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Is Tesla's "End of 2015" Supercharger map possible?

wk057

Vendor & Senior Tinkerer
Feb 23, 2014
5,786
12,616
Hickory, NC, USA
So, last year I started a thread (poll) about whether or not Tesla would make their 2014 supercharger map predictions. (They did not.) I figure it's time for one for 2015... although it seems I can't make a poll anymore in this forum. Oh well, we know how it'd go today.

As of today August 16, 2015, Tesla's supercharger map on their website looks like this:
today-northamerica-crop.jpg


Their current prediction map for 2015 looks like this:
2015-northamerica-crop.jpg


To make it easier to visualize, here is a difference map:
tesla supercharger 2015-08-16 vs 2015 estimates.jpg


Counting the missing pins I lost count after 80 or so.

And while the map style has changed since last year and it is difficult to make a difference map, it is worth noting what Tesla's end of 2015 predictions were less than a year ago:

20141217.jpg


Overall, at this point I think we're just going to have to assume that the predictive maps are just useless. Specifically the I-40 corridor was something on the original 2015 map that was something I was looking forward to, but looks like maybe 2016 now or later. In their defense they did add pins to I-81 through VA, which will be nice if they actually finish them.

According to supercharge.info ~76 superchargers have opened in North America in 2015 so far in the past 228 days. That's about a station every 3 days on average. With 137 days left in the year and 80+ stations to open to make the map, looks like we'll once again not even come close just like in 2014. And that's using their current 2015 map. If you use the original 2015 map... pfft. Would need some actual magic to make that happen.

So based on that and the fact that they missed the 2014 map by a substantial margin last year also, I'm going to say that the same will happen this year with the 2015 map. Maybe by 2017 or 18 we'll have something close to the original 2015 map.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,207
25,846
Texas
Unless there are some "surprise" ones popping up, I reckon they'll get about half done by the end of the year. I suspect that the more SCs installed, the slower the rollout rate mostly due to contract negotiations and city permit delays with a few due to power company issues.
 

reddy

Active Member
Jan 26, 2013
1,021
1,635
Amarillo, TX
It has been difficult to determine, as an outsider, what the strategy is for supercharger siting. What is the 'game plan'?

Note I'm not saying the strategy for choosing a location at 1st Street vs a location on 48th street of the same area.

Just how does Tesla determine which parts of our interstate network to hook up first?

How are the following prioritized?

1) Regional Usage Value: Number of potential users in region? Example: Southern California needs connection to Las Vegas. Almost nobody needs to go to Arkansas or North Dakota.
2) Traffic Usage Value: Traffic density at the site for all users.
3) Connection Value: Need a lower ranked site "B" to connect very high priority sites "A" and "C". You need Huntsville, TX to connect Corsicana, TX to Houston.
4) Cost Installation Expense : Lower cost to site in a place like Weatherford OK vs San Diego.
5) Maintenance Expense: Higher travel cost to get people out to a place like Weatherford OK vs San Diego when system goes down. And when I-40 goes down, high expense to help stranded drivers.
6) Distance User / Local User Ratio: Hawthorne CA is a local place vs Tucumcari NM has no locals at all.
7) Sales & Marketing value : Arkansas is largely untapped market for Tesla, there are affluent people there, need supercharger in range to help sales.

In general, the major interstates ending in 5 and 0 are well sited. Since they have been there 50+ years, they have increased economic growth along those corridors. It wasn't just the result of planning that the bigger cities are there, it is the partially the result of having interstates that the cities got bigger.

Once you come up with a site, you need to assess anticipated demand over next 5 years. Factor in Model X users and perhaps Model 3.
So San Diego gets 12 slots, a places like Trinidad CO get 6.

Some of the choices made don't make a whole lot of sense to those on this forum; thus, the concern : Do they even HAVE a strategy ? Surely they aren't throwing darts at a map of the USA, are they ?

So if there IS a strategy, what the heck is it?
 

techmaven

Active Member
Feb 27, 2013
3,618
9,768
Mainly I just found it interesting that Tesla is behind their new 2015 predictions by a worse amount than they were behind their 2014 predictions at a later point in the year this time. Doesn't really look that great.

I think they have been in a cash crunch that was sufficient to cause a slow down in Supercharger starts. I'm hoping that with the capital raise, they get back to Q1 installation rates.
 

tinm

2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
2,463
12,331
New Mexico, USA
One glimmer of good news is that the Albuquerque supercharger has been finished for months and should finally open in September, along with the new Las Vegas, NM supercharger. Both have been sorely needed to help long-distance drivers get across New Mexico.
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,604
6,451
Merced, CA
Mainly I just found it interesting that Tesla is behind their new 2015 predictions by a worse amount than they were behind their 2014 predictions at a later point in the year this time. Doesn't really look that great.

It's certainly true that the rate is somewhat down over the last 6 months (47 US openings) vs the previous 6 months (61 US openings), but the 6 months prior to that was only 29 openings.

So they're still doing good I think........just as long as the put a supercharger in Fresno :)
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,305
4,540
Central Valley
It's certainly true that the rate is somewhat down over the last 6 months (47 US openings) vs the previous 6 months (61 US openings), but the 6 months prior to that was only 29 openings.

So they're still doing good I think........just as long as the put a supercharger in Fresno :)

Yes, but that would be a "local" supercharger, wouldn't it? :tongue: (Just being cheeky, Sorka!)
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
11,209
9,093
Maine
No.
But, I would consider it a 'good' year if we see even ONE in Maine. :biggrin:.......yes, it is a pet peeve and I know other people/places are in more need.

At this point I'd settle for seeing Seabrook, NH open. That'd at least make the Portland area more accessible. Then Augusta, ME first in 2016. It's 121 miles from Seabrook, and 104 miles (via ME-3, ME-3/US-1, ME-3) from Bar Harbor. (I don't need it, but I'm thinking of the tourists.)
 

MartinAustin

Active Member
Jul 21, 2013
2,862
13,374
Austin, Texas USA
I remember a similar thread about this at the end of 2014. I bet there will be one a year from now re: the 2016 goal.

Look at the "charts" page in supercharge.info. You'll see that the installations in the USA are "level" in mid-year, but invariably speed up during the last few months of the year. (I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't to do with meeting targets) A lot seem to go operational in January of each year - probably indicating those ones were hopeful to go operation in the prior year but failed.

Aug 16th 2014 saw 46 more Superchargers going operational (by the end of that year). That is a long way short of the 80 or more that the 2015 map points to (assuming they install the exact same number). Perhaps in 2015 they can, for want of a better term, go faster?

Don't forget, permits have to be approved by local governments, which is a 3rd-party process that Tesla can't speed up. It will almost certainly muck with the map prediction. The Denton, Texas supercharger has been in permitting for about 11 months!!!

I came across this video a while back, worth watching as it helps to put the process into perspective -
Powering the Charge for Electric Cars - YouTube
 

jjchan

Member
May 15, 2014
107
58
Ohio
Funny :) But not actually because it would still be 60 miles away from me. I just want to be able to make it to Tejon without having to cut all the way over to Harris or come home without cutting all the way over to Harris.

@sorka. The Grove City, OH SC is 78 miles from me, and when I go to the city, maybe 1-2 X per month, I would charge there. Guess what, I got a "Dear Frequent SC User" crab letter, urging me to charge at home!
 

Duma

Member
Nov 16, 2014
169
72
So if there IS a strategy, what the heck is it?

Unfortunately, due negotiating with site owners and local government, this is not as simple as getting a master list of priorities and working down it.

Further, there is anecdotal evidence suggests Tesla's approach involves on focusing on specific parts of the country, and if progress is not made in a "reasonable" time frame, focus shifts elsewhere. There some evidence that several planned sites in central and eastern PA stalled when negotiations were unsuccessful in 2014. At a recent "Next Billion Miles" event, this came up and the Tesla regional manager claimed the SC team was focusing on completing the planned PA sites this year. We'll see.

My point is, there are factors external to Tesla that make this a chaotic process even if there is a clear strategy. I also think Tesla is also being pragmatic, moving on to "easier" sites when others are problematic, rather than obsessing about a proposed site that is not working out.
 

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