|Chaos In California, As Teslas Queue Up To Recharge on Black Friday|
DECEMBER 6, 2019
tags: Electric Cars
By Paul Homewood
h/t AC Osborn
It did not really take a genius to work out that something like this would happen:
Dozens of Tesla drivers in California were forced to wait in an extensive line after what should’ve been a quick stop at a Supercharger station turned into an hours-long ordeal.
Shanon Stellini was travelling through Kettleman City on November 30 when she stumbled across a backlog of around 50 of the electric cars waiting to recharge in a half-mile line outside of at a station near Interstate 5.
‘Bet they wish they had gas’, quipped Stellini’s partner in a video she captured of the chaos – but for the drivers stranded in the stagnant line the issue was certainly no laughing matter.
The Kettleman City Supercharger station – located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco – is already immensely popular, but even with 40 charging stalls on-site the facility was still overrun by the overwhelming demand that one of the year’s busiest travel times brings.
To make matters worse, simultaneous re-charging slows down the speed of charging for everyone – encumbering a process that can already take up to as long as 75 minutes.
It’s unclear how long the Tesla drivers were forced to wait, however, one disgruntled commuter tweeted that he’d been waiting in the line for 40 minutes but only appeared to be ‘half way there’.
With Tesla’s Model 3 now being produced in mass, there are currently thought to be more than 400,000 Teslas on the roads of America.
But the surge in popularity has exposed a series of flaws in the Supercharger network’s operations this holiday season, which is sure to give the Elon Musk-owned company food for thought as the fallout seen in Kettleman City was not an isolated incident.
A day earlier, a video titled ‘Tesla Energy Crisis’ revealed a sizable line of 15 Teslas waiting for their turn at a Supercharger station in San Luis Obispo around 4.45pm on Thanksgiving day
Teslas could be seen wrapping around the outer edge of the Madonna Inn as families waited inside the running cars for a chance to refuel.
For a Model S Tesla at a Supercharger station, it will take about 20 minutes to charge 50 percent and 40 minutes to charge 80 percent.
Tesla’s website says that drivers will have enough to finish their trip on 80 percent, but owners can reach 100 percent fueled in 75 minutes.
Although there are 400,000 Teslas, this is still a tiny number in proportion to the estimated 272 million cars on US roads, just 0.1%.
Scale up the number of Teslas and other EVs into the hundreds of millions, and the resultant traffic chaos could be frightening, even if tens of billions are spent on building many more charger points.
In the UK, matters will be much worse still, given the crowded nature of our country and roads. We already know how bad traffic jams are on Bank Holidays and the like, but they will be a tea party when millions of cars are queuing up to recharge.
The knock on effect traffic flows generally is another factor to consider. We aren’t just talking about a queue at the services on the motorway. Tailbacks could quickly cause problems on the motorways themselves, and town centres would quickly get gridlocked.