Model S

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People don't realize destination charging is everywhere

edited November -1 in Model S
After doing many trips I find that there is an unlimited supply of charging options. On vacations or other trips there are hotels, motels, even RV places with unlimited places to plug in. I met a couple at an SC and told them I would be in there area and didn't see a SC; they offered me to charge at their home. When staying at friends homes they offer me a dryer or welding outlet; I insist on paying them something and when I leave I have 265 miles of electrons. Don't even need to see a gas station.
It has been less hassle than driving an ICE and we have more time for fun stuff. I have come to the conclusion that range anxiety is for new owners who have a learning curve.


  • edited November -1
    I concur:

    The mythical “range anxiety” concept proved to be a phenomenon often reserved for potential owners and detractors, not so much once you actually have the car and understand how to plan. To every forum contributor, I say thank you.

  • edited November -1

  • edited November -1
    Thanks for the link PhillyGal.
  • edited November -1
    Though I completely agree, range anxiety will always be there for those that don't want to take the time to charge the car. The anxiety isn't in finding a place to charge, but having to wait. People don't focus on the cumulative time savings they get from charging at home everyday, but on the few times they have to wait 40 minutes when on the road.
  • edited November -1
    On trips I like stopping at Starbucks, checking my emails, maybe eating something and other stuff. The SC takes about 30 minutes and I usually meet another owner to talk to also. If I had an ICE I would have to do an extra trip to fill up with gas; the time wasted doing that or relaxing with a capuccino takes less time and I like it.
  • edited November -1
    Don't forget the deal that ICE vehicle drivers should consider. If the Gas Station offered a free tank of gas if you wait 30 minutes before filling up, how many would find something to do while they wait. Remember the long lineups when a 5 cent price increase was announced for the next day! Gas heads will wait an hour to save a buck, yet lament a 30 minute wait for a free fill-up of electrons!
  • edited November -1

    Well said. I never thought about this point but guess what I will be using it from now on.
  • edited November -1
    I don't have my Model S yet (April delivery), but my decision to get one was based on the knowledge that I would have charging options for any long-distance trip I would be likely to take. No range anxiety for me. :-)

    I do wonder, however, as more Teslas hit the road, if waiting to access a supercharger will become more common, and how people will adjust to that. Not having any experience with superchargers yet, I'm guessing if you're in line waiting to access one, you can't go anywhere until you start charging. From what I've read on the forum, people often charge just enough at a supercharger to get them to the next one (with a buffer of course), so you might only charge for 10-15 minutes. But if people thought there might be a line at the next supercharger, would they charge longer so they could skip the next supercharger if necessary, causing longer wait times at the current supercharger?

    I'm not worried about any of this, just curious how people will change their charging strategy for distance travel should wait times become a problem. Maybe we'll start seeing supercharger valets (official or otherwise) who will move cars for a fee. Destination charging might become more popular. On the one hand, it's a good sign if there are so many Teslas on the road that this becomes a problem, but on the other hand, no one wants to hang out at a supercharger any longer than necessary. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few years.
  • edited November -1
    @jamajama46, I am not the originator of this thought but use it often when discussing the charging time issues with naysayers. It's amazing how many blank looks you get from the gas heads when you ask them about a free tank for a short wait and how many times they would fill up at home if they could.
  • edited November -1
    Funny you wrote this today, I don't have my model s yet, but I was mapping out trips to PA and to NC that I'll be making next year and looking at, and I was getting anxiety just planning it. Do I stop at every supercharger on the way? Do I risk it and skip one and go to the next? What if I'm just stopped in traffic? What if I want to use the AC? Are my kids going to patiently wait 30+ minutes to charge?

    It's reassuring to see that most people say this is only something new owners worry about, and that once you have the car and drive it for a while this goes away. Obviously going from an ICE to a tesla is much more than just buying a new car, so of course there is that anxiety and second guessing of changing everything I kn about driving a car.

    Reading this forum for the past month or so has made me feel much better about deciding to purchase a tesla. Thanks for the posts.
  • edited November -1
    fi488249, remember you only need enough charge to make the next supercharger plus a good buffer. Otherwise you start getting into the slower charging. There are some good topics here on the forum to explain it better.

    My wife and I found our stop was really only 15 minutes. Enough time for each of us to use the bathroom and purchase some beverages. They need window washer things at the superchargers! LOL

    "THE OWNER'S MANUAL COMPANION" topic has some link about road trips that might help with the anxiety. Once you do it once the anxiety goes away... it's just new to you.

    As far as charging everywhere. There is an RV campground almost every 80 miles apart in the US.
  • edited November -1
    I agree with the OP... at least 95% agree...

    We've had some range anxiety issues, some newby ignorance related and some genuine causes for the angst. According to the Nav, I've visited 75 different Superchargers and 20 pages (13 charge locations per page) of different charging spots!

    Range Anxiety #1- First big road trip was 7 weeks after I got the car. We were camping one day half way between the St. Augustine FL supercharger and the Savannah GA supercharger. The car would not charge at the campsite (learned that car will not accept 'bad electricity') and the trip planner said we didn't have enough juice to make it to Savannah. Fortunately the wonderful people at Tesla had my back (informed me that it looked like I did have enough to get to Savannah-willing to tow for free if they were wrong; also found alternative j1772 nearby AND the campsite host diligently worked with me to [successfully] find a site with good electricity. Now the car tells you if the problem is the source, but it didn't back then.

    The roadtrip was close to 3,000 miles, and before we hit the first thousand, we were skipping every other, sometimes to every third station with confidence.

    Range Anxiety #2- Decided to cut through Louisiana from the Baton Rouge Supercharger, en route to a small rural town in the northeast corner of Texas. We were out of the Supercharger highway (intentionally) for 72 hours. The only charging location between Baton Rouge and Shreveport was broke and we didn't have enough juice to get there. There were NO campsites coming up on our internet search. In a desperate plea we called a Tesla brother from Shreveport that had his home listed on Plugshare, to see if he new any unlisted charging locations. In short, he said we were screwed. As luck would have it, we were able to find an unlisted campsite and were able to grab some shut eye and juice.

    Range Anxiety #3- same 72 hours of traveling in a charging station desert. We got to our campsite at Martin Creek Lake in Texas (middle of nowhere), expecting to charge up before heading two hours north To Avery TX (deeper into the middle of nowhere). All the 50 amp sites were taken, and our 30 amp adapter did not work with their 30 amp sockets. We could only charge on a regular 120v outlet. The people in Avery told us there was a campsite right down the street from them, so we charged just enough to get up there. Turned out the Avery campsite had been closed down for years! We had 4 miles ideal range on our car when we got to Avery and there was NOTHING remotely close. As luck would have it, one of the people at the farm was an electrical engineer, and he was able to rig there 240v farm equipment outlet for us to charge.

    Range Anxiety #4- decided to take the scenic drive around the Grand Canyon in Arizona, to go to Zion National Park in Utah. It looked like we had a destination charger available just inside the Utah border, but when we got there, it was a gated business- and they would not let us in to charge. The area is little more than one national park after another. The next "town" was 50 miles away and we had 50 miles of ideal range. Miraculously, we made the 50 miles, with one mile to spare.

    Range Anxiety #5- the worst of all was during this Thanksgiving break. We charged in Needles CA, planned camping in the Mojave desert- no electricity there, but we were not THAT worried because according to the car, I had 3 times more juice than would be needed to get to Barstow CA- the next SC. I felt like I was in a gas car with a whole in my gas tank. We hit the trifecta of electricity suckers: 1- temperature was between 30 and 40 2- climbing elevation (?several thousand feet of increased elevation) 3- AND it was REAL windy. drafting off the trucks didn't make much of a dent at all. To make matters worse, we were in the middle of the freakin' desert and there wasn't any alternative places to stop before Barstow. Range anxiety at a whole new level. Because of the temp (?) slowing down just meant more energy needed to keep the battery warm. Drive 10 miles, lose 30-50 of range! We hit zero miles of range a couple miles from the first viable exit. No cushion. The car told me I had to pull over, and within minutes we were dead.

    57,000 miles of travel all over the U.S., and all my confidence drained with that last electron. Well, maybe not ALL my confidence ;)

  • edited November -1
    <i>I don't have my Model S yet (April delivery), but my decision to get one was based on the knowledge that I would have charging options for any long-distance trip I would be likely to take. No range anxiety for me. :-)</i>

    Before you get the car, even if you decide that everything you hear from owners is probably right, it's impossible not to wonder if it will take getting used to working around the constraints. I didn't think I'd have problems either. What surprised me is that I don't feel as if I'm working around constraints either.

    There are exceptions, such as following the trip planner's advice on how long to charge, only to have it warn you that you don't have enough power to make it. Sometimes it doesn't give the best advice and a bit of extra safety margin will be more comfortable, or sometimes it's right (for the whole leg of a trip) but after a few miles of going uphill it decides that you won't have enough range, and it fails to consider the downhill or level parts. In cases like that, you can have range anxiety. But once you learn how to handle it, which is ironically what you might have done had there been no software added to warn you, you will be fine.
  • edited November -1
    It is much harder to run out of electricity in a Tesla than it is to run out of gas in an ICE. There are a lot of idiot retardants built into the design. As I learned the hard way, it is not impossible, but it takes either ignoring ALL the warnings and assistance your car tries to give you way ahead of time... or having every electron sucking dagger thrown at you simultaneously- uncommon occurance.

  • edited November -1
    Nevertheless,people do manage to deplete their batteries. It's rare but I've seen it. Perhaps some people don't believe the car when it says they have no more capacity to spare.
  • edited November -1
    @sklancha. You're either a great fiction writer, someone who likes to test the edge of disaster or crazy. In a hospitable area, you could test the limits and only be out a very expensive tow but in a desert you could really do some serious damage to yourself and your companions.
  • edited November -1
    Well, superchargers are not everywhere, yet. I recently drove from Austin to Corpus Christi, and it was white knuckles much of the way. There were only two lower-power Tesla chargers in all of Corpus -- one stall at a shopping mall and one at a hotel outside of town (where we weren't staying). Admittedly, south Texas is not the Bay Area. But you do really have to pay attention and plan if you're taking highway trips.
  • edited November -1 has a map with tags. They also list lots of information. Put Austin in search at plugshare. I see over 100 places to charge. Some are even free.
  • edited November -1
    Regarding my earlier comment about supercharger wait times when there are more Teslas on the road, are there any sites that show supercharger usage statistics? For example, the number of users and average charge time per user over a given time period? doesn't have that data, but it would be useful for figuring out which sites are the busiest. I'm sure Tesla has that data even if they don't publish it.
  • edited November -1
    Here's a tip for owners: your charger is onboard your car. You can use ANY OUTLET to charge.

    No matter where you go, if there is gasoline being dispensed, they have electricity.

    But there is electricity (almost) everywhere. Even places where there is NO GAS.

    Yes . . . we know it's not as fast. It's more convenient to pump unprocessed dinosaur and 60M year old fern biomass from the ground. Tranport it via truck or train to a processing plant.

    Then truck the product to 170,000 distribution nodes. Serve with slim jims and doritos as each individual car goes out of it's way to fill up.

    Or you could charge at night when you sleep, for free at one of 500+ Superchargers when you are on the road, one of 5000 HPWCs Tesla has provided for free, one of the other 14,0000 non-Tesla charging stations or a simple electric plug at any one of 1B homes, businesses and permitted structures in the U.S.
  • edited November -1
    #5, sklancha, I am guessing you didn't even make it to the gas station in LudLow off highway 40. I had a really close call in severe cold on icy roads altho I made it to a plug 2 miles below zero. Still even gas cars run out in those type of areas/situations. Happens all the time. For your future reference there are now some 14-50s in Backer off hwy 15. Looks like they went in around April 2014.

    For the most part I agree with SamO. There are plenty of plugs. The catch is the wait time gives us the anxiety.
  • edited November -1
    @radami2 said 'You're either a great fiction writer, someone who likes to test the edge of disaster or crazy'

    LOL. ...maybe a little intellectually short-sited too ;). I honestly did not think we were being that daring; at least until we were way beyond the recovery. We are pretty adventurous, but not particularly interested in the edge of disaster.

    @Sudre said, "I am guessing you didn't even make it to the gas station in LudLow off highway 40"

    We made it to the Barstow Marine Corp Logistics Camp (no exits)- a couple miles away from the first exit in Barstow with any listed businesses (120v, but it was something). I vaguely remember seeing a small old (?) gas station or repair shop, but it didn't look that promising and we were going through our energy at too fast a pace to investigate. I think at that point were probably still showing 70 or 80 miles left, with 50 miles left to go.
  • Dude there are about 2 Teslas I've seen in my home town and we have at least 7 different Destonation Charging Locations its ridiculous
  • edited November -1
    You guys clearly don't live in Texas. Still hard to find non-superchargers and even those are spread out fairly thin... although it is getting better.
  • edited November -1
    I was pleasantly surprised when they added 6 destination charging spots at the Marriot in Manhattan Beach CA. I stay there 3 or 4 times a year. As an added bonus, the Redondo Beach supercharger is just down the street about a mile away.

    It really makes the trip planning easier when there is destination charging where you are staying. Great idea by Tesla to do that.
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