This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Charger Congestion a Problem for Electric Cars

Stocks in this article: TSLA GM NSANY

So far, the Tesla superchargers are located in a few places connecting San Francisco with Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as well as on the freeway from Washington, D.C., to Boston.

One obvious problem with the Tesla superchargers is that there are too few locations spread over too much space. Not too far to make it, but too far for an ideal safety net given the risk of a detour or delay. There are also not enough Tesla superchargers at each location.

I am hearing more and more that as Tesla owners show up at a supercharger location on a road trip, all four supercharge hoses are taken by other Tesla owners. And there are only approximately 5,000 Tesla Model S cars in the field right now. The quarterly deployment rate is 5,000, so the problem will double three months from now. Tesla is just selling too many cars!

Waiting behind another electric car while it is charging isn't like at a gas station, where you may have to wait five or ten minutes. If there is even one person in front of you at a Tesla supercharger, you might have to wait close to an hour. If it's a "regular" 240-volt AC charger, it could take many hours.

If things are this bad already with 70,000 electric cars on the road, including 5,000 Teslas, imagine a year from now, with well over 170,000 cars, including an estimated 30,000 Teslas, needing a charge.

Currently, most electric car chargers are free to use. One interesting aspect of how to price electric car chargers in the long run is how pricing power differs from selling electricity to pure electric cars such as Tesla and the Nissan (NSANY) LEAF, vs. plug-in hybrids such as GM's (GM) Chevrolet Volt.

In a pure electric car, "filling" your battery from a public charging station may not be optional. You may need it to get home or to work! Theoretically, you would be willing to pay many dollars per kW, per mile of range, if need be. (It's cheaper than a tow truck.) For these cars, the seller of electricity has enormous pricing power.

However, in a plug-in hybrid such as the Chevy Volt, you always have the option to simply run on gasoline, enabling you to price-arbitrage the cost of electricity vs. the cost of gasoline, and then pick whichever is cheapest.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs