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California Supercharger Locations FAQ

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U6. What's the etiquette for starting or joining a line to charge?

This varies a lot of a per-site basis
This varies a lot ON a per-site basis
In some places, there are multiple entrances to a Supercharger site (this has happened at Kettleman City, which has two driveway entrances).
The uphill driveway is an exit only, but I have mistakenly driven in there myself
 
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I notice that a lot of threads have posts alluding to a supercharger site in construction claiming, "looks ready" or "what's the status?" or "what's the holdup?". This may be from both new posters and some not so new posters bypassing the FAQs here. I guess this is wishful thinking but, it would be nice if there was a banner or something very visible before posting, alerting that if you don't see a big utility transformer on a concrete pad nearby then it definitely isn't close to "ready" and the timeline on transformer installation in California is weeks to months. Then a side note explaining that on the other hand, if they do see the transformer already installed, with few exceptions, the opening of the supercharger is near and imminent.
 
Can you tell us anything about who pays for what at superchargers? For example, does the local store if applicable pay anything or just give up the land? How about any of the equipment? Assume all electricity used is paid for by Tesla (either them if free supercharging or by consumer when being charged)? Is there any cost sharing with the local business at all? Many of them likely see a lot of benefit with the use and throughout of Teslas arriving. All of these questions I have been wondering about for last 7 years I have owned a Tesla. Thanks.
 
Can you tell us anything about who pays for what at superchargers? For example, does the local store if applicable pay anything or just give up the land? How about any of the equipment? Assume all electricity used is paid for by Tesla (either them if free supercharging or by consumer when being charged)? Is there any cost sharing with the local business at all? Many of them likely see a lot of benefit with the use and throughout of Teslas arriving. All of these questions I have been wondering about for last 7 years I have owned a Tesla. Thanks.
Here is my 100% speculation:
  • Businesses allow the land usage in return for hoped increased traffic. But since a lot of the installation locations are multi-business locations, it is the property owner (and NOT the businesses) control the decision, so I am not sure whether some of these locations charge "rent."
  • From all the permits and agreements I have seen (granted, a very small percentage of the locations), it appears Tesla is paying for all equipment and installation (and maintenance)
  • The business model would have to have Tesla paying for at least the power going to the Superchargers. For those locations with mixed installations, it probably varies. For example, for the Brea, CA - Madrona St location, there were 24 Supercharges and 24 L2 chargers installed. According to the agreement with the city, Tesla paid for the installation of all 48 stations, but if I had to speculate, I would say the city is paying for the electricity 24 L2 chargers. I can't see the city paying for the power to the 24 Superchargers since Tesla has a model to recover at least part of the cost of the power used.
 
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V3 Supercharger stalls (maximum 250kW) are deployed in groups of four, each sharing a 350kW charger cabinet. Multiple charger cabinets (and battery storage, if present) at a site are also capable of sharing power using a 575kW bus. While unlikely, it's possible that several Teslas plugging in at the same time under ideal circumstances could run into these limits.
I've searched to see if there is discussion of this point elsewhere on TMC and this is the closest I've found.

On road trip v3 chargers I get consistently over 150kW from about 15-40% and sometimes a minute or two at 200kW in the 20-25% range.

At SoCal superchargers that probably average 3/4 full I rarely see over 150kW even in the optimal 15-40% range. So I believe there is some sharing limitation going on though it's not clear cut exactly how as with the v2s. Overall the SoCal v3s handle the traffic fairly well. I get close to 100kW out to SOC about 60%.

I also realize that high use superchargers could have heat issues that slow down speed a little. However the liquid cooled cables make this effect modest IMHO. v2s can crash abruptly into the 60kW range from heat due to either heavy use or hot weather. I've only experienced one heat crash on a v3 (Highland midday, temps about 100F).
 
V3s also suffer from handle heat as that is the one part of the fixture that isn't cooled, this is changed in the V4 design. A wet rag will do wonders to your charge speed in sunny warm weather. Another good reason for Tesla to cover the sites with solar panels, sun and rain protection, and free electricity for 25 years or more.
 
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