Slooooooowwwwww supercharging

Slooooooowwwwww supercharging

I've been to several superchargers, in fact writing this from the Country Club Hills IL one right now, and for some reason, the max charge rate I get is 55kW no matter how warm or empty my bat pack is. I notice the same at Rockford IL and Kenosha WI. It's been going on for almost two weeks. Yesterday was at Highland Park and all worked fine.... Anyone else notice this?

diegoPasadena | 5 mars 2015

Call the Tesla service while you're plugged in, and they can check your car real time to see if there is something wrong.

jordanrichard | 5 mars 2015

What's the temperature outside?

ian | 5 mars 2015

What diego said. Something doesn't sound right. Definitely call Tesla.

Bobrrr | 5 mars 2015

I've had similar problems at the San Juan Capistrano supercharger over the last month. Yesterday I spoke with service while I was charging. It looks like all 7 chargers, even when not on a pair loaded station, were having the same problem. The supercharger team thinks it may be a problem with SDG&E who provides the power here. They are checking with SDG&E to attempt to resolve the problem.

TeslaLandShark | 5 mars 2015

I posted a similar issue. Will be calling supercharger support next time I supercharge if its still happening.

DZ1DRW | 5 mars 2015

Thanks TESLALANDSHARK, your thread is exactly what I'm seeing too. Each time I call Tesla, they say the charger is showing on-line & normal. Rebooted my car, same-same. I`m sure somethig has changed in the system.... All we can do is wait. Ugggghhhh.

shs | 5 mars 2015

Funny, but I have heard that other companies consider 40 kW to be "fast" DC charging.

DZ1DRW | 5 mars 2015

Good for them shs..... I paid for 120kW charging when they took my $2500.

Leeo | 5 mars 2015

Sunday I left the Dells with a cold battery. Arrived at Madison and it only charged at 55kw. Continued to Rockford and 113kw. I think maybe your battery was cold.

tes-s | 8 mars 2015

Yes, I have noticed it. There are two supercharger locations where I get no more than 60kW - Darien CT and Greenwich CT. I have tried the different chargers at these locations with the same result.

But in Milford CT I get full charge speed.

It is not the battery temperature or state of charge.

Today I had a warm battery and stopped in Darien with 30% SOC. Charged at 60kW. Drove to Milford, and charged at 112kW. Drove back to Darien, and charged at 60kW.

Service checked my car and logs and said everything is working normally.

Bighorn | 8 mars 2015

Some superchargers, very few, charge at half capacity--usually it's a temporary thing. I don't know if it's on the power company's end or something to do with the supercharger unit.

tes-s | 8 mars 2015

That is interesting and could be the problem. This has been going on for a week at these two chargers. Tesla is not aware of any issue, and I have not seen other posts about these chargers being slow.

I guess I need to get someone with another Tesla to be at the same supercharger, and try each car to see if there is any difference.

tmaz | 8 mars 2015

@tes I stopped at Greenwich northbound on tuesday during the ice storm and charged at over 100 kW. It was cold that day, but I was driving back from NYC and was in the car for 2 hours with traffic before plugging in.

LeonardV | 8 mars 2015

I think it is important to remember how crazy it is that we can charge as fast as we do. No other EV charging system in the world even comes close. In my driving road trips over 52,000 miles over the last 18 months, I have noticed some variation in the performance of the superchargers. In most cases, it is of little consequence as after the battery gets past 40 percent charged, the charging rate begins to drop off considerably. In other words, I don't know if the variations have ever made more than a 5 to 10 minute difference in my time to charge.

In order to get the really high charge rates, everything has to be perfect such as not sharing your charger with another car (in most cases there are two stations assigned to each supercharger), your battery needs to be at a low state of charge, your battery is not too cold or hot, you are using one of the new 120 kW chargers, the charger has no issues with itself or the local utility, etc. In my experience, while charging rate may start out pretty high, most charging actually occurs between 60kW to 90kW. With that said, if a supercharger is obviously underperforming, I'm sure Tesla would appreciate you alerting them that there may be issue.

diegoPasadena | 8 mars 2015

Good for them shs..... I paid for 120kW charging when they took my $2500

You paid for *up to* 120kw. I don't think they can guarantee 120kw at all times. And I'm guessing you gave them the money as much as they took it.

As I said: Plug it in and call them. They'll check it out and let you know what's going on.

Suturecabre | 8 mars 2015

At the Delaware supercharger, I usually don't get much more than about 105, sometimes only 80-90, even with 30 miles range left and warmer temps. Hamilton and Edison, I get the full 120 often enough, and it seems faster at every level. I guess some of the stations might not be fully upgraded compared to others, maybe older ones, or they need more maintenance.

tes-s | 9 mars 2015

@LeonardV - I have been in touch with Tesla, who said the supercharger was operating normally.

@diego - yes, Tesla never committed to a charging rate and has every right to limit the charging speed.

@kal - others are getting higher speed charging at Greenwich and Darien.

I think we may be seeing the maturing of the supercharger model. Many "all you can eat" services start employing throttling for the small percentage of users that use a large amount of resources - internet providers, cell providers, phone providers, cloud backup providers, etc.

Arguably, Tesla has even more at stake. Not only investment in infrastructure to handle the capacity needs (like SJC), but also the marginal cost of electricity. Further, they have sold a "lifetime" service so they have less flexibility to change - even with cell phone plans that are "granfathered" they get you when you want to make the smallest change.

Still, I can't be positive this is happening - though it fits the pattern of when other industries started doing this.

1. It just "happened" - no announcement
2. A few subscribers start noticing - others dismiss their observations
3. Plausible denial by the company
4. Overwhelming proof amassed by subscribers
5. Acknowledgment with the justification: it only affects 1% of customers, maintains the integrity of the service, and keeps it affordable for the 99%
6. Change of TOS to explicitly say the "all you can eat" terms have limitation.

Again, I can't be sure this is happening with supercharging, and if it is we are still at #1. I'm hoping I am wrong and Tesla is not doing this, or it is happening and Tesla decides it was a bad idea and reverses it.

I understand their frustration with local charging - what it costs in terms of having to expand capacity as well as the cost of electricity. But I'm not sure "throttling" (if they are doing it) is the answer. The lawn-chair-cigar-guy is still going to be local charging at SJC - he will just be clogging the stall longer.

JonathanL | 9 mars 2015

Throttling super charging speeds would be a really bad idea. I hope they don't decide to go that route.

Sweetride | 9 mars 2015

What I found during a Harris Ranch incident several months ago was that the Tesla customer/tech support folks have limited visibility as to what is really happening with the superchargers. In my case, I was first on the scene during the stretch when the Harris Ranch supercharger was down for awhile, and when I called in the tech support guy said the supercharger was operating normally and everything looked fine. Well, none of the stations worked, I rebooted and all of those things. In this case, it turned out to be a temporary shift by PG&E to a different substation (regular one needed service) caused power spikes (caused by huge farmer irrigation pumps) that were unacceptable to Tesla supercharging protocols, so the power was cut off from distribution to the cars. It took them a few days to sort that out, and my car was flat-bedded (sure that's not a verb) to Tejon Ranch.

The tech support guys had to call their supercharger team to diagnose what was really happening at the station as that info was not available to those you talk to when you call in.

It may be a different scenario of scaling back power distribution during periods of power fluctuation is at work here, I don't know, but the tech support guys likely will not really be able to help unless you can get to the supercharger team.

rajeev1115 | 9 mars 2015

Aubern MA supercharger gives around 170 miles/hour. Tried multiple times, usually around 8pm, with warm battery. I could never been able to contact Tesla support at that hour. They just put you on hold. Last time I waited for 45 mins and left the supercharger without any reply.

shs | 9 mars 2015

Just FYI, my comment "that other companies consider 40 kW to be "fast" DC charging" was to point out how superior the Tesla charging infrastructure is, and perhaps how spoiled we are to charge at rates most often 2 to 3 that possible with other "fast" charging systems.

While we can typically get a good charge in 20 to 30 minutes and a charge during lunch will typically finish before lunch is served; charging a MS at 40 kW would often mean time wasted waiting for the charge to finish - a real loss of convenience. The main problem with the current Tesla SC system is if you are in second place on a SC pair. That happened to me the other day in Manteca, but I still managed to get a full charge during lunch at Pete's. The SCs are great if working properly.

tes-s | 9 mars 2015

I understand being the second on the pair. But charging at 60kW with a warm low-SOC battery when there are no other Teslas in sight doesn't feel right.

martlgore | 9 mars 2015

Having the same issue here in Montréal for the last 2 weeks being capped between 58-60 kw (at very low SoC)... I did a test today to be sure that it wasn't my car so I went to the Cornwall SuperCharger (100 km / 60 miles from Montréal SC) and I went straight to the 116-117 kw rate... I came back to Montréal and, again, had the 58-60 kw. A technician came but I had the same blahblah (your battery is maybe cold - said well I just did 200 km non-stop and the weather here is around 45 farenheit) I had also the «it depends on the current situation of your battery» speach...

Called the Tesla Assistance line and told me that they would send a log of my experience... Again, they told me that everything was fine with the SuperCharger... was kinda pissed

As soon as I mentioned the word throttling he became a little bit defensive and said that they would never do that...

Please continue to share your update and experience in this matter...

martlgore | 9 mars 2015

*worth to mention that I was the only one to charge there...

sorka95032 | 9 mars 2015

Great. My charge anxiety is starting to rise again.

Bighorn | 9 mars 2015

There's no way individuals are getting throttled back based on their SC usage. Paranoid fantasy.

tes-s | 9 mars 2015

@martigore - just to confirm:

You charged at 116-117kW at Cornwall, drove right to Montreal, and charged at the lower rate - 60kW or below?

That is exactly what I did here - same test. Charging in Darien North at 56kW. Drove to Milford, charged at 112kW. Back to Darien North, 56kW again.

Tesla insists nothing wrong with my car or supercharger. I brought it in for service and they pulled the logs - nothing.

I'm hoping this is just a temporary blip and somehow gets resolved - or that there is an explanation other than supercharger throttling.

martlgore | 9 mars 2015

@Bighorn: and your rationale is?

martlgore | 9 mars 2015 see answers below:

«You charged at 116-117kW at Cornwall, drove right to Montreal, and charged at the lower rate - 60kW or below?»

- yes, that's correct... I had around 100 km / 60 miles as Rated Range when I started to charge at Cornwall and I had around 70 km / 43 miles left as RR when I arrived at Montréal SuperCharger... no stop, the weather was almost identical for the 2 places and the battery was warm with a little bit more than 200 km done BEFORE charging back in Montréal... of course the rate of charging dropped with the same «tapering» standard (started to be lower than 58-59 kw rate starting 62% state of charge)

«That is exactly what I did here - same test. Charging in Darien North at 56kW. Drove to Milford, charged at 112kW. Back to Darien North, 56kW again.»

- same here

«Tesla insists nothing wrong with my car or supercharger. I brought it in for service and they pulled the logs - nothing.»

- same here again... something is really fishy... that's why I did the Montréal - Cornwall trip + SuperCharge just to be sure that the problem wasn't the car...

«I'm hoping this is just a temporary blip and somehow gets resolved - or that there is an explanation other than supercharger throttling.»

hope so too but you can be sure that if it's done deliberately by Tesla, this is a wrong way to promote the «electric car» AND Tesla's future...

martlgore | 9 mars 2015

just a quick question: are you SuperCharging often at Darien North?

tes-s | 9 mars 2015

Yes, I supercharge often at Darien North and Greenwich North, and not as often at Darien South and Greenwich South. They are the closest to where I live.

Others I have used less often, but regularly, are Milford South, Hamilton Township NJ, and East Greenwich RI. Maybe 10 times each.

I will have another shot at Greenwich North Wednesday night. I will be coming home from NJ running on fumes when I get there, after driving 100 miles. Should charge at 110kW+ like I used to. We'll see - haven't gotten over 60kW the last two times I was there.

martlgore | 9 mars 2015

Montréal SC was open at the end of january, I have been able to charge at full rate maybe 2 times but as I said it's been 2-3 weeks now that it seems to be capped for me... at first I was thinking that it was because of cold weather but with today's experience it was clearly not...

I'm living 10 km / 6 miles away from SC so it's easy and convenient (also my girlfriend works 100 meters from Tesla SuperCharger so I can give her a lift back home).

Hope it's just temporary problem and not other reasons that I have in mind... :/

Keep us posted about your tonight's charge...

tmaz | 9 mars 2015

@tes - I charged at Greenwich north this evening and charged at 260 miles/hour. I had 100 miles to empty and was the only one at the chargers.

Bighorn | 9 mars 2015


I see no rational reason for them to reduce the charge rate--people will still take the amount of charge they need. Tesla right now is largely focused on goodwill toward their early customers. Regular users of SCs are going to be very cognizant of any shenanigans because it's the metric they follow. I can't see Tesla being that stupid or underhanded to slow a regular user's charge rate. To what end? Their goal of gaining mass acceptance is all about reducing charge times. Hobbling the system would only make sense to a conspiracy theorist with some counter-intuitive agenda.

I have seen a 60kWh charge rate--specifically I remember Edison, NJ the day they opened, and I tried several pedestals. It was brought up to speed fairly quickly according to other users.

The miles per hour number is an average of the session, so it will steadily drop during the taper. Better to observe the kWs at the beginning to express peak charging rate.

kitt1983 | 9 mars 2015

I am having the same issue at Harris Ranch. I use Harris SC at least once a week sometimes 4 to 5 times week. No matter what SOC I arrive with at Harris I still only get a max of 60kw. This only happens at Harris SC no where else for me. I have called Tesla service multiple times and have received the same response as most of you have already stated above. The only thing for me is I notice this happing after I received the second 6.1 software update. Did any of you notice this issue after receiving any of the 6.1 software updates?

Brian H | 9 mars 2015

I doubt individual throttling; more likely an unacknowledged technical issue with the FW or SCs. Some interaction of certain SCs with the latest?

DLebryk | 9 mars 2015

@Bighorn - I don't think martigore is saying he is being singled out or personally capped. I think he's just reporting the Montreal supercharger is doing something different, not charging at high speed. And he's not happy with the response he's gotten.

I saw slow charging at a very inopportune moment at Lima, OH and another newer station (the location escapes me). Both times it was very cold out and the stations were very new.

Both times my battery was perfectly warm, the charge level was low, and there was nobody else at the station. The car should have charged at a much higher rate than it did. And I did try several of the chargers with a different number, not just letter. Same result, not optimum charging.

tes-s | 10 mars 2015

@tmaz - thanks! That confirms there is nothing wrong with the supercharger. It is specific to my car that I only charge at 60kW.

@kitt - how close do you live to Harris Ranch?

@Bighorn - I agree!! There is no rational reason for Tesla to cap the charging rate. But it seems that may be happening, perhaps to people that live close to superchargers and/or use that supercharger often. That is one explanation that seems to fit what @kitt, @martigore, @DZ1, and I are experiencing. I'm sure there are other possible explanations - would you care to offer one?

wizexo | 10 mars 2015

Have had some of the same issues at superchargers. Often the opposite experience as some reported here. Darien ridiculously fast, Milford slow.

I got a fairly good answer from Tesla. If you don't like the answer, don't knock me, I'm just reporting what I was told.

The Superchargers, like our batteries, work better when warm. If you use a Supercharger first thing in the morning after a cold night it's going to be slow. Unless a few others have already used it that day to "warm" it up. Same situation if the Supercharger is just sitting all day and no one has used it - it will be slow until it warms up.

martlgore | 10 mars 2015


you're maybe right with: «Same situation if the Supercharger is just sitting all day and no one has used it - it will be slow until it warms up»

as the Montréal SuperCharger isn't «super» busy...

Bettyfretz | 10 mars 2015

"The Superchargers, like our batteries, work better when warm."

Generally, things electronic increase in efficiency the colder they get.
Can anyone explain the logic in the above statement?

Sound to me like speculation presented as fact.

Rocky_H | 10 mars 2015

@tes-s, "@tmaz - thanks! That confirms there is nothing wrong with the supercharger. It is specific to my car that I only charge at 60kW."

I don't know about that. You've had some slow experiences; he shared a single counter experience of it fast charging. I don't think it proves or confirms anything conclusively.

I think there are some hardware problems going on at these Superchargers, but as with many electronic devices, sometimes the failure process is an intermittent problem that gets progressively worse or comes and goes with more frequency. Haven't we heard here in the forums of people having charging problems and then finding out from the service center that one of the chargers in the car was going bad and needing to be replaced? Well, the Superchargers are made up of those same charging units, so if some of those are starting to go bad, it could be messing up the charging rate in the Superchargers, but maybe intermittently.

So I think that Tesla saying the Superchargers are fine is what is probably not correct, but if the problem comes and goes, they may not see it when they check.

GHammer | 10 mars 2015

We know that some of the Superchargers are being installed with battery banks, is it possible that these banks are not able to deliver full current when cold?

rajeev1115 | 10 mars 2015

it's just frustrating being forced to wait 90 mins to get the tank full. For my routine 175 miles weekly round trips, now I stop at Aubern MA supercharger only to get just enough charge to make it back home safely in CT. If not resolved promptly, slow charging could hurt the sales. I'm afraid to see more cuts in service and overal tesla experience.
Had to admit when asked by a friend that range anxiety gets me every time I bring my P85D to MA.

Bighorn | 10 mars 2015

I don't have a good explanation to offer. Like I said, I can't imagine, knowing Tesla's ethos, that they are discriminating against particular individuals. I know Ron would beg to differ.

NKYTA | 10 mars 2015

@hammer, Gilroy has them, but it is so often used and in moderate clime, that I've never seen the issue.

wizexo | 10 mars 2015

@BettyF - FACT, not speculation. This is a chemical issue related to the batteries.

The electric current generated by a battery is produced when a connection is made between its positive and negative terminals. When the terminals are connected, a chemical reaction is initiated that generates electrons to supply the current of the battery. Lowering the temperature causes chemical reactions to proceed more slowly, so if a battery is used at a low temperature then less current is produced than at a higher temperature. As the batteries run down they quickly reach the point where they cannot deliver enough current to keep up with the demand. If the battery is warmed up again it will operate normally.

Rocky_H | 10 mars 2015

@wizexo, you misunderstood what was said. What you say is absolutely correct about batteries, but that is not what is being discussed. What some people are saying is that they think the Superchargers, which are electric grid connections with no batteries, are being slowed down by the cold. That does not make sense and is what BettyF and I are skeptical of.

GHammer | 10 mars 2015

@Rocky Except that some Superchargers are battery connected.

tmaz | 10 mars 2015

I've charged T greenwhich northbound three times since picking up my s85d on 2/18. All three time I recovered at least 130 miles of range in about 30 minutes. Also I have not done any of the 6.1 SW updates as I don't know what they fix and until I do, I don't plan to install them as everything is working good currently.