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What's the Ideal Distance Between Superchargers?

Discussion in 'North America' started by Cattledog, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    We know the network is in its infancy, but what do people think is the ideal distance between supercharger stations. Seems like about 75 miles - that way you can cruise and go three legs or book it and go two. Book it and go three if downhill or tailwind, or if opposite go two. Also seems it would alleviate a syndrome of running up the back of the same people at each charging station and the potential for bottle necks that might bring.

    With over 40,000 miles of interstates, and tens/hundreds of thousand of miles of highways in all states (like 101 and 395 in California), that's a lot more than 100 superchargers! We might likely see a free Tesla network on major routes like I-5, I-10, I-80, I-95, etc. and a licensed network on other routes.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    For the initial roll out I'd like to see them every 150 miles at least. Then they are still useable at freeway speeds with the 60 kWh pack.
     
  3. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Agreed on 150 miles for minimum distance. Also because the charging speed goes down when the power draw heats up the batteries.

    The 75 mile would be nicer but not really required.

    The current sparse placement of superchargers encourages use of specific roads for those rare long trips. That's perfectly fine for a while (if Tesla really takes off; maybe 10 years?) and eventually other charging mechanisms should fill the gaps.

    Ideal is, of course, at every Starbucks. :wink: That way you never need to plan at all.
     
  4. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    The ones installed in California on the I5 corrider are 115-120 miles apart.
     
  5. Brian H

    Brian H Banned

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    100 is just the projected total by the end of 2013; about double that (US & Can.) is targetted for 2015-6.

    I'll be interested to see what the plans are for Europe!
     
  6. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    My worry is at 150 miles apart everyone has to stop at the same ones. While it's a good first step, it can't be the end game of the network, unless they are going to increase the number of chargers per stop. I hope they collect good data and come up with a good algorithm for figuring out the the spacing and number of chargers per. I already sense bottle necks on I-5 and there aren't even that many cars out there yet.
     
  7. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    One every 75 miles is a lot more than one every 150.
    How much would you like to contribute to pay to have more built?
    Frankly, I hope that Tesla liscences their charge ports and superchargers to other manufacturers. I would love to see it become the new standard!
     
  8. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    A single supercharger plug can deliver 20 half hour charges every 10 hours fully utilized.
    The most important case for supercharger utilization is the worst case, and the worst case is likely to be weekend days in the "summer".
    On a theoretical 300+ mile road between 2 cities ( 1 half hour stop required ) with 10,000 Model S cars, where 10% of the cars make the trip between the 2 cities once per year on one of 24 weekends in the summer - ( 48 possible days ) during hours between 10AM and 8PM, you need 1 supercharger plug to support all those cars.
    But this assumes that all the cars arrive at perfect times to leave when the last one finishes. To deal with clumping you need more. If you change the scenario to worry about 8 high demand vacation weekends instead - the number of superchargers required triples.

    When thinking about a longer road, if you take 2 supercharger plugs and space them 75 miles apart, or have 2 chargers at one location they are almost equivalent in utility.
    However if you spread them apart that makes the drop-in charging more problematic. If you get to the first location and it is already in use, you either wait or drive on 75 miles.
    If both chargers are at the same location, and if one is busy, you can just go to the other.

    They need to balance more locations closer together with adding additional capacity at the existing locations. I think that they should not spread out to add capacity until they have at least 4 or 5 at each location. ( Spreading out to cover more area is a different story )
     
  9. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    As I said the ones on I-5 are 115 miles apart and you will still need to stop at each one if you travel at freeway speeds, since the speed limit is 70MPH and the traffic moves faster than that. If you travel the 230 miles at 60 mph to be sure you can make it takes 3 hours 50 minutes. At 75 mph it takes 3 hours 4 minutes. So I'll be going faster and stopping more often. :smile:
     
  10. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    There are 1366 CHAdeMO chargers in Japan.

    Japan is smaller then California.

    So in California alone there should be well over 1400 SuperChargers.

    But not all of them have to be Tesla specific SuperChargers, SAE Combo should do the trick just fine (up to 100kW charging).

    And CHAdeMO for Leafs is just like SuperChargers for Model Ss :wink:

    - - - Updated - - -

    PS. Meeting current density of high power chargers in Japan probably will still produce far from "ideal" distances between chargers, but would be a huge step forward in that direction.
     
  11. mcornwell

    mcornwell Active Member

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    Zzzz, you're not taking into account that the Model S goes 2-4x as far as a Leaf on a charge.
     
  12. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    I still worry about the math. 100 stations at 100-150 miles apart gets you west coast I-5, east coast I-95, I-10 southern tier, I-70/80 northern tier, a few spur lines. Feels like 1890 and we're the Great Northern Railway. Perhaps we'll get some cool travel posters out of the deal...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Northern_Railway_(U.S.)
     
  13. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    The relationship between vehicle range and number of fast chargers needed is not linear. With a 4x range car you may need less than 1/4 the fast chargers.

    Don't forget the difference between # of chargers and # of locations. The Leaf may want chargers scattered around the city but the Model S needs them concentrated on intercity routes.
     
  14. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    My ideal spacing is one in each of the major cities along each of the routes I would take. Which is not exactly mileage based, more irregular. So, going along the NYS Thruway route, an installation in each of Albany, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, Toledo. Hmm; I guess that's roughly every 100 miles, but more frequent in some places and less frequent in others. I guess they may have to be more frequent than the cities in more rural areas, and less frequent than the cities in the super-urbanized areas like the Northeast Corridor, but in the Rust Belt I think "one per city, none in the countryside" is a pretty logical way to do it.

    There's some logic to this; most trips begin or end in a city and it's nice to be able to get a "full charge" the night of arrival or the day of departure, in case there is a lack of overnight charging (as there still is in many places).
     
  15. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    What is ideal for the 85 kw battery will be different for the 60kw
     
  16. theaveng

    theaveng Member

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    Lithium doesn't like to be charged below 20% or above 80% so that limits the useful battery range to 60% of the EPA rating:

    60 kW car: 125 miles
    85 kW car: 160 miles

    I would recommend no long distance drivers buy the 60 kW car, and instead buy the maximum capacity battery Tesla sells: 85. Then install superchargers along all the crosscountry interstates (I8, I10, I40, I70, I80, I90, et cetera) at 160 miles minimum, so the batteries can be maintained between 20-80% charge & maximize their lifespan.
     
  17. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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  18. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    Thanks!! I really needed a laugh this morning and you ably provided!
     
  19. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    150 - 160 miles sounds about right, but I'd encourage Tesla to have superchargers closer together if the terrain around them has significant elevation changes that will impact range. Supercharging locations that are subject to extreme temperatures probably ought to be somewhat closer together as well.
     
  20. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    I like a 120 mile spacing to be conservative for 60's in bad weather. Eventually, there should be fill ins at half of that or 60 miles. That provides more capacity, bale outs for poor battery managements and redundancy for Supercharger failures.

    If you are navigating to a Supercharger, the Nav page should automatically provide Supercharger status, number of stalls in use, number vacant, any blockage history in the last few hours, etc. If there are problems, or a high blocking rate, the Nav App should suggest alternative Supercharger sites; a great method of load spreading and providing a safety net for Supercharger failures or problems.

    Just a few rants from a retired engineer who used to design highly reliable, high availability systems. :wink:
     

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