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Few or no superchargers planned for the bay area?

edited November -1 in General
Though it is vague from the planned supercharger map, it doesn't look like there are plans for any along the SF Bay peninsula, between SF and silicon valley along 101 or 280. Or really anywhere in the inner bay area.

Considering the high number of teslas sold in the bay area, why no superchargers? Real estate too expensive?



  • edited November -1
    To ideally serve the bay area, SCs would surround it at about 100-150 miles distance.
  • edited November -1
    That's where people live and is within the range of an S for everyday use. Why would you need a supercharger when you've got a full battery every morning? ;-)

  • edited November -1
    Plan shows SCs positioned outside of big metro areas so that MS/MX owners can reach more distant metro areas. SCs will generally not be positioned within big metro areas, Hawthorne (next door to SpaceX) being an exception.

    SF Bay area MS/MX owners are well served by the plan showing several SCs surrounding the region. Charge your car at home, and reach areas outside the region using the SCs.

    On a related note, if Tesla offers a CHAdeMO adaptor in North America, DC quick charging options will become available to MS/MX owners within a number of metro areas. CHAdeMO chargers are mostly within metro areas, while SCs mainly connect metro areas.
  • edited November -1
    Think of it this way, SCs are for *on the way* to the destination, not once you get there.
  • edited November -1
    Although, personally, I'd like to see some in the city too. When I make a day trip from Sacramento to the bay, I typically want my car while I'm there, so it would be nice to be able to top up quickly instead of L2 charging. However, based on the SC map, it looks like they'll be putting one in or around Vacaville which would also do the trick. But it wouldn't be quite as convenient on the way there because I'd still be mostly full and SCs slow down the fuller you are.
  • edited November -1
    Actually, it's silly to think superchargers are not necessary near metropolitan areas. Just as many people venture into cities as venture out. I, for example, live in the suburbs but work and have a flat in the city. Paying ChargePoint $.50 per kWh AND pay to park in a lot that generously provides a paid station is quite discouraging to drive an EV in the Bay Area. For instance:

    Parking rate downtown San Francisco: 15-28 / day
    Charging rates:
    Free in city garages, but have to pay parking rates $1-3/hour
    $.49 most city garages. Plus parking.
    $1-1.50 / hour at some lots like Giants parking lot A and UCSF China Basin campus.
    Nominal max amperage is 30 Amps from these chargers. Most houses have 240 volts, or 7.3 kW
    However, most of them are able to push 200-203 volts, dramatically lowering kWh to 6.1. That's 20% slower, and in the case of "pay by the minute" stations, it's significantly more money.

    Why not put SC's in crowded areas? Because people will use them! Think about that. Someone has to pay for the power and infrastructure.

    Allow Model S users to travel from city to city, but become stranded upon arrival, as GeekEV points out. And, god forbid, you have a roadster, you're screwed everywhere you turn.

    Lets face it. For Tesla users, due to the much greater power needs of the car, are just not going to have the choices the Plu-ins have. It is up to some smart entrepreneurs or even Tesla itself to create an ecosystem for high powered EVs, whether Telas or not. And hell, they don't have to be completely free. Fast and cheaper than gas, that's all, that's really necessary.

    Oh, and how about a DC charging system for the roadster? Have we early adopters been left to die on the vine? I made a trio from SF to sacto and almost didn't make it back. The charging stations you do find take all night, which time one usually does not have. This really needs to be addressed if Tesla wants to be seen as a serious nigh boy in the industry.

    Drive on!
  • edited November -1
    If we have SC in the city then people will park there for 10 hours to go to work or watch a baseball game. That system would be broken from the beginning.
    TM has a solution for that and that is swapping - all of Europe and many places in Asia are exactly like SF - lets see how the actual swap test sites will work.
    I am thankful that Tesla is actually putting some thought into the charging infra structure ( look at Nissan charging points at the dealers ? And the rest of the car companies is waiting for the goverment ). But we are at the very beginning...
  • edited November -1
    It may well be expensive and inconvenient to charge at your destination. But at least it's possible. The trade-off of time for charge is easier someplace you plan to hang around for a while. But without <i>en route</i> SuperCharging, reaching the destination is impossible, and time/charge trade-offs are much more problematic.

    Destination charging is being pushed by local EV, PHEV, etc. groups of all stripes and types, so it has some chance of developing on its own. Fast mid-route charging for Teslas is much less likely unless TM creates it.

    So SuperCharging mid-route is the clear priority.
  • edited November -1
    +1 Brian H. Tesla is doing way more for the adoption of EV's by creating the infrastructure for long distance travel and should definitely remain their priority. Others will come along and fill in the need in cities.

    @Katrina - Go check out the video from Teslive at In it he promises something special for Roadster owners next year.

  • edited November -1
    I really wish Tesla had a HPWC program. If a business wants to install a HPWC for public use then Tesla should sent them one for free.

    It is kind of a waste to put a $20,000 Supercharger in a city when 10 HPWCs would be cheaper and more effective. Gilroy is a great proof that SCs and urban areas don't mix well.
  • edited November -1
    I dont buy any of this idea that we need to restrict access to SC in destinations because people will use it. Thats like GM saying we don't want gas stations in cities because our customers will use it. It is nonsensical. The problems seen with Gilroy are very simple to fix: more and faster SC. We need SC in destinations (the best example being national parks like Yosemite), not just on the route to the destination. Restrict locals if you must, but give travelers the ability to SC in destinations.

    I appreciate that Tesla cannot do it all, but if they will not deploy 'free' SC in destinations, then they should at least license the technology to others so that market forces can deploy SC in destinations. Paying for SC in destinations is infinitely better than not having the service available at all (and IMO a very small price to pay for a dramatic increase in convenience and reduction in range anxiety). Tesla needs a plan for this ASAP. While I agree with Brian H that deploying SC on the routes to destinations is a higher priority, this does not mean that they cannot also have a plan for destination SC (either directly by Tesla or through licensing to a third party). Lack of SC in destinations is a significant barrier to EV adoption and needs to be addressed by Tesla.
  • edited November -1
    @mdemetri - OK what are the ideas for destination charging?

    - no in house charging possible ( e.g. at my wifes sister in San Diego - street parking only )
    - SC not possible ( lack of industrial infrastructure, e.g. assumed true for Yosemite )
    - no RV parks or unacceptable ( e.g. I can not hang out for 8 hrs at a RV park with my wifes 70+ year old parents )
    - ...

    Possible solutions ( just what comes to my head right now )
    - hotel/motel with 14-50 or similar
    - rent a house with dryer connection in garage
    - ChaDemo adapter ( on West coast would give many more options )
    - Service center with HPWC
    - my favorite technical solution: mini SC with 40 kW DC - only a 240 V 200 A feed required ( 2-3 hrs charging )
    - battery swapping ( to be seen how popular that will be )
    - ... ( here add your solutions )
  • edited November -1
    one more potential solution for places that lack industrial infrastructure e.g. Yosemite
    - battery: 20 kW feed could recharge 0.5MWh battery in 24 hrs - limit the amout of charge to 30 kWh charge only in 20 min per car and that could get you to the next en route SC e.g. In Merced.
  • edited November -1
    I like the idea of offering free HPWCs to any business that wants one and is willing to run them at full power. That would be a very nice option, particularly for those of us who opted for the dual chargers.
  • edited November -1

    1- Gas Stations were never intended to be a free source of fuel

    2- There isn't a gas station in 99.999% of homes

    The end game for EVs needs to be park/[email protected] ; park/[email protected] Creating the expectation or perception that routine L3 charging is the norm like the current gas station paradigm will be too costly and too stressful on the grid.

    L3 for roadtrips; L2 for where you live and where you're visiting
  • edited November -1
    Why are there so many gas stations? Obviously it is because there is a need for them despite the great range of ICE vehicles.

    If electric cars are to be universal, so must be Superchargers. The allure of planning for charging like an expedition to Everest will soon fade.

    Superchargers simply have to be everywhere, at destinations, near destinations, on the way to destinations, on your commute, in the city, in the neighborhood....everywhere.

    Charging, not range, is the key. Your 1000-mile battery will need to be charged up and there had better be a place to do it when the need arises, not some place that is 100 miles away from where you are.
  • edited November -1
    So, mdemetri is right IMO.

    kleist: the solution is likely one of these:

    Partner up with an existing gas station chain, charge for charging or swapping and thus make a profit. Profitable stations would be everywhere, the more the better for Tesla, owners and the technology.

    Tesla/SolarCity becoming the Chevron of Electrons, putting in thousands of Tesla stations that will charge up most any car for a fee. Again, being profitable removes any excuse to not do it.

    Tesla partners with a number of other manufacturers who adopt the same technology, spreading out the cost and further advancing the electric cause. Might even be able to make this free.

    Swapping might be the choice at the more heavily used stations, with Superchargers used at more remote areas. Also, if Tesla shared facilities in some ways, Tesla batteries could be swapped while owners of other brands would have to wait for charges. There would be Tesla envy, which would be good.

    Frankly, I would reject any solution that takes hours of charging, extension cords, extensive planning, driving long distances to get to a place to charge, etc.

    Time to look at the next generation of this technology and the actual batteries are only a part of this.
  • edited November -1
    "Partner up with an existing gas station chain" - same problem as with dealers, different revenue model. But finding abandoned gas stations should not be a problem... 3-4 going out of business every day in the US.
    "Why are there so many gas stations?" - because there are 2 billion ICEs on this planet. Demand drives the number of gas stations, not convenience. Demand goes down so goes down the number of gas stations as you can witness. If we had 100k ICEs on the roads in the US you would not find a gas station close by.
    Yes, long term you'll find convenient charging close by, but so far the demand simply isn't there and instead of an arbitrary distribution of charging opportunities Tesla is building the first planned net of charging stations across the US. Once the initial net is in place, then local demand will drive more stations.
  • edited November -1
    +1 Kleist

    It's early in the game. We're early adopters. The game will evolve along with us. Some are early adopters despite their needs :-)
  • edited November -1
    "long term you'll find convenient charging close by" ????

    Everyone in the county can charge even a 85 kWh battery in <8 hours with a $200 outlet. Why are so many people so stuck on this meme of charging their EV like they used to refuel their ICE? How often do most people really travel >100 miles from their home? When Motor Trend reviewed the Model S they were quick to point out that an EV is not an ICE, not better or worse but different. We need to stop trying to pound the square peg in the round hole. Ask yourselves this... if the world had never turned their backs on EVs do you really think we would have recharging stations like we have gas stations or would ~98% of charging simply be done at home/office/hotel/shopping. Or... if ICE owners could add 200 miles of fuel to their cars in the comfort of their garages every night for 1/5 the cost of gas how much traffic do you think the gas stations would get? The focus needs to be easy access to public L2 charging, offices, shopping, hotels and apartments.

    Fast Charging has its place... between cities, not in them. IMO the 2015 plan for SCs is probably ~90% of what we need. L2 still has a long way to go... especially for apartment dwellers.
  • edited November -1
    +1 nwdiver93.

    It continues to boggle my mind that folks just don't get it. "It" being the convenience of leaving the place you sleep every night with a full "tank".

    Yes, I know some live in apartments and condos and don't have a garage. Blah, blah, blah. When the demand is there (also known as apartment renters and condo owners driving EV's), the supply will catch up quickly (apartment owners and condo complexes installing chargers or providing access via a simple NEMA 14-50 dryer plug connected to their electricity meter). Watch, as more EV's are purchased you'll start seeing Apartment complexes advertising charging for EV's to attract renters, and condo complexes doing the same.

    Gas stations are everywhere because they NEED to be everywhere. Electrical outlets ALREADY ARE everywhere. They will get adapted to serve us.

  • edited November -1
    nwdiver93 & goneskiian - you are missing the point. Sister in-law in SD... street parking half a block away, no outlet near by and no I will not wake up with a charged car. We can manage, but not convenient. My wifes parents dryer is upstairs and we need a 50 ft extension through the livingroom - too heavy for my wife to carry. Doable yes, but not convenient ( we fixed it by having a 14-50 installed in their garage ). Plan a trip from the Bay Area to Yosemite... doable absolutely, convenient no.
    Yes, at your home it is convenient, however at this point not at many destinations. Yes, electrical infrastructure is there, but is there a plug? My wifes parents house we fixed, but at my sister in-laws house I would even know where to plug before any permission. This will evolve over time... and no, I am not calling for a SC at every street corner.
  • edited November -1
    nw, gone;

    It's a different scene than has existed before. What ICE driver can fill up at home, nightly? There is a need perhaps for emergency in-city fillups for EVs, but it is a fraction of 'what we're used to'.
  • edited November -1
    Some people here are making somewhat impassioned arguments for fewer and less convenient chargers. Why? I must be missing something.
  • edited November -1
    @nwdiver93 <i>How often do most people really travel >100 miles from their home?</i>

    You'd be surprised how often. That's just 50mile one way trip. Not uncommon trip to work, and almost all of my friends live at least that far from where I live, so just to visit friends or couple of my relatives would require that. That's why 200 mile range is absolute minimum for me and I would like a lot longer range just for convenience to be able to slow charge at home and not somewhere in middle of nowhere. Road trips are different case, there you need SC network.
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