Gilroy Super Charger Use!

This evening we pulled in to the Gilroy Superchargers to top off our Pearl w/pano S.
Almost immediately, another Pearl w/Pano pulled in. It turned out that this helpful gent took delivery with us on 12/30 and we shared the tour.
But wait! there's more!
While we are talking, another Pearl w pano pulls in to charge- so we had the three lined up!

Well, I had some SC problems, so these guys had left, and with in a minute or two, two black MS's pull in!

Wow! all in a very short time frame... that was pretty exciting for us and nice to see the SC stations getting good use.

It also explains why Gilroy area lights dimmed for a while! :)

Still popular after 9 PM! That's insane!

Harris Ranch is getting a 10 bay supercharger set up. I had the fortune of speaking to the electrical contractor who will actually work on the Harris Ranch Supercharger. He said they would start the project in February and hope to fininsh by early May. I'd give them to end of May just to be safe since he said they need to get PG&E to run a 2,000 Amp line to that location.

What a lovely problem to have! Sadly I live AZ. and will likely NEVER see a supercharger here in my lifetime.

Supposedly there's a notice up at Harris now suggesting the end of March for the 10 station completion. True?

I took a photo yesterday at around 3:30 PM at the Gilroy SuperCharger. Four white Model S's lined up, including ours. It's a pretty picture. I know it was discussed before, but anybody know a quick way to upload photos here?

No way to upload photos. You have to have them on a website or somewhere else, and then use the html img tags to identify where to get the photo. A bit of a pain (that I just did on another post). They ought to be 600px wide or less, although you can specify the size in your img tag too.

So what does the Model S charging screen look like when charging there? Its DC, so does it give you volts and amps? KW? mi/hr? When all 4 are charging, does everybody get full power? 90KW as i recall, so 10 needing 2000 amps means about 480 volt feed. Thats a lot of juice. I wonder with all this activity if all of the solar is actually keeping up.

@Superliner : are there laws preventing superchargers in AZ, or do you think Tesla/SolarCity won't/can't put them there for some other reason?

rlpm - I don't think this is a legal issue for Tesla. When I was in the Topanga showroom a few weeks ago, one of the reps hinted that one of the next superchargers would be in Arizona. I have learned though to not give too much credit to what is being said in these showrooms:-) Take it for what it is worth!

@bfranks273, the solar is not intended to keep up. These chargers are fed from the grid. The plan is that, on average, the total energy added to the grid from the solar panels will exceed the energy drawn out by the cars, but no way will the solar panels add energy at the same rate -- i.e., 90 kW x 10 bays.

I was at the Gilroy charger last Tuesday, 2/5 around 3-4 pm and no one else was charging. Wasn't there for too long, had just picked up at the factory and was topping off for the drive to LA. I was concerned about having to wait for the single Harris Ranch charger and wanted to be able to skip it (but the way I was driving, skipping it wasn't really an option). Luckily no one was there, or at Tejon either.

@Brian H: I didn't notice any signage about a completion date, or even an expansion project, around the current supercharger in Harris. Do we know exactly where the 10-bay will be located, maybe the signs are there?

Right, know that. I mean keep up long term over something like the next twelve month period. Just seems like a lot of usage. Wonder if they will publish the long term numbers, in and output. Is it published anywhere how much solar is installed? Some sites dont even have panels I thought.

But actually I'm more more interested in what the car screens look like on a supercharger, have not seen that on a forum yet. Screen Pic? And Does everyone get get full power when the place is fully loaded.

Photo of the note taped to the side of the supercharger box at Harris Ranch (facing the gas station, or the left side of the SC if you are in the stall facing the SC)

Yeah, @BrianH, it was me posting the March date somewhere, because I saw this note at Harris Ranch. There was no sign of construction though. I suppose it won't take that long once they start, so lack of construction may not mean anything. And when I was at Harris Ranch near noon yesterday and around 2pm at Tejon Ranch, I was the only car there. Saw 6 chargers at Tejon Ranch though, tried two, both were slower at 200mph than the one at Harris Ranch which was 300mph.

Another note about the photo above, I think it is bad advice to charge only to 130-135 miles there at Harris Ranch, I strongly advice charging to 200 miles IF you were going to drive at 70+ miles per hour, which is reasonable speed at this stretch of the highway, the speed limit is 70.

When connected to a supercharger, the highest voltage I've seen is 400V and the max current shown is 255A. That's much more than 90KWHr, so when current is high (near 255A), voltage is lower (around 360V). I've seen these two number vary widely depending on how empty or full the battery is. If the battery is empty, the current is high. As the battery fill up near full, current is reduced. Voltage also varies. As I recall, it varies to the inverse of how voltage varies.

As long as Solar City is happy (i.e., making a marginal ROI equivalent to their other ventures), who cares where the arrays are? Or what they produce?

@ rlpm,

No, there are no laws "I am aware of" preventing Supercharger installations in AZ. Just lack of MS owners outside Tucson or Phoenix. Those of us in Rural AZ will be on our own I suspect for some time. On the other hand ................

My only hope is that since S/Chargers will likely be installed "away" from heavily populated areas I could wind up with one in my "proverbial" back yard lol!!

Superchargers along I40 are a given, and sooner rather than later.

you're on the "throughway" from CA to FL, so you're golden.

A Tesla employee at the Scottsdale store said he overheard his regional manager saying that 3 sites for AZ would be on-line in next couple of months; Kingman, Blythe, Yuma. Here's hoping!

"Brian H | FEBRUARY 11, 2013 NEW
As long as Solar City is happy (i.e., making a marginal ROI equivalent to their other ventures), who cares where the arrays are? Or what they produce?"

I think I've figured out how Tesla can offer super charging for free based on 100% solar electric production. Certainly solar is not free, in fact it is still on average higher cost than traditional electricity.

However, the words "on average" is the key. With marginal electricity rates near $.34 kWh for many in California, and perhaps $.10 per kWh nationally, here's the plan. Install lots of rooftop solar in California where it is worth $.34 kWh and use that to subsidize the nationwide supercharger network where electricity is on average $.10 kWh. That way the "profit" from California solar can make possible a nation wide supercharger network at little or no long term cost to Tesla. Sounds like a win for everyone, and especially Model S owners!

@GoTeslaChicago - you got it... SolarCity is Tesla's oil company. It doesn't matter where the solar panels are, if SolarCity creates let's say 6GWh a year and the Tesla fleet uses 2GWh a year then Elon is solar positive.
Also the business model is expandable. What do you do with the large amount of batteries assemblies when they are down to 70%... they have another 10 years of life left. Use them as grid storage - in this application the kWh per kg is not important.

Much as I think CA deserves all it gets for pooching its power system, it's hardly win-win to exploit its FIT rates for the rest of the country. IAC, arrays have to generate power for the local utilities. Sending solar power back and forth across the country is a chimera; the only efficient way to transmit is high voltage AC, not exactly their output. So FIT rates will also be all over the map, literally and financially. But that's the business Solar City is in; leave them to it.

Strikes me that every service center should have a SC. TM already controls the real estate and MS owners are familiar with the locations. It would also be a nice touch to pick up your MS from the service center with a full charge. With an additional investment in southern Oregon and a SC at every service center, that would just about get the 85kw from Canada to Mexico.

I think Tesla underestimated the challenge of building out this network. Two things that are important.

Since it takes about 5 to 10 times longer to charge, you eventualy need to have a lot of bays available. Right now there are 5,000 or so cars on the road, and lines for charging. By the end of this year, we'll have 25,000 cars on the road. And a bunch more every year thereafter.

Secondly, charging stations will need to be closer than 150 miles. For example, lets say you enter the highway after 100 miles since the last charge. The nearest one is 50 miles behind you. The one in the direction you are headed is 100 miles ahead. What do you do? Backtrack 100 miles out of your way? Or go forward, and hope you make it? What happens if you get to the next station, and you find it's out of service? Can you make it to the next one?

Having said all that, I realize we are in the first months of the supercharger network. In the three years I've been following Tesla, they have done everything they said they would, and pretty dammed close to schedule and budget. I've been driving my car now for almost two weeks. I consider it a great privilige to have it. I have no doubt the supercharger network will be great when complete, but it is a massive project.

Your e.g. makes no sense. "100 miles since the last charge. The nearest one is 50 miles behind you." ?? Don't skip superchargers.

It's too bad our cars don't talk to each other. If the Nav knows where we're going and it can estimate that we're going to run out of energy before we get there, it's not unreasonable to assume we're going to stop at the supercharger(s) along the way. If all the cars en route were communicating this back to the servers, it might be possible to schedule in such a way that the car could set the cruise control for a speed allowing you to arrive when a spot will be free and helping you determine how long you need to charge to make it to your destination or next supercharger. Automatically creating a reservation at Harris Ranch for the right time would be icing on the cake.

+1 jgraessley

Yes, I like the idea that TM, upon MS driver's request, based on TM's data monitoring, sends a message to the driver about the closest SuperCharger location and reserve the order of charging (taking your number of waiting). When your turn is up close, TM sends the message via the car and/or driver' phone so that the driver can drive his/her MS to the next available SuperCharger for charging without worrying to "fight" for a charging station with a fellow MS driver. This will be a true smart and civilized way for MS charging at the limited SuperChargers.

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