I went to Fremont the other day in order to pick up some items for my upcoming cross country journey. The day was a bit rushed and I realized I needed a bit more juice in my battery. I planned to just top off the battery for a few minutes to get my mileage to around 100.
When I arrived mid-day, all of the stalls were filled with Model Ss except for one, when I pulled in and started charging, I never got a charge greater than 10kW. Yes, another Model S was charging on its sister station, but 10kW is really low. I talked to one owner, who lives in Fremont, but he did not have any particularly useful information. The rest of the cars were sitting without any owners nearby and I could not tell whether or not their charges were full.
I was proactive and called the Tesla supercharger support and he acknowledged the problem with the supercharger I was using. The Tesla employee did indicate my charger was not highly functional and listed three occupied stalls that had high rates of charge. As I was on the phone, another customer pulled up wanting to charge with no available stalls.
Luckily, the car next to me pulled away and I switched to his stall. I told the new arrival I would only be there for five minutes and then he could have the spot. He pulled into my old spot and charged there. I noticed both of these owners did not seem to truly understand how the chargers worked. And since I was in a rush, I did not have time to explain all of the technical details of supercharging.
The second stall was only charging at a 20kW rate, still very low. But I topped my battery off to about 90 miles and arrived at my destination with 2 miles remaining.
This short visit to a supercharger highlighted for me a few things:
1. In busy metro areas, the supercharger stations will likely be very busy and one needs to plan for this.
2. A low rate of charge is really painful.
3. It would be really nice if the app notified the user upon completion of a charge that the charge was complete. And an even nicer enhancement in addition to this would be to notify the user how many vacant superchargers were left at that particular location. If there were several vacant spots, the owner would not feel any need to rush back to move his car.
4. Its is vital for the superchargers to be as fully operational as possible.
5. In the meantime, I will make some kind of note with my cell phone number that I can leave on my windshield for other drivers to find in the case that I am the person with a fully charged vehicle preventing others from using my stall.
6. When delivering vehicles, Tesla should explain in detail how the supercharger stations work.