Tesla Model S owners are facing long lines at the automaker’s charging stations, which are becoming more and more annoying by the day. Owners said they cannot rely on charging stations in major cities if they are in a hurry as the stations are always overcrowded.
Owners had to wait
Superchargers are capable of recharging 80% of an 85 kilowatt-hour battery in around 30 minutes. Even though the time taken is far more than the approximately five minutes required to refuel a gasoline-powered car, it is ten times faster than a traditional home charger.
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One of the owners who was standing in a line waiting for his turn to use the Supercharger told The Wall Street Journal that The Superchatger is hardly “viable.” The owner said that when he arrived, there was just one spot left. The hardships faced by the owners is a shift from what was expected to be a niche relationship between Tesla Motors and its thousands of owners across the world.
Free charging at the company-run stations is one of the unique selling points of Tesla’s cars. Also federal and local tax credits are available in many markets. Additionally, in geographies such as Oslo and Norway, electric vehicles are permitted to drive in high-speed lanes normally reserved for trucks, says the report. Although Tesla has shelled out millions of dollars in creating a global network of free chargers, owners who spent as much as $76,200 on one of the company’s luxury electric sedads feel the company isn’t doing enough.
Tesla CEO aware of the issue
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is aware of the issue, and in a recent shareholder meeting in June, he noted that the lines at the stations are mainly due to drivers using the Superchargers often for driving around town rather than for longer road trips.
“There are a few people who are quite aggressively using it for local supercharging,” he said. “We’ll sort of send them just a reminder note that it’s cool to do this occasionally, but it’s meant to be a long-distance thing.”
The Palo Alto-based company is installing Superchargers at an average rate of one new station every day across the world to match sales that totaled to 60,000 vehicles since it was launched three years ago. Next in line from Tesla is a sport utility vehicle set to launch this fall, and the sales target estimates for the vehicle are high through 2020.
With the launch of the SUV, additional strain will be put on the company’s Supercharger network, which presently includes 453 stations and 2,519 chargers.