Superchargers are for long trips (ergo, that is the solution)

Superchargers are for long trips (ergo, that is the solution)

If your driving in one day is over 200 miles, and you use Superchargers, you will not be charged a fee.

If you use Superchargers as a convenience in regular daily driving < 200 miles (24-hr period), you will be charged some convenience fee.

Tesla/Musk I hope have thought of this solution. TOTALLY fixes the concern re: Superchargers being unfairly used at the expense of the entire ecosystem.

KP in NPT | March 14, 2016

All along, Elon has said that he wants to keep it simple in regards to supercharging. It is part of the appeal of the car, and I would expect especially so for the "mass market." Any scheme other than charging a flat rate to enable the SC function on the car goes against that.

I feel this fear of SCs being unfairly used is blown out of proportion. anyone who regularly uses SCs knows its not worth your time to go out of your way to "abuse" them. For the few that do, it's not worth Tesla's time to be SC police.

I have zero doubt Tesla has a plan for the SC network expansion as more Teslas are on the road. Why don't we wait to see how they will address SCs in relation to the Model 3.

logicalthinker | March 14, 2016

I know a lot of people are apartment-dwellers and unless Tesla includes an amortized cost of charger-installation in the car purchase, there will be a lot of people needing to charge VERY regularly at Superchargers.

KP in NPT | March 14, 2016

Elon is supportive of apartment dwellers/street parkers using SCs. He's trying to advance EV adoption and "punishing" those whose only means of charging is to use SCs (because lets face it, using SCs is not as convenient as supercharging overnight at home) goes against that. Look at what Tesla is doing in Hong Kong as an example.

logicalthinker | March 14, 2016

IDK about HK. Isn't Tesla including a home charger / installation in China?

KP in NPT | March 14, 2016

HK residents mostly live in high rises. Many are unable to install a home charger - and rely on SCs. They have many SCs there for that reason.

I do believe Tesla looks at the situation in each city and decides on the best course of action re: SCs. They know where their cars "live," and they adjust accordingly. I would expect them to have a plan for the SC network when the Model 3 rolls out. And remember, Model 3s are not going to be flooding the country overnight. I would expect them to adjust the SC network as the fleet expands. I trust that have this all figured out.

logicalthinker | March 14, 2016

In the very BEST case scenario, Musk & co. have calculated that they can permanently support the full electrification of the entire US fleet with renewable energy (such as solar) by the profit margins of the car sales.

I.e. the cost of electric power for the lifespan of the car, is calculated into the purchase price of the car.
However, to do so would require logarithmic decreases in cost of renewable energy, I suspect.

Red Sage ca us | March 14, 2016

OP: Yeah, I'm sure that Tesla Motors has 'thought of' this potential 'solution'. And... They dismissed it in 2012.

JB Straubel has indicated they may (as in might, could, possibly) revisit the notion of establishing fees in the future, sometime after 1,000,000 Supercharger enabled vehicles are on the road. I believe that analysis will determine it still isn't worth the effort to bother applying fees to Supercharger use.

TaoJones | March 15, 2016

Tesla has committed to DENSITY as well as DISTANCE in SC deployment for 1.5 years and counting.

Charging any minority group (e.g., the non-garaged or "local" owner) for SC use is antithetical to Tesla's mission.

Straubel's thoughts are noted above.

Even at the mythical 500,000 units/year target projected for 5 years hence, US SCs will be in no danger of being overrun.

I could make a case for base M3s not being SC-enabled, since the vast majority of owners today don't use SCs. But even that won't be necessary.

And yet people persist in promoting exclusionary financial penalties for the very group that will propel Tesla's growth. Brilliant. And by brilliant, I mean laughably disappointing. By which I mean pathetic.

cquail | March 15, 2016

From Dec 2015 until the end of Feb 2016 I lived in a condo complex in California though my home is in Illinois. With a Supercharger eight miles away I could charge every three or four days. Without that Supercharger, my S85D would not have worked for me.

Silver2K | March 15, 2016


why don't we wait and see if there will be a problem before we assume there will be a problem. you know what happens when you assume.

besides, this topic is old and tired. too many threads on it.

Silver2K | March 15, 2016


tesla is offering to pay electricity at home in Sweden.

Haggy | March 15, 2016

Even if Tesla considers it, it's not clear how easy it would be for them to do it. They could decide to charge a one time fee, or possibly even a subscription fee, but if they wanted a fee for each use, that would make them a seller of electricity, also known as a public utility. How each state would see it is an open question, but I wouldn't expect them to simply come up with a billing system and be able to turn it on.

purepwnage5000 | March 15, 2016

I live in an apartment. On the second floor. Even though my Model 3 would be parked right outside my window, and down about 15 feet, running a heavy gauge extension cord out the window will not be practical. Fortunately my power meter is right below my window also, so if the electric utility can install a NEMA 14-50 right there on the wall off to the side of the meter with its own 50 amp breaker in a box, that would be good.

The only supercharger in Pittsburgh is 15-20 miles north of me, so charging at it wouldn't exactly be convenient.

CDAVIS | March 16, 2016

A reason (among others) that Tesla does not charge a pay-per-use fee for use of Tesla superchargers is that there are a myriad of complicated local regulations related to "third party billing" of electricity. These regulations are intended to cast a wide net over a broad spectrum of third party billing circumstances (for example a landlord charging a tenant for electricity) that Tesla would be subject to. Tesla in the future may partner up with local utilities in such a way that the electric utility use would be directly billed by the utility provider to the consumer on a metered pay-per-use fee and Tesla ma in that case receive a fee from the utility for installing and maintaining the charge-point.

logicalthinker | March 16, 2016

Tesla wouldn't have to charge for electricity. It could charge for time connected to the Supercharger.

And again one huge selling point of Superchargers is "FREE long distance travel for LIFE."

SO, KEEP IT that way.

But if you use it for short distance travel, yes, pay a fee.

jordanrichard | March 16, 2016

logicalthinker, while I agree that they should continue with the free charging as in the kWh one gets, charging by time will be really problematic. How long it takes to get "x" amount of kwh within a given timeframe is too dependent on temperature, your current SOC, are you paired up with another car and the chargers rate, be it 90 kWh or 120 kWh.

SamO | March 16, 2016

Why does everyone insist Tesla must "charge" for charging. Is there any evidence that EV charging is a successful business?

5000 ish locations worldwide are giving free electricity to their customers through the Destination Charger program.

Superchargers are giving away electricity.

Why the obsession with who gets charged, who can use what, and the endless madness.

ICEing is a much bigger real world problem (as is overstaying a charge).

KP in NPT | March 16, 2016

I agree SamO - lets go after ICErs - in fact I just wrote my state rep a few days ago to ask she introduce legislation in our state to make it a fineable offense. I also wrote my city councilor. My town is about to install a bunch of free J1772s as part of a state program and there are no laws to enforce them being kept free of ICEs.

And lord I'm tired of reading about charging for SCs. I wish people would wait until a problem is actually a problem before coming up with complex ways to fix it. ICEing, however, is definitely a current problem.

SUN 2 DRV | March 16, 2016

SamO: It's not about charging for the charging kWh. It's about finding a way to arbitrate use of a limited infrastructure resource. Destination chargers entice people to come spend EXTRA time at an establishment, the establishment considers that a good thing. Superchargers are intended for FAST turnarounds. The less time people have to spend there the better.

In our economic system, Price is the key arbiter of a resource. So that's why it keeps coming up. Free access to a limited resource is usually an artificial mirage and often short lived as the realities of distorted supply/demand lead to unsustainable overuse. And wishing/hoping that Tesla just builds more and more and more freely accessible Supercharging stations may not be prudent.

Imagine if GM owned all the GM compatible gas stations... if that a long term vision you'd wish on Tesla???

SUN 2 DRV | March 16, 2016

if --> is

Tstolz | March 16, 2016

The future will see time based charging/parking IMHO. Stay as long as you like. ICE if you want to .. but you have to pay for your time in the spot. The electricity cost is immaterial ... the issues are 1. paying for the cost of the infrastructure and 2. getting people to move their cars. The Tesla model of paying up front addresses 1. but not 2. Only time based charging/parking will solve that. Thats how my parking lots would run at any rate.

SamO | March 17, 2016


Autopilot and autocharge solve #2.

See proctobot.

Madatgascar | March 17, 2016

@SilverP85Plus, I have a problem with "wait to see if there's a problem." The problem becomes self-compounding and will become Sysyphian before long. The more urban superchargers you build, the greater the perceived convenience, and the more people will See them as free gas stations. Elon once said he doubted people would use SCs for daily charging very much because "it would not be a good use of their time." If he was surprised by how many Model S owners clogged the SCs at the local mega-mall, wait till he sees the Model 3 demand. Call me elitist if you must, but it's just cold hard demographics.

We can already see the problem with "density" or "destination" SC in places like Hong Kong, where there are already 10 SCs (and 11 more in the greater area). Virtually everyone using them is a "local" charger because of travel restrictions. The SCs are already pay-per-use effectively because they are mostly located in parking structures where you need to pay for entry. At any given time, many of them are full. It's not the model Tesla would want to push for EV, but having started down the path, they have no choice but to double down and keep trying to build their way out of it.

Tesla's Achilles heel is Elon's optimism, and we as owners have to overcompensate for it with restraint - otherwise we will exhaust our horse. Prospective Model 3 owners, PLEASE arrange for home charging. It's a pain to take on HOA's, but it's our front in the battle for EV adoption, and it will make your life so much easier in the long run.

Rocky_H | March 17, 2016

@tbouquet, Quote: "Tesla's Achilles heel is Elon's optimism"

Very insightful. This applies to so many things about Tesla and SpaceX, with schedules, features, costs, etc.

SUN 2 DRV | March 17, 2016

tstoltz: +1

jordanrichard | March 17, 2016

Tstolz, time based charging will cause a whole other set of problems. If I plug into stall number 1A at 10 am and then another car pulls up at 10:02 am and plugs into 1B. We both sit there for 1 hour charging. I would get more kwh than the second car for the same given time frame. So would it be ok to charge the second car for the same amount of time is he/she was getting less of a charge? Since kwh ='s range, you can't penalize via a flat time charge rate, an owner for plugging into a paired charger.

Red Sage ca us | March 17, 2016

tbouquet: Well, DUH... Of course those who expect to purchase the Tesla Model ≡ should arrange for home charging. I'm certain that will be the case or the vast majority of owners within the next decade, as they will be buying NEW cars. I'm sure you will not see Superchargers descended upon by... THOSE type of people for quite some time. Those who live in high rise apartments, megalithic residence complexes, and condominiums may use Superchargers more often in urban areas. So what? Let 'em. Traffic that is just 'passing through' may not even be using the same locations as 'locals' anyway. Don't worry about it. Everything will be fine.

"Please keep off of the grass, shine your shoes, wipe your... face!" -- 'The Duloc Song' from 'SHREK'

SamO: Proctobot...? I'm out...

Hi_Tech | March 18, 2016

@SamO: +1 (for Destination chargers)

All the argument about apartment dwellers will end up over-utilizing SC... I think the simple solution is the Destination Chargers (DC). Let them, working with Tesla, request for DC installation at their apartment complex.

I think having Tesla partner with some of the hotel chains (Marriott, Hilton, etc), parking garages, and large companies would be great to expand the DC network.

logicalthinker | March 18, 2016

Again, my key point is that Tesla Superchargers were intended to enable long-distance travel for free and it would be great if this could remain forever.
If Elon can find a sustainable way to extend this paradigm to "all travel for free," even better!

cloudohana | March 26, 2016

Currently is costs $2500 to add supercharging. You pay for it whether it is an option or if the $2500 is included in the base price of the car. $2500 = 1,163 gallons of gas @ $2.15/gallon which = 77.5 tanks for an ICE car with a 15 gallon tank. So if supercharging was only for long distance travel, how many trips would you have to make to get to equal 77.5 tanks just to break even? My ICE car is not that fuel efficient and it only took 5.5 tanks to get from VA to CO. If you consider supercharging for local travel, with the Tesla ranges, that would probably mean 1-2 "fill-ups" charges/week for the average driver. Add in the convenience of charging at home, and I seriously doubt most people would exclusively use the superchargers. But even if they did, 1-2 times per week for 20-30 minutes each time, and superchargers being available 24/7 that's not really hogging them up. Consider the number of supercharger slots across the country compared to the number of Teslas on the road by 2018. I'm sure Tesla is monitoring which locations need to be expanded due to congestion. Supercharging needs to be available for the M3. The supercharger network is what makes Tesla's cars able to replace ICE cars. EV cars with low ranges are only good as local commuter cars and you would need something else to take a road trip with. Charging per use or per KW would be expensive to implement. It would require adding a credit card machine at every supercharger pump, plus internet to run the card, plus credit card fees on low $ charges, plus a meter to measure the electricity,plus maintaining those fickle machines, plus dealing with all the state & local regulations and inspections. Besides Tesla probably makes money with the supercharger flat fee on most owners because they prefer the convenience of plugging in at home.

moorelin | March 27, 2016

I have a problem with "I have a problem with "wait to see if there's a problem."" If Model ☰ charging becomes problematic because of SC overcrowding, people will stop buying them. Since Tesla knows this, they know that they need to stay ahead of the demand curve. Which is why their strategy is different in Hong Kong.

But thanks for sisyphean.

Red Sage ca us | March 27, 2016

My point is that Tesla Motors will not wait for there to be a problem. They are well ahead of the curve on ratio of Superchargers to cars right now. If they continue to progress at this rate in installing Supercharger locations, they will remain ahead of the curve. If they continue to progress at this rate of expanding existing Supercharger locations, they will remain ahead of the curve. And, with improved revenue from sales of the Model X, Tesla Motors will have enough funds to aggressively install and expand all aspects of the Supercharger network, for both distance and density, well ahead of the first release of Model ≡ vehicles, which I expect to begin reaching Customers at a rate of 1,500-to-2,000 or so per week beginning Q4 2017. For anything short of [ICEHOLES] parking in Supercharger spaces and sitting there for hours without charging, there will be no significant overcrowding. Don't worry about it. Tesla has this covered.

jordanrichard | March 27, 2016

cloudohana, first, that $2,500 was only charged to S60 buyers, if they wanted it enabled after taking delivery. It was $2,000 if ordered with the car. For the S85s it was built in as you said.

As for the ROI of that $2,000, you can't use a set price and number of gallons in a tank. To get a true sense of the ROI, you have to do what I have been doing since July 2014 and that is track how many miles you added when charging and how many gallons of gas it would have taken to go those miles and multiply that by the cost of gas in that area,

For example, my MS replaced a Mercedes that got a combine 22 mpg and required premium fuel. Since I started tracking this in July 2014, using the superchargers alone has saved me $1,833.27. I am in CT and have made 3 long trips so far, to FL, NC and SC. So, the savings or ROI if you like, happens a lot sooner than you think. I took delivery 2 years ago this Tuesday and I now have 43,000 miles.

Red Sage ca us | March 27, 2016

jordanrichard: +42! The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything about "How Does One Properly Calculate the Benefit of Free Fuel for LIFE?"

Haggy | March 28, 2016

For the S85, it was sort of built in, and sort of not built in. Money is fungible so the bottom line was you paid a certain price and the car came with supercharger capability, so you can't really say which dollars you paid may have gone toward it. But from a marketing standpoint, Tesla's argument was that if you wanted supercharging and were considering the 60, then you'd be able to get the 85 for $7500 more, since that's what you'd pay over the price of the 60 with supercharging.

The strategy worked, at least for me. Had the 60 come with supercharging, I might have spent time debating which to get, but I decided on the 85 up front, and it was a matter of which options to get on top of it.

With the Model 3, Tesla will have to figure out whether a strategy that includes supercharging for all cars makes sense or whether offering a rock bottom price that includes savings for those who aren't likely to use supercharging would make more sense. That would be a decision that should be made with sound marketing data.

If there's an inherent assumption that most people will want it, then making it a $500 option could still make more sense than throwing it in. Some people simply don't take long car trips, or might have several cars in the household and might prefer to use a different car for a once a year trip. Or it might be more of a selling point to give supercharging to everybody.

You can't go by what makes sense for a Model S owner.

PhillyGal | March 28, 2016

@Haggy - I agree about bumping up to the 85 vs. the 60. At the time we considered it a $7500 jump in price as well because SC access was a something we were definitely going to get.

bsimoes | March 30, 2016

I'm thinking that the sheer number of Tesla owners (once model 3 becomes ubiquitous) will spur on city officials to permit more Superchargers to be built. Right now, it's not Tesla's unwillingness to build more, it's that city and town officials are making it so difficult. If there are enough of us putting up a stink, then we may see more Superchargers popping up! It is my hope that ALL Tesla owners will be allowed to use Superchargers for free...and that people using them won't be hassled.

jordanrichard | March 30, 2016

bsimoes, who said it was local town officials that are the hold up. They are actually the last people in the process to be consulted via the permit process. First Tesla has to find a suitable location and get the property owner to agree to losing parking spots for us Tesla owners.

carlgo | March 30, 2016

The brutal fact is that electric vehicles are not for everyone right now. You really need to have home charging to make EV ownership practical for busy people. Tesla will fill out the Supercharger map in a year or two, but after that it will be interesting.

dsvick | March 30, 2016

We only take a couple of long trips a year so I'm actually hoping that there is a no super charger access option for the model 3 that is less costly, or that it is an option you can add when you configure.

With that being said, for those times when we do take a trip, is there a pay per use option at the SC stations?

Red Sage ca us | March 30, 2016

dsvick: There is no pay per use option for Superchargers. There won't be one either. No monthly subscriptions. No annual fees. No credit card on file. No billing.

Just buy a car. Supercharge for FREE. As much as you like. As often as you need it. Wherever you go. For the LIFE of the car. Forever.

dsvick | March 30, 2016

Thanks Red. That's what I thought, I was just trying to be cheap about if we wont be using it. I guess we'll need to plan some trips if SC access is included with the 3.

Hi_Tech | March 30, 2016

That is Red's opinion only! ;-)
Until it's specifically made clear by Tesla, all we can do is speculate.
My opinion is that Supercharger access is not included as part of the base $35k. That is the added option. Maybe as part of the larger battery, like they had done for Model S.

TaoJones | March 30, 2016

The thread title is false. Tesla committed to DENSITY as well as DISTANCE for SCs in 2014.

Most owners do not and will not use SCs.

Most SC sites are hardly used. Increase vehicles by 5x and as long as Tesla stays ahead of the handful of SCs that are actually under pressure, all will be well.

I really wish the exclusionary rhetoric would end. It's antithetical to Tesla's mission and is disconnected from the reality of supercharger utilization today.

Red Sage ca us | March 30, 2016

HiteshBhatt: Yes. I have a strong tendency to state my opinions as fact. That said, I reserve the right to say, "I told you so!" While simultaneously allowing myself to be the target for vehement accusations of, "You were WRONG!" Such is life, and stuff. Being wrong is often survivable on the internet. ;-)

TaoJones: +1! Correctomundo! There is no need to limit, exclude, or chase away anyone who needs a cup of electrons to feed his Wife and Children. Let them have Supercharger access!

Haggy | March 30, 2016

I really can't think of where I'd ever want to go on a long trip with the Model 3 that I wouldn't take the Model S. But if I want to give it to one of my kids for a trip, I don't want them to call me a few hours into it and ask why it won't charge.