Who the fudge has a 6-hour power outage? Trinidad, CO that's who!

edited November -1 in Colorado
What a nightmare. So I'm on a trip to Albuquerque for a family wedding and I pull into the Trinidad, CO supercharger with less than 50 miles on the guess-o-meter. No blue/green light, I try multiple chargers and everything's dead. A snowplow driver that's clearing the parking lot gets out of his truck and walks over to tell me that the entire area has been out of power for 1.5 hours.

I call Tesla and somehow - magically - they find out that the local utility lost a high-tension power line and there is NO ESTIMATE when power will be restored. Interestingly, there's power one exit back up the highway but NOT at the supercharger where I need it. Tesla does a great job telling me about charging opportunities nearby, but they're all RV parks and they're either in the same power desert I am or they're not answering the phone. It's winter here and many RV parks are closed during cold weather.

The comedy of errors just keeps doling out the hits...I make it to a hotel but their manager won't let me even think about plugging into a laundry dryer outlet. I realized that I didn't even have a 120v extension cord with me, so I go to the local hardware store and spend $120 on two high-quality extension cords should the worst happen. After it's clear the power's not coming on, I call Tesla (while my phone power is waning) and they kindly arrange a tow for me all the way to the Las Vegas, NM supercharger. With all the snow, it's going to be 2+ hours before the tow truck gets to the SC location. I drive to the SC and leave my car with 43 miles left on the battery and walk to the nearby hotel, also without power. Luckily the water still flows, so the nice hotel staff will give you a flashlight so you can use the bathroom.

Short of the story, 6 hours after the outage starts, the power goes back on. There are many more nuances to this story - alternate places to charge, frantic phone calls, etc. but I just don't want to keep typing. I'm sure the relatives are going to make fun of my fancy electric car that can't make it to Albuquerque when a gas car could.

Tesla was GREAT, I was able to cancel the tow before they charged me and I charged in Trinidad enough to get to Las Vegas, NM (where I am now). What a pain. The Trinidad locals didn't have any good things to say about the local utility, let me tell you...I thought I'd be spending the weekend there trying to recharge on 120v. What a mess.


  • edited November -1
    Sorry to hear about this....I have had only one experience where I arrived at a supercharger that was completely dead (unplugged for a beer festival in Aurora IL !?!). Cost me about 6 hours too. Glad to hear Tesla tried to problem solve for you. Safe travels....
  • edited April 2016
    Sorry to hear about the problem. If your relatives give you a hard time, tell them gas pumps don't work without electricity, either.
  • edited November -1
    Yes, I'll try the comparison, but just one exit away there was power and gas stations. Apparently the Trinidad area has three - count 'em, 3! - utility companies that supply the area. And guess which one supplies the supercharger? That's right, the one with the worst reputation! The hotel employees said "it might be days before the power comes back on".

    What I don't understand is why they can't branch around the problem area and get power from another place. Can't they buy power for a few hours from another place while they're repairing their grid?

    I made it to Albuquerque 5-6 hours later than I wanted to, and missed a family event. I'm here safe, the car was great, Tesla was great. Trinidad, not so much.
  • edited April 2016
    They are waiting for rivets to repair the power line (you knew that was coming, right?)
  • edited April 2016
    Question for you, WIlson...
    I believe one of the recent firmware updates incorporated Supercharger status. Did the map indicate the outage?
  • edited April 2016
    Good question re: Superchargers on the map. Nope, I just nav'd to the SC in Trinidad and nothing said it was down. I believe the power went out just after I left my home, so is the map supposed to update me enroute?

    The Tesla service rep (Hannah) was kind enough to offer to pay for the initial tow fee since "I didn't have the latest map that would've told me the SC was down". I thought I had the latest updates, but who knows.
  • edited April 2016
    Sorry to hear about that. I drove to Vegas, last April and no Supercharger problems.
  • edited May 2016
    Back home today, drive right back through Trinidad, they had power. I was half-tempted to call ahead to see if power was available, but I didn't.
  • edited November -1
    For what it is worth gas pumps would be out too....
  • edited May 2016
    Yes, Rod, they were in the outage area. The problem is that one exit up the highway there was power and gasoline.

    None of the relatives gave me grief, they all were fascinated with the car.
  • edited May 2016
    This is an interesting "problem" I really hadn't thought of before.

    I get that SCs may be down for maintenance or repair, but I haven't had a power outage at my house in years, much less remember one that lasts more than an hour.

    I's also be curious how quickly the SC map updates and how quickly it is suppose to update status.
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