Took a trip to Boston from PA this past weekend. I have some good news, some bad news, and some suggestions about Supercharger ICEing. First the good news. I approached my first SC stop at Darien, CT, Northbound. I had never stopped there. There are only two SCs located a few feet from the entrance of the restaurant, the best slots in the parking lot. The parking lot was filled to capacity, and as I was pulling in I was already calculating the mileage to the next SC in Milford, CT, 30 or 40 miles up the road. Wrong!! Both slots were available!! Why? Some genius had placed two orange cones in front of the two slots. I stopped in front of the SC, removed the cone, backed into the SC, placed the cone in front of Tessie, and started charging. When done, I pulled out, replaced the cone in front of the SC slot and left... Somebody had figured out the perfect solution to SC ICEing!
Now for the bad news. On my way back from Boston on Sunday, I stopped at the Greenwich, CT, Southbound SC. All 4 slots were ICEd in a very crowded lot. I noticed that one of the slots was occupied by a small sedan with the driver in it. I knocked on the window and asked the guy if he was about to leave. He tells me: "No, I just got here and I work here. This is where I always park". Sure enough, the guy is wearing a gas station attendant uniform. "Look, I don't have a lot of patience, why don't you move somewhere else and let me charge. As you can see from the signs, these parking spots are reserved for Tesla EV charging only". "I don't give a d... about Tesla and you can't make me move" "Fair enough, I can't, but your boss can" In saying that, I started walking towards the office. As I looked back, the guy had started to move the car and freed the SC spot, which I quickly secured and started charging. While charging, another slot opened up and I stood on the spot, waiting for another Tesla and shooing away other ICEs trying to pull in. Sure enough, in a few minutes a gorgeous metallic blue Tesla 60 shows up with a Tesla employee at the wheel, backs in and starts to charge. I commiserated with the employee a bit and asked him why Tesla doesn't do the cone bit everywhere. He agreed that it was a great idea and that he was going to suggest it to corporate. Here are some more suggestions, since I don't particularly like to fight these kinds of battles at every SC.
1. Get codified agreements with the operators of the parking areas to place orange cones in front of every SC slot. It would be good if the cones had the name of the facility or some other "official" designation.
2. When designing SC locations, place the units as far away from the action as possible and make those the least desirable spots in the parking lot. I don't mind walking to make sure I have a charging spot.
3. At the very least, get agreement from the lot operators that their own employees won't ICE the spots. That's adding insult to absolute injury.
4. Signage on the SCs is totally inadequate to keep ICEs away. When I talked to people pulling into the SC spots I got various responses, "What about him, he's not a Tesla" "I'm only running in for a bathroom break" "You don't own this spot" "F... You" and worse...
Tesla is spending a tremendous amount of money to set up the SC infrastructure. If something isn't done soon, it will have been money spent for naught. This is really Tesla's problem to solve to protect their investment.
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