TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

200 superchargers

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by Chickenlittle, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,665
    Location:
    Virginia
    seemed like a big deal to me but don't see any publicity. I remember when I first got my model s there were six, all on the west coast. Finally one opened in Delaware. Progress seems slow at times but really is quite fast to realize what all of tesla employees have accomplished.
     
  2. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry Model S - U.S. P - #1649

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Medical Lake, WA (near Spokane)
    Which two went online in North America today? supercharge.info doesn't show.
     
  3. jhm

    jhm Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    3,643
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I wonder how this should scale over time. The primary benefit of the Superchargers to the company​ is to motivate sales. So it would make sense to build out capacity in proportionto anticipated sales. Over the next 4 quarters they should sell about 50,000. That's about 250 anticipated sales per SC station. So will they have 2000 Superchargers by 2020?
     
  4. gym7rjm

    gym7rjm Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Location:
    USA
    I thought the plan was to get significant coverage of major routes and then go back through and add more chargers to each station? I think the number of stations matters less than the capacity to which the network can service. So it makes much more sense to first bolster high traffic routes. Maybe a more useful statistic would be the absolute number of charging ports? I bredict that figure to grow in line with sales, but the number of supercharger locations will at one point slow in growth as we reach optimal coverage.
     
  5. PeterW

    PeterW Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    400
    Location:
    Palmerston North, New Zealand
    Agreed; exactly what I think (just worded better)
     
  6. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,410
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Oxnard, CA and Brandon, FL
     
  7. GSP

    GSP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,997
    I bet they will.

    GSP
     
  8. jhm

    jhm Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    3,643
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Yes, I know that's the basic plan for the next few years, but I am looking at this as a marketing activity over quite a many years and global geography.

    Suppose Tesla starts selling cars in India. How many cars can they sell per year if they install only 20 Superchargers? How about 100 or 400? How might investors read the intentions of Tesla by knowing how much infrastructure (sales centers, service centers and superchargers) will roll out? So I am thinking that if you multiply the number of superchargers by 250 you should get a reasonable estimate of annual sales. So rolling out 100 in India would anticipate about 25,000 / year in sales.

    For another example, suppose you live in an area with 5 Superchargers all within 20 miles of your home. That seems like pretty solide coverarge, and you should not hessitate to buy your first Tesla. But suppose your friends tell you that the wait time at those stations can be pretty bad sometimes. When you drive by one, you often note that it is crowded. So how inclined would you be to buy your first Tesla now? So I am arguing thay if Tesla wants to increase its sales rate in such an area it will have to add more Supercharger infrastructure in that area. If more bays can be added to a location, that will help, but more locations will generate more visability and may be needed for additional capacity. Visability is key to attracting new customers, and ample capacity is important to avoiding negative word of mouth from existing customers.

    Another key feature of a 250 rule of thumb is that it supports pricing decisions. Basically when Tesla prices its cars it needs to allocate a certain portion of the selling price to the expansion and maintenance of Supercharger infrastructure. Say, $100k/year/station works out to $400 per car to be sold.
     
  9. Enadler

    Enadler Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Westchester, NY
    I'm sorry your premise is false. SC within in 20 miles of your home are for the most part unnecessary, with one caveat, if you live in an urban environment. Most Tesla owners have their own charging source and do most of their charging overnight at home. SC enable long distance travel. With that being said I would be thrilled if I had 5 SC within 150 - 180 miles from my house radiating in all directions. This would enable longer trips. Ultimately the network should connect all major routes at 120 - 150 mile intervals (this would allow 60's to travel effectively). In addition, Tesla should step up their efforts to get HPWC's placed at destinations, hotels, theme parks, museums etc. SC's are necessary for when time is of the essence but are not necessary otherwise.
     
  10. Benz

    Benz Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Messages:
    1,907
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Every quarter there will be about 50 more. This quarterly rate will increase steadily in the coming years. In 2018 (or in 2017) the 1,000th Supercharger station will go live.

    And yes, I think that 2,000 live Supercharger stations in 2020 (or in 2021) could very well be possible.
     
  11. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,938
    Location:
    NoVA
    I grabbed the table from the supercharger wiki and averaged the number of stalls for the North American locations, and it's just under 6 (5.83). So, assuming those installed in other countries are sized similarly, that's approaching 1200 stalls...
     
  12. jhm

    jhm Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    3,643
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    This is good to know. It wold alsobe nice to know how frequently all stalls are in use at a particular location. For a high level of service, there should always be a vacant stall. Otherwise customers will have to wait. Waiting 20 minutes for a 20 minute charge is not better than delevering technology that takes 40 minutes for a half charge. Moreover, if you have to drive 5 minutes out of your way and 5 minutes back, then that's no better than a charging technology that takes 50 minutes for a half charge. In 5 years time, when Tesla is trying to sell 200,000+ cars per year, this will not be winning level of service.

    So for location with poor availability (more than say 1 hour a week with all stalls in use), two options remain: add aditional stalls or add a new nearby location. The first option may be the least expensive, but the second will create as stonger marketing presence and will increase conveneince of location to users. So basically if a given location needed say 12 stalls, it would be better to split that out to 2 or 3 locations with 6 or 4 stalls each. We may even see situations where it makes sense to have two stations on opposite sides of a freeway, one that is convenient for southbound traffic and the other for northbound.
     
  13. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,782
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    It's not realistic to provide such excess capacity that there is always a vacant stall, even at the rare peak times such as 5-8PM at the end of a holiday weekend. You might just have to wait a few minutes. With cars always coming and going, though, it's unlikely a wait would be as long as 20 minutes to get a stall. Say a site has 8 charging stations and the average charge is 30 minutes-- that means on average a car will be leaving and opening up a stall every 4 minutes.
     
  14. jhm

    jhm Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    3,643
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #14 jhm, Sep 27, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
    Ok, so you would argue that 4 hours of inavailability per week is an acceptable level of service. Perhaps, but some level of service will need to be maintained. If service levels are too low, then it will undermine positive word of mouth and compromise sales. We can debate about how low to set these standards, but if Tesla ever want to win 10% market share, it's better to error on the side of setting standards too high than to become complacent.

    Suppose Tesla has 2 million cars on the road, and Supercharger locations are maxed out on average 4 hours per week. What happens when they sell another 1 million cars the next year. If they do not ramp up capacity, service levels could plumet to 10 hours or more of inavailability. That would generate a lot of bad customer experiences. Would Tesla be able to sell 1.5 million cars the next year? Or would they stall out at just another 1 million? If you want to keep growing sales by 50% each year, your service standards have to be impeccable.
     
  15. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,782
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    No, where we differ is on the definition of "inavailability". I don't agree that having to wait a few minutes for something is "inavailability". When you're at a theater and the show ends and you have to wait in line a few minutes for the restroom, is that "inavailability"? No, it's just life.
     
  16. jhm

    jhm Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    3,643
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    What sort of service level metric would you suggest? The metric I have proposed is something that Tesla can easily monitor and base maintenance and capacity decisions on. If you have some other metric in mind, please let me know. It's actually best if a service provider has multiple metrics to track on a performance dashboard.
     
  17. chickensevil

    chickensevil Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4,134
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    I think there is just a fundamental difference of opinion here between two parties on what kind of coverage will be needed in the future.

    What I love is that the time from 1-100 was about 1.5 years. Now here we are 100-200 in what, 6 months? Hope that we see 200-300 in about 3-4 months!
     
  18. jhm

    jhm Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    3,643
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I hope we can all agree that the accelerated roll out is fantastic. The local press coverage for every new station is excellent PR for the company. Each station builds brand awareness in a very solid and compelling way. From a marketing point of view Suoerchargers are an excellent investment. It will be an awful long time before a $100 Mmedia spend will give Tesla even remotely the same marketing ROI as spending $100 M on Superchargers.

    I think some have disagreed with me because they view Superchargers as some sort of operational expense that you try to minimize. My perspective is milk this for all the marketing juice Tesla can get out of it. If openning a new Supercharger station can generate more sales than spending $250,000 on a TV ad, then why wouldn't Tesla want to build out ever increasing numbers of stations to sell millions of cars each year? Granted right now Tesla is still supply constrained and customers feel pretty happy just to have what they've got. But as productive capacity scales up, this will change. Customers will have much higher expectations, and Tesla will have to step up its marketing game. Fortunately, the investments in Superchargers will continue to pay marketing dividends for many years to come, long after media buys have been forgotten. So my hope is that Tesla will make the most out of this potential.
     
  19. chickensevil

    chickensevil Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4,134
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    For marketing purposes yes. It is certainly helping. Even in my area I have met people who go to the local supercharger just to catch a glimpse of a Tesla and maybe ask questions. People know the chargers exist more than they know anything at all about the car. It is really weird haha!

    One thing I will point out is that your wait time metric will be skewed because they will continue to actively reduce recharge time. It has been stated before that someday they will get a 5 minute recharge time. While I don't think we will see that any time soon, if they up the pack size and up the charge output you can safely charge at a higher rate allowing you to hit that magic 170 miles number much quicker. I think when we can put 170 miles in about 10 minutes we will be at a really great timing.
     
  20. jhm

    jhm Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    3,643
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    That's a good point about charge time. Basically, if/when the cut the average charge time in half, that would effectively double the capacity. Currently a single stall can service 2-3 cars per hour. Double the charge rate and that stall can handle 4-6 per hour. Of course the is likely to be a cost with upgrading to a higher charge rate, so there's a cost to rolling out additional capacity in this manner. Basically, i consider that the number of Teslas on the road may continue to double every couple of years. So demand for charges will double as well.

    Another factor is the range of cars. As the cost of batteries comes down and density goes up, the average range will go up. The higher the range, the less frequent need to get a charge. Drivers that do a lot of long trips will opt for cars with larger packs. The wildcard are drivers who infrequently take long trips. So I might buy 200 mile car because it meets my daily needs, but come Thanksgiving I'm going to drive 6 hours to Grandma's house, and I'll need 1 or 2 charges each way. People like me are going to slam the Superchargers on holidays and other peak driving days. While the guy who commutes 4 hours every day, opts for a car with 500 mile range and never uses the Superchargers. This could result in the situation where full Supercharger capacity is really only needed a few days out of the year, but when it is needed it is really critical. Nobody wants to arive at grandma's house two hours late for Thanksgiving just because the Superchargers got slammed with a bunch of M3s that usually only make short trips.

    Improving charge rates as well as increasing the range of battery packs will moderate this a bit, but basically the rate at which driver queue up for a charge will double ever couple of years. The capacity must keep pace with times of peak load. It's not the average daily use the drives capacity, its what happens on the holidays and other extreme travel days. So think about what fraction of cars will hit a Supercharger on the day before or the day after Thanksgiving each year. There's got to be enough capacity to handle that. Now double that every couple of years. That's how fast capacity must grow. You don't want to keep grandma waiting.
     

Share This Page