Darien CT or Milford CT supercharger?

Darien CT or Milford CT supercharger?

Hi, I'm traveling from NJ to Boston soon with the family (two little kids & wife) and was wondering which station would be a more feasable stop to top off the battery? Any suggestions?

tesla.mahedy | August 21, 2013


We would need more information about your car, driving habits, start and destination, and the like.
What model is your car
Do you expect to drive at 55mph? If not at what speed?
Where in NJ are you?

MSAddict | August 21, 2013

Sorry, should have detailed it earlier. So I have a P85 and I would say we would be driving around 65 - 75 MPH. with the kids in the car, I doubt I'm going to drive too crazy (not that I do otherwise ;)

Will be leaving from Old Bridge NJ and heading to Westford MA.

Also, if anyone has been to both Darien & Milford stops, what are the major differences? Kid friendly, etc?

tesla.mahedy | August 21, 2013


Full Disclosure
I have been to neither but from my understanding of the way supercharging works is that you want to get as far as you can before charging. From what I gather, it makes sense to go to milford and take 95 to 84. The reason for this is that you will deplete more charge by going to Milford than you would Darien. My recommendation is to not charge at Max Range mode the night before and only consider changing that when you get to Milford. I have no idea which one is more kid friendly. But in terms of what I believe is most efficient, you should drive to Milford and consider switching to max range (though this will make charging time a lot longer).

From Old Bridge to Milford SC is about 100 Miles
The remaining drive is 141 miles, charging to full standard (80%-85%) should give you approximately 225 miles. At 65-75 I'd say (conservatively) that your true range is more along the lines of 190. Which is still more than enough to get you to Westford.

I hope I helped. Again, this is just my 2 cents.

Carmine | August 21, 2013


I live in Marlboro and did the trip up to Providence on 95 in my Sig Performance 85 this past weekend. I charged to 240 miles when leaving, stopped at Darien 90 miles later, just for fun, and plugged in for about 15 minutes during a restroom stop. 30 miles later I pulled into Milford to check it out for another 15 minutes and then on to Providence without problems. On the return trip the only supercharger on 95S is in Milford, so that should be a definite stop for you. All 3 locations are clean with McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, etc and are very kid friendly.
For you with the kids, if you stop at the Milford superchagers going and returning you should be fine as long as you don't drive like a madman.
Have a safe trip.

jman | August 22, 2013


I do know that the Milford site is easily accessible and concurr with past posts about driving as far as you can.

Hi Carmine,

I am in Shrewsbury and am going to pull the trigger on our MS this May. I know of two other owners in Mass but would love to add to my contacts. Still in the process of finalizing this purchase with the wife so any help would be appreciated. I know putting personal info on sites like this isn't usually done

ironciti | August 22, 2013


I just made that trip last week (NH to NJ) and would suggest Milford as well. I've got a P85 and you will have no problem at all making it to Milford. Darien and Milford are about 30 miles apart and both locations only have 2 SC stalls. They are both located in service areas/rest stops right off 95 and restaurant choices are very similar.

Why Milford? It's closer to Westford MA and your charging time will be faster (unless you decide to do a max charge). The SC is really fast getting you back to 200-220 miles of rated range but does slow noticeably as you get closer to 240-260. I did a max charge because I was going all the way to NH and pulled into Milford with 98 miles of range and it took about 50 minutes to get up to 258. Also remember for the trip south the Darien SC is only on the northbound side so Milford is more convenient. If need be you can get to the Darien SC heading south by getting off the exit right after you pass it (I forget what exit number it is but you can see the rest stop on the other side of 95) and its only about a mile out of the way.

Hope that helps. Enjoy!

JonathanL | August 22, 2013


I am in Essex County and traveled to Narragansett last week (P85/21" tires). Stopped at the Milford chargers both ways. I left with a range charge of about 236 miles each time and used about 120 of range for a 100 miles traveled at an average of 70mph with AC on, 4 occupants, car packed to the gills. With a distance of 250 miles from Old Bridge to Westford, you could stop at either one and still get to your destination with range to spare. Since the Darien Supercharger is only on the North Bound side and Milford is on both sides, I would say use either one going North and Milford going South. These are the new fast chargers, so if no one else is there you will get about 100 miles in 20 minutes.

This was our first time traveling long distance in the Tesla and it was so much more enjoyable and relaxing than our ICE SUV or Sedan.

The biggest issue I had was charging at my destination. The place we stayed at only had 15amp/110v so just 3 miles/hour. I was able to find some free public chargers, including a ChargePoint at a State Park. I did not have a ChargePoint RFID card, but I was able to sign up online and then use the iPhone App to initiate the charging.

We visit friends in Acton, Lowell and New Hampshire a couple of times/year, so let me know how you make out. Looks like they are putting a SC in the Sturbridge area.

MSAddict | August 22, 2013

Great comments guys. Really helpfull. Some of you mentioned not to leave with a max charge, why? Also, Have any of you faced congestion at the SC's? Or people just leave their cars plugged in for longer than they have to? I will most def. stop at Milford but earlier I eas going to stop at Darien because that would be my first security to charge and incase there is a bottleneck there then I can head over to Milford. Dont know if that is really practical. Also doesnt Milford have more than two SC stations?

KendallPB | August 22, 2013

I think stopping at the first one you find, in case it's busy and you want to just go to the other, is a reasonable way to do it.

The two legs of your journey are...short. Why would you max charge, when you don't need to and that's not as good for the battery? I mean if you have few/no charging options at your destination, then I could see it. You'd be driving as soon as you topped off, so it's not like you'd be leaving the car for hours at the max state of charge. On the other paw, max charging is slow because (to protect the battery) charging slows down as you approach max. So IMHO, not needing it, why waste the time anyway?

BTW Westford's only 45 minutes from the Tesla Natick store; call them, I bet you could charge there if no other options pan out. Another reason you probably won't need to max charge.

KendallPB | August 22, 2013

P.S. I've used Milford once in each direction--no wait either time. I'm sure it depends on day of the week and time of day and...the randomness of who's there at the time. (shrug) Plus this was a few months ago; maybe they're busier now. But I get the impression the Left Coast has a lot more Teslas and more of a congestion problem. I wouldn't expect a wait, or at least not a long one, on the East Coast.

At a service area, I doubt people leave their cars much longer than they need to; how long does it take to grab a bite and use the restroom? I bet usually people are waiting on the supercharge, at stops like these--the cars aren't waiting on them.

tesla.mahedy | August 22, 2013


The reason I suggested not to leave with max charge is because you want to deplete the most battery before you supercharge. Charging to max range and only driving 100 miles will make charging time slower. I hope this helps.

MSAddict | August 22, 2013


I see and totally makes sense. So this is what I thought happened:

Scenario 1: You have a max charge of 275 and you drive 100 miles. You're at 165 once you arrive to the SC. Time takes to charge to 240 or so would be 15 minutes or so.

Scenario 2: You have a charge of 240 and you drive 100 miles. You're at 140 once you arrive to the SC. Time takes to charge back to 240 or so is now 10 minutes?

So the less miles you have left the faster the charge to 240?

Brian H | August 22, 2013

iron et al,
One of the coming SC upgrades Elon mentioned is the reduction of the "topping off" time & slowdown. So a lot of this fussing and planning will become unnecessary.

KendallPB | August 22, 2013

@MSAddict: Yes, the lower your charge, the faster it will Supercharge.

@Brian H: I hadn't heard that (or I'd forgotten). We'll see just how much it changes; since the slowdown is to protect the battery, I'm a bit skeptical it'll change a lot.

Brian H | August 23, 2013

He spoke of it as going to about 5 minutes or so. The previous restriction was apparently precautionary, and is being backed off.

tes-s | August 24, 2013

Darien has 4 SC stalls. Two by the south entrance to the building, and 2 just to the north of the west entrance to the building.

Rarely do I see another MS in Darien - I have been charging there until my HPWC is connected next week.

On the way south, you will want to stop in Milford. The Darien charger is only accessible from the northbound lanes. My guess is there will be SCs in the southbound service area (about 2 miles south of the northbound service area) which is currently closed for reconstruction.

LMB | August 25, 2013

We've driven Boston to Philly twice now - once in June, and once last week.

The only thing I would add is that in June, one of the two chargers in Milford Northbound wasn't operational. I called Ownership Experience to alert them, and I saw somewhere on these forums that someone saw people working on it later.

So I was pretty surprised when we pulled in last week to Milford North and the same SC wasn't working - still, or again, I don't know. Called OE again, but I don't know if it's fixed.

So, since I think you'll make it no matter where you charge, you might stop at Darien North rather than Milford North. Yes, there are four chargers at Darien, two of them hiding around back.

Going south, you have only Milford, with two stations, unless you loop around and go northbound briefly to get to Darien. We actually did that, because we had to drive pretty far into PA for the second leg, so we wanted to get as far south as possible. Perfectly doable, and only adds about four miles to your trip.

One difference is that Darien North service center puts cones in front of the spaces to prevent ICEing. When we got to Milford south last weekend, one of the slots was ICEd by a tradesman who had been given permission by the managers to park there while working at the service center. That was no good.

One odd thing when speaking to Ownership Experience about the malfunction was that the person didn't really grasp for a minute that there were only two SCs at Milford, and therefore only one working. They must mainly hear from folks in CA.