The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Tesla’s Busiest Superchargers Are Getting Interesting

Tesla reportedly restricting some charging in Australia where demand is high

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
The Tesla electric car charging station in the car park at The Star Casino in Pyrmont on April 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. The Pyrmont supercharger station is currently the only standalone station in Australia. It will soon be joined by the recently approved Goulburn supercharger station.
The Tesla electric car charging station in the car park at The Star Casino in Pyrmont on April 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. The Pyrmont supercharger station is currently the only standalone station in Australia. It will soon be joined by the recently approved Goulburn supercharger station.
Photo: Ben Rushton/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Australian Tesla drivers say that Tesla is stopping them from filling all the way up at Superchargers. All that and more in The Morning Shift for March 28, 2022.

1st Gear: Not Tesla Admitting That Regulation Could Be Good

Tesla appears to be regulating how much drivers are allowed to charge at some of the company’s busiest Supercharging stations, as The Driven reports from Australia:

Tesla drivers charging at the EV maker’s network of Superchargers are reporting they have had their battery charge limits set to 80% at certain sites that it says are in high demand.

Several Tesla owners – including this writer – have received a message notifying that Tesla had automatically restricted their charge limit in recent days when plugging in at Superchargers, including at Broadway in Sydney, Pacific Fair at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, and Knockrow in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.


A number of Tesla owners commenting in the official Tesla owners club page on Facebook noted it was the first time they have seen the message on charge limitations, and it is an indication of the increasing numbers of Tesla electric vehicles on the road.

“I actually needed to charge more because tomorrow morning I’m hitting the road SYD-QLD,” said a Tesla owner who needed to charge up ahead of a road trip, noting the setting can be overridden if needed.


I find this generally funny in the face of Elon rattling off Silicon Valley libertarian talking points every five minutes, blabbing about free speech on Twitter and putting its workers at risk defying safety regulations in California.

If you have found your Tesla throttled here in the States, please reach out to tips at jalopnik dot com.


2nd Gear: Now Daimler Is Complaining About EV Costs

First Stellantis, now Daimler is complaining about how expensive it is to make electric cars, as Reuters reports from this Financial Times article that’s past our paywall:

The chief executive of Daimler Truck (DTGGe.DE) said electric truck costs would “forever be higher” than those using combustion engines, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added to rising raw material costs.

Daimler is certainly free to keep making gas-powered trucks and see how expensive that ends up for everyone involved.

3rd Gear: What Comes First: Cheap EVs Or The End Of EV Subsidies?

If you look on a scale of decade-by-decade as opposed to year-by-year, electric cars have been getting remarkably affordable. (I still like to point to Mercedes trying to sell an electric sports car for $435,000 back in 2014.) Generally, we’re trending down in cost per vehicle as production volume trends up, but the cost of the minerals we’re mining to make EVs are on the rise right along with production numbers.


In a new article on rising EV prices in China, Bloomberg inadvertently raises a question: what comes first — cheap, mass-market EVs, or the end of government EV subsidies? It looks like the wrong one, if China is anything to go by:

A slew of automakers are demanding more money to cover the higher cost of raw materials. Tesla, BYD, Xpeng and Li Auto are just some that have raised prices in March.

Tesla’s Model Y Performance now costs 417,900 yuan ($65,600) after two price hikes in less than a week totaling 30,000 yuan. Some of Xpeng’s cars are as much as 20,000 yuan more expensive now. And a BYD model will set you back another 6,000 yuan, after a 7,000-yuan increase in January.

Among the biggest holdouts is Nio, which said last week it won’t be raising prices in the short term.

Let’s not forget China has been offering subsidies since 2009 as a carrot for those willing to become early adopters. It’s certainly worked. Last year, around 3 million new-energy vehicles, which includes plug-in hybrids, were sold. That’s expected to rise to 5.7 million units this year, according to BloombergNEF.

But here’s the rub: subsidies have already been cut by 30% this year and will be gone by the end of 2022.


What’s funny is that China’s cheap EV situation is much, much, much better than what we’ve got in the States. GM sells a genuinely affordable, desirable electric car over there. Here we’re watching as Car Bibles’ Kevin Williams replaces his MiEV battery in his driveway.

4th Gear: Here Is Yet Another Article Mourning That Bolivia Isn’t Sending Out More Gas

Bolivia’s government has been pretty progressive about using its fossil fuels for the betterment of its own people, or however you want to frame a stance of nationalization of gas resources. There was a remarkably suspicious coup, and in the wake of it getting overturned there have been a somewhat steady stream of upper-crust articles lusting after Bolivia’s sweet, sweet gas. Here is Bloomberg writing about Argentina’s potential fuel crisis having not sucked enough natural gas out of its shale:

“It’s going to be a tough winter ahead for fuel supplies with the way access to hard currency is in Argentina,” Agustin Gerez, head of state energy company Ieasa, which arranges the country’s LNG tenders, said in an interview. He harbors hope of a mild winter that would curb demand.

Much of the nation’s predicament was long in the making. A chronically poor business climate failed to lure enough spending in its Vaca Muerta shale patch and delayed the construction of pipelines needed to bring gas from the remote Patagonia region to industrial hubs and urban centers. Instead of becoming the shale powerhouse it had hoped to be, Argentina has become a major importer of LNG, mostly on the volatile global spot market, with the U.S. and Qatar as its top suppliers, shipping data compiled by Bloomberg show.


Sure, sure, but how can we also blame Bolivia’s nationalization of its natural resource extraction?

To make matters worse, negotiations to bring in more gas from neighboring Bolivia by pipeline have stumbled, and Argentina faces competition for those supplies, too, with Brazil taking the lion’s share. Argentina signed a 20-year gas deal with Bolivia back in 2006, before Vaca Muerta was even on the radar, but volumes and pricing are regularly renegotiated and the two countries have been locked in talks for months about supplies for the upcoming winter.

Argentina currently imports 7.5 million cubic meters a day from Bolivia, but needs roughly double that in the cold stretch from May to September. It’s unclear whether a deal on that scale can be reached when Bolivia’s supplies are dwindling, said Alvaro Rios, a former Bolivian oil and gas minister who now runs consultancy Gas Energy Latin America. Bolivia’s production has fallen 17% in the past four years as investments there slowed in the wake of gas field nationalizations.


There we go! Thanks, Bloomberg.

5th Gear: A Nice Story Imagining Oil Towns Turned Ghost Towns

In our multi-part history of gasoline in this country, we discussed how the nascent oil industry absolutely trashed Pennsylvania in as thorough and comprehensive manner possible. PA’s oil history is one of constant oil spills and willful destruction of both human and natural life. That is to say, the whole continued history of the oil industry that continues to be written, was all blueprinted, presaged, pre-written, penned in Pennsylvania.


It is with that in mind that I enjoy this article in Bloomberg wondering if oil town in Texas and elsewhere might end up ghost towns:

For America’s small oil communities, getting the timing right can mean the difference between losing out on the last great boom and turning into a ghost town. At stake is not only hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs, but also more than $138 billion generated annually through tax revenues for localities, states, tribes, and the federal government.

Morse Haynes, 63, runs economic development for Andrews, Texas. Having spent all his life in or around the Permian Basin, Haynes knows what the industry means for his town of almost 15,000, and he’s not ready to move on.

“So much of our community, that’s just who we are. All these businesses, they’re here because of the oil field,” Haynes said. “We still think fossil fuels will be around a while.”


The whole thing is a fun read, and a reminder that America really is a bunch of different countries all barely hanging around together. Nobody in Texas knows anybody who lived in a dried-up Pennsylvania oil town? Nobody?

Reverse: It Happens To Pennsylvania First

Hopefully our nuclear future is disaster-free!


Neutral: How Are You?

Over the weekend I walked by a street-parked Citroën DS21, one of the later cars with the Euro-spec swivel headlights, and was reminded how lovely those things are. What an eccentric, charming vehicle.