What's the etiquette when waiting for a Supercharger?

What's the etiquette when waiting for a Supercharger?

What's the etiquette when waiting for a Supercharger? Do you park the car or do you wait in the middle of the access lane? If you park it someone else will box you out and stay on the access lane. If you stay on the lane you look like an asshat just idling there while impeding traffic. Everyone looks dumbfounded in crowded SCs guessing who's next. How does the honor system work? It just depends on good manners I suppose. What do you charging veterans see?

AEdennis | 21 giugno 2015

I wait in the car and form a queue, if possible.

buickguy | 21 giugno 2015

I agree with AEdennis, although if there is more than just me waiting, I go out and speak with the others who are waiting to ensure that there is a queue that is understood by all.

Mathew98 | 21 giugno 2015

How do you impede traffic by waiting next to the cars that are charging?

Most SC that I visited have been in far corners of any lots. Your car doesn't idle so no one would complain about it...

Son of a Gunn | 21 giugno 2015

Mathew98, relax, I know the car doesnt literally idle. This isn't a quiz.

When people wait, do they pull over somewhere first or remain on the lane?

Son of a Gunn | 21 giugno 2015

Thanks buickguy. Communication is one way to make it well mannered then.

J.T. | 21 giugno 2015

@Son you look like an asshat That's not a bad look for some people.

trixiew | 21 giugno 2015

I'm not fond of the crease.

Madatgascar | 21 giugno 2015

Usually adjacent stalls are empty because the SC is in the least desirable part of the parking lot. If not, I do a slow loop, so I can avoid blocking other traffic and also make eye contact with other Tesla drivers arriving. They understand from my slow pace that I'm already there prowling.

In case of disagreement, the etiquette is to compare drivers license addresses: travelers beat locals. Haven't you heard?

LizzieG | 21 giugno 2015

Tesla can do this just with software. Tesla would know all Supercharger stalls are full so when you get there, you are assigned a number. The software can even prevent someone from cutting the line.

Also tesla would know approximately how long the cars will be charging so for the cars that are waiting on queue, it could display a notice:

You arrived at the SC at 4:23 PM
You are #3 in line (2 cars ahead of you)
Expected availability of a charge port in about 17 minutes

With software you don't need to get out of the car to negotiate and explain the whole queue situation or worse yet get into an argument with someone who may cut in line (people already do this for parking spots!).

The software can ensure no one cuts in line.

Grinnin'.VA | 21 giugno 2015

@ LizzieG | June 21, 2015

Tesla can do this just with software. ...

Yes they could. Furthermore, I think it would be a good thing for Tesla to do.

Is there any downside to this?

Boredwithnames | 21 giugno 2015

A Tesla Queing system would be fantastic.

SCCRENDO | 21 giugno 2015

Go around asking for IDs. If they live within 20 miles stomp on their stogie, throw their lawn chair in the trash, offer them $10 to go home and charge. Otherwise give them 60 seconds to move or you will key their car. No just kidding. Please don't do that.
Wait patiently in line for your turn but you can mumble under your breath about the cheapskate locals delaying you.

murphyS90D | 21 giugno 2015

QGrinnin'.VA "Is there any downside to this?

I can think of one.

When I drive from north of Philadelphia, PA to Charlottesville, VA I leave home with a 100% charge and stop at Newark, DE and get a 100% charge. I can complete the trip without further charging even in December.

Tesla wants me to also stop at Bethesda, MD (not going to happen), and or Woodbridge, VA (at least 20 miles further). Neither are necessary for this trip. If they cut me off before I reached 100% I would be very annoyed.

I've never seen Newark full although the last time I was there; there was an ICE in 2B and a Tesla in 1B. I charged in 2A. As I was getting ready to leave another Tesla pulled into 1A. The original car in 1B was still there as was the ICE.

Bighorn | 21 giugno 2015

I was third in line for Newark on a Friday afternoon and someone from Maryland jumped the line right in front of me, so he didn't have to wait at all.

To answer the OP, park where it's sensible--it's very location dependent. Be aware of your arrival order and communicate with other owners if it seems there's any confusion about the order.

barrykmd | 21 giugno 2015

Bighorn - He saw your WY plate and figured you would be a little slow... :-)

Bobrrr | 21 giugno 2015

If there's a queue and I'm charging, I just go around and ask those who are waiting how much they're willing to pay for my spot. This usually weeds out the locals who are cheap, otherwise they wouldn't be there. The most I have ever gotten was $50. His battery was about to be bricked, so I helped him push his MS into my vacated spot. I felt really good about helping him save his battery.

Please do not take this post seriously.

Emobile | 21 giugno 2015

There should be a heriacy:
P85+ held to P85D
85D's yeld to P85+
85's to 85D's
and so forth. 40S yeld to everyone. If to of the same models, then the one with the higher specs wins.

guy.t.hall | 21 giugno 2015

I fully agree that locals should avoid using the SCs. However, a hardcoded rule would not be a good idea. There certainly occasions that locals need a charge. Example: I'll get an unexpected call that I'm needed out of town and I only have 100 mile range at the moment, so I have to pick up a range charge on my way out of town.


BarryQ | 21 giugno 2015

40's yield to bicycles, because they are not supercharger enabled.

BarryQ | 21 giugno 2015

P.S. where are Brian (and Mclary) when we really need them?

kirk | 21 giugno 2015

Software queuing is a great idea, and in the future it can be even better. Your car gets a spot in the queue even before arriving, thus if you would have had to wait, AutoPilot can slow you down to save energy and when you arrive there is no wait and you need less charging too.

SCCRENDO | 21 giugno 2015

@Bobrrr. Perhaps Tesla should do like the airlines? Offer escalating rates depending on how overbooked the chargers are and also give you a voucher to be pushed to the front of the line the next time you show up at a supercharger. Also a free soda and a mini pack of pretzels and peanuts.

ANTHONYROSEJR | 21 giugno 2015

They are definitely going to have to address the local charging issue.

Panoz | 21 giugno 2015

I must be missing the "colorful" story on the lawn chair, the stogie and the newspaper. It sounds like a "Prairie Home Companion" story if I ever heard one.

Are there photos of this delightful local character?

tes-s | 21 giugno 2015

There should never be a queue. If there is a queue, same etiquette as when waiting in a gas line.

davidahn | 21 giugno 2015

Hope Emobile is kidding about his "most expensive car wins" idea.

Agree with the software solution. As they say, you gotta keep honest people honest. The proper way to prioritize is always going to be up for debate, though. How about as a starting point:

1. Critical battery levels get priority (non-locals before locals)
2. Next: non-locals without critically low batteries by order of arrival
3. Then: locals by order of arrival

Your number in the queue on-screen is a brilliant idea, along with reminder of the priority levels.

Line jumpers' charge ports should NOT OPEN. Gotta keep them honest people honest.

Emobile | 21 giugno 2015

Should keep it like the rest of life, including hunting for a parking space in a crowded lot - the most assertive one wins. There are winners and losers. Real life.

Shesmyne2 | 21 giugno 2015

Please don't follow any business plan that the airlines have!

Still Grinning ;-)

Bobrrr | 21 giugno 2015


Imagine if it was really like the airlines:

You will be charged some indecipherable rate
If you make any changes you pay hundreds more
Get to the charging station at least an hour ahead of time
Be prepared to be frisked and take stuff out of your pockets
Get Jammed into a tiny chair with people all around you
Pay $10 for a bad sandwich
Use restrooms which haven't been cleaned in 5 hours
Luggage in your trunk is shipped to another state or country
No more free peanuts

kglad | 21 giugno 2015

who's from britain? they're the best at queuing.

Nantang | 21 giugno 2015

I'm trying to think how many of those items sound like a gas station--about everything but the luggage.

Bighorn | 21 giugno 2015

Keithshayle is from Britain, but not too bright.

Solarguy01 | 21 giugno 2015

I think if someone jumps in front of you after you have waited your turn you should take a picture of their car and post it in the asshat section of the forum for all to see. Then we could start an asshat poster to be posted at all the superchargers. Then when they show up to charge everyone there would know they are an asshat.

mclary | 21 giugno 2015


What is the point to your thread again?

Bighorn | 21 giugno 2015

I snapped a pic of my offender--if only it were easier to post pics...

JeffreyR | 21 giugno 2015

@Barryfinn | JUNE 21, 2015 NEW
"40's yield to bicycles, because they are not supercharger enabled."

I SuperCharged in a rented S40 at Culver City last Thursday. Not sure if what actually charged was at SC level, we took a short stroll to wait, but I was able to get charged enough to get home in the end.

SCCRENDO | 21 giugno 2015

@Bobrrr. According to dome of these threads I thought that was the business plan for the model 3

SCCRENDO | 21 giugno 2015

@McLary. The point is to work out a business plan to rip off the locals off while they are hogging the Chargers. Actually please flag me.

J.T. | 22 giugno 2015

@kglad who's from britain? they're the best at queuing.

To my mind the absolute best at handling huge lines with little friction is the Disney Company. All they have to do is set up a magic band program linked to Fast Passes and you're all set. You schedule your arrival within an hour, a geosensor determines you've arrived and a big red T appears on your touch screen, you touch your magic band to the screen to verify your fast Pass when you're ready to hook up and the screen tells you when and which stall to park at.

Of course the refreshments will be ridiculously expensive, the tram back to your car will take forever, and the souvenirs will be irresistible to your kids but that's what happens at one of the happiest places on Earth.

Mathew98 | 22 giugno 2015

@JT - Don't forget you would only get fastpass at ONE supercharger per day...

gr | 22 giugno 2015

I've yet to supercharge but I thought this was not an issue. My Tesla rep said if it ever becomes an issue Tesla is ahead of the curve by adding more stalls.

When Teslas are $35K it will get much worse.

tes-s | 22 giugno 2015

It is not an issue. In 2 years, 15 different superchargers, and at least 50 supercharges I have never seen a queue longer than 1 so "sequencing" was not an issue. Just a couple of times one car waiting for 5 or 10 minutes.

Grinnin'.VA | 22 giugno 2015

@ Emobile | June 21, 2015

There should be a heriacy: ...

I get it; you're joking.
However, when it comes to factory production scheduling, Tesla has indeed administered a priority system based roughly on the price of the vehicles. The effect of this priority system has at times amounted to more than two months difference between the order-to-delivery delays for "P" variants vs "nonP" variants of the MS.

@ davidahn | June 21, 2015

The proper way to prioritize is always going to be up for debate, though. How about as a starting point: ...

I propose a simpler priority system. It's called "first come, first served". Why? I think we all paid the same price for SC service.

Mathew98 | 22 giugno 2015

@Grinnin' No you didn't pay the same price for SC option. If the built it SC price is $2,000 then I paid $2,500 to enable it my S60 a year after delivery.

By that logic I should be able to cut the imaginary SC line every single time!!!

I've used 10 Superchargers up and down I95 about two dozen times in total. I had to wait in line a single time for five minutes at Newark, DE because it was the busy Memorial Day weekend.

Captain_Zap | 22 giugno 2015

A hierarchy?
Founder's cars and Signature cars should be trump cars. ;-)

Rank then should be followed by the car with the license plate from the farthest away state. But, should this include Michigan manufacturer's plates? More of these are being sighted recently.

Then the order should be by battery type. "A" Battery, "B" battery, etc. People would be happy to be paired up on a station with an "A" battery car. ;-)

William9 | 22 giugno 2015

Stopped by the new Mountain View, Ca SC Sunday morning at about 8 AM. About half the slots filled already, with a continuous stream of cars showing up. On had a gentleman in a folding chair under a tree in front of his car reading the Sunday newspaper. He must have been doing a range charge as he was there over 45 minutes. I'm guessing he stole the newspaper from someone's front porch.

SCCRENDO | 22 giugno 2015

@William9. It could be stogie guy spending the summer at his Northern California home. No was has reported seeing him at San Juan lately.

tes-s | 22 giugno 2015

Another good example dispelling the myth of queues and locals interfering with distance travelers.

Haggy | 22 giugno 2015

I think what makes the most sense is for the cars to recognize when they are in the SC area, and for the console to prompt them when all chargers are in use. If they are merely passing through, they end up out of the loop. For everybody else, it can decide on a first come, first serve basis, and when a slot opens up, it can use the self driving features to move the car to the space. For pre-autopilot cars, it should give the drivers notice, and if they don't shift into gear in the next 15 seconds, it should put them at the end of the queue, so as not to hold people up. Obviously, I'm just kidding. It would have to be at least 45 seconds. Perhaps more.

tes-s | 22 giugno 2015

I think what makes the most sense is for there to be no queues - or infrequent enough that nobody is looking for some way of managing the queues.

We have had gas stations for 100 years - and no technology to manage the queues.

Before we look for ways to manage a situation that does not exist now, and should not exist in the future, how about finding ways to avoid the situation ever arising to begin with?

Faster charging (> 120kW per car), bigger chargers (> 120kW shared), more chargers, better sharing algorithms to maximize charger output, and so many other ways to minimize the likelihood of a queue.