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How reliable are Superchargers?

55 Sux

May 16, 2015
I have yet to use a supercharger but I am itching to go on a trip that uses them.
I wonder how often people have come to a supercharger and found it to be down or not working.
With a gasoline car I would never have any worries about finding another gas station if one was closed, but if I was planning a trip and needed a 30 minute supercharge I would be really upset if it turned into 24 hours on a 115v outlet.
Has anyone come to a supercharger and been unable to charge? What did you do?


Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 16, 2013
Cary, NC
I've never had a situation where I wasn't able to charge. Once, one of the stalls was not working, but the other 5 worked fine, so I had no issue. I've visited something like 14 different superchargers - many of them several times - and have not had to worry.


Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
Brea, Orange County
I have been driving 47,000 miles on my Model S. I think about 40% of it on Superchargers. I drove many road trips, some over 4,000 miles. Probably around 150 Supercharging sessions all together. I visited a total of 32 different Superchargers. I was always able to charge. No problems, not a single time. No matter what temperature, no matter what weather. Drove up, plugged in and it charged. I had to wait twice. Once 8 min another time about 40 min. The 40 min wait was at a Supercharger that has now been expanded quite a bit.

Honestly, your concern is valid but I'm actually very impressed with the reliability of the Superchargers. I did not expect this when I got the car. Reliability of these stations is very important. In my experience, Tesla does an outstanding job!
I wasn't there, but once there was a power outage at one Supercharger. Tesla hired a lot of flat bed trucks and drove arriving Model S drivers (and their cars) to the next Supercharger. That's dedication!
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2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
SF Bay Area
In my experience over 30k miles with over a hundred supercharger uses I have had no issues. Never even thought about Superchargers being down. A stark contrast to other public charging infrastructure, which is pretty unreliable.


S85: "Sparky"
Supporting Member
Aug 19, 2013
Victoria BC Canada
Ditto the other three posters. Last year I visited 48 unique superchargers on a 12,500 mile road trip. One pedestal inoperative - moved to the next one, charged fine. Emailed [email protected] to let them know.

By the way if there are multiple cars, choose the pedestal that does not have a car at the same *number* (not letter). I.e. if cars are at 1A, 2A, 3B, pick either 4A or 4B. Otherwise you'll get the dregs of the other car at the paired (1A & 1B, 2A & 2B, etc) pedestal, with increasing charge as the other car tapers.
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Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
In my experience over 30k miles with over a hundred supercharger uses I have had no issues. Never even thought about Superchargers being down. A stark contrast to other public charging infrastructure, which is pretty unreliable.

Plus Ten. Had previous electric cars and am so glad I don't have to use the dink chargers they MUST have to make it home after a trip to WalMart. Charge at home every day, only use superchargers on long trips. And they always work.


Apr 20, 2014
Tucson, Az
I just finished a trip that took me to 15 unique superchargers- and I visited each of them 2 times- I had one issue with the supercharger in Perry OK the first time-I stopped there. Seems there has been some sort of a power problem with this charger's input power- I was unsuccessful at this one the first time a couple of weeks ago I called Tesla and they said they were aware of the issue and helped me find an alternative place to charge. ( I only needed about 20 Miles range to make it to Wichita..) I had an inkling this charger was not going to work, so I charged extra in Weatherford, but the weather took a bunch of extra range from me ( lots of wind and rain around OKC) On the way back the Perry supercharger worked just fine- And one other supercharger ( the one In Tucumcari) which Tesla has not yet listed in the cars, but seems to work most of the time. ( I used it twice). I understand it too has some sort of input power issue that Tesla is working on- Weird thing, I called them to ask about the status of it, and they referred me to Plug Share- and would not confirm or deny that it was working--- They can see the status of other superchargers in real time, Sure wish we had that feature in the car- Maybe someday...

The only other issue I encountered was Ice'ing at the St Charles supercharger- I actually had no trouble, but the 5 stalls ( yes 5 not 6) seem to be very popular around lunch time with the locals ( non-Teslas) Even saw a Volt in one stall while I was there!
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Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
Redmond, WA
I have done several trips, including an 11,000-mile one that hit about 60 superchargers.

Every time we have just pulled up, plugged in and got a charge. No waiting, no failures.


Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
Columbus, Ohio
I've never had a situation where I wasn't able to charge. Once, one of the stalls was not working, but the other 5 worked fine, so I had no issue. I've visited something like 14 different superchargers - many of them several times - and have not had to worry.

Same here, about half the time I either find one not charging or charging at some half-rate even though no other cars are around. Changing to a different stall was the solution.


Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
Charlotte, NC
The closest thing I had to a Supercharger failure (though I've only visited four, one of which three times now) was my very first Supercharge. I pulled in and plugged in just fine, but must have not paid attention at that moment in orientation. I kept pressing the button and the light would cycle to white, to then turn blue and green again. I was unable to pull the charger off. Called my store and spoke with one of the Owner Advisors and he told me to press AND HOLD the button till the light went white and I pulled out. I felt like an idiot, but my iPhone had 9 "charging complete" notifications on it.


Dec 4, 2014
Lodi, CA
I have been at the Harris Ranch (Coalinga), CA SC on 5 different occasions when 2 of the 6 stalls were down. Worst case.... took me 4.5 hours before I was on my way.

I was also at the San Juan Capistrano charger when the Tesla tech had 1 stall out of service while he replaced the charging cable.

I have had to queue up to charge at Harris Ranch and San Juan Capistrano numerous times, depending on time of day and day of week.



Mar 3, 2014
Prescott, AZ
Never had an issue in 15K miles - plus it is fun to talk to other owners. Not as impressive as some here but I keep a list of supercharges visited:

Buckeye, AZ
Cabazon, CA
Casa Grand, AZ
Cordes Lakes, AZ
El Centro, CA
Gila Bend, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hawthorne, CA
Kingman, AZ
Las Vegas, NV
Quartzsite, AZ
Oxnard, CA
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Yuma, AZ


Jul 10, 2014
San Diego
Zero. I've been up to Los Angeles numerous times and San Francisco 2.5 times (took delivery in Fremont), total of 10,500 miles thus far). Will be going to Denver and Moab next month.


Active Member
Dec 20, 2012
San Francisco Bay Area
In one cross country trip and several other long journeys, never have been unable to charge.

On a few occasions (but maybe only 3?) a stall was not at full capacity even when its pair was unoccupied, and I just moved to another one.


Model S 85 and 100D
Jan 23, 2011
Venlo, NL
I never had any issues with them. Ranging from +30C to -23C, worked just great.

Remember that a SuperCharger as actually build up of multiple smaller chargers. And that 2 stalls are fed by one "big charger", so the chance of all those components failing at the same time is small.


Active Member
May 17, 2014
Central Valley
I believe that there have been two recorded breakdowns at Superchargers in the 2+years they have been up and running. The first was around Labor Day 2014 at Mitchell SD. All spots were inoperable for a few days before Tesla was able to restore service. The second was at Harris Ranch in the fall of 2014 when there was a power interruption of some sort from PG&E. It the second case, Tesla was right on the ball and dispatched flat beds to tow the cars to Ft. Tejon or Gilroy. Within 24-36 hours, Tesla sent a diesel generator to provide electricity until the problem was corrected. If I recall correctly, the units were not running like usual for about 5 days.

I have used about 50 Superchargers a total of about 75 times in the year I have had my car. There has never been a problem! On occasion you might run into a stall that is not charging at its highest amount (there were reports of several SC's that for some reason were limited to 60kWh, but those reports evaporated after about a month.) As others have said, you can just move to another pod. And if you think about it, many times we charge while eating or doing a little shopping or taking a stroll, so the time factor is not as important if your car is at your desired state of charge when you are ready to resume your journey.

I would be more concerned about ICEing than broken Superchargers!

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