Superchargers in Texas

Superchargers in Texas

Driving my model 3 long range, between Trinidad CO and Amarillo TX
And Amarillo-Sweetwater Superchargers I was unable to reach destinations even driving 10 mi below speed limits and using destination charger and/or KOA park outlets.
Very disappointed!

Bighorn | February 11, 2019

You must have had a headwind. Long but doable stretch. Did you range charge? That's the easy direction--drops 1550 feet.

Bighorn | February 11, 2019

Whatever conditions caused you to have such poor efficiency should have led you to charge in Childress.

jrzapata | February 11, 2019

I drove from Houston,TX to Saint George, UT last fall. I made it through without any issues other than one little road that was not there and the Tesla nav keep saying to take it.
I never charged only what the car suggested though, every time I charged about 10%+ more than what it required. IF it suggested to charge just to 80% I just sucked it up and went for 90% or even 100%.
I also spent the night in Santa Fe, NM meaning I charged there to 100% before heading out again.
For me that trip was a complete success.

andradecj_2000 | February 11, 2019

Well I did set the limit for this trip to max 306 mi,
Bighorn is correct there were wind gust from the west for awhile and the elevation changed coming to Trinidad CO.
I would have been short on range about 7 miles , if I did not stop at Ratón NM to get 40 miles of charge to Raton Pass (got some regen charge back at some point).
Overall I am not complaining just making people aware of many variables can change condition very rapidly.
Distances between Amarillo-Sweetwater Superchargers is also very tight. Had to get around 20 mi at Overton hotel at Lubbock TX.
Thanks guys for your input.

walnotr | February 11, 2019

There is a definite need for a supercharger in Lubbock and even a 4 stall someplace between Amarillo and Trinity would be nice. Until that happens traveling west on I40 then up might be less stressful although higher mileage for sure. I’ll be making the trip from South Texas to/through Colorado Springs in a couple months and may have to do that for piece of mind. There are still big holes in Texas that need to be filled.

jjgunn | February 11, 2019

There's big holes in North Dakota that need to be filled too.

Follow the network - it is your friend.

billtphotoman | February 12, 2019

I agree there is a need for an SC in Lubbock but it looks like that hasn't even been permitted yet so I wouldn't plan on it. As for route planning, I like because it will allow you to account for head winds and temperature as well as the state of charge you want to be at when you reach your destination. I find the Tesla route planner is way too optimistic and aggressive for me. @walnotr - South Texas seems pretty well covered between the Three Rivers and Kingsville sites.

LostInTx | February 12, 2019

I drove the same path as the OP, from Trinidad to Amarillo, then Amarillo to Sweetwater.

To be fair, my trip was in August but I made it to Amarillo with 40 miles remaining on my charge. The Amarillo to Sweetwater trip left me with about 20 miles left. Yes, cutting it close and again, I wasn't dealing with cold weather.

As an aside, it's not always easy to pick good locations to install Superchargers but the SC in Trinidad is in a truly sketchy place. The Wendy's next door is the only real food option except for the truck stop a few feet down. The Mexican restaurant across I-25 is not near worth the risk of crossing the interstate on foot (just.. don't).

In Sweetwater, the SC is in a hotel parking lot. We walked to Schlotzsky's down the road for the best buns in Texas.

The tougher leg of my journey was Sweetwater to Austin. The 3 had the range but when you arrive in Austin, you'll find one SC site and it's perpetually jammed. Except a 30-45 minute wait even before hooking up.

Not sure where the OP was prior to Trinidad but if anyone ever wants to stretch your Model 3 over some beautiful roads and great scenery, the Breckenridge to Trinidad route is hard to beat.

walnotr | February 12, 2019

Yeah, south Texas is pretty well covered unless you’d like to make a trip to Big Bend. The Three Rivers supercharger was one of the deciding factors in my purchase decision. I haven’t visited the Kingville SC yet but have thoughts of going that way to Waco one of these days. The Austin SC leaves a lot to be desired and San Marcos was not terribly impressive either. I wish they would get their act together in San Antonio.

A Better Route Planner is my friend. We have used it for all our distance travel from coast to coast.

LostInTx | February 12, 2019

@walnotr, the Waco SC is great. It's in the Colin Street Bakery parking lot. Great breakfast options and if you tell them you're charging a Tesla, you get free coffee.

The Austin SC is situated where not only is there nowhere to go, you don't want to get out of your car to find out. The Sam Marcos SC is, as you know, in the back parking lot of the Premium Outlet Mall. Fine during the day but dark and very much isolated when the sun goes down.

Bighorn | February 12, 2019

I didn’t have to wait when I charged in Austin and there were some cool restaurant options on Yelp within walking distance. Had a nice Peruvian meal in the time the car charged. Agree that Trinidad is sketchy and don’t leave the doors or windows open because of the bugs from the nearby dumpsters. Had fruit flies for hours after there a couple times. .It’s scariest when the Greyhound is laying over. Felt better having Macy when I walked by the guys with the prison face tats sitting nearby. We actually had a nice conversation, but I could see people being intimidated. There’s also a dispensary right there if you’re running low on gummies.

Bighorn | February 12, 2019

To be fair, my Austin visit was right after 3 days of car camping in Mexico, so my safety barometer may have been recalibrated.

jimglas | February 12, 2019

The Trinidad SC is next to a dispensary. Pick up some bud on the way to the Wendys for a snack.

Effopec | February 12, 2019

Wichita Falls is another missing piece of the roadmap. It's over 200 miles between Denton and Childress, can be risky at times. WF has been on the "coming soon" map for a couple of years I believe.

M3BlueGeorgia | February 12, 2019

Adjacent, but related, for taking I-40 east, is the need for a Supercharger near Fort Smith, AK.

Bighorn | February 12, 2019

Alaska? They have zero supercharges.

LostInTx | February 12, 2019

Bighorn, I wandered into the dispensary at Trinidad, much to my wife's protestations. I shoved my purchase into the center console and off I went. Next day, while having lunch in Lampasas, (gotta love Texas), a sheriff pulled in next to my 3 and of course, of freaking course, he had a K9 with him. I went through a ton of Hail Mary's hoping the dog wasn't trained to sniff drugs. For the others, no, it's not let legal in Texas.

I made it home sans cavity search.

Bighorn | February 12, 2019


jjgunn | February 12, 2019

Wifey is usually right.

Mike UpNorth | February 12, 2019

Is that how you got lost in TX? ;)

LostInTx | February 12, 2019

Mike, I'm lost in Texas due to being a moderate Republican in a not so moderately Republican state.

Rymack1 | February 12, 2019

I’m waiting for them to add Supercharger close to El Paso. I do that drive in a gas car currently 1-2 times a year. I’d love to do it my Model 3 but the distance from San Antonio makes me nervous

Bighorn | February 12, 2019

El Paso has had a supercharger for almost two years. Was there a few weeks ago.

Rymack1 | February 12, 2019

Correct, I saw that it’s on the far west side of the city. Hoping to get one along i10 on Far East to stop once before entering the city. Appreciate the info

walnotr | February 12, 2019

The trip from San Antonio to El Paso is pretty easy now that the Fort Stockton supercharger is up and running. San Antonio really needs to get one or two superchargers running though. They have been in permit status for way too long.

Rymack1 | February 13, 2019

Good to know. I might make the trip at the end of this year to see how it goes. Hopefully the San Antonio and Borne Chargers will be done by then.

billtphotoman | February 14, 2019

They are building an SC in Northwest Austin where I live and in a place absolutely crawling with Teslas. I hope and expect that once that is up and running most of the Austin locals using the current SC will switch to that one and free up the current SC for its intended purpose. Since I charge at home I haven't actually visited the Austin SC but I often check it on the screen and it does seem perpetually full. The McAllen TX SC is my favorite one in TX so far. Lots of good food and 2 hotels with 3 destination chargers. No charging anxiety down there.

walnotr | February 14, 2019

Agree the McAllen supercharger is at a good location with plenty of amenities close by. You can even get a free coffee at the Starbucks in the hotel. I’m not a regular visitor but was there last evening. Eight of eight open stalls. On one occasion when we were there, an “event” was going on and five of eight had been ICE’d. Not a common occurrence I suspect.

Rymack1 | February 14, 2019

I’ve only used the Columbus supercharger so far on the way to Houston. It’s a decent location with a short walk to a gas station for coffee.

Would love to see Tesla conviemece stores at the chargers. I thought I heard about them developing one.

Rymack1 | February 14, 2019

Hoping they add one to Harlingen and Sparks near El Paso in the future.

nwfan | February 18, 2019

I've been to most of the SC in TX. Only one I had to wait on was Austin.
Austin is also the hardest to maneuver for a charge. Limited space between
pedestal and curb. Also 1 way in and 1 way out.

Arlington at Convention Center and Ozona are right up on my list as least favorite spots.

Least amount of power at 120kw charger Southlake.

Ft Worth SC has been down for 2 months. 16 urban chargers. This location is going
through change. I hope more places to visit open up in the coming months.

Majority of the TX SC are located in gas / truck stops. At least the ones I've visited along
I-10, I-20, I-35 and I-40.

Shamrock at a local museum I40 and US Route 66.

billtphotoman | February 18, 2019

@nwfan - I agree about the Arlington SC. No food nearby (unless one wants to walk to the Sheraton hotel and eat overpriced hotel food) and during events at the convention center lots of traffic. I only stop at that one when I want to take 281 from DFW to Austin. The Plano Urban SC is also pretty nice and the slower charging rate will allow you to enjoy a meal while your car charges.

Bighorn | February 18, 2019

Ft Worth is the only one in Texas that I haven’t used because it went down the week I was passing through. There was a fire that took out a transformer and now there’s a lot of finger pointing over the installation and who’s going to pay to fix it. It’s beyond the scope of Tesla’s roving SC engineer who keeps them in good order. Their electrical sub will ultimately get it back up, but they’ve known from the start it wasn’t going to be quick.
Austin is a bit tight for wide open Texas, but not nearly as bad as some busy, tight urban parking garages elsewhere. I think I got the first space so maybe not as bad as slotting in.

nwfan | February 18, 2019

@BH, Wow I've been to a SC you haven't. Ft Worth was working during my 8 visits.

You might as well plan your next swing through Ft Worth when the Clearfork location goes online.
Last I checked it was in permit phase. By then should be 7 new SC open within 250 miles of Ft Worth
in 6 to 8 months. Fingers crossed.

walnotr | February 19, 2019

You can tell how tight the AustinSC by all the black marks on the curb opposite the stalls. The one and only time we have been there we used the first stall a semi well so didn’t have a difficult time backing in either.

Totally agree about the Arlington SC but isn’t a big deal for us as it’s only about 2 miles from friends we stay with in the area.

Brownsville would be a good place for a SC with SpaceX just down the road. It’s also sort of the end of the road when it comes to driving in Texas.