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Chicago superchargers all inside parking garages?

rrodby

Member
Jul 23, 2018
28
13
Chicago
What value is having all the Chicago superchargers (in the city proper) located in (pay for time) parking garages? I suspect it is a real estate issue, but having to pay for parking, and go to the top floor to even find them? There are plenty of grocery stores/ home depots etc with large outside parking lots that could support accessible charging stations. They way they are now are only practical for an emergency charge.
 

Chaserr

Hyperactive Hyperdrive
Sep 5, 2017
2,666
6,523
Logan
The service center on Grand has a couple unlisted superchargers available 24/7, and most of the garage chargers have validation for parking time if you hit a restaurant or store. Avoid Mariano's it's always ICED and they don't care. Tesla should just remove that site and find a more cooperative location.

If you need a daily charge location, see if you can find a spot in your home garage with 120v access. It's 3 miles per hour but should reduce the need for regular supercharging at least somewhat.
 

rrodby

Member
Jul 23, 2018
28
13
Chicago
Wow, that is 1/2 mile from my office and I didn't even think of it. I didn't know you could just pull in and charge there! Thanks!
This helps me a lot but not the real issue. The validation at the decks may help, but this was off hours... I forgot to charge last night (I never let myself get to 10%) and panicked so I went to a pay parking deck this AM on my way to work. It just seems like an odd model putting them on the top floor of pay for parking garages. maybe I am missing the intent, to go shopping and get a charge while you shop, and get the parking part validated.
 

BZM3

Member
Aug 15, 2019
281
183
Somewhere
What value is having all the Chicago superchargers (in the city proper) located in (pay for time) parking garages? I suspect it is a real estate issue, but having to pay for parking, and go to the top floor to even find them? There are plenty of grocery stores/ home depots etc with large outside parking lots that could support accessible charging stations. They way they are now are only practical for an emergency charge.
same issue with the 3 superchargers in Manhattan proper. All 3 are in private parking garages that require a fee to enter.. madness.
 

rrodby

Member
Jul 23, 2018
28
13
Chicago
Im glad I am not alone in my "complaint". A work partner told me that coping to the Tesla dealership on Grand to charge is frowned upon bc they only have 2. There is a Tesla dealership in Highland Park, just north of Chicago, does anyone know if they have chargers available to just drive up to and get a quick charge?
 
Last edited:

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,643
4,212
Colorado, USA
I was commenting negatively in another thread about a Supercharger being in a pay-to-park parking garage. I was met with staunch defense & criticism.

The supercharger was in a city along our travel route during a recent road trip. I had no way of knowing I would have to pay to get in nor did I have any other options along our journey. For something that's "free for life" I shouldn't have to pay to access it.

The worst part is that we had to exit the interstate and drive several miles into town to reach this location. In other words, Tesla directed us into a higher populated area with more expensive real estate in order to supercharge. It would have made so much more sense to put it somewhere near the interstate which we've been told time and again is the goal for supercharger since they don't want to encourage those who live locally to use them because they're convenient. We were told multiple times that these were to be used for traveling and yet they make decisions like this which is puzzling to say the least.

lt's like getting somebody in the door for an all-you-can-eat buffet for $10 and then charging them a dollar for a clean plate every time they go back up.

Tesla should put fourth slightly more effort on the front end 2 avoid placing superchargers in these types of locations.
 

electracity

Active Member
Jun 8, 2015
4,028
3,458
60606
What value is having all the Chicago superchargers (in the city proper) located in (pay for time) parking garages? I suspect it is a real estate issue, but having to pay for parking, and go to the top floor to even find them? There are plenty of grocery stores/ home depots etc with large outside parking lots that could support accessible charging stations. They way they are now are only practical for an emergency charge.

Marianos will validate your ticket with a purchase. Maybe not practical unless you REALLY want a Tesla. Personally I would not buy in a city if I didn't have home charging.
 
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rrodby

Member
Jul 23, 2018
28
13
Chicago
I had EXACTLY the same experience coming home from St. Louis to Chicago! I had the option of stopping in Springfield IL (right off the highway), or Bloomington Normal IL. I picked the later bc it fit my trip better, but it turns out the later was In The City, , several miles off the highway, in a parking deck! No signage, just faith so you drive and drive to the top until you find it. Huge hassle and waste of time. And at least at that time it dod NOT specify that it was not on the highway.
 

electracity

Active Member
Jun 8, 2015
4,028
3,458
60606
I had EXACTLY the same experience coming home from St. Louis to Chicago! I had the option of stopping in Springfield IL (right off the highway), or Bloomington Normal IL. I picked the later bc it fit my trip better, but it turns out the later was In The City, , several miles off the highway, in a parking deck! No signage, just faith so you drive and drive to the top until you find it. Huge hassle and waste of time. And at least at that time it dod NOT specify that it was not on the highway.

You had the option of bolingbrook too. In big cities the suburban locations are usually "normal" locations. Usually it works to only use these locations on arrival and departure.
 

electracity

Active Member
Jun 8, 2015
4,028
3,458
60606
Where else can you put a Supercharger in a denser urban environment?

Think Tesla is going to pay a million bucks for a little lot?

It's going to need to be done, at least in part, by government intervention. As you say it is impractical for Tesla to pay the whole cost. Cities benefit the most from electrification.
 

rrodby

Member
Jul 23, 2018
28
13
Chicago
"You had the option of bolingbrook too."

I was coming from St Louis, I would not have made it to Bolingbrook, (which is an excellent supercharger station, right off the highway).

"Where else can you put a Supercharger in a denser urban environment?
Think Tesla is going to pay a million bucks for a little lot?"


True for NYC, but there ARE large parking lots in Chicago. Maybe not downtown downtown, but except for the Lower Wacker Avenue one, these are not downtown anyway and there are large open parking lots that could be used.
 

BZM3

Member
Aug 15, 2019
281
183
Somewhere
"You had the option of bolingbrook too."

I was coming from St Louis, I would not have made it to Bolingbrook, (which is an excellent supercharger station, right off the highway).

"Where else can you put a Supercharger in a denser urban environment?
Think Tesla is going to pay a million bucks for a little lot?"


True for NYC, but there ARE large parking lots in Chicago. Maybe not downtown downtown, but except for the Lower Wacker Avenue one, these are not downtown anyway and there are large open parking lots that could be used.
and speaking of NYC - the city had no problem installing dozens and dozens and dozens of Citibike stations all throughout the city, taking up street and sidewalk space. A smaller initiative focused on electric car charging doesn't seem so far out.
 
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electracity

Active Member
Jun 8, 2015
4,028
3,458
60606
I wonder if it practical in LA to own a Tesla without home charging? If it is practical in LA then it will eventually happen in Chicago.
 

alcibiades

Member
Apr 27, 2017
821
1,409
IL
I had EXACTLY the same experience coming home from St. Louis to Chicago! I had the option of stopping in Springfield IL (right off the highway), or Bloomington Normal IL. I picked the later bc it fit my trip better, but it turns out the later was In The City, , several miles off the highway, in a parking deck! No signage, just faith so you drive and drive to the top until you find it. Huge hassle and waste of time. And at least at that time it dod NOT specify that it was not on the highway.
The Normal SC's are in such an awful location.

Springfield seems early on that trek, for sure, but the location is a million times better and is by a fairly decent microbrewery/restaurant that serves horseshoes and breaded tenderloin sammies. THUMBS UP.
 

140.6

Member
Jul 15, 2019
34
22
Chicago
We always read the Google reviews (and leave our own review) on superchargers out of town to find out about access. nearby facilities, and if there are broken chargers. We also use ABetterRoutePlanner to look at highway access and plan overall.

FYI, if driving through Chicagoland use I294 to skirt downtown congestion. There's a convenient SC in Glenview (my home town), and another in Kenosha WI just over the border. Yes, you have to pay tolls on I294, but you will save time and aggravation. Toll transponders from many other states will work as well, so you don't have to pay the cash rate.

The service center in Highland Park has at least 4 SC's, I only went there once to pickup the car!

In Chicago, parking is a premium. It would be nearly impossible for Tesla to find a "free" parking lot, and they'e be ICE'd all the time like the one at Mariano's if they did.
 

rrodby

Member
Jul 23, 2018
28
13
Chicago
"I wonder if it practical in LA to own a Tesla without home charging? If it is practical in LA then it will eventually happen in Chicago"

I have a home charger (my garage in Chicago) and cannot imagine not having it. This is about travel for me, but it could be VERY relevant for those in Chicago that don't have that option.
 

NewFavThing

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 15, 2019
25
17
Evanston IL
There is a Tesla dealership in Highland Park, just north of Chicago, does anyone know if they have chargers available to just drive up to and get a quick charge?

The Highland Park IL has four superchargers, but they're not public. I think if you happened by after hours and there was a spot free you could plug in.

But why drive to Highland Park from downtown when you could stop at the Skokie superchargers. They've TWENTY 120 KW spots there, all in an open lot. Venture forth and sip some juice! :)
 

jrleyva23

Member
Oct 29, 2019
17
4
Chicago
Mariano’s on Halsted in the New City Mall will validate parking even if you don’t make a purchase.
However, the Mariano’s at broadway and Wellington is free to park and the Superchargers are not exposed to the elements.
 

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