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Tesla Will Webcast Supercharger Quick-Charge Unveiling Tonight

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2012 Tesla Model S

2012 Tesla Model S

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It all began with a late-night tweet two weeks ago by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.

In it, he announced that Tesla would unveil its much-discussed Supercharger network of dedicated quick-charging stations--usable only by 2012 Tesla Model S drivers--on September 24.

Well, today's the day.

And this evening, the world can watch to learn details of a device that, Musk says, "will feel like alien spaceships landed at highway rest stops."

OK, then.

Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] will reveal not only the looks and details of the Supercharger, but also its deployment plans, in a webcast tonight from an event that starts at 7:30 Pacific (10:30 pm Eastern).

Starting at 8 pm Pacific (11 pm Eastern), you can watch a webcast of the Supercharger event online.

It calls tonight's event, to be held at the company's Design Studio in Hawthorne, California, not an unveiling or a launch but a "Premiere."

The announcement, it should be noted, appears to have caught Tesla's communications staff slightly off guard. Rumor has it they first learned of today's date via Musk's tweet.

The need for quick charging has to do with the large lithium-ion battery packs of the Model S variants. The 85-kilowatt-hour pack would take 12 hours or more to recharge fully using a conventional 240-Volt, Level 2 charging station.

Thus far, here's what we know about the Supercharger:

2012 Tesla Model S Charging Connector

2012 Tesla Model S Charging Connector

Enlarge Photo

For more beyond that, tune in to tonight's event.

If past events, including the first public showing of the Model S prototype and the unveiling of the Model X crossover concept early this year, are any indication, the event will follow a set format.

It will have questionable lighting for photography, hordes of fans and reporters crowded into roped-off areas, and a lot of tired-looking Tesla employees applauding enthusiastically.

Again, the URL for the webcast is: http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger

We'll provide a rundown of the details and the event later in the week.

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Comments (3)
  1. Wonderful as those chargers may look, I wonder if Tesla isn't making a mistake here, introducing a network of chargers according to it's own standard.

    Seems to me the Renault approach is much smarter. The Zoe has an on board charger that can deal with up to 43 KW of charging. Two of those units could have charged the Model S at the same rate as the proposed supercharger network without the need of actually installing such a network. All that would be needed is a network of much simpler,cheaper and universal powersockets with the appropriate power output.

    That's how the industry could set up a network of low-cost fast charge opportunities without having to agree on a single standard. Tesla's action will result in multiple standards.
     
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  2. We don't really know if 43kW chargers are cheaper than superchargers. Also, the Zoe is, unfortuntely, a non-issue in the US, though Nissan might adopt the same charger for its EV line.
    My guess is that the thinking here is that nobody outside Tesla, with the exception of Renault-Nissan, and possibly Mitsubishi, is yet serious about electric cars. Ford, Honda, Toyota, etc. are just not willing to produce in quantity.
    Nissan is serious, but with so far low range unsuitable for cross country driving.
    So Tesla sees only itself willing to deliver a long-distance capable car today. This then becomes a brand attribute, but that can only be made clear if you brand the charging stations.
     
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  3. Obviously using on board chargers is going to increase productions cost of the cars but probably not by much; as EVs go the Zoe is a relatively cheap offering.

    The point is: EVs are still in an early stage of development. It's too early to settle on any standards like the awful Chademo standard Nissan is trying to stick us with that's only good for fastcharging small packs and is already obsolete since it doesn't have the power output Tesla's large packs need.

    Tesla's superchargers have double the output of Chademo but even that is only half what's needed to make EVs really practical for long distances.

    Better use onboard chargers now and settle for a standard once really fastcharging batteries are available.
     
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