Not so Super, Super Charging

Not so Super, Super Charging

I'm at the Harris Ranch Supercharger. Been here for 1 1/2 hrs. I have received just 100 miles of charge. Not so super... A tesla rep came up, and informed me which spot he thought to be best. The other Super Charging sites have been as advertised, very quick...

Earlier this week, when I came through, three of the chargers were not charging. Everyone was frustrated. One guy in spot #3, had to hold the cord to make it charge...

"Ain't know knowbody got time for dat!"

Aleksandyr | 18. kan 2013

NOT COOL! planning the memorial day trip, see posted forum

hope they fix this

cerjor | 18. kan 2013

I charged at Harris Ranch last week and had no problem.

rodneynelson | 19. kan 2013

Alex: I was assured by the rep that it will be fixed. I've heard that people are very hard on the chargers and they are constantly repairing them.

easydjr | 19. kan 2013

I've used the Gilroy superchargers twice, the second time this morning. My phone app said it was getting 75 miles / hour. My biggest complaint was that all four slots were filled so I had to wait for one to leave. Fortunately it was only 5-10 mins. But after I juiced up for 45 mins and returned, the other three slots were still charging the same three cars as when I arrived. Don't know how long they were there but I'm guessing some owners are squatting for hours. That seems a little rude...

SonomaDriver | 19. kan 2013

I hope that everyone that uses the SCs and walks away from the car leaves a post-it with the ETA of full charge then moves the car once charged. A little bit of consideration goes a long way.

bradslee | 19. kan 2013

+1 SonomaDriver

An attitude change is needed. In early of this year, when there were only a limited number of MS out to the market, we could enjoy the luxury of leaving our MS at Gilroy SC while we were browsing around at the Outlets. Now there are so many of MS in the market, we need to adjust our attitude to be more considerate to other fellow MS owners who need the SC. Before TM can develop a smart way to reserve the SC slot for waiting MS owners, leaving a cell phone number on your MS so that next MS owner can reach you to let you know that your MS is fully charged would be a good and polite community spirit and manner.

celtrog | 19. kan 2013

Was there last week.....
No problems...
Order the blueberry cobbler while you charge.....

3-G | 19. kan 2013

No such issues today at Tejon, Harris and Folsom. Full charge to 259 at Harris in 1.25 hours, partials of 200 at Harris and Folsom in 60 minutes.

Cattledog | 19. kan 2013

Haven't used a SC yet (Texas), do they not have a read-out on the SC that displays rate of charge, time remaining, etc.? Would seem to be a no-brainer for TSLA.

riceuguy | 19. kan 2013

Cattledog, the issue isn't (entirely) that you can't tell if someone's charge is complete or near-complete. The primary issue is that owners can tall that information from the app, the car, etc., but may not move their car promptly when done. The lack of a readout on the SCs does compound the problem of course, but mostly what's needed is a whiteboard at each "pump" to leave your cell number so someone can text and ask when you'll return, or at worst you can unlock your car remotely so the connector can be removed and used by someone else.

negarholger | 20. kan 2013

I need an app where my wife is when I am done charging at Gilroy... TM I need that urgently. It takes her at least half an hour and packed with bags. Supercharging is free but very expensive.

hsadler | 20. kan 2013


"or at worst you can unlock your car remotely so the connector can be removed and used by someone else."

Won't work - cable just barely reaches car in bay.

christurbeville | 20. kan 2013

Supercharger Valet service!

krissu | 20. kan 2013

Well, we have also public fast chargers, but there is space for 2-3 cars at each pump and cord long enough. You can see if the other car has fully charged and can take the cord to your car.

dlhart1956 | 20. kan 2013

I use the SC in NY and since there isn't a big MS community here yet have not had to wait. Two suggestions to Tesla - cover the spots if it's raining. For owners you are going to get if its pouting outside. Second make the cord about 10 inches longer, I had to reposition the car a couple times to make the connection.

I haven't tried a longer trip than 100 miles yet, but will when I get comfortable with finding places other than HWY exits.

Have a fun weekend!

bobinfla | 20. kan 2013

Still never had a single Super Charger problem in Florida. Just saying.

TeslaModelSOwner | 20. kan 2013

I noticed the same issues at Harris Ranch when I was there a few weeks back. Because of the constant red circle lights and slow charging at the new superchargers, i ended up drivign across the street to the original supercharger next to Shell. Filled up their super fast and did not have to worry about another car coming in and slowing the rate down.

scoops | 20. kan 2013

Surely the superchargers should have a display on them that would indicate how long until the battery is full, and when it is send an alert to the owner's phone app requesting they unplug and park elsewhere.

It would also allow anyone waiting to know how long they might have to wait for.

Lessmog | 20. kan 2013

@scoops: I think that is a very reasonable suggestion. Let's hope it will be acted upon. Good idea!

PhilG | 20. kan 2013

I heard rumors I hope are not true - that Tesla Owners who live very close to Super Charging Stations charge regularly at these stations instead of charging overnight at home. This creates unnecessary congestion and longer waiting periods. With the growth in numbers of Teslas on the road, I hope folks are considerate enough to use these stations as designed.

wcalvin | 20. kan 2013

1. If drive-thru lanes, parking back to back, meeting where the SC cord is anchored, might allow the cord to reach. Since all MS are the same size, paint car outlines on the pavement.

2. Add second "hose" to pump with electronics to switch over when first reaches criteria.

3. Fix software to text the owner when criteria is reached.

4. Encourage drivers to pick up fast food first, then stay with car.

JZ13 | 20. kan 2013

Institue a new policy that if someone lives within 20 miles of a Supercharger they can only use it once/month. This can be tracked via software/GPS.

negarholger | 20. kan 2013

@JZ13 - that would be silly. Why not 19 miles ? Not a good idea at all.

shs | 20. kan 2013

I think I have spoken with two people at Superchargers that were charging locally, in one case because the 240V outlet in his garage had not yet been installed. We have all heard stories about people abusing free charging and to the extent it happens, it hurts the cause for all of us.

Wayne3 | 20. kan 2013

Tragedy of the commons. Only solution is for it not to be free or to be reservation-based. The latter is worth a try before the former.

jillalameda | 20. kan 2013

Tesla really does need to start using technology to allocate charging time.

First, a text when fully charged seems like a no-brainer.

Second, how about tracking how long people sit there, and cutting off their SC access for a month if they stay longer than an hour?

Rain/sun protection would be a big plus. It was hotter than hell in Gilroy on Friday when I had my first SC experience.

Last but not least, with only one SC in the entire Bay Area (where most MS owners are based), they need more bays in Gilroy. I was unable to charge on my way back from Monterey last evening because it was full. And on Sunday night there's nothing to do in Gilroy while you wait. Fortunately I had enough range to get home, but some people may not...

SonomaDriver | 20. kan 2013

The idea that folks who live near a SC can't use it is absurd. Also, folks recharging locally likely won't need to charge for long versus a long distance traveler. If you buy a car that costs upwards of 100k and the company opens up SuperCharging stations, you use them, 'nuff said.

The SC system is a great idea. We are starting to see the start of teething problems. Tesla will need to scale the locations and number of bays to the number of cars on the road. I'm sure they can tell from the metrics how that needs to be accomplished.

nvjx | 20. kan 2013

The folks living near a SC need to be monitored and cut off from charging if necessary, 'nuff said.

SamO | 20. kan 2013

Tesla has to build out the Supercharging so that there is NEVER a wait OR it has to set up a reservation system. They might sell 10K Model S in the bay area, so they better get a move on. Maybe every 50 miles in CA?

SonomaDriver | 20. kan 2013

nvjx, Tesla sold this ground breaking car with a promise, unfettered access to SuperChargers. I really don't think "locals" are a major issue here. Cutting off a segment of a population buying cars in this price category would be financial suicide for a new company that is just now earning a profit.

Educating owners about best charging practices, adding screens on the info center about charging resources in the area and etiquette and building out infrastructure will help. Also, there needs to be a adapter to use with the CHAdeMO network would be key in that more resources would be available to Tesla owners.

It will take time to build out the infrastructure. This car is selling faster than the infrastructure can keep up. The more charging options available to drivers the better, especially with ultra fast DC charging.

negarholger | 20. kan 2013

To all the local SC police out there...
I live 19.8 miles from Gilroy...
- would I ever spend 1/2 hour driving and 1/2 hour charging to gain net 20kWh and save pennies... Nuts !
- 2 weekends ago went to Montery and had to go in laws 130 miles north of Gilroy... Arrived with 104 miles and 10 min gave me enough cusion.
- then last weekend I visited friends in Big Sur and returned to Gilroy with 10 miles left... Not enough to get home... needed to charge for 5 min to make it home. With your proposal Gilroy would been the end of my trip and flatbed truck.

So for all you guys voting for local SC policing please put money in a fund to pay for my flatbed truck.

hsadler | 20. kan 2013

There is another charger in Gilroy (not a Tesla) located about 30 feet from the SC's. I believe it is a Chargepoint. I know it isn't as fast as the SC, but I believe it is free. I have seen two cars there at same time, so it may have 2 outlets.
When an SC becomes available switch. It will save you some time.

negarholger | 20. kan 2013

hsalder - I am aware of the chargers, but both were occupied with a Fit and a. Leaf. SC spot was open... nobody had to wait.

It is just the principle - me going from Monterey to Petaluma... why should that be restricted by a system with some random rules? Just because I happen to live within an abritary 20 miles of a SC? Sure I can make it home and just drop the in laws ( next day was not an option ).
On the same principle I can ask you not to go from LA to SF - just stay home. Or make the trip on Monday, take the ICE...

Local charging maybe an issue in Hawthorne, but that is not a typical SC because it is in the middle of LA.
Harris and Tejon... who lives nearby ? Gilroy is south of Silicon Valley... local charging is not a big issue here either. The problem in Gilroy is that it supports the LA to SF travel and in particular on the weekends the very heavy Monterey/Carmel to Bay Area travel... and that crowd shows up at the same time in the late afternoon.

I live in the very south of Silicon Valley and Monterey/Carmel without driving around there much is not a big problem on a single charge. However if you start in e.g. Menlo Park or have a 60 then a stop at Gilroy is a must.

Long term solution is very simple: put a SC on 152 over the hill from Gilroy... LA to SF travel would have that SC all by itself. But before Californians whine more about SC let get some new ones in the rest of the country first.

shs | 20. kan 2013

I don't think anybody is worried about a local needing a few extra miles occasionally to make it home safely. I added 12 miles the other day at an almost home RV campground so that I could make it up the hill. The problem (if any) are those who charge at a free charger, SCs or otherwise every day to avoid charging at home. If a local merchant puts in a free charger and sees the same car there every night, they might question their decision to provide such a service. No absolute rule needed, just common sense and courtesy.

Brian H | 21. kan 2013

Even in a lightly populated area, local owners may sometimes far outnumber the travellers who need the way-stop. Charging at SCs daily by any significant fraction could, in theory, monopolize most of the available SC time. For a savings much less per hour spent than minimum wage (even for a full charge, which would be rare). TM should maybe heavily emphasize the point that the value of using SCs is not saving relatively trivial amounts vs. home charging, but making intercity travel possible without long delays.

aaronw2 | 21. kan 2013

I'm a little worried about the fact that the Gilroy Supercharger seems to frequently fill up. I am planning a trip over Memorial Day weekend down to Big Sur which will require me to do a full range charge in Gilroy in order to make it. As it is I might have to stop for a bit in Monterey at one of the 1772 chargers to be able to make it back. Tesla really needs to build more superchargers, both expanding the existing ones and building new ones. One in Carmel or Monterey would be nice for those trips along highway 1.

splitsec002 | 21. kan 2013

Why not make the SC cords long. And have them disconnect automatically once the charging is complete. That way each charger could optionally charge a few cars and if someone was at a mall or something they wouldn't need to run back to the SC just to unplug and move.

hsadler | 21. kan 2013


Check the Big Sur campgrounds for charging.

Also, there are chargers in Carmel, PG, and Monterey.

hsadler | 21. kan 2013

Sorry, forgot to mention - most are free.

jbunn | 21. kan 2013

Splitsec002, The supercharger "cord", is the thickness of a gas station hose. And it's stiff and short. You need to be close to the charger base.

All, I don't think "locals" are going to hog up all the chargers. What's next? If I travel between SF and LA every week, and I spend two hours total on the three chargers between here and there, should I be restricted to a certain number of trips? No more than two trips a month? X number of charging days a month?

Reservations are not the answer either. You want to pull up to a station and find 6 chargers free but reserved because the folks that reserved them haven't show up yet?

Yes, It's a finite resource, but the answer is not to fight ourselves over the small amount of resources. The answer is to build more chargers, more closely spaced. And to observe an ethic. Watch your car's charging using your mobile device. Move it when you are done charging. Take what you need and move on if there is a line.

Carefree | 21. kan 2013

Maybe the answer is the opposite of what Elon had in mind for the location of the superchargers. Actually install them in desolate locations WITHOUT fancy restaurants or malls:-) Everyone will stay with their car and move on immediately once charging is completed:-)

CaliSun | 21. kan 2013

I think a location based queue system is better than a reservation system. When your car pulls up to the super charger it puts you in the queue and you can see how many cars are ahead of you. If they want to get fancy they can show you the charge level of the cars so you can get a feel for how long they will be charging.

They could also let you check this info as travel so you know if it is worth stopping if you have the option to make it to the next one.

Brian H | 21. kan 2013

The issue only arises if you also live close (say within 30 miles). Then the SC is just substituting for charging you could/should have done last night, at home, while asleep. (Unless PG&E has you on $1/kWh Tier 7 charge rates! :0 )

rodneynelson | 21. kan 2013

Folks, it sounds like we just need more SuperChargers. A appt with an alarm would be good to inform us when the car is charged would be nice.
Maybe there could be a tweak for the inconsiderate peeps in Gilroy shopping all day that could put like... 10,0000 volts all at ounce and blow up their battery or something. *That would ensure that folks come move their car out of the charging station. LoL!

craigi | 21. kan 2013

I missed my father's birthday dinner because a) there were only 2 SCs that worked out of the 4 in Hawthorne and b) there was a guy who lived 10 mi from the SC who wanted to get a "full tank" before a trip the next day.

I explained that I was in transit from NorCal to San Diego and asked if he would please let me go since he could charge from home. He made me wait an hour while he charged up since the other Tesla's owner had left to go to dinner while his was charging.

Nice guys...

ajamison | 21. kan 2013

Kleist - They just need to add a disclaimer to the supercharger that reads "Tesla is not responsible for money drained from your wallet whilst your significant other is waiting"

Mark Z | 21. kan 2013

My normally abandoned Escalade is still the champ for the occasional cross country journey. The 26 gallon tank provides more than a 500 mile range on flat terrain with premium fuel. It is a luxury experience to fill a tank in two minutes while on a extended vacation from SuperChargers and range anxiety! If the majority of city drivers switch to the thrill of electric driving, there should be plenty of liquid fuel to enjoy the long distance travel advantages of the gas fueled engine.

Now don't get me wrong; I love the Tesla Model S. However, until cross-country SuperChargers are readily available, I will pay for the fuel and enjoy the freedom to travel long distances quickly.

mcx-sea | 21. kan 2013

When a Model S is connected to a SC station, that station will also dispense a pocket-size portable beeper. When charger tells the beeper that the charging will finish in ten minutes, it will start a continuous beeping. After five minutes, the beeping volume will become annoyingly louder. This louder beeping will continue until the beeper is returned to the charging station. The charger will not release the car until its beeper is returned.

The beeping would also be audible at the charging station, along with a flashing light, to keep any waiting drivers alerted.

In case of any malfunction, an Emergency button will send the location and the car's VIN to Tesla, where a rep could communicate with the driver via a speaker phone built into the charger, then release the cable. This will also release a spare beeper ready to be dispensed to the next user. Should the driver fail to return a beeper for any reason, that vehicle will not be able to use any SC until Tesla has been reimbursed for the cost of a replacement beeper.

ChristianG | 22. kan 2013

Nice to see everybody fighting over the breadcrumbs ermm charging cables. Maybe we can combine that with a lil fight club? First rule is, even when fighting you have to unplug the cable when fully charged ;)

after they did proof that they can build a car the next big step will be the infra structure. I don't only think about charging stations but also service, ranger service and so on. They need to do that world wide and there will be probably 2 times more teslas out there by the end of the year. That will be a lot of infrastructure building.

The big problem with EV charging stations is, that there isn't much money in it. It takes forever to charge (30-60 min) so even with doubling the electricity price you'll not make real money with them. So the benefit of the cables is only that the customers will stay 30 minutes as they charge and eventually will spend money there.

I'm still not sure if enbling ev for long distance trips is the right thing as it's not excactly their strong point. But if we want that the only way to do it, is a LOT of charging stations. Like fuel stations. So it kinda has to be like a cheap franchise project maybe substized by a pool of EV Carmakers (nope tesla only chaging stations will not be the futures and not really help the EV movement as a whole). That way theyd be cheap to install for restaurant owners, gas stations, shopping malls and so on.

As people tend to move to the same places in the same timeframe it will still suck if you come to a restaurant and already 3 EVs are waiting for their turns. So if an EV comes to the proximity of a charging stations (maybe Wifi range?) you can register yourself and reserve your spot in the line. This will be registered in a central computer and you can get an estimate waiting time for your chargers in the surroundings via app or car computer.

So charging anywhere else than home will become increasingly more complicated, even with all the things I mentioned before would be already here, and we are a loooong way away from that.

George with SacEV | 22. kan 2013

I am wondering if the installation of more level 3/DC fast chargers for the Leaf and i-MIEV format, but which MIGHT also be used by Model S drivers with an appropriate adapter might be part of an overall solution here?