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With more cars being produced, superchargers becoming more congested

Discussion in 'Supercharging & Charging Infrastructure' started by Silicon Desert, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Silicon Desert

    Silicon Desert Active Member

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    I hope this doesn’t turn in to a raging dispute like some threads. It’s just intended to get thoughts and draw a little attention to this topic

    I’ve been watching USA supercharger installation progress for a few years due to being somewhat previously involved and helping businesses manage installation of destination chargers.

    Up until about 2017, SC installations were keeping up (or even surpassing ratio-wise) production of cars and were being located well. You can look at it in a lot of ways, but the metric I use is the ratio of Teslas on the road compared to the number of charging stalls. No, it is not real scientific. Then again, I am not trying to do a PhD thesis Just tracking what I see. Yes, lots of variables to consider like some people charging at home, some on trips, more cars with a higher charge capacity (taking longer to charge), distribution across America, etc. I’m not looking at those variables. It gets too complex. Further, I don’t have any world data available, so just focusing on USA numbers.

    With lots of model 3s in production since 2017 and more S & X sales as well, the ratio is quickly changing. I’m sure this isn’t news to folks in big cities whom are frustrated waiting in line to charge their car.

    My generalization is this: In January of 2017, there were approximately 38 Teslas on the road for every “stall” (not every location). Thus a ratio of 38:1. Beginning 2018, it was only slightly larger at 41:1. 2019 saw a big change of 68:1. Now in mid 2019 it is 72:1 and still increasing. So installations continue to fall behind the number of cars. By end of 2019, it may be 100:1. Higher ratios are not good.

    As a side note, installation of destination chargers is really increasing nicely which always helps for travelers staying for a while somewhere.

    So just to get your thoughts, concerns, or no concerns.
     
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  2. SSedan

    SSedan Active Member

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    Honestly if superchargers are properly distributed 100:1 seems completely reasonable.
    There is the snag, from home I can see a handful of WI superchargers in the app it would be a rare occurrence for me to see 3 stalls of 6-8 stall installations in use. Go to CA and it is a very different thing. I would say most stops I have made mine has been the only car at some point during my session and only once near Minneapolis and once in Madison at the 3 stall station have I seen a full bank.
     
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  3. Dr. J

    Dr. J Member

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    Legitimate concerns, but a couple of mitigating factors. The Model 3 chemistry and efficiency allows for slightly faster charging, and the improvements to charging speed (V2 and V3) are essentially a system-wide capacity boost.
     
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  4. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

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    For v2 chargers the recent updates unfortunately bring no real advantage at crowded sites since you will rarely be lucky enough to get an unshared stall. And v3 requires hardware upgrades, which will not happen everywhere.

    I still think the most cost effective near-term mitigation for Tesla would be to leverage the growing CCS (Electrify America etc.) network by releasing an adapter.
     
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  5. Dr. J

    Dr. J Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong since I have no personal experience with V2, but there's still more overall charging power, even if shared, right? And if anybody gets an unshared stall for any amount of time, that will speed up that car's exit from the charger. Seems like it would have to help at least a little. But that's speculation on my part.
     
  6. Webeevdrivers

    Webeevdrivers Active Member

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    I think destination chargers are key to aiding congestion problems. Fast chargers are great for road tripping but knowledge that your hotel has a destination charger waiting for you removes the need for that last charge of the day.

    There is an app for hotels with chargers but it is horrible. (Or was last year anyway). An effective reliable app to help travellers find lodging with sufficient and reliable destination chargers would be invaluable in the effort to make DC fast chargers in general be more effective.
     
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  7. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

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    Yes, Tesla bumped the maximum combined power from all stacks that a charger is allowed to deliver to ~145kW. But the charge time advantage of "150kW" charging at an unshared charger is small to begin with (on the order of a couple of minutes at most) and is only minimal when the chargers are shared.
     
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  8. Silicon Desert

    Silicon Desert Active Member

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    A good point, and I might add (as Eno Deb likely knows), even if a person is able to charge at 150 kWh, it will only be for a period of time during the middle of the state of charge and not for every car. So yes, while every little infrastructure improvement helps, I think we know this one is not the magic solution. Also agree that it would be nice to someday leverage other types of ev chargers out on the road, but my real hope is that the number of new superchargers will be installed at a faster pace.
     
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  9. animorph

    animorph Active Member

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    I don't think destination chargers will do much. I've only used one so far in two years of road tripping. They do nothing for big city SC congestion by locals without home chargers using it as a gas station. And I would be hitting about 5 SC's before using one destination charge overnight at best.

    For Interstate travel we saw zero to one other car at nearly all the remote SC's. They could tolerate a higher ratio of cars to chargers. The only time we have a problem is through the Southern California area. So far it's been more worry than reality, but we do see many more cars charging while we're there.

    There does seem to be quite a few new SC locations that weren't even on Tesla's map, so hopefully they are picking up the pace.
     
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  10. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I am glad Tesla seems to have moved away from free SuperCharging for life as free makes people do crazy things like sit in lines to keep from paying to charge at home.
     
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  11. Silicon Desert

    Silicon Desert Active Member

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    #11 Silicon Desert, Jul 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    I agree and wasn't trying to imply it is one of the solutions. I hope it didn't come across that way. It just helps for traveling cross country and staying at hotels. I noticed on my last cross country trip that I was able to charge at twice the number of hotels as compared to a year earlier. I was able to skip the last supercharger at the end of the day before hitting the hotel. So someone else got to use that stall, and I didn't have to waste any extra time charging. I could just sleep while it charged.

    You reminded me of something I think most folks have observed. Out on the interstates away from the big cities, no one is out there but cows :D But it is probably just a matter of time before they become busier. For the first time on my last cross country trip a couple months ago, I had to wait at a couple of SCs along the route that have always been open in the past. Not a big deal, but I have noticed more cars along my trip than last year, and more than the year before that. Fortunately not an issue yet when I travel coast to coast.
     
  12. Big Dog

    Big Dog Member

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    There's a lot of moving parts in the 'need' for supercharger formula, and just looking at a ratio of Tesla's to SC's is not very meaningful, IMO. For example, what if 50% of the early S adopters needed local chargers bcos they had no way of charging at home? But why assume that a similar ratio is true for the 3? Perhaps 75% of current buyers are able to charge at home? (Just making up numbers to show that the need for SC's does not necessarily scale on a similar ratio.) And, don't forget that businesses are adding electric chargers for their workers. They may not be SC's, but ChadeMo works fine while charging at work for 8-10 hours.
     
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  13. Silicon Desert

    Silicon Desert Active Member

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    #13 Silicon Desert, Jul 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    I think you are missing my point. It is to show a "trend". The numbers are not made up :rolleyes: Some folks just like to argue and dispute everything, so I get that. :D +1 ignore
     
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  14. Big Dog

    Big Dog Member

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    #14 Big Dog, Jul 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    SiliconDesert: Your original post specifically asked for "thoughts, concerns, or no concerns". I gave my thoughts (which obviously fall into the 'no concerns' category), but then you are dismissive and disagree with my post. If you didn't want a different pov, why did you ask for it? Or, was the purpose of your post only for those who share your concerns about the increasingly (poor) trend of teslas/SC's, and not as you suggest, "intended to get thoughts..."? (If that was the case, you should have been more clear.)
     
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  15. Misterbee

    Misterbee Member

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    I dunno, I only use SC’s for road trips. I love plugging in at home every night, and waking up with a full tank of electrons. Why would I need to go to a SC?
     
  16. ljbad4life

    ljbad4life Member

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    This topic gets discussed fairly frequently, lets have at it.

    Simple metrics do not tell the whole story without charging demographics. @Big Dog is on to something. If the numbers don't include :frequency of supercharging, who superchargers and which locations are used the most. spouting a ratio change doesn't give an accurate real world view. The geographic spread and density of Teslas greatly affects everything. The 100:1 does not take into account uneven distribution of teslas, popular destinations or driving routes.

    Solutions(short term):
    Education- do you need to supercharge?
    a) are you using a 1/3 or less of your range on a round trip? (the answer is no)
    b)can you make it back to home where you have a home charger?
    c) How long are you staying? Dinner and a movie? 2hrs or more and 100 miles round trip: a Tesla Destination charger will work just as effectively as a supercharger in this situation (given a higher amp destination charger)
    d) staying for a full charge? An urban charger will charge just as quickly to full as a supercharger (0-70% on a supercharger is still faster)

    No charger at home, not problem!
    Download plugshare. There are plenty of Tesla destination chargers and level 2 chargers that are free and at malls, supermarkets, movie theaters etc. Utilize those when you go shopping, catch a movie, go to dinner etc. If you're really in a hurry, then supercharge to less than 80%.

    Solutions(longer term):
    Upgrade v2 sites that are congested to v3. Faster thru put and preps for model Y additions

    Increase destination chargers. This could pull a lot of pressure off of superchargers because some people are using them when they don't have to.

    Install Urban chargers in malls/shopping centers and leave v3 superchargers for rest stops on highways.
     
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  17. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

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    Perhaps a self imagined problem.

    Lots of mitigation. Model 3 is much more efficient that S/X and will need fewer charges on road trips. They also charge faster in miles, needing shorter stops.
    Superchargers are now much closer together on highways. No need to charge up at every one you pass like before.
    Displays will show congested areas, so drivers can select from many options at to which Superchargers they will stop at on trips.

    Tesla has tons of data, which is helping them to determine most efficient placement of their chargers. Makes adding more, in uncongested areas un-necessary.

    Tesla is rolling out faster charging versions of both cars and chargers. 30% faster charging means 30% fewer stalls necessary.

    Mostly only see congestion in Urban areas during busy times, during special events and holidays. Tesla currently has the finest overall availability of Charging systems in the World. Rolling out more and more every year.
     
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  18. SSedan

    SSedan Active Member

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    A co-worker expressed interest in the VW van in a year or two and wants to road trip so I talked to him about DC fast charging and how it is critical to EV road tripping.

    While not perfect Tesla is effectively the only game in town today, at least here in the Midwest.
     
  19. ChadS

    ChadS Last tank of gas: March 2009. EV miles: 254,000

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    We returned from a 6,500-mile road trip last week. Including this trip, we have Supercharged well over 400 times at more than 150 different locations.

    We have encountered exactly one wait - in the Bay area. We waited for about 45 seconds. That wasn't on this trip; on this trip the worst we saw was an 8-stall station which had 4 cars once we arrived. So for the whole trip, we never even had to share a charging pair. Like animorph, we usually find empty or only sparsely-patronized stations.

    There are obviously some Superchargers that are oversubscribed, and some that get hit hard on high-travel days. Tesla obviously knows about them; and I assume they are doing something about it; though in their usual fashion not as quickly as we would like. It's worth watching (thanks for the numbers OP), but it's not a widespread phenomenon and I'm not losing sleep over it.

    As for the changing car/charger ratio, some good points have already been made but another one is that Tesla has to both provide chargers where the cars are AND provide coverage across the US even in place where there are no cars. Tesla's attempts to provide widespread coverage before they had many cars out there made for a lower than "necessary" car/station ratio for a while (well, they were "necessary" for travel, but an awful lot of them spent most of their time completely empty). Now that there is fair coverage and most expansion is to accommodate the cars where they typically are, the ratio can easily get higher without necessarily causing problems. (Of course at some point there would be problems; and even with a good overall ratio we should anticipate some localized issues).
     
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  20. Silicon Desert

    Silicon Desert Active Member

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    #20 Silicon Desert, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    Yes, I absolutely agree with that. I tried to point out that there are a lot of variables I don't consider at this time. The whole point is to show a trend that cars are selling faster than superchargers are bring installed. At some point it becomes a problem if nothing changes. Oh and I don't see BigDog's postings. My ignore list of "untactful" replies is big.
     
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