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Time at Superchargers spots v time at gas pumps

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by ItsNotAboutTheMoney, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    This isn't about total time taken, but time parked. I'm thinking about contention.

    Let's think positive and assume BEV will be succeessful. Everyone who wants a BEV will have home charging. That leaves charging on long trips. But let's also be a little conservative and that business leaves OTR charging to Superchargers.

    Imagine a simplified general scenario for a future long-range BEV:
    - Range is 200 in ideal conditions, 120 in bad conditions.
    - Home charging is up to 1/6 of range per hour (including visits to relatives and friends with chargers, which will beomce more common; maybe there'll be guest chargers like people now have guest rooms).
    - Supercharging is fairly ubiquitous, enough that I can charge along on my normal routes.
    - Supercharging is 0% to 80% in 30 minutes, 80% to 100% in 30 minutes.
    - No destination chargers at businesses.

    How much time would you spend parked at Superchargers each year?
    How does that compare to time parked at gas pumps in a conventional car that you'd drive?

    How much on-the-road (OTR) charging would our car(s) need each year? Maybe 2 1/2 hours, unless the car makes us want to drive more. ;)
    - 10 to 20 minutes on 3 trips to the Bar Harbor area, depending on the location of Superchargers.
    - Supercharging back up to 80% on 2 trips to NH.
    - Maybe a 20 minute charge on a trip down to Portland.

    Now I think about how long we'd spend occupying fuel pumps. I've never timed it, but If a 3 minute stop (including all additional time messing around with payment) at a gas pump got me 500 miles (in my Prius), then for 15,000 miles per year, I'd have 30 stops, parking for 1 1/2 hours per year in total. That's really not a huge difference.

    So maybe BEV contention will turn out to be an issue of handling extreme peaks. Maybe that's where Superswappers will have their niche, and the installation of pop-up Superswappers will be a sign that Thanksgiving is coming.

    In reality I think that high BEV ownership would lead to high amounts of chargers at hotels and special large-cachement destinations. I also think that luxury car drivers and people who do more long trips would opt for larger batteries. Both of those could reduce contention at OTR chargers.
  2. MarkR

    MarkR Member

    Mar 24, 2012
    N. Scottsdale, AZ
    I'm sure the time total that we've spent charging the MS is far far less than we've previously spent at gas stations. It takes less than 15 seconds to plug in the MS at home and usually takes 5-7 minutes for fuel at a gas station. The amount of time we've spent at a supercharger is rarely wasted. Recently, we checked into our hotel and put our bags in the room while we were recharged, while previously we had lunch during a quick charge. No wasted time at all . . . no smelly flammable fluids either. And at every Supercharger, you're apt to meet friendly people with common interests!
  3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    To repeat: I'm not asking about total additional time taken. I believe that plug-ins compare well in that respect. This is particualrly about the time occupying a gas pump versus the time occupying a Supercharger, which is what matters for contention.
  4. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Nov 10, 2011
    I think it depends on how you interpret "we've spent".

    If you mean "human time attending the vehicle while it refills", then definitely less than with gasoline -- partly because unattended filling is totally reasonable with EV and far less reasonable with gasoline.

    If you mean "time during which the vehicle is refilling", then definitely far more than with gasoline. One week of charging is likely more than a year of gasoline fills (for me).
  5. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

    Jun 21, 2012
    I was thinking about a slight tangent on the future of this while driving the 1,100 miles back home in my ICE yesterday/today. The last time I did a supercharge, the first 10 minutes yielded about 100 miles. Let's suppose for a second that 135 kW per car is achievable. Let's also suppose for a second that we now have 50-mile density of superchargers along the major routes.

    We might see a completely different supercharging behavior when this takes place. With 4 kids, I'd probably keep my range down so that I maximize charging rate. Stopping every 2 hours for a 15-minute charge is preferred to stopping every 3 hours for a 30-minute charge. Get them closer to the highway so that you minimize off-highway driving to the chargers, etc...

    Just some rambling, like my thoughts... :)
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    Well, the v6 firmware is meant to add smart navigation that will tell you how best to drive to minimize overall journey time, and I suspect that reducing time at Superchargers will be part of that. However, every also stop adds the overheads between highway and Supercharger, so going deep wouldn't necessarily always help minimize the journey time.
  7. Ssssly

    Ssssly Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    I was curious about this awhile ago as well and ran a few calcs based on my current ICE.


    I measured from the time and got out of the car at the pump to the time I got back in. My purpose was to calculate my annual time spend at the pump to compare to potential time spent at superchargers.

    Surely there is another perspective of the time I went out of my normal route that should be included, but that was not my objective.

    Additionally, I did not include road trips which would add to the time at the pump, but do not believe this would greatly increase due to ICE range.

    Auto Specs
    2006 BMW 530i
    Gallons - 18.5

    Annual mileage - 12,500
    MPG - 19.9, based on BMW readout. I stopped calculating my own MPG long ago.

    Average time to fill from close to empty is ~10 mins which includes the time to pay at the pump.

    Annual time at the pump is 5hrs 40 mins of watching the dollars drain from my account.

    We have not been a huge road trip family, but when we do, we often end up taking more stops that the fuel gauge requires due to body input and output needs. I'm comfortable that this could be a time savings depending on how many road trips we chose to take in a given year when we get the Tesla. While those savings shift from weekly to vacation/trips, we can certainly make that adjustment.

  8. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

    Feb 16, 2013
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    This depends so much on the user.

    I spend the time it takes to pump 8 gallons of gas every 500 miles (roughly on both) for my Prius

    If I had a Model S I would charge at home or work and would never use a Supercharger. I might do a 5 min test charge to make sure the supercharger worked or to gawk at the numbers but I don't drive anywhere that I couldn't get to with a 200 mile battery. Not even once a year.

    My work commute is about 15 miles each way + a couple of miles for lunch, call it 35 miles per day for a round number.
    My weekend driving is about 3 miles a day (maybe a trip to a grocery store, box store, movie, but sometimes no driving at all)

    once or twice a year I might drive across town more of a 20 mile each way trip.

    If there were a supercharger on one of those routes I might supercharge for a couple of minutes just like a gas station stop but only once every several thousand miles.

    So in short for me time spent supercharging would be near zero.

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