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Some California Superchargers not providing maximum charging rates

Discussion in 'California Supercharger locations' started by Tony8489, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. Tony8489

    Tony8489 Member

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    Burbank at 4:30PM today had 5 chargers in use (1 out of order) and 4 people waiting. Temperature was 102F (39C).

    I was told at the Service Center:
    1) Max supercharge rate is guaranteed only at temps of 28C or less.
    2) The superchargers can only be cooled by fans.
    3) If one person leaves on a hot day when a supercharger is busy, it has no chance to cool off before the next person pulls in.
    4) Therefore the new arrival's charge rate will be severely slowed down because of the heat. I was told in the 90-110 amp range.

    I've had my car since April 2. I've had only two hot weather supercharges, one in Fresno June 2 and one in Inyokern June 12. In both cases I was the only car at the supercharger and it was at its usual speedy rate.

    I interpret this as meaning you can expect slow charging if you hit any popular charger on a hot day. One more reason to bypass Tejon for Buttonwillow, which hopefully will have some empty chargers with time to cool down.
     
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  2. DJung

    DJung Member

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    Ah I guess that's why Tesla has been trialing those liquid cooled cables at Mountain View. I do hope they return and undergo a widespread distribution to other SCs
     
  3. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Hmm. Well I'm skeptical for two reasons. First, I've seen completely normal charge rates along busy corridors in excessive heat before. This is clearly something that only recently began occurring. Secondly, most units deliver full power for a minute or so before rapidly declining. If the unit was too hot to deliver the full power, why is it able to do so initially?

    Also, I'm quite certain the charging units are liquid cooled. Techs have been observed swapping out coolant at super chargers.
     
  4. whttiger25

    whttiger25 Member

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    Tony8489, Looks like you and I were on the same schedule more or less, I'm sure I saw you there. I left Reus Systems in Orange, CA at 4:00pm with 21% needing to stop in Burbank (really my only option) to charge. I showed up at Burbank around 5:10pm, with 4% battery, in a 90D. My original goal was to get enough charge to get to Harris Ranch and eventually to Dublin then home in Oakland, but after waiting 45 min for a stall (insanely slow 3 person line because charge rates were so bad) I got the third stall from the left and was getting a steady 35kW. Horrible!!! I charged for 40 fairly useless minutes and left at 6:35 with just enough juice to roll into Tejon Ranch with about 7% at 8pm.

    At Tejon I was the ONLY car there so I was optimistic I could get a rapid charge to quickly make it to Harris Ranch and get a bite to eat and a beer. I tried two stalls and each time started off with about 105kW but within a few minutes this dropped down to 65kW. Not horrible but with a 10% battery on a 90D, and no other cars at the supercharger, I cannot think of a good reason why I wouldn't get the maximum charge rate. This is what I signed up for when buying a $100k tesla - 10% to 80% charge in 40 minutes. I 'm quickly learning that was bull$hit. I decide to charge just enough to get to Harris Ranch on "fumes" (or whatever the electron equivalent would be) hoping for a faster rate there.

    Needless to say I have the same experience at Harris, including the fact that I was the ONLY car there (Mondays are chill in the central valley it seems), trying THREE chargers. After two chargers that start off strong but quickly drop to 60-70kW, I call support and they give me the same old excuse, well there isn't much we can do because we are having issues getting reliable power from the utilities. Really? This isn't something they tested and/or worked out with the utilities before planning this massive infrastructure project? They tell me they haven't had recent complaints with stalls 5A and 6A (the only two out of 12 stalls without recent complaints!) and to try those, but in the end the same thing happens. I end up at the restaurant until closing at 11pm, with enough juice to get to dublin with about 9% at 1:15am. Dublin is great...I charge to 50% with a consistent 100kw that drop to 80kW but edges back up to 90. Dublin is also empty - and I have been there when it is packed and charging is noticably slower.

    Needless to say I left Orange, CA at 4pm and got home at 2am, and made NO extra stops besides necessary supercharging and waiting in line at Burbank. LA traffic probably contributed about 1.5 extra hours, so 8.5 real driving hours to go 400 miles is NOT the experience i signed up for when I bought my Tesla.

    On an unrelated note, I was in Orange to have Reus Systems install my Stage 3 system. At least I had amazing sounding music to listen to during this hellishly long drive!
     
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  5. whttiger25

    whttiger25 Member

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    (Note by the Moderator: This thread contains posts that were split from the Harris Ranch and Tejon Supercharger threads)

    I'll add since taking delivery of my car in June, I've had issues with Gilroy, Atascadero, Vacaville, Burbank, Tejon, and Harris Ranch all either throttling due to heat or pairing or whatever, or other technical issues, that have either made me late to an event or made me get a lot less sleep than I originally planned, and in one case, make my entire family wait an extra 20 minutes at a Starbucks a week after taking delivery and having told them how awesome Supercharging is and how it makes long distance trips in an EV viable. I suppose their skepticism ended up justified....
     
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  6. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    I've got to say that when I bought my Model S in March 2013 and made the trip from the factory to San Diego, it was a no compromise trip, no extra waits, no slow superchargers. This was in the era of 6 supercharger locations for all of CA, and Harris was a single 90 kW SC (they were all 90 kW back then, IIRC).

    Not so early this year with my Model X. First, Tesla did not charge it up fully as I specifically asked (and frankly should do without asking - 2 bit car dealers always sell you a brand new car with a full tank of gas, common courtesy).

    So I ended up charging a bit at the factory, a bit at Gilroy, a lot at Harris (had to wait for a slot, then slow charging), Tejon, and finally Burbank. The trip took longer than anticipated and it wasn't a no compromise trip.

    Part of this problem was poor customer service by Tesla. Part of it was that Model X is an electron gobbling pig at fast highway speeds. And part of was crowded and slower SCs.

    Things have not progressed in three years...
     
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  7. whttiger25

    whttiger25 Member

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    I have argued just now on the Harris Ranch board, that basically if Tesla does not figure out how to make these superchargers reliable, they, and all of us as well, will be in a world of hurt as model 3 production ramps up.

    Ensuring advertised power, all 120kW, will reduce wait times at busy superchargers and allow them to maintain the "no compromise" message that is truly essential to the success - and frankly survival - of their company.
     
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  8. whttiger25

    whttiger25 Member

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    (Note by the Moderator: This thread contains posts that were split from the Harris Ranch and Tejon Supercharger threads)

    And lastly I'll say, based on my personal experience so far, it isn't "some" superchargers in california not consistently delivery full power, it's "most".

    So far, these are the chargers I've visited that delivered full power:

    Monterey
    Rocklin
    Truckee
    Fremont

    And these are the ones that did not:

    Dublin (when it was full I was throttled to about 70kw, it was fine when I was the only car there)
    Vacaville (2x out of 3 visits it was very throttled, about 50kw)
    Gilroy (arrived with 2%, limited to 40-50kw, ended up 1 hour late to a dinner party)
    Atascadero (40-50kw, made my family wait an extra 20 minutes in starbucks, embarassing)
    Burbank (35kw, long wait, pathetic)
    Tejon (throttled to 65kw)
    Harris Ranch (throttled to 65kw)
    Fresno (70-80kW, not as bad but still not the full advertised 100kw and I was the only car there)

    Each time I reported to tech support, and each time electric utility companies were blamed and response was "we are aware of the issues but there isn't much we can do"

    Well...how about you stop the false advertising?
     
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  9. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    You appear to be including times that you shared paired stalls, right?
     
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  10. whttiger25

    whttiger25 Member

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    Of course but it doesn't take away from my point, which is that we are not getting the charging rates advertised. And why is it fair that I'll get a slower charge rate because I'm unlucky enough to end up at a "B" charger?

    And regardless I've had several examples of unpaired stalls still throttling, or burbank where at 35kw it shouldn't matter if it was paired, something was still wrong....
     
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  11. chillaban

    chillaban Member

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    It's getting off topic for this thread, but I've used Gilroy, Buttonwillow, Mojave, Primm, Las Vegas, Tejon, and Harris… and Tejon/Harris are the only ones where I've seen reduced charging issues.

    Overall it hasn't caused me much inconvenience so I'm not very upset about it. I do wish they would fix Harris though or at least post a reduced charging advisory.
     
  12. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    What false advertising??? I think you're being overly dramatic about something that the vast majority of owners wouldn't even notice... Case in point, last long trip we took I can think of only one time where I even thought about the rate of charge and that was at SJC after we got back from starbucks when I noticed I hadn't gained enough range to make it to the next stop when I "should" have...

    Someone else correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think many owners are paying that much attention to just how "fast" they are charging when at a SC stop... What I think most of us care about is whether or not the car is ready to leave when we are, if it is, then how fast it charged to get there doesn't matter... Only if it isn't does anyone start to look for "why"...

    Jeff
     
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  13. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Okay this is the second thread you've went on your rant in... What EXACTLY do you want Tesla to do? I'm sure they are complaining to PG&E (or SoCal Edison) about the load issues during hot\peak demand times but if the utility can only supply X during Y time period, there isn't much you can do.

    If it's a technical issue with the hardware itself, then that's another issue all together but I haven't seen that to be a consistent problem. Perhaps I'm wrong on this and I encourage other owners to contradict me if I am.

    Jeff
     
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  14. whttiger25

    whttiger25 Member

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    Jeff I guess I've had an above average rate of incidences where I had to wait a LONG time to get enough charge to get to the next supercharger.
     
  15. whttiger25

    whttiger25 Member

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    #15 whttiger25, Aug 16, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
    Jeff - I don't understand why my charging rate is throttled down 50-60% at Harris ranch when I'm the ONLY person there at 10:30pm on a Monday night. Both Harris Ranch and Tejon were after peak demand times (8pm and 10pm) and I was the only person charging both times. If they can't get 1 single car 100kw, I don't know how they are blaming the utilities.

    I'm frustrated because I had a nightmare trip from Anaheim to Oakland, I didn't get home until 2am when I shoudl ahve made it home by 11:30pm at the latest, including reasonable charge and waiting times. I encountered issues at 3 out of 4 superchargers, and had to visit 4 superchargers instead of 3, maybe even 2, because of slow charging rates.

    Burbank was the worst, they only have 6 stalls (5 working) and can only provide 35kw to those 5 stalls? You can't blame the utilities for that.

    I'll limit my rants to this thread and stop posting on the other thread. :)
     
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  16. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    I understand your frustration, I really do as I HATE stopping on road trips for anything much less to charge my car... I would be just as frustrated as you are, no doubt. Perhaps the difference to what my reaction would be is tied directly to the source of the problem...

    What I mean is, if it's Tesla's equipment that's the bottleneck then I'd demand to know exactly why and what's being done to fix it. If it's the utility then there isn't a damn thing I can do which would affect my emotional reaction to the problem significantly...

    Jeff
     
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  17. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    I've had one and I wasn't very happy about it but at least I knew "why"... SJC is throttled by SoCal Edison during peak demand times which is just totally BS to start with but I'll save that rant for another time..

    Jeff
     
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  18. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    The advertising, from the Tesla website. Emphasis mine.

    While @whttiger25 has had disappointing charging encounters, and I certainly sympathize, "false advertising" is not the correct term for what has been happening.
     
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  19. whttiger25

    whttiger25 Member

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    As mentioned above, if I'm the only person at a 13-stall supercharger and I can't get full power, that HAS to be Tesla's issue. I just feel like they don't make addressing these issues an urgent priority in any sense of the word.
     
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  20. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    That's where we disagree, we have no viability into the service entrance status. PG&E could be doing any number of things that would adversely effect the availability of energy to the SC, speaking specifically of Harris Ranch.

    What I have always wondered in these cases, and yes this would be on Tesla, is whether or not the handles\contacts need regular servicing and if so, would that be having such and effect on some peoples charging rates? Perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree on that but...

    Jeff
     
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