Does Tesla Need New, Improved Supercharger Signage?

APR 5 2015 BY JAY COLE 26

Before And After Tesla Supercharging Signage (Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

Before And After Tesla Supercharging Signage (Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

That is the question posed by Teo T, a UK resident, to Tesla Motors in these design concept photos submitted to the company.  Could the Supercharging signage be improved?

Tesla Station Getting ICE'd, But Was It Intentionally?

Tesla Station Getting ICE’d (Photo via Teo T)

Currently UK residents are patiently waiting on the arrival of RHD – right hand drive Tesla Model S P85Ds/85Ds (reportedly delayed until August), but when they arrive Teo proposes that Tesla’s Supercharging stations could have a more universal and understandable symbol.

He tells InsideEVs this on the project recently submitted to Tesla:

“I noticed that all EV charging stations around the world display a Car&Plug symbol, except Tesla Superchargers. There are many different versions of the Car&Plug symbol. So I thought there should be another version for Tesla. This symbol is easier to understand by ICE car drivers than the Tesla T logo.”

Before & After (Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

Before & After (Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

The inspiration for the work first formed after reading this message on Tesla Motors forums:  “Mike83, December 14, 2014, “I was charging on a trip at Vacaville when a lady came up to park at the SC. I went to confront her but nicely. She thought the big cables were a vacuum cleaner.

Before & After(Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

Before & After(Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

Before & After(Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

Before & After(Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

Tesla Supercharger Station Symbol(Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

Tesla Supercharger Station Symbol(Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

Before & After(Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

Before & After(Unofficial Design Concept By Teo T)

What do you think?  Is Tesla’s currently signage lacking in anyway?  Would you like to see Tesla take up Teo on his more universally recognised EV charging design concept?

Categories: Tesla


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26 Comments on "Does Tesla Need New, Improved Supercharger Signage?"

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I find it hard to believe that an EV Owner, has ‘no idea’ what the Tesla name or Logo means… Luddites, sure. But an EV Owner that is on the cutting edge of automotive tech, and an early adopter? Teo’s basic premise makes no sense. And besides, I like the Tesla Branding / Signage the way it is. Branding is the major function of a SuperCharger when it’s NOT being used.

But I do agree that Tesla should replace the word “Parking” with “Charging” (it’s more “active”, instead of passive), and should settle the issue of signage clarity.

To further cut down in ICEing, I would add “EV ONLY” on the asphalt on each parking space, in huge letters– along wtih a polite notice that Non-EVs will be towed / ticketed at their owners expense. That might help. 😉

As the 2nd picture in the story shows – “Tesla Station Getting ICE’d (Photo via Teo T)” the Signs are not for Tesla Owners – They know what these are, and they are not for EV Drivers of other Brands, but as you say – they are for Non- EV Drivers for Branding Purposes, but – they also should be a bit more recognizable by limited informed ICE Drivers, that they are different parking spots, for EV Charging Only! As to the new design, While I like it for it’s Function of presenting the EV Charging Action in a Logo Form, it does lose the Branding Element of the ‘Big T’, so maybe there is a way to combine these two elements a bit better? And – as we saw in the Western Canada Tesla Forum – Revelstoke Supercharger – Gets ICE’d By Trucks & Trailers towing their Snow Toys, quite likely – not even understanding what the Big White (&Red) Boxes are! When you think of it – without a Canopy, with the Big TESLA SUPERCHARGER Letters on it – Like a SHELL Gas Station – it’s still going to take the Gas & Diesel Crowd some time to… Read more »

Yes, its intentional. If I had a Tesla that couldn’t charge there, I would call the tow company myself. Bad kids, bad dogs and bad people all need a hard lesson in reality, now and then, or they won’t improve.

I’ll agree with changing the word Parking with Charging, but that’s it. The prototype will draw non-Tesla cars to the charging spot because of the electric plug on the sign. The Tesla Symbol says it all…This is a Tesla charging spot. So, just change parking to charging. My two cents worth.

I think you missed the point it’s not EV owners that wouldn’t recognize it, its people that are driving vehicles that are pictured in this article that are blocking the charging stations. It is those type drivers that we are trying to get to recognize it.

A Tesla vacuum cleaner…..admit it, some of you guys would line up to buy one. =D

We have one, it’s called Dyson 🙂

Happy Easter, someplace a Tesla driver going to Grandmas house is looking for a charge. At home in in his garage, next to his charger, is a sign ” Tesla parking only”. I am sure some lawyer could add some fine print for disregarding the posted signage. Glad to see some holiday news stories.

I think they are excellent.

It’s not likely that Tesla would replace its “T” logo with something generic.

Telsa Superchargers are, at least in part, intended to advertise Tesla’s superior BEVs. That’s not going to change.

Now, perhaps in addition to the Tesla logo, there should be some symbol for “EV charge point”. But I’m not sure the car-encircled with-power-cord is the best way to graphically represent that idea.

I like this one better:

Yes I agree with this one. Contributor Brian Henderson has probably best articulated the outcome here:

There’s no debate, all electric vehicles are EV’s. An EV that plugs-in is a PEV. In discussions relating to a powertrain context an H is sometimes included (PHEV) to denote Hybrid EV, but rarely used in the context of charging. Including PEV and “charging station” on sign is a challenge unless a micro-font is used, so many opt to use an ‘icon’ symbol for the plug/station and EV.

Use of EV is international in that the abbreviation is identifiable across many languages globally (see signs from Japam, Norway, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, etc). Globally the word ‘plug-in’ is not used on signage.

@MHovis, Thanks for the call out. (= While I agree with the use of EV, I do find the use of info picture (presented above) to communicate “car-charging” or “charging-car” in better context than a liquid-fuel pump waving a gang symbol. 😉 Most non-EV folk will like understand a picture of a car with a plug vs. a box with a plug. (ie: the pump style info-picture is not a good generic representation as size and shape of EVSE vary widely) FYI: eVGo has been marking their DCFC installations with a very similar circle-shaped car-charging info-pict. Regarding Tesla branding, I do think the use of red adds some confusion as it’s traditionally reserve for dangerous, or tow-away zones. Best color a white with a green, or blue background. The selection of green or blue varies from country to country. Here is a variation on the theme from Japan where plug is located below vs above an EV. In Japan the “info color” is blue, while tends to be green in N.America (where blue is reserved for special access services) FYI: The UN maintains a standardized set of international driving and other signage, but has not added on for EV charging.… Read more »

To me, having a car-encircled-by-a-power-cord logo painted on the ground does -not- convey the idea of “EV charge point”. It merely conveys the idea of “Reserved EV parking”.

However, given the content of the comments here, perhaps most EV owners would rather convey the latter idea than the former, as a way of fending off the “ICEing” of a charging stall.

I think the text in the space should say:

Doesn’t get any clearer than that.

Does this mean I can’t charge a Leaf at a supercharger? Is it even possible ?

the signs are fine, but the spot should be painted red (just as handicapped spaces are painted blue and generic charging spaces are painted green)

It would improve the signs to say charging only, not parking, but thats a minor detail, as most of the offenders are ICE cars, not telsas parking but not charging

The universal symbol they need is:

“All other cars will be towed.”

That solves the problem.

This is where I am, too. The image helps poor English speakers (and presumably readers), but when it comes to super chargers competing for parking we shouldn’t expect anything short a tow policy, to have a material effect.

Most SCs are well out of the way. West Hartford, CT, comes to mind as a prime example of what happens when they’re too close (like the back wall of a restaurant). Those chargers are going to get ICE’d until a credible towing threat is made.

Usually, when there’s a sign in front of a parking space, it usually means “don’t park here” anyway. (reserved parking space for residents/workers/doctors/the boss of the store/etc…)

Whatever the graphic, it’s a proprietary system, they are free to use any logo they want, but I’m surprised the text doesn’t say “supercharger”.

The Symbol is too generic and therefore confusing, you get the impression that it can be used by other EV’s or Plug-ins as well. Therefore;
– Any parking prohibited –
– will be towed away –
With towing symbol below it

Teo lives in the UK and has been obsessed on the forums with reports of some Tesla superchargers in the US being ICE’d.


Here is a link to the entire photo gallery. Select first image, click slideshow and play.

No, Tesla’s signs are fine. If you change it to a more generic EV charging symbol more EV owners will be upset that they can’t charge creating an issue.

All I would add is a sign that states non-Tesla vehicles will be towed at owners expense.

A tow truck graphic may be most impactful.