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Broken Superchargers “survey”

Discussion in 'Supercharging & Charging Infrastructure' started by azred, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. azred

    azred Active Member

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    While we seldom Supercharge either of our Teslas, I wonder if those who frequently Supercharge find that maintenance of the rapidly growing network is keeping pace with expansion. I stopped at Flagstaff yesterday and a helpful guy flagged me down to report several were out of order. Of course he wasn’t sure which were bad, but he had talked to several people who were moving around to find one that worked.

    We were lucky and chose a winner but it occurs to me that’s Tesla’s big advantage in the electric car market could turn into a big black eye if Supercharger maintenance isn’t a priority. And of course if Tesla relies on users to determine if a Supercharger is working up to par, it may be quite a while before the problem is even reported. (I suppose the good news is most sites have at least six Superchargers so it is likely not all of them will be broken. Competitor charging systems can’t make that claim as Leaf drivers will attest.)

    BTW I know some problems are probably user error. The same guy who warned me yesterday didn’t know that sharing standard Superchargers with your next door neighbor reduces the charging rate for both users. Perhaps Tesla could erect an information sign at each site mentioning a few basics of use including that one.
     
  2. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Why do you think two users ‘share’ the charge? Last I heard the first user gets what they need and the second gets the leftovers until the first person disconnects. Like to clear this up... I thought I knew how it worked! :D

    As for the reporting of issues, excellent idea. Several of us have been tweeting at Elon to have a function added to the app since we don’t need to sit on hold for 15-20 mins just to report a location and stall number when the app could do that and we could attach a photo of damage if needed from our phone.
     
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  3. P85_DA

    P85_DA Supporting Member

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    In the past fairly easy to call in and report broken SC ...now wait times are horrendous ..
     
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  4. SammichLover

    SammichLover Banned

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    If I'm there first and still drawing >120kW when the second vehicle connects I drop to about 110kW immediately. I'm not sharing evenly but the second vehicle definitely impinges from the first operating at full potential charging rate.
     
  5. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

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    In three years and probably 20K Supercharged miles, I've come across three that wouldn't charge at all, and I called the roadside assistance and reported it in all cases - and in each of those cases, moving to another stall let me charge and continue my trip.

    There have been more occasions where I got unexpectedly low charging rates that I blamed on a worn connector and resolved by moving to another stall. You also get low rates after an initial flare in hot temps, with a cold battery, and for occasional random reasons I'm not quite clear on.
     
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  6. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Right, it may drop a bit but that’s not splitting it. So maybe it’s somewhere in between. So, still polite to not share a pair of possible.
     
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  7. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    I agree that there needs to be better information out there for us. We cannot rely upon the touchscreen to be accurate or timely. (What does "reduced power" mean? All stalls have reduced power from maximum to X% of maximum? Or Z stalls out of the total are broken? Or there are unknown times when power is reduced, but at other times the power is fine?) Could you be more vague, Tesla?

    I have no problem self-reporting issues with Superchargers. But the only way is to call, wait, speak to a representative, wait for him/her to dial into the Supercharger program, find the location, explain what happened, wait some more, then listen to the reply. I have had mixed results from these individuals too. Some have thanked me and volunteered that they would send notice to the Supercharger Department while others seems uninterested and suggest that I try elsewhere.

    What is galling, however, is that many broken Supercharger stalls remain broken for months and months. I think Tesla responds quite rapidly when the entire station is down. But I think they drag their feet when one or two are down. While I do not expect immediate repair, I think that 30-45 days is reasonable to send a technician out to the site to repair the broken stalls and do quick maintenance on the others.

    I am not confident that Tesla will design a Supercharger program for us to use to see which stalls work as intended, which stalls work, but at a reduced rate of charge, which stalls do not work at all, and a method for us to report issues.
     
  8. SammichLover

    SammichLover Banned

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    It is absolutely splitting the total roughly 150kW between the two, just not an even split until the first one reaches about 75% SOC (assuming it is a LR Model 3).
     
  9. SammichLover

    SammichLover Banned

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    Put another way, if a first-connected Model 3 LR hasn't yet reached about 55% SOC its charging rate will be slowed by the second vehicle connecting and using some of the charging capability of the V2 SC stall pair.
     
  10. azred

    azred Active Member

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    #10 azred, Jul 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
    OK, I didn’t realize the word split meant 50-50. I knew someone plugging next door wouldn’t drop me by 50% but apparently that’s what the word splits means, at least in certain parts of the country. The next time I split firewood, I will use another term unless I have exactly halved the log.:D

    I wish we could get back to my original question, instead of debating split. I didn’t create a thread to find out about the semi-splits on non-urban Superchargers, which most of us know to be true. I am curious about the frequency of broken Superchargers.
     
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  11. azred

    azred Active Member

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    #11 azred, Jul 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
    Thanks. That’s what I thought. Hopefully as the Superchargers age we won’t find a lot of them operating poorly or not at all.

    I needed to use the Flagstaff Supercharger again today and hit a dead one before finding one that worked great. So apparently the fellow that warned me yesterday was right about Flagstaff. It seems like the dead one should be coned off, but I suppose Tesla doesn’t have someone stationed in Flagstaff to do that.

    Before anyone rips me for complaining about Tesla’s Superchargers, be assured that is not the case. I am just curious if users believe Tesla is doing a good job of maintaining existing chargers (while rapidly adding new ones). I would not have purchased two Teslas but for the Supercharger network as the other charging operations are much too sketchy.
     
  12. tes-s

    tes-s Banned

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    Well over a thousand supercharges, and only once I could not charge. I got to Allentown PA and the police had just closed off the parking lot due to a gas leak. I called Tesla on my way to another supercharger, and about 30 minutes later it showed as unavailable on the nav.
     
  13. pscarroll

    pscarroll Member

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    I drive a huge amount of long distance, 32751 miles since early November last year (1.5 months of that time the car was in the body shop after being rear-ended, so drove an ICE rental) and supercharge A LOT though I do plug in a home and my destination. I mainly supercharge along the East Coast from PA to NC and sometimes down into FL and over to CO. Except during rare circumstances, I frequently find the superchargers empty in the "rural areas" I typically frequent or plenty of stalls where you don't have to share a V2 stall with someone else (save at Savannah, GA Airport which is in serious need of upgrade or removal/transfer). When I did have to share, it was no big deal as charging goes relatively quick.

    Think of it this way, Tesla had the foresight early on to make more V1 and V2 stalls available with sharing thus allowing more people to charge with little extra cost, where someone like Electrify America puts in very limited stalls and doesn't have much capacity at the few sites they do have. I surmise that as V3 stations grow, there will still be some sharing going on because, think about it, if you install a 1MW transformer, only 4 cars can supercharge at the full 250kW rate, if there are more than 4 V3 stalls then there has to be a limit somewhere unless they put in more powerful transformers.

    I've found a few broken stalls here and there, but nowhere near as bad as other charging networks. I'm excited to watch the roll-out of new chargers on supercharger.info

    My Teslafi totals for supercharging my Tesla Model 3 Performance...
    292 Charges At 115 Locations
    Total Energy Delivered: 7,684.53 kWh
    Time Spent Charging: 5 Days 8 Hours 40 Minutes
    Average Charge Time: 26 Minutes
    Supercharger Total Savings $ 1,076.80
    Supercharger Total Cost $ 0.00

    ...and AC Charging...
    427 Charges At 43 Locations
    Average Time Charging: 3 Hours 1 Minutes
    Time Spent Charging: 53 Days 19 Hours 9 Minutes

    kW Added: 1,995.90 kWh
    kW Used: 2,599.42 kWh


    Savings (plugging in outside of home, free chargers): $ 134.20
    Cost plugging in at home (and my mom's): $ 229.90

     
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  14. Tesmotorfaqcom

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    For popular locations in California, it's not uncommon to have a line of Tesla waiting for a charger, when you pulled out from a broken charger you might lose your place in line and it becomes very chaotic. Since most SC had multiple entry points even creating a line is confusing, I often see people confront other drivers coming from a different entry point as they are not aware there is a line.
     
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  15. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Uh, yeah, split usually means cut in half on the east coast. :D. Glad we agree on how the superchargers do work!

    Hope that app feature gets added since it will definitely help reporting things.

    I wish there was an easy way to take a stall out of service but perhaps it would be used so seldom it’s not worth the overhead. GF was on a road trip recently and saw several superchargers that didn’t report all the stalls in service even though no one was there.
     
  16. ChadS

    ChadS Last tank of gas: March 2009. Sure don't miss it!

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    I have supercharged over 400 times. I think I recall twice when a charger didn't work. Both times it was just a single unit, I was able to move over a single unit and get a good charge.

    Maybe about 8 times I've noticed a charger working more slowly than I expected and so I moved to another stall. Maybe about six of those times the new stall was faster.

    I've only had to wait once, and that was only for about 45 seconds.
     
  17. Kleenerth3

    Kleenerth3 Member

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    I ran into one off the I-5 and Paramount. Luckily I got the station right next to the bad charger and I felt sorry for the confusion it caused my fellow drivers.
    Back in, plug in, sit down, get up, unplug, miss out on the station that just cleared. Try to get in line...
    There should be a download so this is done at the SC station as soon as you plug in. Your car senses lack of proper charge, sends out a ping, maybe asks you to confirm, done.
    This is totally unexceptable at busy SC stations especially after dark.
     
  18. KenC

    KenC Active Member

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    Perhaps people should carry a garbage bag, which some of us keep in our emergency kit, to cover the bad supercharger, that way people would know it's not working, then wouldn't end up trying to charge, only to find it doesn't work, and avoid the chaos, trying to get ahead of the line.
     
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  19. RFernatt

    RFernatt Solar/EV Owner/Enthusiast

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    I haven't Supercharged that many times, but I did run into an entire station that wasn't working correctly. All stalls were affected (tried changing stalls, etc.) and it took Tesla a while to fix it (Morgantown, WV). Charge would start/stop and the rate was low, but it was still working so you weren't completely out of luck. The time I needed it, I got just enough and left for another SC that was on the way in La Vale, MD. It's been working fine since it was fixed and Morgantown had been in operation a little over a year when this happened (early Dec 2018), so it may have just been some late glitches to work out. But, that has been the only issue I've experienced. Otherwise, they have have been very dependable. I mostly have experience with the WV SCs and one in MD.
     
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  20. SMAlset

    SMAlset Well-Known Member

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    Some supercharger locations have cones you can drag into the bad stall. Done that once. We also have called in broken or super super slow chargers if even working where you knew something was off.

    Yes the phone wait to report can be long. I suggested to Tesla during a report call that they set up a special ext. to call just for this. I will say most of the chargers we have called in (because no way to mark unless coned) had already been reported. Last week I posted under the Gilroy SC thread someone had blue taped the equipment (photo posted there). Nice and clear to anyone to not pull into. We are down here now and the tape and cone were gone and people were charging using it, so it was fixed.
     
    • Informative x 1

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