The growing number of Tesla cars in California is increasing supercharger wait times


Tesla owners are once again facing overcrowded supercharger stations in California as the automaker’s electric vehicle fleet is rapidly expanding in the tech-centric US state.

Before moving its headquarters to Austin, Texas, California was Tesla’s home, and with the Fremont factory still operating at full capacity, this is the state with the densest population of Tesla vehicles.

Tesla’s Fremont plant is currently the only location where the automaker produces its high-end Model S and Model X electric vehicles. The population of these luxury vehicles with larger battery packs that require more time to charge is also comparatively higher than in other North American states.

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Prominent Tesla community influencer Brian Jenkins, who has owned several Tesla vehicles for several years, was recently on a road trip to California.

On the way home to North Carolina, he wanted to supercharge his Tesla Model Y — only to find frustrating charging times at most of the supercharger locations he visited in California.

He shared his frustration with this issue in the short video below, in which he recorded a Tesla Supercharger that was probably somewhere in Los Angeles.

In this video’s discussion thread on Twitter, several California Tesla owners have advocated this peak-time rush, and the increasing wait time for Tesla Superchargers is becoming rampant across the state.

It’s not that there aren’t many supercharger stations in California, it seems that Tesla’s expansion of the charging network can’t keep up with the increasing number of Tesla vehicles here.

Not to forget that Tesla currently has the densest and most widespread EV charging network in the world, so much so that 2 Teslas were able to reach Mount Everest Base Camp in China last month.

Tesla faced a similar situation in the past when Tesla Model 3 production ramped up and superchargers started to choke. But the automaker was able to deal with the predicament by adding superchargers and destination charging stations across California.

But now that Tesla is facing historic demand for its electric vehicles, charging network expansion may need to accelerate even more — at least in regions like California, where the Tesla population is expanding at an overwhelming rate.

The slow charging of older V2 supercharger stands with a maximum charging power of 150 kW is also a reason for the increasing waiting times at the stations. The V2 replacement with the 250kW V3 stalls and technology has been slower than expected in recent years.

However, the results of comparing the charging speeds of V2 and V3 show that V3 is not very useful when it comes to charging above ~60%. Tests show that V3 Supercharging (DC fast charging) is most effective and fastest when used for 20% to 50% or 60%.

Let’s go through some of the responses these concerns received from California Supercharger users on Twitter.

This rush may have been one of the superchargers closer to the Tesla Takover California community gathering. But as one of the guests and speakers at the event, Brian must have known that fact before posting this video on Twitter.

Related: The cost of Tesla Supercharging in California is steadily increasing


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