Make Supercharging better by ordering food in advance

Outlet malls are common supercharging sites, and they do not have fine dining.

I've written about how to make Tesla Supercharging work, you try to have a meal while doing that. Here's a proposal to make that work much better: Be able to order food from participating restaurants while on the way to the charger, and have it all timed perfectly to either:

  • Eat at the restaurant, with food on the table when you walk in
  • Get it delivered to your charging car (along with furniture)
  • Pick up perfectly timed take-out (again with furniture)

All in a seamless way that you can do with just one or two clicks in an app or on the car touchscreen.

Read about this in my article about better food at EV charging stations.


Isn't all this addressing what is a relatively short-term problem? Like the old PC 640K memory limitation ;-) Within a few years we should reach a point where chargers are ubiquitous and/or electric vehicles have sufficient range. Hard to get business to invest in business models in such a rapidly evolving environment.

First of all, this is hardly an expensive thing to do. Secondly, all EV charging infrastructure investment is short term, but it's done to make EVs more useful and desirable today. Tesla built that supercharger network so people would feel they could take road trips in Teslas. They want to make it better.

Chargers will never be ubiquitous in the sense that there is an available supercharger within a 5 minute walk of every restaurant you might wish to eat at. Not even remotely close. (Instead, in the future, you will go to the restaurant of your choice and the car will drive to where some charging is on its own.)

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If the restaurant isn't too busy, they might offer option 1 if you call them.

If they are too busy, they'd probably not want to offer option 1 at all.

I just want this to be as frictionless as possible. Done right, the restaurant receives my order (and accepts it) and they get to see my approach (first by car and then on foot) with an ETA as I come, with alerts as they need before I arrive about when the table should be set and the meal plated. Service probably will wait until seated.

This is not something likely to happen today, but in a future world where there are vast numbers of electric cars, and hundreds of chargers, and at mealtimes, almost all of the people in those cars are dining, then it's worth it.

It could even be useful for a normal trip to a restaurant by people short for time. However, usually when people dine ordinarily they are looking for a restaurant experience and are not particularly rushed. People stopping to charge are on a clock. They ideally want to complete the meal before they have to move their car.

If I have 45 minutes (a common time) then I want to spend all of that enjoying the meal. I don't want to spend it waiting to be seated, waiting to order, waiting for the food, and waiting for the bill and paying the bill. Automate all that, and focus the time that I have on enjoying the meal.

This is in contrast to the gasoline experience. People filling up with gas either grab the fastest fast food they can, or they fill up (3 minutes) and then eat at their leisure if they wish to, or more commonly just don't eat where the fuel stop is because they want to choose from all available restaurants at their destination.

While you can linger after charging ends if you walk back to the charger in the middle of your meal, disconnect and drive back to the restaurant, it's not a particularly pleasant thing. Rarely is the good restaurant just a 2 minute walk away.

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