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Be very very careful at Superior, MT supercharger

deonb

Active Member
Mar 4, 2013
4,060
4,215
Redmond, WA
I just stopped there today, and in 15 minutes had 3 very uneasy interactions with completely different folk.

1) Just after I plugged in, a person walked up from the gas station and said: "I'll give you somewhere to plug that in", pointed at his posterior, and turned around and walked away. I've had bad interactions before, so I just ignored this.

2) After he left, a couple of minutes later someone else pulled in and started talking about the charging, how much it costs (I said free). Then asked how long the battery lasts (I said - well, I don't know yet, but from the looks of things maybe 12 years/150'000 miles). Then he asked me how much the battery costs - and I replied "12 thousand". So then he absolutely freaked out: "12 thousand, are you insane? You know this whole thing will never work, right?". So then I replied: "That truck of yours over 150'000 miles would use more than twice as much in gas", at which point he got really upset with me and started picking up a rock (fist-size) to throw at the car, until his son stopped him and led him away. All the time he was swearing at everybody in the vicinity about the "$12000 battery" though. I thought, wow - 2 interactions, never seen that, but ok.

We were initially planning on grabbing lunch from Durango's, and eat it at the picnic tables in the park 2 blocks away. However, after the above 2 interactions I didn't want to leave the car unattended for fear the battery-phobia guy comes back. So I unplugged (I had at that time enough to get to Coeur d'Alene, but were originally wanting to shoot straight for Ritzville) and we went over to the picnic tables with the car...

3) As we arrived (in the Tesla), 2 strangers from the house across the street, immediately walked up to us, beer in hand, and basically said we weren't welcome there and to leave. Didn't specifically point to the Tesla, but is the only reason I could think of that caused this. We looked like them in any other way. (White, middle age, overweight). We just left.


Well, Montana hospitality at it's best for you...

But anyway, why I'm concerned isn't the specific events - I've had bad encounters before at Superchargers, but they're generally isolated. However, this is 3 completely unrelated events in 15 minutes. What I think is happening here is that this is a small town (812 people) with a tight-nit community that all talk to each other. So I think someone in the community got the rest of the community now riled up against Tesla for whatever reason. It's not going to take long before some teenager take it on himself to take revenge on someone's car for whatever lot in life they blame Tesla for.

Based on this, I would strongly recommend at the very least to never leave a car unattended there until the community heat blows over. This also isn't a necessary supercharger stop - you can stop at Coeur d'Alene and easily make it to Missoula. I've charged at Missoula without any issues there - it's a much larger town.
 

yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,929
532
Skaneateles, NY
Ooh I would love to encounter these folk and give them a piece of my mind. Though I could picture the headlines "angry tesla owner beats local into coma". Probably not a good image for Tesla. Sigh. I wish you could just beat intelligence into some people but then again, "you can't fix stupid".

114e8c48eca1eebee2ea287d38b5572d.jpg
 

FLDarren

Member
Apr 19, 2014
620
26
Seminole, Fl.
Ooh I would love to encounter these folk and give them a piece of my mind. Though I could picture the headlines "angry tesla owner beats local into coma". Probably not a good image for Tesla. Sigh. I wish you could just beat intelligence into some people but then again, "you can't fix stupid".

114e8c48eca1eebee2ea287d38b5572d.jpg

You have a point. "Tesla" would be used in the headlines. Like it matters what kind of car the assailant owned.
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,358
14,029
West Vancouver, British Columbia
@deonb, sorry to hear about your experience. The incident with the crazy rock guy sounds scary!
I used the Superior MT Supercharger twice last month during my 3500 mile round trip from the SF Bay Area to Glacier and Olympic National Parks last month. I had no negative interactions with the people in Superior. The staff at the gas station where the Supercharger is located was friendly and I had no negative interactions with any passers by. In fact the people I talked to were very nice, and some had questions about the car which I answered and they had nothing bad to say.
Let's not leap to pass judgement about all the people of Superior and of the state of Montana.
 

bollar

Disgruntled Member
May 1, 2013
2,667
880
Southlake, TX
For what it's worth, I have had good results with the "how this car is fueled" approach. You don't always have to answer the question asked and at an appropriate point early in the conversation (definitely before you dissed the one guy's truck), simply say, "it's important to me to use U.S., not imported fuels -- this car is powered by coal & natural gas, all of which comes from within Montana."

Now, don't be mentionin' all that hydro and solar you have at home. Not pertinent. ;)
 
Tesla Superchargers need to be in a secure, gated area. This will discourage unwanted encounters and allow some amenities - window cleaners and maybe an air pump.
Some of the foot traffic is frightening and we are helpless when plugged in. There have been incidents at Las Vegas and at Barstow.
~Larry
 
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AnOutsider

S532 # XS27
Apr 3, 2009
11,957
200
This is sad. I wonder if the town is on hard economic times? Would explain, but not excuse, their attitude towards folks "flaunting wealth" in their "hood".
 
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yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,929
532
Skaneateles, NY
There have been incidents at Las Vegas and at Barstow.
~Larry

Newark, Delaware has had a couple incidents as well, one almost turning into a fist fight. There are a lot of people that come through here and ICE the stalls due to its high traffic and proximity to the entrance of the rest stop center. Trying to tell them that they can't park there or why they shouldn't park there usually sets them off. these are usually folks traveling between Baltimore and Philadelphia if that means anything (rough cities) lol.
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,783
8,019
Maine
For what it's worth, I have had good results with the "how this car is fueled" approach. You don't always have to answer the question asked and at an appropriate point early in the conversation (definitely before you dissed the one guy's truck), simply say, "it's important to me to use U.S., not imported fuels -- this car is powered by coal & natural gas, all of which comes from within Montana."

Now, don't be mentionin' all that hydro and solar you have at home. Not pertinent. ;)

Or people could try being honest, but more sensitive. Rather than saying something that could be taken as "your truck sucks", you can talk about how much lower _your_ fueling costs are than in a similar gasoline car.

And if you're talking to a pick-up owner you could do worse than mentioning how much the car weighs. Other car drivers might be aghast at the weight, but depending on the pick-up, you might find that the Model S weighs around the same as their pick-up.

When you're saying, without saying, "My car weighs as much as your pick-up, it has good performance and it only costs a few pennies per mile to fuel", then I think you're more likely to get them thinking positively about the possibility of more electrification in the future.
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,044
11,089
Connecticut
I know nothing about this location, but since the town is so small, there could have been vehement opposition to the charging station during Planning and Zoning, but they lost and the thing got built despite their opposition.
 
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GasDoc

Member
Nov 15, 2012
806
492
SF Bay Area
I charged here as the closest stop to Glacier National Park for our road trip this summer.

Didn't have any particularly negative experience going into the store to get refreshments. Came back to my car to find a youngish couple taking pictures of it and looking excited.

Stopped off at the 50,000 Silver Dollar Rest stop and overheard some excited skater boys talking about "Did you see the electric car?!?".

The only part of the trip that was slightly disturbing, but really more amusing, were the teenage girls in the rest stop gaping, open mouthed, in amazement at me. I seriously think they may not have ever seen a person of Asian descent before!
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,358
14,029
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I know nothing about this location, but since the town is so small, there could have been vehement opposition to the charging station during Planning and Zoning, but they lost and the thing got built despite their opposition.
The Supercharger location is, ironically, on the property of a gas station. Seriously. It's off to the side of the station, about 30 ft from the pumps, clearly visible.
So I do not see how there could have been any local opposition to the location. It was essentially unused space.
 

zarkuu

Member
Aug 26, 2015
21
28
Bozeman, MT
The Supercharger location is, ironically, on the property of a gas station. Seriously. It's off to the side of the station, about 30 ft from the pumps, clearly visible.
So I do not see how there could have been any local opposition to the location. It was essentially unused space.

Here is a link to the local newspaper article where the owner of the gas station was in favor of the location. Perhaps it would be worth contacting the owner of the S&S and voicing your concerns. As a member of the community he should be aware of what is going on. The economic value of travelers stopping in a small town like this would normally be a positive thing, but it wouldn't be the first time I've seen small Montana towns do things like this. If this stop gets a bad reputation then all that benefit will dry up quickly.

http://www.vp-mi.com/mi_county/electric-filling-station-debuts-in-mineral-county/article_e330565c-7c0e-11e4-b1af-ebd61dc96da5.html
 
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jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
19,963
23,902
Texas
I charged in Superior twice with no problems and one 20 minute showing of the car to someone who was staying at the same motel.
 

PhilBa

Active Member
Apr 20, 2013
1,382
68
Seattle
I suspect it's about wealth, not electric vehicles. I've only had a couple of bad interactions in the 27 months I've had my MS but never at an SC. The worst was a woman at a concert parking area going on in a loud voice how "that car" is just unacceptable. Probably about wealth/equity or she just could have been a complete A-HO.
 

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