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I would like to share this article on California's Kettleman City rest-stop popular for travelers driving between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The video shows a 1/2 mile long line of Teslas waiting to get their cars charged during the holiday season. This makes me extremely grateful for picking a hybrid instead of an fully-electric vehicle. But several questions were raised in my mind:
Does this problem occur in states other than CA? CA seems to be crowded with Teslas wherever I go.
Despite Tesla's ever improving range and super-charging speed, when will EV charging network be saturated enough to meet the demands of EV buyers?
IMO: Most Tesla owners are financially stable enough to own several vehicles, maybe an additional gasoline/hybrid vehicle in the household. Do the benefits of Tesla's driving experience outweigh other gasoline/hybrid vehicles to an extent where the owner would choose to drive the Tesla on a road-trip?

What are your thoughts?

Link: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7755753/Chaos-California-Tesla-drivers-stranded-hours-half-mile-long-line-charge.html

 

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I also am glad to have more mainstream fuel/energy for longer drives.

California has higher per-capita electric vehicle ownership compared to the rest of the country. A little dated, but half of cumulative EV sales have been in California alone - https://cleantechnica.com/2017/05/04/us-electric-car-sales-state-whos-1-ohio-california/


And the number of superchargers in California seems low compared to the ownership volume (as of Mar 2019) - https://teslatap.com/articles/maps-for-ev-benefits-and-tesla-stores/
 

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You would charge it at home for normal day to day usage. The superchargers are meant for when you're traveling but it would be better to rent a gas car for busy travel holidays if you're in CA. On another note, my town has a supercharger marked on the Tesla website as coming soon for more than 2 years.
 

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What do I think? That there are not enough people in California. keep going every one. dont stop. keep going. yes that's right. ahh much roomier now thank you. whats that? no. no I'm not lonely. just happy. thank you.
 

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I would like to share this article on California's Kettleman City rest-stop popular for travelers driving between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The video shows a 1/2 mile long line of Teslas waiting to get their cars charged during the holiday season. This makes me extremely grateful for picking a hybrid instead of an fully-electric vehicle. But several questions were raised in my mind:
Does this problem occur in states other than CA? CA seems to be crowded with Teslas wherever I go.
Despite Tesla's ever improving range and super-charging speed, when will EV charging network be saturated enough to meet the demands of EV buyers?
as an 2019 Insight EX and 2019 Model 3 Long Range RWD owner, perhaps I can give you my take on this.

Tesla's in car NAV routing algorithm routes you to chargers regardless of current usage (see pic of LA area.. this is 12:30 am Sunday night). So let me back up a bit, the in car nav can bring ANY Tesla supercharger in the world. For superchargers within a 200-300 mile radius, you can get real time open stalls while in the car. When you need to navigate to a destination beyond what you car achieve with the current State of Charge (SOC), the car will route you enroute to a supercharger (see pic)

i.e. drive from LA to San Francisco. That can not be achieved on a single charge... so it will plot out a series of superchargers to stop and charge along the route.

Now that's established, the problem with the algorithm is that it does not take into account how many open spots there are at a Supercharger. Assuming most ppl from LA are leaving with a certain state of charge.... call it 80-100%. By the time you get to Kettlemen, most ppl will be going on empty, so a huge mass of cars will be routed to charge at Kettlemen.

Well... what if the algorithm were to take into account the number of available stalls at Kettlemen and saw it was 0/40 available? Smarter thing to do siphon off some of those drivers to top off at Buttonwillow skip Kettlemen and then charge at Harris Ranch or Gustine. If you have a long range, can probably make it to San Jose without a second charge. (see pic of Kettlemen charger.. not very busy right now. 37/40 stalls available right now, but if it was full, I'd avoid it. An algorithm change could be implemented on Tesla's end and doesn't require any hardware update.

My second take on this is.... there is not enough charging infrastructure. Most chargers in SoCal are busy. there are peak charging times... around 11-3 pm. Afternoons 5-7 pm. They are usually full. Certain chargers are seemingly full from morning until night. on weekends, certain chargers are full until past midnight. Tesla is active.. they opened a few chargers just prior to thanksgiving and add mobile chargers (pallet chargers) to sites that need more charging. I drove to Phoenix on Thanksgiving day and charged at Ehrenberg, AZ a station they opened the day before Thanksgiving. They opened a few stations in CA before thanksgiving and some are getting upgrades including Kettlemen. New stations are popping up, but they could be at faster pace.

i knew that charging would be an issue Thanksgiving weekend, and I was worried, seeing how many cars Tesla has sold in the last 3 quarters. In the first 3 quarters, Model 3 has outsold the Accord in California, but I didn't have charging issues on the way to Phoenix and back.

https://insideevs.com/news/385236/tesla-model-3-california-sales-2019/

Certain chargers are especially busy because they are on a major trunk route between cities. Busy routes in CA are LA to Bay Area (Nor Cal). LA to Vegas, LA to Phoenix. I drove from SoCal to Montana and Wyoming earlier this year... it was not busy at all once you've gone past Vegas. Many times I was the only car charging... so yes, outside of California there's not yet a capacity problem at least for the 7 or 8 western states I drove too this year.

the other side of the infrastructure I see is that EVs are primarily charged at home, thus there is low demand for supercharging off peak travel, but while on travel and certain times, it spikes like crazy (at least for Teslas... non Tesla owners don't drive much anywhere due to lack of infrastructure). is this different from gas stations? I don't know. I see gas stations as having a more having more constant demand as there is no way to gas up at home, so the demand is spread out, but is there any data for that? don't know.

Personally, I will be charging more and more at home, simply because it's cheaper for me to do so as I'm running out of my 8000 free supercharging miles. I burned off 7600 miles of them in less than 6 months.

IMO: Do the benefits of Tesla's driving experience outweigh other gasoline/hybrid vehicles to an extent where the owner would choose to drive the Tesla on a road-trip?

What are your thoughts?
YES YES YES. The first choice to go anywhere is the Model 3. From the wife perspective. It's much more comfortable than the Insight. From my perspective... it's soooooooooo much easier to drive because of Autopilot, the braking, and the nav and music are so fully integrated. it's sooooo much more fun to drive... the car is a rocket. Constant software updates makes the car better and better. I have the Insight connected to the WiFi at home.. but what does that do? doens't even give me software updates.

The 19 Insight was purchased in April. 6700 miles. 19 Model 3 Long Range... purchased in June. 16,700 miles. I thought I drove the heck out of the Accord at 22-24k miles a year. The Model 3 is such a pleasure and ease to drive, we take it everywhere.

it's been on several road trips totaling 5000+ miles already. Charging can suck if you don't plan your trip around charging but it far outweighs driving an ICE car. You drive 5 hours and you're not fatigued.. can just arrive and do whatever at your destination. Autopilot is a game changer.

I really like Honda... from the 90s until now... i have owned nothing but Hondas. I didn't realize it when I bought the Tesla, but after I bought it... it's become my newest hobby and I'm constantly addicted to it. Elon said, "A Tesla is the most fun thing you could possible buy ever. It's actually not a car, it's a thing to maximize enjoyment" and I completely agree.

See podcast link where it says it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s41qWOb7pVQ
 

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@IronQQQ Does the Tesla map tell you which floor the supercharger is located at if it was inside a parking garage? I frequent a movie theater that has a parking garage with a supercharger on the roof. I always wonder if the Teslas that are plugged in at the Chargepoint chargers on the 2nd floor know about the supercharger 3 or so floors above them. I didn't know about the supercharger existence due to no signage until I got curious one day wondering why just Tesla vehicles were coming and going from the top of the parking garage.
 

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@IronQQQ Thanks for the extremely detailed analysis of the charge strategies that owners can plan and further suggestions to Tesla's opportunity for improvement.

Judging from your explanations and my "youtube research", Tesla's charging infrastructure seems to be much superior than any other companies like Electrify America, etc in terms of integration, payment, availability, etc. I am assuming that in the years to come, it will take Tesla less effort than other companies to bridge the gap of charger deficit in high volume areas (this is great for Tesla customer retention).
Broadly, the issue that comes up next is the grid infrastructure in cities with dense EV-population. Cities may require significant upgrades to keep up with high volume EV-charging which ultimately end up with taxes.

Yes I have heard only good things about the driving experience of Teslas, no matter long or short trips. Joe Rogan keeps mentioning in his podcast about the calming nature of driving his Tesla, but turns into a rocket with the pedal down.
 

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@IronQQQ Does the Tesla map tell you which floor the supercharger is located at if it was inside a parking garage? I frequent a movie theater that has a parking garage with a supercharger on the roof. I always wonder if the Teslas that are plugged in at the Chargepoint chargers on the 2nd floor know about the supercharger 3 or so floors above them. I didn't know about the supercharger existence due to no signage until I got curious one day wondering why just Tesla vehicles were coming and going from the top of the parking garage.
The in car nav typically does not tell you were the charger is in a parking structure. You either look for signs in the structure or look on Plugshare app for info.

There are a few reasons to use a Chargepoint or level 2 charger vs a Supercharger.

1. Supercharging / DC Fast charging fries your battery: Level 2 charger is much slower and gentler. Your car actually tracks your DC Fast charging cumulative totals.. and after a certain number is reached, your DC Fast charging speed will be limited in perpetuity to preserve the battery.

If you have to pay for charging and the cost of Level 2 is advantageous and speed is not a necessity, level 2 charging is a good choice.

2. Supercharger Idle Fee:
charge you an idle fee if the Supercharger is at least 50% occupied. So if you have stopped charging, you will have to move the car. Usually $0.50 / min @ 50% full and $1.00/min at 80% full. With a level 2 charger there is no idle fee, so you can leave your car there until someone gets mad at you for being inconsiderate or the management decides to do something... But most likely nothing.

Idle fees are a great thing in my opinion as it keeps ppl moving along. As many ppl will camp out at a level 2 for hours and hours after they are done charging. Sure if the gas station via full, you will be expected to move along after you're done fueling.

3. Cost: Depending on the fees, Level 2 can be free or cheaper. Not always but sometimes cheaper. I've found that level 2, unless it's free, usually costs more than Supercharger.

4. Great parking space: Level 2 chargers are usually in prime locations. Front of the lot and structure, ground floor.
 

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@IronQQQ Does the Tesla map tell you which floor the supercharger is located at if it was inside a parking garage? I frequent a movie theater that has a parking garage with a supercharger on the roof. I always wonder if the Teslas that are plugged in at the Chargepoint chargers on the 2nd floor know about the supercharger 3 or so floors above them. I didn't know about the supercharger existence due to no signage until I got curious one day wondering why just Tesla vehicles were coming and going from the top of the parking garage.
I forgot one more thing. The red Supercharger location icons always show on the on car nav, regardless if you are navigating to it or not, or are pressing on the nav charge icon to reveal all chargers in the region. It just won't show the status (how full, cost, etc etc).

So while driving around that parking structure, the red Supercharger location icon will be right on top of nav arrow in the middle of the map and there is no way to hide it. So any Tesla driver will 100% know there is a Supercharger there.

The nav will show the exact location. If a giant 1 square mile shopping mall has a single street address number, the location shown will not be at the curb. It will be at the exact location within the complex.

For example, see the attached pic of the Hawthorne (aka Space X) Supercharger from the car nav screen.

It's located in the middle of the SpaceX campus. The entire campus might have a single address on Jack Northrop Ave. You drive along forklifts, shipping docks, and nameless streets within the campus to get there. SpaceX Employees taking a smoke break outside will wave to you. The location on the nav is exactly where it is in the middle of the campus. BTW, it's 2 am Tues morning right now. 7/12 stalls are full right now.

Here is my actual pic I took 2 months ago.
 

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The in car nav typically does not tell you were the charger is in a parking structure. You either look for signs in the structure or look on Plugshare app for info.

There are a few reasons to use a Chargepoint or level 2 charger vs a Supercharger.

1. Supercharging / DC Fast charging fries your battery: Level 2 charger is much slower and gentler. Your car actually tracks your DC Fast charging cumulative totals.. and after a certain number is reached, your DC Fast charging speed will be limited in perpetuity to preserve the battery.

If you have to pay for charging and the cost of Level 2 is advantageous and speed is not a necessity, level 2 charging is a good choice.

2. Supercharger Idle Fee:
charge you an idle fee if the Supercharger is at least 50% occupied. So if you have stopped charging, you will have to move the car. Usually $0.50 / min @ 50% full and $1.00/min at 80% full. With a level 2 charger there is no idle fee, so you can leave your car there until someone gets mad at you for being inconsiderate or the management decides to do something... But most likely nothing.

Idle fees are a great thing in my opinion as it keeps ppl moving along. As many ppl will camp out at a level 2 for hours and hours after they are done charging. Sure if the gas station via full, you will be expected to move along after you're done fueling.

3. Cost: Depending on the fees, Level 2 can be free or cheaper. Not always but sometimes cheaper. I've found that level 2, unless it's free, usually costs more than Supercharger.

4. Great parking space: Level 2 chargers are usually in prime locations. Front of the lot and structure, ground floor.
That's some interesting info about choosing where to charge your Tesla. Does the supercharger allow you to select a slower charge rate? So you can park longer while not using up the finite amount of time you can fast charge. :D
 

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That's some interesting info about choosing where to charge your Tesla. Does the supercharger allow you to select a slower charge rate? So you can park longer while not using up the finite amount of time you can fast charge.
No. You cannot select the charge rate at a Supercharger. I wish I could but Tesla's goal is to get you out of there asap so the next car can utilize that spot.

On level 2 charging, you can n select the charge rate (current).... So you could throttle it so let say, to take longer so you can hog a space
 
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