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Tesla Supercharger – From Start Of Construction To Activation In St. George Utah

3 years ago by Mark Larsen 15

Tesla Supercharger St. George

Tesla Supercharger St. George

Tesla Model S owners will be delighted to know that a few weeks ago the Tesla service technician from Las Vegas activated the SuperChargers in my area of St. George. There are four stations, located behind the Starbucks in the Sunset Center shopping plaza at 1091 North Bluff Street. With this location now functioning, owners can easily visit the numerous National Parks and Monuments here in Southern Utah. I confess that I am green with envy! Knowing how enjoyable daily driving is in my Leaf, I would love to also be able to take such road trips in a quiet, comfortable, responsive, clean electric vehicle. These desert wonders do not deserve to continue to choke on tailpipe exhaust!

When and if Model S owners use these SuperChargers, whether traveling north or south on I-15, I would strongly suggest always taking the second route to-and-from the freeway described on the webpage linked above. Although a mile longer, it is much faster, more picturesque, and not nearly as congested as navigating the downtown streets in St. George:

  • Take Exit 8 for St. George Boulevard.
  • Head west on St. George Boulevard toward the city.
  • Only one block from the freeway, turn right at the stoplight (1000 East).
  • Drive only one block up the hill and turn left (Red Hills Parkway).
  • Stay on this parkway as it winds through the desert north of the city.
  • After 4 miles and descending a hill, turn left at the intersection with Highway 18 (North Bluff Street).
  • In just a quarter of a mile you will see Starbucks and the SuperChargers in the shopping plaza on the right.

For those interested, I constantly stopped by the construction site to monitor the installation of these SuperChargers, and will post below a few photos of the process:

Charger skeletons installed

Charger skeletons installed

Ground broken for pad

Ground broken for pad

Rebar laid out

Rebar laid out

Concrete laid

Concrete laid

Hardware secured

Hardware secured

Cinderblock walls erected

Cinderblock walls erected

SuperChargers completed

SuperChargers completed

Parking resurfaced

Parking resurfaced

Doors mounted

Doors mounted

Technician arrives to activate site

Technician arrives to activate site

Parking stalls painted

Parking stalls painted

Parking stops laid

Parking stops laid

I had a chance to chat with the service technician while he inspected the site and labeled the SuperChargers. He even graciously gave me a tour and explanation of the inner workings of the two charger cabinets. Of course, he preferred that I not take photos of that hardware inside, but it is truly impressive. Each cabinet houses a stack of 12 chargers —a total of two dozen!— identical to those in the Model S. Cooling hoses feed in and out of the chargers, top to bottom, leading to a pump underneath that recirculates the coolant. There are also large fans up above for air cooling, as you can see in the August 2 photo above.

The technician also explained that each cabinet services two of the units. The first one powers SuperChargers 1A and 1B; the second, 2A and 2B. The protocols for charging gives precedent to the first Model S to plug in to either or those pairs, let’s say 1A, allowing it to charge at maximum speed. If a second Model S then plugs into 1B, it starts charging at a reduced rate. However, as the 1A battery becomes full, and the charge throttles back, that power is redirected to the 1B pack. When 1A disconnects, 1B is then charging at maximum speed. I mention this to help owners use the SuperChargers more effectively. For example, if you pull into this site, and there is already one Model S charging, let’s say from unit 2B, then you would do better to plug into either 1A or 1B (powered by a different cabinet), rather than 2A (powered by the same cabinet, at a lower charge rate).

According to the contractor, there are still some minor finishing touches to be completed. For example, a couple of boards for the doors need to be mounted after trimming them for a custom fit around the hinges. And the technician now wants him to install a guard rail behind the SuperChargers to thwart any foolish owners who might try to descend the steep dropoff to visit other shops in the plaza —instead of using the designated crosswalk a few steps farther to the west. You can see that dropoff in the photo at the top of the page: to be sure, it does look like an accident waiting in ambush.

I suspect that, when I drive by these SuperChargers in the future, I will see an increasing number of Model S EVs lined up at the juice bar, now that the corridors throughout southern Utah are replete with such stations: Blanding, Moab, Green River, Nephi, Richfield, Beaver, and now St. George. And to think that there isn’t a CHAdeMO QuickCharger for my Leaf within 150 miles of here! Tsk. Did I mention that I’m jealous…?!

And speaking of emotions, although I am thrilled for Model S owners, the activation of the St. George SuperChargers also makes me sad. In the past, such owners would sometimes contact me via PlugShare and ask to use my EVSE and/or Milbank RV Panel while driving between Las Vegas and Beaver. I have always enjoyed meeting those other EV enthusiasts, and will miss such opportunities.

* All images copyright Mark Larsen/InsideEVs

Editor’s Note: Check out Mark’s EV website by clicking here.

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15 responses to "Tesla Supercharger – From Start Of Construction To Activation In St. George Utah"

  1. Anthony says:

    This was the last charger to be activated in the I-15 corridor between LA and SLC. You can now get from LA to Denver without the US highway routes previously required.

  2. HVACman says:

    Since participating in the Huntsman World Senior Games a few years ago for some bike races, St. George is now one of my favorite places to visit. A quick loop out Snow Canyon Parkway, then up through Snow Canyon park and back down Hwy 18 to the SC is also worth the stop. The photos of the crystal-clear air and red rocks in the background makes me want to return real soon

    1. GeorgeS says:

      Yeh, I want to move to Kayenta….but it’s not going to happen. I’ll stay put where I am in AZ.

      Thx for the interesting write up Mark Larson.

      I wonder if all the stalls on all other chargers are labeled in this A and B manner so one could use your logic on knowing which stall to take?

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Oops forgot to read electriccarguestdrive’s comment….no commonality so it’s a crap shoot.

  3. Great write-up and photos Mark. On clarification:

    Mark> if you pull into this site, and there is already one Model S charging, let’s say from unit 2B, then you would do better to plug into either 1A or 1B.

    Unfortunately, the way the stalls are paired with the cabinets is inconsistent across supercharger sites. Not just the adjacency, but also the numbering scheme. So it’s a bit of a crapshoot. Hopefully this will get worked out going forward.

  4. Spec9 says:

    Charge and see a movie.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      But then you’d have to leave halfway thru to move the car after it’s done charging… Conventional L2 charging spots are ideal for movie theater parking lots though, you could get a fairly useful opportunity charge with one..

      1. Trace says:

        I will NOT patronize that theater! They weren’t playing XMen: Days of Future Past… The best movie of the summer. They have no taste.

  5. ffbj says:

    Nice article. I suppose we still won’t be seeing any videos, like the one that got pulled, anytime soon.

  6. Fabian says:

    It looks like you have to back-in into these spots to use them? Is this right? Are all Supercharger stations like this? Not complaining, just curious. Cheers!

    1. Spec9 says:

      Well, it is probably the easiest way to build the chargers. (I guess you could have islands between the parking spots but that would be more expensive.)

      Putting the charger hatch in the back doesn’t seem like a great idea. But hiding it it the tail-lights was pretty clever.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Like a 56 Caddy!!

    2. Most supercharger sites, at least on the west coast, are positioned so that you back in. Some, sometimes even a mix at the same site, are positioned so that you can nose in.

      The posts that are positioned at the edge of the lot, for backing into, are probably less likely to get hit by Tesla drivers, or drunk drivers.

  7. Ocean Railroader says:

    This feeds into a running joke I have about Tesla.

    A group of people pull into the Crystal Empire after driving 2000 miles in a Tesla Model S.

    Another guy pulls up in a Corvette after 2000 miles over ten days.

    Six weeks later another guy drives into the Crystal Empire in a Mitsubishi i-miev. The Corvette owner says wow your the first arrival in this new land in a electric car.

    The guy a Tesla Model S says no it was me I was first one to drive here in a electric car. The Guy in the Corvette says No that is a Tesla not a electric car.

    The royal officials of the Crystal Empire step in to settle the debate between the two electric car owners who was first to drive here in a electric car. The royal officials ruled on the side of the Mitsubishi i-miev electric car owner saying that the Tesla is not a electric car but a regular car.

    The Corvette owner asked why they ruled on the side of I-miev owner. The Princess went on to say that three days after this place was discovered by the outside world the joker in the Tesla drove in. While the guy in the I-miev left at the same time he spent six weeks living in his car. Not to mention things got really hard for the i-miev owner when he ran into a 230 mile electric charging gap between civilization and the Crystal Empire which he had to push the car though the gab. While Tesla boy and the Corvette Dude had no trouble navigating the 230 mile electric car gap.

    This is one of the reasons why I’m starting to not view Tesla as a electric car.

  8. ModernMarvelFan says:

    St George, Utah.

    Now, you can visit Zion National Park from LA with SC coverage…

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