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Experience at Gilroy Supercharging station


I posted this awhile ago but I can't seem to find it. So here goes again.

We stopped at the Gilroy Supercharger station on a Monday mid afternoon. There are four
stations there. Two stations were occupied, one by a blue P85 and one by an unmarked blue model S.
Our charge took about one half hour. The unfortunate thing was that the other two cars had not moved.
Since this is an unattended facility we would hope that the honor system would be enough. Yet these
two drivers decided to use the spots as if they were merely parking places and spend their time leisurely
shopping at the outlet stores.

After I left there were still two stations available so there was really no harm done, but I think people
should be informed that these are not parking spaces. As these cars become more popular I'm afraid conflicts
will arise.

Your thoughts?

Two adjacent bays may get split power for charging so charging time could double. But I'm not sure if that is true for all SCs.

@ joshuawrosenber, I was not trying to find something wrong with your post, I was simply proposing that we give the other vehicles the benefit of the doubt in the absence of absolute certainty. I'm reading about similar issues here and elsewhere, so it's become a more frequent irritation.

As Tesla ramps up Model S production, we are going to see more of these issues. What George said is probably going to come true, what goes around comes around. I get the impression that Tesla finds unsavory the thought of regulating the Tesla stations by imposing rules and/or penalties on owners. Personally I have faith that the vast majority of Model S owners are sensible, courteous and would not abuse the honor system.

Perhaps we should arm ourselves with chalk and write notes behind their cars on the pavement? A little humiliation might go a long way.. lol

lol! Great idea. I think towing is way too harsh, but leaving a terse note is totally warranted, and a notification app is also such.

I think other Model S owners should be able to call Tesla when they see a Model S occupying a SC station for too long, and Tesla should then be able to directly contact that owner to tell them to move their car. This shouldn't be too cumbersome for Tesla (in fact, it will likely be appreciated by the vast majority of their customers to have this kind of facilitation), and it bypasses the expectation that owners will leave a sign with their cell # on it.

To add to my thoughts:

I don't think 'push notification' is sufficient. Getting a message that your car is done charging is not compelling enough for people to move their car. But getting a call or message that other Model S owners are literally waiting for your lazy ass to move is much more compelling, IMO.

Relying on a phone solution might be inconsequential:
a) the actual driver may be someone different then the one on file with TM (if automated)
b) people may either leave the phone on vibrate, not take it with them at all or put it in purse and wouldn't care.

I'm sort of amazed at so many extreme views on what appears to be a non-problem. It sounds like very few here have encountered a full charging station.

I've only encountered one time where there was a line at Gilroy (a Sunday around 6pm), and everyone was very polite. We had 6 charging (two on L2 chargers nearby), and three waiting (including me). When I did get in, I left with less charge than I planned so another could get in.

If you pull in a minute after another and get the same numbered Supercharger (i.e. A and B slots), you're going to get a slow charge until the first one is full. Let's say both are close to empty. I can see it taking at least two hours for the second car to charge, since it gets a slower 30% rate until the first car is charged. (That's not quite true, it's more complex than that, but it's close to how it works).

My understanding is that with the new 20 minute for 150 miles of charge, even the first car will get a slower 30 minute for 150 charge if both A and B slots are full. Basically you have 120 KW for two stations, and it gets divided up based between the two cars. The fastest charge occurs with only one car between the A/B slots.

Also remember the charge takes longer as it gets near full. The 20/30 minutes for 150 miles is ideal, and occurs when the car is close to 0 miles left. 60/40 KW cars seem to take a bit longer too, maybe because they get to the slowdown threshold sooner?

So unless you were there when the cars pulled up and know the state of charge of the cars, you really can't know that the user may really need that time.

I often look at my phone app to see where the charge is, and somewhere like Gilroy, I'll even peek over at the cars at some point to see what's going on (i.e. cars waiting or not). It's common curtsey, and I'd hope most of us Tesla owners are also on top of what's going on.

If there are a couple of slots open, I'm not very concerned about taking longer or doing another quick errand. Often at Superchargers I don't see anyone else when I get there or leave, so it's not that big a problem. It's the Friday and Sunday late afternoon rush times that you might find it full. Even then, I've only had to wait 15 minutes to get in.

OK Maybe my example is flawed in some manner - people weren't shopping - their cars were both still "range charging" for over 2 hours. They were both involved in brain surgery and could not move their cars without loss of life. Fine...

Still the questions stand...
1. how is Tesla going to deal with people who over-stay their stay?
2. how is Tesla going to manage a line of cars?

They could design the Supercharging station to meet the maximum number of cars at peak times. In that way there is always a free Supercharger. But wouldn't that change over time?

I would not like to tow, because it leaves people without a car in unknown circumstances.

However, I was thinking of a variation on towing. Tow the car to a penalty space right across from the Superchargers. It would probably have to be locked or booted and attended by the towing company. The miscreant would have to pay to retrieve the car.

TM will very likely never consider the towing option. To them, Superchargers (SC) is a freebie to earn lasting goodwill, kudos, and to really piss off Big Oil and Big ICE.
What TM should do is have a cell phone contact so that an owner who feels another owner is unfairly tying up a SC and not monitoring his phone App can call TM and TM can call the inconsiderate charger.

We experienced this in Newport Beach, unfortunately the store manager could not get a contact number from TM. The bottom line is, charging takes longer than you think. Some need more than 150 miles and want/need a free ‘full’ charge. When we abandoned charging at Newport Beach, CA store we drove to Hawthorne and we had to wait about 40 minutes for an open bay. Such is … life in the fast lane.

BrianH--How could you have missed "gelding". I thought towing was harsh but the guy who wrote about gelding was hardcore.

I have been to Superchargers at Harris Ranch, Tejon Ranch and Hawthorne. 90% or better of the owners are nice, considerate and interesting. I have no problem waiting and chatting with them. Of course, like most things, there are owners who feel that since they have purchased a Tesla and have the wherewithal to do it, they are entitled to special treatment and take it even in a group that contains other Tesla owners.

Towing is a bit harsh, but I endorse a phone registration when you start to charge. Simply pull in and put your cell number on the dash with the time you pulled in. If it is in excess of an hour the waitee could call and tell you that your charge is done. If there is no response or worse, an inconsiderate one, then ownership could be notified. I have suggestions about what ownership should do but it is a lot less harsh than gelding.


"Tow the car to a penalty space right across from the Superchargers. It would probably have to be locked or booted and attended by the towing company. The miscreant would have to pay to retrieve the car."

That is the perfect solution to deal with it. Nothing else is going to work in this situation. Someday, we may hear shooting at Tesla charger once lots of people own this car, if they don’t resolve it with strict policy. Human mind is lazy and sometimes some of them become arrogant too when they have lots of money.

Tow the car to another parking spot and pay that mean looking Tow Trucker the sum of $300 to $400. His kids and honey are not stranded either as someone commented above. No complaint. Everybody is happy.

With all this talk of towing a Model S that has extended it's welcome at a supercharger, one must consider that the charging cable will most likely be locked to the car. This will require that Tesla be involved in somehow unlocking the charge port for the cable to be removed. I would hate to have the tow company attempt to cut the cable off to tow the vehicle.

Towing might not be a solution tesla might run into bad press but penalizing the owner by locking the super charging ability might motivate people. Also tesla doesn't want the owner to be staying all the time at car (for 70-90 mins). So a notification or a call or message before 5-7% of the specified charge might be convenience to the owner to start to his car. There should be a grace time of 10 mins after the charging is done. So at the least it reduces some waiting time for others. Most of the owners are considerate and I am talking about few owners who just park all day at will. Also because some is super charging he should not be forced to stay at vehicle, so the convenience he gets a chance to leave the vehicle to grab a bight or to got a restroom, or to take his kids to a food place etc. but notification or some form of communication might trigger the owner to Come back and move his vehicle.

P.S. I am the person who used the word "gelding". Iphone messed it up and I meant helding. Apologies.

I really can't relate to all the haters blasting away wrt SC towing etc... And way too much trash talking that I personally see zero need for - and therefore just folks spewing hot air to fill the forum. Admittedly, I've only charged twice at Gilroy - but have used the other SCs up & down CA multiple times and figure I have somewhere around 20 SC stops total. 90% of the time I've been alone - and on all the others, with one other car, with the sole exception of Hawthorne that had 3 of us. I enjoy the company and talking with the other owners and would report that for my 20 stops, Tesla is on top of things. Had been apprehensive when Harris Ranch was just the one stall, but now have zero anxiety wrt any wait. And if that does happen, then expect I'd would meet a few new friends in the process - and if it became prevalent then expect TM will expand the station or add another to siphon the load. Be patient and suggest we soften the tone wrt trying to fix what I view as a completely non-problem (IMO).

And in closing - if there is one thing that Gilroy may provide insight on - do NOT put SCs anywhere near metro areas. Keep them spaced out for inter-city travel as they are meant to be used for and all is well. Motor on.

My advise to local Telsa owners who live within 30 to 45 min and have access to charging at home....charge at home...if u need to use the supercharger, use it only for about 20-30min....leave the surperchargers for out of town or long distance travelers as much as possible.

Here in the valley when we invent something good we often ask: Is it scalable? And what is the necessary magnitude of scalability; And what would make it scalable? Are rules of engagement necessary or not.

Apparently this is not your mindset. Notwithstanding pleasant anecdotes, I hope that Tesla is successful and that the scalability issues of Supercharger station are tested. Whether or not Tesla is on top of this is moot, this forum is a reasonable place to use our hot air to anticipate problems and brainstorm ideas and suggest solutions.

Hopefully tesla will add capacity to meet demand - this is not much different to gas stations, which occasionally have a line. The difference is you can fill up the tesla at home.

My preference would be they not add stalls to existing locations, but rather add locations.

@joshuawrosenber - sorry, as a SC user, definitely in my 'mindset'. Have no issue w/ your original post. Will stick with the hot air label for towing, booting, keying, and a lot of other nonsense that fills this an numerous similar thread wrt SC usage. Be well.

"My preference would be they not add stalls to existing locations, but rather add locations."
And that is happening close to crowded areas... Milford gets a twin in Darien this summer and Gilroy a twin a little south on 101 this fall.

We should just put a banana in their tailpipe...

I think, short of doing something more kinetic (i.e. towing, etc.), at least part of the answer is in the smartphone app. It could address a couple of issues: "nudging" the person charging, and tracking the "next in line".

Of course, before people start pointing out the flaws of this plan, the only perfect plan would be to charge at home.

Here is how it could work:
- When "Person 1" shows up to charge, the car "knows" which supercharger it is using (there could be various ways of doing this, such as GPS if direct communication with charger not possible).
- The car also persumably "knows" who its owner is, right? in order to communicate with the smartphone app.
- Person 1 begins charging and tracking via the smartphone app.
- Person 2 shows up to queue up to charge.
- Person 2 uses smartphone app, and enters supercharger identifier.
- Person 1 receives an alert via smartphone app that Person 2 is waiting.
- At this point, some "penalty" could be introduced. It could be something minor like the smartphone app being locked for 24 hours if the user does not disconnect from the supercharger after 45 minutes from an alert.
- If there is never a Person 2, and Person 1 never receives an alert, Person 1 has the right to park as long as they want.
- If a "Person 3" comes in while Person 2 is still waiting and Person 3 "enters the queue" in their smartphone, they are notified that there is one person ahead of them and Person 1 gets another "nudge" saying that there are X number of people waiting.

This could all be done via the app, no tow trucks involved, no notes left (or not left) on the dashboard, no phone numbers exchanged, and no additional intervension from anyone other than the drivers involved.

I know, I know, this will not work for users who do not use the smartphone app; but the potential solution that I am describing could be implemented very easily.

Sorry about my spelling: "intervension" should read "intervention"

I understand the gps has the locations of the supercharging stations. Perhaps it could also show the status - free bays?

@PorfirioR -

I like most of what you propose except that I think if the charge has been completed the owner/driver should be informed that he should move his car. No reason to have Person 2 send him a message and then have to wait. The message should be send automatically.

Maybe because "helding" is not a word? The correct word would have been "holding". >:P

Person 2 is not sending Person 1 a message. He/she is simply staking a place in line at the supercharger. The app is what sends Person 1 a message saying someone is waiting. Each user only talks to their app. Of course the app will also automatically tell Person 1 that the charge is done and the car can be moved. However, if nobody is waiting, there should be no need to rush.

@Porfirio...I think it's workable and the application can also be adapted for SMS messaging to make it universal for all phones -- smartphone/non-smartphone.

Those who are saying, “ I've been alone “at a SC, or everybody is courteous or make new friends at SC, so on are all short sighted.

Mind you, as of now you have been driving like a King and Queen on the highway and everybody has been looking at you. That will change once people start to buy EVs and the number of Telsa on the road increases to jam Tesla stations.

You will see arguments or fist fight or even shooting at SC when this Tesla cars are populated on the road, If they don’t implement strict guidelines. All those phone app warnings are not a fool proof to move the car away physically, once it is charged. There is no time for anyone to wait for the guy to come from the toilet in the shopping center or whatever he is doing. Not all people carry phones in their pocket either.

Even now with only a few Tesla S on the road, look at the frustrations below:

“making notes on their dashboard”,

“arm ourselves with chalk and write notes behind their cars on the pavement”,

“keying the paint”,

“if I had to wait for someone to return from their shopping trip before I could charge my car - with my two infant children inside - I would lose my mind”,

“We should just put a banana in their tailpipe.”

and other various ways of releasing their frustrations. These are just the signs of what is to come down the road.

A very simple fool proof solution, tow the car to next parking spots. Let him/her deal with that mean looking tattoo-wielding Tow trick driver. No fist fights there.

Supercharging stations should be on highways/freeways not located in shopping centers. So that Tesla owers can stop visit a rest room get a coffee/soda and some food and continue with their trip.

Let's face it they are going to be a certain amount of people to take advantage of any situation.

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