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Fill gaps in SC routes before starting new?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ElectricTundra, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. ElectricTundra

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    #1 ElectricTundra, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
    Tesla have pulled permits for 2 SC's of a new route between Oklahoma City & St Louis of what I assume will still require a third SC to complete the route. This will allow travel from both to Springfield and Bentonville so long as you charge at each but not the entire distance without the 3rd SC. Not sure how many people drive to Springfield though. At least this will add a critical route once the 3rd SC is installed.

    Worse though, they've begun two new routes heading east of Dallas. These appear to be of very limited usefulness without several more SC's on each (or are there popular vacation destinations that these will serve?). Great that they're doing these. People in Dallas need to be able to go somewhere other than OK. However, it seems to me that these resources would be much better used to fill the gaps in other routes to complete some networkable routes rather than building out limited use stubs. Or at least focusing on one or two new routes at a time rather than several.

    Personally for me a SC between Louisville & Nashville and another between Nashville & Birmingham would be extremely helpful. The current distances are likely doable in perfect weather but not for half the year when it's colder (Probably still doable in an 85 or any 90 but not in a P85D or 70). I think this would open things up for a lot of people heading to the coast in winter as the Greenville AL & Auburn AL SC's s/b reachable from a SC near Decatur AL.

    They did pull a permit for Erie PA to fill in the gap between Cleveland & Buffalo which should help a lot of people from east & west of Erie.
     
  2. brkaus

    brkaus Member

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    Have to start somewhere on those other gaps. The missing permits are probably not far behind.
     
  3. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    A lot of this stuff happens in parallel, and site selection and permitting can take a long time. Supercharger permits aren't even announced, they're just discovered by enterprising people interested in finding this stuff out, and people don't always find them right away. For an extreme example, the Salisbury, MD Supercharger opened with almost no prior warning. There were some hints a few weeks prior, then suddenly it was live. That nobody has found a permit for the third SC between OKC and STL doesn't mean there isn't one, and if there isn't one that doesn't mean work isn't ongoing to make it happen. Basically, don't assume that a permit in one location means a different location isn't happening, or will be delayed.
     
  4. Clomer

    Clomer Member

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    Indeed. I wouldn't be surprised if there are people at Tesla that would love to slip one right past us until it opens, where the first anyone knows about it is when it suddenly appears in the in-car nav.
     
  5. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    They'd need to slip at least 8 SCs past us to meet their *2015* forecast for the I-10 gap between Tucson and San Antonio. With 10.75 months remaining in 2016 (see updated 2016 SC map view at TM) with not a single permit on the books, it's pretty easy to see that the word "forecast" = "wishful thinking" = very close to a lie. Lying by misrepresentation is just as much lying today as it was when Rush Limbaugh figured out how to boost ratings by doing it back in the day. A tiny disclaimer espousing that "this wishful thinking is merely how it *could* look by then, if wishes were horses, gee whiz" is insufficient.

    I bought when I bought in part because of that forecast. Well, shame on me. They can fly in techs from Europe to maintain what they have in the Southwestern region, but when it comes to accountability in forecasting, um, not so much. We're not talking about a little miss due to permit delays, folks - they went ZERO FOR (at least) EIGHT.

    You can't open what you can't build, and you can't build what you can't permit. ***And you certainly can't permit what hasn't been sited yet***.



    The part that really makes me question whether a regional SC team management change is in order is that I-10 isn't some podunk state highway. This is *the* major transcontinental corridor that is relied upon during the winter months. It is the *ONLY* such corridor for which chains and/or snow tires are not required at random intervals throughout the year.


    Good rants are a dime a dozen. Great rants come with a solution and a bet. Here would be mine:

    There is a wonderful opportunity here for an out of the box solution: Leverage travel centers. These are the large installations previously known as truck stops. These days, they have designated areas for cars and for RVs as well as the usual huge tracts of land for OTR trucks. Every traveler that stops at one of these centers is a revenue source. Every shower, every cup of coffee, every snack, and every car or truck wash is money in the bank. Imagine the captive audience they'd have from Tesla owners who are guaranteed to be there between 20-60 minutes. What's the number now from that recent analysis? An average of $10 spent per car per supercharge? Beats $0.30 profit per gas tank fill up.



    There's not a whole lot out there between Tucson and San Antonio, unless you count El Paso, and I don't. But there are truck stops, folks. They have electricity, they have real estate, and every single one of them has amenities. Most are safer than existing seemingly sketchy SCs (see Quartzsite, Barstow, and a dozen others of note).



    Now, in fairness, dealing with the bureaucracies in AZ, NM, and TX, three of the unfriendliest geopolitical entities on the planet relative to Tesla's mission, is not fun. However, even those entrenched, obstreperous excuses for governance by the people cannot stand in Tesla's way forever.

    It would be nice if someone lit a fire under the Southwestern Region to close the I-10 gap in 2017, because it surely didn't happen in 2015, and it ain't happening in 2016, evidently. My bet stands: 10 cases of (dare I say, quite delicious) Absolution Ale, personally delivered to Palo Alto, if they meet the forecast for SC travel from Tucson to San Antonio by December 31, 2016.
     
  6. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    There are no Superchargers between Alberta and Southern Ontario. There are also no Supercharger in most of Quebec, or the Maritimes. Tesla shows no interest in building any Superchargers in Canada.
     
  7. Firewired

    Firewired Member

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    I have been waiting for some progress on the San Antonio to El Paso routes since I got my car Dec '14. I agree it is a major hole in the winter east to west route.
     
  8. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    From the start I was doubtful if Tesla can possibly build a complete charging network. We won't need as many charging stations as we need gas stations since most of EV charging is done at home. But all long distance traveling is still a huge amount of charging stations required to be truly connected. And that is actually a point where I think Tesla is totally cheating. Drawing a 250 mile radius around each Supercharger and calling that area 'covered' is total nonsense. It only covers traffic going though that one location. All other traffic in that area that doesn't go through it is not covered.

    One way or another, we all know we need a huge amount of fast charging stations to really be able to do road trips. And that's where I just can't see how Tesla can possibly do that on their own.

    One possible way could be partnering with a large company that has properties all across the country. Tesla seems to have made deals with Holiday Inn and some fast food chains, but only on a small scale. I think having a proprietary system will make it harder in the long run. As a partner you don't want to limit your clients to only the owners of one brand. I have taken many long road trips in the last few years, both with ICE cars and my Model S. Those routes connecting major cities are just sad and scary. Many gas stations are closed and abandoned which shows that people passing through are not a good enough source of income. Not charging money for using the charging stations makes it even harder to make money with these stations. The Chargepoint CEO said it in a public talk, trying to make money with a charging network by collecting money for the electricity isn't a business model. The only reason Tesla can support the current Supercharger network is because it is pretty small and there are a small amount of cars out there. 'Small' relative to the total car market. Once EVs go in the millions charging will become a challenge.
     
  9. ElectricTundra

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    NO! Those places are disgusting. The Tesla folks doing the SC's get a lot of credit for at least placing most of them near decent places for food and cappuccinos. Louisville so far the best in my experience with Heine Bros coffee across the street. Chicago's Country Club our worst experience (no safe way to walk from SC to Applebees or other places and drivers who I'm pretty sure are either blind or get points for killing Tesla owners and that Applebees was the best food option nearby).


    Agree. The destination charger program is in its infancy and will hopefully take off. Many places we've visited do install both a Tesla HPWC and J1772. With the program there is little cost to add Tesla since the HPWC itself is free. Every B&B we've stayed at has said that the charger was worth it as they've had enough Tesla owners stay to more than make up the costs.

    It would help though if everyone would swallow their pride and use the Tesla plug instead of design-by-committee J1772, CCS, and others that are bulkier, less capable, and I assume more expensive. I think a lot of potential destinations are hesitant to do anything thinking they'll wait until there's a standard because they fear being stuck with a betamax.


    They'll get there eventually. Just think where we were three years ago and how far we've come thanks to Tesla.

    My original point is that a network is massively more powerful than an isolated charger. There are a number of places where a single SC will allow travel for thousands of people in hundreds of cities rather than dozens of people in one city. They need to do both and they need to show that they're doing stuff near cities with a lot of sales potential like Dallas* (and I think Canada will be a while due to lack of density reducing sales potential bang for their buck in these early days). My concern is that it seems they are leaning too far towards new routes vs gap filling and should be a little more balanced.

    * And perhaps there's more to why they seem to be focusing on a ton of buildout than practicality would suggest.
     
  10. ElectricTundra

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    Agree. But they have been amazingly good with it though (which is much appreciated).
     
  11. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    Perhaps Tesla would focus more on Texas if Texas would no longer ban Tesla :tongue:
     
  12. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    if the gap between Nashville TN and St. Louis MO would be filled in with just one SC it would have saved me a few hundred miles of travel to CO from FLA
     
  13. Shawn Snider

    Shawn Snider Member

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    Over half of Canada is still a void lol!
     
  14. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    with all due respect there just isn't the numbers of cars or people traveling within those voids to justify the costs of the infrastructure. there are many "charging deserts" in the US as well
     
  15. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Possibly we might reflect on the reality that we'd neve heard of Superchargers at all until the Model S was already launched and delivered. What other manufacturer of anything has built such infrastructure so quickly? I cannot think of one, not even the electrical grids themselves or telephones were so fast, nor were they the product of a single manufacturer. Henry Ford even changed the Model T from a planned alcohol-fuel to gasoline-fuel when the latter became widely available. He built no support infrastrcture at all.

    So there are gigantic Supercharger gaps all over the world. China has only a little coverage, most of Europe is uncovered, Canada only has a handful of North-South points with East-West only where they support North-South. The US has vast gaps too. Even California has gaps.

    What can we expect? After all this is building out at 50% or more growth per year. This topic reflects our rapidly rising expectations. Me too...there is no Supercharger in Miami-Dade county which has a large volume of Tesla owners and many more visitors with Tesla's. They will come!
     
  16. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    I wouldn't say the Ottawa-Montreal corridor is a void. There are probably twice as many Model S in those two cities than in all of Michigan, yet a relatively rural site, Cadillac, MI, was considered more of a priority.

    Population-wise, NYC and Montreal are ranked #1 and #17 in USA+Canada urban areas, yet, there is still a gap between them due to a "2014" site, Plattsburgh, not being completed.
     
  17. ElectricTundra

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    From what I can see the major routes that people would travel in Canada are fairly well covered. Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton are connected and those with Seattle. Toronto and Montreal (and Quebec) are connected and those with primary connected routes to U.S. cities and then on to much of the rest of the U.S. I do agree with you about some gaps south of Montreal & Quebec (Plattsburgh?) that need to be filled but these are connecting relatively limited population areas (Toronto & Quebec areas) vs what I was originally referring to as gaps connecting multiple cities to multiple cities.

    For comparison, I-87 at Plattsburgh gets 21,000 vehicles per day while I-65 at Horse Cave (between Louisville & Nashville) gets 94,000 vehicles per day. Both are gaps between major cities. Which is likely to have more people needing to charge? The difference is that the I-65 gap is carrying traffic not just between Louisville & Nashville but people traveling from numerous cities north of Louisville and from south of Nashville.
     

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