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Fremont Superchargers

Went to use the newly opened superchargers in Fremont, Ca today and much to my surprise the delivery team had taken all of the slots and were giving the delivery demonstrations on fully charged MS's. Would not have had an issue with it other than the fact that there was a line of about three long distance travelers waiting and after I had waited roughly 40 minutes and one customer drove away from the supercharger, I took the spot, delivery specialist started to say something but apparently thought better after seeing the line waiting. I know for a fact that as part of the final inspection cars are brought up to full charge via a supercharger in the final inspection area, and using the superchargers to maintain a full charge while delivering a vehicle is overkill.

Look at it from another perspective
ICE cars per gas station : 200M divided by 120k ~ 1500 cars per gas station
MS per SC : 15k divided by 18 ~ 800 MS per SC
Gilroy : 4k divided by 1 = 4k MS per SC
Fremont cuts it down to 2k, Salinas to 1.3k,... but you need more options to get to a healthy level.

From still another perspective:

-- Time an ICE car spends filling the tank: 3-4 minutes
-- Time a Mod S spends: 30-60 minutes

So you need many fewer "cars per station" to reach the level of utility you have with a gas station.

Good point Dramsey...

But I would suggest that since Tesla SCers are used almost exclusively for city to city (or long distance) driving that you need to know how many gas stations are positioned similar to SCs. And then from there you can determine the long term ModelS/SC needed ratio. I would guess that 10-20% of the existing 120,000 gas stations are positioned between cities on highway/long distance routes. From there we'd need the average number of vehicles that travel between those cities on a daily bases. And finally we can calculate a current ICE/Gas Station ratio that would need to be matched by the Tesla Superchargers.

Kind of lengthy...hope that makes sense -

hillcountryfun-- Oh, yeah. I hadn't thought about that.

Most of the time, most Teslas will be "filled up" at the owner's home, whereas ICE cars must use a gas station. So the average load will be much less, overall.

- ICEs don't have home fueling.

Don't take the gas station / SC comparison too serious - it was just to feel out the order of magnitude.

At gas stations cars also have to wait for a pump, but nobody gets upset because cars don't park at the pump to watch a movie.

Right. The ICE cars need so many more stations because they can't fill up at home! Poor thangs.

@TommyBoy wrote: "I have family in San Jose. I live in Southern California. When I'm visiting them I would like to be able to head over to the Fremont facility, stay an hour and gain 100 miles of range to drive around San Jose for the next couple of days."

Please ask someone in your family to take a picture of the dryer outlet. Many (most) homes in San Jose have a dryer outlet in the garage, usually a NEMA 10-30 (or if the house was built after 1996, a NEMA 14-30). 24A @ 238V (5.7 kW), good enough for most overnight charging, certainly adequate to get 100 miles of range.

Buy the appropriate Tesla adapter online or at the service center, and maybe an long RV type extension cord, and you should be all set to recharge at your family's house when you get here, no need to go to Fremont whatsoever (there's not much to do while you're charging there).


I agree!

I hate the tortuous, one-lane, hilly road way CA-152 from Gilroy to Harris Ranch.

It's fine for a scenic tour, but not when you are in a hurry.

few points to consider:

- EVs needs recharge on the road in much less occasions than ICE b/c usually recharge at home.

- How often is it? 5% of the time? So you need only 1/20 of SC stalls vs gas station stalls...

- However since EVs recharge 10-20x slower than ICEs you need that SC number of stalls multiply by 10-20x to accomodate same number of EVs as ICEs (in the long run if technology of recharging doesn't change).

- CHAdeMO and/or Combo CCS adapters will be needed in the long run (3+ years is my guess).

- Elon and Tesla said SCs are "free" for life for Model S and Model X, but never mentioned GenIII. Model S 85kWh has SC usage build into its price in similar way as other CapEx like factory cost or service centers cost.

- I'd be much surprised if that "free" element stays for GenIII, b/c it increase purchase price and GenIII will focus on lowering that as much as possible.

- While I like the free part of SC, I think Tesla could charge users who stays at SC after charging was completed (like for normal parking spot). Probably not in the near term, but it could happen with more cars on the road.

Yes, he's been asked about GenIII and subsequent models, and has stated all Teslas will charge free at SCs for life.

Musk has indeed said GenIII will charge for free, as Brian H said.

I am concerned that local Model S owners are abusing SC stations for their daily local commutes, instead of charging at home. I think this is rather cheap and inconsiderate of the actual long-distance travel for which they were intended.

It sounds like the Gilroy crowding issue was primarily because of this, and the new 101 SCs have alleviated the problem for now. But it will probably continue to be an issue as more are sold in the Bay Area.

Does anyone have any data about how often they are being used in this way? I think Tesla is working on finding out. I was charging at Gilroy on a long-distance trip a few weeks back, and noticed a Tesla employee charting all the cars that were arriving/departing. Could easily have been for other purposes, but that may be a way to find out, if the same 15 cars are charging there every day.

Consider the logistics. If a local has say 40 mi. commute/day, how can it be worth his time to use a SC to refill, in addition to his normal time to drive home and plug in? Makes no sense in terms of time, money, or hassle.

@Brian H, rd2

Can you provide a link? I am not saying I don't believe you, but really want to verify such important statement... Never heard about it.

Model S buyers don't care as much about home electricity saving as GenIII owners will. So I'd expect more usage of SC by GenIII cars than GenII resulting in bigger cost per car for GenIII.

We won't know for sure at least 3 more years.

If Tesla wants to reserve these SuperChargers for delivery of vehicles, they should NOT have advertised their opening...

The thing about Fremont as opposed to Gilroy is THERE IS NOTHING TO DO THERE. It was hot (all SCs should have shade awnings, in my opinion), and if the Tesla sales office hadn't been open it would have been quite unbearable on Saturday when I stopped in on the way back from visiting my mom.

Unless there is something to do while they wait, there is no reason for people to leave their cars at SCs any longer than necessary for a charge. That's the problem with Gilroy, I think; it's too easy to spend hours in the outlets.

The ideal SC would have a restroom and maybe a small air-conditioned place for fast snacks nearby, and nothing else. That would solve the problem of people leaving their cars in the bays when they're done charging, and would make charging an unattractive option for the "locals" people seem to be so concerned about (unless the locals live within walking distance of the SC, I suppose).

Jolinar - the Gilroy topic is being discussed in more detail here:
(search for Gilroy in the thread)

It's an ongoing debate it seems, but at least one local admits on the forum to charging for that purpose. And if there's one, there are likely quite a few more. If these owners live in or within 30-40 miles of Gilroy, and the SC is on your way home every day, I would not put it past them to stop and charge there.

Musk commented on the 'Gilroy issue' at the last shareholder meeting, and said that additional charging stalls would help, but also that the 101 SCs would offload the traffic. Hopefully that is the case.

We are also going to need some East Bay/I5 corridor chargers as well, because right now SF to LA drains right past Gilroy if you are on the peninsula.

If Gen III will be free forever, they better be building superchargers like Starbuck stores. Right now we have what? 15,000 Model S max? In a year or so they will be clicking over to 40K per year. PLUS the ones already on the road. Before Gen III comes out we might have 80,000 cars on the road? 100,000? And Gen III will add 200,000 more every year?

Whooo doggies! The future is coming fast, and I for one am glad for it, but the issues we have in Gilroy are going to be nothing compared to what we are going to see in another year or two.

Does it make sense see some point in the future when we partner with major gas station chains and say, "we put panels on your roof, and sell you the extra power. You give us space for a charger or two. And drivers will buy your crappy snacks, which is where you made most of your money anyway."

Sequential Biofuels in Eugene Oregon is a good model. They are built on an old gas station toxic site, which was cleaned up and repurposed. They have dedicated Roadster charging. And really, really good snacks.

Locals, by definition, live close. The amount they can charge/save is thus small. Why would they bother?

Brian H

The same reason why many wait in huge lines at Costco to save a few pennies a gallon. Do not underestimate the cheapness of the few who can ruin it for the many.

This may be a small problem now as those who can afford a ~100K car are likely to value their time more, but wait until gen III comes on board. It is just going to get worse.

Went today 10a. Only car there. Was there 30m got 120 miles of charge

@rd2 wrote: "Does anyone have any data about how often they are being used in this way? I think Tesla is working on finding out. I was charging at Gilroy on a long-distance trip a few weeks back, and noticed a Tesla employee charting all the cars that were arriving/departing."

First, how do you know he was a Tesla employee?

Yes, Tesla already knows exactly when and where every model S is charged, and they know where the registered owner lives (or they can figure it out). They already know which charger is in use via remote access, no need to send an employee on site for any reason other to observe traffic congestion and parking space usage (in non-charging spots).

At the Menlo Park coffee two months ago, the Product Marketing Manager told me they had noticed (from the logs I assume) that some owners never charge at home, only at SuperChargers. They were obviously surprised and concerned by this, as it was not part of the original planning.

There are many possible explanations for why someone could only charge at a SuperCharger, some valid ("I live in an apartment and now they tell me the will not put in an outlet for me"), some not ("I don't have time to clean out my garage and install a 14-50, it's just too much hassle.")

Make that "he or she was a Tesla employee ..."

"some owners never charge at home" - homeless or rich...

Free won't cut it long term. Contention is inevitable. You either pay with money or time waiting. Basic economics.

Battery swap provides a mechanism to alleviate the pressure a bit for contentious locations (fast or free; those that pay for fast also make the waits shorter for those that choose free). If deployed, that should help in the medium term.

But once the hundreds of thousands of Gen III / Model E cars hit the streets, I can't see it working without attaching a monetary cost to disincentivize those who could otherwise charge at home. A reasonable solution would be to charge the prevailing night time electricity rate.

In the longer term, the 500+ mile battery is the best solution. Then you mostly charge while you sleep at your hotel or destination, and superchargers are only for the odd marathon drive.

@Bob W
exactly, that's the reason I think free charging for life can work for expensive car like Model S in most cases, but won't work for cheaper Model E or other mass market cars like Leaf which target different kind of buyer.

Cheaper the car -> more likely buyer want to save as much money as possible on fuel or electricity.

Just my thoughts... Maybe I see it differently than Tesla b/c I don't live in the US.

The electricity costs TM nothing. Solar City sets up arrays that generate enough FIT income to pay for it all. Only the hardware cost is TM's, easily absorbed in the marketing budget. The Model E will cause no problems.

Note: when a station is in use, pick a different LETTER, not a different NUMBER. They are grouped by letter, NOT number (1a, 2a) (1b, 2b). I was just at the Fremont super charger, and other was a car in 1A, and I was in 2B. A new car pulled up and went into 2A, thinking that since I was about to leave, she would not share with 1A. However, when I stopped, her rate stayed low, but when 1A disconnected, she immediately jumped up. So, avoid being next to another car, and stay away from the same LETTER.

Um, there are only 2 letters. Only 2 circuits? I don't think so.

It would be nice if there were more than 4 bays available in Fremont. There's plenty of space, and don't they want us to spend $ in the gift shop while we wait? Thankfully when we found all stalls occupied we had enough range to skip it and hit the Gilroy location instead.

Word is that there is a major expansion project @ Fremont to add lots of additional SCs.

Pipes are in the ground for 4 more.

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