Supercharger Courtesy would be nice.

Supercharger Courtesy would be nice.

We finished our fourth roundtrip from LA to SF yesterday and waited 1.5 hours to get our needed 20 minutes of charge at Harris Ranch. The parked Model S had been on charge for over an hour when we arrived according the couple ahead of us in the lineup of three cars. I know this will not happen again after the six chargers across the street are hooked into the grid in two weeks, but perhaps it will. We plugged into the last remaining charger in Gilroy on Sunday and there were four of us charging at Tejon yesterday with another arrival as we left. If Tesla builds 4800 cars a quarter and a large number of those are staying in California, on busy weekends we may see some waiting lines. I have been leaving a sign on our windshield when leaving the S on charge and going for a meal that reads: "If you are waiting to charge call my cell #########."

Love my car, have had 7000 miles of troublefree driving and enjoy visiting with other Model S lovers at the Superchargers. Perhaps we could all try to help each other out in this way. A little courtesy among the pioneers of cross country BEV driving would be great.

Darmok | April 2, 2013

That's pretty crummy, especially at Harris Ranch, when charging should be limited to what's necessary to get to Tejon or Gilroy if at all possible and certainly if people are waiting. It's hard to imagine how being there over an hour could be warranted in any circumstance. I think 99% of S owners would not do that.

Captain_Zap | April 2, 2013

You have my word. I'll be thoughtful.

Getting Amped Again | April 2, 2013

I bought some print-in-printer business cards and leave them in the driver's window. I write in the time I will be back and include a contact email (since it is pushed to my phone).

I don't use the superchargers but always leave the card in my window as a courtesy when at public EV parking. I think everyone should do this. Also - don't park in the EV spaces at malls, ballparks, etc. just because you like the proximity of the space. You have to be charging to use that space! | April 2, 2013

At Harris ranch, there is a clipboard sign-in at the cashier's station. You can put your phone and check-in time on the list, and it works as a queue when there is more than one waiting. You can then call the person charging to let them know you are waiting (and hopefully they'll come out after 30 minutes or so).

The service at Harris Ranch is very slow, so it's hard to get through lunch in less than an hour - which I suspect further backs up those waits. I've waited for over an hour at Harris Ranch for one driver due to the slow service, but 2.5 hours is really bad!

GabrielB | April 2, 2013

When the 6 new superchargers outside the HR restaurant open up (still waiting on PG&E?), it would be cool to have a couple Tesla-Tables set up with a speedy fixed price menu for a Battery-Burger, Super-Steak, or Voltage-Vegie, all done in 30 minutes guaranteed.

olanmills | April 2, 2013

Tesla should be able to send you a text when your car is done charging, and then it should politely remind you to move your car so that others may use the supercharger.

Also, since the system is all Tesla, the charger should be able to know when the currently connected car is done charging. They should allow multiple cars to park near a charging station, even if there is not enough charging capacity for all of them. It should have extra cables that you can plug into your car, even if they are not live, and then when one car is finished charging, the cable for the next person in "line" will go live.

negarholger | April 2, 2013

GabrielB - I like a Tesla-Tea please. Good thinking ! Hope Harris Ranch picks that up.

smd | April 2, 2013

Many apps have notifications built-in. The Tesla Model S app should be upgraded to give a notification when charging is done. You can just turn on the notification when you are at a public charger and turn is off when at home.

derek | April 2, 2013

The app should not give a notification "when charging is done" but rather, a notification when optimal high speed charging is complete. That is, when the supercharger has to back off because you are entering the top end of your capacity. The things deliver their biggest punch on empty batteries up to 50%.

Or a notification when I suggest AND when done. A reminder or SMS on the phone would help a lot of people remember to look outside and move if someone is in queue.

Theresa | April 2, 2013

With the phone app a person need only check their phone occasionally to see if it is charged enough. Yes a notification would be nice but most of us can easily pay attention to the charge level using the phone app.

prytog | April 2, 2013

Unless you have to enter your password to log in

Rhinotyme | April 2, 2013

How about just being polite, courteous,& respectful? Mind the time, and move when you're done charging.

mrspaghetti | April 2, 2013


Very cool idea.


Good point. It would even make sense to have regular ev charging stations available near the superchargers so you could move your car to one of them after the really high amperage charging is done, then take your time to top off if you still need it.

Earl and Nagin ... | April 2, 2013

Sorry folks, having driven the long I-5 in a Tesla Roadster many times, never seeing another EV, I hate to say but this problem is absolutely AWESOME!!!
I'm sorry for the inconvenience and agree wholeheartedly with all of the calls for charging drivers to pay more attention to their use of the superchargers.
It's great seeing Tesla successful. What a glorious problem to have.
BTW: my first time from LA to SF, I had to spend about 4 hours at the RV park in Kettleman City, waiting to charge. I hope PG&E gets their act together soon and gets those other superchargers on line at the Ranch.

Brian H | April 2, 2013

I don't think long 100A 440V cables are on. Just a guess. ;p

negarholger | April 2, 2013

"What a glorious problem to have" - so true...

robkal007 | April 3, 2013

Thanks for all the thoughts and awareness of this issue. Fully agree, it is great having this problem for the sake of Tesla and the conversion to carbon-free driving. Look forward to more Superchargers on more routes and some great meet-ups with EV Pioneers!

gimp_dad | April 3, 2013

All these backups with about 5,000 cars on the road. The Prius hit 1M units just in CA a few years back. When we have 1M Model Ss on the road we will need 200x the amount of Supercharger stations just to get to the same level of backup we have now. That sounds like a tall order.

negarholger | April 3, 2013

How many gas stations do we have? 121 thousand in the US in 2012. So 1.6k SC doesn't sound very high to me. Yes it is building infrastructure and you have to do it over a number of years. And don't forget most of the driving is done with electricity from your garage. Who has a gas pump in their garage... maybe Jay Leno.

Darmok | April 3, 2013

At 20,000 per year it will take 50 years to have 1,000,000. Let's hope that happens sooner.

dstiavnicky | April 3, 2013

Because Tesla has accurate data on location and current charge of all vehicles, they could control this perfectly over time. They could even tell you as you approach a Supercharging station what the wait is. This problem will not happen in the future. In the meantime, I'll always leave a note... now if only there were Supercharging stations within 500 miles of me...

gimp_dad | April 3, 2013

I'm sure communication technology can help with all of this but this is not like a gas station. Filling my gas tank takes 5 minutes, not 1.5 hours. But at the same time there are a lot of ways to optimize the time spent charging if charging is massively ubiquitous (e.g. everywhere I want to stop has SC stalls). In the US there are over 100M cars. The cool thing about Tesla is they have allowed people to understand that we don't need to wait for EVs to make total sense. I want to see it get to the next level which will require massive growth in charging support but is totally do-able if the right incentives exist.

@Kleist I love the fact that I do almost all of my charging at home. But my comment has nothing to do with that. The people currently waiting at a Supercharger aren't charging at home at that moment but they *are* often waiting. When Teslas hit 1M units there will be 200x the likelihood that they will need SC support than there is now.

@Darmok I don't think Tesla did all this work to become the smallest car company on the planet. Of course they will grow capacity to meet the growing demand that will happen due to the obvious appeal of the car. And no car company in history has the potential to scale manufacturing like Tesla does. Just one glance at their factory should make that very obvious.

JohhnyS | April 3, 2013

Can I go from Tejon to Gilroy and bypass Harris Ranch?

negarholger | April 3, 2013

@gimp_dad - I gave you 1600 SC for 1M MS... so what is the point?

To put it in perspective - about 100 SC locations you need to cover the US. So there are 1500 SC that are in between... you will have the choice where to stop. To give you a practical example... Harris to LV. Right now you have to drive the extra distance to Tejon and back to make it to Barstow. Put one SC on the I5 next to Bakersfield and you have a straight shot at LV. And for LA to Harris you have now the choice to stop at Tejon or Bakersfield.

Second - once we have 1M MS on the road then we'll also have 120 kWh batteries on many MS... that gives you 4 hrs driving at 75 mph. Even with the 110 m to 150 m SC grid spacing you can skip one SC location - increasing your flexibility even more.

SC are much cheaper then gas stations, we managed to have enough gas stations over time so I think we also can manage SC.

gimp_dad | April 3, 2013

Sure. My point is that there are currently less than 5k TMS cars in CA. When there are 1M in CA, it will feel like a lot of waiting if there are 200 spaces in and around Harris Ranch. Now expand that all over CA and you need a lot of spaces to make it so there is zero waiting.

CA is the model for the rest of the country. For this to become convenient we need thousands of SC spaces in CA and many times that worldwide.

ChristianG | April 3, 2013

This is why charging on the road will suck for a Long Long time. Chances are hight tat you'll drive somewhere at the same time as others (Holidays or Events). the wait till the pack is full is a Long one so you'll probably try to do something else while it's loading. Stuff will happen and chances are that you're late and therefore some poor guys hav to wait for quiet some times.

Building more stations surely help, but Tesla is putting out 20k cars a year. How many are out there yet? 10k? My Point is, to make those charging stations most efficient they probably should consider a valet Service where they repark your car once it is full.

Or just make it possible to remove the plug after it's full and install Long cables.

robert | April 3, 2013

How about a button on the charger that sends a text or notice to the person charging (or done charging) that someone is waiting. I guess this might require entering a VIN or having the charger read the VIN somehow?

Robert22 | April 3, 2013

How about just doing what Chargepoint does with their app? It tells you exactly who is at what station and how long they've been charging so you can actually plan your day a bit better. Then it gets you when there's very little current flowing and again when it stops completely. I don't want to pull into a SC location running low on juice and be surprised to see 4 cars in the queue. So much for arriving anywhere close to on time.

Brian H | April 4, 2013

Running low on juice? There are lots of oranges to squeeze where those came from.

wonder | April 4, 2013

Point taken and valid!!
I'm still waiting for Model S but "looking forward" to hearing that "a supercharger" is anywhere in the area :-) or anywhere along any of the highways nearby that I might want to travel. Allot of folks would just like to see a Supercharger!
So maybe problem falls in category of ..., wish I had that problem? Location and density at location all an issue.

Darmok | April 4, 2013

We can agree to disagree as to when there will be 1M S on the road in California, or in the world for that matter. But I understand and agree with your central point, that SC capacity will need to increase as cars on the road increase. Hopefully for all of us Tesla sells (or leases) lots of cars and keeps adding SCs at new and existing locations.

Tran2Tran | April 4, 2013

Just common courtesy would be great. Just got back from Vegas. Had to use the Barstow station. It was great. No waiting for the charger. It was available both time I used it to/from Vegas. I stuck around the car just to be close by just in case other Tesla owner need to use it also. One other Tesla pull up after me but there was another charger that was available. I was done in about 45 mins. Tesla should install 4 more chargers there. There was only two available and no major sign to show where it was. Do definitely a better signage.

By the way Crystal at the Las Vegas city center was a great place to charge your tesla also. Located at Crystal Valet. Only one charger available and it only charge about 16 miles per hour