is to be parked for several hours, for example overnight or on a leg of a journey where several hours of a layover are planned.
The screenshot above is from my app during a charge at home. The best numbers I've seen are: 16kW 199V 79A. I'll be using 73.5kW for the numbers for my car's battery. I drive a P85+, and the 85 means my battery's capacity is 85kW. However, to be safe in calculations, approximately 11.5kW are used by the car's system. Some of that capacity is held in reserve as a backup if you hit 0 km (I think you can drive another 25 km or so after 0, but you are risking damaging the battery after that reserve is used.) and the rest is held by the system, so the battery does not turn into a brick (AKA to brick, bricking).
Using those numbers, charging my car's battery from 0 to full would take 4 and a half hours on the max 16kW of my HPWC; that's why the HPWC is known as a destination charger. Just keep that in mind. What other car provides you with a full (or how ever much you need) tank of fuel in the morning when you hop in your car? It's sheer beauty...
Since my home solution is in place, let's take a look at some of the options out in the wild. Another kind of destination charger includes a cable and a fitting known as a J1772 connector; these chargers provide 200V of power, but very little aperage. J1772 connectors fit right into the right port on a Nissan Leaf or a plug-in Toyota Prius. The one pictured above is at a local Autobacs store. You can walk in and ask for a charge. Someone in the store will come out and unlock the connector, and you can plug in.
If you look in the glove box of your new Model S (there's a clever cut out in the back left side, just the right size for your adapter), you should find an adapter with a J1772 set up on one side and the Tesla adapter on the other. Slip the adapter on and plug into your car. When you're done shopping, tell the people inside again. There is a trick to getting your adapter out. There is a YouTube video or two, your online Tesla account will have instructions in Japanese, but I'll do my best here. Hit that big button on the J1772 to stop the charging, but don't pull. Hit it again, hold the Tesla adapter, and pull both out still connected. Hit the button a third time and take your adapter off the J1772. Put your adapter away.
Check out the power of the 200V J1772 charger. I had a bit less than 60% of a charge, and it would have taken 6 1/2 hours to get up to the 90% I had set. Autobacs is very, very nice to provide this free service, but with its maximum of a one-hour charge, it would be useful only in an extreme emergency, when your battery is almost empty, for example. One hour would give 4% of a charge to my car.
Again, the true use of a destination charger is when the car is left overnight somewhere. A couple of nights ago, I went up the road to Kikuchi one of the places in my part of the world known for hot springs. Since it was an overnight stay, the family looked for and found a place that provided charging: Kikuchi Grand Hotel. While Panasonic made the J1772 charger for Autobacs, the one used at the hotel was made by Toyota. The procedure was much the same. After we drove up and took our bags in, one of the workers pointed out the spot and started the charger for me. I slipped on the adapter and plugged into the Rocket.
This charger was installed 3 months ago; the Rocket was the fourth car to use it.
I checked in a few times during the charge. It finished around 9 pm. Very slow, but perfect for charging over a long period of time. In the morning, I used the app about 20 minutes before we left to warm up the car (which also warms up the batteries a bit, useful during the winter). There was no need to start the charger or tell management; the charger was still operating. This is a useful feature in the winter for the reason I mentioned. Thank you Kikuchi Grand Hotel and Toyota.
I don't know what the next class of chargers are called (as opposed to destination chargers), so any help appreciated in comments below.
In Japan, the next level of charger for Model Ss is known a CHAdeMO. These are designed to completely fill up a Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi, or Prius plug-in in 30 minutes or less. All these cars have much smaller battery capacity, so Model Ss take much more time. When you get your new car, look in the frunk or the trunk for a really long thingy (technical term); that's your CHAdeMO adapter. That adapter is going to be your lifeblood away from home and away from Superchargers (that's the point of this post for me; I'm nowhere near any Superchargers. Are you listening, Tesla Motors Japan?!)
The shot above is from Aso-Kumamoto Airport. There is one CHAdeMO charger near the main office in the parking lot. Handy dandy for adding some juice to your car while you wait to pick someone up or let them off for the long goodbye.
It was simple and easy to use. Take the CHAdeMO out of the holder, slip the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter on, and put it in your charge port. Come back to the CHAdeMO charger and hit Start. When you are done, just do the reverse.
The power output at the airport CHAdeMO is similar to the HPWC at home (although the numbers are quite different), but if you are spending more than 30 minutes or so, it can be worth the trouble.
Keeping with the parking theme, there is a parking lot near Tenjin in Fukuoka that offers free CHAdeMO charging for the price of parking. Parking is ¥200 an hour, and I was able to charge for one hour.
Again, not the fastest rate for CHAdeMO charging, but I was able to recover almost the amount of energy used to get to Fukuoka. We'll be using that parking lot again.
I wrote about the two CHAdeMO chargers at the Yamada service areas (SA) on the Oita highway. Well, after some information from the folks at Nexco West, the operators of highways in Western Japan, we have learned that free highway CHAdeMO charges are going away. Basically the rate for a decent CHAdeMO charge on the highways is going from ¥0 to ¥3,000 an hour. While these are decent chargers, with a rate of 40-44kW, ¥3,000 an hour is TOO MUCH MONEY! Please lower the rate for a charge. We as owners of EVs are doing our part, please do your part to help us use them.
Here is one of the latest CHAdeMO chargers to be installed; it is at Kita Kumamoto SA. I was able to pull out the charger and cable, hook up the CHAdeMO adapter, and plug in to the Rocket, but that was it.
The box on the right of the charger is the new controller for the system. You need to do one of two things to activate the charger: use a card (I believe it will be available from Nippon Charge Service (NCS) or type in a code. Applications for the NCS card start January 6th; I reckon a code is for those who are using some budget linked to Nexco West. We will know more after the 6th.
This post is wrapping up, but there are a couple more things to mention. In the U.S. and Europe (not sure about China, Hong Kong, or Australia), Model Ss come with a universal mobile charger (UMC). The UMC is designed to plug into a local power source such as a wall socket (100V-240V) or a socket designed for a business or clothes dryer. We cannot yet buy one from Tesla Motors Japan, but perhaps from what we have seen above, there may not be as much need.
I do want to point out that some signs will say EV point for charging, but the charger will look like the one above. You must have your own cable to use the above charge points. Rumor has it that you can buy one from Toyota or Nissan, then use your J1772 adapter for your Model S. Rumor also has it that those car dealers will not sell one to you unless you are also a customer. Rumor also has it that if you know someone who knows someone, OR if you go online, you can get your own cable. Please note that the charge point above is most definitely a destination charger, with the same output as the J1772 chargers above. I found this one at Hikarinomori in Kumamoto; unless you are staying for a long time, you will not get much power from it.
One more hopeful spot is that right next to the Panasonic 100V/200V charger above is a brand-spanking new CHAdeMO charger. I was not able to get close enough to it to see if there was a pay system connected to it, but it looks very similar to the free set up at Yamada SA. No word on when it will open, but it must be soon.
I hope this post sheds a bit of light on where we stand, at least in Western Japan. There are lots of options out there, but you need to do your homework. A bunch of Superchargers sure would help us out, Tesla Motors Japan. :-D