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The National Park/Rural Routes charging problem

reddy

Active Member
Jan 26, 2013
1,088
1,871
Amarillo, TX
The entire population of EV drivers in Glacier National Park is a small group of people.

The entire population of Tesla drivers in Glacier National Park is an even smaller group of people.

Having just returned from Glacier National Park, I'd have to disagree. We saw MANY Model 3's and Model Y's. The main road there ("Going to the Sun") is one long 50 mile narrow road with about a hundred turn off places. So there is essentially a long parade of cars going each direction. We had the opportunity see what everyone else was driving, and we saw plenty of Teslas.

The growing number of Teslas on the road may be sneaking up on you.

FWIW, this was a place where a BIG vehicle is a relative disadvantage. Almost no gas stations there as well, and I doubt they can safely get a tanker truck up the narrow road climbing to Logan Pass.

These facilities DO have electricity though, so a future world with mostly EVs would be able to refuel at the interior sections of the park, but not gas cars.
 
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reddy

Active Member
Jan 26, 2013
1,088
1,871
Amarillo, TX
This seems to be a big problem in southern Utah. One obvious and less than ideal option is paying for a Rv campsite with hookups.
When I received my 2013 Tesla S here in Texas, we had ZERO superchargers, and only early-early EV adopters on Plug Share. I probably hosted 10 people charging on I-40 in 2011 - 2014. For long distance travel, we exclusively used RV Parks and people who were generous on Plug Share.

RV parks are a great alternative for remote areas. A lot of state parks have RV hookups, and I've charged there many times.

It's not beneath us to go to an RV park to charge. In the 2012- 2016 time frame we all went there, and they are perfectly fine.
 
When I received my 2013 Tesla S here in Texas, we had ZERO superchargers, and only early-early EV adopters on Plug Share. I probably hosted 10 people charging on I-40 in 2011 - 2014. For long distance travel, we exclusively used RV Parks and people who were generous on Plug Share.

RV parks are a great alternative for remote areas. A lot of state parks have RV hookups, and I've charged there many times.

It's not beneath us to go to an RV park to charge. In the 2012- 2016 time frame we all went there, and they are perfectly fine.
Not belittling the option so I hope it didn’t come across that way. But most sites with hookups these days in southern Utah near national parks are well over $100 per night in addition to your hotel room. If it’s a smaller campground it’ll still be at least $50 for a night to charge.
 

KJD

OD 7/27 MYLR Red/Black 19's/ No FSD/ Del 11/20
Supporting Member
Dec 14, 2013
1,634
1,524
SLC, UT
Not belittling the option so I hope it didn’t come across that way. But most sites with hookups these days in southern Utah near national parks are well over $100 per night in addition to your hotel room. If it’s a smaller campground it’ll still be at least $50 for a night to charge.
Where were you going to exactly when you had this problem ?
 

reddy

Active Member
Jan 26, 2013
1,088
1,871
Amarillo, TX
Not belittling the option so I hope it didn’t come across that way. But most sites with hookups these days in southern Utah near national parks are well over $100 per night in addition to your hotel room. If it’s a smaller campground it’ll still be at least $50 for a night to charge.
Understand. That's way more than I've ever paid. Usually I negotiate a rate for a set number of hours of charging, say $20 for 4 or 5 hours. If they also know you aren't staying the night, they can go ahead and rent it out to somebody after you leave. Honestly I've never paid more than $20 and some places only charged me $5. Most have been around $10.
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
9,463
18,370
California
This seems to be a big problem in southern Utah.

Where? There are two superchargers in St George, one in Cedar City, Beaver, Richfield…

Zion is a simple day trip from St. George and there are over a dozen L2 chargers on PlugShare in Springdale at the park gate (I recommend the Best Western Zion Inn).

Bryce Canyon is easy peasy from Cedar City and again there are several L2 options closer by the park in Bryce Canyon city (we used the Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn).

Arches and Canyonlands are well covered by the supercharger in Moab (and again over a dozen L2 options at local hotels).

I’ll give you Capitol Reef but even that is doable with ample L2 charging in Torrey.

Maybe I’m missing something? I actually did this trip, so I don’t think so, but… 🤷🏼‍♂️
 
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brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,764
7,434
Austin, TX
Installing and paying monthly fees for a J1772 charging station that provides billing services more than most businesses would want to pay.

And providing free electricity is not something most businesses want to do. 48a charging at $0.12/kWH is $1.32/hour of being plugged in. More expensive electricity states can double or triple that cost.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
9,463
18,370
California
Installing and paying monthly fees for a J1772 charging station that provides billing services more than most businesses would want to pay.
FWIW, this is not the model most commercial L2 charging stations employ. ChargePoint for example has a bunch of different options all the way up to “ChargePoint as a service” where they handle literally everything. Property owners can set whatever rate they want, then they take a transaction/network/maintenance fee off the top and pass the balance on to the property owner. It’s simple for this to be revenue neutral or even profitable for business owners.


The Tesla destination charging model with Gen 3 wall connectors will apparently work much the same way.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,764
7,434
Austin, TX
FWIW, this is not the model most commercial L2 charging stations employ. ChargePoint for example has a bunch of different options all the way up to “ChargePoint as a service” where they handle literally everything. Property owners can set whatever rate they want, then they take a transaction/network/maintenance fee off the top and pass the balance on to the property owner. It’s simple for this to be revenue neutral or even profitable for business owners.


The Tesla destination charging model with Gen 3 wall connectors will apparently work much the same way.
Best of my understanding, there are only a very small number Tesla destination chargers in the wild with billing services. Only one has been reported here.
 
Where were you going to exactly when you had this problem ?
Where? There are two superchargers in St George, one in Cedar City, Beaver, Richfield…

Zion is a simple day trip from St. George and there are over a dozen L2 chargers on PlugShare in Springdale at the park gate (I recommend the Best Western Zion Inn).

Bryce Canyon is easy peasy from Cedar City and again there are several L2 options closer by the park in Bryce Canyon city (we used the Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn).

Arches and Canyonlands are well covered by the supercharger in Moab (and again over a dozen L2 options at local hotels).

I’ll give you Capitol Reef but even that is doable with ample L2 charging in Torrey.

Maybe I’m missing something? I actually did this trip, so I don’t think so, but… 🤷🏼‍♂️
TBH, I haven’t experienced the problem bc we ended up taking my truck, both due to potential charging issues and the all of the gravel roads in and around the grand staircase escalante area (especially hole in the rock road), not necessarily the national parks themselves. My comment was based on trying to plan routes with the Tesla earlier this summer. It was doable but not ideal IMO as I’d rather spend time on the trails than at a charger.

Understand. That's way more than I've ever paid. Usually I negotiate a rate for a set number of hours of charging, say $20 for 4 or 5 hours. If they also know you aren't staying the night, they can go ahead and rent it out to somebody after you leave. Honestly I've never paid more than $20 and some places only charged me $5. Most have been around $10.
Hadn‘t even thought about negotiating rates. Thanks for that suggestion!
 
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Recently took a trip deep into and east of Lassen NP. I found that the main RV sites around there allow EV's to charge with a Nema 14-50 adapter for 10-20 bucks (Nema 14-50 is what RV parks use mainly for hookups). I didn't use them, but stopped by 2 to confirm and they want your business if you need a charge.
 
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We were in our Prius, so not an issue, but I checked out charging options when we went to Yellowstone this summer in anticipation of getting our MY soon. There is a LOT of driving in Yellowstone and the only chargers are a SuperCharger outside the West entrance and some at one or two of the hotels. I think it would be a challenge, or at least an inconvenience, to visit YS in an EV.

Did the infrastructure bill or the inflation reduction act include money for chargers in NPs?
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
854
964
Sunnyvale, CA
My own article discusses some of these challenges. However, on the good side, the current Tesla supercharger vote does include a lot of these locations.

Some things to consider:
  • If you want charging at trailheads and places people stay a while, you need chargers that can plug in many cars at the same time and charge them in turn or share charging in some fair way. When one person is full you don't want them to have to come back and move their car.
  • Tesla offered free destination chargers to hotels for a long time, I don't know their current policy. Mostly higher end hotels did it. Not all rural hotels have electrical capacity though now you can get circuits to let you use the spare existing capacity.
  • Spare capacity chargers could easily make sense at RV parks which have lots of power but may not have that much spare by old rules. However, RV parks are not usually places to hang out for 30 minutes.
  • I also suspect the bureaucracy inside national parks etc. adds another layer to the challenge, which is why the chargers are mostly outside. The secretary of the interior could change that.
 
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DrGriz

Active Member
Sep 11, 2021
1,376
1,909
Idaho

LoudMusic

Active Member
Jul 21, 2020
1,639
1,987
Arkansas
That was mostly about how hard it would be to electrify the Park Fleet (EVs don't have the clearance needed to drive in the sand!) and cutting down trees to put in solar panels (one guy's comment).

Don't let what you can't do get in the way of what you can. Let's hope they can find a way to run in CCS1.

Why dont EVs have clearance to drive in sand?

And nothing has to be cut down in order to build solar panel awnings over parking lots.
 
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