just charging on superchargers

I live in an apartment, I have a supercharger 5miles away from where I live. Can I get by from just charging at the supercharger once or twice a week?

Depends on how much you drive...

Think about it as if you had a gas car and a single, very slow, fuel pump 5 miles away.

I only charge on a supercharger, which I know is weird, but for now I don't have much choice. I live in an apartment building in Manhattan, and the garage provides no charging possibilities. I happen to work in White Plains, NY, which is not too far from the Merritt Parkway (Greenwich, CT) superchargers. So, that's what I've been doing: All of my charging has been done at the Merritt supercharger, with the exception of the occasional weekend ride out to the JFK supercharger.

It doesn't bother me. I see it as something of a challenge, i.e., to drive as efficiently as I can to maximize mileage. And then, when I know that I'll be going to a supercharger soon, I'll "let 'er rip" and not worry about gobbling up mileage, as I know I'll make it to the SC to "fill up."

Here's another oddity: I enjoy charging at a SC station. I love the fact that I'm "filling up" without paying a penny, and without using fossil fuels. And I use the time at the SC productively, i.e., checking emails, doing work, etc.

The fact that you live only five miles from a supercharger is fantastic! That's really close, as far as I'm concerned, and only minimally inconvenient.

So the answer do your question is: Yes, absolutely, you can totally "get by." You'll have to think things through a little bit more, plan ahead more than with a gas car, but that's part of the fun.

I drive 40miles a day.

That's not what Superchargers are designed to be. They're out there to facilitate long-distance travel, but in an emergency, of course. The idea is to charge at home from anything available, even 110v so the car can "fill up" in your down time and be ready to go, giving you back all of that time spent searching for fuel. It will work this way but you'll be spending an hour a week there and it won't be all that good for the battery, long term.

Willeric thank you, have you ever been iced when you needed a charge? If so how long was the wait til one became free

Also do you fully charge? And how low do you let the batt go before you charge? And any issues with battery degradation

Let me give a contrary opinion to johncrab. Until someone comes up with a better alternative for apartment dwellers, this is exactly what you should use the sc for. I assume that you also don't have access to a 110 outlet at home. Once a week if you have an 85 or every 3 or 4 days is manageable.

Personally, i think this is where battery swap would make a lot of sense.

Here would be my first rough estimate...
40 miles city needs about 15 kWh a day. Don't use the top 15 kWh ( takes too long ) and leave 10 kWh buffer at the bottom
S85 - usable 85-15-10= 60 kWh - you are good for 4 days
S60 - usable 35 kWh - you are good for 2 days

The superchargers are intended primarily for distance travel, but there is absolutely no restriction from using it as your primary charging - other than the inconvenience.

Johncrab, I also have to disagree with you, based on my own experience. First of all, electrical charging stations do not have "intentions" or "ideas." Charging stations charge. That's about it. They don't care if you're there for an emergency, for leisure, for work, etc. And I'm not aware of any evidence that using only SC's is bad for the battery. In any event, the warranty on the battery is 8 years, unlimited mileage.

So the issue boils down to the individual needs and circumstances of each owner. I have ONLY used a supercharger. Nothing else. If you live in NYC, you'll see that you don't have much choice.

Ace, I typically drive 50 to 60 miles a day. Once or twice a week, I'll swing by the Merritt Parkway SC, either during a lunch break, or on my way back home. It's just not that big a deal. And on the weekends, if I have to, I'll drive 15 miles out to the JFK SC. Yes, you have to hang out at the SC station. Johncrab has a point there. But again, you simply need to plan ahead. Have lunch once or twice a week at the SC station, and bring work with you. I do that all the time (in fact, that's all I have ever done with the Tesla) and it really hasn't interfered with my life.

I do not fully charge my battery except for long trips. I try not to let the battery go below 25% charge. There are a ton of threads on these points on this site and elsewhere, so you should consult them for more expertise. My takeaway is that the occasional "full charge" is probably not that big a deal, especially if you immediately drive some distance after a full charge.

I'm not sure what you're asking re: "ever been iced . . ." I rarely have waited for a stall to be open, if that's what you're asking. When the stalls are filled up, it's almost always because non-Tesla cars are parked there. In those cases, I simply ask around and ask the owner if they could move their car. Never been a problem so far.

@ WillEric

It sounds like you figured out a way to fit Tesla in your life. Good for you.

When thee is a non-EV car in a charging spot that is called ICEing.
The spot was taken by an Internal Combustion Engine vehicle. That is illegal where we live.

Hopefully the message will get out that the charging spots are designated for that purpose by the property owner.

One needs to do what one needs to do. Just be considerate. Superchargers are meant for people on the road. If all the spots are taken by people within the area this is inconsiderate. If there are open spots go for it but please be considerate to people on long distance travel who have to hang around 40-60 mins while you top up your car. This is what @johncrab meant by suggesting that you shouldn't rely on superchargers as your primary charging source and try use alternatives if possible. Don't live in Manhatten so perhaps don't appreciate the full picture. Just my 2c worth.

"Superchargers are meant for people on the road. If they are all taken by people within the area this is inconsiderate.

Says who? Tesla? Nope.

But Tesla has, I'm sure taken this into account, that Superchargers would be used by locals, as well by folks traveling long distances.

While charging at home is much more convinient, even at the slow charging at 3.3kW (Europe) or 1.6kW (US), there is no restriction from using SuperChargers. When charging 85kWh battery by 120kW it is only 1.41C max so not even that bad for long term battery health (compared to higher rates for 60kWh cars where it's at 1.75C).

If one has to charge only at superchargers in order to make a Tesla fit their life so be it. It still means one more ice car off the road. Isn't that the mission?

Tesla was inconsiderate in selling you the car, so you can repay the inconsideration
In kind. If that rationalization works, peace. Frankly nobody cares.

@WillEric: Good for you that the superchargers work out so well. If you ask around you will find that most garages in Manhattan (I live here too, and tried a few garages) will let you stay plugged in during the night so that you are charged every morning. I have been with the same garage on the UES for a year now, has worked out pretty well.

…sorry, I should say many, not most, garages let me stay plugged in. I met a fair share of resistance from some


Please provide a link to support your claim that supercharging hurts the battery.


@omarsultan. I never said anything of the kind. What I said was in line with the MS manual which says it is best to leave the car plugged in so it can manage the battery as needed. Charging once a week at a SC contradicts this instruction from Tesla.

This seems like a good example of a problem the entire Tesla "family" will need to solve. I see no problem with the OP using the SC to resolve the apartment charging issue. A few "early adapters" using the SC system in this manner is ok. It seems like a reasonable courtesy to extend a fellow pioneer. And that is what we all are. Maybe less so than the first buyers, but in situations such as this, "pioneer" still works.

But what happens when there are many model 3 users who need the same apartment charging solution? And suppose the SC system is expanded to provide chargers in or near cities to power visitors to those cities? Local users could easily crowd out travelers in this future scenario. I do not have an easy solution. Maybe Tesla will need to identify new users who do not have home charging ability and request an additional Super Charger access fee. This fee is simply a capital contribution for the buildout of the network.

Or maybe some other simple solution from an organization that has had the genius to invent a vehicle and charging network that creates such a cool problem for us and the world.

This has been discussed many times before. The first planned use of superchargers was for distance travel. You will notice they are pretty inconvenient for people that live in cities - for the most part they are located outside the cities.

The challenge of home charging in cities was not unnoticed by Tesla, and they have talked about some city chargers. I would like them to do this in a couple of cities just to see how it works out.

To me, home charging is an important convenience for most people, so my opinion is supercharging in cities will be used as an interim, by cheap/retired/unemployed/others with plenty of time, and for specialty (taxi/livery/fleet) uses. Home charging in cities (garages, street) will need to be solved for EV adoption, and I think it will be - it will just take some time.

Captain Zap, thank you for explaining "ice'ing" to me.

Olof, thanks for the tip on NYC garage chargers. I actually found a garage fairly close to me that has a chargepoint charger, and one of these days I'll probably use it. The thing is, the Merritt Parkway SC is so close to my office, that I just swing by there and charge up. And it's not a waste of time, because I plan ahead and work while waiting.

Johncrab is right about the manual recommending that the car be left plugged in when not in use, but this recommendation (page 88) has to be read in context. The manual says that leaving the car plugged in "is particularly important if you are not planning to drive Model S for several weeks." I've never had that situation, not even close. Also, the manual says that the battery will discharge at the rate of 1% per day.

The manual goes on to say:

"Situations can arise in which you must leave Model S unplugged for an extended period of time (for example, at an airport when traveling). In these situations, keep the 1% in mind to ensure that you leave the Battery with a sufficient charge level. For example, over a two week period (14 days), the Battery discharges by approximately 14%."

So going a week, maybe even two weeks, between charges is really not that big a deal, provided you do not run the battery down close to zero, which would be a huge mistake. And again, keep in mind the unlimited mileage, 8 year warranty.

BTW, as a precautionary measure, I toggle between the energy read outs (5, 15 and 30 mile readouts) and the "rated range" indicator, and make sure that I charge when the lowest of these readouts is in the 40 to 50 mile range area.

@P.Mac | AUGUST 5, 2014

"Maybe Tesla will need to identify new users who do not have home charging ability and request an additional Super Charger access fee. This fee is simply a capital contribution for the buildout of the network."

These Tesla owners have already paid their using the SC network just like you and me. And now you want Tesla to charge them another SC fee for using SCs? They already paid that fee. Tesla owes them the SC service that was promised in exchange for the SC fee.

Ron :)

@acegreat1 this is exacly what i'm going to be doing when i finally (sigh) get my 85, i have a SC on my way home, and why not use it, that is what it's intended to do, charge your car. We brought the car for many reasons and one of them is the cost of fuel, why not utilise the available resources and charge for free, rather than increasing our electricity bill at home.
I will be doing about 65 miles round trip, so every 3rd day (ish) i will give the young girl a squirt of go juice. Yes i will be 30 minutes later getting home, but the wife will have a latte that i bring her (forgot about the cup holders), and emails etc sorted. i do have a home charger and it will be used from time to time especially when the snow and ice gets here to ensure the batteries are warm before i set off for work at stupid o'clock in the morning, and i do have solar panels so when it's sunny the car will be plugged in.
I'm with the OP on this one.

The only reason not to stop is spending 30 minutes to get $5 of electricity. Personal choice.

Prime example of ICEing:

Well let's do a bit of math.

30 minutes on the way home. Assume 6 cars between 4 and 7, 4 more in the morning. Every three days means with perfect use, for the OPs use case we need a supercharger stall for every thirty cars that don't charge at home.

So far, tesla has built about 150 stations for 50000 cars.... assuming 5 stalls each on average, that is 750 stalls or one stall for about every 65 cars.

The OP uses the supercharger, then, at least twice as intensively as someone who charges at home.

That's why people who can't charge at home shouldn't count on Tesla perpetually providing enough infrastructure for them.... The superchargers close to large cities will be overwhelmed. This free ride won't last forever.... meaning it won't be a thirty minute stop...

I can't believe how negative some folks are on this. Tesla may have initially considered the SCs for long distance driving, but I know after talking with staff in a Chicago store that Tesla finally realized that big cities are important too. In time more apartments and garage buildings will have to put in charging options, but until then the OP has every right to use the SCs. We were not given restrictions on how much charging is allowed and plenty of people do not have easy access to a plug at home. Some folks have driven cross-country and used many SCs where I have mainly used the ones in my state. I'm not keeping tabs on those drivers to make sure they only get their ration of juice.