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Supercharger Road Trips

Discussion in 'Texas' started by thenaimis, May 12, 2017.

  1. thenaimis

    thenaimis Member

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    I'm currently working on taking road trips to each supercharger in Texas. I see there about a dozen threads dedicated to different superchargers already :) The inspiration was the increasingly vague directions to the superchargers. The ones I've been to so far have been on private property and the nav system has only been directing me to the address of that property at best. Used to be better than that, but even so the directions only were "find the spot on your map" at the end. I'm trying to put together information for that "last mile" (100 ft, whatever). Currently have youtube videos, started adding spherical ("360") photos of the site, and am planning on putting together directions that can be easily viewed on the web browser in the Tesla (which surprisingly doesn't handle html anchors worth a crap).

    I'd started making plans for this before the SC network augmentation announcement. Maybe new ones will be set up before I make some of the longer trips. I'd like to get some footage of sites under construction at some point. I'll have to take some time to catch up on all these SC threads but if anyone can point me at a site under construction, I'd appreciate it.

    Or if anyone else has already started doing something similar, I'd like to know. Not that it would necessarily stop me from doing my road trips as they are their own reward :)

    Road trip video playlist here: Tesla Road Trips - YouTube
    "Last Mile" directions playlist here: Supercharger Directions - YouTube

    I don't have a public web site for the web-based directions yet, and I haven't figured out how to share collections of google maps contributions yet either. Sorry.
     
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  2. ThisIsTrue

    ThisIsTrue Member

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    I travel a fair bit, and am driving a LOT more than flying (even before the United debacle). So I've been to a lot of different superchargers -- 56 locations so far, and I've only had the car for 4-1/2 months.

    And yes, I've certainly noticed that the nav often says "You're here!" when trying to find a SC, and it's not even in view. It will tell you to turn when there are barriers in the way (e.g., center median), have you turn into wrong driveways, and other irritants. It's a seriously poor state of affairs, and a huge eye-roller for me. If the car should be able to get you ANYwhere very easily and accurately, it's Tesla facilities!
     
  3. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Member

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    I've been to approximately 110 different superchargers in the 7 months I've owned the car. The only place I had a real problem finding the supercharger was Chattanooga, TN. I had to look at the thread here on TMC for advice on finding it. Of course it's in an airport parking lot which was part of the problem but the pin on the map was also in a completely wrong spot somewhere in a trailer park across the highway from the airport. The only other ones I've had some difficulty in finding are the ones in parking garages. If it is not on the ground floor (Temecula) or if it is behind a ticket barrier (Atlanta), there should be instructions in the in-car nav in my opinion. This was not the case when I visited those superchargers.

    Other than the Chattanooga example listed, I have found the pins to be extremely accurate so I guess I would disagree with the general idea behind this thread. Perhaps this is a problem specific to Texas as I have not been to many superchargers in Texas, just Amarillo, Shamrock, Sulphur Springs, and Lindale, which were all easy to find with the pin.
     
  4. thenaimis

    thenaimis Member

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    You guys are hard core, I've been to all of *three* so far :p
     
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  5. JHWJR

    JHWJR Member

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    I've had my car 2 days, and I've been to 6 Superchargers so far. And I have 1,200 miles on the car. Great miles. Terrific miles.
     
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  6. animorph

    animorph Member

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    I've been to about 40 Superchargers on a long trip in my first month of ownership. I identified which Superchargers I would be visiting using EVTripPlanner, then used Google Maps to see what building I should be looking for and what restaurants and hotels were nearby. Just knowing that it was going to be in the Hampton Inn parking lot made it much easier locate. When the Supercharger was in a parking structure I checked with the PlugShare app to get more specific instructions. Still a little harder to find, but we did not have any big problems.

    PlugShare usually had good directions and some pictures. You might consider contributing descriptions and pictures to PlugShare if you think they need additional details.
     
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  7. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    As to Superchargers under construction, Supercharge.info has all of the known locations permitted and under construction.
     
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  8. thenaimis

    thenaimis Member

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    It pleases me to see that PlugShare isn't just an app, as fiddling with a mobile device while driving around is not only dangerous but often illegal. Going to the web site shows me that the first half of what I want to see is there, but instead of taking me to a map based on my current position, I'd rather it took me to a set of photographs and directions to lead me to the charger. Maybe it does do that and I'm just too far from a documented charger at the moment. I'm about to head out on my next road trip so I'll have to dig further sometime later.
     
  9. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    If you have trouble finding a supercharger based on Tesla nav directions, just switch the map to satellite view and it's usually easy to see. I've never found a reason to use Plugshare to find a supercharger.
     
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  10. grichard

    grichard Member De-Luxe

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    For what it's worth: I once had trouble finding that one, too. A couple of months ago I emailed Blueshift with a precise description of the location, and he updated the map on supercharge.info. So the pin on that site is precise, even if not on Tesla's.

    I think the original "wrong" location was just the street address for the airport, which points basically to the drop-off zone in the front of the terminal.
     
  11. Missile Toad

    Missile Toad Member

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    #11 Missile Toad, May 13, 2017
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
    I've been studying the Tesla official database of both SuperChargers and destination chargers. This may come as a surprise, but after looking at hundreds of entries, in detail, I have found that roughly 5% of them have coordinates wrong; address wrong or the identity of alternative public charging (nearby) wrong. Couple this, to the fact that the Garmin(™) navigation can send you on an extra 2 mile loop (see especially the N. Houston SuperCharger) than the alternative route, which you can enter via a back way, and you have lots of recipes for disaster.

    Telling the Tesla Roadside Support folks barely makes a difference. This entry,Hampton Inn, Humble, TX, which Plugshare mindlessly copies, has been wrong for a month after Tesla was notified of the defect. Don't take this as a criticism of PlugShare -- they have the pulse of all the EV networks -- and probably the most objective status-reporting there is, to-date.
     
  12. thenaimis

    thenaimis Member

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    I just *doubled* the number of SCs I've visited, today.. To six. :) Three Rivers, Kingsville and Victoria. They were all super easy to find, not at all like the ones in San Marcos, Columbus and Waco. San Marcos was full today, by the way. I got the last open spot at the time. Never seen that many stalls in use at once.
     
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  13. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    How are Columbus and Waco hard to find? They're exactly where the car says they are, and in small parking lots, not like the outlet mall in San Marcos.
     
  14. thenaimis

    thenaimis Member

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    Regardless, I ended up circling around Waco and San Marcos a bit until I saw them. Columbus wasn't quite as difficult to find though it's not something you can spot from the road, and that day the nav system just stopped giving directions somewhat nearby the hotel.
     
  15. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried looking at the web page for the supercharger on tesla.com ahead of time in panning your trips? It gives the name of the business where it's located. It's easier to see the business first (Colin Street Bakery, etc.) and then the actual stalls.
     
  16. Missile Toad

    Missile Toad Member

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    #16 Missile Toad, May 14, 2017
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
    @thenaimis . When you come to the N. Houston SuperCharger or the Channelview charger, give me a call. I'd like to buy you lunch and talk about what Tesla needs to do to ease its customers into finding and using their chargers. There are lots of 'last mile' problems that Tesla has put off until another day.

    PM sent.

    Here's what Atlanta Supercharger could use
     
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  17. animorph

    animorph Member

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    The Tesla navigation got me right to the entrance of the parking structure for the Atlanta Supercharger, as shown at the top of the diagram. That was in April. At the entrance my wife saw a little Tesla sign with a right arrow, so we found the chargers without too much effort. But if we had had to find the entrance ourselves it would have been annoying.

    Our hardest to find Supercharger was Augusta GA. The location is in the middle of an area with no mapped roads. We circled around it once trying to figure out which driveway we needed to enter. The nav wasn't helping much. Turns out we were looking for the Hampton Inn entrance (per Plugshare), but the Hampton Inn sign was not visible in the direction we were going. Instead we saw the Sheraton sign and passed it by. Going the other way we saw the Hampton Inn sign and turned in. I revised the PlugShare description to include both hotels.
     
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  18. wart

    wart Member

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    Of the Texas Superchargers I've been to, I found Amarillo to be the hardest to find. There's a Holiday Inn Express with destination charging, and a Holiday Inn with the Superchargers, about 100 yards apart. And the Holiday Inn is set back pretty far from the major streets. The red dot on supercharge.info is accurate. I think it's easiest to get to from W. Amarillo Blvd. rather than from the I-40 frontage road.

    Hardest to find overall that I've been to was Las Vegas, NV - the old one in a parking garage downtown, not the newer one at the Town Square shopping village. IIRC the "official" address for the downtown Las Vegas Supercharger is Bridger Ave, but you actually have to enter the garage from 8th St. I had to circle the block to find it.
     
  19. thenaimis

    thenaimis Member

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    I have. It's definitely helpful, when it isn't out of date or flat-out wrong, that is, but would be more helpful if the information were accessible in the car. The tesla.com map doesn't let you do trip planning. evtripplanner.com lets you plan trips but has no detailed information about the charger locations, just an address (and a link back to tesla.com). There's currently no way that I know of to plan a trip on your computer and put that route on the car's nav system. Additionally, there's no guarantee, esp in the context of traffic-based navigation, that the route that something like evtripplanner.com gives you will be the same as the one in the on-board nav system. The on-board system of course also lacks the site details that I'm trying to create. I haven't used plugshare enough to have a sense of how it might be useful.

    What I'm really trying to get at here is "things could be better" and "how can they be made better?"
     
  20. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Member

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    The nav is definitely poor, but that's a general nav issue and not specifically related to the supercharger issue. For the most part, I think having a pin at the precise location of the supercharger is sufficient. Of course the pin is not always accurate so that is one thing that could be better.

    In more complicated locations, I believe there should be a window that pops up that tells you where to look for the supercharger. For example, as you approach the Chattanooga airport location, it would have been nice if it told you to look for the Supercharger in Terminal 2 parking or wherever it is. Of course it would have been especially nice if the pin location was accurate (see above).

    Another example is parking garage locations such as Atlanta, it would be nice if it told you "The supercharger is located on the first floor of the parking garage. The first 90 minutes of parking is free." or something similar to that.
     
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