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Supercharger locations - why back-in?

MarkBrokeIt

Member
Apr 21, 2018
282
243
Seattle
Most folks I know don't back into parking spots. IME, the types of folks that typically back into spots are typically self-important a-holes that don't mind how long it takes them to back into the spot (or how long they're blocking traffic in the parking lot) as long as they can get out a fraction of a second sooner. :rolleyes:

Also, for people that don't have a lot of experience backing into spots, having to do it in between 2 $100k+ cars isn't going to make it any easier :) This is going to be a bigger problem now that there are so many M3's out there.

Why wouldn't Tesla include longer cables on these stations to offer more flexibility?

And prior to the M3, was Tesla's target buyer someone like I mentioned above? That hasn't been my experience in the PNW where I see these cars all over the place, parked normally.
 

Derek Kessler

Active Member
Apr 15, 2016
1,193
1,876
Cincinnati
  1. Backing in is safer all around, versus blinding backing out from a nose-in spot into potential cross traffic.
  2. Longer cables would have to be 15 feet longer. Supercharger cables are already thick and heavy and expensive, making them longer would only make it more so. Additionally, longer cables are just an opportunity to more resistance in the line, with lowered efficiency and increased heat.
  3. Backing is just a learned skill. It doesn't take long to get comfortable with it, you just have to do it to get there. Bonus: Teslas with Autopilot enabled offer automated back-in parking when the ultrasonic sensors pick up an appropriately sized space, such as between two $100k+ cars.

I should not that some of the newer and larger stations have pull-through designs instead, but those require significantly more space to manage than the typical Supercharger stall.
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,901
3,402
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
Why wouldn't Tesla include longer cables on these stations to offer more flexibility?

And why won't Tesla bill you for charging like every other company?? Hey, I can back in.

But in answer to your question, cables are ver-r-r-ra expensive, mon. And there are hundreds they'd have to replace, because you can't splice and tape a cable in a parking lot. Like $3 a foot, and don't forget to count the feet inside the pedestal.

I guess they figured you could learn. I park my Model 3 next to a "$100,000" car in my garage. You get used to it.
 

mblakele

FSD Beta (99)
Mar 7, 2016
1,813
6,117
SF Bay Area
The Auto Club recommends backing in wherever possible.

Majority of American Drivers on Naughty List | AAA NewsRoom

Pulling out of a parking spot, instead of reversing, is an easy way to increase safety and visibility in busy parking lots [...]

AAA recommends that drivers reverse into parking spaces whenever possible, except where prohibited by law or parking lot restrictions. When faced with angled parking, drivers should follow the flow of traffic and pull forward into the parking space.​

That said, some Supercharging spaces are designed for pull-forward or pull-through use. The pull-through spaces are especially handy for anyone pulling a trailer with a TMX.
 
IME, the types of folks that typically back into spots are typically self-important a-holes that don't mind how long it takes them to back into the spot (or how long they're blocking traffic in the parking lot) as long as they can get out a fraction of a second sooner. :rolleyes:

Then you need more "experience" -- or to be less judgmental when you don't understand the point. In addition to it being safer, and the rest of the points already made, it's my habit for another reason: I've been a volunteer medic in my rural community for many years, and need to be able to drop everything and get somewhere quickly at a moment's notice. Yep: it saves several seconds. If your kid was choking to death believe me: you'd appreciate that few seconds.

If that makes me a "self-important a-hole" then so be it: it's worth it in the face of an uncharitable opinion from another self-important impatient a-hole.

(I've only had to respond in the Tesla twice, since I happened to be driving home in it; usually, I respond in a fully equipped "Quick Response Vehicle" loaded with radios and medical equipment.)
 

arcus

Active Member
Aug 11, 2017
1,304
970
Denton, TX
Most folks I know don't back into parking spots. IME, the types of folks that typically back into spots are typically self-important a-holes that don't mind how long it takes them to back into the spot (or how long they're blocking traffic in the parking lot) as long as they can get out a fraction of a second sooner. :rolleyes:
I most of the corporate locations I have visited around the world the parking policy is "nose out". It is safer. For you, these are the seconds wasted waiting for someone to back in. To me, these few seconds help to avoid potential collision with another car or more serious accident with pedestrian walking behind the car. If being cautious and considerate constitutes being an a-hole, count me in.
 

Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
3,096
2,411
Rancho Cucamonga
I most of the corporate locations I have visited around the world the parking policy is "nose out". It is safer. For you, these are the seconds wasted waiting for someone to back in. To me, these few seconds help to avoid potential collision with another car or more serious accident with pedestrian walking behind the car. If being cautious and considerate constitutes being an a-hole, count me in.

Here, I have seem many parking lots with signs saying "head in parking only". But then I am in California and everyone in the country knows that Californians can't drive. :p But really, around here if you back your car into a parking spot, it is kind of considered as a Show Off. Most people are not capable of doing that. Most people can't parallel park either as it is not required to pass the driving test.
 
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strider

Active Member
Oct 20, 2010
3,700
1,139
NE Oklahoma
Backing in is very common outside of the US. As others have said it's safer to back in and drive out vs backing out. The reason is that when you stop in the lane to back in, everyone can see you and will stop to wait for you to back in. When you're backing out it's a much smaller movement that someone has to detect - the back of your car moving among a long row of parked cars.

Then when you're driving out you can see up and down the lane much better since you're facing forward - your neck can easily swivel from left to right in front of you. Unless you're an owl it doesn't do well left to right behind you.

Finally, it's a cost and damage thing. If they put the SC posts out at the end of the stall it would cost more to install (longer cable run) plus more of them would get hit by people being careless (more costs to repair and more downtime). Same for longer cables. People would leave them lying on the ground and someone would run over them.
 

arcus

Active Member
Aug 11, 2017
1,304
970
Denton, TX
Here, I have seem many parking lots with signs saying "head in parking only". But then I am in California and everyone in the country knows that Californians can't drive. :p But really, around here if you back your car into a parking spot, it is kind of considered as a Show Off. Most people are not capable of doing that. Most people can't parallel park either as it is not required to pass the driving test.
Good to know, I will certainly pay attention since I am visiting CA in couple of weeks :) As for inability to reverse or parallel park, that's a topic for another discussion ;)
 

jimmyjohn

Member
Jun 9, 2013
344
447
Durden
Seattle? Now I understand...

Most folks I know don't back into parking spots. IME, the types of folks that typically back into spots are typically self-important a-holes that don't mind how long it takes them to back into the spot (or how long they're blocking traffic in the parking lot) as long as they can get out a fraction of a second sooner. :rolleyes:

Also, for people that don't have a lot of experience backing into spots, having to do it in between 2 $100k+ cars isn't going to make it any easier :) This is going to be a bigger problem now that there are so many M3's out there.

Why wouldn't Tesla include longer cables on these stations to offer more flexibility?

And prior to the M3, was Tesla's target buyer someone like I mentioned above? That hasn't been my experience in the PNW where I see these cars all over the place, parked normally.
 

PhatCat

Kisco Kid
Jun 14, 2012
438
620
Mt Kisco, NY
In answer to OP, I have been backing into slots whenever feasible because every day in my parking garage a bunch of self-important a-holes come flying down the main lane of the parking garage at speed in excess of 20 mph despite clearly marked 5 mph limits. When the ever-present SUV is parked next to me I would have to back out nearly blind into this stream praying that someone doesn't fly around the corner and smash into me. It's much safer to see what is coming in front of you.

You don't buy it?. This past weekend while i was looking for parking in the Costco parking lot, someone backed out of a slot into my passenger side rear quarter panel. Said she didn't see my bright red model S.
 
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Reactions: SW2Fiddler

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