Submitted by Aleksandyr on May 27, 2013
Just got back from the Memorial Day weekend. Convinced my wife that we could not use the ICE car and run fossil fuels, etc. we were worried about a back up at the chargers. We left early on Friday, around 745. We decided to stop at gilroy to top off and see the charger for future use. There are four chargers at gilroy and three were taken. We took the last spot and only got half the charge rate expected. Fortunately we didn't need the charge too badly. One of my kids threw a huge tantrum about getting some junk food, so we packed up and heard for Harris ranch. I have never been to Harris ranch before, and probably wouldn't have if the chargers were not there. We already had breakfast, but they don't serve lunch until11. So we had another breakfast, a decent meal. Most importantly there were 6 chargers and no one there! I was feeling pretty good about taking the tesla now! We attempted a charge on one stall, but could not get it to connect. I then moved over one stall and got full supercharging at 287mi/hr! Amazing to see you battery fill like that. We left with close to full battery and headed for LA. Stopped in Tejon for a break and a quick top off again. No problems here again full charge rate after one MS left. They have 6 chargers and we were the only ones charging again, after one car left. All in all it was rather painless and good experience.
For the return trip we charged max at my parents and skipped Tejon going straight to Harris. I was driving 80 most of the way. Got to Harris with 23 mi rated range. Plugged in and initially got only half supercharge, so moved to another charger. We were the second car. The other MS was gone when we came back. It would have been pretty difficult if we had to charge at half rate, fortunate that I could easily move to another station. We really wanted lunch this time, but again were too early. We waited 20 minutes for the 11 menu. I left Harris with 235 mi rate and drove again around 80 stopping this time in gilroy for a quick shopping. There were four cars charging when we arrived , but one was just leaving! We were fortunate as I saw another MS leave the lot as we pulled in. We charged for about 20 minutes at full charge rate.. When I got back to the car another MS was plugging in to the level 2 charger. I offered my spot in a few minutes as we packed up. As we chatted another MS drive up asking if we were finishing, the other driver was already taking my spot, especially since he only had 4mi rate range left. I couldn't help noticing that the other three MS cars were no longer charging! This could have been a very frustrating experience if I needed the charge and was forced to wait for someone to shop while they were fully charged. I will not rely on the gilroy chargers because of this. There really should be more chargers, and or a way for people to communicate to those that are done to come move out! This was the first time I used the superchargers and was glad that it was easy and painless with little to no waiting! It took use about 7hours for the trip, probably about an extra hour than we would have had. Looks like my ICE car is getting sold! Really don't see any use left! Well maybe Tahoe since it is four wheel drive.