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Not so Super, Super Charging

I'm at the Harris Ranch Supercharger. Been here for 1 1/2 hrs. I have received just 100 miles of charge. Not so super... A tesla rep came up, and informed me which spot he thought to be best. The other Super Charging sites have been as advertised, very quick...

Earlier this week, when I came through, three of the chargers were not charging. Everyone was frustrated. One guy in spot #3, had to hold the cord to make it charge...

"Ain't know knowbody got time for dat!"

To all the local SC police out there...
I live 19.8 miles from Gilroy...
- would I ever spend 1/2 hour driving and 1/2 hour charging to gain net 20kWh and save pennies... Nuts !
- 2 weekends ago went to Montery and had to go in laws 130 miles north of Gilroy... Arrived with 104 miles and 10 min gave me enough cusion.
- then last weekend I visited friends in Big Sur and returned to Gilroy with 10 miles left... Not enough to get home... needed to charge for 5 min to make it home. With your proposal Gilroy would been the end of my trip and flatbed truck.

So for all you guys voting for local SC policing please put money in a fund to pay for my flatbed truck.

There is another charger in Gilroy (not a Tesla) located about 30 feet from the SC's. I believe it is a Chargepoint. I know it isn't as fast as the SC, but I believe it is free. I have seen two cars there at same time, so it may have 2 outlets.
When an SC becomes available switch. It will save you some time.

hsalder - I am aware of the chargers, but both were occupied with a Fit and a. Leaf. SC spot was open... nobody had to wait.

It is just the principle - me going from Monterey to Petaluma... why should that be restricted by a system with some random rules? Just because I happen to live within an abritary 20 miles of a SC? Sure I can make it home and just drop the in laws ( next day was not an option ).
On the same principle I can ask you not to go from LA to SF - just stay home. Or make the trip on Monday, take the ICE...

Local charging maybe an issue in Hawthorne, but that is not a typical SC because it is in the middle of LA.
Harris and Tejon... who lives nearby ? Gilroy is south of Silicon Valley... local charging is not a big issue here either. The problem in Gilroy is that it supports the LA to SF travel and in particular on the weekends the very heavy Monterey/Carmel to Bay Area travel... and that crowd shows up at the same time in the late afternoon.

I live in the very south of Silicon Valley and Monterey/Carmel without driving around there much is not a big problem on a single charge. However if you start in e.g. Menlo Park or have a 60 then a stop at Gilroy is a must.

Long term solution is very simple: put a SC on 152 over the hill from Gilroy... LA to SF travel would have that SC all by itself. But before Californians whine more about SC let get some new ones in the rest of the country first.

I don't think anybody is worried about a local needing a few extra miles occasionally to make it home safely. I added 12 miles the other day at an almost home RV campground so that I could make it up the hill. The problem (if any) are those who charge at a free charger, SCs or otherwise every day to avoid charging at home. If a local merchant puts in a free charger and sees the same car there every night, they might question their decision to provide such a service. No absolute rule needed, just common sense and courtesy.

Even in a lightly populated area, local owners may sometimes far outnumber the travellers who need the way-stop. Charging at SCs daily by any significant fraction could, in theory, monopolize most of the available SC time. For a savings much less per hour spent than minimum wage (even for a full charge, which would be rare). TM should maybe heavily emphasize the point that the value of using SCs is not saving relatively trivial amounts vs. home charging, but making intercity travel possible without long delays.

I'm a little worried about the fact that the Gilroy Supercharger seems to frequently fill up. I am planning a trip over Memorial Day weekend down to Big Sur which will require me to do a full range charge in Gilroy in order to make it. As it is I might have to stop for a bit in Monterey at one of the 1772 chargers to be able to make it back. Tesla really needs to build more superchargers, both expanding the existing ones and building new ones. One in Carmel or Monterey would be nice for those trips along highway 1.

Why not make the SC cords long. And have them disconnect automatically once the charging is complete. That way each charger could optionally charge a few cars and if someone was at a mall or something they wouldn't need to run back to the SC just to unplug and move.

@aaronw2

Check the Big Sur campgrounds for charging.

Also, there are chargers in Carmel, PG, and Monterey.

Sorry, forgot to mention - most are free.

Splitsec002, The supercharger "cord", is the thickness of a gas station hose. And it's stiff and short. You need to be close to the charger base.

All, I don't think "locals" are going to hog up all the chargers. What's next? If I travel between SF and LA every week, and I spend two hours total on the three chargers between here and there, should I be restricted to a certain number of trips? No more than two trips a month? X number of charging days a month?

Reservations are not the answer either. You want to pull up to a station and find 6 chargers free but reserved because the folks that reserved them haven't show up yet?

Yes, It's a finite resource, but the answer is not to fight ourselves over the small amount of resources. The answer is to build more chargers, more closely spaced. And to observe an ethic. Watch your car's charging using your mobile device. Move it when you are done charging. Take what you need and move on if there is a line.

Maybe the answer is the opposite of what Elon had in mind for the location of the superchargers. Actually install them in desolate locations WITHOUT fancy restaurants or malls:-) Everyone will stay with their car and move on immediately once charging is completed:-)

I think a location based queue system is better than a reservation system. When your car pulls up to the super charger it puts you in the queue and you can see how many cars are ahead of you. If they want to get fancy they can show you the charge level of the cars so you can get a feel for how long they will be charging.

They could also let you check this info as travel so you know if it is worth stopping if you have the option to make it to the next one.

jbunn;
The issue only arises if you also live close (say within 30 miles). Then the SC is just substituting for charging you could/should have done last night, at home, while asleep. (Unless PG&E has you on $1/kWh Tier 7 charge rates! :0 )

Folks, it sounds like we just need more SuperChargers. A appt with an alarm would be good to inform us when the car is charged would be nice.
Maybe there could be a tweak for the inconsiderate peeps in Gilroy shopping all day that could put like... 10,0000 volts all at ounce and blow up their battery or something. *That would ensure that folks come move their car out of the charging station. LoL!

I missed my father's birthday dinner because a) there were only 2 SCs that worked out of the 4 in Hawthorne and b) there was a guy who lived 10 mi from the SC who wanted to get a "full tank" before a trip the next day.

I explained that I was in transit from NorCal to San Diego and asked if he would please let me go since he could charge from home. He made me wait an hour while he charged up since the other Tesla's owner had left to go to dinner while his was charging.

Nice guys...

Kleist - They just need to add a disclaimer to the supercharger that reads "Tesla is not responsible for money drained from your wallet whilst your significant other is waiting"

My normally abandoned Escalade is still the champ for the occasional cross country journey. The 26 gallon tank provides more than a 500 mile range on flat terrain with premium fuel. It is a luxury experience to fill a tank in two minutes while on a extended vacation from SuperChargers and range anxiety! If the majority of city drivers switch to the thrill of electric driving, there should be plenty of liquid fuel to enjoy the long distance travel advantages of the gas fueled engine.

Now don't get me wrong; I love the Tesla Model S. However, until cross-country SuperChargers are readily available, I will pay for the fuel and enjoy the freedom to travel long distances quickly.

When a Model S is connected to a SC station, that station will also dispense a pocket-size portable beeper. When charger tells the beeper that the charging will finish in ten minutes, it will start a continuous beeping. After five minutes, the beeping volume will become annoyingly louder. This louder beeping will continue until the beeper is returned to the charging station. The charger will not release the car until its beeper is returned.

The beeping would also be audible at the charging station, along with a flashing light, to keep any waiting drivers alerted.

In case of any malfunction, an Emergency button will send the location and the car's VIN to Tesla, where a rep could communicate with the driver via a speaker phone built into the charger, then release the cable. This will also release a spare beeper ready to be dispensed to the next user. Should the driver fail to return a beeper for any reason, that vehicle will not be able to use any SC until Tesla has been reimbursed for the cost of a replacement beeper.

Nice to see everybody fighting over the breadcrumbs ermm charging cables. Maybe we can combine that with a lil fight club? First rule is, even when fighting you have to unplug the cable when fully charged ;)

after they did proof that they can build a car the next big step will be the infra structure. I don't only think about charging stations but also service, ranger service and so on. They need to do that world wide and there will be probably 2 times more teslas out there by the end of the year. That will be a lot of infrastructure building.

The big problem with EV charging stations is, that there isn't much money in it. It takes forever to charge (30-60 min) so even with doubling the electricity price you'll not make real money with them. So the benefit of the cables is only that the customers will stay 30 minutes as they charge and eventually will spend money there.

I'm still not sure if enbling ev for long distance trips is the right thing as it's not excactly their strong point. But if we want that the only way to do it, is a LOT of charging stations. Like fuel stations. So it kinda has to be like a cheap franchise project maybe substized by a pool of EV Carmakers (nope tesla only chaging stations will not be the futures and not really help the EV movement as a whole). That way theyd be cheap to install for restaurant owners, gas stations, shopping malls and so on.

As people tend to move to the same places in the same timeframe it will still suck if you come to a restaurant and already 3 EVs are waiting for their turns. So if an EV comes to the proximity of a charging stations (maybe Wifi range?) you can register yourself and reserve your spot in the line. This will be registered in a central computer and you can get an estimate waiting time for your chargers in the surroundings via app or car computer.

So charging anywhere else than home will become increasingly more complicated, even with all the things I mentioned before would be already here, and we are a loooong way away from that.

I am wondering if the installation of more level 3/DC fast chargers for the Leaf and i-MIEV format, but which MIGHT also be used by Model S drivers with an appropriate adapter might be part of an overall solution here?

An overall solution is the only long term way there is. Imagin a Porsche only gas station.. ridiculus.

After full charge is complete, you have ten minutes to disconnect before fast discharging commences.

A port in passenger's tail light that automatically presents itself when charging is complete. A waiting car could then connect and charge through the car at the charger.

Since we're brainstorming...

Split TM battery into 2 "banks" (like on my sailboat) with charge ports on both sides of MS. Redesign SC bays to have cables from both sides. Plug in both cables. Charging time halved.

Considering SC installed numbers are still low, changes could probably be made & implemented relatively soon. Hardware upgrades to MS not so quickly, but doable.

Anyone have any idea about impact on other MS electrical components?

Here's a solution:

Every other carmaker pays $2000/car and licenses Tesla's quick charging "special sauce" and TM builds a 1000 strong Supercharger Network.

Done!

@SamoSam

"Every other carmaker pays $2000/car and licenses Tesla's quick charging "special sauce" and TM builds a 1000 strong Supercharger Network."

But that would add millions of more cars sharing the SC's

@ChristianG - "I'm still not sure if enabling ev for long distance trips is the right thing as it's not exactly their strong point."

To my surprise that is actually the EVs strong point. Long trips are much more enjoyable and much less tiring in an EV then an ICE due to the lack of the fatiguing effect of the constant engine noise. A benefit I did not expect, but now highly appreciate.

@kleist
or the fact that you are forced to stop every few hours to recharge :)

For me the negative points of the long recharging time and restricted areas where you can plug in your car are most restricting things for me.

Even thou the sound or better put, the lack of sound of the Car, is something I really adore, the engine sound didn't kept me from long distance driving, but I'm curious how the lack of it will change the experience.

Brian H - thanks.
ChristianG - do you have practical experience ? I would have argued similar before actually using my S... the reduced fatigue came as a pleasant bonus - a 2 hours drive feels like it lasted only 1 hour.


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