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Supercharging by Locals/Overcrowded Superchargers in So Cal

Discussion in 'California Supercharger locations' started by Gregsbeach, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Gregsbeach

    Gregsbeach Member

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    I thought we should dedicate a thread to the issue of locals and supercharging. In Southern California, at many of our superchargers there are waiting lines. I have had to wait to use superchargers at Fountain Valley, Burbank, San Juan Capistrano, San Diego, Oxnard and Tejon Ranch. And in the past 3+ years, I have used superchargers a grand total of less than 30 times. (Might be less than 20, but maybe up to 30). Not a good ratio or experience. So I can understand the frustration when we see someone drive up, plug in and drive off with a spouse in another car.

    I do not understand the economics of this. At my home, the Southern California Edison TOU rate is 10-11 cents per KW. Doesn't that mean that if my S 85 is totally empty, it may cost me $8.50 to fill up? They say the first few years cost of ownership of a Model S is $1,000 per month plus $1 per mile. IF you have to drive two cars to a supercharger, the cost of this round trip negates most if not all of the savings of the "free supercharger", to say nothing of one's time.
    That said, I do understand that many condo and multi tenant living situations are not conducive, economical, or sometimes even possible to charge at home.

    I will NOT plan on using my Tesla on road tips or weekend excursions if I need to return on Sunday afternoons.
    And this is a year before the Model 3 is even out.
     
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  2. Branzo90D

    Branzo90D Salt and Pepper

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    Isn't it amazing what people will do for something that is "free"? Unbelievable! o_O
     
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  3. randy1077

    randy1077 Model X60 Vin 180XX. Reverved 8/11/2016

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    Luckily, Tesla has always sold the option as "Free Long Distance travel". They need to limit it when you are within 30 miles of your home address to something like no more than 5 times per year. That does not qualify as long distance travel and charging by locals goes against the whole purpose of these superchargers.
     
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  4. Jeeps17

    Jeeps17 Cath Jockey in a P85

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    It is not only in SoCal ...

    I just had the same issue while on a trip to Toronto, at the Lawrence SC.

    Several people were there supercharging, including a couple with TWO model S's (obviously plugged in different charger pairs).

    I would not have given them a second thought, had I not heard them tell another local with a brand new refreshed S how great it is that they can charge for free "so close to home".

    Sigh ...
     
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  5. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    Let's be very clear about this latest incarnation of the usual witch hunt for locals, as it is mostly misguided and off the mark. Again.

    1. Non-garaged "locals" may use SCs as needed when no home or work charging options exist. This has been the case since 2014 and is exactly in line with Tesla's commitment to density as well as to distance. How do I know this? Because I asked before buying the car.

    2. Certain times are busier than others - this applies to Costco gas stations as much as to SCs. Want to wait in line for 20 minutes just to get to a pump at Costco? Go after work or on a Friday or Sunday late afternoon. Same with SCs in those areas where density and distance coincide. Except rarely is there a wait outside of holiday weekends. As far as Sunday afternoons go, nobody who plans ahead is caught dead on the 5/405 northbound from San Diego to LA then. Why would you expect anything different at an SC?

    3. Similar to flight ground delays that cascade throughout the day downcoast from SFO to San Diego, there will continue to be exacerbated congestion from San Diego northbound into the OC unless and until a SC materializes in North SD County. Such an SC takes pressure off SD *and* shifts the next pain point from SJC/FV further north (and soon, east to BP and SA).

    4. Perceived usage by *garaged locals* can in fact be annoying - however, and especially in SoCal, long commutes are not uncommon. And you simply have no idea who is garaged and who is not. Add that to the usual distance travel and livery and it's easy to see why there are more SCs in LA County and the OC than in most other areas of density.

    5. There's a much larger problem afoot than perceived usage by garaged locals (since most don't use SCs), and that's ICEing by our own. In visiting 150 SCs across the continent this past year or so, I saw very, very few cases of ICEing and plenty of cases of ICEing *by our own*. There is no faster way to turn an 8-stall SC into a 2-stall SC than by not exiting when your charge is complete. Not 5 minutes later - *when the charge is complete*. Fortunately, a couple of updates back, Tesla has added a "leave the stall" message that is pushed 5 minutes after charging is done.

    Not putting SCs at malls and shopping centers would be a smart idea, but one thing at a time. See the bizarre FV placement within walking distance of a Costco, or even Fox Hills. And Fox Hills is probably the best mall SC implementation in the network and it is still a problem during the holidays. As more SCs find their way to gas stations, this will be less of a problem. Get in, get out, get gone is not a bad mantra.

    I've been at FV, RB, and even FH when they are completely empty. As a non-garaged local, I employ the same logic I used when getting gas at Costco most of the time - don't go at peak times. Double win, since the lines were shorter inside the warehouse as well.

    What I don't see are a lot of garaged locals at SCs. What I do see is a lot of ICEing by our own and a lot of unnecessary/clueless pairing. Often by owners who have had their cars for 2-3 years.

    There is an opportunity here for owner education with regard to getting out when the charge is done and with regard to pairing.

    What there is not a credible opportunity for is the persecution of non-garaged locals - especially at SCs that constitute maybe 3% of the entire network.

    With regard to SoCal in particular, there's a systemic failure to manage that chokepoint at North County as referenced above. Beyond that, expect to see multiple 20-stall SCs in LA and the OC. Tesla is more than capable of managing demand and capacity.

    Finally, with the introduction of no SCing at all *and* the option of prepaid SCing for those who claim to not use SCs much, the Model 3 won't constitute nearly the deluge that the handwringers predicted. With that said, 40% of Teslas live in California. Resolve California and you've solved the challenge for the entire continent.

    Good luck with your witch hunt.
     
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  6. Jeeps17

    Jeeps17 Cath Jockey in a P85

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    #6 Jeeps17, Sep 12, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
    Not sure if you were referring to my post or the OP's (or both), but:

    Of course there are numerous reasons why someone local could need to use a SC.

    In the specific example I referred to, the couple in question noted they were doing it this way to save money wrt charging their cars at home. They were quite proud of pointing this out to the other driver, and went on to discuss tiered electric plans.

    I am not hunting anything (witches or otherwise), just pointing out a single event that I encountered, which I did not think was very cool as a roaming user.
     
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  7. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    You think there's a bunch of locals at Tejon? o_O
     
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  8. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    The large number of cars at California Superchargers is because 43% of all Teslas are registered in the US are registered in California, but not 43% of all Superchargers are in California.
     
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  9. rfmurphy81

    rfmurphy81 Member

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    Where did this 40%-43% number come from? Just curious.
     
  10. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Yeah... kinda doubt local charging is the problem there... same with Harris Ranch... I've seen lines there too. Sometimes it's just peak travel times. I drive to WA from NM about twice a year... really glad the direct route is finished so I can avoid California Tesla congestion...
     
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  11. Troy

    Troy Member

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    #11 Troy, Sep 12, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
    Hi,
    I think the data came from my research. At the end of Q2 2016, the numbers were as follows (current numbers are slightly different):

    California: 34,032 Teslas, 347 supercharger stalls, 98.1 Teslas per stall
    USA: 82,090 Teslas, 1919 supercharger stalls, 42.8 Teslas per stall
    USA excl CA: 48,058 Teslas, 1572 supercharger stalls, 30.6 Teslas per stall

    You can find more details HERE. Look at the large table that shows the country names. California Tesla registration numbers are published quarterly by CNCDA.org (California New Car Dealers Association).
     
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  12. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    Without question there are clueless garaged owners, but they are quickly schooled, or figure out on their own that waking up every morning with a full charge is far preferable to waiting around at an SC. I met one such woman who had owned her car for a week. She knew less than nothing, which included how to open her trunk or frunk or charge port. She thought it would be a good idea to use the busiest SC in the network at the time while waiting for her rate plan to switch over. Then we had her do the math versus the cost of her time (she was in real estate), and the lightbulb went on.

    I do wish as part of owner education that additional reminders went out to get ahead of rate plan changes or home charging installations *before* the car is delivered.

    On the flip side, I met a fellow last month who traded in his 15-year old sedan for a P90DL lease sight unseen. No test drive, no face to face contact until they delivered the car, zero knowledge that the forums (TMC or tesla.com/forum) even existed. No possibility of home charging, and didn't even know where the SCs were. He was trying to figure out how to use a grocery store charger. Happily, he doesn't drive much and can use chargers at work (where he is 60 hours/week). If he did use an SC, it would be maybe twice a month. Hardly an imposition.

    And so it goes. Optimal use of scarce resources means everyone will have to play nice or have their behavior modified to play nice. This is why I support signage and towing ala Fred Meyer grocery stores (simple municipal no parking sign on top and EV charging only on the bottom, and they do tow. No paint colors necessary). At the same time, it wouldn't kill Tesla to send out a quarterly newsletter with reminders to charge at home if you have a garage, to charge at off-peak times if you are one of the non-garaged, to advocate (often grant-funded) charging options at work, and above all, to discourage ICEing by our own at every turn.

    Put another way, make it as inconvenient for the ICErs as they make it for us.
     
  13. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    I realize you live in some fairy tail world where locals aren't abusing the system and there is ample capacity for all so long as we show up when no one else is using the stations...

    In the real world, the one that I presume the vast majority of us are forced to operate in, there is a growing problem with locals abusing SCs. It's abuse that Tesla should be aggressively attempting to curve. Alas, I know they won't and I understand why they won't.

    I don't think setting geofence restricts on SC usage is going to solve anything and would expect it to cause far more harm than good, especially for people trying to come home from a long trip and not having quite enough to make it home, etc... I'm for more of an intelligent approach to this problem. Tesla has your usage data, they know if you've been charging at home, abusing local SCs, etc..., so they should be able to come up with something more specifically targeted to each owner and curbing very specific habits and abuse.

    As for me, I've said it before, and I'll continue saying it no matter what you think. If you can't\won't charge at home, don't buy the car. I have no problems calling out locals at SC stops when I encounter them and I'll continue to do so. If it were me, and it's probably good for Tesla it isn't, I'd disable SC capabilities all together for locals who abuse the system but I realize that's an awfully heavy handed approach.

    Jeff
     
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  14. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    Actually, I live in LA County. It may be surreal at times, but fantasy land it ain't.

    And unless and until the exclusionists accept Tesla's now 2 year-old commitment to both DENSITY as well as to DISTANCE in direct support of the non-garaged, it will be necessary to school those who paint all "locals" with the same brush in search of a solution for an already manageable problem.

    I find it amusing that no attention is paid to livery, who can and do use SCs up to 4x/day. It must just be easier to throw stones at all "locals" without bothering to understand the specifics of actual usage.

    Non-garaged locals may use SCs as needed. Garaged locals should use their garages. Livery presents an interesting challenge. A 50% finished network in which 97% of SCs are not congested at all should be considered as part of non-fantasy land as well. Build SCs at chokepoints to shift load and voila - good times.

    SoCal in particular has a nexus of density and distance. It's a solvable problem. But network wide, the biggest risk is ICEing by our own. Witch hunt the "local" all you want, and good luck with that. ICEing by our own will continue to need to be addressed - especially at mall sites where travelers and locals alike are encouraged to stay awhile.

    Happily, as a good start, Fox Hills offers limited valet service. They'll charge your car *and move it when done* - free of charge. Now *that* is a positive partnership between Tesla and the property manager right there.
     
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  15. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I've found that John-Q-Public... as a general rule is pretty clueless when it comes to power and energy. I have engineer co-workers that don't intuitively understand kW vs kWh. Many people don't understand the HUGE difference between a standard 110v outlet and the 50A outlet we've all come to know and love.

    The kW vs kWh confusion is particularly amusing. We really need a new word for energy that isn't so easily short-handed to mean power. How ofter to you hear people say kW when they mean kWh? ALL THE TIME! It's no different than saying that I bought 10HP at the gas station... yet that sounds way more absurd.
     
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  16. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    I wonder if the DENSITY part won't be more destination chargers, not superchargers. A pilot program in the UK: Tesla is testing a new charging solution for people living in apartments
     
  17. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    I'm for working smarter, not harder.

    I believe there's an opportunity here to capatalize on human nature's tendency to react better to positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement. Instead of deincentivizing supercharging, I think there's space for tesla to incentivize home charging. It may take a bit to break the power companies, but in the end electricity is basically a commodity that goes through supply and demand cycles. With tesla power (and solar city) tesla may one day be able to offer a total vehicle ownership solution, possibly even in conjunction with the power companies.

    Total elitist, short sighted, close minded BS.
     
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  18. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I've supercharged about 400 times at 60 different superchargers in the last 2.5 years. I've driven 85k miles so far. I live in Los Angeles, home of the top 7 busiest roads in the US and home of some of the highest density of Teslas. It's fair to say I have lots of real world experience.

    Out of these 400 Supercharging sessions I had to wait maybe 6 times to get a spot at a Supercharger. The average wait time was 5 minutes. So it's not like we have a huge problem here. Locals charging is certainly a part of the problem, but not the biggest. Those stations where I had to wait were mostly just overloaded by people traveling longer drives. There were no locals.

    But let's take a step back and look at the argument. Where did Tesla promise that Superchargers are free and available 100%? Have you ever waited at a gas station? in line at a grocery store? boarding a plane? Where does this entitlement come from that every Supercharger has be be free whenever you arrive? Tesla clearly committed both to long distance traveling and density. You can't just call everyone in LA and OC and San Fran locals and claim they should never use a Supercharger. Lots of people drive around town and back and forth a lot and they need to top off.

    I'm really getting annoyed with this sense of entitlement that wherever you go there has to be a free Supercharger without any wait just for you. And everyone who is using a Supercharger at the time you arrive is a local freeloader and has no right to be there.
     
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  19. X Fan

    X Fan Member

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    I can't wait to hear the discourse if/when non-tesla EV's are allowed in the network. Then, add a few hundred thousand 3's that may not have the same disposable income for at home chargers and the wait time swells.

    The threads will be epic.
     
  20. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    Based on my few data points, I think it is you who is off the mark. I live in the Bay Area but visit SoCal a couple of times a year in my Model S. Here are 2 examples of the problem:

    1) Charging in SJC to go to Temecula. Guy next to me in a 60 was bragging that he lives 5 miles away, has charging at home, but uses the SJC Supercharger. All of the stalls were full and people were waiting.

    2) Driving from Palm Springs to Silicon Valley (475 miles). First charge was in Burbank. 6 stall fulls, 3 cars waiting. Woman in front of my was a local who was "charging while doing some shopping".

    That is the problem, not people who drive 200+ miles per day in the LA Basin and need to supercharge. Tesla needs to fix this. And it is no different in NorCal (Gilroy, Mtn View, San Mateo, Fremont) where locals are delaying long distance travelers. Just not as congested as SoCal.
     
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