With freshly mounted 265/40ZR18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires mounted to a new set of 18x9.5" APEX EC-7s, it was time to look past the blown out sidewall from the last trip to Thunderhill. Though there were great temptations to make other modifications to the car, the wheel/tire combo was the only change. On this trip to the track we loaded up the freshly purchased CCS1 adapter to make charging far easier.
To those unfamiliar with the state of EV charging adapters you might be asking what a CCS1 adapter is. There are four primary EV charging connector types that are prevalent in North America: CCS1, CCS2, ChaDeMO, and Tesla's proprietary plug. The most commonly used is the proprietary Tesla connector which is the only current option to charge from Tesla Superchargers across the country. This is fantastic if you make use of the Supercharging network and own a Tesla. This is somewhat unfortunate if you are attempting to utilize DC Fast Charging from the likes of Electrify America or EVGo just outside of Thunderhill Raceway. I had previously rented a ChaDeMO adapter (1036392-10-D) that Tesla used to sell in its store from a local Model X owner, but knowing I would need this part frequently, the adapter's sheer size and weight (could be used for arm strength training), as well as the price gouging on eBay for a used unit (some listed for $10k+), I sought to find another solution.
CCS stands for Combined Charging Standard, a standard agreed upon by 7 automakers excluding Tesla. Outside of North America, Tesla has started to equip some vehicles with CCS2 charge ports from the factory. This is a fantastic move as European adoption of EVs has increased at a much higher rate, as has the general charging infrastructure. While CCS2 is the standard in Europe, CCS1 is the standard in North America, South Korea, and at one point Taiwan as well. In fact, Tesla makes a Tesla to CCS1 adapter for the South Korean market. Therein lies the trick to charging a Tesla at a North American CCS charger. Get one from Korea!
You will, however, need to make sure of two things.
- Your vehicle supports CCS charging.
- You have a means of importing the Tesla CCS Combo 1 Adapter from South Korea.
The Emotive 2022 Model 3 Performance shop car displays clearly in the "Additional vehicle information" in the "Software" menu of the central Media Control Unit that it supports CCS charging. If your Model 3 does not currently support CCS, a retrofit kit is available from Tesla to the tune of about $500 plus installation.
CCS Support Screen
To import the adapter from South Korea, there are two methods. The first is to find a mail forwarding service. Due to the global phenomenon that is the K-pop group BTS, services to receive packages in South Korea and forward them to the U.S. are quite common. This was the first method I attempted, but it failed rather quickly. I signed up for a mailbox at Delivered Korea which gave me a mailing address at an office building in the city of Busan. Success! I then navigated to the South Korean Tesla site. At this point I tried at least 5 different credit cards, all of which were rejected by the system. A conversation with a representative at one of my banks revealed that they had no sign of the payment attempting to be processed. If you have friends, relatives, or relatives of friends in South Korea you might have an easier time. They can act as your mail forwarder and likely spot you the money with a compatible domestic payment method.
The second method is to purchase your CCS adapter from a proxy service such as Harumio. After placing an order through the Harumio website, they will follow up asking for your Tesla account login. They will then login to your account, pay for the part with their funds and have it delivered to their warehouse in South Korea, and DHL the adapter to your doorstep in North America. Yes, giving someone else your Tesla username and password is as sketchy as it sounds. This, however, is a necessary step for them to enter all of the details appropriately. I put in a dummy payment card in to my account before I handed the credentials over to them and changed my password as soon as I received a confirmation that the part was ordered. The entire process took less than two weeks and I was ready to rock and roll.
Tesla 1656565-10-A CCS Combo 1 Adapter
You will see here that Tesla part number 1656565-10-A for the CCS Combo 1 Adapter is made on Earth by Humans in Taiwan (motherland of my mother). The adapter worked brilliantly at the Electrify America charging station in the morning. And then again at the EVGo charging station across the freeway that I used when all of the Electrify America spots were full at lunch time. As a side note, look for very confused looks from non-Tesla EV owners as you charge at a non-Supercharger. The racing numbers on the side will also throw them for a loop.
Double Thunder All The Way
If you happened to be at the same event you will know that this post is long overdue. The OnGrid for Charity Pre-Party took place on Memorial Day and featured track time on both Thunderhill East and West. Both tracks. One day. This meant 20 minute breaks between some sessions and 40 minute breaks for others. This is quite possibly the worst test of track time for a modern production EV without a DC fast charger on site. Between a red flagged session and charging I managed to make use of 7 out of the 10 available sessions. Three on the West Course and Four on the East Course.
This was my first track day on the West Course that did not involve some configuration of the 5-Mile Thunderschleife combined West and East tracks. I had yet to experience why Speed SF and Fast Sideways driving coach Joe McGuigan says "West is Best" until this event. And now I get it. It is a technical masterpiece and the Model 3's massive torque from a dig makes it an ideal track for the platform to dominate Time Attack events. Despite taking a terrible line all day through Turn 1 I managed to turn a 1:31.65 on West with the Garmin Catalyst showing a 1:30.98 optimal. Knowing that local hot shoe Bennet Kao has laid down a 1:21.10, there is certainly a lot of time on the table.
Dealing with traffic was a challenge all day as you can tell from the interesting sounds coming from the Tesla in my East PB video. My best of the day with an obviously compromised Turn 2 was a 2:11.14 with a 2:09.23 optimal. The aforementioned Bennet Kao has run the same configuration in 1:58.548.
I could not help but notice that these are the minimum times for the Slow Advanced run group with OnGrid. This means that these times were slow but there seems to be some consistency in my driving and these numbers. And I am not at all disappointed by the times with factory alignment, stock suspension, half charge, and mediocrely sticky tires. Can I make up the 10 seconds to get close to Model 3 Performance track record levels? I am dying to find out.
The biggest disappointment of the day was meeting power cut on a flyer of a lap. While I did not experience this on the West Course, this happened nearly every session on the East Course consistently in the 8 to 10 minute range. I admittedly am not breaking any new ground here as this characteristic is well known to the Tesla Track community, however, it was very disappointing to finally experience this myself. As a NB-chassis Miata owner, this is not at all a knock on the Miata. It does remind me of a pro driving coach telling me one time that I could possibly give the car more gas coming out of a turn. I explained to him that I had the accelerator pinned to the floor to which he replied, "oh right, Miata".
There are a number of solutions out there including microcontrollers and Drive Unit Oil Coolers. Given the minimal development of Project Emotiv3 to this point, testing and exploring those solutions are quite a ways away. With a 10-session day, Miata Mode felt less defeating as this was an absolute marathon of track driving. On a 4-session day you might feel like you aren't getting your monies worth.
I had originally planned for this Thunderhill double header to be the last track day on stock suspension, but the best laid plans are laid to waste. Holley High Voltage was just around the corner and there was a $500 prize with my name on it. While the car is not technically 100% stock, in my eyes it is not at any level of track preparation. Brake fluid, brake pads, and a fresh set of 220tw tires do not make a "build". When I arrived at Holley High Voltage last weekend and asked for staff to class me for their Time Attack competition they replied "you are definitely stock". More on that in a future post. Until then, happy motoring!