A recent tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that dealing with congestion at popular Supercharger stations is now a “top priority” for the company. Not surprising, but worth noting considering how crowded some popular Supercharger locations have become (especially early ones with only a few charging stalls).
The words used by the company CEO in the tweet were “increasing capacity at existing Supercharger locations,” which is a bit ambiguous. Does “increasing capacity” relate to improved charging times as well, in addition to increased stall numbers?
Here’s the tweet:
Increasing capacity at existing Supercharger locations now has top priority. Some are overflowing while a nearby one is empty.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 10, 2017
This news follows pretty closely on Tesla’s announcement of a new “idling fee,” which is now being used to discourage owners from leaving their vehicles in Supercharger locations after charging is finished. That should help to reduce some of the congestion at busy Supercharger locations, but not all of it.
This news also follows Tesla’s move to eliminate unlimited free-for-life Supercharging on new Tesla Model S and Model X sales, a change which went into place yesterday.
Teslarati provides more context: “Musk acknowledged on Twitter that some of the busier Supercharger locations are ‘overflowing’ while others nearby remain empty. To address the issue, Tesla will focus on the expansion of Supercharger stalls at existing locations. We saw the same behavior take place during the early days when the majority of Supercharger stations had only four stalls but later expanded to eight and twelve stalls.”
With the above in mind, Tesla will reportedly be introducing a means of monitoring Supercharger utilization to help drivers find an available station when they need one. The improvement will of course come via a software update, probably sometime this year. That should help to reduce Supercharger congestion a great deal.
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