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Reviews of Supercharger Sites

Discussion in 'North America' started by Robert.Boston, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Reviews of Supercharger Sites
     
  2. Thread Summary

    Thread Summary Member Generated Post Wiki

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    #2 Thread Summary, Mar 10, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2015
    Not all Supercharger sites are created equal, a fact that was made abundantly clear on my recent drive to Durham NC and back to Portland ME. I thought a thread providing reviews of various sites would be useful for others' planning: which site should I use for meals? which should I skip if I can?

    Here are my impressions of the Superchargers I've personally used (not all on this trip). I'm arbitrarily creating some categories and assigning scores of 1-5, where 5 is best, with remarks to explain my scoring. (I have an A battery, so I'm not always good at judging whether the station is capable of providing >90 kW power.)

    Auburn, MA
    Adequacy of chargers: 5—plenty of new chargers, solid power
    Ease of highway access: 4
    Proximity to services:
    4 (daytime)—longish walk across lightly used area of parking
    2 (night)—long walk, crossing busy roads, when the mall is closed
    Quality of services:
    3 (daytime)—below-average mall, with both food court and stores of low interest. Free wifi, clean bathrooms.
    2 (night)—Golden Pizza makes a good pie but intended as a take-out joint; Dunkin' Donuts is what you'd expect.
    Overall: 3.5 (2 at night)—Not a bad site, but certainly not my favorite. Little to do to pass the time, little food/drink of interest. Mall hours are fairly short, and outside of those hours, you're looking at a long walk to get to a bathroom and wifi.

    Greenwich, CT (Merritt Pkwy) (both directions are very similar)
    Adequacy of chargers: 3—older units. 4 per side can get used up, particularly because tight parking leads to ICEing (which is legal for 15 minutes)
    Ease of highway access: 5
    Proximity to services: 5
    Quality of services: 2.5—Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, and a variety shop. Only seating is stools along a counter. SB side has free air for tire inflation.
    Overall: 3—The easy access along a pleasant route outweighs the limited food choices.

    E Greenwich, RI
    Adequacy of chargers: 4 (not the latest, but 100 kW)
    Ease of highway access: 5
    Proximity to services: 5
    Quality of services: 3--Outback Steak House and other fast food options within easy walking distance.
    Overall: 4

    Milford, CT
    Adequacy of chargers: 1—2 old-design stalls on each side
    Ease of highway access: 5
    Proximity to services: 5
    Quality of services: 3—typical fast-food joints, but at least things are 24/7
    Overall: 3—Easy access with "meh" food choices and risky access to chargers.

    Darien, CT
    Adequacy of chargers: 2—4 old-design stalls on each side; hard to find
    Ease of highway access: 5
    Proximity to services: 5
    Quality of services: 3—nicer seating area than Milford, but similar range of choices
    Overall: 3.5—A bit better than Milford

    Paramus, NJ
    Adequacy of chargers: 5-- new chargers, also this is a great site to shop for a used Model S; the entire stock of CPO trade-ins comes here, per the staff.
    Ease of highway access: 4-- have to exit to a side street.
    Proximity to services: 3 -- have to walk out on busy street.
    Quality of services: 2 — Smashburger only.
    Overall: 3—Location is great for travel along the Garden State Parkway

    JFK Airport, NY
    Adequacy of chargers: 2—4 old-design stalls
    Ease of highway access: 4.5—conveniently close to three highways
    Proximity to services: 1—Services? What services?
    Quality of services: 1—yeah, right.
    Overall: 2—If you use your Tesla as an Uber Black vehicle doing JKF pickups, this is a perfect supercharger. But this is not a location to seek out; it's in a stray parking lot in the middle of the airport complex.

    Edison, NJ
    Adequacy of chargers: 5—8 new stalls, nicely set in quasi-private parking area with low risk of ICEing
    Ease of highway access: 3 (from I-95)—normal routing requires long run on traffic light-infested US-1.
    Proximity to services: 4—closest restaurant, McD's, is across the street, but longer walks to better services
    Quality of services: 4 (day)—good selection of restaurants, mall
    2 (late night)—McD's for a while, then nothing
    Overall: 3.5—Too far off the highway for EZ on/off, but a good place for a decent lunch or dinner

    Hamilton Twp, NJ
    Adequacy of chargers: 4—6 stalls, older design (I think).
    Ease of highway access: 4—normal routing requires longish run on US-130; some detour off I-95.
    Proximity to services: 4—right next to book store, shortish walk to Panera
    Quality of services: 5 (day)—From my POV, Panera and a book store make this an easy place to spend time
    1 (night)—I'm not sure that anything is open late
    Overall: 4 (day) 3 (night)—although this location is a little off the highway, I like the services. Good lunch/dinner location.

    Newark, DE
    Adequacy of chargers: 2—4 stalls, old design; very high volume of traffic means waiting isn't uncommon, and odds of sharing an A/B combo high
    Ease of highway access: 5
    Proximity to services: 5
    Quality of services: 4 (day)—reasonably good selection for a highway rest stop
    2 (night)—be aware that most retailers close fairly early, reducing choice to the large newsstand/variety store (which has a fair bit of food)
    Overall: 4 (day) 3 (night)—Ultra-easy charging with okay services. Currently a non-optional stop for travel on the DC/NYC corridor.

    Bethesda, MD
    Adequacy of chargers: 2—2, older design, may be power limited by Mall location as well as sharing, often busy. This site is classified by Tesla as "temporary" but does serve their Mall showroom for test drive vehicles.
    Ease of highway access: 4—fairly easy from I-270 and I-495 (the DC beltway)
    Proximity to services: 4—short walk to Mall food court with lots of fast food options
    Quality of services: 4—good set of options for eating and shopping
    Overall: 3.5—charging may take longer than other nearby options, but the services help make that tolerable.

    Hagerstown, MD
    Adequacy of chargers: 5—8 relatively new, fully functional.
    Ease of highway access: 5—easy from I-70, at the Outlet Mall.
    Proximity to services: 4.5—short walk to Mall food court with lots of fast food options
    Quality of services: 4.5—good set of options for eating and shopping
    Overall: 4.5—great stop and essential part of the I-70 route.

    Salisbury, MD
    Adequacy of chargers: 5--6 relatively new, fully functional, far exceeds present demand
    Ease of highway access: 5—easy from MD50 or MD13, at a moderate sized Mall
    Proximity to services: 4.5—short walk to Mall food court with lots of fast food options
    Quality of services: 4—good set of options for shopping but eats are at the far end of mall
    Overall: 4.5—great stop and essential to DELMARVA beaches

    Woodbridge, VA
    Adequacy of chargers: 5
    Ease of highway access: 3—close to I-95, but congested traffic. If approaching southbound, the Model S nav will suggest exit 158. Ignore this and go on to exit 156.
    Proximity to services: 4—in outlying parking of the mall, shorter walks to several restaurants
    Quality of services: 5—good mall with lots of selections, plus several co-located restaurants
    Overall: 4.5—aside from the traffic snarls getting into the mall, this is a nice location

    Glen Allen, VA
    Adequacy of chargers: 4—8, older design (?)
    Ease of highway access: 4—fairly easy from I-95 or I-295
    Proximity to services: 4.5—short walk to Panera and Chilis, longer walks to other options
    Quality of services: 4.5—good set of options for eating; shopping is more limited
    Overall: 4.5—good stop during the day. Not sure what, if anything, is available after hours.

    Plymouth, NC
    Adequacy of chargers: 5-- 8 relatively new, fully functional
    Ease of highway access: 4—directly on the route to Roanoke and the Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk
    Proximity to services: 3—in the Holiday Inn Express parking lot, Hardee's immediately next door; anything else prohibitively far, along highway not designed for pedestrian traffic.
    Quality of services: 1—Bare bones minimum, unless you need the hotel.
    Overall: 3—a good overnight stop opportunity, eating elsewhere. Very lightly used.

    South Hill, VA

    Adequacy of chargers: 5—6 stalls is plenty on this lightly used route
    Ease of highway access: 4.5—short, uncongested detour off I-85
    Proximity to services: 2
    Quality of services: 3—the site is in the back of the parking lot for Kahill's Restaurant and Bar, which is a reasonably good place with nice staff. Other than Kahill's, you've got the gas station/convenience store across the street and towards the highway, which looked grim.
    Overall: 3—Easy place for charging, but lean on services. Would rate this as a "4" if you're looking for a sit-down lunch or dinner.
     
  3. Banahogg

    Banahogg Member

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    Now we just need to convince BlueShift to make this kind of review part of supercharge.info so that we can find and share them more easily :)
     
  4. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Great Job Robert. Thanks.
     
  5. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Perhaps I'm remembering wrong, but I thought the JFK supercharger was right next to a building that had a Wendys and possibly other food inside?
     
  6. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Exactly, it needs to be in a wiki format.
     
  7. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Done -- please edit & add.
     
  8. andrewas

    andrewas Member

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    Asker, Norway
  9. Thorsten

    Thorsten Member

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    The general idea of supercharge-me is to create a website with all relevant information concerning the charging of Tesla Model S and Roadsters. This includes not only a map of all Superchargers, CHAdeMOs and HPCs in Europe (right now not 100% complete) but also information about surrounding services like hotels, restaurants, shops and other activities. We also added an area "destination charging" where hotels and restaurants with charging points can be found.

    If you're interested in using the website also for the Superchargers in the US or Asia please let me know. In that case we can also provide the website in English.
     
  10. shelbri

    shelbri Member

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    Milford NB has been upgraded to the newer charge stations. SB is supposed to be upgraded soon. This was one of the first stations placed in service outside of CA.
     
  11. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    That's a nice resource. Maybe you and @BlueShift (owner of supercharger.info) should collaborate? There are parts of yours, like the ratings, that he doesn't have, and vice versa.

    Regardless, I would strongly encourage you to offer at least English and potentially many other languages. There are going to be scads of Norwegians driving their Model Ss through Germany, and English is far-and-away the top second language there.
     
  12. Thorsten

    Thorsten Member

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    I thought about expanding the website supercharge-me.de in a way that all menues, buttons etc. are also available in English. According to some research I did this seems to be a lot of work because the software that I use (joomla!) is not very good in supporting multi-language websites. Furthermore I see a problem in the user generated content. From my point of view it's almost impossible to translate every entry and comment at least into English and German.

    So I decided to add a simple translation function to the website. By selecting one of the flags in the footer you can translate the whole website including the user generated content to different languages. I know that the translation is not always perfect but I hope that now the website can also be used by users from other countries like Norway, Sweden etc.

    What do you think about this solution?
     
  13. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    I think it is fine, however is the site usable from the car?
     
  14. ModelS1079

    ModelS1079 Member

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    This is great.
    Can't wait to post a West Lebanon New Hampshire review.
    Anticipate:
    Highway acess 4.
    Adequacy 4.
    Shops 3.5 (a hedge).
    Speed at moving from complete to active: Argh!
     
  15. Thorsten

    Thorsten Member

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    #16 Thorsten, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
    Today I uploaded all missing superchargers (according to supercharge.info on 8th of July) in USA, Canada, Australia, Japan and China on supercharge-me.de. I hope that the database is complete now.

    If you're interested in using the website to review superchargers and surrounding services or upload photos this would be very welcome. Reviews should be in English or German and are then translated automatically into other languages by the function provided at the bottom of each page.

    Please post ideas for improvement of the website here.
     
  16. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    The GPS coordinates are off for the USA.

    Zooming at the map of Connecticut and Massachusetts, there are 3 superchargers in the water.
    The Albany, NY supercharger is in northern Connecticut, etc.

    This is with Chome on a PC.

    Thanks,
    /Ed

    spercharge-me.de.png
     
  17. Thorsten

    Thorsten Member

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    EdA, thank you for the feedback. The import function rounded the GPS coordinates.

    I uploaded the data again. Now the coordinates seem to be correct.
     
  18. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Much better, thanks!
     

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