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Tesla's ambitions apparent from Supercharger network -- No comparison

Discussion in 'North America' started by igotzzoom, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    I'm still kicking around the idea of an EV. As of now, it's between the Chevy Bolt and the Model 3. Poking around on the PlugShare site, the preponderance and strategic positioning of Tesla's supercharger network is simply overwhelming. The J1772 CCS and CHAdeMO chargers seem to be clustered around urban areas (no surprise) but outside of metro areas, are few and far between.

    It has been stated before that Tesla's supercharger network is a strategic advantage. I believe it will be even more apparent in the years ahead. While OEs are on-the-fence or pledging by press release their support for fast-charging networks, Tesla's already there. Never mind the fact that there are two competing standards (CCS and CHAdeMO) and that just now, the major charging networks are talking about working together for interoperability (Blink, ChargePoint, and NRG EVgo) through the ROEV Association.

    It's still possible to do coast-to-coast trips in a non-Tesla EV, but requires a collection of adapters, the goodwill of RV park owners and EV-friendly private citizens. Except for extreme early adopters, I doubt many people will have this level of patience. Would love to hear everyone's thoughts.
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I think you will find that most TMC members agree with you that the Tesla charging network makes long distance EV travel easy. But it's not just the geographic location of the Superchargers, it's the superior charging rate that Tesla offers compared to the other DC charging standards.
     
  3. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I have used Superchargers extensively. I drove 70k miles in less than 2 years. That's a lot more than average and a good amount were long road trips across the US. But my case is definitely not the norm. The average person drives 15-18k miles a year. Very few long road trips and definitely very very few do coast to coast trips.
    The vast majority of driving is happening in the close area around where people live. That's why there are plenty of charging stations in urban areas. That's where traffic is happening and where we need chargers. Surveys show that about 80% of all charging of EVs is done at home. Second most used place is at work. Charging outside of home or work is very little. EVs don't need as large of a charging station network as ICE cars need gas stations.

    So while the Supercharging network does a decent job of enabling long distance traveling, it is only a very small portion of the total traffic. It won't take as big of an effort to build a sufficient charging network for EVs as some people think. The importance of long distance traveling is a little overrated. It is important, but it happens rarely thus we don't need a lot of capacity there. I have visited 50 different Superchargers. Except a few in California, the most I see is one, maybe two cars. Never has any Supercharger been at capacity.
     
  4. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    True. But as the saying goes, "perception is reality." I think for a lot of people, EVs are a second or third car. They still have an ICE "just in case." A well-developed nationwide fast charging network effectively takes that objection off the table. GM, BMW, etc. are claiming their current EV efforts "aren't compliance cars." But I just don't see it in their lukewarm support for charging networks, and mediocre range. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised at Tesla's strategy, since they're all-in on EVs. There is no fallback plan for them. It's not a dealbraker for me one way or the other. I will gladly buy a few adapters, and carry a portable Level 2 charger to charge at RV parks and friends' houses. I see it as somewhat of an adventure. But I don't think most carbuyers are willing to be as forgiving and flexible. They want reliability, predictability, and not having to go significantly outside of their comfort zone.
     
  5. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    I have driven between Seattle and Sacramento CA, up into Canada and out to Coeur D'alene Idaho and on another trip out to Bend OR and Boise Idaho, all on Super chargers, occasionally using the various adapters that work with the stock Tesla EVSE. My experience with Superchargers has been essentially flawless, they work, they are really fast and they are most places you might need one and they are free. Our Tesla charging experience contrasts starkly with that of our Nissan Leaf. Charging with any other standard other than Tesla is slow and remarkably unreliable and the placement of the stations is also remarkably unstrategic. The CHAdeMO DC fast charging network is so unreliable that we are very reluctant to let ourselves get into a situation where we have to rely on it. The J1772 "network" is so slow it merely offers a modicum of peace of mind but is for the most part to be avoided. Honestly, and I'm not saying this just as a Tesla fanboy, Tesla's charging standard should be adopted as the national and global standard, everything else is Beta at best and unfortunately discourages adoption of EV's.
     
  6. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    I've got to wonder if in some closed-door executive meetings at the other OEs, they secretly acknowledge the superiority of the Tesla charging protocol and network, but they're afraid if they adopt it for their vehicles, it will look like capitulation. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point, some company offered dual J1772 L2 and Tesla ports. That way, they haven't totally admitted defeat, but acknowledged the superior coverage of the Supercharger network.
     
  7. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    It's still got quite a while to go before ICE manufacturers actually feel threatened. Because in the other half of the US, the supercharger density needs to increase by 35-50% in order to make year-round driving comfortable and you don't have to break out the slide-rule before every trip to figure out if you're going to make it or go scrounging for slow-chargers or worse yet have to stay somewhere overnight when you just wanted to go home. Of course there's ~11 superchargers in-progress around California, but almost none everywhere else in the US. Right now Tesla success is just a small anomaly to the big automakers.
     
  8. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    If you're interested to know the GM CEO's position on contributing to a Level 3 infrastructure to support the Bolt, check out the big middle finger she gave any potential customers last week.
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    @David99, while I agree with your statistics about where most EV charging is done (at home and at work) and about what a small percentage of all driving is long distance trips, I disagree with you regarding the average car buyer's perception of their need for an EV to be able to make long trips easily and conveniently.
    Before the Model S, just about all EVs purchased were for use as a "second car", not as a primary vehicle. So that dramatically limited the potential market size. As you know, the S/X can be used as a primary or even only vehicle by most people (not "all", but "most"). And that is not only because of the large battery/long range on a single charge but also because of the Supercharger network and the fast charging rate it offers.
    The fast that a Tesla can be a primary vehicle and used for long distance trips removes a roadblock from a potential customer's mind set.
    So I do not think the importance of the Supercharger network is overrated. I think it is a huge marketing advantage for Tesla. I long ago lost track of how many times I have told someone about the Supercharger network while discussing Teslas with a non-owner and seen a look of astonishment on their face. The average person who has at least heard of Tesla has no idea about the Supercharger network, it's speed, or the fact that owners don't pay to charge. It really blows their mind.
     
  10. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    At this point, there is little reason for GM to build out a supercharging for a low volume, low price EV that will have low numbers on the road in 2017.

    Doing a big push now would simply benefit Mercedes and BMW. Who is going to buy the 2017 $100K Mercedes EV without a charging network?

    Think game theory, not how GM might feel about supercharging.
     
  11. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    I'm referring to Mary Barra's blunt and specific statement that Bolt EV owners are on their own to figure out charging and that GM will have no part even working with other companies to help their customers. I'm not suggesting GM invest in a Supercharger-like level 3 build out. They should just take some marketing dollars to at least give the impression they are going to support their customers.
     
  12. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Barra and/or GM's comments on contributing to the charging network have no bearing on my purchase decision. It's a matter of getting an EV as soon as possible (that meets my driving needs) or waiting a little longer, and getting what I think I'm really going to want (Model 3). Thankfully, I should have a better idea soon. Model 3 will be shown in 2 months, and Bolt won't be in showrooms for at least 10.
     
  13. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

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    I don't understand your logic. Shown/showrooms is not the same a delivered and being able to purchase.

    Next month, I'll have had a Tesla Model X down payment for 3 years!!! It was shown back then too.

    I bought a 2011 Volt that showed up on time. I bought a Gen II 2016 Volt that was 1 week later than I thought it was going to be.

    I'm a fan of both companies but let's call a spade a spade. As well any problem with supercharge queues will go up 10 fold when the Model 3 is here at volume. There are some challenges ahead.
     
  14. jerry33

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

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    I've put on 64K miles in under three years half of which is trips. One thing is almost certain, and that is that once you get a Tesla you'll drive more. Trips become a pleasure rather than a chore. Comparing the average driver (which includes people who don't commute) to a Tesla driver is meaningless.
     
  15. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    So you're saying bite the bullet on the Bolt, and trade up to the Model 3 once it's available?
     
  16. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

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    #16 scottf200, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
    If timing is a consideration I'm saying the Bolt will be much more "on time" than the Model 3 will be "on time". I think they both will be great cars and both companies will stand behind them. I, personally, favor Tesla because of the OTA updates and would likely move to a Model 3 if GM does not go that route.

    If all these other company supporting the Combo CCS have success with their electric cars, then they have the resources to build a network ... and could probably do it quicker than Tesla ... because Tesla paved the way with some of the permitting and getting utilities to understand that process for car charging.
     
  17. Breezy

    Breezy Member

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    Today, the Supercharger network is superior. No contest.

    Tesla's disadvantage is that they're building the Supercharger network by themselves. Numerous partners (yes, including government) are contributing the the growth in CHAdeMO/CCS.

    Long term, I think the Supercharger advantage will diminish, not widen.
     
  18. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    Correction, numerous factions are contributing to dead end charging networks. Sometime in the future, they will hopefully start contributing to an actual L3 charging network. In the short term, the Supercharger advantage grows.
     
  19. freds

    freds Member

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    Even if another car manufacture adopted the Tesla standard their customers would be pulling up to an electron pump that said Tesla on it! Guess what their next car purchase would be?
     
  20. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    I can charge at nissan dealerships without immediately buying leaf.
     

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