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Predicted Aflux of Tesla Model 3 Will Require Some "Supercharger Etiquette"

Right now, Tesla's Supercharger network is shared between the relatively few Model S and Model X owners, and even under these circumstances, there are times and places where the available charging stalls aren't enough.
Tesla Model S charging 1 photo
With the new Model 3 scheduled to enter production mid-next year (Elon Musk projected July 30 as the deadline), we're probably going to witness a new kind of Tesla-related line forming after those in front of its shops ahead of the Model 3 launch.

Forget about the 400,000 reservations and focus on what Musk said recently: he predicted that ("if everything goes to plan," we feel we should add) the Fremont factory would be able to produce anywhere between 100,000 and 200,000 Model 3s by the end of next year. That means a lot of new cars in a very short period of time, unlike anything Tesla has seen before.

The company seems aware of this and is working on expanding the network, but it might be a little bit over its head. More Superchargers are a priority, but so is ramping up production so that it'll be able to meet the growing demand, two mammoth tasks that Tesla is going to have to juggle at the same time if it wants its customers happy. New and old.

As you probably know, buying a Tesla grants you free lifetime access to its Superchargers, enabling all owners of the Californian EV to use their cars for long distance travels. That was the idea, but you would be surprised how many Tesla owners (people who paid at least $70,000 for their cars) will use the service just so they can skip charging the car at home. It's just something about free stuff that appeals to everybody, no matter how well off.

Anticipating the issue, Electric Jen of Teslarati composed a little book of rules to be applied to Supercharging. She called it the "Supercharger Etiquette." It contains some very valid points that could solve most of the problems arising with the growing number of Teslas on the road. At least for now. Have a read and see if you can spot something she might have missed:

Truth 1: Superchargers are intended to enable long distance travel.
Rule 1: Travel on the network as often as you like, anywhere your 4 wheels can take you.

Truth 2: Superchargers are for charging, not parking.
Rule 2: Charge as much as you need, or even a bit more, then promptly move your vehicle. Do not park overnight, do not go on a shopping spree and absolutely do not use it as a premium parking space without even plugging in.

Truth 3: Charge rates dramatically slow down after you’ve reached approximately 90% charge. You will thus occupy a stall for much longer than you did for any other 10% portion of your charge.
Rule 3: Do not charge beyond 90% at a Supercharger unless you absolutely need it to get to your next destination (including a buffer of course) or there are many other open stalls.

Truth 4: Waiting in line to charge when you’re on a road trip can derail plans, exacerbate tiredness from traveling, and would all around suck.
Rule 4: If you are charging close to home (whether returning from a road trip or otherwise) and have enough to get there, stay with your car and immediately vacate if or when all of the stalls at that location are occupied.

Truth 5: Someone out there either needs or wants to save a few bucks on electricity. Someone out there has no home charging solution available. Someone out there accidentally fried their home charger with a failed DIY attempt and can’t get it fixed until next week.
Rule 5: If intending to visit a local charger just for the sake of charging (eg: not returning from a trip), do so off peak. Do not go during known commuting hours, holidays or busier weekend hours. Plan to charge in the evening, mid-weekday or early morning hours. (Tesla should consider releasing peak charging times per SC location for this and trip planning purposes.) Also refer to rule 2. If you fall into the camp of visiting a local charger just for sake of charging, do not leave your vehicle unattended. Immediately vacate the charging space if or when all of the stalls at that location are occupied.

Truth 6: Tesla knows or can figure out who uses local Superchargers “rather aggressively.”
Rule 6: You may receive a warning letter - with attached peak charging schedule for your local location - that you have been identified as using your local charger aggressively. The letter will remind you that the Supercharger network was intended to enable long distance travel, set Tesla apart from the rest of the industry and bring in sales which ultimately benefits us all and provides funds for additional chargers. (Okay, this one is speculation and wishful thinking on my part. But I think this paired with a rigorous educational program as spelled out above would go a long way.)


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