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Supercharger Crowding?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by russman, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. russman

    russman Member

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    As more and more Tesla's become available, thoughts about true availability to the free Supercharging network? Especially in places like CA, I've seen posts about Hawthorne having long wait times, I figure Coalinga and Gilroy to start to become an issue.

    What do you do if a supercharger is full? Early adopters had free access to them, now that more and more people will use them, will it become like a Costco gas station?

    I know Tesla is increasing some SC from 4 to 8 or more.... but still hearing about them being full.

    Are you guys concerned about SC overcrowding?
     
  2. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    #2 SFOTurtle, Dec 31, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
    From what others have posted on TMC, Hawthorne is a problem because there are only 6 bays and there are many locals who use the SC as their gas tank. I doubt Gilroy will have any overcrowding issues any time soon with the recent addition of 5 or 6 (not positive of the exact number) of new bays in the past month, bringing the total to 9 or 10.

    One further note on Gilroy: Although the new bays have been operational for a couple weeks now, Tesla has not updated its website to reflect that.
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Not particularly. Most of the stories end with "one or more cars that were charging pulled out within ten minutes or so". As long as Tesla keeps adding to the number of SCs and the number of units per SC, it shouldn't be much of a problem.
     
  4. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    I had my first "not ideal" experience last week at a supercharger last week on my trip to Kirkwood ski resort from San Diego.

    When I arrived at the Folsom site, all 4 stalls were full. I figured I'd have to wait a little while (10 minutes or so).

    I ended up waiting over 30 minutes, during which time 3 of the cars finished charging, one for over 20 minutes, but no one came to move them. None of the cars had any notes with phone numbers, so I just had to wait. Thankfully, the non fully charged owner retuned and moved his car.

    What ideally would have been a 30 minute stop turned in to over an hour.

    Fortunately, I was able to skip Folsom on the return trip and I'll never need to stop there again once Manteca is up and running.
     
  5. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    IMO SuperChargers should be monitored via cameras and any behaviours of negligence preventing or delaying other Model S Owners to charge should be considered for tickets.
     
  6. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    From what I've heard here, far too many Californians use SCs for more than just road trips. They're almost TOO common!

    The other effect is that because there's free fuel and a dense network of SCs in most of California, people take more road trips than they otherwise would, which ironically is worse for the environment AND crowds the superchargers more.

    Don't see it as becoming a major problem though. I suspect Tesla will just continue to build out their network. Might require some patience in the short term, but in the long run Tesla's going to end up with a monopoly on fast charging stations.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Weird. You would think that people would be better behaved, simply because they don't want the same thing to happen to THEM.
     
  8. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    Yes, you'd think, but a lot of these people either don't care or don't realize the stress they are causing. Some no doubt show up when no one is there, plug in, and then think there's no hurry to get back and disconnect because no one is waiting. I've seen this at Gilroy.
     
  9. aaron0k

    aaron0k Member

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    It would probably help if the MS could send you a text/notification when it completed charging, like some other EV's. Someday.
     
  10. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    That would make sense. Since there is already an app, adding notifications would be rather easy. I'm really surprised it does not do it already.
     
  11. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    In Gilroy, I saw 10 stalls (6 new) and 6 supercharger cabinets (4 new). Not sure where the two missing stalls are. There's also conduit in place for two additional cabinets, though I couldn't tell where the corresponding stalls would be. Shouldn't be much of a problem for while.
     
  12. howardc64

    howardc64 Member

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    #12 howardc64, Dec 31, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
    Its interesting to consider why is SC free? Or probably more accurately prepaid for in advance in the sales price and/or early adopter incentive :)

    One obvious reason is EV's long distance travel refueling can't beat the quick turn around time of gas refueling. So long distance EV travel has to pay some extra time penalty. Making the SC feel like its free is a good way to give the consumer incentive to counterbalance the hassle. Seems like a good way to reduce "friction" :)

    Is the SC free to promote local commute usage for the life of the vehicle? I don't know if this was the original goal. If so, SCs in or near metro centers will have a major scaling problem as install base of EVs increase at metro centers.

    In any case, it seems Tesla will have to adjust this policy in the future as the number of cars scale. Seems like a couple of possibilities are 1) reduce car price and have owners pay for SC use 2) owner pay for local SC use. I would certainly like to see more metro center SCs to make it easy on out of town visitors and continue to promote the image of total travel freedom like the gasoline cars. I'd imagine Tesla would have to grandfather all previously sold cars to make it palatable to the entire owner base.
     
  13. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Full SCs are actually fairly rare. Hawthorne will get much better once San Juan Capistrano is built in 3 weeks. AFAIK, the only two sites that have routine problems are Hawthorne and Gilroy - and Gilroy just got expanded.
     
  14. Johann Koeber

    Johann Koeber Member

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    Supercharging is free.

    But eventually you will be paying in terms of waiting time for a free spot.

    So you will not be paying $$$$, but the inconvenience of waiting. You could put a price tag on that, but this is a different discussion.

    Anything Tesla can do to reduce this problem will be greatly appreciated.

    - more locations
    - more stalls
    - better use of the equipment

    If ever a sort of reservation system will be implemented, it will be an intelligent one. Elon mentioned in Munich an update of the navigation software to optimize your route, taking into account the SC locations. I guess that would be cool. Cooler still if the system took into account the expected waiting time at the SC.
     
  15. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

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    I don't think we will ever get a reservation system due to the complexity.

    The only way to resolve this issue is to add more SCs, simple as that. Now people take a detour to use a SC since they might need it to reach their destination. Add a SC to their original route and you're done.

    CA is simply a very dense area, so it's not that weird to see this. We are seeing something similar in the Netherlands already, the Oosterhout SuperCharger just opened and is very busy. I need to take a detour of about 5km to use it, so if one is added somewhere else on my route Oosterhout is relieved.

    And again, it's just a matter of time.
     
  16. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    #16 SwedishAdvocate, Jan 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
    Why not add a sort of traffic control function to Tesla Customer Service?

    Assuming Tesla can:

    – Monitor SC use in real time.

    – Add a function to their current in car nav. system/mobile app. that alerts drivers when a SC is full.

    – Add a ‘queue notification functionality’ to the in car nav. system/mobile app.

    – See if there is a ‘corresponding’ mobile device with a Tesla app. in the vicinity of a fully charged car just sitting and taking up a SC bay IF all the SC bays at that SC station happens to be full…

    Then it would work like this:

    Some sort of computer program will alert the personal at Tesla Customer Service that a SC is full. The same program will also alert all cars that could be inbound to that SC that the SC is full. The owners in the cars can then choose to communicate through their cars to Tesla Customer service if they intend to also use that SC by simply clicking on a button that has appeared on their in car Google maps 17-inch screen marked with say “I also want to use the SC at X”. Then Tesla Costumer Service will be alerted to the situation and will start to monitor that SC location. Once one more car reaches that SC location and therefore is effectively waiting to charge, AND if a car connected to one of the SC bays becomes fully charged and therefore is just sitting in a SC bay not charging, then they can see if there is a mobile device with an app connected to that fully charged car nearby. Then that would probably be the driver of that car. THEN, they can just give that driver a call informing them that all the SC bays are full, their car has finished charging, and there are other owners in a queue waiting for a charge.

    I don’t own a car, so I currently don't ‘have a horse in this race’. And I haven’t communicated the above to Tesla. Anyways, someone has probably already thought of the very same thing. But feel free to start to lobby Tesla if it seems like a good idea.
     
  17. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    A road trip in the Model S should be a no brainer with all of the technology, but it doesn't seem to be very well integrated. This is how simple it should be to plan a road trip. You sit down in the Model S, enter your destination point(s) into the nav. Not only does it route you to your destination(s), but it also tells you when and where to get a charge. If diverting you to a supercharger, the vehicle should automatically know which stalls are vacant and it can also reasonably predict your arrival time based upon nav/GPS. While on the road, your car automatically reserves a vacant supercharger stall around the time you are expected to arrive. If all Model S vehicles do this - and they should, since they are all connected on the network - then the traffic flow will be better managed and drivers will experience less frustration.
     
  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    The route planning is coming soon, but occupancy management would be more tricky. I think that Tesla's model is one of operational simplicity. If a Supercharger is $100k, that's 50 cars. I expect they believe that monitoring and installing more slots will be easier. When Gen 3 comes arouns there could be more challenges, especially since the car will be cheaper, but volume should also make them more attractive to site lessors.
     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    But if there are 20 Model S on a roadtrip all expected to arrive at the same time at the same supercharger based upon nav/GPS, how does the reservation help to better manage traffic flow? Or are you simply saying you'd know in advance and that would lower your frustration as a result?
     
  20. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

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    Maybe TM needs something like http://chargesticker.com and have the contact number display automatically on the cable stand. That way you could send an anonymous message to the owner and report an incident if necessary.
     

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