Tesla Teases Live Supercharger Status Updates

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Bjørn Nyland recently dropped a tweet sharing a video of the latest and greatest iteration of the Supercharger status display. It was obviously set up for more of a “demo mode” display, but the fact that Tesla has the data and can present it in a way that’s beautiful just makes me wonder why it hasn’t been pushed to the masses of Teslas roaming streets today.

While the production version of the live Supercharger status likely won’t look too much like the full interactive display that’s being used in the video, the data screen below with the # of charging stalls available vs just the total really makes it easy to see what the setup looks like at the station, and if it’s worth a stop.

On my cross-country drive, I must have hit over 25 Supercharging stations, and I can see how having visibility of station availability could have been a game changer if I had been driving in more congested areas like Southern California.

Is this functionality on hold for the inevitable rollout of the solid metal snake charger from Tesla? Will drivers be able to just get out of the car and walk away, confident in the knowledge that the car is in the charging queue and will take care of everything in as little time as possible? That would be sweet, but I’m not holding my breath.

If anything, it’s exciting to see that the tech exists to pull and compile this data. Now, all that’s left is for Tesla to develop and deliver it in Teslas around the world. To be honest, I would rather have Tesla resources working against Model 3 / Model Y than this … but if I could have both, that would be more than twice as great.

What are your thoughts? Supercharging status or Model 3 getting to market 1 month earlier? Hmm…

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

Kyle Field has 1638 posts and counting. See all posts by Kyle Field

11 thoughts on “Tesla Teases Live Supercharger Status Updates

  • I don’t think you can speed up tooling by pulling some software engineers in. some projects just take time.

  • This has been running 24/7 at the Tesla Dealership in Dublin, CA.

    I was just there several times over the past few weeks and found myself just standing there watching it tick.

    • I would pay to get interactive access to this. Say $1/month.

  • This is making my proposed solution to the overcrowding problem, much more feasible than a pay-system model

    The Scheduling Model is more focused on eliminating abuse in the form of people using it much more often. It covers more edge cases well.

    For instance… many people will still abuse local charging if they have the money. Yeah, higher costs is a disincentive… but some people will pay more and still take SC stalls away from the long distance drivers who need it.

    The Scheduling Model:

    Every Tesla has a computer navigation system with up to date software. For holidays and heavily congested Supercharger locations, Tesla is already looking to provide Supercharger status updates at the very least. This model would be an extension of that.

    Drivers are prompted for a Supercharger Reservation when below a certain threshold of battery capacity to schedule a supercharger slot (or can select in the menu at any battery capacity) . The car knows the current route, the nearby SC locations, the estimated time of arrival at the SC, and the estimated duration at the SC.

    This ensures that every driver can be confident to get a charge.

    Priority for these reservations are handled on a Tier basis.

    Tier 1 can be for drivers who are in need of a Supercharger because of battery level. (road trips entered into the Nav system)

    Tier 2 can be for drivers who selected the option to schedule a SC visit, but don’t have an immediate need based on battery status. (1 hour ahead of time)

    Tier 3 for drivers who have

    1) Used the SC network X or more times in Y days

    2) Have cancelled previous reservations

    3) Loitered in SC stall after charging is complete

    4) Otherwise abused the SC network

    Priority can be given to Tier 1, with Tiers 2 and 3 on standby. Tier 3 can be bumped by Tier 1 drivers.

    Even Tier 3 can be given sub-tiers if drivers further try to abuse the system.

    Once a vehicle starts charging at SC stall, the reservation is complete. So nobody is getting throttled or ended before the charge is complete.

    But drivers may not even get to start charging, unless given a reservation first. And if driver is at Tier 3, they may not get a reservation at a popular SC station.

    One great benefit, is that Apartment/Condo dwellers won’t be cut out of the system, nor will they have to budget for charging costs. They simply have to charge at times that do not interfere with higher tier drivers. So no penalties for drivers living close to SC stations that hardly get used.

    Another benefit is to avoid a pay system completely, since some people can simply afford to abuse the system. There would be double resentment if drivers were to see the same car blocking a stall every time… even with a pay system.

    Maximize utilization, minimize abuse, and keep the same cost promise.

    • Excellent system as the dominant feature is ranking people for how appropriately they use the chargers you want to quantify that rating into a number and show people what the cars score is at all times and why it has gone up/down and if it was the reason for being bumped (the bumped car will be the one with the lowest score naturally), kind of make a game out of it to encourage good behavior.

      Now to really sell the idea you need a fun name for the number, I suggest ‘Charma’ aka ‘Charge-Karma’. Two your suggested score reducers (canceling reservations, and loitering in a charger after completion) are good, but I would modify #1 ‘Used the SC network X or more times in Y days’ to only count when geographically close stations are used so that long distance driving is never penalized.

      You also need some Charma increasing activities, I’d start with long periods of time pass between charging at the same station, and when you charge at stations far apart in rapid succession (indicating a real long distance trip), as this is proper usage the system is trusting you more, it’s also indicative that your a driver that makes a lot of long trips so your probably on business and rapid charging isn’t just convenient for you it may be necessary for your livelihood.

  • Very cool display and “stalls in use” I would think is the most important.

    I wonder about the “CO2 offset”… Are they properly taking into account the energy make up of the grid or is this simply a calculation based on litres/gallons of gasoline saved? If the latter then of course this number would be wildly inaccurate…

  • I am sure they haven’t release the update because of 1 of 2 reasons. 1) There server / backend software isn’t up to par and ready to have 100,000 vehicles checking in. 2) They are in the process of optimising the protocol as the current protocol would use way too much wireless data and would be expensive to run.

    • That’s what Amazon cloud is for. Scaling up to meet the demand.

      • Scaling still takes work to do it right.

  • The litres of petrol saved figure gets me. Wonder what oil execs make of this. Before 2006 basically nothing like that existed on the entire planet!

    I believe this is the real reason for the drop in oil prices.

    The smart people who opec pay to do their thinking for them must have worked out that statistically, keeping oil at a lower price point is the best way to sell remaining reserves.

    Any increases in oil price will only result in that “litres of petrol saved” figure increasing, offsetting current and future earnings. They must have calculated this is the best strategy to slow down the inevitable switchover.

    Gotta love Elon just for that.

  • Very useful. I could certainly use this on trips. In the future, i might have a choice between several sites and knowing which one is congested could help.

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