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Old 02-21-2019, 01:49 PM   #1
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Tesla as a toad

So I was thinking siting here in camp thinking about toads... I wonder how hard it would be to make a wireless brake controller to a Tesla (or any all electric car for that matter) to control the regerative braking as the roads brakes wile in transit. This would charge the main battery wile on the road and maybe tweak the programming to run just the brakes/charging mechanism on a very low setting so charge on flat land. What do you you guys think?
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:02 PM   #2
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I'd think it is possible, if you have the will and skill. I can think of many off the shelf packages for the remote functions. It's the interface at the Tesla that would be the issue. How interested would they be to let someone have their schematics or programming information? You could probably get to all the necessary connections and sensors externally, but you need to know what they are, where they are, their specs, and interface criterion.

My brother owned a Toyota Hybrid and after looking at that thing, how it was built, and the limited access to information, I backed way off because I didn't want to start on a long term project like what he had in mind. I suppressed much of the memory too, I no longer remember what he wanted to do. I just remember spending hours pouring though online docs trying to find information.

There is a lot of DIY info that electric car folks have gathered. You might start with a google search about that.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:14 PM   #3
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Can you flat tow a Tesla?
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:18 PM   #4
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Can you flat tow a Tesla?
Not at this point. I did look into a model X but it's not capable. From what I have read is that there is a sensor in the drivers seat and steering wheel that need to sense a human to operate.

That's not to say that an update may not allow a tow mode. It would be easy to do and maybe a charge setting that helps charge while towing....
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:26 PM   #5
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We can put a Tesla in space but we can't tow one
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:28 PM   #6
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Not at this point. I did look into a model X but it's not capable. From what I have read is that there is a sensor in the drivers seat and steering wheel that need to sense a human to operate.

That's not to say that an update may not allow a tow mode. It would be easy to do and maybe a charge setting that helps charge while towing....


That’s kinda what I was thinking, get to where your going and the car is fully charged
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:30 PM   #7
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It would be convenient, having a fully charged ev when you get to your campsite, but to recharge those batteries, your coach is going to have to work a lot harder to overcome the extra drag. Just using regenerative braking on your ev instead of regular brakes, when slowing down, would help recharge, and not put any extra load on your coach.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:33 PM   #8
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:04 PM   #9
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I can’t speak for Tesla but our Leaf (1st generation) regens at over 30 KW. So in the case of our car in less than hour assuming an empty battery within less than an hour the battery would be full. I believe most newer EV’s regen at twice the rate of our car.

Probably just easier to run an umbilical from the generator and run the genny while driving. Or just charge up at a commercial site or even overnight at the campground (with permission).

We tow an EV as a Toad. Charging opportunities have not been a problem.
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:12 PM   #10
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How much extra fuel would you burn with the resistance of the regenerative "braking"?


My thoughts were more at a like a 5% rate not much, but enough.
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:36 PM   #11
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I can’t speak for Tesla but our Leaf (1st generation) regens at over 30 KW. So in the case of our car in less than hour assuming an empty battery within less than an hour the battery would be full. I believe most newer EV’s regen at twice the rate of our car.

Probably just easier to run an umbilical from the generator and run the genny while driving. Or just charge up at a commercial site or even overnight at the campground (with permission).

We tow an EV as a Toad. Charging opportunities have not been a problem.
Are you saying that when you apply the brakes [regeneration], you are feeding 30 kw back into the batteries? Is this foot to the floor braking, or just slowing down braking? I would think it would be very hard to measure and say you could recharge your batteries with one hour of brake use.
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:46 PM   #12
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Are you say that when you apply the brakes [regeneration], you are feeding 30 kw back into the batteries? Is this foot to the floor braking, or just slowing down braking? I would think it would be very hard to measure.
Well, there is only so much regen created. Wether your foot is to the floor or just “slowing down” with reasonable pedal pressure doesn’t change the regen. Your brake pedal works with the controller to modulate how much is friction braking and how much is regen. Factors such as temperature of the battery, how full the battery is etc all affect the regen.

Measuring it is easy as one of the displays on the centre console displays regen and it is graticuled in kilowatts. If it would help I can have my wife take a video of the display and send it to you. Kinda cool. You can see how much the HVAC is drawing, other systems etc. How much range you lose if using HVAC etc. Our other EV (smart ED convertible) has less sophisticated instrumentation but it still shows regen well.

Cheers.
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:59 PM   #13
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Well, there is only so much regen created. Wether your foot is to the floor or just “slowing down” with reasonable pedal pressure doesn’t change the regen. Your brake pedal works with the controller to modulate how much is friction braking and how much is regen. Factors such as temperature of the battery, how full the battery is etc all affect the regen.

Measuring it is easy as one of the displays on the centre console displays regen and it is graticuled in kilowatts. If it would help I can have my wife take a video of the display and send it to you. Kinda cool. You can see how much the HVAC is drawing, other systems etc. How much range you lose if using HVAC etc. Our other EV (smart ED convertible) has less sophisticated instrumentation but it still shows regen well.

Cheers.
Can you adjust the friction to regen. ratio?
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:13 PM   #14
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Can you adjust the friction to regen. ratio?
Nope. Well, sort of. I’m on shakey ground here. You can select two different levels of Regen. Eco or normal. The idea is that you use a more aggressive level in the city. The new Leafs are VERY AGGRESIVE and will literally bring the vehicle to a stop without using the brake pedal. (They call it “e-pedal”). But the controller still protects the battery. So, if the battery is a 100 percent full, there is no regen...because there is no place to put the power. Or if the battery is very cold the regen is limited. I think it limits it if it is really hot as well but I have never been in that position. Arizona guys can chime in there.

Most EV’s work the same but software plays a big roll.

I suck at explaining this stuff. Hope it makes sense. We have been driving EV’s for about four years but still learn new stuff all the time. My wife wants to trade in her little convertible smart for a sedan or hatchback later this year or next year so she is looking at a Tesla Model 3 or the new Leaf E-plus coming out this spring. I’m sure the technology will have changed a lot in 5 years. Can’t wait.
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