Wifi at Superchargers

Wifi at Superchargers

In light of the recent connectivity package announcement (or pre-announcement?), my immediate concern as a Tesla fanatic was segments of the Tesla fleet falling out of date without easy access to OTA updates (outside of the safety updates). The care free, always up-to-date nature of the Tesla fleet is a huge selling point (less so the free streaming music).

So my hope is Tesla increases the availability of wifi at their urban superchargers, and streamlines the connectivity to those supercharger wifi hotspots, so any time a driver who doesn't have wifi access in their garage or driveway will not see their Tesla fall out of date.

For those thinking that most Tesla owners have wifi near their Tesla: I agree, but that is going to change. Many new (especially Model 3) owners will not have wifi access near parking as Tesla ownership expands to people who charge primarily at superchargers (apartment dwellers).

Does this sort of move make sense to others?

EVRider | 24 juni 2018

You would have to be parked at a supercharger long enough to download an update; I don’t know how long that takes, and whether the download will pause when you disconnect from WiFi and then resume when you reconnect.

Even if you don’t have WiFi where you park, you can always connect to your phone’s WiFi hotspot once in a while to help get access to updates. | 24 juni 2018

Other options include going to some site (Starbucks?) that has free WiFi. All Tesla service centers also have free WiFi. You'll also get the latest update if you take the car in for an annual. Lots of options, and I suspect many owners just don't care about updates that much (those that don't come to the forums).

Earl and Nagin ... | 24 juni 2018

I hope Tesla gives the opportunity to command an update so one can do this when they are at a place with WiFi. My garage has poor cell and WiFi reception. I have a WiFi access point in the garage but I usually leave it unpowered to save electricity since I seldom use it. It would be nice to turn on the WiFi in the garage, then ask the car to 'check for updates' and load them.

jordanrichard | 25 juni 2018

Yet another the "sky if falling" thread. Your car is not going to become outdate because of this change. Not every update gets to every car at the same time anyways. So at whatever point your car is at service, it will then get any updates available.

Kathy Applebaum | 25 juni 2018

Tesla is also going to push any safety-related updates over LTE whether you have premium or not, so you'll still get updates eventually.

EVRider | 25 juni 2018

I'm guessing that whenever Tesla adds the ability for us to request an update, it won't be a real-time update that starts downloading immediately, but instead it will queue your car to receive the update at some point in the near future. If they didn't do that, their servers would get overwhelmed every time a new update comes out. So, hooking up to WiFi and requesting an update won't necessarily help.

This is only my speculation; we'll have to see what Tesla actually does.

michael | 27 juli 2018

The way I'd write the update code is as follows: add a "check for update" button. If a new update is available for your car (ie, your car has already been selected to receive it), and the car hasn't been updated passively in over 30 days, only then would it pull an update immediately. Otherwise the car should just wait for the next automatic roll out.

My issue, like others, is that my garage has no WiFi or cellular service (it's 40 feet underground). My trips are less than a few hours out of the garage, a few times per week. I've never had a single update in the two months I've owned the car. Tesla can't schedule the update during specific hours that I know I'll have cellular service.

So if once every two months I could press a button and receive an immediate update, I'd be very happy with that.

Should_I | 27 juli 2018

Owned for nearly a year and my third update is pending, 2 months is nothing.

Now one more snag in your solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
These same cars that won't have connectivity, won't have unlimited free supercharging. I think you are grossly overestimating supercharger use. Cars will get updates when serviced, tires, 12volt, alignments, and the updates will be a draw to encourage people to have that stuff done by Tesla.

wundercar | 27 juli 2018

Sorry, but this is a non-problem. I recently returned from a five week road trip. During that time my car received two updates. It was never connected to WiFi during that time. The updates obviously came via LTE. So it is certainly not necessary to be connected via WiFi in order to receive updates. Some people here have said WiFi connectivity will give you priority in receiving updates, but based on my recent experience, I doubt that is the case.

charlieschaffer71 | 6 august 2018

It seems like Tesla having wifi at its superchargers would be excellent for pleasing its customers. I will become one tomorrow.

jordanrichard | 6 august 2018

".....would be excellent for pleasing its customers", how?

What are going to gain by there being Wi-Fi at the chargers? Also Wi-Fi would require Tesla having the local cable company installing a cable connection.

People do realize that Wi-Fi may be wireless from your device, but there has to be a modem and the required hard lines to connect to the internet.

rxlawdude | 6 august 2018

@jordanrichard, how do the Superchargers communicate with the mothership without some kind of physical connection (fiber, DSL (cough), cellular)?

jordanrichard | 6 august 2018


You will see on one of the cabinets at a supercharger site, a small antenna.

Think about it for a moment. Why would they pay the local cable/internet company to run cable thousands of feet out from the nearest store/restaurant to the SCs, when they can simply use a cell signal? They can reach out to your car and get data via the cell signal...............

rxlawdude | 6 august 2018

Bighorn can answer the question as to whether there are Supercharger sites in cellular deserts.

Yodrak. | 6 august 2018

Let's keep thinking folks, what else would we like Tesla to provide for free at the superchargers just because we've bought one (or more) of its vehicles? I vote for one of those awesome draft beer dispensers that you find in the Japanese airline lounges at the airport.

joemar10 | 7 august 2018

I would love to see some third party (Not Tesla. enough on their plate already) install electric rental bikes at Superchargers that are near historic, resort, museum etc. districts. I've never been to Leavenworth WA, but will be going through there in a couple of weeks. From what I've read about the town, it sounds like the type of place that would be a good candidate.

Uncle Paul | 13 august 2018

When your click on a Supercharger icon on your display it will show what facilities are available near the charger. Most of them will display a Wi-Fi logo if chargers will have access.

I sometimes charge in Temecula CA. That Supercharger is located in a parking structure, and little Wi-Fi or even LTE cell strength is available. Hit and miss as to getting a strong enough connection.

Uncle Paul | 13 august 2018

When your click on a Supercharger icon on your display it will show what facilities are available near the charger. Most of them will display a Wi-Fi logo if chargers will have access.

I sometimes charge in Temecula CA. That Supercharger is located in a parking structure, and little Wi-Fi or even LTE cell strength is available. Hit and miss as to getting a strong enough connection.

Kathy Applebaum | 14 august 2018

"When your click on a Supercharger icon on your display it will show what facilities are available near the charger. Most of them will display a Wi-Fi logo if chargers will have access."

Does the wifi logo mean the charger itself has access or that a nearby business has wifi you can use? I had assumed the latter -- basically telling me "there's a starbucks nearby if you want to sit and catch up on email while you charge".

Uncle Paul | 14 august 2018

Believe it only notifies you that some sort of Wi=Fi is avaialabe near the Supercharger. No specifics. Same with other ammenities in the area.

jordanrichard | 14 august 2018

In 4 1/2 years, I have never thought to see if the car could pick up a nearby wi-if signal. Would there be something to gain by doing so? Would the internet be faster if connected to Wi-if?

EVRider | 30 september 2019

I know this thread is more than a year old, but it seems like the right place to ask how common it is to have Wi-Fi access directly from a supercharger rather than nearby amenities.

I’m on a road trip and charging at the East Greenwich RI supercharger now, but there’s no Wi-Fi here. The car shows a Wi-Fi icon in the supercharger amenities but any Wi-Fi is at nearby businesses. The only reason I checked is because I have an update waiting for Wi-Fi to download, which I assume is V10. I haven’t decided if I will actually install V10 while I’m on the road trip, but I’d like to have that option.

kevyjones | 4 februar 2020

If WiFi were at charging stations then Tesla wouldn't have to use the LTE network. One would just need to know what Tesla is paying per MB from LTE, or how much Tesla pays per month per car if the agreement with the cell carrier is a bulk deal. It's likely deal is likely expensive with the cell carrier and WiFi could be faster and cheaper.

jordanrichard is wrong in that the modem connection wouldn't be a cable. It would be wireless..a solution exists already, but you really have to check how much Tesla pays per car on average..

Does anyone know that?

Tesla2018 | 9 februar 2020

I just went to Wawa to get a sandwich. I don't supercharger but it said they had WiFi when I checked on the box to see how many stalls were available. I could connect on my phone after a screen popped up asking me to agree to some terms. However it wouldn't connect when I tried to get the car to do it.

I have the same problem at work, Starbucks, Burger King and other places that make you agree to terms before connecting. Tesla must be using a non common browser since I also can't use some sites that have drop down boxes that appear in pop up screens that are outside of the display area. If you touch the area, it thinks you are touching what is underneath the drop down box on the underlying screen. | 9 februar 2020

Tesla using a variant of Chrome. Dropdowns are hard to make work right with a touch screen and smart developers avoid them. I was fairly sure Tesla's WiFi is automatic and requires no sign-in, but it's been a while since I tried it.

EVRider | 10 februar 2020

Since we’re updating this thread, I’ll report that I didn’t find Tesla WiFi at any of the superchargers I used on my road trip.

@kevyjones: I don’t get your point about Tesla not having to use LTE if they had WiFi at every supercharger.