Going Canterbury yesterday, another stop at Maidstone to charge a bit. Two Model S already there, one 85D, one 70. I chose one of two stalls not shared with the other cars, so that full power could be used to charge. In this case choosing 1A or 3B would be a mistake because they are shared and since both 2A and 2B were free. Chose 2B for better driver’s door clearence.
Friday, September 2nd. I was tired of all the driving done so far to get here. But since I do love to cruise on the Model S, – that btw drives almost on its own (autopilot) and doing so it is very comforting for the driver -, I was thinking to chase some more superchargers before the late afternoon meeting. Time would be plenty. But fatigue, and the beggining of building the plan for the return voyage, – yes, you do need a well devised plan to traverse Spain -, made me get out of the house relatively late. I was planning to go to three very nearby supercharger locations, and maybe one outside London. Guess what? Going by car to very near places would take more time than going outside London, according to Google maps. Traffic in this city is a killer. I wisely decided – so I thought – to go only to the outside spot, postponing the nearby locations for the comingup weekend. The place to go? Birchanger Green, upnorth.
Arriving to the general destination location was a breeze. Being there and driving to the particular spot of the supercharger stalls was a whole new other experience. It so happens the area is a big resting area. Managed by traffic lights to avoid congestion on the M11. It is also near an airport. Maybe I did not pay enough attention to the satnav congestion information before departuring there, maybe I was just eager to visit yet another supercharger location. The traffic to get in was SLOW, did not stay long, the traffic to get out was SLOW: Friday, what would you expect?
Thought I would not make it on time to the meeting back in London, but I did: the Model S satnav updates the driving path in realtime to avoid traffic, provided there are driving alternatives. It works very well. I can’t have enough of this car.
It was Thursday, Sept 1st, around 6.00 PM. Found the place quite easily, curtesy of the Model S satnav system – it’s one of the best I’ve ever used. Parked the car in the street, not knowing at that time that there was a private parking slot available.
The evening fading light was a delicate beautiful delight, glittering softly a welcoming salute.
After Maidstone, going en route to London, you can find, and stop – not that you need it! – the Bluewater Parkway @Dartford. It’s a Shopping Centre and it has 5 stalls. This is one of the few places (I found anotherone in the USA) that has an odd number of stalls. This means there is a favorite one: stall n. 3A because it is the 5th one and there is no stall n. 3B. Which means you don’t have to share any charging with a nonexistent 3B stall. Brilliant!
While there I saw three Model S coming and going: a 85, a 85D and a brand new 90D. This is a place where you come to do whatever everybody does in a shopping mall. But a Model S owner does a little bit more: he parks, he puts his car to charge, goes to do his/her business, when coming back a while later the car is fully charged, or almost fully charged most of the time, the superchargers are really that fast. I call it the win-win life style. What else could you want? Ah, if not yet an owner, I do strongly advise you to become one. It really and practically pays for itself, free charging for life. That’s life.
Keeping track of the visited superchargers, next in line, visited on September 1st, 14.00 h sharp, after the tunnel traversal, is Maidstone: it is installed in a private piece of land, it clearly seems it is owned by Tesla since it even has a “dynamic barrier” (pardon my French) that can be put to block the cars’ passage. And the only thing installed in that particular secluded piece of land are the supercharger stalls. This is the first time I have ever encountered supercharger stalls isolated from everything else – no hotel, no food or coffee house, no nothing. Neither in other parts of Europe nor in the United States did I ever see such a structure or installation, and I’ve seen quite a number of supercharger installations, believe me: a trip done Aug 2015 from Miami to Houston, going by the Keys, and this year, Aug again, from Houston to Las Vegas, me and my wife chased superchargers. I did it too in Belgium, Netherlands, France and now the UK. In every one of the installations we saw there was always something. Want anything else than charging? Go elsewhere 🙂 Here you get only the charging you need, generally a most needed charge.
At Calais you have two places with superchargers: near an hotel, that offers you a special offer, and inside the Eurotunnel parking lot, where you can charge while waiting your turn to embark. Very nice.