I wonder how long it will be...

I wonder how long it will be...

Don't worry, I'm not going to say "...before my Model S is delivered". Something else:

Right now I'm half way through my holiday. The first half involved driving from the Netherlands to Croatia and back, some 3000 km round trip. The second half involved driving from the Netherlands to the South of France, some 2300 km. I wonder how long it will be before I can make either or both of these trips using an MS?

I would think that Netherlands - Provence, mostly along the Route du Soleil, would be a prime candidate for a SC network. We currently drive this route 3-4 times per year pretty much non-stop in abut 10:30 - 11 hours. (I generally plug myself into a good audiobook and only stop for fluid exchanges - fuel in, other fluids out!). I guess using the MS would require 3 SC stops of +/- an hour each, but I could happily live with the extra time en-route to be ICE free.

But having said that, I wonder just how Tesla will go about building a SC network in Europe? European 'dream' to one side, different countries, different rules, different interests. France is already trying to protect it's automotive industry against even the Germans (for instance by disqualifying a certain type of coolant that is used by Mercedes). Will the French authorities then be compliant with Tesla's - an AMERICAN company - desire to build a Tesla specific SC network? Or will innate French bureaucracy and self-interest slow the whole thing down? Will Tesla need to do a deal with Renault or Peugeot before being able to make any progress with SC's in France? Or could one imagine being able to drive the Route du Soleil in an MS next summer?

I guess that driving to Croatia is another whole kettle of fish. I could imagine the German authorities having a better sense of fair play when it comes to an SC network. But will Tesla be able to penetrate Germany (and Austria) sufficiently to justify an SC network there - bearing in mind that they'll be head-2-head with BMW,, in their home autobahn market? And how long will it take before countries such as Slovenia & Croatia get SC's?

The Netherlands is a market that in my view is naturally open to Tesla, but I'm not sure just how far that goes for the rest of Europe. Unlike the US, it seems to me that there's a lot of hurdles to cross before long distance driving in Europe can become a reality. Something of a chicken & egg problem, maybe?

Interested to hear your views.


tobi_ger | 22 juillet 2013

One good thing is, that the EU at least has (or is about to) choose the Type2 Mennekes plug as an industry standard. For now I just assume, based on Tesla press conference on the Geneva car show, that Tesla will indeed provide an adapter.
So other car companies, like BMW and MB, would surely as well go that way so that any other charging infrastructure additions should benefit all EV drivers.

As to your concerns about SC's in France: if an SC is put on private/commercial property, are there known (gov.) regulations in existence? Shouldn't it be primarily a deal between property owner and utility?

If Tesla builds SC's based on MS locations, than in worst case, your route to France might never get one. We see the same being reported by US owners just last night, where the actual traffic on some freeways is not necessarily being taken into account.

HenryT2 | 22 juillet 2013

A LONG time. But I suspect that Europe will warm to Tesla as fast, or faster, than the US. Your high gas prices makes it likely. However, the dream of a pan-European, free Tesla supercharger network is not likely to come to fruition.

I think that Tesla's best option in Europe is to charge for supercharger services and allow individual entities to license and profit off of them like mini-gas stations. As you say, the individual regulations, etc. make a Europe-wise Tesla owned and operated network unlikely for the near future (or even the next 20 years). Some individual countries with large markets (Germany, France, UK, Spain, Italy) might get attention, and if they're not too protectionist, Tesla might be encouraged to set up a network.

But I don't think it's worth it for Tesla to even attempt to cover Europe because without 100% coverage (or at least 80 or 90%), the marketing value of having a supercharger network is reduced tremendously. In the US, Tesla can say that you can cover the entire United States, and within a few years. Since that's not likely in Europe for many years (if at all), I don't see that Tesla would find it worthwhile to put in superchargers all over Germany and the UK and Spain, for example, when people know that they basically can't get from one network to another without overnighting somewhere.

tobi_ger | 22 juillet 2013

SC's will come in Germany (job opening exists for project manager last time I checked).
To me the transitions across borders isn't necessarily a priority as those relate more to vacations, like in Rob's use-case.
Not sure, if there will be many MS owners, that live near a border in Germany and work in a different country (or vice versa), like GER-CH or GER-NL borders (30min drive to NL for me).
Needless to say, that EU countries also have a lot of RV parks and slowly but surely 3rd part infrastructure is being advanced (though not comparable to SC's, of course).
I definitely share your thought that Europe will welcome Tesla fairly well (double the gas price than in the US almost); news about the performance, drive and build quality just needs to hit the print/media outlets more with the availability to get the afficinados passion running. ;)

Jolinar | 22 juillet 2013

Elon said something like he expects the Europe to have similar or just little smaller reservation rate than north america in the long run so SC network is really likely to be similarly dense as USA SC network, just smaller because Europe is smaller.

I'm really looking forwad to see some announcement about it.

rch1708 | 22 juillet 2013

@tobi: moving around Europe using anything other than SC's (or battery swap, if you believe in it) is not an option. It would essentially take me two - three days to drive to Provence from NL if I had to use conventional charge points. Even if 22kw points were common on the route, that would be +4 hrs for each charge, which essentially means a night in a hotel or something.

Indeed, you're right that most use cases are single or perhaps 1x top-up charge use cases, ie up to 500km. That's why I ordered my MS in the first place - it will cover most of my business use of a car. But my desire would be to use it for everything, which I why I was speculating on a greater European SC network.

In the last couple of weeks I've spent (so far) around 40 hours behind the wheel of our XC90. A fine & comfortable utilitarian machine, indeed. But having had a single drive in an MS, when in the XC90 all I can hear/think about is the whizzing, whirring, vibrating, rotating 4WD gears and differentials and all the other paraphernalia of an ICE, which now seems to me to be completely Stone Age. So perhaps you can understand the thinking behind my post.

The RAF describes a Helicopter as 10000 parts flying in close formation. Having flown a heli a couple of times, the parallel strikes me deeply. In comparison to (a couple pf hours in) an MS, an ICE now feels to me like driving a food processor.

tobi_ger | 22 juillet 2013

@Rob: I do understand your thinking, yes. Of course one wants to be flexible as possible to go even multi-day trips. It's all in the dark right now, however, when this ideal situation is coming about.
I'm hopeful, that Elon will provide first details on or after the Q2 meeting.
The "close formation" reference is both funny and troublesome, thinking of it. :)

Brian H | 22 juillet 2013

Wrong, Elon has multiple times stated the SC network will be free for all Tesla owners, wherever it is installed world-wide.

Captain_Zap | 22 juillet 2013

Even in the US, the Supercharger situation is complex. Electric utilities are regulated by states. Some states are more strict than others, especially when it comes to the re-sale of electricity. I thought that the free Supercharging was a byproduct of the complexities involved with dealing with local utilities and the highly variable State regulations.

In the beginning, we thought that we were going to have to pay for Supercharger power use. It was a great surprise when we found out it would be free.

We are finding that communities are very excited to have the Superchargers come to town. It is more business and tourism in their eyes. It's catching on.

Brian H | 22 juillet 2013

Ya, Elon commented that places that wouldn't return phone calls originally are now eager to play.

negarholger | 22 juillet 2013

@Captain_Zap - if you thought Tesla was disruptive... SolarCity and distributed electricity generation will be the real disruption. So far everybody is trying to play nice, but that will change and political changes have to happen.

negarholger | 22 juillet 2013

That is what I like about Elon... he thinks things through and doesn't accept staus quo.

pebell | 23 juillet 2013

I personally don't worry too much about Europe being "advert" to implementing "foreign" charging infrastructure. I think this map pretty much says it all. It's been done before successfully. I see no reason why it can't be done again.

tobi_ger | 23 juillet 2013

For example: for all of Germany there are less than 30 CHAdeMO stations.
For it to look "successful" to me at it would need at least double that. May need another 3 years or so.

pebell | 23 juillet 2013

@tobi_ger, I won't argue on numbers, perhaps 30 is way too little for a country as big as Germany. But my point was more: look how evenly CHAdeMO is spread out across all of (western) Europe. I think the OP had concerns that one country would be "open", while others would resist and invent laws and pose bureaucratic hurdles to prevent charging infrastructure because of a "not invented here" mindset.

I agree this map may be too coarse grained to "prove" my point, though :)

pebell | 23 juillet 2013

And at the very least, with the promise of a CHAdeMO adapter for the Tesla (btw, that is "official" now, right??), having this infrastructure in addition to the Tesla SC infrastructure to be built, will give us European "pioneers" a big advantage over our US cousins straight off the start line, I think/hope.

pebell | 23 juillet 2013

Okay this shows that it is actually not completely evenly distributed. In the Netherlands, we're pretty well off, though..

pebell | 23 juillet 2013

Oops forgot a zero in the width:

ManuVince | 23 juillet 2013

rch1708 has good point mentioning possible hurdles with French administration. The best places to put the SC would be on highways, which are concessions made to private busyness, and are under very strict state regulations.

But on the other side I believe Tesla is no immediate threat to the Renault-Nissan alliance actual dominance on the European EV market (BMW is). They are absolutely not selling in the same market segment. On the contrary I think Tesla presence and success in Europe would just show EV viability to the public, and just foster general EV sales.

I would be Carlos Ghosn, I would actually use my influence to make Tesla SC installation as easy as possible in France. And then try to negotiate licensed access to the SCs.

Brian H | 23 juillet 2013

Every car using the SCs would have to be upgraded to handle them. At manufacture.

bebell: pretty sure you meant "averse" not "advert". That's slang for "advertisement".

pebell | 23 juillet 2013

My bad :)

pebell | 23 juillet 2013

And it's "pebell" ;-D

Brian H | 23 juillet 2013

typo: bebell pebell
Not enough coffee yet, 7 a.m. local.

rch1708 | 23 juillet 2013

Without recursing into a CHAdeMO discussion, I had understood from other discussions that CHAdeMO is DC and hooking it up to a Tesla would require a tricky magic box. On the other hand an electrical challenge could be viewed as being much easier to solve than a pan-European EV charge point payment system. Right now there are different payment systems in every country. The ability to pay to use a CHAdeMO charge point might take longer to develop than the cable/box itself. For example, consider the various Road Toll systems in Europe - all different, inspite of Europe being a 'single market' for n years. For this reason alone a (free) European SC network is very attractive.

My nightmare would be to turn up to a vital charge point somewhere and find I didn't have an account to pay to use the thing.