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BLOG > September 2023 > Does Tesla’s Mega-98 Supercharger Location Count On A Diesel Generator?

Does Tesla’s Mega-98 Supercharger Location Count On A Diesel Generator?

Industrial Generators Help All Kinds Of Businesses Run Smoothly Whether They Are Standby Units For Use During An Outage Or Add Power When There Is High Demand

here’s been a lot of EV vehicle stories in the news cycle recently. The Biden Administration just gave automakers $15B to help the companies update their factories to help with EV production and now, Tesla, is in the spotlight once again! No Elon didn’t say or do anything, but this time the presence of a diesel generator at its iconic supercharger location in Central California is creating a buzz.

Some are calling it a “dirty secret,” but it’s well known that electricity doesn’t grow on trees. In the USA, we count on oil and gas (39.8%), coal (19.5%), nuclear (18.2%), wind (10.2%), water (6.3%), solar (3.4%), geothermal (.4%) or biomass (1.3%) to produce the required electricity to support not only the standard demand from households and businesses, but also the growing EV market. (All data from the Energy Information Administration June 30, 2023). Guess what—the Tesla plant counts on the same power as you and me in our homes!
It's called the Harris Ranch Supercharger. It is situated along Interstate 5 in Coalinga, California, roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Harris’ ranch/farm family has managed agriculture in the area since 1937 and produces some of the finest beef to plate.

Tesla hails the Harris Ranch site as the largest bank of EV chargers in the world with 98 spaces, but one journalist found that the Superchargers are often supplemented by a diesel generator- but is anybody really surprised?

From SF Gate: “But as with many Tesla-related things, there is a secret, thinly obscured by an Oz-like curtain, at the Harris Ranch Supercharger. Hidden in plain sight across the way from the Harris Ranch Supercharger’s main stations, behind a Shell station, is a small diesel plant that has helped power Tesla’s footprint.”

The news first broke by investigative journalist Edward Niedermeyer. In May 2015, Niedermeyer drove from his Oregon home to Harris Ranch to see whether “Musk’s latest bit of dream weaving could stand up to reality.”

It’s unclear just what percentage of Supercharger power at Harris Ranch is being generated via diesel, as even apps devoted to tracking what kind of energy is delivered to Superchargers have no idea. But understand, generators play a vital role in backup power, or when extra power is needed to meet demand. Power outages are happening more often so standby, industrial generators are going to be more and more common in businesses, even at an EV supercharger location.
Experts at Tesla and other energy organizations have said that the superchargers operate much like your home, drawing electricity from the grid and only having an estimate of where the power came from--- thus our breakdown above for the US.

Bottom line, Tesla gets power for the superchargers the same way everybody gets power for their home or devices. When it’s busy, they will turn on a diesel generator to add extra energy to handle the demand. If there’s a power outage, the diesel generator will fire up to provide power as well, just like at a hospital, data center or any other business that can’t afford to sit idle-- in the dark.

Brian La Rue | 9/8/2023 2:18:49 PM | 0 comments
Tags: Business, California, Centers, Coal, Commercial, Company, Data, Demand, Diesel, Electricity, Extreme, Generation, Generator, Generators, Grid, Homes, Industrial, Industry, Infrastructure, kW, Oil, Outages, Power, Powerless, Powerlines, Sales, Service, SoCal, Solar, Southwest, Standby, Tesla
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