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Some good news and some bad news about Supercharger ICEing

Took a trip to Boston from PA this past weekend. I have some good news, some bad news, and some suggestions about Supercharger ICEing. First the good news. I approached my first SC stop at Darien, CT, Northbound. I had never stopped there. There are only two SCs located a few feet from the entrance of the restaurant, the best slots in the parking lot. The parking lot was filled to capacity, and as I was pulling in I was already calculating the mileage to the next SC in Milford, CT, 30 or 40 miles up the road. Wrong!! Both slots were available!! Why? Some genius had placed two orange cones in front of the two slots. I stopped in front of the SC, removed the cone, backed into the SC, placed the cone in front of Tessie, and started charging. When done, I pulled out, replaced the cone in front of the SC slot and left... Somebody had figured out the perfect solution to SC ICEing!
Now for the bad news. On my way back from Boston on Sunday, I stopped at the Greenwich, CT, Southbound SC. All 4 slots were ICEd in a very crowded lot. I noticed that one of the slots was occupied by a small sedan with the driver in it. I knocked on the window and asked the guy if he was about to leave. He tells me: "No, I just got here and I work here. This is where I always park". Sure enough, the guy is wearing a gas station attendant uniform. "Look, I don't have a lot of patience, why don't you move somewhere else and let me charge. As you can see from the signs, these parking spots are reserved for Tesla EV charging only". "I don't give a d... about Tesla and you can't make me move" "Fair enough, I can't, but your boss can" In saying that, I started walking towards the office. As I looked back, the guy had started to move the car and freed the SC spot, which I quickly secured and started charging. While charging, another slot opened up and I stood on the spot, waiting for another Tesla and shooing away other ICEs trying to pull in. Sure enough, in a few minutes a gorgeous metallic blue Tesla 60 shows up with a Tesla employee at the wheel, backs in and starts to charge. I commiserated with the employee a bit and asked him why Tesla doesn't do the cone bit everywhere. He agreed that it was a great idea and that he was going to suggest it to corporate. Here are some more suggestions, since I don't particularly like to fight these kinds of battles at every SC.
1. Get codified agreements with the operators of the parking areas to place orange cones in front of every SC slot. It would be good if the cones had the name of the facility or some other "official" designation.
2. When designing SC locations, place the units as far away from the action as possible and make those the least desirable spots in the parking lot. I don't mind walking to make sure I have a charging spot.
3. At the very least, get agreement from the lot operators that their own employees won't ICE the spots. That's adding insult to absolute injury.
4. Signage on the SCs is totally inadequate to keep ICEs away. When I talked to people pulling into the SC spots I got various responses, "What about him, he's not a Tesla" "I'm only running in for a bathroom break" "You don't own this spot" "F... You" and worse...

Tesla is spending a tremendous amount of money to set up the SC infrastructure. If something isn't done soon, it will have been money spent for naught. This is really Tesla's problem to solve to protect their investment.

+1 on your last paragraph.

If Tesla and its partners wait for the ICE drivers to park elsewhere, a whole hell of a lot of money will be wasted, and lots of Tesla owners will be very frustrated.

Ron

ICE WARNING CITATION #4

This version allows you to print out three warnings on a single sheet of paper. Presented with a link to a PDF file and a displayed image of a PNG. Each are at full size and printable. Enjoy!

PDF (181.5 KB) - ICE WARNING CITATION

It seems as if Greenwich has a really bad ICE'ing problem and I avoid going there. I prefer Milford over Darien because it has faster chargers (at least as of March). However, given the potential for ICE'ing problems there too, I now plan on stopping at Darien first on my way north and charge there if available and Milford first on the way south if available.

Personally, I would rather the chargers be in less desirable parking spots to avoid the ICE'ing issue or off the highway in a privately owned mall/shopping center with a lower chance of ICE'ing and better food/shopping options than your usual rest stop fare.

Here is a thought on the proclamation "You don't own this spot!".

You could inform them that Tesla does lease the space (if you are familiar with the spot's background) and you paid Tesla for the rights to use that space for charging.

ice-anxiety is as bad as range-anxiety.. maybe even worse because at least i know what to expect in terms of range, while ICE anxiety is totally unpredictable.

tesla, please listen to your customers and do something about it!

What do people say if we park at a gas station pump all day? Why don't people do it?

I completely agree with locating the SC spots at the far end of a parking lot; putting them in a prime location is just asking for trouble. From what I've seen, the larger newer SCs are a bit removed.

As for Greenwich CT, both directions have a very small parking lot with four parking spots taken up by the SC, so it's not surprising that ICEs park there. But, your experience aside, most people are in and out pretty quick there -- it's more like a convenience store, and there are just a few stools by Subway, no inside places to sit and eat and rest. So, unlike other places, the ICEing there doesn't seem to last too long.

The cones are a very good idea -- they probably won't solve the problem completely but will probably mitigate it.

There are 4 stalls at Darien North. Two that you saw, and two on the other side of the building - past the gas pumps.

Greenwich will always be trouble - particularly South. The lot is too small - more cars than parking spaces.

Tesla needs to work with the management and/or state of CT on addressing that.

We don't do it because it would just bring us down to that level; not solve anything, and give us a bad reputation.

I think that most Superchargers are sited based on how close the chargers can be to a sufficient power source. From what I understand, when it comes to high power the lines, the closer it is to the power source the better the situation is. Also it makes for lower installation costs.

All these silly printed citation notices are not going to do anything. You think people who ignore the signs and park there anyway care about citation of no consequence?

The only thing that will work is to have a very prominent notice saying that if you are not an EV and park here you WILL BE towed.

Now they don't have to even enforce the towing (for now). But if you have a nasty/stern message in big letters at each parking spot about their car being towed I bet 80-90+% of drivers will not park there. Who wants to risk getting their car towed?

IMHO Tesla has done a poor job of protecting their customers from being ICE's and receiving the charge they had paid for. Those small dainty "oh please don't park here" notices are not working and they are being ignored. At the least Tesla need to paint over those spots with RESERVED notices and some mention of vehicles being parked there that are not EVs being subject to towing.

The power feeder for a supercharger is not that big a deal - 3ph/480v. If there is only 208v, then thicker cables.

In Greenwich they ran the longer cable to have the chargers further from the building.

WEB_SRFR wrote, "But if you have a nasty/stern message in big letters at each parking spot about their car being towed I bet 80-90+% of drivers will not park there."

99.9% of drivers won't park in an EV spot as long as a charger is visible. It is 100% of those termed 'fargin bastidge iceholes' that will, even if there are other parking spaces available. They will still roll the dice anyway, even with the big sign there, that they'll be able to get away with it -- every time. They do the same thing in Handicapped spaces and in Fire Lanes, every day of the week.

Pass legislation for a $450 fine for an ICE car parking in an EV slot. Problem solved.

Those printed "tickets" are useless. There needs to be meat behind the threat.

I like the cone idea the best. And Tessie, what a nice name :-)

Cones work well at Darien North. Only place I have seen them. They put them out when it gets busy there.

I stopped by today, and there was a BMW parked diagonally blocking both. Guy was in it - moved to let me charge, but stayed in one spot!!

After I started charging, I looked and the other two (at the other charger) were open.

Perfect Example:

Another Try:

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ICEHOLE

tes-s
You are right on Darien north.. But you will have to admit Rhode Island is a different animal.

@Red Sage: in your part of the country it's possible that people respect ev signs. In the DC to Boston corridor my experience has been that many if not most people will seek out an ev slot to park unencumbered. I witnessed that at the East Greenwich, RI SC this past weekend. The location (a busy Whalgreen) has eight slots with four having the 30 minute general parking/ev designation, the other four having only the ev parking sign. Invariably, as ICEs came and went, they would park at the ev only spots in preference to the 30 minute general parking. Why? I suspect because the former were nominally closer to the entrance... A 911 parked in one of those slots and by then I was thoroughly aggravated that I made some outloud remarks about my Tessie not liking the obnoxious noise and the even more obnoxious fumes but what do you expect from someone desperately trying to hang on to their youth, etc... The guy finally got the hint and left, wheels screeching, fumes billowing behind him...

JenAlJill13,
Good for you.

Red Sage,
As usual your messages are passionate and good intended but not always the most relevant.

JenAlJill13,
You are right. Tesla doesn't do enough. For example in California and Washington it is illegal to park in EV charging stations. They both have fines around $100. They both require a "no parking sign except EV charging" to be displayed.

However for some reason Tesla doesn't follow the regulations and adds illegal signs to some stations that conflict with the state law.

The way to fix this is to make your opinions clear to Tesla. Send a message to "owner feedback":
http://www.teslamotors.com/contact

Also send an email to:
supercharger@teslamotors.com

JenAlJill13 said "If something isn't done soon, it will have been money spent for naught."

I agree. I think some of the stations need to be replaced because they are in prime spots and will cause problems continuously unless there is much stronger signage and tarmac signs.

@Teo_ my read of CA law is that it is only illegal to park in an EV charging spot IF the local municipality has made it a crime AND the EV spot is marked as EV only. Not quite as broad as your statement.

And property owners are quite free to post signs that allow non-EVs to park at chargers.

RI has 8 stalls. 4 are marked EV and the other 4 are marked EV/30 min. Should be no problem with ICEing there - plenty of parking. It if is employees, that will be rectified quickly if it becomes a problem.

I charged there twice and I think there was one spot ICEed. Didn't see another Tesla there - or in RI at all.

Teo_ commented, "As usual your messages are passionate and good intended but not always the most relevant."

Oh. Well. OK, then. Thanks for letting me know, and stuff. I'll just STFU. Would you care to join me in that endeavor?

@Jen

There isn't a lot to do about the Greenwich, CT Southbound area. There just are not enough spaces. Period. It was a problem before SCs.

The SC spaces are thefts 4 spots, the furthest away from the building, although by the dog walk and picnic table area.

Maybe a second row of spaces, although I think that may be a safety issue.

@kenj: poor planning on Tesla's part...
@tes: the RI SC ICEing situation is highly dependent on time of day and time of week... Friday afternoon it was very crowded, Sunday morning nobody there...
It doesn't do me any good to have SCs unICEd when I don't need them. I agree with Tesla68 that SC ICEing anxiety is much more serious than range anxiety. I've never suffered from the latter one bit since the planning is under my control.

JenAlJill13,

You are absolutely right. Tesla is not doing enough. The bizarre thing is, in Washington it is illegal to park at charging station. But Tesla is breaking the law and installing signs that allow ICE to park. Here is that other topic:

http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/all-ellensburg-wa-supercharger-s...

There is another recent topic here:
http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/non-teslas-supercharger

I have contacted a news website about this and passed all the information. I hope others will do the same.

Tesla should not go out of their way and break the law to help ICE drivers park at supercharge stations. If hosts want that flexibility, then don't open a SC there. The existing problem stations need to be moved.

Allowing for 30 minute parking creates conflict and arguments. People could get shot or shoot somebody because of these unnecessary arguments. The car might be safe but the morons Tesla invites to their superchargers might kill you.

Tesla shouldn't allow ICE parking at all. It undermines regulations that prohibit parking.

Writing in forums is not enough. I hope some of you start taking pictures and video and send them to Tesla and to news channels or EV blogs.

Better use of the supercharger e-mail address is for recommendations on lots that you have already done some background checks on. It is easy to do. Please don't plug up their mail boxes. If that happens, they will change the address and we won't be able to contact them when we need to.

Just go to your the county assessor's page and figure out who owns the property and what purpose it is used for. The lot in Centralia, WA was just a parking lot next to the outlet mall with a transformer on it. None of the local businesses owned it. It was just speculation real estate by the freeway.


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