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Somewhat redundant and mostly warm climates, active SC construction sites.

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by Evbwcaer, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    I am looking at Supercharge.info and in North America, and 7 of the 11 sites currently being built are in what I would call warm climates. 6 of the 11 seems to be making the network denser, rather than expanding it.

    If I were building the network, and I am not, I would be looking for cold climate sites for summer builds and to expand the network. I am sure there are factors I am not aware of, so please contribute what you know.

    Examples:
    1)Texas. Before southern CA or the NY metro gets yet another SC, get Texas off of its SC island. To me it makes sense at face value, and there are probably a bunch of customers who won't buy in those populations centers because they are stuck.

    2)Montana/Wyoming. It would take about 4/5 SC's to connect Rapid City, SD to Ritzville, WA. Tough climate, do it in the summer. This route would be like the Panama Canal for the NW USA.

    3) Chicago/Kansas. Three SC's here would be very effective. Look at the SC going in between Stamford and Philly. That is about 135 miles and there will soon be 3 or 5 SC in between, depending which ones you count as in between.

    Finally, I am being picky. Tesla is putting huge resources and balls into this network and I really appreciate it. I am just wondering what you all think of their prioritization? The SCs are meant to open long distance travel, but in many cases they are getting dense in areas that don't seem to be so much about long distance travel. That is fine, but I feel the long distance routes should get priority, all things being equal.
     
  2. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Don't think you are picky! No one really knows how/why/where Tesla decides to build their Superchargers. I am just spitballin' here---> the process of site selection through completion is arduous and tedious. Many, if not most, locations are rent-free to Tesla. They want them close to stores and restaurants to enable us to do something while our cars charge. Permitting can take months to gain approval, and then the crews have to be able to coordinate with the local utilities to complete the work. I recall one location in Pennsylvania needed approval from the town council to construct it, and it became more political than pragmatic. San Juan Capistrano took 10 months!

    I believe that some amount of redundancy is necessary because of the limited spaces available at many of their existing sites. Unless their lease specifically allows expansion, they will have to open up new locations 25-50 miles away, perhaps on a different highway, to avoid congestion at the ones they currently operate. They also want some redundancy where they have a lot of owners that take the same highways to leave or return which is why California and the NY Metropolitan areas have so many. (There just is not much of a selection of highways into and out of Los Angeles!)

    Your remark about the weather makes sense, but maybe they can get more jobs done in these colder climes when there is not a lot of other construction competition. Labor might be less expensive because the tradesmen would rather work than draw unemployment. Since you are from Minnesnowta, you would have a better handle on winter construction activities than I.

    The "Texas Triangle" is a conundrum, but I feel that the route eastward to Jacksonville along Interstate 10 will be done by spring, followed by the northern route to Oklahoma.

    The release of the Model X with its appeal to family vacations is the catalyst for Tesla to get these locations running by the Summer of '15. We probably should revisit this thread in March 2015!

    (And I am still waiting for Superchargers in the Central Valley of California along highway 99. Right now there is nothing from the Grapevine to Vacaville/Folsom/Roseville!)
     
  3. RileyCPA

    RileyCPA Member

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    I didn't think about it but you're right about the grapevine. The only site running through the middle of California that is in the permit process is Manteca. Other than that there is nothing running down 99. Chowchilla and Visalia would be optimal spots connecting the planned Manteca site in northern California to Southern California along 99. I remember reading somewhere it doesn't take long for a site to go up (about a week or two of construction). I would imagine its the negotiation and permitting process that eats up most of this time but I would suspect as Tesla builds more superchargers and they become more acceptable to the local principalities that the level of bureaucracy will get smaller.
     
  4. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    I think that the Supercharger team is doing a great job.

    It's no secret that the intial roll-out in North America is in the USA versus Canada and focused on population centers where there are a lot of Model Ss. The vast majority of Model S owners are trying to travel across their respective states, not across the country. So in implimenting the initial roll-out it serves the maximum number of owners to build out the network starting in those high density ownership areas and working out, up and down the coasts and across the country. This is what the Tesla Supercharger team has done and it makes perfect sense.

    It doesn't make sense to start in thinly populated areas up north or elsewhere. Eventually that will happen, but I am comfortable with their prioritization.

    It isn't wise to take a snap shot of the build out in one point in time and make far reaching inferences regarding the roll-out strategy.

    Larry
     
  5. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Agree. Most intercity travel is on the order of a few hundred miles, not a thousand miles or more. And I say that as one stuck in the Texas Triangle. I've lost count of how many times I've used these superchargers, but I'd only go beyond them maybe once a year.
     
  6. DennisLevitt

    DennisLevitt Member

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    +1 @LarryChanin. The map for 2014-15 shows a lot of filling out, but the initial rush was to enable travel coast-to-coast and up and down each coast. Not coincidentally, the biggest concentrations were in areas where there are Tesla cars roaming around. Driving around LA, I see several every day, and more if I go to West LA. I drove cross country last April, and between Colorado and New Jersey I saw one other Tesla.
     
  7. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    It's true that we travel within Texas more often than we'd travel out of Texas, but not by much. We would take considerably more advantage of our Model S if Texas weren't such an island. We can't wait for those supercharger bridges to be built.
     
  8. vgrinshpun

    vgrinshpun Active Member

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    I think that Tesla Motors doing outstanding job with the Superchargers. To begin with this is the only company that is focusing on the system designed for intercity driving, not just throwing chargers at odd locations around the country.

    Also just to put things in perspective the scale of their roll-out around the globe is just astounding. On April 24 of this year they celebrated 100th supercharger globally As of August 21, 119 days later they have 176 superchargers in US, Europe and Asia, i.e. global roll-out is proceeds at about two superchargers every 3 days!

    I would give them some slack...
     
  9. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    I did a rough metro area analysis of Superchargers here:

    Tesla Supercharger network - Page 508

    Atlanta is getting dug out slowly, with Greenville SC being a particularly frustrating and perplexing situation (construction started but then stopped with no explanation). Boston is probably the one most behind right now. In general, New England could definitely use some Supercharger love before winter sets in. We know that whatever was blocking Canadian Superchargers seems to have been lifted and we're starting to see more of that. Routes through northern PA and most of NY are still barren, as is pretty much anything north of Boston.

    I think connecting Texas to Florida is probably makes sense as one of the significant corridors to hook up, but that could also be done nearer to winter. It also makes sense to build towards St. Louis. We are probably between 8-12 Superchargers from connecting St. Louis from each major direction (west to Salinas KS, SE to Chattanooga, NE to Dayton, North to Normal, IL). Throw in a few to connect KS to through OK to TX, and we're talking a significant change in connectivity. Travel from Chicago to FL or TX becomes feasible, TX to Denver, Atlanta to Denver, etc.

    I still believe that Tesla's Supercharger deployment is limited by the SG&A spend on a quarterly basis in order to stay non-GAAP profitable. So the huge build out in Europe right now slows down the U.S. deployment. I think that reverses as we approach the end of this year. Hopefully sooner if Tesla wants to achieve their 2014 map in 2014.
     
  10. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    #10 PhilBa, Aug 22, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
    As a long time watcher of the SC deployment, I admire the progress that Tesla has made so far. It's pretty amazing when you look back 2 years.

    On the other hand, I do not admire the way Tesla has gone about it. Progress comes in fits and starts. They have poor communications about the direction of the network and seem to change plans quickly and regularly. Some of their sites have been "coming soon" for a lot long than anyone's definition of soon. I suspect the planning team is small and is driven more by top down mandates and opportunism rather than by a long term strategic plan. Support for Elon's trip is probably the best example of this. The first transcontinental route could have been a number of SCs shorter if it was truly just a transcontinental route. The European spurt probably came at the expense of the North American system because one team couldn't focus on both. @techmaven, I think this is more of a limiting factor than spending constraints. The whole thing just feels a bit ad-hoc.

    What I would like to see is more of a route based planning document rather than their "approximate location" map approach (they did this in Europe but switched to the US approach at some point). Tell us the priority of each route. They need to be a machine pumping out SCs at a [reasonably] predictable rate in each geography. Or maybe just tell us something like "this quarter we're doing Europe". Of course, I'd also like to see them improve their communications about the deployment.
     
  11. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    I am not sure about that--in theory there should be a reserve set aside from all the $2000 SC payments from buyers, so they are bleeding that off, so they have already taken the expense hit. I would expect it works much the same way as the reserve for car warranties. That being said, I am not a Tesla accountant, so not really sure how they are handling things. :)

    O
     
  12. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    20 months of ownership in an area still far out of reach of a Supercharger here...and yea, I'm a little baffled at the deployment schedule. I suspect, in some cases, it is for marketing purposes...population density and all that. In other cases it may be easier to get contracts and licensing completed than others. And in some cases it's just not thinking things through for what would be best for the most people.
     
  13. etheric_jerry

    etheric_jerry Member

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    Seeing how Tesla is Building the SUPERCHARGER STATION here in Edison, NJ (Ain't that a paradox!!!) it's part local government , red tape and politics that slow things down and of course, PUBLIC SAFETY being paramount to the locations and users...............herein the NE along the rt 1 corridor I would surmise that they pose a economic THREAT to the gas stations and the dealers, the guv here banned the sales of Teslas directly............................so it will take time as the public and business stubbornly realize the electric car in this model is here to stay and will benefit the users and environment in it's usage.
     
  14. emupilot

    emupilot Member

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    I don't think there would be as much frustration about where they were putting in superchargers if they were at least putting in more of them in North America. Their 2014 map has about 100 stations more than exist right now - they might be running on Tesla time but surely they have a plan to actually do it. I expect that now that the European burst is done, we'll see the focus back on North America. Even on an expedited schedule it takes at least 3 months to get a supercharger operational, so we should start expecting an increased rate of openings in November and then continuing for the following few months.
     
  15. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    No, the $2000 is for the hardware and software in the car to make it capable to use superchargers. Nothing to do with building out the supercharger network.
     
  16. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    I'm doubtful that's the case. By paying $2500, a 60 kWh car can be retroactively supercharged enabled with only an inspection by Tesla, no added hardware. The hardware is already there and the cost to install the software for Tesla is pretty close to zero.
     
  17. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    Yup. I have no direct knowledge of the how they are doing SC accounting but it seems to me that they couldn't book all the revenue from SC enabling immediately since it's the promise of a future service. I'll have to ask my CPA (i.e. wife) what makes sense here.
     
  18. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    Not really, all recent cars are SC-capable, you just need to ante up the $$. Perhaps you are thinking of the dual charger option; however, the SC does not use the onboard chargers, it bypasses them and connects to the battery directly. The $2K is against the future costs of the SC network, but seeing as the SC network is considered a marketing expense by Tesla, there is some interesting accounting afoot (not implying any shenanigans).
     
  19. cpa

    cpa Member

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    PhilBA and others:

    Read the management discussion of operations in the most-recently filed form 10-K for Tesla Motors. Somewhere in all the verbage Tesla discloses that the costs associated with the build-out of the Superchargers are capitalized. The revenue portion (presumably the $2,000) is credited to the balance sheet upon each sale and is amortized to income over a number of years. Doubtless Tesla is matching the depreciation expense of the Superchargers with the fees collected from its customers for their construction.

    Tesla Motors - Annual Report

    See pp 85 and 97 for more detail.

    I are a CPA too, and your wife can elaborate on some of the jargon!
     
  20. bsbomber

    bsbomber Member

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    I just passed my 18th month of ownership and completely disagree with your assessment. It has been a pleasure to be on the Supercharger Highway and also watch its development. Even living in southern MO, you are real close to being connected to the I-70 corridor to the north. The I-40 corridor will also be developed soon.

    Do folks think Tesla can snap their fingers and these Superchargers appear. The Supercharger deployment in my opinion...has been spot on.
     

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