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Alabama SuperChargers

D-ATL

Member
Oct 19, 2020
41
21
Atlanta
What is going on with the Alabama SuperChargers? This past weekend my wife and I did a weekend get away from Atlanta, GA to Biloxi, MS to Destin, FL. The route we decided to take was the I-20 / I-65 vs. I-85 / I-65. The trip started off fine, stopping at the Oxford, AL supercharger for a few minutes then heading to Birmingham. When we arrived at the Birmingham supercharger where we were greeted by a line of cars (out of the parking lot) waiting to charge. We ended up waiting for around an hour before we was able to charge but oh well that's the only Tesla chargers in the city. (Not sure why Oxford would have 12 chargers and Birmingham has only 8??) Next up after charging we were off to the Greenville, AL (I-65) supercharger but after selecting it as a destination. I received a message stating "Reduced service" with the gear icon; which means the chargers could have one charger down or all are down. I tried calling Tesla support to check on the status (because I didn't want to take a chance) and arrive with no way to charge. No one ever answered at Tesla support. So we decided to take the Birmingham to Meridian, MS route, which is a pretty long stretch on a single charge. Well after driving for about 45 minutes down I-20 to Meridian, the battery icon reported I would arrive in at my destination with only 5% remaining. I've been having my MX 75D since 2017 and don't play around when it's that low because anything can happen ie. traffic, accident, etc. So we headed over to the UA campus and decided to charge for 30 minutes or so (32 amps). (why doesn't Tuscaloosa have a supercharger??) Well we were able to continue our trip to Meridian and was able to make it to Biloxi. The real issue was after we made it to Destin, FL and not knowing if the Greenville station was up or not. After using every app available (Tesla Planner, ABRP, PlugShare, ElectrifyAmerica) we decided not to take a chance going back to Mobile then up I-65 to Greenville. We decided to fully charge at Defuniak Springs supercharger and try our luck taking back roads through Alabama (which was allot shorter distance and faster) to the Auburn supercharger. Well we were able to make it to Montgomery with no problem, but now the battery icon reported I wouldn't make it to Auburn. (why Montgomery still doesn't have a supercharger, surprises me??) For a minute there, my heart started to race but I remembered thanks to Electrify America and my Tesla Chademo adapter (that I had only used one other time) I would be able to charge for 30 minutes and was able to make it to Auburn with no problems. (using the adapter could have been a workaround at the Greenville site since they have a Electrify America station but wasn't thinking) After arriving at the Auburn supercharger we discovered 2 of the 6 chargers were down. The car never reported the two chargers as being down. We were lucky again because as we were pulling into one of the broken chargers, the MX next to us told us they were leaving and pointed out those 2 chargers are broken. Well we were able to make it home safely but was kinda scary there for a moment.

Alabama really need more superchargers and the one's already installed need to be working. BTW - two of the chargers in Mobile, AL were also down on our way to FL. There's no way more people are going to purchase EV's in the south or just in general with the limited number of DC chargers around. What is everyone's thoughts?
 
Last edited:

Dirtman16

White TM3 LR RWD
Jun 14, 2019
55
68
Madison, AL
Well, I can't add that much here other than to note that the Birmingham location has become increasingly busy lately. It's my most used supercharger, and it's typically at least half full if not more.

I'm concerned about Greenville. I'm heading to Mobile in late August, and it's really the only viable supercharger on the I-65 route. Fortunately, the Montgomery supercharger is under construction, but it's proceeding slowly.
 
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D-ATL

Member
Oct 19, 2020
41
21
Atlanta
If you have to take I-65 to reach your destination. Getting a ChaDemo adapter is an option if you have $400 to spare since you could use it to charge at the Wal-Mart Electrify America station in Greenville. For the Montgomery location I was getting around a 50kwh charge rate. It's not supercharging but better than nothing or the other slow chargers. Your only other option would be going through Meridian or Hattiesburg and stopping at those superchargers but that will add time to your trip. Good luck let us know how it turns out.
 

pwtjax

Member
Jun 8, 2021
6
22
Jackson, MS
Came through Birmingham last weekend after my Model 3 delivery in Atlanta. I was shocked at how crowded the supercharger was. Only 1 open space when I arrived in a pouring rain. Seems like Tesla needs at least 3 in Birmingham, with 1 of them down in Hoover off the bypass.
 
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D-ATL

Member
Oct 19, 2020
41
21
Atlanta
I agree. All major cities (population 100K) should have at least two supercharger sites. It would be nice if the major gas stations (7 Eleven, BP, Chevron, QT, Racetrack, etc.) would install at least a single 48 amp universal charger.

Here's an article where 7-Eleven is onboard with EV chargers.
 

WarEagleGo

Member
Jun 2, 2021
42
71
Huntsville, Alabama
Concur that Alabama needs more Superchargers.

Note that EA and other providers are upping their services in Alabama (funded by diesel gate) ... and I think the competition is good for Tesla and Electronic Vehicles in general

EA already has 7 CCS sites.

In June 2021 Alabama Governor Ivey announced 18 grants for charging locations (required to have CCS with 100kW minimum). The 18 sites are spread across I-20 (almost to the Al-MS state line), thru Tuscaloosa (with 3 sites), 9 sites in Metro Birmingham, and gap fillers along I-65 North, I-59, and I -20 to the GA line.


Also, the announced sites are listed on plugshare. Use the filters of "CSS/SAE" "other networks", "coming soon" with full details of locations and grant funding amount.
 
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cbrigante2

Member
Aug 14, 2018
104
123
North Aurora, Il
Just got back from a road trip from near Chicago to Tuscaloosa (son at summer classes at University of Alabama). The only Alabama supercharger I used was in Athens. It was busy but not overly so. Hats off to the hotel there. Gave me a free coffee. :)

I did want to mention though that I took a different route after using A better route planner site. Took me through Mississippi. The Supercharger at Tupelo I think is in need of an upgrade or some TLC from Tesla though. It was limited to 80% on a charger that for shorter range battery cars...would be a challenge getting from that island of power to the next closest one (I think Birmingham would be the next closest if travelling East). Add to it the charge rates were pretty slow. One of the stalls (far left) stopped pushing all but a trickle after a few min so I had to change. Add to it...the location isn't the greatest. It's a pretty good hike to a restroom. I hate really complaining about it. I was grateful it was there...but it alone would give me pause using that route again.

On the way back home I took the more common route on the main interstates. The main "issue" I had was near Paducah Kentucky. There is a charger in Kuttawa, KY that I think needs TLC as well. Reduced rates from high volume use, kind of a hike to a restroom, and the spaces themselves are very tight I think. Saw an X move from one to another, so not sure...maybe one stall broken? This charger could use wider spaces, and frankly...double the stalls given it's use. The charger near Nashville (Brentwood) is pretty nice. Lots of stalls...but VERY heavy use. They need more capacity in this area as well.
 

D-ATL

Member
Oct 19, 2020
41
21
Atlanta
Concur that Alabama needs more Superchargers.

Note that EA and other providers are upping their services in Alabama (funded by diesel gate) ... and I think the competition is good for Tesla and Electronic Vehicles in general

EA already has 7 CCS sites.

In June 2021 Alabama Governor Ivey announced 18 grants for charging locations (required to have CCS with 100kW minimum). The 18 sites are spread across I-20 (almost to the Al-MS state line), thru Tuscaloosa (with 3 sites), 9 sites in Metro Birmingham, and gap fillers along I-65 North, I-59, and I -20 to the GA line.


Also, the announced sites are listed on plugshare. Use the filters of "CSS/SAE" "other networks", "coming soon" with full details of locations and grant funding amount.
I just hope the sites also have ChaDemo since we (Tesla) can't use CCS unless you have the 3rd party adapter.
 

WarEagleGo

Member
Jun 2, 2021
42
71
Huntsville, Alabama
I just hope the sites also have ChaDemo since we (Tesla) can't use CCS unless you have the 3rd party adapter.
Sometime last week, I did some searching and found the grant application. It spells out 14 incredibly detailed criteria (which are obvious if you drive EVs and want to re-charge).

and yes ChadeMO connectors are required. See item #3

Bolded items are my emphasis, but the entire list is interesting to read and ponder showing how much must be specified. Remember this is a grant application, where established and emerging vendors could compete.

CHARGING SITE REQUIREMENTS:​

The following are required of each of the charging sites to be chosen:​

  1. All charging sites shall be publicly accessible to the general public 24-hours per day, seven (7) days a week; adequately lit from dusk to dawn; and within a short and safe walking distance to retail and service establishments with amenities such as restrooms, convenience stores, restaurants, shopping centers, or tourism destinations.
  2. Charging stations must be payment card industry compliant – must allow direct use of a credit card, debit card, and network card at the charging station, except when charging is free. Stations may also offer additional payment methods including subscription methods, smart cards, or smart phone applications. Real-time pricing and fee information shall be displayed on the device or payment screen. Charging station equipment shall allow for flexible pricing including, but not limited to, per minute or per hour, by space, or by time of day.
  3. All DCFC units must be equipped with both Society of Automotive Engineers Combined Charging System (SAE CCS) and CHAdeMO protocol connectors.
  4. Each charging site must be capable of charging at least two (2) EVs simultaneously with provisions for future expansions to charge four (4) vehicles simultaneously.
  5. Each charging site should, at a minimum, be capable of charging a single EV at greater than 100kW with future provisions for expansion and power upgrades to include two additional (4 total) charging stations and/or upgrades to higher power (up to 350kW) to meet demand growth and anticipated technology developments in EVs and DCFC infrastructure. Conduit and an electrical service box of adequate size and disconnect capacity that will allow additional electrical cable to be run to the site for future expansion must be included in the installation. The charging enclosure must be constructed for use outdoors with UL50, Standard for Enclosures for Electrical Equipment, National Electrical Manufactures Association (NEMA), and Type 3R exterior enclosure or equivalent.
  6. Charging equipment shall be capable of operating without any decrease in performance over an ambient temperature range of minus 22 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of up to 95%.
  7. The equipment must have a minimum manufacturer’s warranty of five (5) years and continually be in full-working order to the extent possible. Should repair be necessary, charging units shall be fully operating within 72 hours of equipment issue/breakdown to ensure a 95% annual uptime guarantee.
  8. The charging stations must be Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) certified to demonstrate compliance with appropriate product safety test standards. NRTLs are found online at: OSHA's Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Program | Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Supporting evidence must be provided.
  9. Projects should include a customer service support telephone number that is available 24 hours per day, seven (7) days a week and clearly posted to assist customers with difficulties accessing or operating the charging station.
  10. Projects shall include paved parking spaces enabling the maximum number of vehicles capable of being charged simultaneously and shall include adequate space for future expansion.
  11. Projects shall be connected to a network by Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Furthermore, projects shall maintain appropriate EV charging network diagnostics, remote start of the equipment, and collecting and reporting usage data.
  12. “Electric vehicle charging only” signs are required on each side of each charging station along with “electric vehicle charging only” stenciled graphics on each striped parking stall.
  13. Site development, project installation, and maintenance shall be done in compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards, including but not limited to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  14. Project utilization data shall be made available upon request for a period of three (3) years after initial operation.
 

D-ATL

Member
Oct 19, 2020
41
21
Atlanta
Sometime last week, I did some searching and found the grant application. It spells out 14 incredibly detailed criteria (which are obvious if you drive EVs and want to re-charge).

and yes ChadeMO connectors are required. See item #3

Bolded items are my emphasis, but the entire list is interesting to read and ponder showing how much must be specified. Remember this is a grant application, where established and emerging vendors could compete.

CHARGING SITE REQUIREMENTS:​

The following are required of each of the charging sites to be chosen:​

  1. All charging sites shall be publicly accessible to the general public 24-hours per day, seven (7) days a week; adequately lit from dusk to dawn; and within a short and safe walking distance to retail and service establishments with amenities such as restrooms, convenience stores, restaurants, shopping centers, or tourism destinations.
  2. Charging stations must be payment card industry compliant – must allow direct use of a credit card, debit card, and network card at the charging station, except when charging is free. Stations may also offer additional payment methods including subscription methods, smart cards, or smart phone applications. Real-time pricing and fee information shall be displayed on the device or payment screen. Charging station equipment shall allow for flexible pricing including, but not limited to, per minute or per hour, by space, or by time of day.
  3. All DCFC units must be equipped with both Society of Automotive Engineers Combined Charging System (SAE CCS) and CHAdeMO protocol connectors.
  4. Each charging site must be capable of charging at least two (2) EVs simultaneously with provisions for future expansions to charge four (4) vehicles simultaneously.
  5. Each charging site should, at a minimum, be capable of charging a single EV at greater than 100kW with future provisions for expansion and power upgrades to include two additional (4 total) charging stations and/or upgrades to higher power (up to 350kW) to meet demand growth and anticipated technology developments in EVs and DCFC infrastructure. Conduit and an electrical service box of adequate size and disconnect capacity that will allow additional electrical cable to be run to the site for future expansion must be included in the installation. The charging enclosure must be constructed for use outdoors with UL50, Standard for Enclosures for Electrical Equipment, National Electrical Manufactures Association (NEMA), and Type 3R exterior enclosure or equivalent.
  6. Charging equipment shall be capable of operating without any decrease in performance over an ambient temperature range of minus 22 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of up to 95%.
  7. The equipment must have a minimum manufacturer’s warranty of five (5) years and continually be in full-working order to the extent possible. Should repair be necessary, charging units shall be fully operating within 72 hours of equipment issue/breakdown to ensure a 95% annual uptime guarantee.
  8. The charging stations must be Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) certified to demonstrate compliance with appropriate product safety test standards. NRTLs are found online at: OSHA's Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Program | Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Supporting evidence must be provided.
  9. Projects should include a customer service support telephone number that is available 24 hours per day, seven (7) days a week and clearly posted to assist customers with difficulties accessing or operating the charging station.
  10. Projects shall include paved parking spaces enabling the maximum number of vehicles capable of being charged simultaneously and shall include adequate space for future expansion.
  11. Projects shall be connected to a network by Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Furthermore, projects shall maintain appropriate EV charging network diagnostics, remote start of the equipment, and collecting and reporting usage data.
  12. “Electric vehicle charging only” signs are required on each side of each charging station along with “electric vehicle charging only” stenciled graphics on each striped parking stall.
  13. Site development, project installation, and maintenance shall be done in compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards, including but not limited to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  14. Project utilization data shall be made available upon request for a period of three (3) years after initial operation.
This is good info.
 
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Dirtman16

White TM3 LR RWD
Jun 14, 2019
55
68
Madison, AL
I'm actually the one that added the newly funded CCS chargers to PlugShare. I'd encourage you all to stop by those sites as you can and provide feedback on their progress. It will probably take a few months for them to get started.

By the way, there's a large one in Birmingham that was awarded to UAB. I listed it as restricted for now. It's unclear if this one will be public, even the grant application required it. The exact location of that one may be off too. The awards sometimes listed the awarded authority address rather than the physical address of the charger.
 

D-ATL

Member
Oct 19, 2020
41
21
Atlanta
I'm actually the one that added the newly funded CCS chargers to PlugShare. I'd encourage you all to stop by those sites as you can and provide feedback on their progress. It will probably take a few months for them to get started.

By the way, there's a large one in Birmingham that was awarded to UAB. I listed it as restricted for now. It's unclear if this one will be public, even the grant application required it. The exact location of that one may be off too. The awards sometimes listed the awarded authority address rather than the physical address of the charger.
It's been awhile since I was on the UAB campus but you would think they would already have a few EV chargers around campus. The UA campus (Tuscaloosa) has several EV chargers spread around campus. I normally take a pit stop at the UA campus either going through or heading to Mississippi / Louisiana. I've used the Destination charger in Tuscaloosa but seem really slow or I was just being impatient :)
 

WarEagleGo

Member
Jun 2, 2021
42
71
Huntsville, Alabama
Here‘s a document I came across regarding the future of Alabama EV chargers.

Great document. Really geared toward alternative Federal Highway Administration fuel corridor designation, which means

  • Focus solely on Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and not any Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle infrastructure at this time (glad they spell that out, but it show how many fundamental items must be spelled out, since Hydrogen advocates are out there)
  • Public, primary electric stations no greater than 50 miles between one station and the next on the corridor, and no greater than 5 miles off the highway
  • Only DC Fast Charging electric infrastructure offering both J1772 combo (CCS) and CHAdeMO connectors to meet FHWA corridor requirements
  • Corridor charging sites should be able to charge at least two (2) EVs simultaneously at power levels or configurations at a minimum of 100KW. All DCFC units should be equipped with both CCS and CHAdeMO connectors. Corridor charging sites should be required to include provisions for future expansion to meet demand growth and anticipated technology developments in EVs and DCFC infrastructure.


    Support what is called Alabama EV Pending Corridors: I-65, I-565, I-59, I-459 I-20, I-85, I-10




    First Priority: I-20 from Tuscaloosa to GA line and I-459 (listed as an I-20 Bypass)​
  • Everything else as second priority
 

D-ATL

Member
Oct 19, 2020
41
21
Atlanta
Great document. Really geared toward alternative Federal Highway Administration fuel corridor designation, which means

  • Focus solely on Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and not any Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle infrastructure at this time (glad they spell that out, but it show how many fundamental items must be spelled out, since Hydrogen advocates are out there)
  • Public, primary electric stations no greater than 50 miles between one station and the next on the corridor, and no greater than 5 miles off the highway
  • Only DC Fast Charging electric infrastructure offering both J1772 combo (CCS) and CHAdeMO connectors to meet FHWA corridor requirements
  • Corridor charging sites should be able to charge at least two (2) EVs simultaneously at power levels or configurations at a minimum of 100KW. All DCFC units should be equipped with both CCS and CHAdeMO connectors. Corridor charging sites should be required to include provisions for future expansion to meet demand growth and anticipated technology developments in EVs and DCFC infrastructure.



    Support what is called Alabama EV Pending Corridors: I-65, I-565, I-59, I-459 I-20, I-85, I-10







    First Priority: I-20 from Tuscaloosa to GA line and I-459 (listed as an I-20 Bypass)​

  • Everything else as second priority​
I thought it was pretty nice to see how I-20 will basically have DC chargers from the Georgia state line to Mississippi. The chargers aren't Tesla SC's but just having the other charger as an option or in case of emergency is nice when traveling.
 
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Ultron

Member
Jul 5, 2019
85
195
Hattiesburg MS
This discussion reminds me when I picked up my new model 3 performance 2 years ago in Atlanta. Heading back home to Mississippi I first stopped in Anniston SC and ate while charing up to about 95%. As this was back when I still believed Teslas stated 305 mile range I felt it would be no problem making it to Meridian SC about 220 miles away. So i progressed with no worries with air on and doing about 80 mph. As i entered the wilderness between Tuscaloosa and Meridian by range was dropping fast. I slowed down to about 65 but range kept dropping until it slowing less than 5 % expected. I turned off air and slowed to about 50 and made it into Meridian at 2%. At least I learned the true real world range right off the bat :)
By the way, I was in Destin and 30A just last week in my gas car and saw tons of Teslas down there but almost nothing shows up on the charging maps. I just wondered where everyone was keeping their vehicles charged. And traffic was snail paced any where you went too.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,952
Boise, ID
As this was back when I still believed Teslas stated 305 mile range
I believe the word you're looking for there is "misunderstood", not "believed". The EPA rating value is exactly what it is.

doing about 80 mph
Yeah, reminds me of a friend of mine who got a Model 3, telling me about his first trip. He was going from Boise to Idaho Falls and saw that the distance was 280 miles, and the Model 3 said "305", so he assumed no issue at all, and he said he set his cruise control at 86 mph! And then after a while, he was shocked (SHOCKED, I say!) to discover that it was dropping too fast, and they would have to charge along the way instead of just getting there non-stop.

He seemed very confused by that, and I was keeping my response to a minimum. I thought that was obvious to anyone who has owned a car that you aren't going to match the granny-style efficiency of the EPA when going over 80 mph.
 

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