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Supercharger congestion with model 3 arrival?

hroussel

Member
Aug 8, 2017
69
43
Montreal
Hello.

I recently did my first road trip in my S75D, a total of 1300km (round-trip), between Montreal, QC and Hamilton, Ontario. An amazing experience! I'll post another message about this.

But one thing I noticed is on the way back when I stopped at the Port Hope supercharger, there were already 3 model S and 2 model 3 plugged in. So I became the 6th car, out of 8 chargers. And shortly after I arrived another model S came, leaving only one connector.

Then further down the road in Kingston there were 2 model S and 1 model 3, so I was the 4th car out of 6 chargers.

Now, considering that the model just arrived in Ontario (saw a news about this on May 14th) it makes me wonder whether by the fall the supercharger network will become unusable because of congestion.

What do you think?
 

hroussel

Member
Aug 8, 2017
69
43
Montreal
People have been speculating about the impending collapse of the supercharger network due to congestion for 5 years. So far, so good.
I'm just worried that in the span of 6-7 weeks, the proportion of model 3 to model S at superchargers was so high. I wonder if the 500km range of model 3 is a factor "encouraging" people to do more long distance trips. In other words the proportion of model 3 owner doing long distance is higher than what Tesla might have expected.
 

boaterva

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,573
3,746
Northern Virginia, USA
Tesla is building out the network in many places with large Model 3 reservations and hopefully will keep ahead or at least abreast of demand. This has been a topic since we first said ‘oh, crap, 500K reservations’! :D

I think as long as people don’t squat on chargers, it will be fine. But it will be interesting, to be sure!
 
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ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,357
2,749
Redmond, WA
As tes-s implied, Tesla has been building out the network at a rate similar to new cars on the road for years (and people have been afraid they would suddenly stop the whole time). Growth in both comes in chunks so there are some tight spots, but overall the model has worked extremely well.

Of course there will be a problem if Tesla stops adding superchargers at the same rate they build cars, but I see no reason to assume they will do that.

Also remember that 3 drivers don't get free supercharging, so they should do less camping and filling just because. Although they probably will want to try it out when their car is new.
 

mikevbf

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2012
1,856
4,339
vermont
I think as long as people don’t squat on chargers, it will be fine. But it will be interesting, to be sure!

With just a little input from the user about planned destinations before a home charge, it would be wonderful if not only did the car tell you when you had enough to be on your way, but also a gently suggested to be courteous and move along for the sake of other drivers when the system sensed congestion at the supercharger. I'm probably not the first to suggest such a thing?
 

hroussel

Member
Aug 8, 2017
69
43
Montreal
With just a little input from the user about planned destinations before a home charge, it would be wonderful if not only did the car tell you when you had enough to be on your way, but also a gently suggested to be courteous and move along for the sake of other drivers when the system sensed congestion at the supercharger. I'm probably not the first to suggest such a thing?
Actually it already does that. On my trip back from Hamilton, with the busy stations at both Port Hope and Kingston, I got messages telling me that my car would soon be completed charging, and that I should move out of the way otherwise charges would apply.
 

hroussel

Member
Aug 8, 2017
69
43
Montreal
As tes-s implied, Tesla has been building out the network at a rate similar to new cars on the road for years (and people have been afraid they would suddenly stop the whole time). Growth in both comes in chunks so there are some tight spots, but overall the model has worked extremely well.

Of course there will be a problem if Tesla stops adding superchargers at the same rate they build cars, but I see no reason to assume they will do that.

Also remember that 3 drivers don't get free supercharging, so they should do less camping and filling just because. Although they probably will want to try it out when their car is new.
It's true that just last week, in fact right after I completed my trip, a new supercharger station opened in Belleville, 83km from Kingston. And it has a whopping 20 stalls!

Now the next useful feature in the navigation system would be to tell you, via a popup message, how many stalls are available. Like for example 5 mins before you reach your intended destination. It could say "1 stall available out of 20. But 5 out of 8 in Port Hope" or something like that. One could then take a quick decision and keep going to the next spot.
 
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Tdriver

Member
Jan 20, 2015
560
310
Palm Desert, CA
Since M3 owner pay for SC juice, I think you will see most owners charging at home unless on an extended trip. Here in the Coachella valley, CA, I pay $.12 at home and $.26 at the SC. Doesn't make sense to use the SC when I can charge at home.
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,771
7,986
Maine
I fully expect that Tesla will build Superchargers matching demand. I would suggest that the significant increase in Canadian Superchargers seen from late last year was directly connected to planned sales that are happening now.

It would be bizarre for Tesla to take a systematic approach to coverage, but ignore capacity. Given the way the number of plugs per site has grown over time, I think it's clear that Tesla does address capacity.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
6,879
Canyon Lake,CA
Tesla has been pretty clever with their Superchargers and rollout of the higher volume Model 3.

1. They have opened a bunch more locations, both Urban and Highway.
2. They have added additional Superchargers to existing locations exibiting higher volume.
3. They have eliminated free Superchargers for Model 3s. Cheaper to charge at home and reduced the inducements of free.
4. Implemented congestion chargers. You are notified to move your plugged in car or will be charged a congestion fee. If the Supercharger is nearly empty, no charges will apply.
5. They notify everyone when the necessary charge is close to being finished. Induces you to go to your car in anticipation of charge behing completed.
6. Forum posts educate owners where and when the most congested chargers will be and at what times.
7, First rolled out the extended range battery models. They charge faster and need charging less often.

Believe they are doing a great job. From what I read and experience almost all Superchargers currently have plenty of capacity for the fleet already produced. Feel that 99% of the time a stall will be available immediately upon arrival, or maybe a 5 minute wait. Only less than 1% of the Superchargers will experience capacity problems. (of course those will get all the publicity and complaining).
 
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electracity

Active Member
Jun 8, 2015
4,028
2,531
60606
Since the model 3 owners are paying for supercharging Tesla has an incentive to add stations to meet demand. Tesla may have slowed deployment a bit in the last 12 months to conserve cash, but as model 3 sales surge they should accelerate installations. The preconstruction part is the hard part.

Although for Tesla metro area planning is probably a bit tricky. How many model 3 buyers in LA do not have home charging?
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,280
10,944
United States
Once people recognize that there's only 1 proper use of L3 charging (When you're mid-way between A and B) there won't be a problem. If you're at point A... use L2. If you're at point B... use L2. A supercharger costs ~$25k per bay. A HPWC costs ~$500. Charge at home. If you can't charge at home charge at work. If you can't charge at work or home then charge where you shop or eat. If none of those options are available then petition your landlord, employer or shop owner to install charging stations. L3 is not an alternative to L2... it's a bandaid.
 
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cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,212
4,264
Central Valley
Tesla has been learning as it builds out the Supercharger network. The earliest installations were usually 4-8 stalls. The spacing between locations varied with some distances over 200 miles. As time passed, Tesla learned to increase or expand the number of stalls per location to 10, 12, or as many as 20 (plus the two 40-stalls sites at Kettleman City and Baker.) Tesla started to infill their installations--look at Interstate 5 between Santa Clarita and Sacramento as well as Interstate 15 from the Inland Empire to Las Vegas.

They have the raw data for usage at each discrete location. They know the popular routes, the congested times of day/week/month, and they know the locations of and how many vehicles are being added to the fleet across the globe. Tesla is building out the network as best they can given the vagaries of obtaining the necessary permits and agreements (see Ft. Stockton.)

There will be times in the coming years where certain locations may be a bottleneck at times, and we may have to wait, or get sloppy seconds when we plug in. But I think Tesla does have longer-range plans (beyond 24 months) to augment and enhance the network to reduce these occurrences.

The fact that the Dieselgate settlement is forthcoming may also alleviate some of the stress if Tesla vehicles could be able to get charges at those locations (assuming there would be a way to obtain compatibility.)
 

hroussel

Member
Aug 8, 2017
69
43
Montreal
The two stations you stopped at may have been busy, but you also drove past 3-4 sites with 16-20 stalls each. Plus a couple more sites of similar size under construction.
Actually a few days after my trip the Belleville supercharger station opened, with 20 stalls. So I guess they're following closely the situation after all!
 
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