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Superchargers in California will be clogged in 12 months, unless?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by calisnow, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    So I've now visited the Rancho Cucamonga Supercharger several times - each time it has been at least 50% full (except one time when I was there late at night) - and it has 14 stalls.

    Today at 3:30 pm I visited Burbank and was number 3 in a line of Teslas waiting to charge - and this was at a Service Center.

    I can imagine the Superchargers in the middle of nowhere have a long time to go until they're clogged. For example the two on the way to Mammoth I have not yet seen a single soul at.

    But So Cal is already approaching capacity on normal, non-holiday days.

    Anyone know what Tesla's game plan is?

    The Rancho Cucamonga location, for example, is located at a mall where there is plenty of room to double, triple or even quadruple capacity.

    Or will Tesla add more stations rather than increase the number of chargers at each station?

    If, a year from now, there are twice as many Teslas on the road, stations will be frequently full. And this does not even factor in Model 3.

    Rancho Cucamonga's station, for example, is surrounded by literally thousands of suburban homes occupied by commuters who drive into L.A. and Orange County for work.

    If Tesla doesn't do something to limit demand they will treat that station like a free gas station for their morning commute.

    I wonder if at some point Tesla will stop offering free supercharging "for life" - and simply grandfather in the cars which have already been sold - but stop offering it on new sales as a "pay once, unlimited for life" option.

    Maybe go to a subscription or per-use model.
     
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  2. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    A few comments:

    1) 50% full isn't close to being clogged
    2) Even assuming Tesla makes its 80K-90K forecast for 2016 deliveries there won't be twice as many Tesla cars on the road a year from now.
    3) The issue of local charging and limiting free for life has been debated on numerous other threads here ad nauseum

    As far as Tesla's plan, they monitor supercharging activity very closely and both expand existing locations and add new locations as needed. In 2013 there were only 2 superchargers locations in the LA area - now there are 8. I would expect them to continue with free supercharging for life for Model S and Model X. No one knows what the supercharging model will be for Model 3.
     
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  3. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    While I appreciate the Burbank supercharger the few times I get to use it, I have no idea a) why it's there and b) why it's only 6 stalls.

    It's not close to an expressway in the sense that you can jump off and then right back on and it's in a far too populated area to have so few stalls. It seems like it was doomed from the start. You look at other superchargers in heavily congested areas and there are stalls a plenty. Culver City for instance, there are what, maybe 20 - 25 stalls? And you need that many because of the location. Hawthorne is similar.

    I actually think that it would be better not to have a supercharger station than to have one that's too small for the area it serves because if people come to assume a particular station is always full, they stop relying on that station. Burbank is close to me and I would top off there before a trip but now I just plan ahead and make sure I'm charged because too many times I've pulled in there only to find no open stalls.
     
  4. Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

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    Musk has already commented on folks that live next to and or otherwise abuse the superchargers. It seems like they have a bit more bandwidth once they move from nasty-grams to blocking abusers from the superchargers.
     
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  5. ifung90

    ifung90 Member

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    This has been a problem for Hong Kong supercharger network for the last 12 months.

    During holiday season, I was in line at a 6 stall charger area (largest one we have) and there were 9 cars WAITING while 6 are charging.

    This is a big issue for our city as private apartment housings do not allow installation of wall boxes in private stalls even if you own the spot (which is no cheap affair ... my parking stall cost $11,500 USD and that's inexpensive compared to some regions).

    YET Tesla Hong Kong keeps increasing superchargers where there are way less demands than the constantly congested stations. Sometimes I don't understand Tesla's methodology as a company and whether they really listen to our demands or if it's just for publicity sake.
     
  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    "Superchargers will be clogged in 12 months unless"... Tesla builds more Superchargers.

    Amazingly, they will do just that. Problem solved.
     
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  7. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    I see three CA Supercharger locations under construction at the moment, and six permitted. So, uh, I think they're building more.
     
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  8. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    The real solution is obviously to tear down the reasons why slow, nighttime charging is either underutilized or not utilized. That means government officials and lawmakers need to see the light. Using L3 DC fast charging is not a sustainable and reasonable method forward en masse.

    We are starting to see some of that including legislation in some regions that require the provision for charging support with ordinances for parking lots and changes to the electrical code. Further, getting people that can charge at home, at night, is a noteworthy effort. In some cases, that's figuring out how to get nighttime 1-4 am super off peak rates to be low enough such that people won't bother going to Superchargers. I pay 6 cents/kWh at super off peak with a special EV rate plan. A typical commuter uses 10 kWh a day, so that's $0.60/night, or $4.20 a week. For California, linking nighttime wind production during times of relatively excess production to EV charging should be done to make it economically viable to install lots more wind energy and bring down super off peak rates for EVs. Ideally, you can opportunistically charge during high wind production nights at extra low rates, possibly even free if the wholesale spot price drops far enough. That means pushing such changes through the utility regulatory bodies.

    The other answer is obviously that Tesla builds more Superchargers as well as continuing to build out the destination charging network. I suspect that a better answer is to throw in the cost of setting up home/condo charging, at least $1,000 or $2,000 towards it as part of the cost of the car.
     
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  9. taldric

    taldric Member

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    Personally, I think there should be some kind of block on "locals" using SuperChargers. Something like your car won't charge at a SuperCharger if that SuperCharger is within 10 miles of your home. Or maybe Tesla just charges you if you use a SuperCharger within 10 miles of your home.

    I know that I charge at home every night and have only been to a SuperCharger once in the 2 weeks I've owned my Model S and that was just to test it out - but that SuperCharger was more than 10 miles from me.

    I plan to do some distance driving with the Tesla this year, and I can see how it would really frustrate me if I pull into a SuperCharger only to find that locals are using all the slots so I have to wait in line.
     
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  10. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Understand that not everybody lives in a single family home. I'm fortunate to have a 400 amp home and 600 amp x 480vac business, but that is not the norm for midrange priced car buyers.

    The market price on Teslas right now keeps the ratio of condo/apartment dwellers low comparatively, but once the Model 3 is released, the demographic will change dramatically.

    If you cannot charge at home, superchargers are Gas Stations. You fill your "tank" and drive for days.

    Tesla will need more DCFC sites to serve this demographic, whether they are supercharger, CHAdeMO, or SAE level 3.

    Tesla should monetize EV charging and dominate that industry, which will be a multi-billion dollar industry in under 10 years. This would require their sites to service multiple brands at a profit, and the Teslas for free.

    It will take about 50,000 DCFC sites in North America alone to provide adequate service for apartment dwellers. Modeling this as a cost center is not an option.
     
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  11. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    The solution for condos and apartments isn't an expanded DCFC network, it's an expansion of L2 chargers that can be used overnight. There's no technical reason that L2 chargers can't be installed in every condo or apartment's parking structure, or indeed on the street for people who have to park there. L2 charging is cheap, it doesn't make sense to build out expensive fast chargers to handle uses that L2 charging can do just as well. There are real obstacles, but they're political; convincing your apartment/condo management to allow installation of chargers, and the like. I think that will change naturally with time. Right now, managers feel comfortable refusing such requests because there are few EV owners. Once a decent percentage of their potential customer base owns EVs, it'll be something they'll have to accommodate in order to remain competitive.
     
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  12. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    As I've said in other threads about this, and I'll say it again here, if you can't charge at home\work then don't buy the car. I'm already running into the same full supercharger issues and it's only going to get worse.

    Tesla isn't building them in CA nearly fast enough, not even close. It's laughable that only 3 are under construction and 6 are in permit stage (which can take forever). It should be at least twice, if not three times, more than that. That doesn't even approach the situation that other buyers across the US face with huge gaps in supercharger coverage.

    Tesla can do better, and they must do better. Their entire brand and selling point is very quickly becoming tied to the concept of superchargers and free long distance travel. Tesla needs to be ahead of this curve, not behind it like they currently are.

    Jeff
     
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  13. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

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    This is one of the reasons why I'm not even considering a Model 3 to replace my current second car (a VW Rabbit). While it doesn't happen every time, waits at superchargers are an increasingly frequent problem when we take longer trips with our P85D. Even when there isn't a wait, it takes over 30 minutes to get a decent amount of range, and when the superchargers are full it can take an hour or more.

    The thing that people may not be thinking about is that with a projected range of only 200 miles, the Model 3 is going to have to use superchargers more frequently than Model S/X vehicles do. For example, we can make a round trip to Folsom from the Bay Area with one stop at a supercharger in our P85D. With a Model 3, we'd probably have to make two stops at superchargers.

    So if the Model 3 is a sales success, you not only have a ton more Teslas using superchargers, you have more frequent use in many cases due to the 3 having less range for trips.

    Maybe Tesla is going to charge Model 3 owners for supercharger use and use that money to dramatically expand the supercharger network. In that situation, the Model 3 actually paves the way for a much more robust supercharger network at no additional cost to the current Tesla Model S/X owners, which will prevent the supercharger crowding problem from getting worse. I hope that's what happens.

    Either way, though, I'm already getting nervous about the situation for my existing Tesla and won't even consider a new one until we see how this is going to play out.
     
  14. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Supercharger capacity can also grow by decreasing the time it takes to supercharge. That's why Tesla is testing the liquid cooled cables at Mountain View and probably other improvements are in development that we don't know about. Of course that would require people not abandoning their cars for hours at a supercharger. A fee for parking there for a substantial time after charging has finished should solve that.
     
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  15. HHHH

    HHHH Member

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    I think Tesla does have a firm handle on the situation, and while there are naturally going to be occasions that the superchargers are crazy busy (i.e. San Juan Capistrano at any time I've ever been there), the build out will solve these issues. It may not be happening as fast as everyone would like, but it has to be a necessity item for them to address immediately. They will naturally build more in CA than anywhere else given the sales / ownership volume there.

    I don't think limiting the current ownership base that lives within 10 miles is a suggestion that will work for Tesla because it will only be a matter of time until an owner desperately needed a charge, but because of the new rule, their battery died or something catastrophic happened. I do think that Elon's statement that Tesla is monitoring abuse or unnecessary overuse by repeat offenders is something that, if enforced, would deter some of the people who are creating the proverbial logjam.

    H
     
  16. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Supercharger openings in the US have practically stopped in the last few months compared to the previous rate:

    supercharge.info

    and then click on charts.
     
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  17. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    The cost for 'free' charging is built into the Model S. So there is a budget for building more stations as more cars are sold. And now get this: If the Model 3 sells 10 times as many as the Model S, they have 10 times the money to build more stations. :)
    It's very simple math actually. I think it'll be fine.
     
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  18. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

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    Is the math that simple? I would assume that the built in cost for free supercharging in the current Model S/X is not the same as what will be charged/built in to the Model 3, in part because the Model 3 will be much less expensive and consumers may find a relatively large charge for charging to be a turn off. So my guess would be that if the Model 3 sells 10 times the number of Model S/X, Tesla will bring in some amount that is less than 10 times the money they currently bring in to build superchargers.

    All of which will make next week's reveal more, er, revealing.
     
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  19. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Good point. $2000 is a small amount for a $90-120k car. But it's a lot for a $35k car. At the same time, these $2000 for lifetime supercharging is actual a very good value. So I think many would be willing to pay it.
     
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  20. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    I have four friends putting deposits down on Model 3's - each keeps cars a long time (10+ years) and puts a lot of miles on them. I think these friends would view $2,000 for lifetime energy as a good deal and would pay it.
     

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