Tesla Free Supercharger Network Now Officially Open, Ready To Use

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Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system for electric cars

Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system for electric cars

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Just under a month ago, Tesla Motors held a gala event at its Hawthorne, California design studio to mark the switching on of its proprietary Supercharger rapid charging network. 

On Friday, Tesla held official ribbon cutting ceremonies at four of its six initial Supercharger locations, making them officially open for public use.

Opting to ignore both the J1772, level 2 charging standard found on every other production electric car today--not to mention both Chademo and recently-announced J1772 “combo connector” rapid charging standards--Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] has designed the proprietary Supercharger system specifically for its range of current and future electric cars. 

At the moment, that means only 2012 Tesla Model S luxury sedans, with the exception of base-level 40-kilowatt-hour models, can use the Supercharger network.

Over time, however, Tesla says the range of Supercharger-compatible cars will rise as it builds the technology into all of its future cars. 

That includes the highly-anticipated Model X Crossover SUV, which Tesla unveiled earlier this year.

Unlike other types of rapid charging stations, Tesla’s Supercharger is built from multiple, smaller charging units. 

Initial locations for Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system

Initial locations for Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system

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In fact, each Supercharger is built from 12 chargers identical to the 10-kilowatt charger included as standard onboard every 2012 Model S Sedan. 

Rated at a maximum power of 90-kilowatts, with a future capability of going as high as 120-kilowatts, the charging stations can add as much as 150 miles of range to a Tesla Model S in half an hour. 

Eventually, Tesla aims to cover major road routes throughout the U.S. with its Supercharger technology, allowing its customers to drive from coast-to-coast, or the length of either coastline, with ease. 

For the moment, however, the first six Supercharger locations are located in California, connecting Lake Tahoe to San Francisco, San Francisco to Los Angeles, and Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

Tesla won’t be charging customers for recharging, although if we’d paid upwards of $90,000 for the car--and $600 a year for servicing--we’d expect a bit of free electricity too. 


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Comments (5)
  1. Being that these stations are brand exclusive the only thing you'll see blow through there most of the time are going to be tumble weeds. Aside from that the fact that the Model S at 60 to 100 thousand dollars plus, is the only new electric car that needs an adapter for J1772 is a little bit of a turn off and is for me one of the three things I'm not happy with on the Model S.

  2. Up Next - Tesla coffee shops for Tesla Model-S owners only.

  3. Yes, and a wine n cheese shop next to that one...

  4. We need to keep the "riffraff" out :)

    SAE DC standard wasn't ratified, and is in fact too big and unwieldy for any to use anyway. Chademo woud have required multiple connectors, and would not have fit in the "taillight reflector" space as Teslas does. Tesla uses single connector for AC up to 80A and DC up to 225A, nothing else was available at the time the MS design was being finalized. Doesn't matter anyway, because Tesla is the ONLY mfr committed to EVs, the rest are all battling against their ICE heritage, and aren't serious or committed the way Tesla is.

  5. Wrong. These stations will be used a lot by Telsa owners starting this holiday season...especially on weekends.

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