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My realization after 5 yrs of ownership...Tesla needs to replicate the Gas station experience

eye.surgeon

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
1,368
2,353
California
Now before you all jump down my throat, here me out. I know it's a popular pastime to diss the gas station experience, but here's the thing. After owning my MS for 5 years, I realize there are certain things about the gas station experience that I do not miss at all, but some things I do. A supercharger station needs to replicate the positive assets of a typical gas station. There needs to be a convenience store that sells things, especially snacks and food, and there needs to be bathrooms. I realize there are a handful of such SC stations, but not many. Most don't even have so much as a garbage can. As the need for larger and larger SC stations increases, Tesla needs to duplicate the Kettleman City type of SC station for mainstreamers to make the leap. I know for a fact that many nearby businesses to current SC stations resent Tesla owners using their bathroom and dumping their trash. Tesla needs to own the SC experience front to back and not sponge off nearby businesses to provide infrastructure. I suspect a partnership with existing companies like Chevron is the right way to do this as Tesla has shown itself to be pretty terrible at anything other than building great EVs.
 

rhumbliner

Member
Sep 24, 2015
717
901
Las Vegas
Not a bad idea. I would hope to see mini-mart operators to approach Tesla about installing SuperChargers. They always claim they make no money selling gasoline — it’s the snack foods that bring in the profits —so they shouldn’t care if they’re pumping petroleum or electrons. They’d be free to charge whatever rate they see fit but a low rate would entice more customers to stock up on snacks.
 
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Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,809
4,431
Colorado, USA
I was talking to someone who owns an RV park and explaining that if they catered to EV drivers they may discover a new generation of patrons. The RV park we were at was a KOA Holiday and I wasn't even aware these were a thing. They had a nice pool, convenience store, very nice bathrooms with showers (new granite, lighting, fixtures, etc) and a playground for kids as well as bikes you could ride around and various other games and entertainment. They even had tiny homes on site with 50A service for those in their RV that wanted to sleep in a real bed for the night. I feel that this would be a simple transition and would be a great way for those who travel to charge up overnight and rest and relax at the same time. We camped in our car the rest of the trip but that one night at that KOA was a welcomed relief and money well spent.

I get what you're saying is different from what I just described but they're related. I agree that having snacks, restrooms & windshield washer stations would be super useful and as gas stations start to go the way of the dodo would fill a void that will be left behind. Most Superchargers we've gone to have had a convenience store nearby but for the ones that have nothing other than a hotel or less this isn't as convenient. I know that people at these would pay a premium for snacks and what not if it was offered. It would be nice to see more healthy alternatives other than the simple junk you find at most convenience stores. I know it wouldn't be super popular but I imagine the Tesla owner group has a larger percentage that would appreciate such things than the average consumer.

There's other Tesla specific things that could be added maybe down the road but I agree there are plenty of Supercharger locations that could GREATLY benefit from some sort of convenience store. Just think of all of the available parking once those big nasty real estate-hogging pumps are gone. It would be wise for either a 7-Eleven, Wawa or similar to approach Tesla about installing a couple of stalls behind their building or far away parking spaces just to see if they notice an uptick in sales. This would also help them to diversify as we all predict a sharp decline in gasoline sales in the years to come. Once they prove the model to transition to EV offerings as fuel numbers decline is a simple one they'll have a pathway for success into the future as the EV revolution comes... regardless of how rapidly it happens which is a hot topic these days even among EV drivers.
 
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Webeevdrivers

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
2,495
4,776
Canada
Chademo and CCS stations are starting to pop up at Petrocan gas stations in Canada. There is one about 400 yards from us. Also right across from A & W and Starbucks. It would be nice if Tesla could jump on and provide a couple handles as well. Leaf drivers like us could sit and stare st the “Tesla Porn” while we are waiting for our Leafs to charge up at 80 KW while Tesla does it at 150 Kw. :).

Just sayin.
 
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KJD

OD 7/27 MYLR Red/Black 19's/ No FSD/ Del 11/20
Supporting Member
Dec 14, 2013
1,423
1,199
SLC, UT
I am sure there are lots of different opinions on what makes for a great supercharger location. Myself I like the locations that are at hotels because they keep the bathrooms much cleaner than a gas station or convenience store. My wife has commented on how much she dislikes the locations where a gas station is the only thing within walking distance.

A coffee shop is also a good location for a supercharger but thats just me. Not sure there is anything I really miss about the gas station experience.
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
7,087
Delaware
I am sure there are lots of different opinions on what makes for a great supercharger location. Myself I like the locations that are at hotels because they keep the bathrooms much cleaner than a gas station or convenience store. My wife has commented on how much she dislikes the locations where a gas station is the only thing within walking distance.

A coffee shop is also a good location for a supercharger but thats just me. Not sure there is anything I really miss about the gas station experience.

I have a couple different opinions, myself. :)

When I'm traveling in not too much of a hurry during normal business hours, the locations I like most are the ones with a few good restaurants around, preferably not chains.

When I'm driving in the middle of the night to get somewhere I need to be, a WaWa or equivalent is the ideal option.

I don't really feel comfortable walking in to a hotel I have no intention of staying at and using their bathrooms.
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,305
4,540
Central Valley
Today, level 3 charging generally takes anywhere from 12-15 minutes up to 45 minutes, depending upon many factors. This length of time is from two to eight times longer than filling up our ICE vehicles. Today, we can time meals or shopping during the longer charging times and limit our activities to the bathroom and perhaps a quick snack for the shorter ones.

I think this idea has merit, but I think it will not become common until the science can reduce charging times by half and BEVs are 20+% of cars on the road.

I think a side benefit to this idea is that the convenience store/mini mart would own the charging stations. They would have more of an incentive to maintain these stations and get them repaired quickly. Too often these days, Tesla SC stations are in various states of service. The vast majority are just fine. But there is an ever increasing frequency of locations with one or more stalls that are broken, contaminated plugs, faulty hardware in the cabinets producing slower charge times, and other nuisances. Tesla's track record of servicing these issues is not good, as many of these issues linger for months and months.
 

aaron0k

...
Apr 1, 2013
667
879
-
Today, level 3 charging generally takes anywhere from 12-15 minutes up to 45 minutes, depending upon many factors. This length of time is from two to eight times longer than filling up our ICE vehicles.

Too bad that Tesla abandoned pack swapping.


Funny that NIO is making Tesla owners sitting in their cars supercharging cringe... as they see NIO's swapped in 3 minutes.

Nio-battery-swap-station-tesla-supercharger.jpg


Tesla-Barstow-Supercharger-line-queue.jpg
 
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KJD

OD 7/27 MYLR Red/Black 19's/ No FSD/ Del 11/20
Supporting Member
Dec 14, 2013
1,423
1,199
SLC, UT
I don't really feel comfortable walking in to a hotel I have no intention of staying at and using their bathrooms.
If the Tesla superchargers are in the hotel parking lot ( Boise ID for example) then part of the agreement with Tesla is that the hotel has to let drivers and passengers use the bathrooms in the common area of the hotel. There are many locations like this out west and I have never had any of the hotel staff complain.
 

mociaf9

Active Member
Oct 18, 2018
3,050
6,370
CA
Now before you all jump down my throat, here me out. I know it's a popular pastime to diss the gas station experience, but here's the thing. After owning my MS for 5 years, I realize there are certain things about the gas station experience that I do not miss at all, but some things I do. A supercharger station needs to replicate the positive assets of a typical gas station. There needs to be a convenience store that sells things, especially snacks and food, and there needs to be bathrooms. I realize there are a handful of such SC stations, but not many. Most don't even have so much as a garbage can. As the need for larger and larger SC stations increases, Tesla needs to duplicate the Kettleman City type of SC station for mainstreamers to make the leap. I know for a fact that many nearby businesses to current SC stations resent Tesla owners using their bathroom and dumping their trash. Tesla needs to own the SC experience front to back and not sponge off nearby businesses to provide infrastructure. I suspect a partnership with existing companies like Chevron is the right way to do this as Tesla has shown itself to be pretty terrible at anything other than building great EVs.
It would be a bad business investment unless Tesla either massively increased the price they were charging for the electricity (i.e. made it a serious profit center) or gouged you worse than a movie theater on the snacks and drinks. And neither option is good or likely to be effective because there would be cheaper options elsewhere. People wouldn't buy as many Teslas if the supercharger network was viewed as vastly overpriced. Or people would just buy their snacks somewhere else. The problem for EVs is that the gas station & convenience store model is really based on high traffic. They generally make very little annual profit on selling the actual gas. And EVs recharge too slowly, so there's a low stall turnover rate and therefore a low throughput for a given amount of space. In order to get enough traffic moving through, you need to build a massive charging station. Which means you need much more land, which is going to be much more expensive, so you need even higher traffic to be profitable, etc.

This same problem is topic of discussion for gas stations due to the rising fuel efficiency of cars, too. People are stopping for gas less often.
 

CT200h

Member
Feb 8, 2016
188
218
usa
New WaWa planned in Vienna Va has 8 250kw Tesla superchargers, no gas will be sold.
I’m betting Wawa has looked at the economics. Turnover rate will be quick for a supercharger/EV charge stall , but I doubt as high a rate as a typical gas pump. I think it is however much more likely that a Tesla owner will go into the store and purchase food. Very high number of gas purchasers at typical WaWa don’t go inside. Though I bet WaWa and sheets have the highest Fuel/food conversion rates.

https://www.bizjournals.com/washing...proaching-northern-virginia-beltway-with.html
 

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