Supercharging network progress seems slow

Supercharging network progress seems slow

Hi guys,
Just noticing that there hasn't been any new supercharging locations announced for about 4 months now.
I thought Tesla was supposed to have around 100 stations in place across the USA in 12 months?
If they are to reach this goal they need to be adding roughly 8 supercharging locations every month.
Not sure what the hold up is? I figured they would have covered the entire eastern seaboard by June of this year.
At only $250,000 per station its just $25 million for the 100 station network. Not a great deal of money considering that they are spending $400 million per year on R&D, new stores, etc.
At this point I think the supercharging network is more important than new stores. Seems to me that most of the world's major cities are already covered.
Anyway...hope to see more supercharging stations soon!

Brian H | 5 April, 2013

They will come in bursts; the holdup is the siting/utility 'cratic processes.

Kleist | 5 April, 2013

Teddyg - the plan was 13 total in CA by end of 2013 and 86 in US by end of 2014. TM is already stepping ithe schedule up. Seems like anticipation blurrs the judgement. 2-3 weeks from now Elon expects a SC anouncement.. lets wait for that.

bp | 6 April, 2013

They should do for the Superchargers what they've been doing for the stores and service centers - they should start displaying where they are planning to open the next round of superchargers.

By showing their plans for the next batch - that will show they are making progress - and give current and prospective customers in those areas greater assurance that they'll be able to make long distance trips on those roués - soon.

I'm planning a Houston-Dallas trip in early June - and hope that supercharger is operational by then... And if I knew that's what they were planning - I wouldn't have to do go through the planning for alternative charging sites (RV parks)...

teddyg | 6 April, 2013

I like that idea bp. That would allow give prospective buyers more incentive to buy.
I think right now they should just focus on getting New York to Florida connected...then New York to LA.
After that they can just fill in the rest of the country as time goes on.
I think it would be a big feather in Tesla's cap to be able to claim that it could do NY to LA in a similar time to an ICE vehicle.
Not that people do trips like that very often (if ever) but we are talking about brand image here and removing the long distance stigma of EV's.
If we are being honest who really drives any where outside a 500 mile radius of your home? Isn't it cheaper (and faster) to fly?

PorfirioR | 6 April, 2013

I have seen some places on this board mention the number of anticipated superchargers (as high as 100) and it sparked my curiosity, so I did a little math.

Let's take Interstate 10. It goes from Florida to California (transcontinental) and it is roughly 2,500 miles long. Now let's say that Tesla plays it conservative and spreads the superchargers at a non-anxiety-inducing distance of 150 miles apart. That means that it would only take 17 supercharger stations to cover cross-country travel on I-10.

Other notable interstate highways:
I-95, ~2,000 miles, ~13 SC
I-5, ~1,400 miles, ~9 SC

My point is that you can do a lot with 100 superchargers and I hope that they can be deployed quickly. Every supercharger that goes up increases the potential resale value of all those leased (wink, wink) cars.

Kleist | 6 April, 2013

here is the original map by end of 2014. lets hope the link works.

Brian H | 6 April, 2013
Kleist | 7 April, 2013

Thanks Brian
Original map had 86 locations, but some distances appear challenging - so about 100 seems fair.
It will interesing with the next anouncement which dots will be filled in.

Brian H | 7 April, 2013

Those dots are just illustrative; they may or may not be close to actual locations that are put in, btw.

Bubba2000 | 7 April, 2013

Without a SC it is not practical to make trip beyond 200 miles at normal highway speed using HVAC. Less in harsh weather, hilly terrain, etc. Besides the early adopters, folks spending $100k will have concerns regarding the ability to recharge. Just going from Houston to Dallas is challenge with MS85; have to travel at 55 mph in the range mode - it is dangerous with all the traffic doing at least 75 mph. New Orleans to Houston needs 8 hour charging in an RV park. Anybody living in New Orleans, MS, AL would have a hard time going to Disney World.

Tesla probably has $1.2B tied in total assets and they are spending probably $259-300M/year in opening new stores and service. More than stores, they need to deploy the SC network. I would say at least 200 sites in the US/Canada. at a cost of $50M. That is the most important barrier for hi end customers to buy MS.

I do not believe that the utilities are dragging their feet everywhere to get 480V hookups. There is extra capacity just about everywhere.

I think that management is just not in tune with these needs. Even if owners are not sure how many long trips they will make, they want the ability to do so, specially when spending $100k on a car. Who cares about the lease business? Banks offer plenty of financing to buyers and are probably less stringent than the Tesla terms.

Kleist | 7 April, 2013

Bubba2000 - if you think TM in not in tune with your needs, then don't spend a single dollar on a Tesla car. After all it is a free country and you vote with your wallet.

Brian H | 7 April, 2013

It's a little more than utilities hookups. Land, building permits, access, solar array arrangements (Solar City, FIT agreements, etc.) all have to be in place.

Fools and children should not see unfinished work. Scots saying

Vawlkus | 8 April, 2013

It also has to be accesscable, mustn't forget that Brian.

Benz | 8 April, 2013

One of the following announcements is about Superchargers. I think that there will be news about technological development concerning Superchargers. More miles in less minutes of charging than before?

Bubba2000 | 8 April, 2013

Kleist, no need to get defensive. What did I do? Commit blasphemy against a cult? Yes, in my area there are no SC. Until Tesla decides to deploy SCs in my area, it is not practical for me to buy MS. This car has significant potential over time especially as battery tech evolves. I have been long this stock.

I can see the company having difficulties in a particular state, but most of the country is open to this kind of installation. Lease agreements with parking lots, etc, and even access to transformer feed is not that hard to get.

Benz | 8 April, 2013

I think that it might be possible that in 2030 when there will be millions of Tesla EV's on the roads in the USA, that Tesla will decide to add more Supercharger locations to the already existing Supercharger network.

stimeygee | 8 April, 2013

I agree with the point made by others - I think the barrier to adoption (other than price) is a lack of supercharging stations. The more you put in, the more people will buy the car.

Brian H | 8 April, 2013


Only to long-distance commuters and cross-country drivers.

ian | 8 April, 2013

Not necessarily Brian. You're assuming that everyone is as a rational thinker as you are. They're not. ;-)

wonder | 15 April, 2013

Certainly looking forward to SC deployments. If TM plans to support 60 kWh Model S's and over the life of the car as battery degrades the density of network would need to be more like 100 mile separation. A 50 mile separation would probably lend itself to less congestion at the charger and less range anxiety.

As studies routinely show most daily driving is done well under any requirement for SC. So guessing Model S or more readily Gen III adoption will progress regardless of SC deployments.

That said, for the SC hardware TM developed to be cost effective and to enable a real benefit of EV driving (low cost joy riding) SC deployment must proceed quickly.

Elon has alluded to the fact that TM will be announcing in the near future that significant improvements in SC technology have been achieved. This implies improvements to required charge times. It also implies changes to SC hardware. If that is as I suspect & hope true (would be foolish for Elon to make such a leading statement if not true) then it would be fool hardy to rapidly deploy a SC network with already outdated hardware. Yes?

Brian H | 15 April, 2013

The most likely improvement is upping the output to 120A from 90 or so. Has to be within the range the cells can handle. Don't imagine MW feeds (charging in a few minutes). All the hardware would fry.

Kleist | 15 April, 2013

Brian - 120 kW from 90 kW. ( 300A from 225A )
Wonder - TM is very modular... Hardware is not outdated.

Brian H | 15 April, 2013

Ya, I got those preversed. I know the HPWC is 80A, so obviously the SC is a multiple of that. Doh.

wonder | 16 April, 2013

Not sure I'm following comments ..., but I was referring to Hardware at Supercharger installations not in Model S. I don't see how this wouldn't require changes to hardware if output is different! If no difference were needed thinking they would already be doing whatever the big change is.

wonder | 16 April, 2013

That was my point. Why build out a SC network rapidly if change is coming soon. Make more sense to wait and deploy after change can be incorporated. Yes?

wonder | 16 April, 2013

I'm also guessing some details are still being sorted out. Have read things on these forums that lend credence to this thought. Better to do something once, if possible, rather than over and over again :-)!

Kleist | 16 April, 2013

Wonder - the hardware of the SC and the car is the same, just 12 instead of 1 or 2.

Brian H | 16 April, 2013

To accept SC input, it needs heavy duty DC wiring. Every Model S is now built with this, and requires only software activation and tuning to enable the batteries to charge that fast.

The station changes are not major. Theoretically the 12 chargers in each unit are enough to output 120kW already. The cars must be set up to match and accept this, of course. Possibly software only.

But any more would require a complete system redesign and hardware upgrade.

wonder | 16 April, 2013

I haven't looked into or read about SC design if details of that information are available seems unlikely but it sounds as though some here know more than I. If this information is available can someone point me to it? Its not clear to me what the design is how inverters are sized/coupled or configured and on which side of system car or SC. I do know that if I were deploying a new system I would want to do it first in a way that would allow live testing with a small number of units. I've read accounts of Tesla people onsite where SC exist working/reconfiguring and I would want to minimize rework and go into national deployment with a final and tested system. That is the point I was driving at. Now if only software changes are required to upgrade existing SC system to SC system Elon alluded to then my point holds little weight. My guess is this is hard to know unless you are Electrical Engineer involved with Tesla SC design/development.

wonder | 16 April, 2013

One of you buying allot of TM stock today? I like the movement :-)!

DonS | 16 April, 2013

Elon told everyone at the Geneva auto show that European superchargers would be 120kW, and another thread mentioned that new US superchargers had 120kW signage. So is that the announcement for this week, or is there more?

wonder | 17 April, 2013

Not sure about Elon's announcement's :-). But thought he mentioned 120 at end of quarter discussion so I was thinking there was more about SC to come than that but could be wrong. With 120 kWh SC what is new guidance for time/range break down to charge an 85 kWh pack? Haven't come across that anywhere. Not sure want to guess since may not be relative to previous time/range since software controls involved.

Kleist | 17 April, 2013

@wonder - 120/90 = 133%. Or for the same charge 30 min becomes 23 min ( 90/120 = 75% or 25% less time ). This is for a nearly empty battery, close to full charge it is not determined by the SC power level, but how much the battery can accept.

wonder | 18 April, 2013

Thanks I see that but as I said wasn't sure if software controls might impact that some. Guessing probably not much. To reach 1/2 charge the full rate will probably be applicable only above maybe 75% controls might mitigate or eliminate any advantage of added capacity.

With respect to the rate of SC deployment ..., aside from the benefits of real world testing with a smaller footprint, possible changes to hardware deployment at SC sites, and the logistics of selecting and acquiring adequate sites with available power ..., I also see pressures at the company level that will tend to contribute to a controlled deployment. Since I've been watching things in my mind it seems there is less tolerance for Tesla Motors to financially operate in the red and Elon has projected that TM will operate in the black going forward (so to speak). So SC deployment must be carefully balanced against other demands and seems to be at projected pace as @Kliest pointed out early in this thread.

wonder | 18 April, 2013

Got my "PAY NOW" button ...,
so thinking won't be too much longer now :-)!

Andrew_OH_S60andS70D | 18 April, 2013

There is a way we can help ourselves. While it's not a Supercharger, the HPWC does provide 62 miles per hour of charge. My company is located very close to the intersection of I-70 and I-75 in Ohio. I decided to have my high power wall connector installed at the company instead of my home, and offer it for free to Tesla owners during business hours. We already have a free Level 2 charger. I just received my HPWC yesterday, and will be scheduling an electrician to install it next week. As soon as it is complete, I'll enter it into the DOE, Plugshare, and Recargo databases. Our business is off an I-75 exit ramp next to a McDonalds. We don't expect anything out of this except helping other Tesla owners.

I know this is not a Supercharger solution, but I think a grass roots HPWC effort could help fill some gaps.

Vawlkus | 19 April, 2013

It certainly can't hurt. Good thinking bro.

lbjack | 22 April, 2013

Something isn't right. Build-out does not mean suddenly they're there. They should be launching them as they build them.

The excuses here sound lame. Acquisition and approval for a minuscule footprint in someone's parking lot and connection to the grid should a piece of cake, in fact the great advantage over gas stations of el-car "refueling" infrastructure.

The SC maps are just sitting there. This is NOT a good thing. Prospective Tesla visiting Tesla's website expect to see SC growth now!

Bubba2000 | 22 April, 2013

Tesla is dragging their feet when it comes to SC. There has to be reason like desire to conserve cash as long as there is demand for the MS. Or they are developing some other kind of SC technology and need time, like a faster charger. Or they got their hands full with ramping production.

Anyway, I see new fast food places pop up all the time some in the sticks at some truck stop. They do not seem to be having problems getting 3 phase hookups. Fab shops go up all the time and they use a lot of 440-480 VAC - it all hi amps direct from the step-down transformer.

We will find out soon.

Kleist | 22 April, 2013

@Bubba2000 - I have the feeling you will have eat your words soon...

ian | 22 April, 2013

+1 Kleist. ;-)

Benz | 22 April, 2013

And I somehow do have the same feeling as Kleist does.

How soon?

Maybe even in a few days from now, as the 4th announcement regarding Superchargers is coming this week?

Vawlkus | 23 April, 2013

Feel free to do it yourself if its so simple lbjack, I'm sure Tesla would appreciate your efforts on their behalf.

Sudre_ | 23 April, 2013

I think you all misunderstand how a parking lot owner is going to see this. In St. Louis for the most part the restaurants that SCs would go in are always full and the business does not need an empty parking spot waiting for a Tesla to pull in. What is their incentive? More customers to the already waiting list?

My wife and I went to breakfast last Sunday and as usual had to wait 20-30 minutes. The parking lot was packed so I dropped her off at the door and park way down the street on the street. I would have been really annoyed if there was an empty spot labeled, "SUV parking only".

When the parking lot owners get a phone call and do not know who or what the company is that is calling why would they think it's a good deal for them?

It will happen but it is not going to be as easy to find places as one might think... on the West coast yes but not anywhere else.

cy009 | 14 May, 2013

Building out a supercharging station for 250K is great and all. But, what about the cost to run one? Doesn't that factor into the buildout schedule?

Are there attendants at these stations or it's left unattended and just monitored by cameras?

dsecrist | 14 May, 2013

Elton tweeted today that the SC announcement will be next week and something else will be shared this week.

Bubba2000 | 14 May, 2013

Elon indicated that production will be limited around 21,000 for all of 2013. They already sold about 5,000 MS. Another 5,000 MS will be headed to Europe. So, roughly 11,000 left for 9 month sales in the US, and these will be sold out without SC network.

At this point, Tesla has limited resources. They are focussed on optimizing design of the MS to facilitate automated production per the CC. Elon also indicated additional production investments, which I think must be equipment to further automate and increase production. All this will cost $$$ and Tesla has limited cash. I suspect that SC network deployment is going at a leisurely pace to conserve capital.

I think Tesla needs to use the priced stock to raise $500M. They could use $50-75M for a SC network in the US/Canada, $25M in Europe (small distances). Use the rest to deploy Model X.

Personally, I would prefer the Model X to have a 500 mile battery using the space in the Frunk an newer 4.0 Ah Panasonic Li-ion batteries. Don't need AWD, regular RWD motor, nor duck wing doors. Would pay $100-110k. I figure many hotels have charging outlets now. Anyway, range sells. Few wanted the 40KW-hr battery!