Harris Supercharger expansion

Harris Supercharger expansion

Today, I spoke to a person working on the installation of the 8 bays at the Harris Ranch Restaurant parking lot. He indicated they would be completed by the end of next week. He also confirmed they were installing the underground piping to later expand to 16 stations. Another point I learned on this trip is the super chargers are set up as pairs, and if two cars are on the pair, then the rate of charge goes down. The fastest way to charge is to, whenever possible, take every other charging slot.

shop | March 12, 2013

Wow, 8 bays. That's a lot! Thanks for the info.

craig.tesla | March 12, 2013

Yay! Just in time for spring break! ROADTRIP!

negarholger | March 12, 2013

And 8 is just the beginning... Harris is pivitol as it serves the Bay Area and Sacramento runs.

TeslaModelSOwner | March 12, 2013

Ha anybody seen construction at Harris Ranch and have pics?

smd | March 12, 2013

I just wish their steaks were priced like the electricity! ;)

Tech4ever | March 13, 2013

I was there on Monday, saw the construction and have pics but don't know how to post them. Look like several weeks away based on what I saw.

negarholger | March 13, 2013

Maybe this will help for the pictures..,

nickjhowe | MARCH 11, 2013
You should upload the pictures to fickr, or your favorite hosting site, then copy the 'share' code that starts with sign. Add width="600" just before it.

You should be good to go.

negarholger | March 13, 2013

Lets try it again... Learning my ipad copy and paste...

nickjhowe | MARCH 11, 2013
You should upload the pictures to fickr, or your favorite hosting site, then copy the 'share' code that starts with sign. Add width="600" just before it.

You should be good to go.

negarholger | March 13, 2013

Damn... Does pastes only part of the note. I am lost...

Brian H | March 13, 2013

The Flickr code is the whole block it provides under the Share drop-down. Any other hosting site, it's the image URL in this HTML:
<img src="URL" width="500">

TeslaModelSOwner | March 14, 2013

Would be great to see the pics

dbfish | March 14, 2013

Photo proof from twitter!!

Bob W | March 14, 2013

Thanks to "moira" from for posting a picture of the new Harris Ranch Supercharger construction as of March 11th, 2013:

derek | March 14, 2013

Unfortunately, it stinks at Harris Ranch. Not the best place to be skulking around for 30 minutes.

Coalinga looms large down there. While you may be polluting less than the average car, those cows are not making any effort to cut back on their greenhouse gas emissions!

tvntesla | March 14, 2013

It would be good to have superchargers at restaurants or stops with mostly vegan or vegetarian food.

shs | March 14, 2013


+1 several times!

Electron | March 14, 2013

I think we can get baked potatoes at Harris Ranch ;)

jbunn | March 14, 2013


Tech4ever | March 14, 2013

Haha Moira is my wife. Guess I don't need to upload them, there are the same ones as regargo.

negarholger | March 15, 2013

derek@kertongro... wait until we are in season in Gilroy - vegan food stinks too when it grows. Garlic, carrots, tomatoes, corn, etc all have a very stinky smell when you plant lots of it in one place. Fortunately Harris is not a chicken ranch... that would be much worse. When you leave the plastic wrapped urban sanctuary then it might get a little bit more closer to reality. On that particular stretch of freeway Harris is probably the closest you can get to civilization.

jat | March 15, 2013

While this is great for those who use that Supercharger, they already had a Supercharger option even if they had to wait in line. Since most of the country still doesn't have one, it seems like other heavy-traffic places should be getting new Superchargers before expanding existing ones.

Electron | March 15, 2013

Jat- I respectfully disagree. By shear volume, that site is and probably will be the most in demand and utilized station for some time. Maybe forever.

jat | March 15, 2013

@Electron - it is easy to say that sites that don't exist have less volume than one that does. How do you know a Supercharger on I75 into Florida wouldn't have much heavier traffic? What about the northeast corridor between DC and New York?

If at the end of the year, all the effort put into Superchargers is just upgrading existing ones rather than expanding the network as promised, then there are going to be a lot of disappointed people.

Brian H | March 15, 2013

All the approvals were evidently in place, and that's what the "other traffic-heavy places" haven't got.

hsadler | March 15, 2013


I hardly think that building in one location affects others. I expect it is an involved process (finding location, permits, getting that amount of power to a location, contracting the build) requiring many entities.
Harris Ranch probably had a larger amount planned, but may not have had everything in place to accommodate. I suspect decision was made to at least provide something as early as possible.
This may be true for other locations already in place as well.
With the amount of Teslas being sold in the L.A. and SF area, it won't be long before the Harris location will be a very popular spot indeed.
Superchargers are a money maker for either Tesla or Solar City (don't know the arrangement) and I'm sure that if they could all be installed everywhere immediately - they would be.

jat | March 15, 2013

@hsadler - so Tesla has an unlimited supply of money and manpower to build as many as they want? Cool, I guess we should expect the entire network to happen all at once any day. And since Superchargers make money for somebody despite not actually receiving any money for them or for charging from them, I am surprised that everybody doesn't start businesses to build them everywhere.

Somebody is paying for the hardware, the electrical hookup, and even in the case of a Solar City lease like they offer individuals, there is a monthly fee to pay for their capital investment in solar panels. Building a network of 200 Superchargers is going to take a ton of capital, so I expect them to spread them out. It takes people to do the install, and it takes people to make other arrangements, and if those people are doing it at Harris Ranch, then they aren't doing it somewhere else - I'm not sure why you think there are infinite free resources, of either the personnel or monetary variety.

mikeadams | March 15, 2013

Just curious if it appears more solar cells are being installed as well. I love Tesla, but if they build too many stations without also installing solar cells then it doesn't look too good for their original claims that most/all of the power for the superchargers is offset by solar power going back into the grid.

GLO | March 15, 2013

I was there Wednesday evening and it seems they are farther out than what i saw reported here. Little infrastructure is in place. Mostly trenching for conduit at this point.

Brian H | March 15, 2013

hsadler, jat, write;
you evidently haven't grokked the business plan revealed in the Reveal by Elon. In simple terms:

1) The actual charging hardware is "cheap", as TM has attained "economies of scale" in making the chargers.
2) Given each station costs about ¼ million, the entire first stage 100-stn n/w is worth <$30 million -- peanuts. Installation is not capital-constrained.
3) Once built, the stations are "run" by Solar City, which installs arrays where suitable. Installing arrays etc. is what it does for a living, and the installation volume and pace is not capital constrained.
4) Solar City pays for all the electricity consumed by the cars.
5) Solar City sells power from the arrays, which are sized and sited to produce more than the cars consume (across the n/w, over the course of a financial year). It profits.
6) TM is not involved, once the station is built and turned over to Solar City. It neither profits nor incurs expense from it.

Crews and hardware are standing by, idle, awaiting permits, etc. (or maybe are at work right now without advertising where, as has been the practice to date.) Patience, grasshoppers.

hsadler | March 15, 2013

"Just curious if it appears more solar cells are being installed as well. I love Tesla, but if they build too many stations without also installing solar cells then it doesn't look too good for their original claims that most/all of the power for the superchargers is offset by solar power going back into the grid."

The solar cells can be built miles (even hundreds of miles) away from the SC's. I would even bet that we will see Solar farms located in ideal collecting areas. The power collected is sold to the Utility and money from that is then used to buy power for the SC's.

This is my understanding.

dbfish | March 15, 2013

Just a thought, if each SuperCharger requires a stack of 10/12 10kW charger units that are the same chargers installed in the Model S, then this 6 bay expansion at Harris is 60+ charging units, enough for 30/40 Model S's (given how many are going for dual charging option). That's a lot of cars they can't ship, if they have not yet ramped up to building the chargers faster than building the cars. They may not have extra chargers to spare if the focus is on getting cars to customers and getting "slightly" profitable in Q1.

Electron | March 15, 2013


I highly doubt they are constrained on AC->DC inverters. There is no indication they aren't
building cars as fast (or faster) than they are really comfortable.

negarholger | March 15, 2013

for quite a while TM offers the second charger online for retrofit. That would not be the case if chargers would be constraint.

jat | March 15, 2013

@BrianH - $250k isn't exactly cheap, particularly not for a company struggling to reach cash-flow-positive by a few weeks. I am sure they would like to defer any expenses they can until after March 31 so they can show improvements in cash flow and overall profitability.

And if it takes so much work to negotiate deals, the people doing that negotiation aren't working for free either.

If it is really so cheap and so easy, why aren't they already all over the place? Why doesn't somebody put CHAdeMO chargers (which reportedly cost around $40k for just the hardware) all over the country for the same deal with Solar City?

DouglasR | March 15, 2013

Does Solar City even need the chargers in order to build solar arrays and sell the energy back to various utilities? That depends on the regulations governing the specific utility's purchase obligations, as well as its demand for renewable energy (e.g., some utilities are required to obtain some minimum percentage of their average load from renewable sources). This will be different for each location. In some cases, Solar City will use a net metering agreement, i.e., one which takes account of the power used by the specific superchargers at that location. In other cases, it will sell energy and purchase power as two separate transactions. And it is possible that, in some cases, the energy may even be wheeled to a utility that is not serving the superchargers at all.

Solar City is not guaranteed a profit on this operation. In some places, e.g., California, it will probably be very profitable. In the Northwest, not so much, as the solar installations will generate less energy and the price of power is much lower, particularly in the summer. If it were a sure thing, Solar City wouldn't need TM to build these facilities. However, I suspect that TM does a lot of the work and supplies a lot of the capital necessary to make this a reasonable investment for Solar City.

gregv64 | March 15, 2013

@jat: I've lost track of what you're arguing. Definitely expanding Harris is cheaper than creating an new site. As far as demand, Tesla knows exactly how many cars they've sold in each location. I wouldn't be surprised if more than half of all Model S's sold were in California.

jat | March 15, 2013

@gregv64 - I'm just saying Tesla promised to cover practically all of the US by the end of next year. At the rate they are going, it isn't looking good for meeting that, and if they keep expending resources on expanding current Supercharger sites then they definitely won't meet that goal.

Anyway, great that people who are using that one get more chargers, and hopefully everyone else gets something before too long.

gregv64 | March 15, 2013

They may meet their goal, they may not. It's not linear, though, so rate of progress isn't any indication one way or another. I predict a whole slew of openings in the second half of the year.

jjnelson | March 16, 2013

One thing to remember is that the Harris Ranch station was a converted single charger location for the Roadster. This is really just them building out the site as a full supercharger station instead of a stop gap of converting the old single charger setup.

Brian H | March 16, 2013

"expending resources" is a gross exaggeration. Try and get it clear: the capex of building Supercharger stations is trivial. It is not a bottleneck, constraint, or limiting factor.

Russell1 | March 20, 2013

I stopped at Harris Ranch today and charged but the most important news is that the new superchargers are installed and ready to go. The asphalt is in and all that's left is a fence. ONE BIG PROBLEM: PG&E is not ready to do the hook-up and I am told it may be two weeks before it's done.

If someone has connections at PG&E use them to move this ahead. I understand that on weekends they line-up four deep waiting for a charge.

mika_ | April 1, 2013

Any recent visits to Harris ranch? I'm planning a road trip this coming Friday and would love to know if the new superchargers are operational or still waiting on PG&E.

dortor | April 1, 2013

still waiting for PG&E according to attendant - install looks complete but they are not online - this was as of 8 pm Saturday March 30th, 2013…

it would be doubtful they are online today - but I don't know for a fact.

bjm | April 1, 2013

I was at Harris Ranch this weekend and spoke with a Tesla engineer. He said the new superchargers are done and awaiting PG&E approval. It is apparently expected around April 15th.

jonathanclarkcom | April 1, 2013

I stayed overnight at Harris last night because I knew Sunday would be crazy. It cleared up around 11pm and I got my charge then. Was full when I left this morning. I asked roadside when the new chargers might come online and they said it could be a few weeks still because of pg&e.

bonforte | April 1, 2013

I saw them this weekend and checked them out.

There are six new chargers and two existing (which is why they are saying eight above, I guess). Of the two existing (at the Shell station), only one is a supercharger. The other is an old 70A box that charges you up at about 34 mph (vs the 150-275 mph of the supercharger). Configuration wise, they are a bit different than other stations. Four chargers are "side" and two are "back". So with two of them at the end, we may be backing in at an angle to make room for the parking lot flow. The other four are the pull in nose first.

They are the newer units, obviously, like the Gilroy, where they connector hose is longer. If you have charged at Tejon, you will know that those can be a bit tricky in terms of positioning your car close enough to the charger for it to connect correctly with your car.

The actual location of the new units moves from the gas station to the restaurant parking lot. The location is the corner of the parking lot closest to the street driveway entrance to Harris Ranch.

They look good overall, and they are badly needed. It is the only place where I had to wait in my drive from SF to Orange County this weekend.

Jimcairns1 | December 26, 2014

Please please add chargers at Harris Ranch. 3 others were already waiting in line when I pulled up over 30 minutes ago. I am getting lectured by my family about the wait. If I have to wait like this here again, I'm cancelling my Model X and taking back my deposit. Thank you in advance.

ticobird | December 26, 2014

Wouldn't a comment like this be more appropriate for the Northern California or Southern California forums?

SCCRENDO | December 26, 2014

@Ticobird. Maybe. But it is in a Harris Ranch thread

Rheumboy | December 26, 2014

I topped off at Harris today and drove over by the Shell station and there it was! The drive thru building for the battery swap with a big Tesla sign on the side of the building.