Tesla stands out as an exception to the generally parlous state of public charging. Supercharger users report few problems compared to users of other networks—and that’s why other automakers are rushing to make their EVs compatible with the “gold standard.” However, it’s not at all clear whether the Superchargers’ superior reliability is due to technical differences between Tesla’s tech and CCS, or whether it has more to do with vertical integration—unlike other charging networks, Tesla manufactures both chargers and vehicles, and operates the network.
Now Tesla has released a rare look at the system it uses to monitor its Superchargers. Electrek’s Fred Lambert tells us that years ago, Tesla offered Supercharger monitoring systems on screens at a few selected stations. These revealed the usage and output of the entire global Supercharger network—fascinating stuff for EV infrastructure geeks.
In a recent video, Tesla offered a brief (and rare) glimpse of the back end of this monitoring system. In the video, there were a few frames that revealed the monitoring system, and you could see the status of all Supercharger stations in North America.
We’ve asked many execs in the charging industry for advice on how to improve charger reliability, and several told us that detailed real-time data is essential. This sneak peek shows us that Tesla has access to granular details about how its current Supercharger stations are performing. At the time the image in the video was taken, it appears that about two dozen stations had temporary outages or closures, while two out of the nearly 2,000 stations in North America were offline (a pretty darn good uptime ratio in this business).
We don’t know exactly how Tesla uses this data—does the company have an in-house team that rushes out to fix problems that can’t be addressed online?—but we’re sure that the system helps the company keep its vast network running smoothly, and also helps it with planning, identifying high-usage areas for future expansion.
As the Supercharger network opens up to drivers of other brands’ EVs, Tesla’s monitoring system will become more important than ever. Other automakers, and the entire EV industry, will increasingly have a stake in how the system performs. Will Tesla open up at least some subset of its monitoring data to partners?