Does anyone expect supercharger congestion around Thanksgiving?

Does anyone expect supercharger congestion around Thanksgiving?

I will be heading from the Monterey Bay area to Southern California around Thanksgiving. I'm a little nervous about supercharger congestion. Does anyone have thoughts on how concerned I should be? Is it better to stay near the coast or go down I-5. I have a model 3 dual motor long range so I'm hoping to only have to charge once to make it to Orange County.

NKYTA | 8 oktober 2019

Travel off-peak if you can. Problem solved.

And, as oft posted by the Bighorn, if you travel at peak, traffic will be a far bigger hit than Charging.

SamO | 8 oktober 2019

Yes, and I'm not sure traveling off-peak will help. Just Supercharged at Culver City yesterday and 15 of 16 were full at midnight on a Tuesday.

I've been slammed with lines several years ago around the Christmas/NY between SF and LA.

Just be flexible and charge where you see no lines. There will definitely be a charger in Kettleman City that should have a pretty good turnover.

Earl and Nagin ... | 9 oktober 2019

Also, if headed south check out Bakersfield and Buttonwillow to see if they're full instead of waiting for Tejon Ranch which is more likely to be full.

pete | 9 oktober 2019

How about the chargers closer to the coast? I'm thinking about skipping the I5 corridor altogether.

andy.connor.e | 9 oktober 2019

If traffic congestion is anything similar to what it was last year, i would expect every single public entity being congested around thanksgiving. Get your stuff done early, dont be a last minute christmas shopper.

SamO | 9 oktober 2019

+ 1 Earl.

More stalls mean any localized charging congestion can be avoided with a bit of awareness. I believe that Tesla's navigation software does take into account crowding.


Sometimes even if you leave early in California, you can end up stuck in traffic. Distances of 300+ miles are common and alternate travel times are simply unavailable. Many families have school until 24-48 hours before departure.

Here are some typical trips. California is 800 miles from North to South.


Tesla has done a good job with the Supercharging Network, but California is tough for a number of reasons. They simply need to have many more stations like Kettleman City, the largest US Supercharger.

Earl and Nagin ... | 9 oktober 2019

Don’t feel too badly about any charging lines. The gas folks will have long waits too and they’ll get to pay $4.50/gallon for the privilege.

andy.connor.e | 9 oktober 2019

Everything about living in California that i've heard makes it sound like its a big gigantic perpetual hassle.

rxlawdude | 9 oktober 2019

" 15 of 16 were full at midnight on a Tuesday."

And I bet many of those cars' owners were at home, sleeping. I've seen a Tesla drive into a stall, plug in and the driver getting picked up and being nowhere around when charging is complete.

Eventually, when everyone is on a pay-per-use Supercharging plan, the incentive to supercharge rather than home charge will decrease.

pete | 9 oktober 2019

@andy, the problem is just one of geography in this case. Two large metropolitan areas separated by 250 miles. It's no different than anywhere else in that regard. Travel from NY to Boston, NY to Philly, DC to New Jersey, Baltimore to Boston, and you would also be concerned about charger availability. But in CA, at least the weather will probably be 70 degrees and sunny. And if I stick to the coast I get an awesome view of the California coastline.

I've traveled most of the US and some of the rest of the world for that matter and I can't think of anyplace I'd rather live.

andy.connor.e | 9 oktober 2019

Guess im glad to not live in a very large city. Although, the NY capital district gets pretty much universally congested during rush hour. Side roads and highways.

SamO | 9 oktober 2019


If people are still doing that, then they are waking up at home to a $600 bill. The cars were coming and going. I had met a friend working at Andrews AFB and were heading to San Diego.

I got the last spot when I arrived and then there were 1-3 open throughout the 50 minutes I was there.

Just lots of people without garages and charging, using the Superchargers as designed.

SamO | 9 oktober 2019


I've driven the coast a few times and it will likely be less busy than the 5 and will be 100X less smelling of cow-shit.


It's the same in all desirable places. There's lots to do and lot of people come and visit. A variety of international food, entertainment, and natural beauty with mountains, oceans and everything in between.

It's like any place: there are good and bad things about it. When you can't make it here, the weak flee to Texas.

Uncle Paul | 9 oktober 2019

Tuesday night was an anomaly. Tesla sent out messages to owners that Several SoCal utilities were warning that they may be turning off electricity to their customers, and that owners should charge up their cars if possible in anticipation that homes might not have charging ability. Fantastic communication on the part of Tesla, but certainly increased Supercharging volume late at night.

Of course, on Holidays the Superchargers will be more crowded. Most everyone will be on the roads visiting friends and families.

Best solution is to plan for heavy traffic. Look ahead while driving to see which of your charging options have the most open slots (easy with center display). If you need to wait a bit, be understanding and take that opportunity to meet with some other owners.

Many Tesla now have faster charging than even a year ago, so that should speed up through put.

In my 3 years driving Tesla I have never needed to wait in lines as long as I did getting gas at Costco.

Starting out in the am, with full charges, most travelers will begin looking to Supercharge around 5 hours later. So expect early afternoon to be most crowded. Plan accordingly.

Tesla2018 | 9 oktober 2019

How many people actually drive over 300 miles each way over Thanksgiving weekend? I could see if you were taking an entire week off and were going far away, but not just for a few days. If you are drving about 300 miles even if you plug in using the 120V adapter at 4 mph charge rate and staying at someones house and get there Wednesday nite, by Saturday night the car should be fully charged so you can leave on Sunday with a full charge and make it back home.

SCCRENDO | 9 oktober 2019

@Tesla2018. Too much to unpack here. But needless to say you know not what you are talking about