Portugal, part 3, using the local CHAdeMO chargers

You need to press 4 buttons. Two buttons to start the charging process. Another two buttons to finish the charge. The first two buttons are on the fast charger panel and with them you select CHAdeMO and Start. The other two buttons, one is the Tesla button on the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter, the other is the top button on the CHAdeMO plug (black in the old plugs, white in the new plugs) to disconnect it from the Tesla adapter. And you are good to go. You don’t even have the language barrier as a barrier per se, this step by step should be enough.

First things first: this step by step procedure works every single time. It has been working since I’m using my Tesla CHAdeMO adapter with the local CHAdeMO chargers, all of them, the old ones, the new ones, the single charge ones and the ones that provide DC and AC simultaneous charging. The following steps are only for the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter connected to the local fast chargers CHAdeMO connector.

This is a two parts procedure: the hardware part – connecting and disconnecting the plugs -, and the software part – selecting the charge. The hardware action happens in the beginning – connecting the car -, and in the end, releasing the car. The software action happens in the middle, initiating the charging process.

  1. Start by connecting the charger CHAdeMO plug to your Tesla CHAdeMO adapter. Confirm that it is really connected and it doesn’t desingage.
  2. Connect the Mennekes end of your Tesla CHAdeMO adapter to the car. Your Tesla will lock on the adapter.
  3. With these first two steps you disabled any timeout, once you set the charging the connectors are already in place, and the charger begins its charging process.
  4. Go to the control screen and present the Mobi.e card, it’s enough to old it in place until the charger starts to validate it.
  5. The screen now shows the three choice possibilities, press the top right button for CHAdeMO. This is your first button to press.
  6. The screen now shows another menu, just press again the top right button that says “Iniciar”, and the charger should start almost immediately charging. This is your second button to press.
  7. If the charger is not capable of simultaneous charging it will show all the time you are there the info on the charge: the elapsed time (mm:ss), the energy used (kW) and your battery level (%). If it’s a simultaneous enabled DC / AC charger it will present again the login screen so that someone else can use the Mennekes AC 43 kW plug.
  8. Charging time: it should be around 30 minutes. If no one else arrives during your 30 minutes you can go on with your charging needs. Out of courtesy and respect for the other users, after the 30 minutes if someone arrives and if she/he needs the CHAdeMO plug, politeness dictates that you should provide it.
  9. It goes without saying that you are free to walk away for the first 30 minutes, after that a “stay nearby the car” policy should be observed, in case someone in desperate need arrives.
  10. Ending your charging session is as simple as pressing a button: press the Tesla button on your Tesla CHAdeMO adapter, and keep it pressed until you hear that the car released your connector. This is your third button to press.
  11. With the button still pressed pull your Tesla CHAdeMO adapter from the car. Press the black button (older CHAdeMO plugs) or latch the white button (newer CHAdeMO plugs) and MAKE SURE you keep a firm control of the CHAdeMO plug, don’t let it hit the ground. This is your forth button to press.
  12. Tuck away your Tesla CHAdeMO adapter. Correctly place the CHAdeMO plug in its resting socket. Et bon voyage! It was a pleasure charging your Tesla 😉

For your convenience some photos illustrate the charging steps.

Older model, CCS & Mennekes on the left, CHAdeMO on the right
Connect the CHAdeMO plug to the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter, connect the Mennekes end to the car, you should hear the car locking on it. It’s a heavy combo: be gentle when connecting to the car and releasing it from your hands
Present the Mobi.e card by pressing it flat against the card screen area until it starts to validate it
“Verificando o cartão” = Verifying the card
Press the top right button for CHAdeMO
You have already connected the charger to your car, just press the upper right button “Iniciar”, Start

Edit: with the full post already written twice, WordPress crashed for the 2nd time… Several photos and their descriptions are gone. I’m a bit tired, really. I’ll catch with you later. … … … So this is later:

This is an example of a SOC State of Charge after 30 minutes, on a Model S. The charger will not stop and, provided there’s no one waiting, one can go on filling one’s charging needs
To finish your charging session just press the button on your Tesla CHAdeMO adapter, keep it pressed until you hear the car unlocking, pull the plug from the car with the button still pressed. This signals the charger that the session ended. Only after this step you should disconnect the CHAdeMO plug from the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter pressing on the black button (older plugs) or sliding the white button (newer plugs)
Charging with a newer version of the CHAdeMO plug. When disconnecting the CHAdeMO plug from your Tesla CHAdeMO adapter, MAKE SURE you keep a firm control of the CHAdeMO plug, don’t let it hit the ground
Several new chargers enable DC/AC charging at the same time

Portugal, part 2, charging around here

The “standard” charging method is with Mobi.e charging points: one card charges everywhere. This is the theory. In the real world: Mobi.e is still in its pilot phase. First: it’s still free. Second: the majority  of the charging points lack maintenance. Third: the reality is changing, as we speak, for the better.

Lately new 50 kW Mobi.e chargers have been installed all over Portugal. This is great news. All are compatible with the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter, you get 250 km/h charging rate, free for now. You can go from the North to the Algarve and at any given 50 to 100 km (region dependent) you can access a Mobi.e 50 kW charger, even some lidl supermarkets have them. The bad news: some of these new installations (not even 1 month old) already have maintenance issues. Not all, but some. Also good news: the majority of the new ones enable simultaneous charging DC vs AC. If a CHAdeMO or CCS is busy, one can use the Mennekes 43 kW, paired with the 22 kW dual charger it’s a blessing.

Apart from the 50 kW chargers, Mobi.e also provides access to 16 A or 32 A single phase, or to 32 A three phase (3.7 kW, 7 kW or 22 kW) Mennekes. From these the 22 kW are most appreciated, unfortunately they are not the majority. This is also changing, being updated and upgraded, but not fast enough. The lack of thinking with the future in mind made that the majority of the Mennekes chargers installed in the beginning are 16 A single phase, and with time most of them are vandalized or inoperative for lack of maintenance. Being free has its price. Again, with the pilot phase beginning to phase out (in a not known so ever eternal near future), officials state there will be updates and proper maintenance.

Apart from the almost omnipresence of the Mobi.e network, some shops, restaurants and shopping malls provide different plugs where to connect your AC charger: Schuko plugs, 5 pin red 11 kW, 5 pin red 22 kW. Also popular are the blue plugs 3 pin single phase 16 A 3.7 kW (some more rarely also have the 4 pin red 11 or 22 kW plug).

A vividly boosting happy reality is the Tesla Destination Chargers: it starts to take form and it’s invading the charging network landscape, with its 11 kW and 22 kW variants. Hotels, resorts and private businesses are embracing it.

Superchargers? Not yet. Promised since 2014, almost there in 2016, not yet as we speak. Burgos is the nearest one from the North. Eventually they will sprout locally.

The best information source for the charging points is electromaps.com or its sibling App. Don’t forget to apply a convenient filter to get the kW source you are looking for, or you’ll be visually invaded with painfully slow 2.3 kW or 3 kW plugs.

Thinking to stay at a hotel or at a Pousada? Investigate first if they provide charging. Phone in advance, ask to speak to the Manager or the Maintenance guy. And think big: if they offer you a Schuko ask if they have a swimming pool. Those water pumps for cleaning and filtering do need three phase 16 A 11 kW at least! Make them deserve your reservation and money. Ask. Think big.

At a parking mall, some let you charge while shopping

Portugal, part 1, how to get here

From France your best bet is Bayonne – Burgos. From Burgos Supercharger go to Parador de Salamanca, 5 charging points @ 22 kW, two of them are Tesla Destination Chargers, the other three are 5 pin red plugs @ 22 kW. They charge you 16€ for the charge, no time limit, it’s the garage night fee. From Salamanca you can go to Coimbra or to Covilhā / Fundāo. At Covilhā you can charge at Serra Shopping, plenty of 5 pin red plug 11 kW. It’s free, enjoy a meal while you charge. For the rest you can charge at thr 50 kW chargers, each with CHAdeMO / CCS / Mennekes 43 kW. These chargers are all compatible with the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter. Or you can use the Mennekes @ 11 kW, 16 kW (the new “high power”) or 22 kW if you have dual chargers. For the chargers you need a Mobi.e card (see follow up posts).

PCR Ponto de Carga Rapida, Fast Charging Point, you find where they are with Electromaps.com or the App
cartoes para carregamento 1~2
This is a Mobi.e card for charging in Portugal

Dual chargers

Have to love it, the 22 kW charging possibility: three phase 32 A. How about 24 kW? Even better! I’ve never seen it before, but it works! Check the proof in the photos.

247 V but it gets better, see next one
249 V, amazing!


You see it and the title says it all “Tesla just opened the first store in Portugal with a Model X in display”. You open the link and read the text, to confirm the bait title. It seems true, since the magazine is credible.
You go visit the said new store to congratulate them in person: “- Finally!” – you expect to tell them with the Tesla smile!

You arrive, you ask for directions at the Information counter, “Can you tell me where is the new Tesla store?”, and the clerk says “Yes, there’s an event there, to your right and than left.” An event? Not a store?! “They have a car there, before the stairs, in display”.

So, there you have it, a display.
Not a store, as they say.
Why do they have this stupid need to lye.

They? The ones publishing and writing about vapor as real. The car is there, we need the store.

(If you want to pay 1000€ less,
for your new X or S,
this is your link: just press)

A solar yard

This is what I would like to have as a back yard in my house: an amount of solar panels enough to feed a supercharger V3. Not seen in the photo are the other panels, the total amount of panels is around 1760, give or take a few as a counting error…

The Tesla charged a bit from these panels. Afterwords we did some tests at yet another solar installation. The final conclusion: this Tesla just loves solar energy…

Thank you to my friend AM that had the idea to do some tests. It was great fun, all the tests worked very well. Now I do have a problem: do I feed solar to this Tesla or do I wait for the TM3? Time for some € math…

Photo by AM