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Few or no superchargers planned for the bay area?



  • edited November -1
    I agree 100% that we NEED superchargers. The point is that they shouldn't be IN major population centers... like San Francisco; that's what level 2 charging is for. Put one 50 miles north of San Fran and 50 miles south... and 50 miles East.


    There are two schools of thought on charging...

    - Fast Charging on a regular basis is fine so Tesla should install SCs in places like San Fran, Seattle and Austin. They will be congested so Tesla needs SCs with 20+ bays in these areas. If you don't have a place to charge at home then stop by an SC every couple days... kind of like we do now for gas.

    - Fast Charging is for travelling 100+ miles so put them in places like Folsom, Centrailia and Temple. Every EV should go home to a place to charge and mostly charge there. IF your <100 miles of where you want to be home/work/shopping then you don't need to charge 80% in 40 minutes. Charge overnight at home or while at work. I realize some people don't have access yet but my argument that using fast chargers as a solution to this is not sustainable; they need to get access to L2 charging.
  • edited November -1
    I agree with Timo and those that advocate SC's within the Bay Area. We have a LOT of Teslas here; I see different ones almost every day on my commute.

    An example for my reasoning:, my husband commutes 100 miles every day in his Model S. He often has to work on weekends, and it is not uncommon for us to have plans on a Saturday when he gets home. If we drive to our son's house, there goes another 100 miles. One time, everyone wanted to go to dinner 10 miles further that our son's, but we had to pass since we had range anxiety.

    Another concern for us: we have a boat in Alameda. We used to stay there for a week at a time in the summer, and commute to work. There is no outlet whatsoever available in the parking lot. We are willing to pay ChargePoint, but there is none nearby. The only public charger we have found in the entire city of Alameda is in a pay parking garage, several miles from our boat. Not only are the two spots always full, they are too narrow for our MS. (We contacted the City of Alameda, CA to petition for more charges, but no luck)
  • edited November -1
    I checked plugshare and there are more than 30 CHAdeMO DC fast chargers in the SF Bay Area. MS owners who think we need SCs within the Bay Area might consider writing to Tesla ([email protected]) and requesting that Tesla sell a CHAdeMO adapter for the MS.

    @carlgo, I'm not advocating for less convenient or slower charging. But I don't think it's realistic to expect Tesla to install SCs within metro areas when they've made it clear that's not what the SC network is for. I live in the East Bay and can easily do a round trip to any other part of the Bay Area by charging my MS in my garage.

    Tesla does not have an infinite pile of resources. I'd prefer that they spend their finite resources getting their planned SC network built, getting MS adapted for international sales (RHD and Asia/Pacific after the Euro launch), and getting Model X and Gen3 to market.

    I do think we need one or two SCs on CA Highway 99. The future SC plan shows nothing on this major traffic corridor that is on the way to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia Nat Parks, as well as winter ski areas and other parts of the Sierras.
  • edited November -1
    nora- your post made me think of those muni type chargers. All they do is delay the needed roll-out of useful charging stations.

    We cannot rely on public agencies to put up enough chargers. They, and the general public as well, believe that those muni chargers are sufficient. They know nothing about amps and stuff. And there is often adamant political opposition to any such project.

    It would be very interesting if somebody put in a charging facility that could charge up any electric car in the fastest way their proprietary technology allows. Tesla or SolarCity could test this idea in an e-friendly place like the Bay Area.

    When you are low on electrons, you should be able to pull into a proper station and fuel up like everyone else in the entire world does with ICE cars, not tie up to a pole for hours like some sad goat in a parking lot.
  • edited November -1
    cal-you are right that the SCs are not meant to be the urban solution, just to allay the fears of long distance driving and to advance the Tesla brand, sort of like practical advertising.

    Fleshing out the charging system, for convenient charging everywhere, will likely require a profit motive. I think people will be thrilled to pay a fraction of the cost of gas for a decent charging experience and if there was a profit to be made then Tesla or independents would build stations everywhere, the more the better.

    As for urban areas, I think this is exactly where swap stations have to be. It is go, go, go, not a rural rest stop mode. It is for people without a garage and home charger, people who need to get to work, to top off for a trip.

    Also, city real estate is expensive. You can't afford to pay for a big lot and have cars sit for an hour. Even a tiny lot would be enough for a swap kiosk and they could be scattered all over a city as necessary, as the brand grows.

    This idea is completely opposite of the quick-charge on the freeway swap station concept. Of course, in the end both might be the best idea and relegate SCs to the most remote areas.
  • edited November -1
    So, as a couple of folks have pointed out, some more Bay Area chargers would be good for folks coming TO the Bay Area--it is a travel destination after all. I my case, I need to drive from Sacramento to San Jose about once a week and it would be nice to snag some electrons somewhere along the way.

  • edited November -1
    carlgo +100

    To be successful, EV's need to be at least as convenient as ICE to fill up. Yes, when you are at home you can fully charge overnight. Very convenient; in fact more convenient than gas stations. There is no argument about this. However, when traveling, the only way to makes EV's as convenient as ICE is to have SC (or other fast DC charging or swapping) in destinations. There is simply no question about it.

    I am not advocating for Tesla to put SC in destinations. Rather, if they do not plan on doing this then I want them to license the technology to allow a third party to do it for the profit motive. Many EV owners would be very happy to pay to have this convenience when traveling. Locals could also use it, but would have to pay as well.

    I really do not understand why anyone would advocate to limit the easiest and most convenient way to charge when traveling. Fast charging/swapping in destinations is essential for EV's to fully compete with the convenience of ICE vehicles.
  • edited November -1
    At California retail rates it costs about $13 for a 300 mile charge. If the electricity is supplied by SolarCity, the cost is less and wholesale to Tesla. Let's just say $11 for the same charge.*

    Assuming 20 mpg, it costs about $60 for the same distance at $4 per gallon for the ICE owner.

    Gas station owners make only pennies per gallon, supposedly about 5c. They make money from the mini mart, car wash and of course lots of gallons sold.

    That 15 gallons of gas for a 300 mile trip makes the station owner a whole 75c. Make it a dollar.

    If the Tesla station sold electrons at double the cost, a 300 mile charge would cost the Tesla owner $22. Even with overhead, the factor we do not know, the electric station is vastly more profitable assuming the same expenditure at the mini-mart, car wash, etc.

    It is probably safe to assume that Tesla owners would be happy to pay one-third the cost of gas! It is also safe to assume that an electric gas station would be very profitable if there were enough Teslas charging up every day.

    Of course I advocate charging up every make and model to make more money for both Tesla and SolarCity.

    The point is that electric charging has an actual advantage in both the cost to the consumer and in the profits for the stations. There is no reason for Tesla to hang its hat on a handful of free stations when zillions of profitable ones would likely prove to be better for everyone, and would advance electrical transportation generally.

    "Build it and they will come". Per the movie Charging of Dreams.

    * Figures per some random web site. Close enough for a general comparison.
  • edited November -1
    That model breaks the "free for life" model and promise.

    Not in the foreseeable future.

    Accommodation-centric hi-power AC charging is far more likely.

    Matching ICE "stop-anywhere" convenience is not a reasonable short or medium-term goal. TM is building on a different base. Extra-convenient home fillups plus free intercity charging changes all priorities.
  • edited November -1
    Quick poll... For non-transient charging which is really more convenient;

    1-Charging pretty much where-ever you park to eat/sleep/shop/work.

    2-Going to one of the Fast Chargers scattered about that may or may-not be somewhere worth spending 20 minutes to an hour.

    On a side note... Fast charging is significantly less efficient than "slow" charging since due to I^2R losses. Double the Power; quadruple the losses. 4x the charge rate = 16x energy loss to heat.
  • edited November -1
    Statements I have seen basically say "Model S charging will be free at the Superchargers". Could easily be wrong, but it seems that promise is carefully limited.

    The relatively few SC stations that serve the small percentage of cars actually off on long trips on the most travelled freeways would indeed remain free for the S model, and likely all Teslas.

    The thousand of additional stations actually required can probably only be built if they are profitable enterprises.

    Per the crude math in my previous post, it seems this could be done.
  • edited November -1
    Wrong. The model is self-sustaining and financing.

    Look at it this way: the Teslas withdraw a certain amount of energy from the grid, and Solar City contributes slightly more than that back with dedicated arrays. It makes a bit of profit by doing so, which the utilities are willing to support because it minimizes drain on existing generation capacity (on average).

    The "average" does not necessarily allow for the peaks and valleys, but station buffering with racks of retired battery packs with decades of remaining usefulness should actually increase grid stability in the end.
  • edited November -1
    The solar PV panels on the canopies over the SCs could not produce nearly enough electricity even with buffering using battery storage. The panels don't cover enough area. Does Tesla or Solar City have off site PV panels to support the SC stations?
  • edited November -1
    Yeah they do. Their off site PV systems are all the home systems they own and lease out to homeowners. Aren't those producing more energy than the home owners using?
  • edited November -1
    Also one canopy is quite large. Three spot charger is at least 10x7 meters. That's 70m^7. That's something like 70kWh daily (my guestimate, depends of place and orientation and weather and...). Those chargers are mostly unused and it could take days without any cars come by. Difference between places is covered using grid power.

    Not much off site needed (if any).
  • edited November -1
    m^2 obviously. m^7 has quite a few extra dimensions.
  • edited November -1
    Power from the 7th dimension! Good deal! Unless the inhabitants invade to get it back ...
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