Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Increasingly Frustrated with Oregon Supercharger Situation

pdx_m3s

Active Member
May 18, 2019
1,298
1,123
Portland, OR
I've been a happy Tesla owner for almost 2 years now, and we're considering a Model Y but we have our reservations that come down to traveling safely (and conveniently). I feel like we're being underserved with Superchargers for long-distance travel here in Oregon.

While the northwest area of the state is well covered, traveling east/west on I-84 and south on I-5 (south of Springfield) is not convenient and quite frankly not safe. There are multiple single-points of failure.

Specifically, traveling east/west on I-84 would be a non-starter with my family, with over 130 miles between superchargers (The Dalles and Pendleton, which are the old 150kW models) and literally nothing in-between. I would not feel comfortable traveling with my family in a Tesla along this route, which makes us hesitant to get a second Tesla and go all-electric.

Traveling south is equally inconvenient. There's nearly 140 miles between Springfield and Grants Pass (again, both are the old 150kW models). I understand there are planned Superchargers between this gap, but this has been the case for over 3 years with nothing to show for it.

I feel like we're on a bit of an island here in NW Oregon. I'm frustrated, and at this point, I'm leaning towards keeping our gas car as our main vehicle for traveling. Does anyone here share my frustrations? Is there any way to voice this to the Tesla Supercharger team?
 
Last edited:

pdx_m3s

Active Member
May 18, 2019
1,298
1,123
Portland, OR
The Dalles to Pendleton is 133 miles.

Springfield to Grants Pass is 138 miles.

Doh, thanks for correcting me. I had my travel method set to "bicycle" in google maps when I calculated the distance. I corrected my original post.

Regardless, I stand 100% behind my supercharger sentiments. It's 2021, and the Tesla Supercharger network has been over-promised and under-delivered for years now.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: PLUS EV

tharasix

Member
Jul 30, 2019
71
81
Minneapolis, MN
Context is important. I-94 had a 790 mile gap between Clearwater, MN and Billings, MT until last year. I drove that stretch last year after the Superchargers were finally built in my Model 3 with no backup chargers and a smile on my face. In order to visit my family in Winnipeg a year ago, I had to top off at a CHAdeMO charger in northern Minnesota and take it slow to conserve power through the sticks.

I'm not saying you're wrong, nor am I saying that your problem is invalid because it's worse elsewhere. I think the point of the Supercharger Network is to enable long-distance driving on electric vehicles. For that, I think it succeeds. It does not meet everybody's tolerance for risk at this point, but that's a point that is certainly up for debate. I live in a Tesla-only household, and do not regret abandoning ICE cars one bit.
 

pdx_m3s

Active Member
May 18, 2019
1,298
1,123
Portland, OR
Context is important. I-94 had a 790 mile gap between Clearwater, MN and Billings, MT until last year. I drove that stretch last year after the Superchargers were finally built in my Model 3 with no backup chargers and a smile on my face. In order to visit my family in Winnipeg a year ago, I had to top off at a CHAdeMO charger in northern Minnesota and take it slow to conserve power through the sticks.

I'm not saying you're wrong, nor am I saying that your problem is invalid because it's worse elsewhere. I think the point of the Supercharger Network is to enable long-distance driving on electric vehicles. For that, I think it succeeds. It does not meet everybody's tolerance for risk at this point, but that's a point that is certainly up for debate. I live in a Tesla-only household, and do not regret abandoning ICE cars one bit.
You've got superchargers all over there, dude. I don't see the problem. 138mi between chargers sounds luxurious!

I have no problem sacrificing long-distance travel inconvenience for myself (I drive an SR+), but when it's a different story with a wife, a baby, and a toddler. I'd feel a lot more comfortable going all electric if I lived in California, with many Supercharger options like we have gas station options.
 

IdaX

Member
Dec 27, 2016
428
522
Moscow, Idaho
I've driven from Idaho to Key West, to St. Louis many times, to New Mexico and Arizona, to Vancouver Island in Canada, and down the Baja peninsula in Mexico in my Tesla. Never, not once, have I run into a Tesla charger where all of the chargers were out of order and left me stranded.

If there's a Tesla supercharger, you can confidently rely on being able to get enough charge there to reach your next destination. Is that your concern?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ijoe13

finman100

Member
Feb 4, 2016
19
17
Albany, OR
Once Burns goes in, Highway 20 thru eastern Oregon will be ready to traverse! All other routes covered sufficiently but more Oregon superchargers will never be frowned upon. Medford is awesome. Also can't wait for Roseburg, but so far it hasn't been a problem going i-5.
 

tharasix

Member
Jul 30, 2019
71
81
Minneapolis, MN
@pdx_m3s Are you aware that the navigation will route you differently if a Supercharger is down? Do you have a good set of adapters, including the CHAdeMO adapter? These are ways to draw down your risk. The chances of showing up to a Supercharger that your car advertised as up just as it goes down and being stranded with no other charging options within range is pretty slight. Is there a non-zero chance that you'll have to get a unplanned hotel room or a tow? Totally, but that's true of ICE cars as well.

FWIW, I'm planning a three week road trip this August hitting up a dozen national parks, including Crater Lake, with my wife and 11 year old daughter, and my wife is a stroke survivor and gets chronic migraines. It takes more planning to get to a comfortable risk level, but I believe it's worth it.
 

pdx_m3s

Active Member
May 18, 2019
1,298
1,123
Portland, OR
The most frustrating part is that Tesla has had KEY supercharger location (Burns, Roseburg, Boardman) be teased as "coming this year" for years now, with nothing to show for it. It's disingenuous. And now Boardman is completely gone.

Don't get me wrong, I love my car, and we will eventually get another one, but the Supercharger network strategy isn't perfect. If I, of all people, am having hesitations about going all electric, I can assure you the majority of non-EV owners are as well. In fact I know they are, as I have family and neighbors that say so all the time. The infrastructure just isn't there yet.

I'll add that a lot of these frustrations would be partially alleviated if Tesla were to have a CCS adapter. Chademo is slow and dead.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,441
1,506
Richland, WA
@pdx_m3s Are you aware that the navigation will route you differently if a Supercharger is down? Do you have a good set of adapters, including the CHAdeMO adapter? These are ways to draw down your risk. The chances of showing up to a Supercharger that your car advertised as up just as it goes down and being stranded with no other charging options within range is pretty slight. Is there a non-zero chance that you'll have to get a unplanned hotel room or a tow? Totally, but that's true of ICE cars as well.

FWIW, I'm planning a three week road trip this August hitting up a dozen national parks, including Crater Lake, with my wife and 11 year old daughter, and my wife is a stroke survivor and gets chronic migraines. It takes more planning to get to a comfortable risk level, but I believe it's worth it.

Well.... you can't be routed to a CHAdeMO station if one doesn't exist, lol

Also, the CHAdeMO station that does exist along I-84 is a single plug AND only about 25 kW.

Hood River is supposed to come online this year, and while previously Tesla had been horrible with the estimated dates, so far in WA they seem to be pretty on track this year with the planned opening dates. That should give some redundancy coming into the Dalles. However, it doesn't help heading further east if you have bad weather in the winter or Pendleton. I've done the Portland to Tri Cities route (roughly the same distance as to Pendleton) in a Model 3 SR+ in the winter, with winter tires on, with heavy rain and standing water on the road, a head wind, and some snow even! I was able to get my consumption to just over 300 wh/mi.... maybe like 315 wh/mi. That required a pretty full charge (~43kWh or about 86% if I wanted to get home with 0% battery) to make it the ~137 miles. I ultimately sold my Model 3 and ended up in a Model Y, however, because of it's profile I think it's far more susceptible to wind and in bad conditions still uses a lot of energy.

I'm not sure if you're financially in this position, but what I would recommend is trading in the Model 3 SR+ and buying a Long Range AWD Model 3 and a Long Range Y and making the Model 3 your road trip car, at least in the winter. The Model 3 seems to have better aero performance (so less range hit in head winds) and has slightly higher battery capacity (~82kWh) due to upgraded cells. Those new cells might show up in the LR Y, but haven't yet. Even at 325 wh/mi (which is pretty high for a Model 3) you would be able to go from Hood River to Baker City, which would assume worst case is The Dalles AND Pendleton were offline. If you couldn't get to 325 wh/mi or less at posted speed, slowing down even 5 mph probably would get you there, even in head rain and a steady headwind in the winter. With just one or two more superchargers coming online in southern OR, which I do think will happen in the next 18 months, you would likely have the range to skip one charger if there was an issue. This is also just based on Superchargers, I would get the CHAdeMO adapter just as a super backup in emergency.

You'll probably take a hit on the trade in (check selling to Vroom, CarMax, Carvana, etc) but short of buying a Model S, getting a Long Range 3 would give you max range and thus the largest buffer you can for running into bad weather or charger issues.

In the winter I don't think the Y would leave you out to dry, but you're going to have less wiggle room than if you had a Long Range 3. I think it's likely you could see up to 350 wh/mi in the winter with bad weather in the Y, and at 75kWh that would be just over 200 miles.

I think it's absolutely doable to go fully EV. If you have some specific routes you go on with family every year feel free to post them here (or PM me) and we'll try to give you some feed back on what kind of worst case conditions you might face.

That SR+ really is a rough car to have as an only EV or first EV. It has such amazing potential and does fantastic 80% of the year, but in the winter time the battery is just small enough to make you stress out a bit. It's really ideal for *it* being the second car that you just use for work or small one to two hour road trips. I loved my SR+ but I quickly thought this could stress out passengers or family in the winter if I had to charge for 50+ minutes and would still be getting home with 10% or less charge. (Let alone that in my case it was at 11pm at the Dalles because the pass was closed due to a winter storm and I was heading home to the east side of WA from Seattle, thankfully I was solo.... that was a long trip and didn't get home till 2am after I had left Seattle at 4pm)
 
  • Like
Reactions: CalBlue 85D

pdx_m3s

Active Member
May 18, 2019
1,298
1,123
Portland, OR
Well.... you can't be routed to a CHAdeMO station if one doesn't exist, lol

Also, the CHAdeMO station that does exist along I-84 is a single plug AND only about 25 kW.

Hood River is supposed to come online this year, and while previously Tesla had been horrible with the estimated dates, so far in WA they seem to be pretty on track this year with the planned opening dates. That should give some redundancy coming into the Dalles. However, it doesn't help heading further east if you have bad weather in the winter or Pendleton. I've done the Portland to Tri Cities route (roughly the same distance as to Pendleton) in a Model 3 SR+ in the winter, with winter tires on, with heavy rain and standing water on the road, a head wind, and some snow even! I was able to get my consumption to just over 300 wh/mi.... maybe like 315 wh/mi. That required a pretty full charge (~43kWh or about 86% if I wanted to get home with 0% battery) to make it the ~137 miles. I ultimately sold my Model 3 and ended up in a Model Y, however, because of it's profile I think it's far more susceptible to wind and in bad conditions still uses a lot of energy.

I'm not sure if you're financially in this position, but what I would recommend is trading in the Model 3 SR+ and buying a Long Range AWD Model 3 and a Long Range Y and making the Model 3 your road trip car, at least in the winter. The Model 3 seems to have better aero performance (so less range hit in head winds) and has slightly higher battery capacity (~82kWh) due to upgraded cells. Those new cells might show up in the LR Y, but haven't yet. Even at 325 wh/mi (which is pretty high for a Model 3) you would be able to go from Hood River to Baker City, which would assume worst case is The Dalles AND Pendleton were offline. If you couldn't get to 325 wh/mi or less at posted speed, slowing down even 5 mph probably would get you there, even in head rain and a steady headwind in the winter. With just one or two more superchargers coming online in southern OR, which I do think will happen in the next 18 months, you would likely have the range to skip one charger if there was an issue. This is also just based on Superchargers, I would get the CHAdeMO adapter just as a super backup in emergency.

You'll probably take a hit on the trade in (check selling to Vroom, CarMax, Carvana, etc) but short of buying a Model S, getting a Long Range 3 would give you max range and thus the largest buffer you can for running into bad weather or charger issues.

In the winter I don't think the Y would leave you out to dry, but you're going to have less wiggle room than if you had a Long Range 3. I think it's likely you could see up to 350 wh/mi in the winter with bad weather in the Y, and at 75kWh that would be just over 200 miles.

I think it's absolutely doable to go fully EV. If you have some specific routes you go on with family every year feel free to post them here (or PM me) and we'll try to give you some feed back on what kind of worst case conditions you might face.

That SR+ really is a rough car to have as an only EV or first EV. It has such amazing potential and does fantastic 80% of the year, but in the winter time the battery is just small enough to make you stress out a bit. It's really ideal for *it* being the second car that you just use for work or small one to two hour road trips. I loved my SR+ but I quickly thought this could stress out passengers or family in the winter if I had to charge for 50+ minutes and would still be getting home with 10% or less charge. (Let alone that in my case it was at 11pm at the Dalles because the pass was closed due to a winter storm and I was heading home to the east side of WA from Seattle, thankfully I was solo.... that was a long trip and didn't get home till 2am after I had left Seattle at 4pm)

For what I use my Model 3 for, it's the perfect car. I have never needed more range. But this is because we have our gas car (MINI Countryman) as our default travel vehicle. Things change when you have two EVs. I don't think the winter range difference between a LR Model 3 and Y is big enough to justify trading it in just for traveling during the winter. Tesla would make my decision a lot easier if they would add some much needed Superchargers that they have been selling for years now.

Again, great company, and a stellar product, but we're still not there yet from an infrastructure standpoint to support mainstream, all-electric adoption. As a Tesla enthusiast, I'm willing to sacrifice some convenience and do more planning for trips, but the average person is not.
 

PLUS EV

Running on Empty
Sep 16, 2016
6,084
9,198
Seattle
I've driven from Idaho to Key West, to St. Louis many times, to New Mexico and Arizona, to Vancouver Island in Canada, and down the Baja peninsula in Mexico in my Tesla. Never, not once, have I run into a Tesla charger where all of the chargers were out of order and left me stranded.

If there's a Tesla supercharger, you can confidently rely on being able to get enough charge there to reach your next destination. Is that your concern?
My reliability rate is ~99.9% over a decent sample. I've had 3 failures out of ~3,000 supercharges. One of them was due to a lightning storm knocking out the power to the area so can't really blame that on Tesla.
 
Last edited:

Raleel

Member
Sep 3, 2019
81
72
Richland, wa
Mine has always been about The Dalles. It's the one that is the most fragile in the area. It's one of the oldest, it's one of the smallest, and it is very busy on many weekends. Hood River, while interesting and a popular place for my family to stop pre-tesla, doesn't actually make as much sense in some ways as one between The Dalles and Pendleton. Getting to Bend in anything but the best weather and a high range car requires The Dalles or to use a slower charger.

That section of road is very fragile. it's I-90 before Cle Elum.
 

RiverBrick

Active Member
Mar 23, 2014
2,511
1,720
Mount Washington Valley
Superchargers are a marketing tool that aren't needed to sell green vehicles in Oregon, so you have lower priority than areas where less people believe in climate change or are lacking in other incentives.

At least that's the only reason I can see why Tesla ignores Quebec : only one installation in 28 months, no v3, and almost as many sites 3+ years late (12) as in service (14).
 

Long Ranger

Member
Jul 18, 2018
49
114
Seattle
Hood River, while interesting and a popular place for my family to stop pre-tesla, doesn't actually make as much sense in some ways as one between The Dalles and Pendleton.
Agreed. My preference would be Biggs Junction, since it would serve both I-84 and Hwy 97 traffic. Hwy 97 is usually my preferred route from Seattle to Bend. Hood River will help with I-84 redundancy, at least.

However, I think a lot of people don't recognize that Supercharger location is highly dependent upon where Tesla can get a business to sign an agreement. There just aren't that many businesses along that stretch of I-84 east of The Dalles. Who knows, did Boardman disappear because Tesla didn't try hard enough, or was it because no one was willing to give up the space? I think there were four new Oregon Superchargers added in 2020, and three of them (Medford, Hillsboro, Salem) were at Targets, which was the result of a big, multi-location agreement between Tesla and Target.
 

Janus

Member
May 30, 2019
237
164
Bay Area
Like others, I've had a very high success rate with SuperChargers. Sure, there's sometimes a line, and sometimes a handful of stalls are busted, but I've personally never experienced a completely offline SC that the Nav system doesn't know about. For road trips, I carry a CHAdeMO adapter, and a handful of UMC adapters for common connectors (14-50, 14-30, etc). I've never had to use the CHAdeMO adapter on a road trip, but it's a nice "safety blanket" knowing I have a backup to the SC network.

Speaking of OR, CHAdeMO is very prevalent in the state. Every interstate, and most highways have plenty of them. Definitely plan your trip around using SuperChargers, but know that in an pinch/emergency, CHAdeMO is a viable backup.

I know people think CHAdeMO is interior to CCS. But as a backup charging system, why does it matter? The once-in-a-blue-moon scenario requires an additional 20 to charge? Flipping through PlugShare, I couldn't spot a delta between the coverage of CHAdeMO vs. CCS. As far as I can tell, every city that has CCS also has at least one CHAdeMO.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,441
1,506
Richland, WA
Some of you guys are making good points that Tesla seems to give enough information to make travel comfortable when it comes to is the supercharger online or not. The issue with some routes in Oregon are that it's not "well I can't go to the most convenient supercharger, I'll have to use the other" and more of "Hmm... that was the only DC fast charger within 75 miles and I have 50 miles range left..." type of thing.

Going East from the Dalles there are only two DC fast chargers. One being in Arlington Oregon and the CHAdeMO there is rated 6.1 on plugshare (lower then I would want) and reported to be 24kW max. The other is at an EA station (so only one CHAdeMO plug) in Hermiston, OR.

In this situation if the Dalles was down, you would have a 123 mile stretch of no fast chargers (ignoring Arlington, questionable reliability and hardly a fast charger). That's of course doable on a Model 3 SR+, but things start to get much more stressful in heavy rain, head winds, and winter temps. That route going east is also a gradual elevation increase. Sure it could be "one in a blue moon" type thing, But I had my car for a year and found myself in those exact conditions with the SR+ seeing 330 wh/mi until I turned the heat down to like 65F and then saw usage drop down to about 305 wh/mi. Ideally you want to have enough energy to make it to a fall back location, which likely would be Pendleton if you had any issues with the EA station being offline or in use. That means you have a target of 123 miles and should have a buffer of 150 miles (Pendleton). At 305 wh/mi that's 37.5 kWh and 45.7 kWh. In the long range cars that's not too bad, but it gets tight in the SR+ (75% charge at the supercharger for your target and 91% for your buffer location; that's a long supercharger visit). I personally haven't done this route in those conditions with my LR Model Y, but I wouldn't be surprised if because of aero and the decent winds this location can get if that was 350 to 370 wh/mi. That would require a 75% charge (if planning to roll into Pendleton with 0% left) to reach the Pendleton supercharger. It's doable in the LR Y for sure, abut gets a little more stressful and annoying with a 50+ minute supercharger visit probably. Personally I don't mind that. I don't travel enough and those conditions are all edge cases, but they ARE things you likely will think about if you're giving up a gas car to be 100% EV (I'm single and just have an EV, so I think about those things). It's when you might have a spouse and young kid in the car that things add up even more. Your spouse might not be happy seeing your range get below 10% or might not mind 25 minute supercharger visits but doesn't want to have to be there for almost an hour, especially if it's 7pm on a Sunday or something.

While the superchargers are incredible reliable, they do still remain a single point of failure, and The Dalles seems like one that has more issues than some around here. Hands down Tesla is the best at keeping chargers working and getting them fixed. I tell everyone I know that if you want an EV you want a Tesla, not just because of the car, but because of the charging network. However, you still need to think about winter and weather and keeping the family happy. Oregon could certainly use like four or five more superchargers fairly soon spaced in the middle of existing routes to truly turn it into the mindset of a gas owner; you don't even think about where you charge. Look at the I82/I90 route East/West across WA. You don't even think about where you're charging because as long as you're not trying to swing into a location with 5% battery, you've got enough range to hit the next charger. Same with the I5 route.

Oregon will get there, but right now it still needs some work and it would be nice if Tesla put some energy into that state.

Hood River
Arlington or Boardman
Madras
Myrtle Creek/Roseburg

One between Bend and Klamath Falls (like Crescent or Chemult)
Burns maybe one between Burns and Ontario
One around John Day area

That would go really far to adding some redundancy and opening up the east side travel to being less stressful. The ones in bold are supposedly coming already, and hopefully within the next 18 months or so. So that means like four or five more could really help turn OR into what WA has recently seen happen.

Edit: In addition, a CCS adapter by Tesla that could do ~100kW would help a lot too. EA even is very weak in eastern OR, but at least at the Hermiston EA station you would have more options to plugs and backups in Sutherlin and Hood River and Bend "coming soon"
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top