Tesla Launches Supercharging Assistant Program

This article has been republished with the consent of the author (original article Tesla Launches Supercharging Assistant Program | CleanTechnica).

Rumors have been milling around the ‘nets for a few weeks about Tesla launching some sort of Supercharging assistant program where there would be a person staffed at key Supercharging locations to facilitate charging and we have confirmation that the rumors are true. Bjorn Nyland, who we met at the Santa Monica Tesla store after making our reservation, found one of these assistants at the Tesla supercharger in Fountain Valley.

What’s odd about the program is that they don’t actually valet the car for you… they help guide you into the spot and make sure you get the best charge possible. I’m not clear on what the value add is here if they don’t have your keys (which they don’t) but hey, it’s a start. Tesla loves to iterate and try new programs or products only to kill them a short while later (I’m looking at you, 10 kWh Tesla Powerwall and Tesla Model S 40), so this may be a short-term program, but it’s exciting to see it out in the wild.

To really add value, it feels like they would have to have the keys so they would be able to move the car out of the stall after charging, but taking keys seems like Tesla would just be begging for someone to show up in a fake Tesla outfit collecting keys for a quick joyride.

My personal take on Supercharging is that it will evolve into a fully automated process. Elon basically stated this several months back when he talked about being able to tell your car to meet you in New York… from Los Angeles (and it would do it). That implies autonomous driving AND autonomous charging.

While this solution may just be a temporary solution, I’m eager to see where Tesla takes it, as the company has a tendency to improve whatever it touches — though, there is growing evidence of growing pains, as would be expected of a company that’s on the crazy trajectory that Tesla is.