Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Thanksgiving 2022 charging stories?

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
932
1,063
Sunnyvale, CA
You may remember in Thanksgiving 2019 there was a horrible Supercharger line with many-hour waits in the California Central Valley caused by a combination of weather, the geography of the pass and location of chargers and of course the holiday. The last few years have had more muted holidays.

Now there are many more Teslas, many more EVs, more superchargers, and more non-Tesla DC Fast chargers and other EVs. And "Thanksgiving travel is back, baby."

I may want to write a story about it, so I welcome people's stories in the coming days of experiences. (You can also gather data in you like, since in your car you can examine the supercharger stalls and wait time estimates for the region around you which may tell you what's happening in your area.) The typical crunch times are Sunday and Wednesday afternoon. This is the big test in the USA for charging infrastructure and teaches us about the future. Lots of people are taking long trips (in cold weather to boot) unlike any other time.

Last year Tesla tried out one idea -- they offered free off-peak supercharging to encourage people to charge up cars before or after the crunch. Did it work? How much can planning help? What about limiting people to less charge, like 70% unless they need it, to avoid having nearly full cars slow-charge? If there's any one time where things like reserving fast chargers and virtual queues would have application, it's at this peak. Or do we just need to build enough infrastructure to handle this top peak.

Unlike 2019, the non Tesla networks are now much larger than they were, but Teslas also have access to CCS. Will we see Teslas lining up at these stations too? What about th notorious poor reliability of some of these stations? If a 2-stall station has one out, that could be a nightmare, will networks work to make sure everything is up this week?

Share your thoughts and stories.
 

Sophias_dad

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
2,571
3,002
Massachusetts
I'm predicting much worse stories. Way more Teslas out there, and even though CCS is supported-ish I get the feeling only a TINY fraction of users will be spending the dough to get the adapter(or be able to get it even if they want it), and intersecting THAT set with those tesla owners taking long roadtrips for thanksgiving, and I predict essentially zero CCS affect.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
932
1,063
Sunnyvale, CA
I'm predicting much worse stories. Way more Teslas out there, and even though CCS is supported-ish I get the feeling only a TINY fraction of users will be spending the dough to get the adapter(or be able to get it even if they want it), and intersecting THAT set with those tesla owners taking long roadtrips for thanksgiving, and I predict essentially zero CCS affect.
A fair chunk have got the adapter -- and at $130 for a clone if you will tolerate one, it's a no-brainer buy.

But it doesn't need that much penetration. I have the adapter, I know if I showed up at an SC with an hour wait,I would be very tempted to check out a nearby CCS. Of course it would be nice if I could tell what the wait is there. Tesla now shows a very rough wait estimate if you click on an SC, and I don't know what it shows if it's an extra long wait. Even if only 20% of the people seeing the line have adapters and head elsewhere, it makes a difference.

It is true that the number of EVs sold has grown more than the number of charging stalls.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,746
11,417
Boise, ID
I get the feeling only a TINY fraction of users will be spending the dough to get the adapter
A fair chunk have got the adapter
Anyone get the feeling of dueling banjos of unfounded opposing assumptions here? I don't really think any of us have any data to indicate how many or how few people have bought it. Also remember the "forum effect" selection bias, where people talking about it here is going to be artificially high as far as people who even know it exists.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
932
1,063
Sunnyvale, CA
Looking at the numbers, while there are about 600,000 more Teslas in the USA since 3 years ago, an increase of about 75%, I know that Supercharger stalls have more than doubled worldwide -- anybody got the USA numbers? Non-Tesla DC Fast are also booming and there are not as many of those as Tesla SC stalls, but there are also a lot fewer of those cars.

That suggests there might be more chargers per car now than in 2019, which means it should not be worse, but we'll see. In 2019 there were some lines but only in a few places, which is not that bad.
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: FlyF4

Sophias_dad

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
2,571
3,002
Massachusetts
Looking at the numbers, while there are about 600,000 more Teslas in the USA since 3 years ago, an increase of about 75%
I'd like to know where you got that statistic.... I stumbled across this:

Tesla U.S Sales Figures seems to suggest that 2020 and 2021 numbers were 217 and 302k units. I'm intentionally ignoring 2019 because most of it was before thanksgiving 2019. Add 2022 at another 200k minimum by Thanksgiving, and I see 719k vehicles sold in the US since Thanksgiving 2019.

Adding all the previous numbers, including 2019, I get about 332k vehicles, which if I do my math right means that the increase is more like 719k/332k, or 216% >additional< cars on the road, or a total likely demand of 316% what it was in Thanksgiving 2019.

That's posifively scary.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FlyF4

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
932
1,063
Sunnyvale, CA
these are the numbers.
Yes it has data on total stations (1740 vs 760 3 years ago) and on worldwide stalls, but not USA stalls that I see.
Now, as shown, total stations in the USA has gone up 2.3x in 3 years, and if we presume stalls/station is similar stalls have also gone up that much.

Total Teslas sold in the USA has not gone up 2.3x in the last 3 years, I have it at about 900K Teslas in 2019 and 1.6M now. Is that wrong? This is what I get from a couple sites, like Tesla Sales Figures – US Market

This suggests SC/car is larger not smaller -- what's the source for it being smaller?

Note in 2019 only a few stations had bad lines, and rural chargers in general don't usually have them.
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: FlyF4
Good enough numbers. Let's say those numbers are "Close enough for government work" as the ole saying goes.
I have internal database numbers month by month back to 2014. There isn't a "significant" ratio change, but relatively speaking, the ratio of cars to scs have increased a every year. As you probably know, what is more important is the number of new chargers in densely populated locations relative to cars AND being convenient to people passing through.

You know, in average podunk town USA, it doesn't matter, but where you live, it really matters. Again, pretty sure you are aware of that. Just saying for newer folks.

To comment on another question, the average number of stalls per sc across the usa is about 10.4. The ratio of cars per stall was 51 back in 2014. In 2019 it was 79 and in 2021 it jumped up to 112. I haven't looked in the past few months, so don't have that number handy, but I'll tell you it will be a little higher than 112 after I check. Hope that helps you out.

I guess to sum it all up, the numbers don't tell the true story. As you and I know, the big cities are going to suffer a lot more than out on the interstate or out in smaller cities.

Oh and I am not sure where you got those 1740 and 760 numbers? Maybe I am looking at something different on that site than you are. I rarely go look at that site anyway.
 
Last edited:
Do gas cars ever have to wait in a huge line on Thanksgiving? Costco is the only gas station I ever see a huge line every single day.

I thought Tesla charging will be free during off peak times during Thanksgiving. I may want to take advantage of it because I will stay at my friend's LA home and he has no EV charging, so I'd like to get free charging while I'm there. But I feel only the ones for road trip charging like Barstow CA Tesla charging for CA to Las Vegas only has the free charging. The ones in cities like LA or OC usually don't.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
932
1,063
Sunnyvale, CA
Good enough numbers. Let's say those numbers are "Close enough for government work" as the ole saying goes.
I have internal database numbers month by month back to 2014. There isn't a "significant" ratio change, but relatively speaking, the ratio of cars to scs have increased a every year. As you probably know, what is more important is the number of new chargers in densely populated locations relative to cars AND being convenient to people passing through.

You know, in average podunk town USA, it doesn't matter, but where you live, it really matters. Again, pretty sure you are aware of that. Just saying for newer folks.

To comment on another question, the average number of stalls per sc across the usa is about 10.4. The ratio of cars per stall was 51 back in 2014. In 2019 it was 79 and in 2021 it jumped up to 112. I haven't looked in the past few months, so don't have that number handy, but I'll tell you it will be a little higher than 112 after I check. Hope that helps you out.

I guess to sum it all up, the numbers don't tell the true story. As you and I know, the big cities are going to suffer a lot more than out on the interstate or out in smaller cities.

Oh and I am not sure where you got those 1740 and 760 numbers? Maybe I am looking at something different on that site than you are. I rarely go look at that site anyway.
I am interested in hard sources if I write an article. Your numbers are quite different than what I see, which show cars per stall getting better. I agree that's odd.

For Thanksgiving though, we have a different issue. It mainly affects people taking a Thanksgiving trip longer than their car's range. Otherwise, charge up before Wed, then drive on Wed, and charge at your destination or at an SC near your destination over the weekend, and you are fine.

So we're talking about long trips, and that means mostly rural superchargers. The properly planned trip takes off fairly full (in fact one of the rare days you charge to 100% perhaps, if needed) and you charge when you hit about 10% or the closest SC before that.

The crisis in 2019 came because people were coming back from Los Angeles on I-5. They got over the mountains and a whole bunch needed to charge once they got into the valley. But a storm closed the road for a bit and so everybody arrived at once, many unable to get to other chargers as they had been running their heaters. Then I think there was an outage too. Worst case but those will happen from time to time. The hard reality is the gasoline infrastructure wasn't bothered by this. It can handle it.
 
yup you get it. And we heard about the LA I5 issue. bummer. Sorry I can't provide you with hard sources without being killed :) Just to say that what you see publicly are generalized reasonable numbers. And to say the rural supercharges have not been an issue thus far, with some exceptions of course. Good luck with your research.
 
Anyone get the feeling of dueling banjos of unfounded opposing assumptions here? I don't really think any of us have any data to indicate how many or how few people have bought it. Also remember the "forum effect" selection bias, where people talking about it here is going to be artificially high as far as people who even know it exists.
Yo Rocky, agree. You typically seem to hit the nail squarely on the head.
 
Anyone get the feeling of dueling banjos of unfounded opposing assumptions here? I don't really think any of us have any data to indicate how many or how few people have bought it. Also remember the "forum effect" selection bias, where people talking about it here is going to be artificially high as far as people who even know it exists.
I think you're right, unless someone wants to cite numbers. However (with no numbers to go on), I would bet that CCS adaptor purchasers in the US are a very small fraction of the installed Tesla base (the population that might use SuperChargers at Thanksgiving). I'm assuming that the vast majority of Tesla drivers only occasionally drive beyond the range of their daily commute and, when they do, they rely on the SuperCharger network. I'm also assuming almost none of them is even aware of CCS because: a) they haven't needed it, b) it's been irrelevant for their needs, and c) Tesla has mostly gone out of its way (until now and, mostly, even now) to emphasize SuperCharger in the US.

As CCS-based chargers become more reliable and "visible" (integrated into charging maps, etc), this will probably change. But that $130 price will remain a deterrent for many, until the SuperCharger lines are regularly ridiculous.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
10,103
19,839
California
That's positively scary.
😂

Every year people are like ZOMG MORE TESLAS, and pretty much every year it’s been a non-event. I expect this year to be very similar. Yes, there will be a few lines. They’ll move quickly and everyone will be on their way.

The Great Madonna Inn Supercharging Incident of 2019 was not representative. It was a literal perfect storm. Other common choke points in California that had issues in the past have long since been addressed. Tesla has gotten much better at addressing peak-time crush with time of use pricing, free off-peak charging, and the ever-popular Superchargers on Trailers for the worst bottlenecks.

Prediction: this year’s charging drama is no worse or different than the regular drama associated with trying to go somewhere when everyone else is trying to go somewhere.
 
Tesla is doing the free off-peak Supercharging at select SC locations again this year. And compared to 2019, there has been a massive increase in SC capacity on all of I-5, and on US 101 between the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Both in terms of number of sites, and number of stalls at each site.

Considering that most EV owners charge at home and drive relatively locally, increasing numbers of multi-EV households, and so on, I'm not sure what the ratio of cars to SC locations/stalls for road trips needs to be. I doubt if it needs to scale linearly.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
932
1,063
Sunnyvale, CA
Tesla is doing the free off-peak Supercharging at select SC locations again this year. And compared to 2019, there has been a massive increase in SC capacity on all of I-5, and on US 101 between the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Both in terms of number of sites, and number of stalls at each site.

Considering that most EV owners charge at home and drive relatively locally, increasing numbers of multi-EV households, and so on, I'm not sure what the ratio of cars to SC locations/stalls for road trips needs to be. I doubt if it needs to scale linearly.
I released my first article on this today. While it may be possible to provision for the peak, that's expensive. So you seek other ways to handle a peak that still do the job but are not as expensive has massive overprovisioning.

The nice thing about Thanksgiving travel is it's all very planned in advance. So people can know to charge up full the day before to be ready to make minimal use of SC, or charge during the free morning hours as Tesla is pushing. They could also put in virtual queues and reservations if they needed to, and direct people to charge at different stations when they know one will be full and one won't. Tesla knows a long time in advance when you will arrive at various SCs, and it can see that too many people are navigating to the same SC, and tell/encourage them "please consider this charger that won't have a line."
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top