Model 3

Supercharger Availability

edited November -1 in Model 3
Up until a long road trip to Atlanta from DC for Thanksgiving I've only had to use a Supercharger a handful of times and usually was the only one at them (even around Richmond, VA where I've gone twice to an 18 stall supercharger on a couple of mid-range trips) so was interested to see my experience on the trip to Atlanta. I stayed off of 95 and took Rt. 29 to 85 to get from Northern VA to Atlanta.

The first stop was in Charlottesville at their 8 stall supercharger. Just one other car there on the way down at around 9 AM on Tuesday and three at 5 PM on Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The second stop was in Greesnboro, NC at another 8 stall supercharger. On Tuesday around noon there were four cars there, but two stalls did not work so there were two open chargers. On the way home there were 9 cars there when I arrived (again around noon on Saturday), but with the two broken chargers had to get in line and wait about 15 minutes.

The final stop was in Greenville, NC right off of Rt. 85 around 4 PM (which I thought would be the busiest location being right next to the busy highway) and for the 8 stalls only about 4 four taken on the way down and just a couple of the way back.

So all in all not much issue with them being too crowded (and all were smaller 8 stall ones) with the exception of the Greensboro one on the Saturday return, but that was because of two broken stalls.

My question for the board is what has your experience been on trips along major routes with superchargers? Have you had to wait long or are stalls usually open? My concern is that as each quarter goes by and more Teslas are sold (esp as Model Y comes out) that the superchargers are going to start to become completely full along these routes and wait times will increase. it doesn't look like there are too many planned in the near future in this part of the country so hoping Musk has plans to potentially expand existing ones.
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Comments

  • edited December 2019
    I dont think anyone can predict how traffic will grow and how exactly Tesla will address the growth. However, here are some data points:

    1) I've been using superchargers for over a year along the busiest routes in California, as well as one ~4k mile trip to Canada over the July 4th weekend. Up until this Thanksgiving, I never had to wait for a S/C stall with 2 exceptions where I waited 5-10 minutes. Even on Thanksgiving day, I waited 15-20 minutes at SLO, and at Atascadero. On the same dates, I had zero wait at Salinas, for example - most stalls were open.

    2) Even this Thanksgiving, Tesla is experimenting with new approaches like a Semi based mobile supercharger. This means that they recognize the issue and are coming up with creative ways to address it.

    3) Literally any other mode of travel will have delays - think of thousands of passengers delayed because of flight cancellations over the weekend.
  • edited December 2019
    Been bombing up and down I95 and the area from Boston to South Carolina, what with relatives and vacations. The only crowded SC I've seen is the one in Framingham, MA. We've been lucky each time we've used the thing and went in and charged, but twice over the past 12 months or so there's been a line when we left.
    Let's see: Outside of that one, we've used four others in MA, CT, and NY, and there's always been relatively few when we happened to bomb on by.
    We happen to live in Central Jersey; within about 10 miles of here there's four (!) supercharger locations, two with 8, one with 4, and another with 16. Out of curiosity I check the fill on these; the one in Edison gets full, rarely. Even during Thanksgiving it never got really full.
    On the way to and from South Carolina The SC's were never full; but the one at the airport for Savannah was kind of a disappointment, since one had to pay to enter the parking log where the things were located.
    I expect that as more and more Tesla's hit the road more SC's will have to be built. And the area around 95 in Boston is crying out for a few, since there seems to be some downtown, some 20 miles away, but hardly any in the belt around the city where most people live.
  • edited December 2019
    I have never waited to charge at a Tesla charging station. On one occasion, I used the last available stall and witnessed others come in and then wait. The line while I was watching only held one waiter, and that wait was not longer than a few minutes.

    However, I do not charge away from home very often. I've used Tesla charging perhaps a dozen times in 14 months.
  • edited December 2019
    Most of my supercharging has been on 3 road trips from FL to New England. I’ve never had to wait for a supercharger. Although there have been more Teslas charging on my most recent trip than in the past, there were still cases where I was the only one, especially on the southern half of the trip. I was not traveling around holidays, so it might be busier then.
  • edited November -1
    If you look at http://supercharge.info you'll see the build out as it happens. The good thing is that, although there are a few saturation points in the system, the build out elsewhere seems to be ahead of demand and keeping up.
  • edited December 2019
    In 80,000 miles of road trips, 30,000 in the last year, twice cross country and multiple times to LA, SF, Las Vegas and Vancouver BC, I have only waited a handful of times and never more than 5 minutes. Last month I visited 32 different locations in a single day along I95 from VA to NJ and didn't wait a single location.
  • edited November -1
    Most of my Supercharging has been along the I15 from San Diego to Salt Lake City. 5 or 6 round trips at least. I think I've used most of them, and the only one that was ever full was in Beaver when it only had 4 stalls. Now it has 8 or 10. That night, I skipped Beaver and went on to Richfield. I really want the V3 Las Vegas charger to be fully operational.
  • edited November -1
    I drove about 6,000 miles in the last four months, and not once did I have to wait for Tesla supercharger on the road. I did however, once while staying in Las Vegas had to wait at Supercharger with 8 units at a shopping center during rush hour, but that was about it. My travels were on the west coast and southwest U.S. Overall, in a the last 18 month very little or no waits anywhere. Plenty of superchargers, but need more as more Tesla cars are coming on board.
  • edited November -1
    Forgot, to mention I do most of my charging at home, which I think most of you do; so charging is not the same as filling up at a gas station, after all how many ICE drivers have a gas pump at home.
  • edited November -1
    FISHEV is a known troll who pushes an anti Tesla narrative. Please take his opinions with a grain of salt, avoid any advice he may suggest, and, do not let him implant any Fear, Uncertainty, or, Doubt about Tesla or your car into your own opinion.
  • edited November -1
    @rdm227,
    That's an awesome question. Thanks for asking.

    The best answer to it was given by a guy called Elon Musk ;) You see, in one of the speeches he said that his focus is going to be building a better charging network and better service network - because he says people aren't stupid, and wouldn't buy cars if that's not handled well. I'll try to find the video (others can help me here) That's a simple clear indication of his focus on addressing your concern.

    Back to your question, I've used the Tesla Superchargers for 4yrs now and saw the fleet grow - I have not seen congestion problems worth talking about. I think it's a bit different story on the West coast, but that's because of crazy growth in Tesla ownership - it's not because Tesla isn't trying hard to address the growth challenge.

    Now let me try to find that video clip.
  • edited December 2019
    @Sparky Nice, thanks!
  • edited December 2019
    This thread brought to mind the times when I would try to fill up my cars at the rest areas on the NJT. Almost always had long lines to gas up. Took about as long as super charging, except that you have to stay in your car and wait. I’ll never miss that.
    As to the OPs question, I’ve only been using one supercharger for the past 6 months ( 5000 free SC miles) and most of the time it’s pretty empty. One recent Saturday evening , 5ish, it was almost full. Timing is everything.
  • edited November -1
    Drive 5200 miles over the holidays and didn’t ever wait. One of the superchargers on the I-90 route across South Dakota didn’t get plowed, so I could tell that there was never more than one car there over the holiday weekend i.e.previous 4 days. Certain people have been predicting impending gloom and doom for the last 5 years.
  • edited December 2019
    Drive/Drove
  • edited December 2019
    the only supercharger ive ever waited at was the qualcomm supercharger in san diego, because it was free.
  • edited December 2019
    In the southeast, I've never waited, but been the last or next to last arrival a few times. Some of our busier stations are being expanded (additional stalls added), and additional stations have been brought online -- some of which, while not necessarily close to the others, take the load off by splitting long distances so people don't need to stay as long (ie: Metter cutting the distance between Macon and Savannah where people with smaller batteries had to stay at Savannah until almost 100%).
  • edited December 2019
    Used a supercharger maybe 15 times in the last year. All times on the I-95 corridor between DC and NYC. One small wawa location in North Jersey that I like to use (as it fits with my battery range) is often crowded and slow but I have never had to wait. Once, I think, I had to skip it because it showed as full but I had more than enough range to reach the next one. If I charge to full and drive conservatively, I probably could, in nice weather, make the entire trip with one short, maybe 10 min stop. However, I usually make two stops and charge close to 80% each time. It is more convenient for me and allows me to arrive in NYC with 50 or 60%. This is useful as I use a 110v when I arrive at my destination. Have a nice day.
  • edited November -1
    Between Charlotte, NC and Detroit, MI on several trips no waiting at any of the SuperChargers except one co-located at a Sheetz (in their words, a “kicked-up convenience store”) where the slots are shared for parking. It was totally ICE’d. Fortunately, most shoppers are there for short periods and I was able to charge after about 15 minutes.
  • edited December 2019
    One thing that concerns me is that low traffic at some chargers may be leading to Tesla not building up in the right spots. For example, going east out of St. Louis, there's a charger 90 miles away at Mt. Vernon, IL where I've rarely encountered more than 2 other cars. But the next charger along the line is all the way in Louisville, KY -- literally out of range for my SR+ unless I limp along <60 mph. A charger has been scheduled for Evansville, IN for three years now, but they haven't even issued a permit. I worry that chargers like the one at Mt. Vernon are self-fulfilling prophecies. Telsa looks at it, thinks need in the area is low, and drops the priority on additional chargers ... but it's the lack of additional chargers that are the problem.
  • edited December 2019
    There were some videos online showing the lines of Teslas waiting to charge in central California and out on the coast over the Thanksgiving weekend. The wait looked to be in the 1 hour range. It seems likely sales will outpace the SC network for Tesla and even more so for all other major car companies selling EVs. I also expect since Tesla has all the info on our vehicles & SC, Tesla knows or can figure out how many SC spots are open and how many Teslas are waiting in line to charge. For example, if a Tesla is not moving, near a SC with a low battery charge, they are probably waiting in line to charge. Seems like it would be possible to include SC availability in the trip calculations to compute the best place to charge up. Call it load leveling of the SC use. The trip “optimizer” might recommend charging up a little sooner at a less crowded SC to avoid a long wait time at another SC. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tesla already has something in the works for a software strategy to minimize wait time for congested times of the year. I usually charge up at home and have waited for a SC twice in the 1.5 years of ownership. I’m going from LA to Tucson at Christmas and do not expect to have much issue with wait times at SC.
  • edited December 2019
    Most of my charging has been in Texas. Never had to wait. Once pulled into the Waco SC when full but as I circled around a guy flagged me down as he was heading back to his car to leave. This one may be unusually busy with locals because it is free. Lindale and Italy have each been empty every time I've stopped at those ones.

    I drive from Dallas to northern Michigan about once a year. Haven't done it in the 3 yet because no matter which route I take I need to either hit up a Level 2 or go over an hour out of my way to cover some gaps. I will either go through Arkansas from 40 to 55 where it is too far between Little Rock and Miner MO, even in my LR. The other route is up US75 through Oklahoma to I44, but I need to go west to OK City to make it going that way. There's been upcoming SC's on Tesla's map for each of these routes for over 2 years but they aren't there yet.
  • edited December 2019
    I see zero F, U, or D in Fish's response.

    As for SC availability, I've charged maybe 25 times at various locations in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona and the only time I've had to wait is at the I-35 location in Austin. At that location, I've waited every.. single.. time.. Once for 30 minutes. A second SC is now opened in Austin, albeit on the far northwest side.

    I transport several keys of Columbian Pure from Houston to Laredo every few weeks and have never had a problem finding an SC in the Rio Grande Valley - the Laredo SC has an Embassy Suites and a nice steakhouse within a few feet.
  • edited December 2019
    Sorry - meant Colombian..
  • edited December 2019
    @Lost
    Funny, I count at least four pieces of FUD aka lies about supercharging by our resident asstroturfer, but I’ve only supercharged in 47 states. Never had to wait at the old Austin site, though the new site by Hollywood Feed gets a lot of action. When I crossed at Nuevo Laredo, border patrol had never seen a Tesla. Didn’t even know about the frunk. Muahaha! Muahaha!
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