San Diego parking structure makes you pay to get your car to the supercharger

San Diego parking structure makes you pay to get your car to the supercharger

Unlike LA, we have only two Superchargers in San Diego. The one in downtown San Diego is located within a parking structure and you need to pay to get your car in to charge it. It's under utilized.
The other one is at Qualcomm near Sorrento Valley and that one is super busy. There is usually a line there to Supercharge.
So we're faced with either pay to use the one in downtown or go to Qualcomm and wait in line.
1. I know Tesla is planning to open several superchargers around San Diego in the next 12 months but would it be possible for Tesla to temporarily waive the parking structure fee for Tesla owners so that one is more utilized and lower the load on the Qualcomm one?
2. When a stall goes down in the Qualcomm Supercharger which happens frequently, is it possible to mark the stall unavailable in Navigation app or Maps? Because we think that there is availability and the Supercharger isn't full. But in fact it is full and that stall is broken instead of available. If I see it full, I won't bother to go there to charge but because it's marked available in Maps, I tend to think that the Supercharger isn't full occupied till I get there and see it broken.

wisam.alrawi | November 2, 2018

Current line behind me right now.

stevenmaifert | November 2, 2018

Agree that putting a Supercharger in a fee to park location stinks, but downtown parking in San Diego is at a premium so perhaps that's the best Tesla could do. A 24 stall Supercharger at the Fashion Valley Shopping Center is currently in the permit stage, so we may see some relief from the Qualcomm crunch early next year.

wisam.alrawi | November 2, 2018

Oh, that would be a great relief to have it in Fashion Valley. I go there quite often and it's closer to my home. The El Cajon one was supposed to come by the end of this year. It's much closer to where I work and live. No one knows when it'll open exactly. So it's gonna be tough till then.

Madatgascar | November 3, 2018

Virtually all of the 21 SCs in Hong Kong are in pay-to-park structures. In dense urban areas free parking is hard to find.

NoMoPetrol | November 3, 2018

The SC location in Riverside is on the top level of a pay-to-park parking structure. Upon exiting I simply write my name on the ticket that was issued to me when I entered, and the parking fee is waived (so long as the time stamp is within an allowable time frame).

I'm not sure what arrangement Tesla has with the City of Riverside or whomever manages the parking structure, but it might be worth investigating if a similar arrangement could be worked out for the A Street location in San Diego.

JayInJapan | November 3, 2018

Why not charge at home?

SCCRENDO | November 3, 2018

@Jay+100. It’s all the cheapskates in San Diego that are clogging up the superchargers for long distance travelers

wisam.alrawi | November 3, 2018

"JayInJapan | November 3, 2018
Why not charge at home?"
I don't have a home. I live in an apartment complex and they don't have EV chargers. I wish I could do that. It's not fun driving to the SC and wait in line then wait for charging at slow rate.
I tried to talk to them to get us a way to charge with SDGE plan incentives. SDGE has a plan to help apartment complexes install them and link the electricity usage to residents directly through an app or something. The manager said she will talk to the owner and see. She told me that since no one had any EV vehicles why invest in making them available for tenants? Now I'm the first one to have one so I'm pushing them to put one. My neighbor also asked me how I charge as he was interested to get an EV for himself but he was concerned about charging so he ditched the idea and got himself a Camry.
The sad thing is that SDGE (San Diego Gas and Electric) charges you 23¢ per Kw off-peak hours. Regular hours is 53¢. The highest rate in California.

wisam.alrawi | November 3, 2018

"SCCRENDO | November 3, 2018
@Jay+100. It’s all the cheapskates in San Diego that are clogging up the superchargers for long distance travelers"

Actually, the SC availability in San Diego is quite limited. At the current rate of Model 3 rollout (exponential), the situation will only get worse. You just can't blame it on cheapskates. There are a lot more Tesla vehicles in San Diego, and housing is really expensive here. Not everyone can afford to buy a house. But they can afford a Tesla vehicles. A lot of people live in apartment complexes with no way to charge. I don't even have charging at my work place either since electricity is expensive.

Madatgascar | November 4, 2018

@wisam, when you talk to the apartment manager, I suggest you start inquiring about early termination, so you can move to a more state of the art apartment. They say “nobody else has an EV”?
You know at least one neighbor who wants to buy one
Tesla’s Model 3 is now the third best selling car in the country
Every major carmaker has committed to EVs
New apartments are installing lots of EV chargers
A lot of existing apartments are installing them
San Diego promotes EV adoption
You will pay for the electricity usage
Maybe show them the marketing material of other complexes that advertise EV charging.

stevenmaifert | November 4, 2018

Tesla builds urban Superchargers for a reason, and it's not for long distance travelers. It's for folks like the OP who live in multi-unit dwellings without charging opportunity. The idea that he should move just to be able to charge his car is ridiculous. It's made worse when Tesla puts these urban Superchargers in fee to park locations, but that's just how it is. As for the cheapskates, most current and future Model 3 owners have to pay to Supercharge, so that argument is going to fade quickly..

Madatgascar | November 4, 2018

@steven, you're right, but it's a bad model. The beauty of EV is overnight charging. If someone can't charge at home, and can't charge at work, they are really not going to like the EV experience, and the SC overload is going to make for bad press. Tesla, municipalities, utilities, and all of us as EV owners really need to push hard to get home charging infrastructure installed.

I'm not actually suggesting @wisam move just to get a charger, but his apartment manager should think they will lose tenants if they don't compete for market share in an exponentially growing EV market.

wisam.alrawi | November 4, 2018

1. There are "some" apartment complexes that provide 2 stalls of EV charging but they are often used by Chevy Volt or BMW i3 or Nissan Leaf. Tesla is not the only option people buy. Plus those guys charge at a slower rate and the parking spot is sometimes smaller because EV installation thinks of them as potential users rather than a Tesla.
2. Overall EV charging installation (urban charging) for apartment dwellers is much needed. I'll pay for the electricity, no problem. There are days where I need to think of charging before going to a long trip since I don't have SC on the east side of San Diego. It would be nice if Tesla can collaborate on the urban charging side with landlords although I think Tesla has enough things to keep them busy.
3. Finding a rental apartment with a good price and location is really hard in San Diego. Where I live is 100% occupied and because of high rent we are voting on a proposition for rent control on Tuesday. Housing market is expensive here.
4. My goal is to eventually buy a house and put Tesla Solar and few Power Walls and enjoy free charging at home. Can't do that right now :'(

Madatgascar | November 4, 2018

I get. Keep trying though! Maybe you can take a poll to see who is interested. SDGE has programs that should make it pretty easy.

Uncle Paul | November 4, 2018

Urban charging is a serious issue that Tesla alone cannot solve.

If cities wish to have less pollution, offering their citizens access to charging stations should be more of a priority.

Already there are chargers at Balboa park and some other locations, but they are going to need hundreds more. Should be ways to charge up EVs at every city and county facilities, as well as at all the tourist attractions. They need to encourage tourists to bring their EVs with them when they visit San Diego, instead of driving down in their polluting gassers.

Right now it is chicken and egg. People are not buying EVs because there are not well priced convenient stations. Cities are not providing the charging stations because they feel that the need is not there until more people have EVs.

NoMoPetrol | November 4, 2018

@Uncle Paul: "...Already there are chargers at Balboa park and some other locations, but they are going to need hundreds more..."


I visit Balboa Park 4 - 6 times per year and make sure to charge at the Blink Network chargers in the parking lot by the SD Zoo just to keep their meter running. But for the last 8 months one of the four charging stalls has been out of order with no sign that anyone wants to repair it so that at least four EV owners could charge at a park that has thousands of visitors every weekend.

With performance like that mass EV adoption is still a ways off.

reed_lewis | November 5, 2018

If you think that charging in San Diego and paying $8 per hour is expensive, in downtown Boston, there is a super charger which the parking rate for one hour is $12. Over two hours is $42!

Madatgascar | November 5, 2018

@NoMoPetrol, I’m convinced Blink is run by the Koch brothers in an attempt to delay EV adoption. I used to try to use one in San Diego where I would have to get down on my knees and cup my hands over the screen to read it in the bright sun, bobbling my cell phone, wallet, and credit card, only to find it wasn’t working half the time. Imagine other EV drivers have to put up with that BS. Superchargers are the way to go.

reed_lewis | November 5, 2018

Here in New England, we have a bunch of Chargepoint chargers which are run by other people (the groups that own the location), and I have good luck using them. There is one with four ports in my office's building which I use every day.

rxlawdude | November 5, 2018

Blink should more aptly be named "On the Blink."

kichwas | November 5, 2018

You guys down there should also get the ChargePoint and Plugshare apps and look for any chargers you can use of Other brands.

Not ideal...
But may help.

I have home charging up here in the Bay Area but I also use ChargePoint during weekdays. Plenty of those in urban spots. I see 30 ChargePoint locations in downtuSan Diego, many with multiple chargers.
- if one is near work or home, take advantage of that. It can charge about 30 miles per hour.

Uncle Paul | November 5, 2018

Using these other charging systems makes me appreciate the near perfection of the Tesla Superchargers.

rxlawdude | November 5, 2018

@UP, +1

lxgnzlz | November 5, 2018

San Diego is full because there are simply insufficient Superchargers in San Diego.

Tesla2018 | November 5, 2018

"Not everyone can afford to buy a house. But they can afford a Tesla vehicles."

If I had 60K to spend on a Tesla then I would use it as a downpayment on a house and drive a $1000 beater car instead. Houses appreciate and cars depreciate. Rent payments make landlords rich.

wisam.alrawi | November 5, 2018

Here in San Diego the down payment is 170k. For a 15 or 30 years loan you're definitely making thr bank rich. Not much of an investment. Housing in California is in bubble. 70s 80s house is being sold for 700k here (East of San Diego).
Instead of this nonsense market, I took a Model S P100D and I'm enjoying driving it every day. That car is just frikin unbelievably fun to drive! You feel everyone on the road is riding a horse. Lol. Friends love it too.
My next step is to get the house but I'm not in a rush. I'm also single so not in a need for 3 bedroom house.

wisam.alrawi | November 5, 2018

I tried a level 2 charger at the mall:
1. 2 hours limit
2. 22 miles per hour
3. Parking is too small for the Model S. Night get dinged or hit the curb next to the charging stall.
4. Lots of BMW i3 or Chevy Volt or Fiat occupying the stalls .

The Supercharger rules. Hands down.

Tesla2018 | November 5, 2018

170k at 20% down would be 850k.
I didnt know that starter houses are that much, thats crazy since they are around 200k here in FL
Maybe the pay is more there since it seems the majority of people in Fl work in malls or hotels that dont pay well.

I can by a condo in a 55 or older senior citizens complex for 30K in Fl but then I would go nuts dealing with all their crazy hoa rules, senile and cranky neighbors, and the monthly dues are high since the buildings are run down and require a lot of maintenance.

wisam.alrawi | November 5, 2018

Housing in Florida is way cheaper than San Diego. Makes sense to buy a house there. 60k down payment I'll do it in a heartbeat.

As far as SC in San Diego go, we definitely need a lot more. If Tesla can stick destination chargers at Fashion Valley and Westfield UTC mall and other malls that would be awesome. It doesn't have to be a Supercharger. Anything faster than a level 2 would be quite helpful. I know there is a plan to get several done in the next 12 months. I just wish they can magically expedite the process <3.

Tesla2018 | November 6, 2018

Since SD seems to have a lot of Tesla and other EV owners owners maybe they could petition the town building department to require that each new building or renovation of a commercial building require 1 electric charger for every 20 or 30 (or whatever number is logical) parking spaces. I know that FL has a regulation stating something similar for handicapped parking.One day a regular space in front of an 8 unit condo that I had a unit in was converted even though no one in our building was handicapped but they made us have 2 spaces.

I read that the UK will require new homes to be wired for EV vehicles so if it was made a ballot item in American towns the ev owners might get it passed or storeowners might get extra business from shoppers coming in from other towns that dont offer them.

kichwas | November 6, 2018

@wisam: There’s a lot more to choice of state than cost of housing. Only way you’d ever get me in Florida is if you put me in chains.

I wasn’t promoting the level 2 chargers as ideal up above, just noting that the option can be used to fill gaps or “suffer through”.