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UK Supercharger locations currently unbalanced.

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by Rluner, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. smac

    smac Active Member

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    It will be interesting to see how many of these "clustered 2 bay sites" pop up due to similar constraints. If they become the norm here, some form of indication on the touchscreen about available bays, would certainly help guide you to the best site in that cluster.
     
  2. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    It also helps provide a degree of immunity against power cuts.
     
  3. smac

    smac Active Member

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    Yep as well as other unexpected events (e.g. the unfortunate explosion in the Hyatt)

    The only slight problem is 2x2 stall sites will have a slower throughput than a 1x4 stall site, but a live status map in car would resolve that.
     
  4. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    In addition, a 2-stall site can frequently be powered by the existing electrical feed to a supermarket or hotel without provisioning a completely new utility transformer.
     
  5. ricola

    ricola Member

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    smac: this post has seriously got me questioning if I am doing the right thing buying a Tesla, it's a big financial decision for me and your point about waiting for an Outlander to charge up is a serious longer term concern. There's also the depreciation side of things, how much are people expecting their car to depreciate over the next few years? Going on my past history I'm not sure how long I would keep it? On the other hand, only in the last few days there seem to be more superchargers coming online. I had decided to cancel but looking around nothing really appeals to me after experiencing the model S! Would you buy one again now?!

     
  6. arg

    arg Supporting Member

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    The thing to do is to look at your driving each day (and thinking back as far as you can remember): if I had the Tesla today, how would it turn out? I had the luxury(?) of a year to consider this before committing my order, and in that year there was precisely 1 day where, on the infrastructure I was expecting to exist, I couldn't have made the journey I actually made in an ICE car without a big delay. Now that there's more superchargers out there, even that day would have been OK (the day in question was a Friday where I suddenly had a business meeting some distance away in the morning and would have returned home with no time to charge before heading out again for a family holiday in Devon; however, now that there's the Reading supercharger I could have reached that).

    The prospect of queuing for non-Tesla chargers isn't as bad as it might sound, particularly if you have an '85.

    For a start, you probably don't need to visit such chargers all that often - days with under 200 miles driving you just charge at home (and count the minutes saved from never having to buy petrol for your routine driving to offset the occasional inconvenience when charging away from home). If you are driving over 300 miles then very likely your journey passes a supercharger or can be contrived to do so, especially since if you are spending that many hours driving it's probably a 1-way trip, and there really aren't that many one-way routes in the UK longer than 300 miles.

    So the case where you are potentially joining the queue for the Ecotricity (etc) rapid chargers is where you are doing 200-300 miles, particularly if it's a round-trip. However, in the Tesla you have a huge advantage over the smaller EVs in that your large battery gives you flexibility - you only need to add 50 miles or so of charge, and can do it any time. If driving on the motorways, you will probably pass several sites and at different times of day. First one crowded? just keep going to the next one. Stop for coffee in the morning, don't really need a charge yet? You've got room to pick up a bit of charge now if it's a quiet time of day. Don't feel like charging at all? You've always got the option of driving slowly and squeezing out some more range that way.

    Much more of an issue in practice is 'destination charging' - at hotels, friend's houses etc. - where you can get to where you are going without too much trouble, but finding any means of charging to supply your local driving around and/or means to get back can be a challenge.

    Depreciation is a risk. For so long as Tesla remains fashionable, depreciation will probably be low - there aren't many cars out there, and there must be a pool of people who really want one but can't afford a new one. However, it's entirely possible for Tesla to make some mis-step (even go bust) or some political change affect the overall market for EVs - so the worst-case depreciation is probably very bad indeed.
     
  7. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    My brief thoughts, for what it's worth.

    1. The Model S is currently unlike any other EV in that it has a huge range and its own private charging network. I really don't think you should be worrying about Ecotricity chargepoints being blocked by Outlanders because a) in a Model S you will mostly use superchargers anyway and b) if you do travel a route where Ecotricity stops fit better then because you have a huge battery you can simply drive on to the next services if you find that one site has its chargers all in use.
    2. If the Ecotricity charge locations get busy then they will a) add more points and b) start charging a fee for use, almost certainly on a per-minute basis for rapid chargers. The latter in particular will cut down a lot of the opportunistic plug-in hybrid usage we see today.
    3. Tesla have a resale guarantee which means that depreciation concerns are irrelevant - after 3 years the car's value is guaranteed to be 50% of base cost plus 43% of the price of any options, which was set to match an equivalent big German saloon.
    4. Talk of legislation is irrelevant to Tesla. All legislative changes could ever achieve is to prevent government grant money from being used to fund charging points that don't have the "approved" connectors on them. But superchargers are privately funded, so Tesla will keep installing them for as long as they like. The idea that the EU is going to somehow prevent a private business from installing its own private chargers on private land paid for with its own private money is complete nonsense. And for publicly funded charging networks, standardisation is no bad thing - if CCS wins out and becomes ubiquitous then Tesla will simply build a CCS adaptor for their cars.
    5. Talk of "scarcity of sites" or of some sort of reluctance on the part of planners seems to be scaremongering with no basis in fact. I'm not aware of any reluctance by planners to grant permission for electric vehicle charging - quite the reverse. And at many locations no planning consent is required anyway.
    6. There seems to be a peculiarly British "dissatisfaction" going on on this thread. Today there are 21 live supercharger sites in the UK, with 3 more known to be under construction, and a further 2 that are mothballed while the Ecotricity spat plays out. That's the fastest rollout of Superchargers in any country that Tesla have launched in, ever. When I ordered my Model S back in February I guessed that there might be 5 SCs in the UK by end 2014, and Tesla have smashed through that expectation and show no sign of slowing down. They have partnerships developing with Sainsburys and Q Hotels, which gives them potential access to hundreds of other sites all over the UK. Yes, so far they're skewed a bit towards the South, and towards London, but we understand the reasons for that. The fact remains that I am immensely impresed by the SC network rollout, by TM's attitude to the UK in general, and more than anything else, by my car.

    I think @smac's experience is sort-of self-fulfilling - he's decided to buy a relatively inexpensive Model S (60kWh, no supercharging, single charger) and to keep an ICE for long journeys. It's hardly surprising that someone who specced their Model S to make it a unsuitable as possible for long distance travel thinks that his Model S wouldn't be great for long distance travel! If you want to operate your Model S as your "main" car then get the 85kWh version, which includes supercharging, and consider buying a CHAdeMO adaptor for an extra £450 when it arrives. The Outlanders will not bother you one little bit :)

    All that said, if you don't think the Model S suits your needs, for whatever reason, then of course you should not get one. There are some people whose usage patterns don't fit the Model S well, and the last thing you want to be is conflicted about a very expensive purchasing decision.

    Not only would I buy another Model S in a heartbeat, but I honestly believe I will never buy a petrol/diesel car of any kind, ever again. Since buying the Model S last year we've also replaced our second car with an EV.
     
  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    Tesla prioritizes customers, because they pay the bills. So they try to add Superchargers where they think they'll have the greatest impact. Given the combination of population and money in the South East, and its proximity to continental Europe, especially the Netherlands, that's where the focus will be.

    If you take a look at the USA, you see the Texas triangle, which has been isolated. There are plenty of customers in the triangle but not Tesla didn't prioritize connecting it to the rest of the network, I think because they didn't expect significant reward from it. Contrast that with their key market of California. Not only does CA have a lot of Superchargers, but from the map you can see how they've also built out Arizona and are connecting through Nevada, because those are neighboring states and could have greater impact on purchase.

    I live in Maine. There are no Superchargers in Maine. Maine, like the rest of Northern New England is a vacation destination but otherwise a small market. It's also in a cold winter region. (I'm at home today because there's a blizzard. It's currently -14C with a windchill making it feel like -26C. We're going to get maybe 18 to 20 inches of snow. The snow isn't the big deal, that amount's a once a year or two event. You get the idea.) That means we're more naturally an AWD market. Tesla hasn't fully launched AWD yet. So, even though the Boston area has money, and plenty of people who like to vacation in Northern New England, Tesla hadn't previously Supercharged Northern New England, and I think it's because they thought too many people would be waiting for AWD so it wouldn't have helped the market much.

    It's just a matter of priorities.
     
  9. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    Apparently Tesla staff at the Birmingham store are saying that they've been briefed to expect in the region of thirty new supercharger sites in the UK during 2015.
     
  10. Puslinch

    Puslinch Member

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    I was in West Drayton and they said the same however it was 9 not 30....could be 9 sites with a few SC's at each site that would add up to 30. Gary
     
  11. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    Well we've already had 5 new sites go live this year and it's only January 27th.

    In any case it seems clear that the SC rollout is a) accelerating and b) nowhere near finished yet.
     
  12. Jamesteruk

    Jamesteruk Member

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    I think the SC rollout increasing will do huge things to promote Tesla ahead of other EVs in the UK. Ecotricity doesn't seem to have the capacity to their sites running properly, and will only become more congested as the number of EVs increases.

    As for Ricola, I think I've gone and questioned very carefully my pattern of travel (roughly 18k a year), with lots of trips from the midlands down to the south coast, Kent and Surrey. I think most will need some sort of boost, and I'm hoping that the SC network helps with that, but I will also be ensuring that any hotel I go to has charging now.

    I wouldn't dream of staying somewhere without wifi now, a hotel that doesn't provide EV charging will become a similar requirement over the next few years.

    Feels very exciting being in the early phase of something like this, things will only get easier!
     
  13. Rluner

    Rluner Member

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    Let me be clear although I still agree with my initial post, Tesla SC rollout in the UK has been done at any amazing speed, as has previously been pointed out in a post in this thread. I still wish one or two more were in the North now. However I realise that very soon this isn't going to be an issue as the SC in the North are coming.

    @ ricola I love my Tesla S85, I can't imagine ever purchasing a non EV again. Would I buy it again? Yes! But sooner,as I hesitated , due mainly to the fact I bought it without ever setting foot in a showroom, just a salesman in a local hotel with an iPad and MS to test. I think all SC were in greater London too when I ordered. I wasn't sure they would roll out their SC like they have, but they did.

    The Tesla MS is a car a few years ago I would easily have believe could never be available in my life time, I can only say thank you to Elon Musk for making in happen.

    As for future value, who knows. In my head I think worst case same as any other similar priced car, however best case is somewhat more due to high demand for second hand models. I personally know of two people waiting on the second hand market MS to grow.

    One more thing, updates to the OS ! I've just had my first one. Lots in it. Amazing and free. How can any other car manufacturer compete atm with this? They need to redesign their cars first.
     
  14. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    New SC confirmed going in at the Village Urban Hotel off the M62 J28 (not far from Leeds and the M1).
     
  15. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    With the Tankersley one, that's effectively another cluster forming.
     
  16. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    This is a clear bias towards Yorkshire. I for one am outraged :smile:
     
  17. TC56

    TC56 Member

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    I have done a lot of motorway driving on the M3/M4/M40 in the last few weeks with a reasonable number of stops at motorway services, and I have only ever seen one car (a Leaf) charging at an Ecotricity charge point.
     
  18. Rluner

    Rluner Member

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    May I ask you where you got this info from ? As I only look at Superchargers
     
  19. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    The source is the staff at the Village Urban Hotel who confirmed they are having a Tesla supercharger installed.
     
  20. smac

    smac Active Member

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    I'm not sure it's a cluster at 22 miles apart ;) I'd say it's designed for two different routes. North/South M1, East/West M62


    Not sure if anyone else has seen this map?

    Superchargers

    It shows Gloucester, Tankersley, and Leeds Urban Village, as the three unopened sites.

    It also shows range circles, which do give you a flavour of coverage, however they are a purely based on "as the crow flies miles" rather than "road miles". So it doesn't show the whole story.

    For example both Nottingham and Stansted are covered in blue when specifying even a 100 mile radius. I know from experience this journey isn't possible in a Model S (even an 85) yet without going via Northampton (adding a fair chunk to the journey time), or relying on Ecotricity (there is no destination charging available at Stansted)... I took the ICE I couldn't risk a delay before catching the flight, and I couldn't face the additional hour journey time on the way home.

    Maybe when one opens up near Peterborough I can stop needing an ICE given my routes, which are more heavily A1 biased. I knew this going in (although I didn't expect destination charging to be quite so scarce and risky).

    My expectation is they will continue building out the M6 northwards as a priority, giving a good north/south corridor, and maybe next year add some breadth (east/west) to the network over time to minimise the requirement to take certain non optimal diversions.

    Don't get me wrong, the rollout is very impressive, especially seeing as the best spots are already taken by Ecotricity, but it still suits owners in certain parts of the UK more than others, and I guess it depends on your attitude to compromise. For some the compromise is very small, for others it's still fairly large.

    The car itself does make up for a lot of the compromise though, and when round trips are in battery range, it's the best car in the world IMHO.
     

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