Tesla has launched its planned Supercharger voting page, allowing the public to cast votes for upcoming Supercharger locations.
Tesla Superchargers have already achieved high market penetration – earlier this year Tesla set up its 35,000th Supercharger booth worldwide. This corresponds to an annual increase of around 35% in recent years. The Supercharger map shows that there are very few routes left uncovered by the Tesla network, and Tesla dominates charging experience satisfaction compared to other charging networks.
But they’re still expanding the network, hoping to fill in gaps, particularly on less-used travel routes off the main thoroughfare system.
So last month, Tesla decided to crowdsource its network development, sending out a tweet asking for location suggestions to be included in a voting system for upcoming Superchargers. The company included the locations with the most “likes” in the survey. (Seths Bennington, Vermont, proposal and Freds Shawinigan, Quebec, Proposal both made it, so if you can’t decide where to cast your fifth vote, these are a few electrSuggestions from .)
Today Tesla opened this poll and you can now vote on the 183 proposals that made the cut. These locations appear to cover pretty much every region where Teslas are available – North America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia.
How to vote on Tesla Supercharger locations
To vote, you must go to Tesla’s Supercharger voting page, log into your Tesla Account, then look at the list and click on your top five suggestions.
Even non-Tesla owners can vote on the proposals if they have a Tesla Account, which could be important, especially given that Tesla plans to open Superchargers to non-Tesla EVs (and a similar attempt in Europe performs).
It appears that this system is here to stay – each person gets five votes during each three-month voting cycle. After three months, the votes will reset and you can vote again. Tesla is also accepting suggestions for additional new locations, and popular suggestions will be included in the next three-month voting round.
Tesla says these votes “will help us decide on new supercharger locations” — so in a sense the votes are not “binding” on the company. It’s just another way for them to gather information about which routes the public may be having trouble with, in addition to the large amounts of information they gather from the public vehicle fleet and current use of Supercharger stations.
And Tesla still has its own plans for Supercharger deployment — the company briefly leaked all upcoming Supercharger locations earlier this month, so development is continuing regardless of that vote.
There are some parts of the country where non-interstate routes have very little Supercharger coverage. In particular, the north-south routes in the Great Plains region have poor coverage.
But in other parts of the country, like rural Northern California and the Oregon Coast, even off-interstate trips are still extremely easy, as I recently demonstrated on a 2,200-mile electric road trip with no preparation and almost no waiting time for charging. (Hopefully we get more sites like the excellent Harrisburg, Oregon, Supercharger and their food truck/wine tasting table!)
So that’s a good move from Tesla, because there are definitely some routes that can still be difficult, and this will help fill in gaps that they can’t fill by reading fleet data alone.
However, I think that this could also have a PR-related reason. Any time someone gives Tesla a flack for not having a Supercharger at their location, Tesla can now point to the poll and say, “Okay, vote for it.” That might discourage the company a little, because now the voters are blame if they don’t choose enough, and not their fault if they don’t settle in this or that niche location.
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