TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Supercharger Situation in 3-5 Years?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by DiversifiedOne, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. DiversifiedOne

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Jamison, Pa.
    I was wondering how many folks have considered what the US Supercharger situation might look like in say, 5 years or so? Right now, with <50K Teslas on the road there is (presumably) enough SC bandwidth to efficiently satisfy the need of current long-distance travelers. However, what will things look like if Elon's plans come to fruition and in 5 years there are (between Roadsters, Models S & X, and the planned Model 3) possibly 250K or more Teslas on the road, especially considering these will be "big-battery" cars? I doubt there will be that many more superchargers installed, or that the public infrastructure will add a great many 40KW+ stations. I, for one, would hate to see one of the best reasons for owning a Tesla become completely over-subscribed. It's one thing standing behind 2-3 ICE cars waiting for a gas fuel-up. It's clearly another when those 2-3 cars are each waiting for their turn at a 20-30 minute charging session.

    Am I overthinking this?
     
  2. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    4,279
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Why do you think this? Certainly Tesla is overbuilding (capacity terms) the Supercharger network to meet a small geographical requirement currently. But why wouldn't they fill in supercharger stations in new routes or along current routes as people buy more cars?

    I would assume this is what most of the $2000 for Supercharge access is going towards.


    I imagine a world where (other than urban areas) superchargers are as common as fuel stations.
     
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,398
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    This has been discussed multiple times in other threads. Tesla will continue to build out the SC network for as long as the company continues to sell cars. It is self funding: the more cars sold that include the SC option the more money there is to build SCs, which are relatively simple and inexpensive to construct. It's not complicated.
     
  4. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,794
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Superchargers are a marketing expense. As long as building more supercharger locations and expanding existing ones stimulates enough car sales to make it worthwhile, they'll keep adding superchargers.
     
  5. DiversifiedOne

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Jamison, Pa.
    I haven't seen anything written about SC expansion plans past the well-documented goal of 98% US population coverage by the end of 2015. I made the leap to assume that once that goal was reached, further expansion would become something of a back-burner. Has anyone seen/heard anything more substantial?
     
  6. Zextraterrestrial

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,636
    Location:
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    only have heard that the 2015 map was just a beginning
    also If you have watched the changes in the map over the last year, there are many more spots, even on the 2014 map
    it seems that where concentrations of more S' are sold, SCs are funded and placed in a tighter pattern
    + the SC map says 'corridors they plan to enable + relative timing' locations are (somewhat) just ideas
     
  7. invisik

    invisik Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    The superchargers I've visited generally have a lot of extra empty parking spots next to them, so they'd just have to add cabinets and posts (or whatever) to add more capacity to the current locations (which I'm guessing wouldn't require as many permits and stuff as putting in a supercharger from scratch) fairly quickly.

    I mean, once you have a supercharger every 200 miles on every major freeway (eg, end of 2015)... how many more do you need? Are they needed like gas stations on every other corner? (IMHO no) I think destination charging will be even more important because you will be able to "get there" but maybe not get back.

    -m
     
  8. jerry33

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

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,764
    Location:
    Texas
    1. You need them closer than 200 miles.

    2. They are also needed on state highways.
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Every 75 miles would be ideal. Even the 200 ideal mile Model 3 driven hard could skip one and make the next station.
     
  10. invisik

    invisik Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    Minneapolis

    Very good, when the travelling roads are saturated with superchargers (whatever the distance, etc)... is there really a need for more? Maybe just for convenience, but you don't want a large amount of people supercharging their daily charge either. Again, more destination charging then would be helpful, IMHO.

    -m
     
  11. dennis

    dennis P85D

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,230
    Location:
    Silicon Valley CA
    Currently the busy I5 corridor between SF and LA has them every 115 miles. There are even closer on 101 between SF and Santa Barbara.
     
  12. Lump

    Lump Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Messages:
    2,112
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Largest gap is 80 miles between Atascadero Ca.-Buellton-Oxnard-Hawthorne-San Juan Capistrano Ca.
     
  13. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    5,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    See my calculations at Extant Vehicles, Supercharger Numbers, and Distribution - Page 2.

    That rough, but informed, calculation says that after coverage is complete (able to drive where you want), Tesla needs to build one, 10-stall Supercharger for every 1,240 Teslas built to maintain Supercharger capacity and keep short or no queues at Superchargers. Today that is about one Supercharger every 2 weeks. If production rate increases as predicted, TheStreet.com - Tesla May Be More Valuable Than Ever Imagined, to 100,000 cars a year by 2016, about 3x, that is still only 1.5 Superchargers per week, world-wide, not an issue.

    Look at this another way, 1,240 Teslas are worth over $100 million, retail. If a 10-Stall Supercharger costs about $200k to install, that is only a 0.2% marketing expense, once again, not an issue.
     
  14. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    3,209
    Location:
    Rome (Italy)
    + 1
     
  15. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    5,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hear, hear!!!

    My rule of thumb is that Superchargers need to be no further than 133 miles apart minus 6 miles per 1,000 feet elevation difference between the Superhargers.

    The rational is that in worst case conditions, whether that is driving 85 mph on the interstate or dealing with a blizzard needing tons of heat to keep the windshield clear, it is really hard to use more than 1.5 rated miles per actual mile. If you say that an 85 can charge quickly to 200 rated miles and a 60 can eventually charge to 200 rated miles, then 200 rated miles divided by 1.5 rated miles per actual mile is 133 actual miles between Superchargers for comfort.

    The one exception to this is the needed potential energy to overcome elevation differences. That is about 6 rated miles per 1,000 feet. If Teslas drive both ways between Superchargers, then one way will be up. That is why you need to reduce the distance between the Superchargers by 6 miles per 1,000 feet elevation difference.

    Of course, more non-interstate routes need to be covered, but you have to start somewhere.
     
  16. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,283
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    "Saturation" is relative. When Tesla is producing cars in the hundreds of thousand per year, year after year, not only are they going to have to increase the numbers of stalls per existing locations, they are going to have to find suitable new locations along major highways to handle the amount of traveling Teslas. I doubt that close spacing of Supercharger Stations will be a consideration then there are millions of Tesla on the road. What will matter is the location suitable. That is, is the location located off of a major highway and does it have the minimum amenities. It is going to be a lot less expensive to build more Supercharger Stations closer together than to build Swapping Stations. In some high concentration areas Swapping Station may be unavoidable, but they should still be a last resort.

    As Superchargers become more ubiquitous along highways it will be unavoidable for some local owners to engage in daily Supercharging. Personally I see that as a waste of my time since nothing is more conveniently located than my own garage. For a few dollars its not worth it to me to have to drive even a few miles to a Supercharger. I used to do that when I had an ICE and now I am totally spoiled.

    With regard to destination charging, this needs to complement Supercharger networks. In particular, overnight destination charging is very important, and it is a low-cost supplement to expensive Supercharging.

    Larry
     
  17. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    It is also worth noting that while the battery temperature is indeed controlled and cooled/heated as necessary - if you are concerned about decreasing range over the years, supercharging every day is likely to accelerate that effect. Slower, overnight charging is better for the battery, and - as far as I know - keeping the charge between 20 and 80 % when possible.

    I wonder what would happen to the battery of a Model S if you exclusively charged it with superchargers. How would the range of that car be after 8 years, compared to a car which was mainly charged overnight at home or work? If Tesla Motors are sufficiently smart, they will be logging which car charges when (in superchargers), to gather more knowledge on this over the years. If warranty issues start coming in over the years, before the 8 years are up, they could look back at the cars charging data and see if extensive supercharging was the cause. Superchargers were never intended as a daily charging solution - I wonder if there is any small print somewhere about this, to void the warranty or at least use it when people complain after 7 years and 11 months that they no longer get the range they paid for initially. I could imagine Tesla Motors using individual supercharging usage historical data in certain cases to explain a car owner why he only has - say - 80% range after 8 years and 200K miles.

    There are owners of the Model S who are neither able to charge at home nor at work, a good example is Hong Kong and London. Superchargers in Hong Kong, where two are already operational now (and have been since Signature launch less than three weeks ago), will be used extensively by city dwellers, possibly even myself included to some extent in the beginning of my ownership. The local parking garage haven't made a decision yet, despite me asking them for more than 5 months now (I should get my car in a month now, and there still isn't any solution). There is a 13A/220V charging spot close by, which costs 3 USD / hour parking. That is two days and 150 USD roughly, to get a full charge - not really the perfect setup, even for someone who doesn't drive that much.

    Destination charging, especially public parking spots, is surely the next centre of attention apart from superchargers. Slow chargers should just be available everywhere and included in any existing parking charge, while it would be OK to charger (haha!) a reasonable amount for a high speed charger. A place like an airport where you are likely to be parking for days or even weeks, cheap 2kW installations to keep your car plugged in the entire period you are gone would be suitable (although not very efficient compared to a 11 or 22 kW charger).
     
  18. sigurdi

    sigurdi Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    252
    Location:
    Norway
    Elon was asked earlier this year about SC numbers and location in the future.
    Teslas future gold is to have SC so close, that you stop and charge when you need and do not need to plan where. :)
     
  19. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,794
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    That 98% metric is meaningless. What good is it if you're within range of a supercharger but it's not in the direction you're heading?
     
  20. mochouinard

    mochouinard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2014
    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    Tesla have real time SC usage ! They know where more SC are needed and can easily prepare additional spot in the next 3 year if needed. Like someone said, I think once the original permit have been given, it will be easier to get new one. Unless bid will be given to have them at different location within the same complex. But I think it will just make more sense to put more city and shorten the distance between the SC instead. We might even have a way to 'reserve' a charging spot so people can be notified which SC have spot available based on everyone else going there and their time frame to get there.

    The SC is really a game changer. Though, some are still not convinced. Like my neighbor, he does some 12h trip in an ICE which will push it much more to a point you might want to stop, and he doesn't want to do that, even if the hotel going to cost about the same as the amount of gas saved.

    I'm personally looking forward to the day I can go across the US and Canada on the SC as road trip... I guess only that day I'll say for sure if the SC is annoying or not.. But from what I hear, it non-trivial.

    This point to a french document showing Quebec Gas station and gas usage in the different regions and their ratio of station vs population : http://www.regie-energie.qc.ca/documents/autres/RecensementEssenceries2010_novembre2012.pdf

    Lot of interesting graphic in there... For example, it show that in 1997 in Montreal, there were 557 gas station, and in 2010 there were 304 ! That a big decrease. In the total of the Quebec province, in 1997, there were 5059, and in 2010 were down to 2924. And I did notice this... Lot of the gas station were closed and Condo were built ! But gas usage has increase including it price.
     

Share This Page