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Imagining what Tesla Supercharging Station of the future might be like

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by engle, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. engle

    engle Member

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    #1 engle, Sep 17, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
    When I noticed they are now calling them "Tesla Supercharger Stations", it got me to thinking what a TSS of the future might be like?

    Here's my prediction:
    1. Tesla "Supercharger Station" is intentionally the old gas station nomenclature, as the masses are used to going to "stations", and TSS are and will replace more and more gas stations over time, especially with relatively affordable Model 3 and derivatives like Model Y selling 500K ==> 1M+ units/year over time, increasing market share.

    2. The number of gas stations in the USA has been in decline over a long period of time as average CAFE increased.

    3. Gas station owners make most of their profits from the junk they sell inside their stores.

    4. Gas station owners will welcome Tesla's normal and urban superchargers on their land since it will attract us - a very desirable demographic - to hopefully buy some of the junk they sell and mitigate the loss of business from obsolete junked ICE cars.

    5. Tesla already has some SuCs co-located at "gas" stations.

    6. We may even see Tesla takeover closed "gas" stations and re-open them as dedicated Tesla Supercharger Stations with special customer facilities. My vision:
      1. The Model III app or Models S/X key or app would be used to open the outside, then the inside doors, like at a secure Bank 24/7 ATM lobby to gain access. They would only open if at least one vehicle is already plugged-in.

      2. Inside, besides the normally-expected restrooms, water, free coffee and tea, and comfortable lounge furniture found today, one might see a large display that shows the color-coded, percentage and time remaining charging status of all vehicles so you can glance at it and don't have to check your app, just like a departing flight status display at an airport, except for cars, not planes.

      3. There might be a large touch panel display screen(s) one can use to explore the entire suite of Tesla consumer product offerings.

      4. There might be a demo Tesla Solarcity panel (that collects solar energy from a special skylight that uses a mirror on gimbals to keep it illuminated) and a Powerwall 2 installed on the wall that show how they work together.

      5. There might be a station one can use to request a free solar estimate, for example, or configure and order a new vehicle, etc. Totally unattended. Press a button to contact a human in a call center if you have any questions or would like hand-holding during the ordering process.

      6. Even better would be to have the option to:

        "Alexa, ask Tesla ...", and "Alexa, tell Tesla I want a quote for solar panels", etc. For Tesla, the wake word would be "Tesla" and not "Alexa" for obvious branding reasons.

        (I immediately thought of using Alexa or one of its competitors because I'm developing something in stealth mode for the real estate industry. Their tech is very powerful and it's very easy to build, test and deploy Alexa skills integrated with Amazon Web Services.)

      7. A robotic AI gourmet custom organic pizza making machine (yes, it exists!) could make pizza on demand, which can be ordered on the app before you even get to the TSS. Of course, this is just one example. Many other quality solid foods and liquid refreshments (smoothies, etc.) could be made available for purchase that do not require human preparation since the TSS would be open 24/7/365.25.

      8. VR could be made available in the TSS to keep children occupied.

      9. A fully-autonomous PXXXD 7-passenger Model X could be available to owners and their guests. It will take them anywhere within a 10-minute range of the TSS and pick them up later, or their vehicle will pick them up later when it's ready (better), so they don't have to hang around nor will they be limited to walking distance while their vehicle is being charged. The Tesla app will be used to take advantage of this free service. It's free because the customer gets to experience the latest Model X (or S or 3) and might decide to upgrade their vehicle or acquire another.

      10. There are many other amenities that could be included in the TSS, these are my examples. The goal is to provide a customer experience at the TSS that is the best in the industry, bar none. It will help Tesla to continue to be perceived as "best in class" as the rest of the industry tries to play "catch up" in the EV mobility space.

      11. Like Apple did (they leased a warehouse and built a prototype Apple store inside it), I think the first futuristic TSS should be built and tested near Tesla HQ for easy access to the design, engineering and management teams.
    Comments? What would you like to see included in the Tesla Supercharger Station of the future?

    Thanks for reading this far,

    Russ
     
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  2. verygreen

    verygreen Curious member

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    There'll be only one, in California, by appointment only. It would be announced with great fanfare and a cool demo, and they would discontinue the program quietly shortly after.

    Instead they'll announce that they are starting licensing/purchasing program for the supercharger hardware for thirdparties (with a slight rename to escape the free supercharging clause) and there would be a significant interest from existing gas station owners (as you correctly point out, they do thrive on sales in their store and EV owners that would spend considerably more time on premises vs the gas car owners are that much more of a juicy target).
     
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  3. T34ME

    T34ME Member

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    I think all of @engle ideas are viable and have potential. But I think @verygreen is more realistic about the implementation. If this concept is implemented, TESLA would be much wiser to franchise to a third party and let them deal with the additional customer service issues. I, for one, am not going to eat the crappy food that might be served at a gas station type facility - like Subway, Del Taco, McD, etc.- they're going to have to do better than that.
     
  4. verygreen

    verygreen Curious member

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    When they know you only have a few minutes (ICE of today), that's about all they can do, I suspect.
    When they know you will spend at least 30 minutes there - a lot more options would open up.

    In a way I suspect there is potential for two models:
    "Free" - the supercharger is there to attract people and keep them - I suspect lots of current leases are like that, whoever owns the space is happy to donate it (and possibly even chip in on power) in exchange for driving traffic of people with money that would stay around for some time. They'll still be around near big shopping malls and upscale restauants and such.
    "Paid" - the gas station model where the charger is still mostly operated at cost and serves the purpose of attracting cars, and real money are done on other sales. These probably will replace the current free ones where possible (and supplant at places, I suspect) as a way to enable long range travel and still be able to get a charge "in the middle of nowhere".

    The dream described by the OP would be pretty expensive, I suspect. If you plan to keep the traffic to your free lounge, the desire of other businesses in the area to give you a free ride on leasing and power might not be there anymore. I suspect Tesla realized this with the battery exchange stations already, though (you really did not think they just run out of batteries for the swap stations program, did you?)
     
  5. Economite

    Economite Member

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    This model really can't work unless the fee for supercharging gets much higher. Tesla would have to actually buy the land/build the lounge for these sorts of facilities; it couldn't just take a corner of some other businesses parking lot. Except in places like Kettleman City, that would be really expensive.
     
  6. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    I'll take faster charging, thank you
     
  7. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    A few sites are like this today. If you touch the supercharger symbol on the car's navigation panel you will see a door code. Try out Monterey/Seaside as an example.
     
  8. Rowan256

    Rowan256 Member

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    My prediction is that industrial roofs come full of solar panels and big batteries that can be used by trucks (battery swaps) and at the same time can balance the grid and make supercharging possible around all of these battery swap stations.
    This way all 3 things are combined while the average Yo barely has to do anything he doesn't want to.
    You don't see solar panels on a flat roof when you're walking on the street or driving by, you don't hear it, like those massive wind energy things and you don't smell it and the solar companies can work on massive scale (which is much cheaper in the end as on everybody his home apart).
    I now hear Musk saying things like, get your own battery at home and things like that, but not everybody can afford that, some people got a very old house that isn't for things like that, the grid would need massive changes compared to right now.
    I think that charging at home is perfectly fine for 95% of the people and the people that do drive a 100 miles a day can supercharge on such battery swap locations that will exist in every industrial area easily.
     
  9. T34ME

    T34ME Member

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    #9 T34ME, Sep 18, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
    I'm not so sure about that. My health care provider, Kaiser, has just started opening mini-clinics in Target stores. Kaiser gets reduced cost or free office space and Target gets a huge new captive clientele. I can see this business model potentially working for TESLA or its third party franchisee. Costco used to have charging stations in our area but took them out because they were always getting ICE'd. I could see Costco and TESLA joining forces by adding SC at locations, perhaps at their existing gas dispensers (which will soon become irrelevant) since they already have an attendant there to keep them from getting ICE'd. Costco has clean restrooms and food that is a bit better than gas station crap. In fact I think I will write Costco and suggest that.

    Totally in agreement. But if I stop every 2 hours for a 20/30 and in the future even 10 minute charge, I need access to clean restrooms, pay for coffee or bottled water, pleasant surroundings to stretch my legs, and stimulating conversation with fellow revolutionaries like @SageBrush! ;)
     
  10. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    I was not really clear in my comment. I meant that the kind of investment you are calling on Tesla (or someone else) to sink into these pit stops is going to depreciate rapidly, in tandem with the drop in time people spend at them as charging rates improve and battery capacity grows. As it is, a Tesla drive up to 300 miles is up to 20 minutes charging today, and dropping. A clean bathroom and a convenience store covers that pretty well.

    To the revolution! <<clink>>
     
  11. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    And then there's this video...

    Gas stations and truck stops (travel plazas) providing the real estate - that makes sense at least during the next 25-30 years of transition.

    There would certainly be an opportunity for people to plan ahead with a cooler and a few bottles of water and some food. However, as a corollary to my long-held premise that people are more lazy than they are cheap (see the vast majority charging in their garages or parking spaces if they have them rather than using SCs), convenience stores too will be with us for the long term.

    Now, whether those convenience stores are staffed by on-site or remote personnel is another matter. See as well Amazon's effort to have checkout-less grocery stores.

    All restaurants are Taco Bell" (bonus points for naming the movie). Perhaps in time, all travel plazas will be named Amazon.

    Hey, the "Classic" ones will even have bookstores with... wait for it... real books(!?).

    Perfect for that 30-minute top-off.
     
  12. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    "Demolition Man." I remember the virtual sex scene in particular. Man that was funny.
     
  13. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    And we have a winner!

    What does the winner get?

    Why, a set of 3 seashells, of course.
     
  14. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    That is a poor example because the opportunity costs of SC use are so much higher than charging at a destination.

    I do however completely agree with your statement that Americans will pay through the snout for trivial added convenience, and more so by the day. The thread on HomeLink was a great example. People stated that they would not buy a Tesla without it. You know, so they would not have to raise their arm once or twice a day to press a button on a remote control.
     
  15. engle

    engle Member

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    Looks like we have a winner!

    Tesla Could Soon Be in the Restaurant Business


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    Gabriel Kinder
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    Sep 19, 2017 10:42 AM EDT

    Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) could soon refuel hungry drivers while they recharge their vehicles.

    The company's Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel was speaking at the restaurant industry conference FSTEC and said "people are coming and spending 20 to 30 minutes at these stops...They want to eat, they want a cup of coffee, they want to use the bathroom."

    If making meals seems like a stretch for the electric vehicle company, Straubel says Tesla is not interested in managing the food service side of this endeavor. Instead, the company will likely build full-service rest stops at locations where they currently have roadside chargers, but partner with another company to cover the food."

    I guess Elon doesn't have time to taste taste the food so they have to delegate this. LOL

    Seriously, Tesla should call these franchised eateries "Elon's" in his honor.

     
  16. jonnyq

    jonnyq New Member

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    You got some fantastic ideas Russ. Please kindly expand on your thoughts of a (2) 40-stall TSS in 2018. One currently in construction at Kettleman City and another soon to be announced but currently in talks right now in Sunnyvale, CA 94089.
     
  17. Tyl

    Tyl Member

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    Baker CA, Kettleman City, CA and the like are named Megachargers.

    I guess Tesla likes a one word name for these locations with many, many Tesla Superchargers and lounge. I don't know at what quantity of Superchargers the name shifts from a Tesla Supercharging Station to a Megacharger but I believe the associated Tesla lounge has something to do with it.
     
  18. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Just a quick comment: Came back from Santa Rosa area yesterday and the car wanted me to stop at Vacaville for a quick charge to make sure I could get home OK.

    I was driving right past the Napa SC and I said there was no way I would go to Vacaville for the inferior experience compared to Napa, which pretty much hits the high points of the OP. So we stopped in and got goodies at the store and used the restroom even though we were only there for 15 minutes.

    PS: The Sonoma cheddar and parmesan chips (at $3.99 for a little bag) are to die for.;)
     
  19. hill

    hill Member

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    yeah .... Costco gas stations -

    gasCostco .jpg

    same lines, different fuel.
    :D
     
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  20. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Here is a use case for wireless charging. They could have pads under the cars queued up for the "real charger" so you get a bit while you wait.:D
     

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