Range from Atlant up the I-85 corridor

edited November -1 in Georgia
I have a 2013 Model S, now 18 months old. I love the car.

I remain frustrated that I can go south down I-75 with superchargers to spare, north up I-75 with easy supercharger access, and even down I-85 south to Montgomery with no lack of charging opportunities.

But don't try to take your Tesla up the I-85 corridor to the northeast from Atlanta. Raleigh? Washington? New York? Boston? Philadelphia? from Atlanta? No can do. I-85 from Atlanta is a Supercharger wasteland, the next Supercharger from Atlanta up I-85 is on the Northeast side of Charlotte, well out of comfortable range from Atlanta.

I have heard rumors of Superchargers in Commerce, GA, Greenville, SC etc for over two years. But still no infrastructure if you need to travel from Atlanta to the Northeast.

And Atlanta is still one of the top two or three Tesla customer bases in the US.

And so, every time I need to visit my three grandchildren in Raleigh, I am compelled to take my nasty, polluting, expensive Lexus ICE car to travel on the I-85 corridor, leaving my trusty Model S in the garage in Atlanta.

After my 6.2 software upgrade, I entered my son's address in Raleigh in to the nav system. The system directed me to travel 1700 miles, south to Savannah, then up I-95, to have superchargers.

Good Grief! 1700 miles for a 400 miles journey.

Go figure.

Has anyone had success traveling up the I-85 corridor from Atlanta?


  • edited November -1
    I share your concern and, no I've not had success travelling up I-85 either. I live in Birmingham and can travel to Cleveland, OH (3 grandchildren), San Antonio, TX (4 grandchildren) and Charleston (no Grandchildren) but can't get to Boston (3 grandchildren) without a out of the way side trip. If Greenville is a bust, then get a SC in Spartanburg! My grandkids in Boston don't know me anymore!
    edited November -1
    We're going to Washington this june, from Atlanta. There is now a chademo charger in Greenville so the plan for us is to stop there. However, as I said, there is only 1. If it is down, or busy, we are out of luck and we'll waste 2 hours at a L2. We have the 60 so we need to stop. With the 85, you can make it all the way to Charlotte from ATL on a max charge.
    No doubt, a supercharger there would open up a lot of travel options. Soon....
  • edited November -1
    Add another 85D (not quote owner, June delivery) to the list. Live in Gainesville and have been contemplating trips up 85 and to the Cherokee area. Hope we see some soon!!
  • edited November -1
    Just drive to Asheville (actually there now). Have to stop at some of the destination chargers on the way - but if you don't have dual chargers they are slow (30 mi/hr). According to the supercharger map - should have one in Greenville and one in Asheville by end of 2016. Hey - at least they are on the map!
  • edited November -1
    A few days ago I toped off at Atl station to 255 drove 60 mph to Charlotte,NC with 30 miles left. I traveled in early morning to avoid other travelers and to use less AC.
  • edited November -1
    I have a MS60, and can full charge to 235 miles. I think that leaves me with 10 miles left when I hit Charlotte, if everything is perfect, and I drive at 60mph, and don't run the AC. That is cutting it a bit to close for my taste.

    But I am glad you made it Charlotte, and I will wait for a Supercharger, or reports of reliability on the Greenville CHAdeMO site.

    But I admire your courage in making this run. Feels like crossing the North Atlantic in the 1600s!
    edited November -1
    We went to D.C. last week on a road trip. Decatur to Charlotte is feasible (85D). We got there with 6 miles left. I basically constantly adjusted my speed to arrive with 2 to 8 miles left. Left home with a full 100% charge. Not bad.
    The biggest problem is on the return. You need to also do a 100% in Charlotte, which is long. This was a 1 1/2 hour stop... then drove slow (65 mph).
    There is however many options to charge on your way, so running out is no concern, just a potentially long leg...
  • edited November -1
    I find it hard to believe that there is a charging wasteland up both I-75 North AND I-85 North. The nav sys trip planner wants to add 4 hours to a 10 hour trip to DC by routing me SE thru Macon & Savannah & then North on I-95. PLEASE get a Supercharger on these I-states, Tesla! Maybe more folks in ATL will join Tesla.

    Honestly, even a R-T to N GA for the weekend is a prob. Gonna have to order CHAdeMO, I guess. Anyone tried this yet, and where are the chargers off I- 75 and I- 85 and 400 N?

  • edited November -1
    @Boondocks, hope you have gotten your 85D by now. A Gainesville green S 85 here; Nov. 2014 delivery. I have seen a red Tesla a couple of times here. Is that you? I know of at least one other MS in the area.

    @ kap, I have the Chademo adapter. Needed it to get to Charleston, stopping at a charger at the Regents University student center in Augusta. Nice lounge to wait in, and if during hours, they have food services. Maxed out charging @ about 129 MPH, 107 A. It took 2-3 times of going through the start-up procedure before I got it synchronized with the Tesla. I think I just needed to give it some time to work through its process. I don't know if it had to wait for an ok from Greenlots system or not. It was raining and I was rushing. The hotel in Charleston had two HPWCs that were feed for guests.

    There are beginning to be a number of Chademo units at shopping malls like The Mall of Georgia (a Simon Group mall, who I heard was putting in chargers at many malls). The ChAdemo system really expands your possibilities, though you have to join several networks, and each prices differently.

    I have asked Tesla to add Chademos to the nav system database, and got a promising response. It is really needed in the South, and if more of us requested it, it is more likely.

    If you go through Clayton in Rabun county, there is a ChAdemo at a public parking lot just off the main intersection of the old town. I have not used it, because he adapter was not released yet when I was there. The Yonah Mtn Winery, just north of Cleveland has a HPWC at their wine tasting center. The Old Edwards Inn in Highlands has one for guests. I don't know if that would include restaurant guests, but it might be worth checking.
  • edited November -1
    That was supposed to be, "The hotel in Charleston had two HPWCs that were FREE for guests."
  • edited November -1
    Hey @jclev, nice to hear from you. That MS is not me. We have an Obsidian Black with 21" dark greys and tinted windows. The kids have named her EVie and she lives right off Browns Bridge near Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. I have seen a blue and a white MS at the intersection of Browns Bridge and McEver, don't think I've seen you yet but am on the lookout. :).

    We have used the ChAdemo in Clayton but had to wait for two ICE cars to move out of the way on a busy Sarurday night. That really is painful to sit and stare at an ICE wasting a space like that.

    I will also give my vote for ChAdemo's to be listed on the NAV especially in areas like ours and north devoid of SuperChargers
  • edited November -1

    I have a CHAdeMO adapter for my MS60, but have not found a cohesive description of the pay for charge networks out there, and in particular, those in the Southeast. I assume that the charge can be paid for by direct credit card input, but do not know. The CHAdeMO charger in Greenville, SC has had mixed reviews, and is not apparently available all of the time. That makes me nervous since after I get to Greenville, if it isn't available, its off to the RV parks for a 15-40 and a long wait.

    Would be grateful if someone here could provide a URL to a reliable listing of the working CHAdeMO locations in the southeast, also some comments on PlugShare and Greenlot or other services.

  • edited November -1

    There is not a cohesive description that I have found. Usually the location apps tell which network applies to a station. I have just basically subscribed to several of them: Blink, EVgo, Greenlots.

    Some have a subscription fee, others have subscription tiers from free to monthly with appropriately discounted charging fee according to the plan selected. You usually give them your credit card to file in your account to charge usage. They will email you a monthly statement if you have charged that month.

    I end up using EVgo most, because it is widely set up at some major shopping centers, like the Mall of Georgia. Its price varies by region (I guess electricity costs and regulation) and I use the no monthly fee "Flex" option ($4.95 setup fee) because I usually only use it to "top off" while shopping. (Usually, charging at home is adequate as I rarely push my range going to Atlanta from Gainesville and back. I can go there and run around and get home with 50 to 80 miles of range left--S 85.) For this I use the L2 because, in Georgia at least, the DC charger is a base $4.95/session + $.20/min. I did use one of the DC chargers at the Mall of Georgia to test the ChaDemo adapter before the Charleston trip. It's nice that the Tesla App keeps you up to date on the charging progress.

    Greenlots seems to me more of a connecting network for station owners. The rate is up to the owner. Like I wrote, I used it in Augusta for a trip to Charleston, and it made the trip by Tesla feasible.

    I believe that it was Greenlots that included a laminated card, about 4x6 or 5x7 for you to use an erasable marker to display your mobile number on the dash for other users if your charge is over and blocking their use. Nice courtesy touch that would be good for all locations.

    I haven't had much opportunity to use Blink, but it appears to be common and I didn't want to need it and not have it. Clayton, GA is Blink. @Boondocks, the PlugShare app shows that many have found it to be spotty.

    All these give you a scan card or RFID to use to start charging. There is often an option to call in with a station ID to authorize your session. There is a Greenlots app that you can use to activate a station using its ID.

    I have PlugShare, EV Charge, and Greenlots apps. They are apparently always updating their station lists, but one app may have one that the others have not added. So, if needed, I would check multiple apps, unless one shows just what you need close to where you are. I would check them all for planning. Most of them attempt to show availability, with varying degrees of reliability, and up/down status. Usually there are "check-ins" from users that describe the location, ease of use, and often post pictures.

    I also added the RV Parky app, just in case.

    There are also web sites that will show stations and routes; but, again, one may have a station that others don't. E.g., the web version of PlugShare ( ), EV Trip Planner ( ). This search lists a number of charging info sites:

    I have not used them, but the apps show GA Power locations with ChaDemo and L2 that MAY be free or low cost.

    That is not organized or comprehensive, but it reflects much of what I have learned.
  • edited November -1
    @Boonedocks. I am out Thompson Bridge Road. I don't use Browns Bridge past McEver often, as I usually go West towards 400 on Dawsonville Highway by way of Sardis, or 985/85 for the East side of Atlanta. However, I end up at the stores and restaurants around the McEver Road/Dawsonville Highway intersection pretty frequently. I work in downtown Gainesville, so I am around there a lot. I will keep my eyes peeled for you.
  • edited November -1
    @wmmcc. BTW, this posting prompted me to look at PlugShare for ChaDemos up 85. There are now two in Greenville. Richardson Street Garage and CUICAR Parking Deck. First one seems to be not up to full speed for now with service supposed to come, and the latter looks spotty for service, but at least a backup.

    Still, a SuperCharger is needed in the Atl-Charlotte Gap.

    Actually, though, I've never had a chance to use one.
  • edited November -1

    Thanks for the comprehensive description of your experiences. Most helpful.

    I have grandchildren in Raleigh, so the I85 North corridor has keen interest. I have the plugshare and EVgo apps,and will download the others you describe. I value the comments of users as the gateway to reality, and lament that the Greenville CHAdeMO chargers seem sketchy at best in terms of reliability. And I would not look forward to a RV park 14-50 multi-hour charge if they are not functioning properly.

    I have entered several posts and requests to Tesla regarding their long awaited Greenville, SC station. They still list it as coming online in 2015, but no further information is available. They have been pointing to a Greenville SC for two years without fulfillment. I ordered my 2013 MS60 Labor Day weekend in 2013, and the Greenvile SC station was touted on their web site at that time.

    I purchased a CHAdeMO adapter, but find few CHAdeMO charging locations that come anywhere close to the maximum charge rate for this technology. They should provide a welcome supplement to the Tesla network in the southeast, but have not lived up to the promise as of yet. My charge concerns are with road trips, not with local use. I tend to side with Elon's controversial criticisms of local use of SCs by Tesla owners. Certainly it is their right, just not kind or considerate of an early adopter set of technologies when trip use of the SC should be the priority.

    I confess frustration with Tesla's SC implementation, particularly for the many metro Atlanta Tesla owners, and feel that the southeast has been somewhat neglected in their execution. Compare the California SC density to the southeast density! I feel confident it will come to fruition in time, but we are reportedly one of their highest density car owner areas, and one would have thought that by now they would have opened the southeast interstate network at the least.

    I still love the car, and very pleased that I own one. But I look forward to the day when I can finally use it for road trips with the same comfort I use it throughout north Georgia.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful response...
  • edited November -1
    @wmmcc I appreciate your comments.

    +1 on the SE chargers!
  • edited November -1
    I agree, the southeast needs more Tesla charging stations for use. I am not going to take a trip in 85D if I must cut off AC and drive 55 mph and then wonder if I will make it to charge point. Looking at the 2016 plan, problems solved of it comes true. We Tesla owners are looking forward to 2016 and beyond. Bring it on Tesla.
  • edited November -1
    I just noted that the Greenville, SC, SuperCharger station has moved to "Coming Soon" on the Tesla SC Map on the web.


    It also appears that Asheville, NC, has entered the same status, but a little difficult to tell on the map.

    Maybe we Atlanta Model S drivers can finally get up I-85!!!
  • edited November -1
    This is great news! Now if we can only get some love for Augusta! Any word on that?
  • edited November -1
    Don't know about Augusta or I-20 corridor east from Atlanta.

    Does anyone know where the soon to be opened Greenville, SC Supercharger is located in Greenville?
  • edited November -1
    Supercharger map makes it appear like it's near Whole Foods or in the same plaza.
  • edited November -1
    Not as fast as a Super Charger, and not free, but I used the Chademo charger at Regents Univ. Student Center while passing through Augusta.

    A plan B....
  • edited November -1
    The Greenville SC show permit status. It is newly on the site and is not yet "under-construction". However, a great step to link ATL through North Carolina to the 95 corridor.

    Also, there is another SC in permit status in Ashville. Hopefully, Tesla is working now on the I-85 and (needed) I-81 corridors with the new SC in Northern VA at Stasburg. Another in Roanoke, would complete that leg.
  • edited November -1
    Update: The Greenville SC Super Charger is under constructions. The Ashville NC Super Charger is in Permit status. Just need one more on I 81 to connect Northern VA to Charlotte.... we'll be good to go....
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