Superchargers in Texas

Superchargers in Texas

Driving my model 3 long range, between Trinidad CO and Amarillo TX
And Amarillo-Sweetwater Superchargers I was unable to reach destinations even driving 10 mi below speed limits and using destination charger and/or KOA park outlets.
Very disappointed!

Bighorn | February 11, 2019

You must have had a headwind. Long but doable stretch. Did you range charge? That's the easy direction--drops 1550 feet.

Bighorn | February 11, 2019

Whatever conditions caused you to have such poor efficiency should have led you to charge in Childress.

jrzapata | February 11, 2019

I drove from Houston,TX to Saint George, UT last fall. I made it through without any issues other than one little road that was not there and the Tesla nav keep saying to take it.
I never charged only what the car suggested though, every time I charged about 10%+ more than what it required. IF it suggested to charge just to 80% I just sucked it up and went for 90% or even 100%.
I also spent the night in Santa Fe, NM meaning I charged there to 100% before heading out again.
For me that trip was a complete success.

andradecj_2000 | February 11, 2019

Well I did set the limit for this trip to max 306 mi,
Bighorn is correct there were wind gust from the west for awhile and the elevation changed coming to Trinidad CO.
I would have been short on range about 7 miles , if I did not stop at Ratón NM to get 40 miles of charge to Raton Pass (got some regen charge back at some point).
Overall I am not complaining just making people aware of many variables can change condition very rapidly.
Distances between Amarillo-Sweetwater Superchargers is also very tight. Had to get around 20 mi at Overton hotel at Lubbock TX.
Thanks guys for your input.

walnotr | February 11, 2019

There is a definite need for a supercharger in Lubbock and even a 4 stall someplace between Amarillo and Trinity would be nice. Until that happens traveling west on I40 then up might be less stressful although higher mileage for sure. I’ll be making the trip from South Texas to/through Colorado Springs in a couple months and may have to do that for piece of mind. There are still big holes in Texas that need to be filled.

jjgunn | February 11, 2019

There's big holes in North Dakota that need to be filled too.

Follow the network - it is your friend.

billtphotoman | February 12, 2019

I agree there is a need for an SC in Lubbock but it looks like that hasn't even been permitted yet so I wouldn't plan on it. As for route planning, I like because it will allow you to account for head winds and temperature as well as the state of charge you want to be at when you reach your destination. I find the Tesla route planner is way too optimistic and aggressive for me. @walnotr - South Texas seems pretty well covered between the Three Rivers and Kingsville sites.

LostInTx | February 12, 2019

I drove the same path as the OP, from Trinidad to Amarillo, then Amarillo to Sweetwater.

To be fair, my trip was in August but I made it to Amarillo with 40 miles remaining on my charge. The Amarillo to Sweetwater trip left me with about 20 miles left. Yes, cutting it close and again, I wasn't dealing with cold weather.

As an aside, it's not always easy to pick good locations to install Superchargers but the SC in Trinidad is in a truly sketchy place. The Wendy's next door is the only real food option except for the truck stop a few feet down. The Mexican restaurant across I-25 is not near worth the risk of crossing the interstate on foot (just.. don't).

In Sweetwater, the SC is in a hotel parking lot. We walked to Schlotzsky's down the road for the best buns in Texas.

The tougher leg of my journey was Sweetwater to Austin. The 3 had the range but when you arrive in Austin, you'll find one SC site and it's perpetually jammed. Except a 30-45 minute wait even before hooking up.

Not sure where the OP was prior to Trinidad but if anyone ever wants to stretch your Model 3 over some beautiful roads and great scenery, the Breckenridge to Trinidad route is hard to beat.

walnotr | February 12, 2019

Yeah, south Texas is pretty well covered unless you’d like to make a trip to Big Bend. The Three Rivers supercharger was one of the deciding factors in my purchase decision. I haven’t visited the Kingville SC yet but have thoughts of going that way to Waco one of these days. The Austin SC leaves a lot to be desired and San Marcos was not terribly impressive either. I wish they would get their act together in San Antonio.

A Better Route Planner is my friend. We have used it for all our distance travel from coast to coast.

LostInTx | February 12, 2019

@walnotr, the Waco SC is great. It's in the Colin Street Bakery parking lot. Great breakfast options and if you tell them you're charging a Tesla, you get free coffee.

The Austin SC is situated where not only is there nowhere to go, you don't want to get out of your car to find out. The Sam Marcos SC is, as you know, in the back parking lot of the Premium Outlet Mall. Fine during the day but dark and very much isolated when the sun goes down.

Bighorn | February 12, 2019

I didn’t have to wait when I charged in Austin and there were some cool restaurant options on Yelp within walking distance. Had a nice Peruvian meal in the time the car charged. Agree that Trinidad is sketchy and don’t leave the doors or windows open because of the bugs from the nearby dumpsters. Had fruit flies for hours after there a couple times. .It’s scariest when the Greyhound is laying over. Felt better having Macy when I walked by the guys with the prison face tats sitting nearby. We actually had a nice conversation, but I could see people being intimidated. There’s also a dispensary right there if you’re running low on gummies.

Bighorn | February 12, 2019

To be fair, my Austin visit was right after 3 days of car camping in Mexico, so my safety barometer may have been recalibrated.

jimglas | February 12, 2019

The Trinidad SC is next to a dispensary. Pick up some bud on the way to the Wendys for a snack.

Effopec | February 12, 2019

Wichita Falls is another missing piece of the roadmap. It's over 200 miles between Denton and Childress, can be risky at times. WF has been on the "coming soon" map for a couple of years I believe.

M3BlueGeorgia | February 12, 2019

Adjacent, but related, for taking I-40 east, is the need for a Supercharger near Fort Smith, AK.

Bighorn | February 12, 2019

Alaska? They have zero supercharges.

LostInTx | February 12, 2019

Bighorn, I wandered into the dispensary at Trinidad, much to my wife's protestations. I shoved my purchase into the center console and off I went. Next day, while having lunch in Lampasas, (gotta love Texas), a sheriff pulled in next to my 3 and of course, of freaking course, he had a K9 with him. I went through a ton of Hail Mary's hoping the dog wasn't trained to sniff drugs. For the others, no, it's not let legal in Texas.

I made it home sans cavity search.

Bighorn | February 12, 2019


jjgunn | February 12, 2019

Wifey is usually right.

Mike UpNorth | February 12, 2019

Is that how you got lost in TX? ;)

LostInTx | February 12, 2019

Mike, I'm lost in Texas due to being a moderate Republican in a not so moderately Republican state.

Rymack1 | February 12, 2019

I’m waiting for them to add Supercharger close to El Paso. I do that drive in a gas car currently 1-2 times a year. I’d love to do it my Model 3 but the distance from San Antonio makes me nervous

Bighorn | February 12, 2019

El Paso has had a supercharger for almost two years. Was there a few weeks ago.

Rymack1 | February 12, 2019

Correct, I saw that it’s on the far west side of the city. Hoping to get one along i10 on Far East to stop once before entering the city. Appreciate the info

walnotr | February 12, 2019

The trip from San Antonio to El Paso is pretty easy now that the Fort Stockton supercharger is up and running. San Antonio really needs to get one or two superchargers running though. They have been in permit status for way too long.

Rymack1 | February 13, 2019

Good to know. I might make the trip at the end of this year to see how it goes. Hopefully the San Antonio and Borne Chargers will be done by then.

billtphotoman | February 14, 2019

They are building an SC in Northwest Austin where I live and in a place absolutely crawling with Teslas. I hope and expect that once that is up and running most of the Austin locals using the current SC will switch to that one and free up the current SC for its intended purpose. Since I charge at home I haven't actually visited the Austin SC but I often check it on the screen and it does seem perpetually full. The McAllen TX SC is my favorite one in TX so far. Lots of good food and 2 hotels with 3 destination chargers. No charging anxiety down there.

walnotr | February 14, 2019

Agree the McAllen supercharger is at a good location with plenty of amenities close by. You can even get a free coffee at the Starbucks in the hotel. I’m not a regular visitor but was there last evening. Eight of eight open stalls. On one occasion when we were there, an “event” was going on and five of eight had been ICE’d. Not a common occurrence I suspect.

Rymack1 | February 14, 2019

I’ve only used the Columbus supercharger so far on the way to Houston. It’s a decent location with a short walk to a gas station for coffee.

Would love to see Tesla conviemece stores at the chargers. I thought I heard about them developing one.

Rymack1 | February 14, 2019

Hoping they add one to Harlingen and Sparks near El Paso in the future.

nwfan | February 18, 2019

I've been to most of the SC in TX. Only one I had to wait on was Austin.
Austin is also the hardest to maneuver for a charge. Limited space between
pedestal and curb. Also 1 way in and 1 way out.

Arlington at Convention Center and Ozona are right up on my list as least favorite spots.

Least amount of power at 120kw charger Southlake.

Ft Worth SC has been down for 2 months. 16 urban chargers. This location is going
through change. I hope more places to visit open up in the coming months.

Majority of the TX SC are located in gas / truck stops. At least the ones I've visited along
I-10, I-20, I-35 and I-40.

Shamrock at a local museum I40 and US Route 66.

billtphotoman | February 18, 2019

@nwfan - I agree about the Arlington SC. No food nearby (unless one wants to walk to the Sheraton hotel and eat overpriced hotel food) and during events at the convention center lots of traffic. I only stop at that one when I want to take 281 from DFW to Austin. The Plano Urban SC is also pretty nice and the slower charging rate will allow you to enjoy a meal while your car charges.

Bighorn | February 18, 2019

Ft Worth is the only one in Texas that I haven’t used because it went down the week I was passing through. There was a fire that took out a transformer and now there’s a lot of finger pointing over the installation and who’s going to pay to fix it. It’s beyond the scope of Tesla’s roving SC engineer who keeps them in good order. Their electrical sub will ultimately get it back up, but they’ve known from the start it wasn’t going to be quick.
Austin is a bit tight for wide open Texas, but not nearly as bad as some busy, tight urban parking garages elsewhere. I think I got the first space so maybe not as bad as slotting in.

nwfan | February 18, 2019

@BH, Wow I've been to a SC you haven't. Ft Worth was working during my 8 visits.

You might as well plan your next swing through Ft Worth when the Clearfork location goes online.
Last I checked it was in permit phase. By then should be 7 new SC open within 250 miles of Ft Worth
in 6 to 8 months. Fingers crossed.

walnotr | February 19, 2019

You can tell how tight the AustinSC by all the black marks on the curb opposite the stalls. The one and only time we have been there we used the first stall a semi well so didn’t have a difficult time backing in either.

Totally agree about the Arlington SC but isn’t a big deal for us as it’s only about 2 miles from friends we stay with in the area.

Brownsville would be a good place for a SC with SpaceX just down the road. It’s also sort of the end of the road when it comes to driving in Texas.

Behaveok | July 21, 2019

Has anyone driven from San Antonio down to McAllen? I have the model 3 sr+ and am worried I won’t make it. The only scharger is in three rivers. The speed limit is mostly 75 mph down that way.

richtrav | July 23, 2019

Yeah I've driven San Antonio to McAllen several times, the SR+ can handle it easily (so can an SR), the only thing to worry about is if you have a moderate to strong S or SE wind (which in not uncommon). For that you want to make sure your trip guide says you'll arrive at McAllen with at least 15% charge left. If it gets worse and your estimated remaining % has dropped to 5% or lower south of Alice when you had started with a % in double digits you'll want to detour to Kingsville for a quick charge and either head back to 281 in Riviera or take 77 to Harlingen then over. There's also a free but slow destination charger off Trenton in Edinburg at Pieology that is about 10 miles closer than the McAllen supercharger, so if you can make it there go have a pizza and that should give you enough to get to McAllen. The first time I did it I only gave myself about 30 extra miles over what the "fuel tank" read and the actual distance, it wasn't windy so I was fine. On a windy day give yourself around 50-60 miles extra (that's close to full on an SR).

walnotr | July 23, 2019

Yup, have driven that stretch several times with my LR RWD. It’s 170 miles between the two chargers so in theory, a SR should be able to make it no problem. In reality, the WHrs can really spike when there is a headwind and even worse if it starts raining. The good news is when heading south, it is mostly down hill. :-)

LostInTx | July 23, 2019

Drove from Corpus Christi, where's there's no SC, to San Antonio, where there's no SC. Stopping in Three Rivers is a must, especially given that the 75 MPH speed limit on I-37 is a joke. No kidding, the average speed was 90 MPH, which makes using NoA a bit dicey with Tesla's preordained 92 MPH penalty clause.

As an aside, when parking near the USS Lexington (a must see if you visit Corpus), an owner of an aged Model X literally jogged up to me, introducing himself while lamenting that he never sees another Tesla in Corpus Christi. We talked for a moment but it's like he was rescued from a desert island and hadn't seen civilization for years. But sure enough, over the next 24 hours, I never saw another Tesla in Corpus.

apodbdrs | July 23, 2019

I hate to think what is going to happen to people buying the Etron, and I-Pace just to mention a few that barely have a 200 hundred mile range and there are no super chargers!

Bighorn | July 23, 2019

One possible, though not always viable, approach is to slow down the same speed as a headwind. So drive 60 in a 75 if you have a 15 MPH headwind. Also be aware that crosswinds affect efficiency as well—ask a pilot about vectors because it’s not intuitively obvious.

geedub1023 | July 23, 2019

I have a LR RWD and took a road trip during the week of the 4th of July from San Antonio to Brownsville and back. Both directions I stopped at the SC in Kingsville which has about 6 chargers in a parking lot near a Holiday Inn Express. Going to Brownsville I walked to an IHOP next to the SC for a late breakfast and the car was fully charged 25 minutes later. I have to admit, I had a little "range anxiety" before I got there because it was my first long range trip, had the A/C on the whole time and was moving along at 81mph (75mph speed limit) into the south to north wind. Needless to say, the 175 mile leg of the trip ate a lot more of my battery than I anticipated but it did remind me of driving an ICE vehicle under the same conditions. A/C + speeding + driving into the wind = less mpg!

Totally agree a SC is needed in Brownsville! I had to resort to 110v/120v charging while there which took forever but it worked.

On the return leg, it was only 125 miles to the SC once again in problem or anxiety at all. Plugged it in and walked to a Whatburger and once again was fully charged about 25 minutes later. Got stuck in a traffic jam on I37 heading back to San Antonio. It delayed me for about an hour longer but I arrived at home with about 100 miles still on the battery. Great trip in the Tesla!!

richtrav | July 24, 2019

Mildly surprised a Model X owner in Corpus doesn't run into other Tesla owners, I see them here and there around tiny Harlingen and there are a couple at the gym in Edinburg. Now what IS rare is to see any other brand of electric car; I've spotted one Chevy Bolt around the McAllen area but that's about it other than maybe a couple of the old Nissan Leafs (the French looking ones).

billtphotoman | July 24, 2019

@Behaveok - I visit McAllen fairly often from Austin and ran into a MR RWD owner at the McAllen SC who lives in San Antonio and visits McAllen often. He said even with the aeros on and sticking near the speed limit it is tight so I would watch your Wh/mi like a hawk and stop at the Three Rivers SC if it looks remotely tight. You could also hit the Kingsville Supercharger and since you would arrive with a lower state of charge you would probable add miles quickly enough to make up for going slightly out of your way. If you plan on staying in a hotel in McAllen both the Embassy Suites and the Home2 in the same area as the McAllen SC have destination chargers.

LostInTx | July 24, 2019

@richtrav We went to see the Hooks play Friday night (Astros' AA team for the unwashed masses) and as we pulled up to pay the VERY reasonable $5 parking, the attendant said "hey, a Tesla!", as if it were a new thing.

With no Supercharger or Showroom in Corpus, I guess it's not surprising that there's not a lot of Tesla's. In fact, there's very little traffic to speak of. Corpus is kind of the forgotten Texas city.