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A Funny Thing Happened To Me At The Supercharger.

A Funny Thing Happened To Me At The Supercharger.

Actually a few "funny' things happened to me at the Squamish Supercharger.

First, when I arrived at the supercharger, three ICE cars were parked in 3 of the 6 stalls. That was quite upsetting. Even more upsetting was that on two of the stalls Tesla had written "General Parking For 60 Minutes". I guess the third ICE car just thought it applied to all the stalls? Furthermore, if three tesla's are charging when you arrive, that means you might have to wait 60 minutes for some ICE car to drive away before you could even start to charge. What's with that TESLA? In fact after we charged up (food at Boston Pizza and Amps from Tesla) one of the ICE cars was still there. Since it took us over 60 min to eat i expect that ICE car was definitely over its 60 min limit.

Are all supercharger locations labeled this way? Could someone who has been to multiple locations chime in on this most important issue. Am I overreacting? Probably.

The second "funny thing that happened was on our return journey. We stopped at the same supercharger and just as we pulled in we had a family riding in quite a nice looking Mercedes come over. Two kids with iPads and iPhones in hand started taking pictures outside and INSIDE. Opened the doors, took pictures of the console and seats. Then the parents asked about all the things you probably asked when you were once an ICE car owner. The great thing is that at the end of it all I think we made a sale!!!

The third (and final) "funny" thing that happened was also during our return journey stop. A guy in a BMW i3 pulled up and started to plug in the tesla cord. Only to find that it didn't fit. I said it was for Tesla's only. Dang! I must have sounded so snooty. Too late! Anyway, he thought these chargers were merely "sponsored" by Tesla but were for all electric cars. On the one hand I felt he shouldn't be allowed to use them, and on the other hand I felt like a real douche for even thinking this. What's the right way to feel in this case? Am I overreacting again?

DTsea | May 16, 2015

1. Yes.
2. Well done.
3. Just explain they are paid for by tesla owners and that the super high power is too much for smaller batteries to absorb.

vperl | May 16, 2015

One would be surprised the bemmer guy has not done basic research on charging his vehicle.

Much like going to a dealer with charging stations and get run away.

Question, why would Tesla allow charging for other makes, when his vehicle manufacturer has done little or nothing to provide charging station paid by the his manufacturer. Tesla has spent tens if not hundreds of millions building a infrastructure, where is "the competition?".

Bemmer guy,ought to talk to BMW, ASK WHY THEY DID NOT BUILD OUT A INFRASTRUCTURE.

Brian H | May 16, 2015

Because routine L2 is all the i3 needs or can absorb?

Earl and Nagin ... | May 16, 2015

@Brian H
Actually, the i3 can handle CCS charging. I believe it can absorb at least 50 kW.

JeffreyR | May 16, 2015

The 60-minute parking for ICE cars is not universal. It is a condition of the parking lot owner imposed as part of the SC site agreement. In fact I've seen photos posted that state "Tesla Only" on the signs at other SC sites. So don't get too excited. Definitely not ideal, but at least the rules are clear. Which probably means they can tow an ICE if it is over its limit.

Check out the Tips & Tricks for searching, posting pictures, and other useful tidbits. I bet you can find some designs posted about how to clearly mark SC spots.

Grinnin'.VA | May 17, 2015

@ Earl and Nagin ... | May 16, 2015

Actually, the i3 can handle CCS charging. I believe it can absorb at least 50 kW.

Can the SC plug into an i3 charging port?
Can an i3 pass the SC authorization check? If not, my understanding is that the SC will not deliver any current. Right?

vperl | May 17, 2015

Not a actual Tesla, the system rejects charging.

The system knows your car. Period

negarholger | May 17, 2015

1. Tesla does not own the parking spots. Depending on the local regulations a business may need to have a minimum number of general admission parking spaces... making the spaces Tesla only would take them out of the pool for the general public.

flight505 | May 17, 2015

I noticed a crew cab pickup in a charging spot in Los Vegas in April. There were plenty of non-charging parking spots available.

JeffreyR | May 18, 2015

@jerryheasley

Was it rolling coal too? You could post pictures of the offending ICE vehicle, but I imagine they already did w/ some comment of how funny they were being.

Grinnin'.VA | May 18, 2015

@ Kleist | May 17, 2015

Tesla does not own the parking spots. Depending on the local regulations a business may need to have a minimum number of general admission parking spaces...

IMO, it's a waste of money to build SCs in places where ICE cars are free to park, blocking Tesla cars.

Tesla, please find better locations for SCs.

ian t.wa.us | May 18, 2015

@Ron - Just a guess but I would wager if Tesla insisted in this qualification there would be 1/4 of the Superchargers that are currently available. Which would you prefer?

Svenssons | May 18, 2015

Will answer number 3: You should have told him that it was up to BMW to let their cars be able to use Tesla Superchargers. Tesla is open for other car brands that have models that can charge at 135 kW to be able to charge and contribute to the expansion of Superchargers.

ian t.wa.us | May 18, 2015

Since I have no data to back up that last assertion I will rephrase it.

How many FEWER Superchargers would you be satisfied with to fulfill the requirement that Tesla place Superchargers in locations where ICE vehicles are not allowed to park?

vperl | May 18, 2015

Conversely, why put in a Supercharger that you know that would be blocked by non Electrical non Tesla vehicles.

BMW, would have to get involved with payment to Tesla for use of Supercharger sites.

Grinnin'.VA | May 18, 2015

@an t.wa.us | May 18, 2015

@Ron - Just a guess but I would wager if Tesla insisted in this qualification there would be 1/4 of the Superchargers that are currently available.

IMO, your estimate isn't even close to reality. (My opinion differs from yours on this.)

Which would you prefer?

I'd prefer for Tesla to spend its SC money on viable locations - locations where ICE cars aren't allowed to park in SC stalls. Because I think it's a waste of money to build SCs where they are or can be routinely degraded in usefulness to MS owners.

Would this slow down the rollout of the SC system? Yes, a bit. But the SCs we'd have would be a lot more dependable as MS charging sites than some of them are now.

Grinnin'.VA | May 18, 2015

@an t.wa.us | May 18, 2015

Now, please answer this question:
How viable would you think a gas station would be if the general public were allowed to park blocking access to the pumps?

negarholger | May 18, 2015

@Grinnin'.VA - so you expect Tesla to also build and provide restaurants, restrooms, etc... get real please.

Homebrook | May 18, 2015

On #3, the answer is that nothing comes for free. The electricity is paid for by Tesla owners when they buy their cars. Tesla hasn't begun an electricity entitlement program for electric car owners.

milesbb | May 18, 2015

The number of Tesla's on the road is doubling every year. Put in a Supercharger site today that can handle the traffic for the next three years and it is way over sized today. I suspect that the agreement with the owner is when Tesla traffic justifies it the parking will be restricted to Tesla's only. If Charging is not being delayed it sounds like it is being managed.

@Kleist
at some point I do expect Tesla to be providing restaurants, as well as the other amenities similar to what you see at truck stops. When the sites have hundred plus chargers there is money to be made providing services to folks with a little time on there hands.

negarholger | May 18, 2015

@milesbb - I expect also that Tesla will put a business next to the superchargers in the future, but for the next 5-10 years Tesla must fight for survival first.

negarholger | May 18, 2015

When there are one million Teslas on the road in CA the dynamics will be different...

Earl and Nagin ... | May 19, 2015

@Grinnin'
No, the i3 can't plug into a Tesla port without an adapter. I doubt it would pass the authorization test (but don't know for sure) and I doubt the Supercharger would deliver any current if it didn't pass the authorization test (again, this is just conjecture on my part)

Grinnin'.VA | May 19, 2015

@ Kleist | May 18, 2015

@Grinnin'.VA - so you expect Tesla to also build and provide restaurants, restrooms, etc...

I said NOTHING about Tesla building or providing "restaurants, restrooms, etc...". IMO, it's rather arrogant of you to presume that I suggested such a thing.

get real please.

With you distorting what I write, it's nearly impossible to engage you in rational discussion. IS THAT YOUR INTENT?

negarholger | May 19, 2015

@Grinnin'.VA - calm down. In order to own the parking spaces you have to be the property owner. In the long run I actually expect Tesla to buy land for SC and be a property owner inviting businesses to rent. But that is years away and not a good idea right now to spend money... way more important things to before that.

Nantang | May 19, 2015

On the i3 vs. Tesla Supercharger: if it comes up again, draw a comparison with iPhone Lightning connectors vs. most other phones using micro-USB. It's a matter of phrasing, because Apple even more than Tesla has a reputation for cult-like followers and detractors. But, comparing plugs for the devices is generally pretty neutral. Then, one can segue into how cool it is that both are early adopters, driving electric before the plugs are standardized.

Grinnin'.VA | May 19, 2015

@ Kleist | May 19, 2015

@Grinnin'.VA - calm down.

If you want to engage in a rational discussion with me, there is a simple rule. I try to answer your questions about my posts and you answer mine.

So far, you're not holding up your end of the bargain.

Landlords don't have a problem with gas station operators forbidding parking blocking access to their gas pumps. Why should it be different for SCs?

ian t.wa.us | May 19, 2015

Listen to your own advice Ron and answer the questions asked.

Above I restated my question to how many FEWER Superchargers you'd tolerate to meet your requirement that the Supercharger spaces be exclusuvely for charging only and you conveniently ignored it.

To answer your question, a gas station wouldn't be viable if blocked by other parked cars. Superchargers, while similar to gas pumps, are not the same. Maybe you can tell me how they are different. I know you're smart enough to see these differences.

Kleist makes a good point regarding the fact that many Superchargers are on property that is not owned by Tesla and that are in locations that, in the larger scheme of long distance travel, have been placed for the most convenience of Tesla owners as quickly as they could. Of the ones that are, I'm sure you'll find, are almost exclusively reserved for charging. Tesla has also shown they are willing to add more stalls as they find they are needed.

I'm confident that Tesla will also be willing to move chargers if reports of ICEing are prevelant enough and also to change the way they place Superchargers as more and more of their vehicles are on the roads to minimize and eliminate this issue.

vperl | May 20, 2015

Tesla could fund the Supercharger by opening " TESLA CHOW CAFES" at every site.

Remember you read it here first. ∆

Grinnin'.VA | May 20, 2015

@ ian t.wa.us | May 19, 2015

Above I restated my question to how many FEWER Superchargers you'd tolerate to meet your requirement that the Supercharger spaces be exclusuvely for charging only and you conveniently ignored it.

I do not accept the premise of your question. I believe that Tesla could have built at least 99% of the current SCs while insisting that SC spaces be reserved for SC charging exclusively. I guess if I must answer your question as posed, my reluctant answer is two or three.

To answer your question, a gas station wouldn't be viable if blocked by other parked cars. Superchargers, while similar to gas pumps, are not the same.

Yes, SCs are different. Because they are often separated by gaps of roughly 100 miles it's more important for SC stalls to be available to MS drivers than it is for gas station pumps to be available for use.

Kleist makes a good point regarding the fact that many Superchargers are on property that is not owned by Tesla and that are in locations ...

And most gas stations are "on property that is not owned by" the gas station operator. When a gas station owner or Tesla negotiates a lease for property for a gas station or SC, they establish the financial deal and the terms of use. There is nothing requiring Tesla to tolerate legal ICEing of SC stalls. Evidently, Tesla didn't anticipate that ICEing would be a problem. So they failed to negotiate leases that adequately support its customers' needs.

Of the ones that are, I'm sure you'll find, are almost exclusively reserved for charging.

I've only visited 3 SCs. Consequently, most of the information I have on this is through posts on these forums by other MS owners. As I understand this, your claim is true ONLY in states that prohibit ICEing of public EV charging stalls.

Tesla has also shown they are willing to add more stalls as they find they are needed.

Yes they have. That's past tense. IMO, it's expensive and wasteful to build SC stalls for ICEing use in addition to SC stalls for charging Tesla cars. Incidentally, my understanding is that many SCs are in locations where they can't add more stalls.

I'm confident that Tesla will also be willing to move chargers if reports of ICEing are prevelant enough ...

The last I heard, Tesla discourages MS owner complaints of ICEing stalls! I believe the standard response to ICEing comlaints is something like "We don't control that. Take up the issue with the business that provides the space for the SC". This deflects the complaint rather than dealing with it in the interest of MS owners.

BTW, quite a few MS owners have reported routine ICEing at some SC during busy travel periods. Of course, there aren't many ICEing complaints about the Topeka, KS SC. It opened a few months ago with 8 stalls well before the string of SCs along I-70 east of Topeka was built. Sure, there isn't much ICEing at an SC in a small city, effectively at the end of a string of SCs. My magic crystal ball tells me that this will change when there are several hundred thousand SC-authorized Tesla cars in use in the U.S.

... they place Superchargers as more and more of their vehicles are on the roads to minimize and eliminate this issue.

That's the hope. I'm anxious since Tesla HQ responses to my expressions of concern about this issue have amounted to "Trust us; we know what we're doing". My problem with that is that their responses failed to convince me that they even understand what it will take to deliver on the SC promise. IMO, they are shooting from the hip. I expect that to turn out to be costly. Time will tell.

carlgo2 | May 20, 2015

Attended charging stations will be superior in every way to unattended ones.

DTsea | May 20, 2015

Carl2go

Nobody has full sserve gas stations any more, so why do that fir aupercharger?

DTsea | May 20, 2015

For supercharger.

Dang it.

JeffreyR | May 20, 2015

@DTsea

Think super valet and it starts to make more sense. It's not required, just useful. I wonder if states that require attendants for gas will start applying the same rule to SC sites too?

DTsea | May 20, 2015

OR law is for fire risk so unlikely.

I hate valet parking so no thx.

Red Sage ca us | May 20, 2015

Until the BMW i3 and i8 have substantially more than their respective 22 kWh and 7 kWh capacities they will never be able to use a Tesla Supercharger.

The rules governing the use of parking spaces has been covered numerous times by both Pungoteague_Dave and myself. Tesla Motors rents space in existing parking lots. Municipal building codes specify the precise minimum number of parking spaces that must be available for public access, dependent upon the size of the buildings and their proposed occupancy. Within these minimums, there is an included subset of parking spaces that must be provided for handicapped/disabled access.

Most cities do not have a similar guaranteed minimum for assigned parking for electric vehicles. Thus, any parking spaces taken up by Tesla Superchargers takes away from the pool of parking spaces allotted for general parking. Since it is rare for most commercial properties to have more parking spaces than required, those spaces may be shared, and thus not 'exclusive' to Tesla owners.

If a parking lot is expanded specifically to allow Supercharger installation, then those spaces will likely be marked as for charging only. But that typically means there must also be an expansion of landscaping in a given percentage as well.

I suspect that eventually, there may be a series of locations that are operated by Tesla Motors directly. I'd like them to be called Tesla Depots or Waypoints. I imagine that Tesla would either buy land or get 99 year leases to build these facilities. They would be located every 450 miles or so along major highways. Each would have at least two dozen HPWCs and sixteen Superchargers on hand. With a Tesla Store/Gallery, lounge, food court, lavatories, car wash, and Service Center on hand. I figure 24-36 of these would cover the US and Canada fairly well.

ian t.wa.us | May 20, 2015

We'll have to agree to disagree Ron.

My take is that if Tesla wanted to roll out the Superchargers as quickly as they did, with the unkowns of how many S's they would actually sell, they had to make the deals they made. In other words, they were negotiating these deals from a place of weakness.

Hopefully this will change as more and more of their long distance EV's hit the road and they gather more and more data on how and where these vehicles are charging.

As you said, time will tell. I don't have one yet so this doesn't yet worry me. Maybe that will change once I experience ICE'ing for myself.

Grinnin'.VA | May 21, 2015

@ ian t.wa.us | May 20, 2015

In other words, they were negotiating these deals from a place of weakness.

I disagree. IMO, Tesla simply disregarded the potential ICEing problem. There is a lot of unused real estate out there, including abandoned gas stations.

Maybe that will change once I experience ICE'ing for myself.

I've visited 3 SCs, all at off-peak times. I observed ICEing at one of those SCs.

ian t.wa.us | May 21, 2015

I agree they disregarded the potential ICEing problem. Just because there is the potential for something doesn't mean that something will come to pass.

Sure there is lots of unused real estate out there but how much of that is within walking distance of an establishment that provides food and restrooms and a reasonably clean and convenient place for owners to hang out for an hour or so while they charge?

Grinnin'.VA | May 21, 2015

@ ian t.wa.us | May 21, 2015

I agree they disregarded the potential ICEing problem.

Sure there is lots of unused real estate out there but how much of that is within walking distance of an establishment that provides food and restrooms and a reasonably clean and convenient place for owners to hang out for an hour or so while they charge?

I suspect that there are plenty of such places.

BTW, according to the Tesla web site, MS cars rarely need "an hour or so" to charge at a SC.

Red Sage ca us | May 22, 2015

A Model S, driven properly, through a Supercharger dense area, rarely needs to be charged more than thirty minutes, to reach the next Supercharger.

But mature individuals are certain to find such a place unbearable.

A Model S, driven at the speed limit plus twenty-five MPH. (AKA 'Real Highway Speeds'), will likely have to Supercharge a bit longer, to have a proper buffer, to reach the next goalpost.

But not everyone is willing to 'Drive It Like You Stolke It'.

Red Sage ca us | May 22, 2015

Meh. 'pace' ... 'Stole'

DTsea | May 22, 2015

Speed limit plus 25? In our state we put people doing that in jail!

(95 in 70 zone)

ian t.wa.us | May 22, 2015

You suspect there are plenty and I suspect there are not.

Forgot to add the qualification that that unused real estate also be in a location that happens to be at a distance from other superchargers or a crossroads of routinely travelled routes to be of use to Tesla owners. There were some key intersections Tesla was trying to populate to allow long distance travel. Now that they are filling in the gaps they will have more leeway in placing them.

True that most won't need to charge for an hour but I'm anticipating that I will as I plan to be carrying at least one of my many bicycles on a hitch mount rack and to be slightly exceeding the posted speed limit. ;-)

Grinnin'.VA | May 22, 2015

@ ian t.wa.us | May 22, 2015 new

I'm anticipating that I will as I plan to be carrying at least one of my many bicycles on a hitch mount rack and to be slightly exceeding the posted speed limit. ;-)

I suggest you check your Wh/mi while carrying a bike on a hitch mount rack locally before you try getting from one SC to another on a road trip. I have no way of knowing how much the air resistance will increase, but I suspect that you'd get nowhere near the rated range. Good luck.

ian t.wa.us | May 22, 2015

Exactly. Which is why I will plan on range charging at each one. ;-)

Actually, what I'm hoping for is that I will be able to fit at least 2 bikes behind the 2nd row of seats in the X.

Red Sage ca us | May 22, 2015

DTsea: Just referencing, with minor embellishment, the supposed 'personal speed limit' that has been claimed at times by some of our resident speed demons -- who often decry the slightest suggestion that they consider, even peripherally, the mere notion of driving at slower, pseudo-legal rates on the open highway and stuff as an insult to their sensibilities and proclaim such to be a defamation of the clear purpose of 'a car like this'.

ian t: I have no doubt that the Model X, with or without a third row of seating, will be able easily to accommodate two 26" frame mountain bikes -- or maybe even a couple of 29" frame beach cruisers -- stored on the inside with the hatch closed.

sbeggs | May 22, 2015

Flagged

sbeggs | May 22, 2015

Outta here

wildcatzoo | June 11, 2015

I am going to call out the OP on something that is in some way hypocritical.

You went to eat for over an hour. Even if you were at no charge your Model S would have stopped charging by then. You did not go move it, did you?

That makes your car almost as bad as the ICE ones. I see this at hotels a lot and some understanding is required.

So in answer to your question, you are making too big a deal out of it.

Having said that I have told a person that parked in a Tesla space that they were at risk of being towed. I did this in a nice way, and as it was a holiday weekend and 4 of the six spaces were in use it wasn't really a lie. I did make it sound a bit more urgent than it was I suppose, but I wanted to move my car to that space as it was an unused circuit, something I did not explain to them. It worked BTW.

Another experience I had was in an area that does not see many Tesla cars charge there, and I had to maneuver a bit to get a plug. I pulled out a camera and within five minutes all of the spaces were freed up - and one family got to look at a car they knew nothing about. The 3a charger was not working which made me park slanted to get plugged in. Points to anyone that can name the SC. The waitress in the diner said she would let Tesla know about the charger not working. I should follow up on that.

Not sure if that is how you post a photo or not.

It was almost a real issue for me at one location at an hotel where parking was a bit tight, but they left one space open. I pulled in at 2 AM I was able to charge without waking anyone up. Again, this was in an area that they just haven't seen the cars yet, so they don't think they are being used. As people see them being used, the less this will be an issue. At that location they still haven't seen them being used as I was only there for half an hour or so.

There will always be people that want the shade of the SC stall, and for that there are tow trucks. Call Tesla if you need one. If not, best to inform people of how happy you are and pity the ICE drivers that can't respect themselves, much less a parking space reserved for others.

I just returned from a trip to Montana and Yellowstone NP from Los Angeles. I did a circle route, up through the desert and back down through Washington and Oregon. In many areas I was among the first Tesla they had seen use the chargers. Ran into an issue with the only non Super Charge location, in Driggs Idaho. Not a major issue as I had already gotten 6 hours of charging when the other Tesla arrived. Funny part is they had called a cab and found me as I walked back toward the car. I unplugged a little earlier than I really wanted to but made Bozeman with no problem. I like a 20% buffer which is excessive but in unfamiliar areas it is better to be conservative.

Talked with many nice people at many of the SC locations, and keeping a positive and unstressed vibe was the common factor. Spread that feeling and don't let the little things trouble you.

When you actually can't charge you can ask "What's with that TESLA?"

I admit it annoys me too though.

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