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Supercharger - San Francisco, CA (Van Ness Ave, LIVE Aug 2020, 12 urban stalls, valet access only)


Active Member
Oct 18, 2018
I searched the SF Department of Building Inspection tracking site for permits applied for by Tesla and found an approved, but not yet issued, building permit--201810032159. It's for "12 EV charging stations and associated switchgear" at Opera Plaza (corner of Van Ness and Turk), in what I assume is the parking garage there. Based on the facts that the application lists Tesla, Inc. as the property lessee, that it has a listed construction cost of $210k, and that Black & Veatch is involved, I'm assuming this is superchargers and not a dozen L2 stations. Based on a quick google/yelp search, the garage is open 24hrs, for sure it will be paid parking (oldish reviews say $6/hr), and it looks like it's valet only.

What: New 12 stall supercharger of unknown type (but likely Urban) to be built in the parking garage at Opera Plaza.
Address: 601 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102 (@ Van Ness and Turk)
GPS (approx.): 37.781296, -122.421394



@BlueShift @Chuq @MarcoRP


Well-Known Member
Thanks for starting this thread, and for your detective work! That location is five blocks south of the San Francisco Tesla Showroom and Service Center. I recall that years ago Tesla wanted to install Superchargers there but it never happened. My recollection may be flawed however. I searched the California forum and found the thread about the SF Service Center which was started in March 2016. There is nothing in that thread about Tesla wanting to install Superchargers there. Maybe it was just unfounded speculation.

It’s very hard to find Supercharger sites in SF. Parking garages are generally the only feasible option, but of course they all have an access charge, they can’t be free.
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For a metropolis of 900,000, it is odd that San Francisco proper has minimal Supercharging.
Apartment dwellers here know that Daly City is the only viable option, but even that 40-stall
installation is filling up at peak times. Tesla's early philosophy must have been that more folks
drive *through* San Francisco than visit it or live here.

Of course there are issues of open space, but places like Chrissy Field and SOMA/Mission
are possibilities. There must be some special City and County of SF holdup with City Hall,
or the Department of the Environment, or SFMTA.

Also, the notion of "urban charging" at 72 kW seems quaint now that V3 at 250 kW is here,
but the Daly City shopping mall property owners don't mind the extra time to kill for a
captive audience!

For an interesting discussion of underserved urban areas check out the Yelp reviews
of the Santa Monica, CA supercharger (only one for West LA!), especially the one by Nicole J.
Still and all, it's good to think that traditional "gas stations" here will slowly disappear, or figure
out a way to profitably convert to electricity.
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Of course there are issues of open space, but places like Chrissy Field and SOMA/Mission are possibilities. There must be some special City and County of SF holdup with City Hall,
or the Department of the Environment, or SFMTA.

Permitting in San Francisco is one of the gates of hell, so I can understand why it's taking a while to get things sorted! There is a pretty big Volta setup at their HQ, and Cruise are working to install a very large charging setup for their fleet.

The Presidio is separate from the City, so it was likely much easier to get approval for the Superchargers there. Chrissy Field is managed by National Parks, so might have good potential (Volta have a new-ish presence there). Treasure Island would have been a great option (and Bay Bridge toll free!), but their electricity infrastructure is terrible and won't be resolved until it's redeveloped (in the meantime there is a Chargepoint location). SF Ports would be an interesting possibility, perhaps on the Embarcadero (but I suspect another parking structure in the Pier 39 area will win out).

I think it's looking likely that San Francisco will end up with no free Supercharging locations; this one will be subject to parking fees at a similar level to the Presidio. I'm disappointed that the Tesla service location on Van Ness didn't work out for Supercharging; they have a great rooftop but it's not suited to large traffic volumes through the workshop.

(Mods, apologies if I've gone off topic here, feel free to move.)
okay, I drove over to take a look and talked to one of the workers out with a total of 3 PG&as trucks, and they said they just started the job so it may take a “little while”. Upon my inquiry whether it’s likely weeks, he said he couldn’t tell that at this point.

(The site flips my photos, tried turning it upside down to get it right, but won’t help;
Sorry about it!)



Model S 85, Model 3 Performance
Jun 19, 2012
San Carlos, CA
You would think Tesla could work out that the first hour is free for charging only, since it shouldn't take over an hour to charge anyways... If you stay any longer, then it's on you.. kinda lame :/

That would've been nice, but it definitely is not something that is expected. On the flip-side, would you rather just not having this Supercharging site at all if they couldn't work out a free parking deal?
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A SuperCharger in a very urban setting is not dissimilar to a gas station in the same location. Most any downtown gas station will have massively higher prices than a station a few miles down the road. The price is higher due to the cost of the land, taxes, etc.

With a gas station, the added cost for the land is "bundled" into the per-gallon price. With SuperCharging, the price is split apart.
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Looks like a pretty good set up. The chargers are on the first floor along with commercial parking. I believe they’re on the southwest corner of the lot (Franklin at Golden Gate). They said they’re hoping for activation by months-end.

View attachment 566353

Did the attendant you spoke with confirm/deny we'll need to pay parking fees to access charging?

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