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Hypothetical Supercharging Situation Etiquette - What would you do?

forkee

Member
Jul 20, 2018
772
960
Southern California
I would like to propose this situation to gather some thoughts on how to best face this type of scenario:

Let's say you are out with another person (that also has a Tesla) and decide to charge your cars together. You both arrive to a busy supercharger where there is only 1 stall available. You decide to plug one in and park the other one nearby and go shopping/eating at nearby mall with the thought that when your car is done, the other person can take your spot and charge their car.

Now you get a notification that the first car is almost done, so you both head over but find a long line of at least 6 people waiting for someone to leave. Like people are parked nearby with blinkers, as well as sharks going back and forth just waiting to rush in.

How would you go about avoiding world war 3 in transitioning and positioning the 2nd Tesla to take your spot in front of all the vultures eyeing your spot? Would anyone feel bad for "cutting" in front of others even if you didn't really? Would anyone be courteous enough to wait in this new "line"?

My thoughts would be to both hop into the second car, drive right in front of the first car so that everyone sees that you are both together, then swap cars.

If you were the one waiting 30 minutes for a spot to open, and someone drives up and swaps cars, would that anger you?

I would be grateful for any thoughts, especially insights if you were to take the views from both sides (you and a friend charging vs. waiting to charge).
 
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Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,635
8,816
Palmdale, CA
Would anyone feel bad for "cutting" in front of others even if you didn't really? Would anyone be courteous enough to wait in this new "line"?

Myself, I would wait in the new line. I would be angry if a Tesla "buddy" pulls his friend's car in front of me who has been waiting patiently for a spot. Why is their time more important than mine?


If you wanted to share the one charging spot, leave the other Tesla in the line right there (with a driver of course), don't go park it somewhere else then come back.
 

Puddles

Member
Jun 2, 2017
728
848
Fresno, CA
Spots open up so quickly that you should both have started charging as soon as you could find space. I’ve never had to wait more than 5 minutes even during busy times at Bay Area chargers.
 
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Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,010
4,617
McKinney, TX
If I was the second driver I would have stayed with thew car and wait for an open charger,, then caught up with the friend who was securing a table while I waited in line.

This is the best solution. Leaving the car as described in the OP's original description and then returning with the hope of claiming the front spot in the queue is not cool. It's no different than getting out of line and returning later expecting to be let in front.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,422
7,608
Boise, ID
How would you go about avoiding world war 3 in transitioning and positioning the 2nd Tesla to take your spot in front of all the vultures eyeing your spot? Would anyone feel bad for "cutting" in front of others even if you didn't really? Would anyone be courteous enough to wait in this new "line"?

My thoughts would be to both hop into the second car, drive right in front of the first car so that everyone sees that you are both together, then swap cars.

If you were the one waiting 30 minutes for a spot to open, and someone drives up and swaps cars, would that anger you?
I find this intensely hilarious the bias you have used in how you have written this to attempt to justify your own terrible actions.
The way you have expressed it is astounding. When you left, you have NO place in line, except in your own mind. And then you express coming back to try to cut in line: "even if you didn't really". Yes, you "really" would be cutting, expecting to get in front of people who were there in person waiting. Just thinking that you intend to come back and get into a certain spot is not actually waiting or sitting in line.
I can't even...
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
3,732
Buford, GA
You are basically telling everyone in line that you are too good to wait. Why should they sit and wait and you not?
Eating dinner/shopping? Your place in line is probably gone 45 minutes ago.
 
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Mewtwo

Member
Aug 3, 2018
84
61
New Jersey, USA
I agree with others. The moment you parked your car and left, you lose your spot. It is equivalent as when you were in a queue and then decided to leave and have a meal. You can’t expect to come back 30 mins later and tell everyone in the queue “I was here 30 mins ago and you should let me cut in”.
 

Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,635
8,816
Palmdale, CA
There was a thread awhile back with people totally fine with getting in a virtual queue while on their way to charge so that by the time they got to the sc, there would be an open spot. I don't find my scenario any different, but some of you seem to be so triggered..

A virtual queue would be fine. Odds are your buddy's spot would have come up while you were eating, so you could then decide to relinquish the spot or run to the car and move it before your time window runs out.

So i then ask you this, why? Why should they be entitled to have priority? You don't need to be present at all times in your car in order for it to charge. Why do you need to be present at all times to justify the right to charge first

I think the piece you are missing is your buddy probably already forfeited his spot while you were eating. Yes, he would be next in the queue and should get the NEXT charging slot. But you chose to leave the area, so when that next charging slot opened up, it was taken by the next person in line and your buddy lost his place in the queue. So when you both show back up, his spot in line is already gone.

As of today ther is no virtual queue, so the only way to maintain your place in line is to be physically present barring the few locations with valet service.

I think we would all appreciate a virtual queue or pagers, whatever, but your hypothetical was about the system today.
 

Mewtwo

Member
Aug 3, 2018
84
61
New Jersey, USA
Virtual queue will bring a whole different kind of issues. I will be pissed if I drove to the empty SC only to find that it won’t let me charge because there are other drivers who are enroute and “claimed” the charger first. It will be a mess and I don’t see how it can be implemented. Nothing works better than the old school waiting in the queue.
 
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Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,635
8,816
Palmdale, CA
Virtual queue will bring a whole different kind of issues. I will be pissed if I drove to the empty SC only to find that it won’t let me charge because there are other drivers who are enroute and “claimed” the charger first. It will be a mess and I don’t see how it can be implemented. Nothing works better than the old school waiting in the queue.

Right, and what if you show up and your queue spot is ICE'd or the charger is broken? Now you are hosed.
 

enixneo

Member
Apr 4, 2019
31
48
Texas
One of the purposes of lining up is to let other people know there will be a wait. They can gauge by the length of the line whether it's worth it for them to wait for an open supercharger or make alternative plans. Holding a spot in 'your mind' is the same as not standing in line at all. The people in line would have no way of knowing that there are invisible cars ahead of them in the queue.

What could be interesting is if the Tesla app officially supported a virtual queue. For example if you pull up and all the spots are taken you have to use the app to signal you are next in the que. Then when a spot opens up you get a notification to occupy the open charger within 15mins or it'll place you back at the front of the line. The one benefit of this is that is there's multiple people waiting in a que, Tesla should be able to give accurate wait times based on the state of charge and rate of charge of each vehicle in the line.

But I got a feeling chargers are less than full 95% of the time so I can't see Tesla incorporating something like this yet.
 

Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,635
8,816
Palmdale, CA
Im not claiming entitlement, just convenience. But by taking devils advocate, it sounds like the opposing is giving priority to those that were present and waiting.

I am curious as to what your reaction would be to you being the fellow who was at the front of the queue thinking you were "next". You have been waiting 10 minutes or so, say. Suddenly a Tesla pulls up in front of a supercharger stall, one fellow gets out and unplugs the car charging and pulls out letting the Tesla they both rode in together pull in and charge.

Do you think "oh, those two were obviously together and that new Tesla that just pulled up MUST have been here first before me, so that is cool"?

If so, you are a much more generous person than me, honestly.
 

forkee

Member
Jul 20, 2018
772
960
Southern California
I am curious as to what your reaction would be to you being the fellow who was at the front of the queue thinking you were "next". You have been waiting 10 minutes or so, say. Suddenly a Tesla pulls up in front of a supercharger stall, one fellow gets out and unplugs the car charging and pulls out letting the Tesla they both rode in together pull in and charge.

Do you think "oh, those two were obviously together and that new Tesla that just pulled up MUST have been here first before me, so that is cool"?

If so, you are a much more generous person than me, honestly.

i don't find myself generous, i would definitely think how sucky and not cool it is but not let it ruin my day. i take supercharging with a grain of salt, what's an extra 5-10 minutes wait for the next spot to open up. you cannot be on a time crunch when you go to supercharge, otherwise you will be an anxious mess all the time. the 2 closest to me are half broken so seeing 6/12 available on the app is misleading. sometimes the 6 empty spots are the broken ones, or some poor soul didn't even wait long enough to see if they plugged into a broken one and just walked away. either you are lucky and have a spot or you wait. and even if you wait, you don't know how long you will wait for. there could be 6 cars waiting but all get a spot within 5 minutes, or you can be the only one waiting and have to wait over 30 minutes. i cannot emphasize it enough

THE NUMBER OF CARS WAITING GIVE YOU NO INDICATION OF HOW LONG YOU WILL NEED TO WAIT


there's much more ethical and moral conflicts coming into play with this conundrum, it's interesting to see how sympathetic everyone is.

have you ever waited 10 minutes at the grocery checkout and finally you are next in line, but the person in front of you is having payment issues? you think "whatever it's fine, i'm next in line anyways". then all of a sudden the register next door opens up and the people in back of you rush over to the new line? what are you going to do, throw a tantrum? now imagine that the person in front of you is now having more issues, to the point where 5 people in that new line have already paid and left. in fact, that new line is now empty and ready for you, but you have all your groceries already on the belt. do you risk packing everything up and going to a seemingly empty lane that might get crowded by the time you head over there, or do you just bite your tongue and wait your current turn. is it worth getting stressed over such an insignificant aspect of your life? this isn't a life or death situation.

patience is a virtue and life is nothing but a waiting game.
 

Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,635
8,816
Palmdale, CA
i don't find myself generous, i would definitely think how sucky and not cool it is but not let it ruin my day.

Agreed, that is what I would do. I wouldn't go all rage monster on them, just think to myself that their parents obviously didn't raise them correctly and move on with my day. At the grocery store, if someone is having trouble with payment, I assume that is not something they planned and just deal with the chances of moving lines vs. waiting.

The flip side of that is I would also never inconvenience someone else in the same manner if I can help it. I am the one who would get in the line behind the other 6 cars because I wasn't there waiting for my spot. If I was having trouble at the grocery store with payment, I would take my stuff aside and let the rest of the line thru first.

Obviously, I may be a minority on the overly polite spectrum. So it is interesting to me that you are aware you would be inconveniencing the others, and that you would not enjoy being on the other end, but were still willing to entertain the possibility of doing so anyways. Always interesting to hear different perspectives.
 

mxnym

Member
Mar 9, 2018
904
333
Bloomington, IN
have you ever waited 10 minutes at the grocery checkout and finally you are next in line, but the person in front of you is having payment issues? you think "whatever it's fine, i'm next in line anyways". then all of a sudden the register next door opens up and the people in back of you rush over to the new line? what are you going to do, throw a tantrum? now imagine that the person in front of you is now having more issues, to the point where 5 people in that new line have already paid and left. in fact, that new line is now empty and ready for you, but you have all your groceries already on the belt. do you risk packing everything up and going to a seemingly empty lane that might get crowded by the time you head over there, or do you just bite your tongue and wait your current turn. is it worth getting stressed over such an insignificant aspect of your life? this isn't a life or death situation.
As others have stated, if there was a virtual queue, then using it would be fine, but since there isn't, there is no way to claim or prove claim of a spot in a physical queue other than by sitting in it. That having been said, the quote above is practically the opposite of what you still seem to be trying to justify. For starters, superchargers don't open and close, with managers ushering people further back in line over to newly opened ones (when a manager tells you to do something, I'd argue it is inherently not rude to comply), so the people behind you in the grocery store line are irrelevant. However, something similar to the grocery store line scheme where both lines are already open and have people in them can be used for a comparison that doesn't reach your desired conclusion but does work exactly the same as lines in the grocery store. For instance, suppose there are two sets of superchargers on opposite sides of the road and both sets are full with queues 3 cars long upon your arrival. In this scenario, much like a grocery store with two checkout lines open, you pick a line, get in the line, and wait as long as you wait. It doesn't matter if the other line is moving faster than the one you're in, you can either continue to wait in your line or give up your spot to leave your line and get in the back of the other line.
 
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GHammer

What a long strange trip its been.
Feb 1, 2016
921
2,162
Wren, Oregon
My son-in-law ran into a situation somewhat like this. He arrived at a full supercharger except for one spot where a women was standing in the parking spot. My SIL asked if she would move so he could charge and she just shook her head and said "no her boyfreind was on his way." My SIL pointed out that he was there right now and should get the space. She just folded her arms and turned her back to him. My SIL waited a couple of minutes and someone left and he pulled into that space and started charging. Now the best part, another person charging walks over to my SIL and whispers to him "The space that lady is saving doesn't work, that's why it was empty".
 

davewill

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
1,828
1,979
San Diego, CA, US
...
there's much more ethical and moral conflicts coming into play with this conundrum, it's interesting to see how sympathetic everyone is.
...
But there's no conundrum. You wait in line or you don't have a space. If Tesla ever implements a virtual queue, then it will have it's own rules written by Tesla, and we will follow those. Although personally, I rather hope they don't. I don't see it working very well.
 

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