Superchargers limited to 80%

Superchargers limited to 80%

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I get the reasoning behind it, but don't agree with Tesla's secrecy as to which superchargers will impose limits. I know Tesla is famous for keeping some things secret, but this is one that shouldn't be. Some people need to charge to 100% to make their next destination. Showing up and expecting to charge to 100% only to be surprised that it's limiting you to 80% could be a real problem. Of course it won't be a multiple occurrence issue and most will be able to work with it, but leaving someone stranded just one time is too many. Especially when they made the decision to switch from ICE cars to EV's based on what Tesla offered (100% charging), not what they changed their mind and decided to limit it to.

The other issue is those with Short range versions. Is Tesla going to limit those cars? That would be a real issue for them. Fortunately, I have a long range car and there have been times where I needed every last bit of my 100% charge. Long distance travel in a short/mid-range car is already a little more challenging. This could make it impossible for some people in some cases. Tesla absolutely needs to release a well publicized list of which superchargers will be limited and at what times. Otherwise we'll soon be reading posts from people that got stranded.

With a list and times, people can at least plan accordingly ahead of time. Additionally, new potential buyers will be able to determine if their routes are affected and whether an EV with an 80% charge limitation will work for them. Tesla may need to re-advertise the ranges in their cars. (310 miles when charging at home, 248 miles when using the Supercharger network). What was the point of buying a 310 mile range car then? Nobody needs 310 miles of range for their typical daily driving. They paid the extra money for added range for long distance travel. Tesla is effectively reducing the range of the cars (on particular routes and times).

As I write this, the more issues that keep coming to mind, so I'll stop now. But, my initial thought was "not a real big deal", but thinking more, could actually be a bigger deal to many.

greg | 27 mai 2019

Tesla says if you are routing through a SC which is limiting usage to 80%, and your navigation route requires it to charge above 80% you will be allowed to do so. So there is no problem there.

However If you route to a SC [or just turn up at one] with no destination beyond then you won't be allowed to exceed 80%.

Which suggests a simple workaround - put a route in that requires a >80% charge before you arrive and the system will let you do so.

I can see why they are doing it. What they say they will do as per above is a reasonable compromise.
How well its works in practise? Yet to be determined.

Patrick | 27 mai 2019

Ran into this issue yesterday while charging in Tifton, GA - big surprise. Especially given that a) we received no Tesla announcement or customer notification prior to implementation and b) I was the only car using the Supercharger site at the time.

Fortunately 80% was no issue in this case as it was enough to reach our next charging stop, but we’ve planned routes requiring over 80% on numerous occasions for various reasons.

I understand the rationale behind the new policy, but Tesla should at least publish a list of the impacted sites and applicable holidays.

rdr1rx | 27 mai 2019

Even easier workaround: move the slider past 80%.

Patrick | 27 mai 2019

Slider was at 100%. Received an app notice saying charger hard stopped at 80%. Charge rate was zero when returning to the car.

Iwantmy3 | 27 mai 2019

If they are going to limit to 80% in order to allow better throughput of cars, it should only be applied to superchargers that are busy. At least apply the 50% of capacity rule similar to the application of idling fees. I have certainly experienced times where I had an extended stop while charging to 90% which allowed me to skip a supercharger. In these cases I have usually been the only car charging. It would be annoying to be cut-off prematurely when there are no cars waiting.

Lonestar10_1999 | 27 mai 2019

I agree with Iwantmy3. The policy should situation specific. If the SC underutilized, let the charging go to 100%. Why must the customer endure range anxiety unnecessarily.

Tropopause | 27 mai 2019

If Trip Planner says you need more, there is no 80% cap. What's the problem?

charles.a.braun | 27 mai 2019

@Trop - How do you tell the trip planner that the speed limit is 80MPH, That there is a 50MPH head wind and the outside temp is 40° and therefore you need more than 80% to make it between Murdo SD and Rapid City SD in your S75?

rxlawdude | 27 mai 2019

@Charles +1

Ron.Olsberg | 27 mai 2019

I recently made a multi-supercharger trip (before this policy was in effect) and I have one observation regarding this policy. I charged at the Childress TX supercharger heading to the Dallas Fortworth area which is quite a long stretch. If I remember correctly, the in-car navigation system indicated I has enough juice to get to my destination when it reached 80%, however, because it was my first long trip, I let is charge for another 15 minutes, which was more expensive due to the slow charge rate and paying by the minute. Glad I did this because I drove about 10MPH BELOW the posted speed limit almost the entire leg of this trip, not using the HVAC, and arrived with 10% capacity remaining. Question is, would this new policy, if in effect),allow me to charge past 80%? There may have been a head wide all I know is my watt hours/mile were higher than normal. I guess I could put in a destination that was beyond my sisters house, but that is gaming the intent of the new policy. People that have free supercharging have no incentive to move on if longer wait is not a issue. Paying by the minute, I would seldom charge above 80% due to the higher cost. When the Wichita Falls supercharger goes online (which reports indicate that might happen fairly soon), this would be a none issue. I basically have no problem with the new policy, just wonder how corner cases will be handled. If people game this new policy, Tesla could flag your account, since they know where your actual destination was. On both the outbound and return legs of this trip, the navigation system wanted me to charge an additional 20 minutes to bypass the Amarillo supercharger maybe because it was free? did not realize it was free till later. This additional 20 minutes charging was beyond the 80% level. I chose to not wait the 20 minutes and stopped in Amarillo both ways which I think actually saved me time, certainly saved me money even if the Amarillo charging had not been free. Paying by the minute can get quite expensive at the top end and during cold weather it might be even more costly.

billtphotoman | 27 mai 2019

I understand why they need to do this but it would be nice if they limited it to SCs within a 50 mile radius of your home address. If I am on a road trip and arrive in a city without a destination charger I might need more than 80%.

jjgunn | 27 mai 2019

I never charge to 100%

In most cases, 80% will get you to the next SuperCharger.

Pretty rare when it doesn't.

Iwantmy3 | 27 mai 2019

Limiting to 80% is fine if there is a reason for it at that supercharger at that time. However, situations like Patrick's should not happen when the charging station is mostly empty.

mrburke | 27 mai 2019

@billtphotoman - You touched on a major issue. SuperCharging was never meant to used as a replacement for "local every day" charging. Pick a number: 10 miles, 20 miles or... Super charging should not be allowed or a big premium should be charged for using superchargers close to home.

nhunguyen | 27 mai 2019

They should detect cars out of town and allow those up to 90% instead of 80% wholesale.

nhunguyen | 27 mai 2019

They should detect cars out of town and allow those up to 90% instead of 80% wholesale.

Tropopause | 27 mai 2019


Great points, however keep in mind this 80% cap is only at high usage Superchargers which means there will be a high density of them regionally. I agree with you about headwinds, etc. but out on the open road I doubt we'll find any Superchargers with the 80% cap. BTW- Trip Planner does know the 80mph speed limit routes, but not the winds and maybe not the temps.

I was charging to 100% at some remote Superchargers on my US cross-country trek but those remote sites will not be capped. In dense urban areas, the capped sites will have plenty of choices nearby. I still don't see the problem.

charles.a.braun | 27 mai 2019

@Trop - That maybe the case today but no promises that Tesla wont make this a nationwide policy tomorrow.

Also I have supercharged many times to only what the car told me to. Say 80% and then when back on the road been hit with the message "keep speed below 65MPH to reach destination" in areas with 70, 75 and 80MPH speed limits.

Lonestar10_1999 | 27 mai 2019

The chief reason Tesla has mass appeal is the range is adequate for most customers’ needs. Any one who bought a Leaf would agree.

The 80% cap policy erodes the the most important feature Tesla offers. Whether the range anxiety is justified or not doesn’t matter. When you are on a long journey, far from home, you have enough to worry about without thinking about making it to the next SC.

wjhunter23 | 27 mai 2019

We use the Tifton, Ga. supercharger for long distance road trips and would be very upset to only get an 80% charge when we need more for the trip. Might have to consider canceling my Model Y order if this continues

2015P90DI | 27 mai 2019

This can also force drivers to change their driving habits. Most people buying a Tesla are doing so because there's less compromise in switching from an ICE car. Many early EV owners used the hyper-mileage technique. Thus, less than 1% of the market purchased EV's. Increased range has allowed EV's to become more mainstream as they don't force people into range anxiety or to drive 55 MPH on the freeway when the flow of traffic is doing 80 MPH.

For me, on my trips, I commonly use at least 20% more than what the trip planner states that I will. And that's only going 10 MPH over the speed limit. If I'm now being limited to 80%, I would have to drive much slower to make it. Most people buying a premium car for $50,000+ don't want to sacrifice their driving styles to drive an EV.

I think the better approach would be to quadruple the price of charging over 80%, that way owners at least still have the option to charge above when they know they need to, regardless of what the trip planner might say. Otherwise, Tesla is taking a step backward with this approach and bringing range anxiety back into the equation, which is the reason EV's made up only 1% of the market before 250+ miles in range came along.

Have a feeling this will be another situation that Tesla has to reverse course on. Just like when they tried to limit Performance owners to only so many full throttle launches so they could help "owners" protect their equipment!

There are several competitors coming to marketing in the next year, but Tesla has still held the advantage because most of those cars only have a range of up to 250 miles However, limiting the Tesla to 80%, effectively brings the range in line with those competitors.99% of people don't need 250 miles in range for daily driving, they buy the long range cars so they can long distance travel with as little inconvenience as possible.

Lonestar10_1999 | 27 mai 2019

@215P90D +1
These quirky ideas of limiting full charging should never have been implemented as Tesla policy. They should have remained in the opium den where they were conceived.

texxx | 27 mai 2019

Tesla knows exactly who is using a SC to travel long distance vs local charging, and you would think they would prioritize LD travelers as needed based on SC utilization. Given this perfect vision into usage, and seeing Tesla choose the blunt-force approach anyway, it really makes you wonder if this is an indication that SC utilization routinely reaches saturation, even for LD-only users.

AZTesla | 27 mai 2019

First heard about this yesterday when I arrived at the Friars Road, San Diego supercharger, while heading back to Phoenix. I had never been to this supercharger before, so I had entered it in as my destination in order to find it (I still had to ask some customers at the mall where they were). Then I saw the message that my charging would be limited to 80 percent...did a quick Google and came across the article on Engadget about this change of policy. Needless to say I was quite annoyed at this development and a bit nervous, too. A storm front was moving in and there were strong winds from the southwest that had just started and I wanted to charge to 100% to be sure to reach El Centro. It was then that I noticed that Tesla had simply moved my slider to 80%. I moved it back to 100% and problem was solved. The warning about limiting the charge to 80% didn't go away, but I was still allowed to charge to 100%. It trurned out that I could have charged to 80% and would have still made El Centro with a few miles to spare).

apodbdrs | 27 mai 2019

New superchargers are now operational in Anaheim Hills, Ca in front of Target. Target is close to 91 Fwy, just exit on Wier Canyon Rd, and drive to Sana Ana Ca;nyon Rd, the Festival shopping center has shopping and several good places to eat. A very safe area with nearby hotels..

rdr1rx | 27 mai 2019

@AZTesla: Exactly. Just move the slider.

gballant4570 | 27 mai 2019

Believe it or not, there are people who own EV's who cannot charge at home, and many of them own Teslas. There are locations where Tesla has installed Superchargers specifically to address that kind of need, on downtown locations.
In 8 months of ownership, I have used a Supercharger twice. I do all of my charging at home - but I do recognize that there are those who can not. I don't see a need to penalize them.

FISHEV | 27 mai 2019

As someone dependent upon the SuperChargers, I think it is a great idea for exactly the reasons Tesla has stated, to increase the throughput and the capacity of the super chargers.

The Tesla chargers are located at mileages within the 80% range so it is not a travel issue.

ODWms | 29 mai 2019

I’ve been on a few trips since buying the car. All in my own state, so maybe only 700 - 1000 miles each. But my limited experience has shown me that whatever the trip planner states is usually 10 to maybe even 15% more than what I actually needed to reach the destination. Maybe they’re trying to make up for whatever headwinds and other possibilities may exist.

Kathy Applebaum | 29 mai 2019

At first glance, the idea of not limiting to 80% when chargers aren't busy seems good, but it's not really workable. At least, if Tesla did this, you all would be howling louder. Here's why.

You part at a SC, set the limit to 100%, see that you have an hour to go, and head off to do stuff. Other cars arrive, now the chargers are mostly occupied, and the 80% limit kicks in. Your car reaches it, and you have 5 minutes to get back before you are charged idle fees. Cue the gnashing of teeth.

Personally, as long as I can get the extra charge when I need it, and I'm more likely to find an open stall when I get to the charger, I'm all for it. Yeah, sucks for some people who rely on SCs for their daily charging (hopefully because they can't charge at home or work, rather than they are abusing free charging), and I hope that we'll get enough SCs built to avoid that. Unfortunately, Tesla isn't in control here -- they need agreements with property owners and building permits to make that happen. So this is a band aid that will help.

eeb9 | 29 mai 2019

I ran into this last week as I was heading out for a mountain trip to western North Carolina. My route out and back would have been no problem if I'd been able to charge to 100% at Buford, GA, but the **SURPRISE** 80% limit left me sweating bullets and forced me to curtail part of the drive so I could spend *12-freaking-hours* plugged into a 115v outlet at the far end - so I could get *back* to the Buford Supercharger.

Routing SC to SC is great - but we need better options when the SC is the start-point for a trip out and away from population centers (which is, for me, the very essence of the term "Road Trip")

This was not the kind of surprise I like to see from Tesla.

rdr1rx | 29 mai 2019
Kenz | 29 mai 2019

Charge to 80% and move on. The Super Chargers are not meant to be long term parking.
80% should get you to the next Super Charger or home in most cases. It is better for everyone to charge and GO.

After 80% the charge taper is very slow and not worth the time to sit there and block a spot from someone that needs it. In addition it is also better for the battery to keep it between 20 - 80% or 90%.

You would not sit and park at a gas station and block the pump. Be considerate and don't block the Super Charger.

Kenz | 29 mai 2019

Maybe a tiered charge rate would help solve the problem.
Standard charge price from 0 - 80%
Higher charge fee from 80 - 100%

Syed.Hosain | 29 mai 2019

Isn't there already a $1/minute charge for staying past the full charge? That should be a disincentive to over-staying a charging session!

I make semi-frequent trips to Southern California from the San Jose area. Charging to only 80% before I started or at a stop (I try to make it only ONE stop - at the Kettleman location) is what I like. With 80% charge, I would need to make two stops to make sure that I arrived with enough charge to toodle around there or when I come back - increasing the trip time by some amount. That would be irritating for sure!

Lonestar10_1999 | 29 mai 2019

So long as you can override the 80% cap and force the charging to hit 100%, any reasonable surcharge is acceptable. Sometimes the peace of mind you get with 100% charge is more important than the few extra dollars it would cost.

Its good to know that pushing the slider from 80% to 100% can override the Tesla imposed cap.

eeb9 | 30 mai 2019


Moving the slider didn't work for me last Friday - it went right back to 80%.

Evidently, this was something that changed based on feedback - and it's a welcome override.

Per Electrek, in the article you linked:

"Effectively, the new limitation amounts to simply a new default max state-of-charge forced at the affected stations, but it can be easily changed.

Tesla says that it was always the plan, but it wasn’t in the original memo to employees nor in the communication Tesla sent us directly after we reached out for our report.

It’s not clear if it was really the plan all along or they changed it following the feedback after our report, but it seems to be a better solution either way."

ReD eXiLe ms us | 30 mai 2019

Transparency. At least gas stations would put up a sign that read '5 GALLONS MAX' or 'ONLY SERVING ODD-NUMBERED LICENSE PLATES' during the fuel crisis, right? Oh, to go back to the 'good old days', right?

Kahn | 30 mai 2019

the problem is trip planner doesnt work.. ion my trip to montreal and back if i relied on trip planner i would have ran out of electricity.. i only got 66% efficiency on the return trip and it was recommending me go 90 miles on like a 120 130 charge.. i would have ran out..

pramod.rj07 | 31 mai 2019

You can change it to any % you want in your app once you have started charging.

jjgunn | 31 mai 2019

Anyone who thinks Tesla should limit local SuperCharging doesn't live in the Bay Area where some people cannot charge at home due to Apt/Condo restrictions. I'm 100% certain this is why Tesla is building the Urban SuperCharger (72 kW). Around 75% you'll see the charge taper off to about 65-66 kW - they're really nice & keep a good flow of cars thru the stations.

I rely on SuperCharging & 6 kW Chargepoint stations due to my landlord being a dickhead at my apt complex.

I also SuperCharge mostly after 11 PM but for those times I use a SuperCharger during the day, I charge to 75%-80% (sometimes less) to allow th next person in quickly.

Lonestar10_1999 | 31 mai 2019

@Red - to your point, the oil embargo from the 1970s changed Americans’ desire for gas guzzlers, and instead fuel efficient subcompacts became desirable. The Japanese were better equipped to produce subcompacts to meet price and reliability that the American market demanded. As a result, a huge market share of domestic American cars was lost and replaced by a growing imported car market.

In a similar fashion, if recharging resources are rationed, it will only serve to dissuade folks from adopting EV.

It would be great if Tesla could upgrade their existing SC locations to allow for more EVs to simultaneous charge.

ST70 | 31 mai 2019

@2015P90DI- you can delete this erroneous post now that you've been educated.

2015P90DI | 31 mai 2019

@ST70, I tried to delete your post, unfortunately there's no option to delete you.

Bighorn | 31 mai 2019

I didn’t see any limits on urban superchargers over the holiday and it appears that the 80% limit had been totally removed after the weekend, if my experience is representative.

TimbersThornsBlazers | 31 mai 2019

+1 to what Patrick detailed, above.

This past week, we traveled the PNW and at 3 separate SCs we were limited to 80% (received notification from the app while the charging session was taking place, saying we'd only be allowed to charge to 80% due to "high usage").

Sometimes this makes sense, to a degree. For instance, the Issaquah, WA SC it was definitely a high-use charger (every stall of 8 was filled, with a seemingly-endless stream of vehicles waiting). Understandable there... maybe? (I don't agree with it, but...)

In Centralia, WA, however, we were literally the only car at a 20-stall SC. To be clear, there were 19 open spaces next to us. And to everyone above who said, "move the slider" -- we tried. It wouldn't charge past 80%. Further, to everyone who said "80% is enough to get to the next SC" . . . how does Tesla have any idea where we're headed next? That's presumptuous, assuming that all drivers are going to stay on the interstate and drive straight to/past another SC. There are plenty of places to drive that aren't along a main highway, and that extra 60-ish miles (diff btwn 80% and 100%) can make the difference between successfully getting to/from an "off highway" destination and being potentially stranded.

@Tropopause you said -- "I was charging to 100% at some remote Superchargers on my US cross-country trek but those remote sites will not be capped. In dense urban areas, the capped sites will have plenty of choices nearby. I still don't see the problem."

...the problem is that if you're traveling through a dense urban area (like we were, in/near Seattle) and you know you need a full charge, you need a full charge. Going to another SC doesn't help if it's also in that dense urban area where everything's capped. People won't be able to get 100% at any of them. You honestly don't see the problem there?

In my estimation, each driver knows where he/she is headed next, and how many miles are needed. With exception to those instances in which someone stops at a SC in the middle of a pre-entered navigation route... SCs have no idea where we're headed when we drive away, or how many miles we need. The last thing we all need/want is to have Tesla acting as the sphincter police when we're all adult humans who should be able to make our own autonomous decisions.

jjgunn | 1 juin 2019

This is from the Concord SuperCharger. 3 cars currently charging.


Bighorn | 1 juin 2019

This is normal messaging. It doesn't mean you will get idle fees.

I drove over 5000 miles over the last 11 days, much of it in CA. The 80% limit was encountered several times and it never was a hindrance. I think it's better than lines 20+ deep because people push their idle fees off by unnecessarily charging to 100%. Tragedy of the commons. Better that 0.1% are inconvenienced than everyone; but in that area, the density of chargers is such that those affected are mostly hypothetical and not actual.

texxx | 1 juin 2019

As long as I can get 100% when I really need it - even if I have to pay extra for that 20% - I'm OK with the change. But I still think Tesla should do this intelligently and cut long-distance travelers some slack. They know when you're travelling and when you are local.

Tesla2018 | 1 juin 2019

How about limiting it to 80% for cars that have free supercharging and 100% to those that dont. This way Tesla makes money from those who would be charging to the max, and saves on giving free electricity by limiting the amount you get for free.
I wonder if Tesla has a way at looking at GPS data and telling what percentage of people charge at home as compared to how many use superchargers and how many people charge at work or other locations.
Tjhe town I work in has free charging but only 2 spots. A town employee bought a hybrid and it is parked in one of the spots all day long. Also a local restaurant has 2 chargets but nearby residents park their cars in overnite. I can see problems arising in the future if people are taking up spaces all the time because they aret oo cheap to pay for electricity or buy.a car without having any way to charge it at home. Funny thing is that most of the cars that I see at public chsrgers are Honda Clarities or BMWi3s that run on gas most of the tomexand only have a few miles if electric range. Only ALL electric cars are Teslas and Fiat 500s that I know of unless they make other brands that ate only sold in some states. Both Fiats I saw whete purchased in CA and are heing used in FL.