When Charging Turns Out to Be Not So Super

can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
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Have holiday travel plans in mind for you and your electric car? Keep in mind the havoc some EV owners recently encountered during Thanksgiving week when their Tesla cars needed a charge.

  • Social media posts noted long lines of Tesla vehicles sitting at Supercharger stations, waiting to recharge during the busy Thanksgiving holiday week.
  • On average, Tesla Motors says owners spend an average of 30 minutes at a Supercharger.
  • Tesla trucked out mobile charging units to combat the problem.

<em>This Thanksgiving, the only thing worse than being a turkey was being behind the wheel of a Tesla car running low on battery power. That was the case for some Tesla owners in California, who experienced huge lines and long waits at Tesla’s Supercharger network. (Video: YouTube)</em>

<h3>Get in line</h3>

In this video posted by YouTube user StevenMConroy, a lengthy line of Tesla Model S, Model 3, and Model X vehicles are shown waiting at a Supercharger station in San Luis Obispo, California, on Thanksgiving day. While 15 cars might not sound like much, it is when you factor in Tesla Motors’ calculation that most owners spend 30 minutes at a Supercharger. Theoretically, being that fifteenth car in line could mean a wait of more than seven hours! Other social media posts showed Tesla trucking in large mobile charging units to try to combat the issue.

Despite there being more than 7,000 Superchargers throughout the U.S., these peak travel times show recharging infrastructure remains a serious hurdle. This looks to be particularly acute in markets where Tesla vehicles are especially popular, such as in California.

This Facebook post of a Supercharger station in Kettelman City, California, shows dozens of Tesla vehicles lined up to charge. Located nearly equidistant between Los Angeles and San Jose, the station has 40 Supercharger units that deliver 120 kilowatts per hour. Of some (though probably very little) solace to the Tesla owners forced to suffer the long wait: Tesla’s website notes the station has a 24-hour lounge.


As electric vehicle sales ramp up, the infrastructure needed to support them year-round, in all traffic conditions needs to be capable of meeting the growing demand. The future of mobility shouldn’t mean waiting hours in line to finish your journey.

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can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
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