The Dark Side Of Tesla’s Largest Supercharger

strongClose-up of Tesla Motors logo against a bright blue sky in Pleasanton, California, July 23, 2018. Niedermeyer’s investigation found that Tesla was using diesel generators to cope with high-demand periods, contradicting the company’s commitment to clean energy. SMITH COLLECTION/GADO/GETTY IMAGES/strong


By Ramakrishnan M

The Harris Ranch Tesla Supercharger in California, the largest in the world with 98 charging bays, could be keeping a dirty little secret, according to a report: it was and still could be partially powered by a small diesel plant. 

Not-So-Green Past: Investigative journalist Edward Niedermeyer uncovered this revelation in 2015 and revisited it last year, contradicting Tesla’s clean energy claims.

Niedermeyer’s investigation found that Tesla was using diesel generators to cope with high-demand periods, contradicting the company’s commitment to clean energy. 

While Tesla promised to power all its Superchargers with renewable energy by the end of 2021, the reality at the Harris Ranch Supercharger tells a different story, as per Niedermeyer’s old article and a new report by San Francisco-based SFGATE.

Close-up of Tesla Motors logo against a bright blue sky in Pleasanton, California, July 23, 2018. Niedermeyer’s investigation found that Tesla was using diesel generators to cope with high-demand periods, contradicting the company’s commitment to clean energy. SMITH COLLECTION/GADO/GETTY IMAGES

Not So Green Now Either? According to the SFGATE article, its reporter visited Harris Ranch over the Labor Day weekend and spotted the diesel plant behind a Shell gas station just across the way from the Supercharger’s main bays.

Although SFGATE was unable to establish if the diesel plant still powers Tesla’s Superchargers, it reached out to TezLab, an app that tracks energy sources used by the EV maker’s Superchargers.

TezLab, according to the report, explained that the energy used at the Harris Ranch Supercharger comes from the same grid source as other Superchargers in California. This grid source may include a mix of energy, potentially including non-renewable sources like diesel.

“The energy being used at the Harris Ranch supercharger is the same energy being used anywhere within CalISO’s grid coverage,” a TezLab spokesperson said in the report.

Close-up of Tesla Motors logo against a bright blue sky in Pleasanton, California, July 23, 2018. Niedermeyer’s investigation found that Tesla was using diesel generators to cope with high-demand periods, contradicting the company’s commitment to clean energy. SMITH COLLECTION/GADO/GETTY IMAGES

Convenience Trumps: Despite these revelations, SFGATE found that many Tesla owners continue to prefer the convenience and charging infrastructure provided by the company. These charging stations, like the one at Harris Ranch, play a crucial role in making long journeys possible for EV owners, even ones who do not drive a Tesla.

Tesla, which does not have a PR department, did not respond to SFGATE’s inquiries about the diesel plant’s current use at the Harris Ranch Supercharger.

 

Produced in association with Benzinga




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