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Reliability of Superchargers?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by TeslaSinHR, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. TeslaSinHR

    TeslaSinHR Member

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    I am planning a road trip and using superchargers along the way so I can drive as I normally do rather than trying to conserve battery. But if I plan on a supercharger and it isn't working them I'm screwed - well not stranded but spending a LOT of time charging at some nearby EV station.

    How often do people pull up to a supercharger and find that it isn't working?

    Is there a place to see the online / offline status of superchargers? (other than looking for checkins on plugshare / recargo)

    Thanks
     
  2. TonyWilliams

    TonyWilliams Active Member

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    #2 TonyWilliams, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    I just read about one that had every stall blocked with ICE cars. Vandalism is all but guaranteed at some point; these things are not supervised directly, and boys will be boys. There may even be politically motivated anti-Obama-car tea drinkers expressing their deep love for 'Merica with a shotgun on the Superchargers. Copper thieves will be hacking off the charge cord for a few dollars in profits. And, yes, the will be down for maintenance, upgrades, outright failures of any component, failure of the power company or the grid, etc.

    I would probably adopt a policy of charging fully and hope the next Supercharger works, and if not, you can continue on to the next one. That probably means you won't be driving 80mph!

    I would much rather spend an extra 20-40 minutes at the current Supercharger that I know works than the potential for some crazy amount of time at a 208v/30amp Blink (that has a very high likelihood of failure).
     
  3. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    So, TonyWilliams has gone through a bunch of scenarios that are possible to some degree but he left out lightning strikes and sinkholes :wink: Honestly, odds are quite good that the superchargers will be operational and the likelihood that you'll be the first one to discover a problem is pretty low. I'd simply check this site before a long trip to ensure that there are no reports of an offline supercharger and have a backup plan for an emergency.
     
  4. Beavis

    Beavis Signature 991

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    To be safe, you should plan on always charging to max range and stopping to charge at 2/3 of that range. That way, if something goes wrong you will have options.
     
  5. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    A nice conservative approach, but it will increase your time at each Supercharger by at least 30 minutes due to the charge taper as the battery approaches 100% SOC.

    I am very willing to use my rule of distance + 7mi/1000ft + 20%, but would like to have some insurance. Perhaps, Tesla could put some monitors and webcams on the Superchargers. A nice security compromise would be to make these available on the App and the owner web pages. That way you could verify the status of the next station or two on your iPhone or on the 17". There still might be 2+ hours where something could go wrong, but for saving a half hour at every Supercharger, I will take that risk.

    As a side benefit, if there was a webcam, and stalls were ICE'd, you could call the Supercharger toll free number and see if they could rally resources to defrost the ICE while you drove there.
     
  6. Lou Olsen

    Lou Olsen Member

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    I have to admit that the only experience with superchargers is using the ones in the Bay Area. I have never seen any ports down for any reason, and "ICE blockage" has never been a problem ( the one at the Tesla factory is an "all-Tesla" neighborhood and the one in Gilroy is in an area that most ICE drivers wouldn't need to park in). I have experienced having to wait for other MS's to charge (8 Teslas sharing 4 supercharger ports and 2 J1772s in Gilroy), and I've noticed significant differences in charge rate based on conditions that aren't obvious to me. Another thing that may increase your wait time is doing a range charge. I found that if I want to charge beyond the normal charge, the charge rate drops enormously. When time became an issue for me, I just re-adjusted my charge to "normal" and the charge rate went happily from 75 mi/hr to 230 mi/hr. The bottom line for me is that these superchargers are very reliable so far, but you kind of have to get to know their quirks.
     
  7. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    You can always call TM and ask them about the SuperCharger status on your route. We pulled into Harris Ranch in March right before TM lit up the new SuperChargers and I called to ask them about those (as they appeared hot but were not) and they mentioned that all the SuperChargers on my intended route were working normally. Pretty cool! :)
     
  8. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    #8 Larry Chanin, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    For the time being I agree with a conservative approach.

    After a long trip I'm ready for a restroom break and a good meal. Many Superchargers are located at malls where there are several options for restaurants. Personally, I'd be devoting the extra charging time to having a nice meal and not rushing out with fast food. In other words, for me I'm not wasting time for charging conservatively and topping off.

    As the Supercharger network rolls out there is going to be some uncertainty regarding the immediate availability of charging stalls. I think the uncertainty is mostly linked to Supercharger congestion by other Model Ss at popular locations and to a much lesser degree being ICED. In two of our three Supercharger stations in Florida the charging stalls are in out of the way locations at a mall. It would be inconvenient for an ICE vehicle to park there since there is other available parking closer to the stores.

    Supercharger stations have anywhere from three to five Superchargers. So this redundancy reduces the likelihood of an entire station being down for technical problems.

    Until I get a better feel for Supercharger congestion in my state, I think a conservative approach to speed is also a good idea. On long trips I drive at between 64 and 70 mph. The longer the distance, the slower I go.

    Larry
     
  9. TeslaSinHR

    TeslaSinHR Member

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    Thanks for the tip! So TM does monitor which SCs are "hot". Would be cool if they had a web page with SC status - like online / offline as well as how many charger are available - like 8/8 (all available) or 0/8 (all being used). ChargePoint does this and it is very handy!

    I agree that any number of unpredictable factors can prevent me from supercharging. I just haven't done it enough to know how much of a problem those are in my area (ICE blockage, vandalism, regional power outage. etc.) Waiting for a spot to open up when the SC is full should only add about 30 minutes to my trip while having to use an alternate low power charger will have many hours.
     
  10. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    My guess is that they are up to five 9's of reliability which means they are nearly always hot.
     
  11. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    What an incredibly inappropriate rant.
     
  12. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    Agreed, completely inappropriate.
     
  13. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    I've used the SCs numerous times in Gilroy and last weekend at Bueltton and Atascadero. I've never had a serious problem. Once in a while I might find that I need to move my car to get a faster charge, but I've never had a situation where the SCs were all down. Having said that, I wish Tesla would allow us to view the SCs online or with the phone app to determine if they are in use, out of use, or all taken.
     
  14. Benjamin Brooks

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    Of all the SCs in CA, I'd say the Harris Ranch ones have been the most unreliable in my experience.
    2 or 3 times I've shown up with 50% to 100% of their charging bays offline. This is over a span of months...
     
  15. Zextraterrestrial

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    only problem I had was at the Factory

    Delivery had cars parked in the SC spots NOT CHARGING! and the owners were apparently on a Factory tour.
    Then later that evening the test drive car was parked in a SC spot and plugged in but not charging! and no one was there in delivery since it was closed (at least this time there was only 1 other car besides me and the TD car and it left after 15 min so I moved to the full power SC stack)

    I complained to an Engineer that was leaving from his job. He knew how dumb it was for them to leave cars there since you cant draw full power from the second charge plug if a car is plugged, even if it is done charging. It splits 60k/30K, the 30 for me ;< (at least it did on the firmware I was running)
     
  16. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

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    I supercharged at Centralia WA about two weeks ago twice in the same day. First time charging started and was going great so we went to Starbucks. Came back 20 minutes later and screen showed "Charging Stopped. Check charger". Unplugged and replugged, same problem. So we moved from 4A to 1A and charging went fine. I did call ownership and report it.

    On the way home that evening we drive thru a *huge* thunderstorm with heavy lightning. I mean the flash was visible thru the pano roof and less than 1 second later we heard the "boom". Thats close! Buckets and buckets of water raining down, wipers on high could barely keep up. When we arrived back at Centralia plugged in (to lucky # 1A again) and charging was normal. Walked in the rain to Starbucks where we heard customers and staff talking about how happy they were that the power finally just came back on 15 minutes before after a huge lightning strike.

    So I guess the superchargers came back on line no problem after the outage and lightning.

    Glad I wasn't charging myself when the power went off. That would be just too freaky!
     
  17. gbdesai

    gbdesai Member

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    How about some freakin security cameras to deter the riffraff?
     
  18. Effects

    Effects Member

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    Ill jump on this Band Wagon as well. As a gun owner I just got cast as a Tesla hater.
     
  19. brianstorms

    brianstorms Member

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    What would go a long way toward reducing SuperCharger anxiety would be if the 17" screen had an app, plus the Tesla mobile app got a new section, listing out latest statuses of all your nearby SC's. How many miles away, current cars charging, # chargers available, etc. Updates every 30 sec. When on a long trip I'd keep that app running all the time.
     
  20. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    Uh, no. You might want to read that again.

    Rant validity questions aside, the statement was that crazy guy owning a shotgun does something stupid, not that guns owners are crazy.

    A implies B != B implies A. Implication is not a logically reflexive statement.
     

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