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Supercharger stations full?

Hello! We are planning a road trip with a model y potentially into the Rockies and maybe Mid-west from Los Angeles. We have heard of people sometimes waiting for an hour or TWO to start charging at a supercharger (a friend waited for two hours at a Bakersfield, CA supercharger station). Anyone who has taken a recent roadtrip towards the center of the country - generally, how easy or difficult was it to access superchargers? Also, would be interested in anyone who has driven from Southern CA to Northern CA and/or Oregon how hard it was to access superchargers. Thanks so much!
 
Having made multiple trips between the Bay Area and Sacramento or Tahoe (both ends), I have only had one instance when all the stalls were taken, in Rocklin. There was no line and, by the time I drove to the back of the Supercharger and turned around, someone pulled out.

There have been stories of long Supercharger waits along I-5 during the holidays. Time will tell how well Tesla has alleviated this problem with all the new locations constantly coming online, since they've also been delivering tons of new cars. In denser areas, there already seem to be enough locations that you could choose one with more availability within a 5-10% charge margin.
 
I personally wouldn't rely on the Supercharger network for holiday travel in CA.


Off-peak travel won't be like that video, but Tesla is selling cars way faster than they're building out charging infrastructure. There are a number of stations in San Diego that typically have 0-2 stalls available out of 10-16 total, from 8am to 10pm.
 
I personally wouldn't rely on the Supercharger network for holiday travel in CA.


Off-peak travel won't be like that video, but Tesla is selling cars way faster than they're building out charging infrastructure. There are a number of stations in San Diego that typically have 0-2 stalls available out of 10-16 total, from 8am to 10pm.

Reminds me of the early 70's and the gas shortages and lines. My father put an extra gas tank in the family Suburban so we could hunt for gas when traveling.

Any way to install an extra battery pack in a Tesla? :)
 
I’ve only had one instance of not having an available charger while on a road trip in the six months I’ve had my MY. This was during the holidays and the station only had 4 stalls with 3 cars in line, however there was an Electrify America station across the parking lot with none in use. One of the few times my CHAdeMO adapter came in clutch. 😀 If you are concerned with supercharger availability, you might want to grab one of the adapters for your trip for peace of mind. Some of the local Tesla clubs have them available for rent if you want to try before you buy.
 
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Just had full supercharger with small line of cars experience in Rocklin, CA on Sunday, 2:30 in the afternoon.

Looked like all the Tahoe traffic used this as their stop. Had to wait ~20 minutes before a charger became free.

This is at a Tesla dealership, and they had a couple spots roped off.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,849
9,874
Boise, ID
Anyone who has taken a recent roadtrip towards the center of the country - generally, how easy or difficult was it to access superchargers?
You unfortunately have a kind of skewed perspective of this because of where you live. I have Supercharged in about thirty-some states in over 60 locations in my 7 years with the car and have absolutely never had a time where all the stalls were full. But this is also the skew that my perspective has--I have still never yet been to a Supercharger in California, where they do have some capacity problems sometimes.
 
Just had full supercharger with small line of cars experience in Rocklin, CA on Sunday, 2:30 in the afternoon.

Looked like all the Tahoe traffic used this as their stop. Had to wait ~20 minutes before a charger became free.
This should improve once the Auburn SuC comes online. I think right now, if you're going east on I-80, Rocklin is the last one before Truckee. There are two Roseville locations right before that, though.
 
I've had to wait ~5 min at Los Gatos in the past 8 months of ownership.

You almost need to try to find a full SC these days.


Hello! We are planning a road trip with a model y potentially into the Rockies and maybe Mid-west from Los Angeles. We have heard of people sometimes waiting for an hour or TWO to start charging at a supercharger (a friend waited for two hours at a Bakersfield, CA supercharger station). Anyone who has taken a recent roadtrip towards the center of the country - generally, how easy or difficult was it to access superchargers? Also, would be interested in anyone who has driven from Southern CA to Northern CA and/or Oregon how hard it was to access superchargers. Thanks so much!
 
This should improve once the Auburn SuC comes online. I think right now, if you're going east on I-80, Rocklin is the last one before Truckee. There are two Roseville locations right before that, though.
Agreed, Rocklin is just in the right spot where it's go to east and westbound on I-80 for Tahoe traffic. Looking forward to Auburn and hoping it happens end of year.
 
Just had full supercharger with small line of cars experience in Rocklin, CA on Sunday, 2:30 in the afternoon.

Looked like all the Tahoe traffic used this as their stop. Had to wait ~20 minutes before a charger became free.

This is at a Tesla dealership, and they had a couple spots roped off.
Was headed up to Tahoe on Sunday and used the Roseville Galleria one . No lines. I e used the Rocklin one in the past . The last time I had to wait for a spot was the Mountain View supercharger about 3 years ago.
 

Bet TSLA

Active Member
Dec 8, 2014
3,011
12,853
Cupertino, CA
Hello! We are planning a road trip with a model y potentially into the Rockies and maybe Mid-west from Los Angeles. We have heard of people sometimes waiting for an hour or TWO to start charging at a supercharger (a friend waited for two hours at a Bakersfield, CA supercharger station). Anyone who has taken a recent roadtrip towards the center of the country - generally, how easy or difficult was it to access superchargers? Also, would be interested in anyone who has driven from Southern CA to Northern CA and/or Oregon how hard it was to access superchargers. Thanks so much!
Welcome! Notice that people who believe online videos are full of dire warnings and people who actually go on road trips report no problems. Yes, it is possible to find crowds during holidays on heavily traveled routes in California. My wife once waited for hours while driving home from Oregon after the total eclipse (while gas stations had no gas). You won't run into these things.

If you let your Navigation route you you'll do fine. Pay attention to the numbers of available stalls, a number which you can see on the Nav screen. Occasionally, charging at Roseville is much smarter than going to Rocklin. Charge to 100% before you leave, so you have maximum choice in getting out of LA.

I'd like to hear the story of your friend having to wait at Bakersfield. Not the sort of thing that happens once you have some experience on the road. And things keep getting better as Tesla builds more superchargers and makes everything more efficient.

One other thing to keep in mind is that it's a win to stay at accommodations that have Level 2 charging, so you can leave in the morning with a full complement of electrons. The charging is usually free too.
 

Big Dog

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
1,815
1,989
Irvine, CA
Frequently drive I-5 from SoCal to the Bay Area. Thanksgiving weekend seems the worst, so we avoid prime time: Wed and Sunday afternoons. If you go off hours during holidays you'll be fine. Last couple of recent trips (under covid), I'd pull into Kettleman at 9:00 am and I'd find only one other person charging.

I did hear about an issue in Bakersfield (last year?) but that was a fluke as the other nearby Supercharger was shut down due to an adjacent gas line leak. This was not a Tesla issue -- plenty of electricity -- but CHP closed down the whole area and freeway offramps for several hours for community safety. As a result, the open Supercharger was overloaded. Perhaps that is what your friend experienced?
 

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