Tesla's Supercharger station in Kettleman City, on Interstate 5 halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is already an immensely popular charge point, and this Thanksgiving weekend was one of the year’s busiest travel periods, but the facility’s 40 charging stalls were insufficient to meet the overwhelming demand.
To make matters worse, the overwhelmed location had maxed out simultaneous re-charging, slowing down the speed of charging for everyone.
With Tesla’s Model 3 now being produced in mass, there are currently thought to be more than 400,000 Teslas on the roads of America.
But the surge in popularity has exposed a series of flaws in the Supercharger network’s operations this holiday season, which is sure to give the Elon Musk-owned company food for thought as the fallout seen in Kettleman City was not an isolated incident. San Luis Obispo was another
While the couple seem to have been “incredibly unlucky”, according to the president of the AA, Edmund King, their case highlights some of the problems that need ironing out before electric car owners can rely on the UK’s charging infrastructure.
The pair are not the first owners who love their electric cars to complain that the UK’s charging network is poorly maintained, complicated and hugely difficult to navigate via its various apps and payment systems.
Linda says the sense of relief was enormous. “We ran through the entire gamut of emotions in those nine hours – resignation, range anxiety, annoyance and disbelief that this was happening – and finally elation when we realised we’d get home,” she says.
Linda says she now knows why most drivers charge their cars at home overnight and avoid using the public network. “Someone needs to get a grip of the charging infrastructure,” she says. “On the plus side, we have discovered that electric car owners are a helpful bunch and everyone we met tried to help.”