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Supercharger Landlords

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by Economite, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Economite

    Economite Member

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    I think a lot of the talk about the changes to the Supercharger program is missing the fact that there is a major stakeholder in the program that folks on this forum don't really think about much: the owners of the parking lots where the superchargers are located.

    As I understand it, the deal that Tesla offers parking lot owners is that Tesla absorbs all the costs associated with installing and operating the Supercharger, and in exchange the park lot owner allows Tesla to use the parking spaces. tesla doesn't pay any rent to the parking lot owner.

    Tesla's sales pitch to the lot owners is that this is a good deal for the parking lot owner, because the superchargers essentially allow the lot owner to (and no cost to the lot owner) provide vehicle charging as an added service to customers of the businesses that use the lot. This added service, Tesla pitches, can bring in new customers who might not have otherwise chosen to park in the lot and patronize the businesses.

    But, as I see it, the more Tesla starts treating the Superchargers as if they are fueling stations that happen to be collocated in a parking lot, rather than as an added service provided to some parking spaces, the less attractive this deal becomes for the lot owners. Lot owners want patrons to be visiting the businesses and spending money. It's not in the interest of the lot owner to encourage Tesla drivers to be hypervigiliant about how much time they spend at businesses; or to potentially rush out mid-meal to move their cars; or to hang out in the parking lot while charging occurs.

    Furthermore, once lot owners see Tesla collecting money from drivers for use of the parking spaces (either as per kwh fees or as overstay fees) the lot owners are going to probably want a cut. And I have a feeling that the floor falls out of Tesla's supercharging business model if lot owners start refusing to permit new installations unless Tesla pays some rent.

    I suspect that difficulty finding willing host lots is a big part of the reason why Tesla has trouble keeping up with Supercharger demand in urban locations in California. And the problem is only going to get worse as Tesla ramps up production of vehicles and tries to get drivers to quickly turn over supercharger spaces. This is especially true if Tesla runs behind demand. If I were a parking lot owner, even a quick look at the videos and pictures of cars waiting in the aisles for an open supercharger space in California would convince me to want nothing to do with the program. No owner of a commercial parking lot wants it to look like people are backed up and having trouble finding a parking spot. I scares off customers if they see jam packed aisles.
     
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  2. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    I think as supercharger usage goes up, revenue will go up for nearby businesses and will only become an issue if folks complain to businesses and it hurts their revenue.
     
  3. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    It was my understanding that Tesla does pay rent. Probably subject to negotiation.
     
  4. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    The model has changed over the years. New hosts are generally expected to share costs.
     
  5. Economite

    Economite Member

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    I don't think Tesla pays rent as a matter of course. That certainly wasn't the original model (Inside Tesla’s Supercharger Partner Program: The Costs And Commitments Of Electrifying Road Transport).

    My guess is that they probably will have to start paying rent (if they don't already) if they want to get new locations. A big shopping mall outlet mall might be willing to give up some spaces for no rent in order to get some "green cred" (a big reason why a factory farm like Harris Ranch would want to host a supercharger), but ultimately no business wants to give up too much of its parking lot (unless the business is in trouble and has a way oversized lot). Land (especially improved land) has value.

    Here, by the way is a supercharger agreement I found on line. No rent payment. Of course, that doesn't mean they aren't paying rent under agreements that aren't with government landlords (those are confidential and not online). http://mammothlakes.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=496&meta_id=48419
     
  6. Economite

    Economite Member

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    Why would a Supercharger host ever be willing to share costs in areas where Tesla needs the hosts a lot more than the hosts need Tesla?
     
  7. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    because some mall owners like the idea of many new affluent tesla owners visiting their businesses
     
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  8. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    Because there are often several potential hosts in a given area and drivers often spend money while they're waiting for their car to recharge.

    Here's an example: No mention of rent. The hosts is paying for the electricity. Due to demand charges, the electric bill will come out to a lot over the life of the site. CNB to install electric car chargers at Hard Rock
     
  9. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    The lot owners should generally have no problem with Tesla owners being hypervigilant.
    It's the equivalent to turning tables at a restaurant. The faster they turn over, the more Tesla owners they'll get, and the more money they'll earn.
     
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  10. Economite

    Economite Member

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    I would argue that casino operators are nearly unique in their willingness to spend money to draw in customers (and I wonder how thrilled they'll be that Tesla is trying to draw folks out of the casino to move their cars when charging is finished).

    By contrast, I'd suspect there is a real limit to how much a roadside restaurant is willing to pay in order to attract a driver who at best will buy a quick meal, might just get a cup of coffee, and at worst could very well just sit in their car at the charger (buying nothing and taking up a parking space) or even walk over to an unrelated, neighboring, business.

    Most businesses (especially quick restaurants and convienience stores) operate on a pretty thin margin and have a pretty low price point.
     
  11. Economite

    Economite Member

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    They'd want Tesla to push out the folks who are sitting in their cars at the charger or have left the property. They (especially businesses like malls and casinos) wouldn't want Tesla rushing out (or deterring) folks who are using the business that is served by the parking lot. And I doubt restaurants are all that thrilled about folks rushing waitresses so they can get back to their cars or like someone taking a ten minute break from their sit down meal in order to move their car while still taking up a table.

    Bottom line... Some businesses like to rush their own customers some of the time (ie turning tables). Very few businesses want that rush to be generated by (and at the discretion of) some other business.
     
  12. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    Keep in mind this is only a potential concern at busy SC sites. A great many SCs, possibly the majority, are not that busy most of the time. Chances are, if the SCs at a given site are particularly busy, then the host business will be as well. And it'll likely be in their interest to keep their customers moving along.
     
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  13. PRJIM

    PRJIM Member

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    The Arlington,TX supercharger bill was completely footed by the CIty/State. In most cases Tesla does not pay any rent and has the sole right to stop operating a supercharger with no re-course (i.e. removal of supercharging equipment automatically terminates the "lease")
     
  14. RacerX

    RacerX 3x F1 World Champion #44

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    I know that both a pizza place and BBQ around the corner from Supercharger.
    They are very happy that it's there.
    It's definitely increased traffic to their businesses.
     
  15. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    To be the biggest problem is it's a resource that's completely unmanaged.

    That works great for the majority of the superchargers outside of California, but they don't work so great for the busiest of superchargers. You end up with huge lines that end up blocking traffic flow. You also have people bolting because the line is too long.

    Now I don't know the best solution. Maybe it's for the businesses to get together to offer a valet service to keep things moving, or for Tesla to have a firmware upgrade that allowed a person to be added to queue when they arrived at the charger so they didn't have to wait in their car.

    For me what would go a long ways is both a real-time status indicator for the supercharger I'm going to need to use, and a historical indicator that says what it normally is like at a certain day/time.

    That way I know when to avoid the supercharger.

    I'm hopeful that alternatives will start popping up. The biggest problem is likely local charging not because of a cost reason, but because it's so damn easy. It's much harder/slower to use alternatives. You think one is free, but it ends up being taken by the time you're there. Then you end up messing around with the chademo adapter, and the all the credit card stuff. Even if you sign up you might to have to call them to have them reset the thing. It's a nightmare sometimes to use a non-Tesla charger.
     
  16. Economite

    Economite Member

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    I think that this is a problem that Tesla needs to solve. I don't think they can really offoad it onto the businesses/lot owners.
     
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  17. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    In response to one of the original post's most important contentions, I personally know that one of the early Superchargers, negotiated at the beginning of 2014, absolutely includes rent.

    So I definitely think that such remains on the table for negotiations with prospective landlords - it boggles the mind were that not still to be the case.
     
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  18. qadaemon

    qadaemon Member

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    Something I've been curious about: a handful of the Hy-Vee located superchargers have signs that say something to the effect of "Energy provided by Hy-Vee". If that is directly the case (Hy-Vee pays the electric bill) and not some cleverly-worded signage, will Tesla be selling electricity they didn't buy when the Supercharger billing goes into effect, or will those sites be billed on Hy-Vee's terms or what?
     
  19. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    I would think a casino would simply add a valet. Wonder if Tesla has a valet management page for the super chargers that shows current charge status off all plugged in cars?

    Add queue management and some way for the valet to unlock/operate cars that are queued for bonus points.

    Drivers approach and the center screen says "press yes to queue your car and allow remote valet operation".

    Of course, only needed until cars do it for themselves.
     
  20. EVie'sDad

    EVie'sDad Member

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    If the goal of Tesla is to promote the adoption of sustainable transportation, don't you eventually foresee the day when all parking spaces in a lot would contain an electric charging port? Granted we are far off from that now, but give it time, as adoption increases, demand will increase and only those facilities willing to grow to sustain that demand will profit, others will be avoided and decline. Would it not be in the local business' best interests to consider expanding facilities or provide additional options in most crowded areas?
     

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