Supercharging partnership

Supercharging partnership

First off let me start by stating that I am not a Tesla owner by any means (not in their vehicles nor am I a stock holder but that may change soon). I am really excited in this are and am estatic to see what Tesla (and Elon) as done with this industry. The reason for this post is to stir up some ideas and to see if others also feel the same as I do.

One of the gripes I hear from people constantly in regards to battery powered cars is range. My first response to them is 'How often do you have the need to refuel your car when you leave the house with full tank before you have to come back home?'. Usually that leaves them stumped as with any Tesla owner, or any other electric car for that matter, typically leaves the house fully charged.

It is nice to see Nissan Leaf getting some exposure but the limited range has people shying away. This is where I see Nissan failing in this area. With the number of dealerships across the country Nissan should be outfitting their dealerships with Solar powered recharge stations letting Leaf drivers the ability to charge their cars at any of the dealerships for free.

Keeping that in mind Tesla can offer some form of partnership where Superchargers can be strategically placed at Nissan dealerships (or any other manufacturer of electric cars) and offer both charging plugs for Tesla vehicles AND the manufacturers electric cars. This will benefit both parties and provide an abundance of charging stations across the country (as well as use this offering to help promote electric cars).

What are everyones thoughts on Tesla offering such a partnership? Do you think they are better off setting up Superstations on their own?

frmercado | 20. kan 2013

Nissan already lets its customers charge at their dealerships, at least in Oregon and Washington. Not only do they let Leaf owners charge up but any EV owner for that matter.

olanmills | 20. kan 2013

I'm glad to see that you already addressed the fact that the gripes are from non-EV owners who aren't close to considering an EV anyway, and thus probably don't understand the various pros and cons between EVs and gas cars.

I think the partnership you propose could be interesting. However, there are already chargers that can service the Leaf and all other EVs popping up all over the place.

The Superchargers depend on hardware and software that is built into the vehicle. So while it would be interesting if Tesla partnered with other car manufactures to enable them for Supercharger access (and used the investment to build an appropriate amount of new stations to handle the higher demand), I don't think it would really happen.

Right now, the Superchargers are going to be a key differentiator for Tesla, and it might be an important competitive advantage for Tesla to keep. It will be especially important, I think, if they have a large, robust Supercharger network already in place by the time Gen III arrives.

I mean, even if BMW came out with a Model S killer tomorrow, they're not going to have supercharger stations across the country. I think that's a significant advantage for Tesla.

Also, while I don't think your partnership idea is a bad idea, I don't think that Nissan dealerships would be a good location. I don't want to stop at a car dealership. What am I going to do there?

powaking | 20. kan 2013

I just used Nissan as an example but certainly areas where a large amount of time is spent would be key (ie: Simon Malls, they have a ton of shopping areas across the country and some internationally). When I talk about a partnership I'm specifically looking at how to roll out Superchargers across the country in a quicker and strategically placed network as possible.

Panoz | 20. kan 2013

Just curious - can Nissan Leaf owners charge their cars at a Tesla SuperCharging station?

SamO | 20. kan 2013

I think they may have or desire a deal with outlet malls throughout the country.

The good thing about Outlets is that they are away from City centers.

Tesla has to be careful about how their brand gets associated.

So no Walmart, no McDonald's, no Gas stations.

Yes to Malls, Outlets, businesses with good highway access

ian | 20. kan 2013

@ Panoz - No. They cannot. Only Tesla Model S's can use the Superchargers.

carlgo | 20. kan 2013

Samo, have to disagree. You need those brightly lit safe gas station/fast food outlets right off of major highways. Great to have stations at high end POIs, but you need chargers along the way as well.

You want to have to drive to malls, circling around dark deserted parking lots looking for chargers? Sit there in the dark, alone, waiting for a charge at 2am? What about your kids, wife doing this? No thanks, I'll go to the Shell station, get some coffee at McD or a Red Bull at the mini mart. Use the bathroom...just a better idea and far more convenient.

SamO | 20. kan 2013


Go to google maps, and widen your view to show the entire united states. Then search for Outlet Malls.

You'll find them on EVERY SINGLE major highway throughout the US. Less than 200 feet from highway exit ramp. The car knows where the charging is. There should be no need to circle.

This isn't sufficient by itself, but it is a single contract that could immediately net 200-300 Supercharger locations.

Brian H | 20. kan 2013

You blew it. That stupid scenario is never going to happen. Troll. Flagged.

TI Sailor | 21. kan 2013

Although I also believe carigo's scenario is extreme and highly unlikely, I agree with his basic premise: malls, whether high end or outlet, are generally deserted after 9PM, and they do not have bathrooms or eating facilities after those hours. Another big drawback is a predictable parking problem during winter holiday season business hours, e.g., the whole month of December into early January. Since that's when many families travel longer than usual distances, SC availability would be paramount. Getting ICE'd would be much more likely.

Captain_Zap | 21. kan 2013

Tesla is making going out of their way and scouting Supercharger locations that are highly visible, well travelled at all hours and not isolated.

powaking | 21. kan 2013

By no means am I saying that Tesla should not continue with the placement of Superchargers directly off major highways. I think that Superchargers should also be placed in locations where people will be spending a majority of their time and at the same time increase foot traffic to these businesses. Simon Malls and Regal Cinemas are 2 that come to mind that have not only a large coverage of locations across the country but also have increase foot traffic where majority of people typically spend => 1 hour of their time which would certainly offer ample time to charge their cars.

SamO | 21. kan 2013

HPWC's at high end grocery stores.

David Dennis | 21. kan 2013

The big advantage of a mall is that there's a lot to do there. So if I could park my car at Aventura Mall near Miami, and return from my shopping expedition with the car fully charged and ready to go, that would be pretty awesome. The scenario of being in an empty mall with no stores open after 9:30 (in the case of Aventura) is unlikely since I'm sure there's plenty of security there 24/7.

I wouldn't recommend Simon as a partner because I think they are a lousy mall operator. They ran Century III in Pittsburgh and Palm Beach Mall straight into the ground - and probably others I don't know - by skimping on security. But that's just me :).

Much better than gas stations or car dealerships where there's basically nothing to do but look at cars. Of course it might be cool to hang out at a Tesla dealership.

One interesting dilemma is setting up superchargers in places where parking is rare or expensive.For instance, I'd love to see a supercharger in Lincoln Road in Miami, but the big advantage would be free parking more than the charge :). And the big problem would be, what happens when someone wants to spend three hours at a supercharger site, because it's really being used as free parking? Might be tricky, since I know Tesla would hate to tow a customer's car, however justified it might be ...


SamO | 21. kan 2013

@David Dennis,

Malls are great during business hours. Maybe they get turned off during the night and they show as inactive on the Model S app.

You could actually partner by putting HPWCs at certain parking garages. You still have to pay for parking, but you get spots valet'd or up front in a prime location.

Brian H | 21. kan 2013

Yes, the trouble with having too much to do (at a mall, e.g.) is that you will, as you note, be more likely to take 3 hrs. than ½ hr.

So there needs to be enough nearby to hold interest for a stop, but not an afternoon!

TI Sailor | 21. kan 2013

I believe SC usage should (mostly) cater to travelers on 100+ mile trips. As such they should be conveniently located less than 5 minutes fromf major arteries like interstate highways, the Florida Turnpike, etc. L2 chargers should be made available and used in malls like Aventura.

Like Brian H, I don't believe SC's should be installed where motorists are likely to be away from their cars for greater than 45 minutes or so. As we've all read, there are already backups at some California SC's. This will only get worse with the increasing sales projected.

TI Sailor | 21. kan 2013

I should also have said I do NOT favor any usage restrictions based on where owners live.

holidayday | 21. kan 2013

Powaker: "I'm specifically looking at how to roll out Superchargers across the country in a quicker and strategically placed network as possible"

You want to place them in places where people WANT to stay for half an hour to an hour. So, most gas stations are out, as well as most non-Tesla car dealers.

Cracker Barrel has strategic locations close to most highways (but lacking in California).

Truck stops are another good idea. Love's, Pilot, Petro, and other truck stops are designed for people to stay and eat, relax, stretch, whatever. Most have shops and restaurants similar to the Milford Travel plazas.

SamO | 21. kan 2013


I had been thinking about Cracker Barrel for the south and midwest. Partnering with a gas or diesel station is logical but I don't think Tesla sees that as befitting the brand.

I think he'd rather do IHOP for the late night traveler.

If Tesla spends $50M for 200 Superchargers, then the U.S. is blanketed every 80 miles.

muleferg | 11. desember 2013

Fast Chargers Cracker Barrel

Haeze | 11. desember 2013

When someone asks me about range anxiety, I find the question a little easier to understand when you ask it a different way. I ask them "How many times have you ever had to fill your gas tank twice in one day ?"

It is essentially the same question, without the awkward wording, and it is easier for them to wrap their head around it.

ian | 11. desember 2013

Great way to put it Haeze! I'm going to borrow that if you don't mind.


Rocky_H | 11. desember 2013

Whoa. +1 Insightful for Haeze. Instead of trying to argue so much hypothetical about maybe and what-if, that is nice and specific, and makes them actually try to remember when they've actually done that.

carlgo | 11. desember 2013

Wow, just realized I was called a troll way back when because I wrote that chargers and swappers should be at convenient places like gas stations. Hmmm, sort of the OPPOSITE of being a troll because I KNOW a more easily accessible charging system would entice more people to buy Teslas.

Real trolls would want a more limited charging availability so that potential buyers would be apprehensive and less likely to buy a Tesla. Hmmm, again, who here have been arguing for very limited charging options?

Perhaps some trolls assume the guise of Tesla fans. It would be the smart way to troll I would think. I cannot think of an easier way to derail the Tesla brand than to limit the ways to charge it conveniently.

Maybe the shorts are at work here? If I were shorting the stock, I would do all in my power to make sure charging was as difficult as possible. Range anxiety is after all the biggest concern people have.

Flagged indeed!

As for being careful about the associations with the Tesla brand...yeah, I know, commoners are often found at gas stations. Therefore, when I gas up my Bentley or Ferrari, I wear a disguise in case somebody sees me. I was at a Chevron in Santa Barbara and in front of me were two newish Ferraris and behind me was a gull wing MB. Whew, coulda been surrounded by primered Camaros or, gasp, food trucks.

Maybe there should be exclusive gas stations for owners of expensive ICE vehicles as well. And they would have to have the gate code to get in. How about chargers at some place like that? ICE or electric, the drivers would at least be worthy of each other, although the snot all over the place might result in a safety hazard.

Lest some people lose track, Musk wants to electrify transportation and hopes Tesla is instrumental in starting that revolution. He does not strike me as a person who wants Tesla to be some sort of exclusive device, accessible and useable only for certain people.

The real question is whether reasonable charging options have to be in place first, to attract buyers, or whether people will buy the cars and charging options will then come along to meet the demand. This is a chicken or egg question. I believe that convenient and fast charging options have to be in place. Those hoping for limited and exclusive charging option are evidently hoping Tesla lays an egg. What other explanation could there be?

Brian H | 11. desember 2013

Who wants to hang around a gas station?

Rocky_H | 12. desember 2013

I don't know that it necessarily needs to be some place people would WANT to hang around. People generally have their phones with them, so you've got an e-reader to read a book or some news for a little while, etc. So it's easy to entertain yourself no matter where you are. I just think it needs to be some place that will have services available even late at night. The thing about outlet malls and shopping centers is that they close at night, and you can't get in for bathrooms or food.