The biggest unsolved challenge in the use of electric vehicles (EVs), namely enabling long trips without long stops, appears to have been overcome by Tesla Motors. This morning CEO Elon Musk announced the much anticipated expansion of its “Supercharger” Network.
Now that Musk has created what is by all accounts (CNN, Edmunds, Motor Trend, Auto Magazine, Yahoo Autos and Consumer Reports and more) a wildly successful vehicle he is taking steps to make sure it stays that way. “If I had a dollar for everytime someone brought up Delorean or Tucker [both failed small-scale auto companies] I wouldn’t need to IPO,” said Musk, indicating he is well aware more groundwork needs to be laid to ensure customers remain satisfied in the fledgling electric car industry that is just two decades old.
Bringing On The Superchargers
Tesla’s superchargers are currently installed in nine stations along busy North American travel routes with plans for 100 stations by 2015. Tesla is installing superchargers in locations where travelers can take a half hour, the time needed for a half charge, at restaurants, cafés and shopping centers. A half hour supercharge provides a 150 mile range with an 90 kWh battery; this delivers 4.5 times as much juice to the battery than twin batteries. The Tesla Supercharger also allows efficient charging at highway speeds so stops at supercharger stations will become less necessary.
At some locations superchargers will be powered by solar panels designed by Musk’s industry-leading solar panel producer, SolarCity. The location of supercharging stations can be found on PlugShare.com. Future Tesla models like Model X and the Blue Star Sedan are expected to be equipped for supercharger technology.
The following graphic shows the expanding network of electric charging stations in North America.
Where To Charge Your Model S
Charge Your Tesla For Free For Life
Tesla’s superchargers are available to Tesla drivers for free for life. Essentially, you can travel across the USA for free.