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The real issue - Opportunity Charging at Superchargers [Video]

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by veritas415, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. veritas415

    veritas415 Banned

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    I waited almost an hour to get in a 15 minute charge at the San Mateo supercharger station last night after the idling implementation was made. It seems to have very little wait times at some of the more populous superchargers.

    With more Tesla's on the road especially in metros like the Bay Area, it's clear that taking advantage of the the supercharger network just to fill up isn't sustainable.

    This video shows 11 vehicles in less than 1 hour drive by the San Mateo supercharger station at 10:20pm and then leave demonstrating no "urgent need" to charge in order to get to their next destination. This isn't against the rules and it's a right owners have purchased but it simply isn't sustainable long-term.

    Just wanted to spread a PSA to be mindful of people who actually need a charge to get to their next destination and hoping that Tesla will do something to address this issue that works out for everyone.
     
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  2. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

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    First, you have no idea that the situation was with people who didn't stop. Second, it's pretty creepy that anyone would sit around a supercharger to record what other people are doing. Third, if I had the type of spare time it takes to record an hour's worth of supercharger traffic and edit it into a video, I wouldn't record an hour's worth of supercharger traffic and edit it into a video.
     
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  3. docherf

    docherf Member

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    Wow that seems crazy to a Midwesterner like me - I suppose it'll be like that here after the model 3's are out in numbers.
     
  4. DOCAL

    DOCAL Member

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    As Eclectic points out, I think it's quite a stretch to claim that everyone who drives past is opportunity charging.

    I've never been to that Supercharger so don't know the layout, but on a road trip the first 2 things I have in mind when I reach a supercharger are #1 plug in, #2 find bathroom. If the charger stalls are all full, I'll park elsewhere, find the bathroom and then come back later.

    If they're still full once the bladder is taken care of, then I'm likely to go get food and try again in a bit. There are normally better things to do than start queuing for a spot.
     
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  5. hacer

    hacer Member

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    You're probably right about these cars but not necessarily. Every time I show off my car to someone by giving them a ride (quite often actually), I drive by the local supercharges (which aren't nearly so busy) without stopping to charge - just to show them what superchargers are. I've only done this twice late in the evening, mostly it is around lunch time with people from work. So a drive-by isn't necessarily looking for opportunity charging. Another possibility is that some of those cars didn't want the hour+ wait, had a chademo adpater and drove on over to the Park Place chargers to get on their way faster than you.
     
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  6. azred

    azred Member

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    I'm going to take a wild guess that many of those million dollar and up tiny boxes masquerading as San Francisco houses have no garages and no place to connect a Tesla charger. So isn't it entirely possible --and appropriate -- for them to stalk superchargers at night to ensure they can get to work the next day? Maybe they were some of your videos subjects. Of course I realize some people are just cheap.
     
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  7. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    The video doesn't surprise me. I'd say out of 11 maybe a couple left because of the reasons above. That's why two weeks from today you won't be able to order a new one with free supercharging. The current system was not sustainable.
     
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  8. mblakele

    mblakele radial cross member

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    Or they aren't even in single-family homes. Believe it or not, over 1/3 of San Mateo County housing units are apartments — and trending toward 50% or more. Apartments around here rarely have charging or any practical path toward installing it, despite helpful state law. Many of those apartment dwellers can afford Teslas. The apartments next door to me feature a number of high-end vehicles. Sure, those folks might be better advised to save up for a house. But it's their decision, and if they buy a Tesla they've paid for supercharger access the same as any other owner.

    Even homeowners might do the math and decide that superchargers make more sense than home charging: are they cheap, or rational? Around here a 50A circuit can cost $1000 or more. If my math is right, that's equivalent to 10 MWh of electricity at PG&E off-peak rate. Depending on how you value your time, and how often you go by that San Mateo supercharger anyway, for Whole Foods or Kaiser or whatnot, it might make sense.

    Without any data — just like everyone else here — I think San Mateo has as much of a problem with livery as it does with locals. SFO is just up the 101, and every time I've been by that supercharger I've seen Teslas with commercial numbers. A typical livery vehicle probably visits multiple times a day, too.

    Disclaimers: I have a home charging circuit and I'm using it right now. I've charged at the San Mateo supercharger exactly once, out of curiosity. It was 75% empty when I arrived in the middle of the afternoon. I did some shopping at Whole Foods, and it was full up when I left.
     
  9. MXWing

    MXWing Active Member

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    Am I crazy at thinking that having a garage to house a Chevy Volt is a smarter investment than a Tesla with no garage to house it in and use superchargers as your only means of charging your Tesla?
     
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  10. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Who says that you are only allowed to charge when you can't make it home and only as much as you need to make it home (or your destination)? I think it's reasonable for EV drivers to charge when they can and have time. You might not desperately need to charge but driving at a low state of charge isn't desirable and leaves you no options if something comes up. I think it's perfectly fine to drive by a charging station and top off if you have time and can combine it with running an errand. Many times unexpected things come up so people like to keep their state of charge on the higher side and a fast DC charger is the least amount of time spent to top off so it's understandable that people want to use them.

    When I go to the movies or a concert or go out to dinner and I find a charging station, I often use it even if I don't really need it. Just gives me peace of mind that I have plenty of charge. Even when shopping and there is a free charger I plug in. I mean that's what chargers are for.
     
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  11. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    This is correct! People do crazy things for "free" !
     
  12. chillaban

    chillaban Active Member

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    I might be biased as someone who lives in an apartment (but with shared apartment chargers as well as shared work chargers, who never uses Superchargers locally for non-trip charging), I think "smarter" is probably the wrong word for such a choice.

    I could very easily have gone with another Audi or another gasoline car, or PHEV with laughable EV range and a 8kWh battery I never charge... But decided that truly committing to zero emissions driving was worth the occasional hassle. And to be honest, it was worth it. The ability to go to a supercharger to charge was definitely a factor in being able to convince myself that I'm okay with "risking" getting a Tesla... even though I never actually use that as an option in practice.

    But whenever I talk with friends (especially outside of CA or those in more conservative cliques), they pretty much immediately dismiss an EV as impractical because of "range", "charging", and "I heard from a friend it costs more than gas anyway".... I think excluding huge swaths of the population as not suitable for Tesla ownership is not a good move for Tesla or its community. Most people when buying tend to pessimistically characterize their ability to charge with non-Supercharger resources.
     
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  13. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    Well at least it didn't look like any of them had an ICE in tow to take them away once they got plugged in. :D
     
  14. Dax279

    Dax279 Member

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    This video tells me that $0.40 per minute is not sufficient to get people to not use the spots as parking spots. Waiting an hour when there are that many chargers seems a little ridiculous to me.

    What will happen when model 3 arrives?
     
  15. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    This says it all ... Teslas in the Trailer Park: A California City Faces Its Housing Squeeze

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/business/mountain-view-california-confronts-housing-crisis.html?_r=0

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — If there is anything that just about every Californian agrees with, it is that it costs too much to live in the state. Over the last few years, the price of buying a home or renting an apartment has become so burdensome that it pervades almost every issue, from the state’s elevated poverty rate to the debate about multimillion-dollar tear-downs to the lines of recreational vehicles parked on Silicon Valley side streets. he town of Mountain View, Google’s home, wants to do something about that. Given new marching orders from a reform-minded City Council that was swept into office here two years ago, Mountain View is looking to increase its housing stock by as much as 50 percent — including as many as 10,000 units in the area around Google’s main campus.

    “We need to provide housing because there’s a housing shortage,” said Lenny Siegel, a Mountain View councilman. That may seem an obvious tautology, but it turns out to be highly contentious in a state where most cities and suburbs are still dominated by anti-growth politics that seek to maximize the construction of tax-generating offices while minimizing the number of budget-depleting residents. Mountain View’s political evolution, combined with some limited cases elsewhere, suggests that as rent and home prices have reached the point where even highly paid tech workers are struggling — the median home here costs $1.4 million, according to Zillow — the tide is slowly shifting away from resisting growth at all costs and instead trying to channel it.

    This Silicon Valley city of about 80,000 people is also a reminder that, despite the outsize attention given to big cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, any solution to California’s housing crisis is going to rely heavily on suburbs as well. This was underscored by the results of last week’s election, when voters across California passed various affordable housing measures along with new transit funding, and, in some cases, rejected efforts to restrict or cap development. In Palo Alto, several pro-housing candidates were elected to the City Council. Residents in Mountain View approved rent control.
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    Tesla in the driveway of a home in the Santiago Villa trailer park in Mountain View; and, right, a tree marked for removal in Mountain View, which is trying to increase its housing stock by as much as 50 percent.Damien Maloney for The New York Times “Housing used to be about ‘them’ — like poverty or unemployment,” said Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. “But it has become so expensive in the Bay Area that housing now touches enough people to win elections.”

    For all its imagination about the future, Silicon Valley’s geography looks a lot like the past. Today’s college-educated millennials might be crowding into city centers, but each day employees at companies like Google and Facebook endure hours in cars or on buses commuting to squat office complexes that have all the charm of a Walmart. Many employees say they would prefer to live closer to work. But these companies reside in small cities that consider themselves suburbs, and the local politics are usually aligned against building dense urban apartments to house them.

    Take Palo Alto, the Silicon Valley city that has become emblematic of the state’s reputation for rampant not-in-my-backyard politics. Palo Alto has one of the state’s worst housing shortages. With about three jobs for every housing unit, it has among the most out-of-balance mixes anywhere in Silicon Valley. But instead of dealing with this issue by building the few thousand or so apartments it would take to make a dent in the problem, the city has mostly looked to restraining a pace of job growth that the mayor described as “unhealthy.”

    Farther up the peninsula near San Francisco, the smal city of Brisbane told a developer that its proposal for a mixed-use development with offices and 4,000 housing units should have offices for about 15,000 workers, but no new housing. Play that out a thousand times over and the crux of the state’s housing crisis is clear: Everyone knows housing costs are unsustainable and unfair, and that they pose a threat to the state’s economy. Yet every city seems to be counting on its neighbors to step up and fix it.


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    Top row, two homes at Santiago Villa, whose residents are a mash-up of retirees, families and young tech employees looking to live close to their jobs. Other employees put up with long bus commutes to come from more urban settings.Damien Maloney for The New York Times The results are strange compromises like the one made by Rebecca and Steven Callister, a couple in their late 20s who live in a double-wide trailer in a Mountain View mobile home park whose residents are retirees and young tech workers.

    Mr. Callister is an engineer at LinkedIn, the sort of worker who, in most places, would own a home. But given the cost of housing in Mountain View and the brutal commute times from anywhere they could afford, a trailer makes the most sense and lets him spend more time with the couple’s two young children.

    “We joke that it’s the only mobile home park with Mercedeses and Teslas in the driveway,” Mrs. Callister said. “It’s like the new middle class in California.” In contrast to Palo Alto, Mountain View is trying to wedge new apartments into its office parks. Much of the action centers on the North Bayshore area, a neighborhood of low-slung office buildings surrounded by asphalt parking lots. Each weekday morning, North Bayshore fills up with cars and young Google employees. They pack the narrow sidewalks and zip around on multicolored bikes. But then the day ends, everyone goes home and there is not much left besides sounds from the nearby freeway and overachievers working late.




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    Traffic moving along Highway 101, one of the main arteries of Silicon Valley, toward San Francisco. Damien Maloney for The New York Times

     
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  16. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Why do you assume the people are parking there? During that one hour there seemed to be a queue of a couple of cars. When it is not abnormal for an EV charge to take an hour+, all it takes is an overall capacity issue (too few stalls, too many cars) and queues and long wait-times are the norm.

    But I guess we shall shortly see if the queues in California lessen to a significant degree, once the word gets out.
     
  17. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Supporting Member

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    This is clearly dashcam video, presumably while he/she was charging
     
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  18. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    I for one applaud the OP for making and sharing the video - how one spends his/her time is none of my business, I just appreciate that a TMC related piece of anecdotal info is available to us.

    I am not sure I agree with the conclusion either that all of these are opportunity chargers or that opportunity charging is the big problem, but I agree it can be.

    Biggest problem seems to be simply too many Teslas and too few Superchargers. Pricing the charging may also be a useful addition to this equation. (I have my disagreements on the implementation of pricing as it stands, but I am not opposed to pricing it as a part of the solution to balance demand.)
     
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  19. immolated

    immolated Member

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    In my 90D I could either make two stops of 15 min each, or one stop of 50 mins for the same result. Which do you think is better??
     
  20. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    #20 AnxietyRanger, Dec 19, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
    Understanding Supercharging speeds and optimizing them certainly is a difficult task for the layperson.

    But it would indeed be an interesting experiment if Tesla tested a 15 minute charging limit at a Supercharger. It could include both a hard cut-off as well as idle charges. I wonder what the pros and cons would be, at least cars would move in and out quicker. 15 minutes is also short enough that you can expect the person to stay at the car - and it is predictable because if you go somewhere, you know when you must be back...

    I'd have no problem with 15 minute express Superchargers as a concept.

    As for outside of places like California, when it is the only Supercharger for hundreds of kilometers, options get more limited and then different problems arise, such as reaching your destination.
     

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