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California Superchargers- how busy are they?

Discussion in 'California Supercharger locations' started by austinEV, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. austinEV

    austinEV Active Member

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    All:
    Sorry if this is a thread elsewhere. Refer me if that is the case.

    I see such exciting updates on the SC map! I am thinking of taking the family on a massive old-school roadtrip, from Austin TX up to kansas, west to colorado, utah, nevada, southern CA and up the coast to SF. The wife and daughter are generally on board, but I am in for trouble if every SC stop is a massive inconvenience.

    So here is the question. How busy are CA SC stations really? If I go to texas stations I am lonely. I almost never see another car and if I do its an event! Do they tend to be half full? All full and you have to wait? Surprisingly empty?

    I would be coming in June/July, and charging in the middle of the day, basically the worst times probably.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    In 45,000 miles, I have had to wait three times. Once Barstow for about 20 minutes for a spot, Once Hawthorne, for about 3 minutes, and Once Fremont for about 5 minutes. These were all before each site was updated. I doubt that I would have to wait at any of these now.
     
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    There have been multiple reports of the San Juan Capistrano SC being very busy at times, but the rumored Fountain Valley SC and the coming soon San Diego SC will likely alleviate that.

    As Lloyd notes, having to wait is uncommon. I never have had to wait in Northern California.
     
  4. Damiano

    Damiano Member

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    I live in LA and did a road trip to Kansas last September. At most stops along the way, I was either the only Tesla, or the recharging stations were half full. I think it's fair to say that we didn't waste anymore time charging as compared to travelling by ICE and needing to stop to change drivers or grab a bite. If you have any difficulty, it may be in the cities like Denver and Las Vegas where lcals like to charge on Weekend afternoons sometimes. As for California superchargers, I think you'll be fine. There are a few that can fill up on a Weekend afternoons (e.g. San Juan Capistrano and Hawthorne), but I think that is happening less now that Hawthorn was expanded and gotten two twins (Culver City and Redondo). San Juan is still a bit of a choke point for anyone wanting to drive down to San Diego, but that should be alleviated by the new San Diego Supercharger under construction. Driving up to Northern Cal, the SCs on the 5 can fill up at busy times, like Friday evening and Sunday evening. The same goes for Barstow since it's on the route to Vegas. However if you avoid theses choke times you'll be fine. Even at those times, the max I have had to wait is 5min. Driving up the coast, you'll probably want to take the 101 route instead of the 5 for scenic reasons. On the 101, the chargers are never too busy, and you can jump off and do the Rt 1 coastal drive. Lastly, here in California there are tons of L2 chargers and hotel based chargers too.

    Enjoy the trip!
     
  5. austinEV

    austinEV Active Member

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    Thanks all. I think we will avoid the 5 and do the scenic route for obvious reasons. Sounds like I will be good to go!
     
  6. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    With Redondo, Hawthorne, and Culver City already on the 405 Fountain Valley is unlikely to alleviate SJC.
     
  7. spentan

    spentan Active Member

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    The main reason why I charge at SJC is because there is no SpC in San Diego.

    I usually cut it fine when I roll into SJC because I drive around in SD.

    Super charger in San Diego can't come soon enough
     
  8. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I think it really depend on where you are. So far, the only place I have had to wait is at the factory in Fremont. Stalls are always filled. I've never waited anywhere else yet. Usually there are 2-3 cars there. That's it. But as sales expand, I bet waits will get longer. Bummer!
     
  9. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Got our S85 in May last year. I have charged at Ft. Tejon (5); Barstow (2); Oxnard; Buellton; Atascadero; Rancho Cucamonga (2); Manteca (3); Folsom; Roseville (2); Truckee; Gilroy; Corning; Mt. Shasta City (2); Harris Ranch (2).

    I have never had to wait. The largest occupancies that I have encountered at the above were 9/12 at Rancho Cucamonga on a Saturday morning (I think a group of locals meet there for coffee, but have no way of verifying this fact.) On the previous Monday afternoon only 3/12 were occupied. On a Friday night at Manteca 6/8 were occupied. Two other Thursday nights at Manteca I was the only one. At Oxnard on a Sunday afternoon, 6/10 were occupied. Corning had 4/6 briefly while I was there on a Tuesday afternoon during summer. Ft. Tejon had 4/6 in use on a Saturday afternoon. The rest of the times I was either the only one or there was at most one other Tesla charging.

    This seems to corroborate what the others have said. There might be some congestion at selected sites during commute times or on weekend nights for those traveling for weekend getaways for LA or Bay Area residents. I would think that the odds of waiting would be virtually nil for daytime driving. And yes, taking US101 between LA and the Bay Area is a much more scenic and pleasant drive than Interstate 5. You could even detour from Atascadero to Morro Bay (SR41) and then take SR1 up the Coast to Castroville before heading back over to 101 to charge at Gilroy. That is a real fun drive with Hearst Castle, Big Sur, Monterey/Carmel among other sights for you and your family.

    You could then complete the circuit by leaving California on Interstate 40 from Barstow and across Arizona and New Mexico to the panhandle before returning south to your home. Albuquerque and Tucumcari might be done by your return making it easy to charge!
     
  10. austinEV

    austinEV Active Member

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    So I think the grand plan for the route is:

    1) bee line up to wichita and stay over. bee line to Denver and stay there (2 days wasted time out and back sadly.) Then colorado time, utah time, a day in vegas, then LA, disneyland, the beach. Up the cost to carmel/Monterey for a day. Then SF for the sites and my long overdue factory tour :) Yosemite and sacremento. Then the return leg which is probably going to be the AZ, NM, North texas route assuming its online by then. I was even thinking of reversing the entire course for grins. 3 weeks at least!
     
  11. Burt Court

    Burt Court Member

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    Las Vegas to LA is really easy now: Primm, Barstow, Rancho Cucamonga. Up the central state is also easy. I even used Needles, CA and Quartsite AZ recently. I've never had a wait at any SC...
     
  12. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Member

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    I've visited California superchargers about thirty times. I've had to wait three times: twice at the factory in Fremont before they increased the number of chargers; and once at Harris Ranch when one charger wasn't working. I don't worry about it.
     
  13. commasign

    commasign Active Member

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    Just got back from a trip to San Diego. We went Manteca -> Harris Ranch -> Tejon Ranch -> SJC -> destination (San Diego) -> Redondo Beach -> Tejon Ranch -> Harris Ranch -> Matenca. Zero wait at each of these superchargers.
     
  14. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    I only recall waiting at the Vacaville supercharger on a nice Sunday afternoon. And that wasn't waiting long. I left that supercharger as soon as I had enough buffer to get home too, since there was somebody else behind me.
     
  15. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    I have waited a couple of times, but most of those locations have now been expanded except SJC.

    Since they have announced TMC Connect 2015 as July 10-12 in Santa Clara, you could plan to go there before/after the factory tour since you're basically in the neighborhood.

    It looks like the I-40 and the I-70 routes heading West will both be significantly open by then, although you might need to spend an overnight at a hotel in ABQ in order to charge.

    Driving through and visiting Southern Utah is spectacular (I highly recommend a horse or mule ride into Bryce Canyon and a hike into both parts of Zion and as being worth a visit), Monument Valley, Canyonlands, Capital Reef and Arches.
    North Rim of Grand Canyon is also worthy of a visit if you have adequate time.

    Northern AZ has Sedona and Flagstaff be sure to visit the Rock Store across the street from the Supercharger in Quartzite, AZ.

    Hearst Castle and the Elephant Seal's enclave just North of Cambria on PCH, Point Lobos near Carmel and the Aquarium in Monterrey.
    Three weeks might not be long enough.....
     
  16. spentan

    spentan Active Member

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    It's interesting I now stop at both Barstow and Primm (nv) instead of filling at Barstow because I think charging with a low soc is much quicker and way more efficient.

    Over the last few trips I've left a 20% buffer on the trip calculator tho, just in case. But they have been extremely accurate.

    Also since Barstow got expanded to 8 SpCs, I've never had to wait.
     
  17. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Last night around 7pm I popped into the Folsom superchargers (there are 4 banks) and two were occupied. Within about 10 minutes the other one was too. I stayed in my car because I had nothing to buy at the outlet stores but the other drivers disappeared. Within 10 minutes another car arrived and by the time I left (45 minutes later) there were three cars waiting and the other three drivers had not returned. I am sure their cars were charged because my car was at 20% when I started and I went to 90%.

    The three cars waiting stated they had never seen such a backlog, especially at 8pm on a Saturday night. I guess there is not much to do in Folsom these days. :)
     
  18. WaitingForTes

    WaitingForTes Member

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    Thanks for starting this thread. It's of interest because I plan to move to SoCal next year. Are people leaving their cars parked at the superchargers becoming a problem for anyone? Treating it more like short term destination charging than the quick top-up it's meant to be.
     
  19. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Check out the thread on the Burbank Supercharger. I have not been there personally. Many folks are posting that they have seen cars allegedly parked overnight or for lengthy times in the evenings. Burbank has six stalls, if I recall correctly.
     
  20. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & S40

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    #20 shokunin, Apr 18, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
    I don't use them much but have only had to wait three times. Once in 2012 when there was only 1 supercharger stall at the gas station at Harris Ranch. That's because I picked up the car at Fremont and drove it home and there were a several others who did the exact same thing and we were all headed back to LA/OC.

    The other two were at SjC. The parking layout sucks and I only needed 10 miles of charge to make it home. Seemed like everyone there was waiting to range charge. The other time at SjC, I said forget this and made it home with 3 miles left.

    I guess I technically didn't wait but it was full with several others already parked waiting for a spot.
     

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