Confirmation that superchargers in destinations are needed

Confirmation that superchargers in destinations are needed

We recently visited Las Vegas for 3 nights to see Elton John (incredible show, 8 rows back) and Cirque du Soleil. At our hotel (Vdara, smoke and casino free), the Valet's put our car on a trickle charge (regular 12amp plug). Since we arrived in Las Vegas with only 50 miles, charging at 3 miles/hr would allow us to charge back up for our return trip. However, we wanted to take a day trip to see the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. This is where the Las Vegas supercharger was a godsend. This allowed us to charge up quickly and do this day trip without any range anxiety or concern. Yes, we could have found a level 2 charger, but having a supercharger in our destination (i.e. metro charger) was so much more convenient and clearly relieved any range anxiety about doing this trip.

For me, this confirmed what I have thought for the last year: we need superchargers in destinations, not just on the way to the destination.

Kleist | April 29, 2014

@mdemetri - first lets enable to go to a destination...
I really don't care if in one instance it was more convenient for just YOU - there are a gizzilion level 2 chargers in LV. You have to realize that most people can't even go to a destination they need to go.

mdemetri | April 29, 2014

I am not arguing about priority, just that we need fast charging in destinations to fully make BEV as easy to use as an ICE. Only then will you get the masses to convert. It is an example that proves the point.

Roamer@AZ USA | April 29, 2014

Destinations will get covered as business realizes the benefit of attracting EV owners. The problem with chargers in town will be local use. Maybe Tesla needs to limit Free Super Charging within 50 miles of your home charger. Just worry that intown free super chargers will get clogged with locals taking advantage of free charging and clogging the chargers for people who really need the charger.

Not sure the answer but worry that anything "free" will eventually get abused.

Kleist | April 29, 2014

@mdemetri - what makes BEVs fully competive is 350+ miles EPA range... not more SC locations ( they are required for larger number of Teslas, not really for making them competitive ).
The initial network enables, convenience comes after that. Think strategic long term...
What we really need is super de-chargers for the Texas borders so nobody can get out... Tesla is working on it with high priority.

rufusperry | April 29, 2014

Let's not forget that all supercharger enabled Model S's paid for the privilege of using any supercharger anywhere-not just on the road!

mdemetri | April 29, 2014

Roamer - I agree, the issue of local use is a concern. However, when we went to charge at the Las Vegas SC (late afternoon on a weekday), we were the only ones there and charged at ~290mph. That compares to Barstow, which was packed, with our charging starting at a measly 75mph. But I agree that Tesla should limit use of SC by locals using some mechanism.

Kleist - I am not sure I understand your point. Convenience is critical to the public. It is why MacDonald's and fast food in general are so dominant. People value convenience and speed above all else. Without it, BEV will remain a niche.

shop | April 29, 2014

I don't disagree about destination charging, for now. But hopefully within the next few years, hotels will get their act together and start installing 30A chargers for overnight charges. When that happens, we will have our destination charging...

DC@Tesla | April 29, 2014

Completely agree with OP. I doubt locals would take "advantage" of superchargers. I live 6 miles from a supercharger but always prefer to use my home charger for convenience. Level 2 charging is not the same as supercharging (tried it once, after painfully watching 19 miles per hour trickle in, will never do it again). Supercharging is what makes Tesla cool, and key to its competitiveness with an ICE car. Range anxiety has to be removed, ESPECIALLY while travelling. Otherwise just an expensive toy.

chenglo1 | April 29, 2014

i agree with SC's being made available at destinations. once hotels start charging (pun intended) for our recharging the costs will be near that of gas prices for a full tank. why then would the masses buy a tesla? might as well rent an ice or fly there then rent ice. gonna dream? dream big. put them o the way AND at the destinations. no excuses for not driving a tesla. now get them stock prices back up!

Kleist | April 29, 2014

@mdemetri - my point is operating your vehicle less need to charge ( more range ) is more convenient then having to charge more often ( at more places ).
Example - going in a 85 kWh vs 125 kWh car from the South Bay to San Diego...
85 kWh - 2 or 3 stops picking up at least 80 kWh on the road
125 kWh - 1 stop picking up only 40 kWh on the road - more then twice as fast.
Yes, I want you to go to LV and from there to the Hoover dam... but I don't want you to be on your last electron - there is where convenience starts.

NO2PTRL | April 29, 2014

Edison allows me to charge between 12:00 and 6:00 AM for .06 a KWH. That is $5.10 for a full charge.

What local numbskull would sit at at CS and take up real users space to save maybe $5 to $10 dollars.
How selfish are people?

Second, I agree with mdemetri, Tesla will need to develop destination charging, however, the expansion of charging locations over the past 3 years has been enormous. I would guess that none of these concerns will exist 3 years from now.

We must just be patient!

Kleist | April 29, 2014

@NO2PTRL - "What local numbskull..." Rich people have money, wealthy people have time - guess who you will find at the local SC?

NO2PTRL | April 29, 2014

Selfish people?

Koz | April 30, 2014

L2 at the hotel would ave served just fine in your situation but more Superchargers can't hurt convenience. Tesla says every 100 miles. Perhaps, near cities they may do @50 & 100 miles out then transition to every 100 miles. In densely packed metro areas like the northeast they would obviously have to deviate. For hotels and multi- hour destination, 14-50 will work fine. It has to work for millions of Tesla's in service and tens of millions of other EVs. Then 10s and 100s. Highway-side restaurants should look to be able to charge 100-200 miles/hr. A single Tesla Suercharger with a 4-way split could do this when they bump to their max 200 miles/ .5 hr. IMO, Tesla should be perusing an arrangement with Cracker Barrel or another chain like them. With some formalized commitments from Tesla (exclusivity and restaurant logo/SC indicators on SC maps), they might be able to convince the restaurant chain to share the financial burden. Siting would be expedited and shared cost would also expedite. Maybe one of Tesla's newly signed manufacturing spaces is for building Supercharger components.

/at least start installing them in the worst spots for the restaurant and least likely to be ICEd.

Mark K | April 30, 2014

Mdemetri - clearly your experience wasn't imaginary. Today, to use our BEVs, we must plan our trips..

That is definitely improving, month by month, but in the near term, we must work around it..

For the Model E customer however, there will definitely need to be some kind of MetroCharger solution for fast charge in cities.

J.T. | April 30, 2014

@Roamer The problem with chargers in town will be local use.
This doesn't seem to concern Tesla. There's a Supercharger at JFK airport which is in New York City, not 50 miles outside. This Supercharger is easily accessible to anyone in Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau, and it's on a Major commuter highway.

It is 10 minutes from my house, even during rush hour, and still it's easier to charge at home. However, I am sure there are many apartment dwellers who use it as their only source. It doesn't seem to cause a problem.

gwstephens | April 30, 2014

Here is the deal. I live in Port Saint Lucie Florida. I have a supercharger 1 mile from my house, right behind my starbucks.

So I use it? yes in emergencies. When I have to leave town after driving around all day.

I cannot drive to Miami, Tampa or Orlando. If I go to Fort Lauderdale I have to go to the Boca store and ask them to move a Tesla and wait for two hours two top up.

Until this is fixed the car is only a grocery getter in Florida.

Plugged In | April 30, 2014

I fail to see the problem of locals using the SC system. Unless by some fluke the SC happens to be next door, anyone too cheap to charge their car at home (or install the appropriate charger at home) still has to deal with the inconvenience of going to the SC and doing nothing specific that could be viewed as productive while they wait. If, however, I was so nearly out of power that I couldn't make it the last few miles or so, the SC would provide the same value to me as it would to anyone else.

I think the problem with chargers in town isn't local use, it's local cost: These SC's are not cheap to build and maintain. To put them in a city may require more effort and more money than to build one in a less-urban location. Vegas is unusual in that when you're outside of Vegas or Henderson you're not anywhere at all. I suppose one could've been installed in Primm or Jean and maybe some day they will be, but I am sure Mr. Musk saw that it was better for all concerned to put it in Vegas itself.

tes-s | April 30, 2014

Funny that you are calling for destination superchargers, when your situation makes a perfect case against them!

- Inconvenient. Sit around and wait for an hour while you car charges??
- High load on the grid during peak times

The correct solution is simple Level 2 chargers. These will charge the car, taking between 10 seconds and 2 minutes of your time (Tesla HPWC or UMC already there for your use is about 10 seconds; 14-50 outlet and getting out/putting away your UMC is 2 minutes).

Locals using superchargers has been discussed before - I don't see where it is an issue. Sure some will use it, but spend an hour to get $10 of electricity in your $100,000 car?

Assume a supercharger install is $250,000 for an 8-bay location, and installing 10 14-50 outlets in a commercial location is $10,000.

Which use of $250,000 would be better for Las Vegas: 1 supercharger location OR 25 locations around town with 10 14-50 outlets each?

Pungoteague_Dave | April 30, 2014

Those of you who say it is silly to charge locally when you can charge at home don't understand basic economic reality. If you pay someone to do a thing, no matter how little, that thing will be done repeatedly. We already see the local charging model being abused at several Superchargers, most notably at Hawthorne if I remember correctly. Plenty of owners on this forum crow about using Supercharging as an alternative to home charging and it is already ICEing some road travelers for whom the network exists.

Elon reiterated in his China speech last week that Supercharging is for intercity travel, and that local solutions including home and work charging are for daily use. I can see some destination charging at major tourist destinations like Vegas or Orlando, but they need to be seriously inconveniently located for the locals. Just because you are technically entitled to something does not make it morally right to abuse it. Yes, I get that most of you say you'd make room for a long distance traveller, but we have all seen owners acts like pricks. I have been ICEd by two Model S owners at Level two chargers, when they weren't even plugged in, apparently because they liked the parking spot and were entitled. Some of our bretheren are seriously entitled folks. We are all responsible for providing the primary charging tools for our cars and the only thing Tesla owes us in charging access is Suprrchargers between cities. And even those are hardly used. All of the Superchargers combined worldwide are barely charging as many cars per week as one normal volume gas station provides fill ups in the same time.

drax7 | April 30, 2014

Nothing in the vicinity of Miami, big mistake, what are they waiting.
Miami is the largest city in Florida.
Something on I-95 would be most useful.

redacted | April 30, 2014

@Pongo +1

Superchargers are intended for intercity travel where you don't have options. That's where there is no other option. I'm sure there are Vegas L2 chargers and am rather surprised a hotel there wouldn't keep a stable of L2 chargers as well as L1 chargers.

drax7 | April 30, 2014

Nobody that can afford a tesla is really concerned about
The few dollars to charge the car up, but the convenience
Is priceless, even at a high price. So start
Deploying these in major cities too .

drax7 | April 30, 2014

We live in a convenience society, tesla don't inconvenience us,
We will pay for the stupid few bucks to charge.

jjs | April 30, 2014

Recently drove my S from Omaha to Phoenix. There are no SCers in NE and getting to Cheyenne, my first SCer stop, was akin to crossing the prairie in a covered wagon. TOOK FOREVER! (I did enjoy the challenge though.)

SCers were great all the way to Phoenix. However when we visited (about 6 weeks ago) there were NO SCers in Phoenix. There was no 240V charger available at the condo we stayed at. A SC in Phoenix would have made the trip MUCH more enjoyable. MUCH easier.

My wife, who does not share my enthusiasm for EVs, upon returning home from that trip, traded out he GMC Acadia (80K miles and time to go) for an Acura MDX even though we have a reservation for an X.

The lack of convenience may well have cost Telsa a sale. IMHO my family is a microcosm of the larger market place. Some will be early adopters and will be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. Others, the majority, will value convenience first, cost second. (or Cost then convenience)

For those that say better planning would have greatly improved our experience would be completely correct and totally missing the point.

Elon gets it. He realizes that he must appeal to people "where they are at". Where most people are at is convenience and cost. The real challenge for the SCer network will come with Gen III/Model E. It will get very interesting very quickly with 500,000 E rolling off the assembly line every year.

+1 OP
+1 Tesla - I'm confident they will solve this issue.

tes-s | April 30, 2014

L2 chargers are MUCH more convenient destination chargers than superchargers.

Going the supercharger route for destinations would be a huge mistake by Tesla - BEVs will relegated to "believers" willing to accept the inconvenience of an hour fill-up at a supercharger instead of a 5 minute fill-up at a gas station.

+1 Tesla. They get it.

hsadler | April 30, 2014


110 miles to Port St Lucie
150 miles to Ft Myers

Not understanding the problem...

If I live in Miami - I got power
If visiting Miami - hotel's got power or I stay elsewhere or I use a Level 2 overnight (plenty in Miami).

Thinking Florida is covered for now ('cept the Panhandle)

drax7 | April 30, 2014


Respectfully disagree.

Elon has to prioritize his capital and time, Miami is not high on the agenda.
I don't have the data they have, so I will await in quiet desperation.
And assume they are all knowing.

hsadler | April 30, 2014

Maybe, but SC's in town become a 'Block Party'. You get to see the same people each time.

earcandy | April 30, 2014

@mdemetri -- I stayed at Vdara in February, and there is an L2 charger next door at Crystals. It's right beside the valet desk. My S85 topped up, and the awesome valets then plugged in another S that arrived overnight.
Vegas is one of the great destinations that has plenty of destination charging at various hotels down the strip. Bellagio even has a HPWC.

NO2PTRL | April 30, 2014


I have to agree, as with your wife, my wife wants no part of this inconvenience. She wants to sit around in Barstow for an hour or two as much as getting a root canal.

I love this car and will put up with whatever comes. I look at it as an adventure. But if you are not a car person, and just view the automobile as transportation, this is a big pain in the arse.

Elon will have to make fueling as easy, fast, and prevalent as filling your tank with gas if he wants folks to buy his mainstream cars.

mdemetri | April 30, 2014

Kleist - I agree, bigger batteries would definitely improve conveinance by reducing the number of charging stops. However, Model E is going to have a smaller range than Model S and so this solution is not on the table (at least for now).

AmpedRealtor | April 30, 2014

I agree with mdemetri, we need Tesla destination charging. Relying on local businesses to attract EVs with on-site charging is not an adequate solution whatsoever and puts our fate in the hands of people who couldn't care less. If we took that same attitude from the beginning, we would not have superchargers and would be subject to the whims of local business owners - that's what Leaf owners have to put up with. That is why having Tesla install destination/metro charging stations would be ideal.

After all, you don't just have gas stations along the interstate! You have them in town as well. Same should be true of the superchargers. I don't see any difference here. Do you think that when Tesla is pushing 100,000 Model E cars out the door every year, they are going to tell those owners to rely on local business to charge when they reach a destination, or to have a 2nd home where they can plug in? Hardly. Without destination and metro charging infrastructure, Gen 3 will not be viable to many.

If we need something, it should be deployed. We are not the keepers of Tesla's fortune and we are not on the Board of Directors or on Tesla's executive team. I wish people here would stop acting like they are Tesla's CFO. Leave it up to Tesla! :)

Roamer@AZ USA | April 30, 2014

The issue is short term verses long term. Near term connecting America is the priority. Long term chargers will be everywhere and probably no longer free.

My point is it makes complete sense to focus limited resources on building out a National infrastructure before building a charge station on every corner in urban areas.

I also have no doubt that as lower cost models hit the market more people that will be willing to hit an SC everyday and charge for free will own the cars. Time will be less value than dollars for the E demographic.

mdemetri | April 30, 2014

Amped +1 - Tesla cannot rely on others to build out the EV infrastructure for destination charging anymore than they could for inter-city travel. Widespread success of BEV will require Tesla to make charging as easy as possible when traveling, which includes destination fast charging. Relying on others for this is a risk that Tesla should not take.

However, I agree that developing inter-city travel is the first priority.

Roamer@AZ USA | April 30, 2014

@mdemetri, Did you order that X yet. Man up and get it done. (; /).

drax7 | April 30, 2014

Ten chargers per state on average, 500 total for the USA, at $150,000 per unit
Equates to 75,000,000 . What's the big deal , just do it.

Multiply by 3 and you have 3 continents.

225,000,000 does the job. They just raised 2 billion,
In comparison it cost 60 million to launch one falcon rocket.

Let's do the ROI.

tes-s | April 30, 2014

There should be destination charging - nobody disagrees with that. "Destinations" are where cars are "parked" - and there should be L2 chargers so they can charge with 0 time waiting.

Supercharger are painfully slow - sitting around, watching your range slowly increase, until you have just enough to get where you are going. Tolerated because there is no alternative to distance travel. A larger battery / increased range will help immensely. More trips will be possible without superchargers, and supercharging would still be 1-hour but you would get 350 miles instead of 250. 350 miles (5 hours if driving) is a much more natural stopping interval (at least for me) than 3 hours.

If there were no ICE, just Volts and other plug-in hybrids, there would be no gas stations at "destinations" because nobody would use them. They would simply fill up on the highway when they are on trips.

SamO | April 30, 2014

Or better yet, have Tesla put 20 HPWCs at every retail and service center.

20X100 = 2000 X $1000 = $2M in hard costs (WAG) $2M installation cost.

For $4M, Tesla can provide 60mph charging at retail locations while people shop, eat or watch a movie.

Problem solved.

SamO | April 30, 2014

And if anyone is worried about cost, let Tesla make it a separate subscription service $200/year or $1000 for the life of the car to offset installation and energy costs.

Mark K | April 30, 2014

Tes-s - of course it's better to have your car refill overnight while it's parked and not needed for driving.

Usually, you can arrange this and it's great.

But when things don't work out, all of us would benefit from at least one option for a quick charge.

Mdemetri's experience is not imaginary. There are simply times where you need an alternative to support your immediate needs.

The alternative to a SuperCharger is to be forced to wait 6 to 12X longer. Detouring your day for 6 hours is not an answer.

Very true that 95% of the time you won't need this alternative.

But 5% of the time, it's currently a stark deficiency of EVs.

I'm confident Tesla will solve it over time.

Most likely as Model E arrives.

hsadler | April 30, 2014

Any location where you plan to be for shorter than an SC can charge is not a destination. It is a pitstop.

jchangyy | April 30, 2014

We need superchargers in popular destination until EVERY hotel has Level II chargers. otherwise, you have the inconvenience of LOOKING for a handful of hotels with Level II chargers and hope that they are in working condition.

hikerockies | April 30, 2014

@SamO: That will help but certainly will not solve the problem. Not enough retail/service centers. Currently there is one retail and one service center that serves Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nebraska and Kansas. Any number of HPWCs at this location will not solve the problem for 5 states at the same time.

SamO | April 30, 2014

Agree that current retail and service offerings are modest, but the Supercharging Network is connecting middle America faster than anywhere but CA. KS is coming.

Again, malls just need to set aside some parking spaces.
Tesla brings the spending customers.
More spending per sq. ft.
Tesla pays for electricity and connection.
Some of the shrewdest operators are structuring deals. EVs seems like a low cost way ($2-5/fill-up) to bring in customers.

Put up a few solar panels. Connect a few batteries for buffer. Voila.
Sustainable customer generation.

bonaire | April 30, 2014

Superchargers 20-30 miles in all four diagonal directions out of LV may make more sense (SW first going toward LA). Having them in-town means a higher cost of installation and maintenance, space-rent and so on. L2 is just fine for LV. And serves all EV drivers equally.

tes-s | April 30, 2014

@Mark - of course it is a nice to have superchargers everywhere. So is an 85 instead of a 60, P85+ instead of an 85, and dual chargers. Not everyone buys a P85+ with dual chargers.

After Tesla finishes building out superchargers over the next two years to enable travel - where there is no option other than to wait for the car to charge - they can put them in other places so people can get a quick charge in a pinch.

At an 80amp J1772 or HPWC it is at most 5x as long to get a full charge in an 85 compared to a supercharger - 3.5x as long for a 60.

@jchangyy - which is why we should NOT put superchargers at destinations. Then hotels will NOT put in the L2 chargers, and we will be stuck wasting an hour getting a charge instead of charging while we sleep. The RIGHT answer is L2 chargers at hotels, malls, ski resorts, and other destinations - or BEV "fill-up" will always suck compared to ICE.

tes-s | April 30, 2014

+1 @bonaire. Same for Orlando. Washington DC.

I think the best scenario would be superchargers about (A) 50 miles outside the destination on each major route, and then another at (B) 120 miles out.

People doing a day trip (or staying overnight without charging available) in a 60 might stop at A both ways. In an 85 might stop at A one way and B the other way. Staying and charging overnight could stop at either.

Heavily travelled route like LA-Vegas could have superchargers every 50 miles. And with a small enhancement to the nav system display to show current # of open bays at each charger (like what Chargepoint does), people would gave a good idea whether to pull off an charge or continue on to the next.

I would much rather see that then destination charging...just my opinion.

Pungoteague_Dave | April 30, 2014

The problem with so many superchargers being demanded isn't initial cost. The issue is maintenance and replacement. Many existing superchargers already have broken stalls or limited charging speed, with hit-or-miss charging. I have had to switch stalls about half the times we supercharged, and that is at little-used East Coast locations. Gas pump hoses have to be replaced at least annually, most more often. Gas pumps last 3-5 years. The Superchargers are already showing use and we've barely started.

TM does not have a support/maintenance program for these that is up to the task yet. What are they going to do in the far reaches of Montana when a SC goes down? Fly someone in? Right now it is very case-specific. This is a new fuel delivery model, one without attended locations like gas stations. TM has limited remote monitoring and relies on us to call in problems. This situation needs resolution before we start dreaming about 500 Superchargers, or even close to that. At least with property-owned Level II chargers, someone local is there to maintain them. They can solve this, but let's build the cart before we buy the horses.

jai9001 | April 30, 2014

Destination superchargers are a must in my opinion when the GenIII car arrives. There are large parts of the country that currently have no charging infrastructure. Most owners from the West coast have to realize how truly unique the charging infrastructure is in California, etc. There are few brave souls who have done road trips across the southeast of the US, but that is way to much aggravation for my tastes.

Obviously most of these problems get solved if either Tesla or a separate company begins charging for the electricity and maintenance. I can't imagine that Tesla is going to be able to offer free maintenance and electricity for hundreds of superchargers 10 years from now.