Tesla Supercharger Network Expands Into East Coast

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Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system for electric cars

Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system for electric cars

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The 2013 Tesla Model S comes with one feature no other electric car can match: free quick-charging at an expanding network of Supercharger stations, usable only by Tesla owners.

Following its October launch between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, the network now includes a station along the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C.

Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] says it is likely to install more stations along the corridor in future, though it may take a while before they are all supplied by solar power--the ultimate goal of the project.

Jim Motavalli, writing for The New York Times, described his visit last Friday to the pair of newly activated Tesla Supercharger charging stations in Milford, Connecticut.

Another location opened in Wilmington, Delaware, as well. Each can provide up to 150 miles of range to a properly equipped Model S in about 30 minutes.

That makes it possible to drive the 443 miles from Boston to the nation's capital in a fully electric car, with only an added hour of downtime for charging (and checking mobile devices, and using rest rooms, and getting a soda or snack, and returning phone calls, and ....).

Motavalli noted a Saab parked in one of the Supercharger spaces on his visit last week.

Because Tesla can't prohibit other cars from using the parking spaces with Supercharger stations adjoining them, said spokeswoman Shanna Hendricks, it "can only hope" that users respect the Supercharger signs.

2012 Tesla Model S

2012 Tesla Model S

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Our own experience supercharging our Tesla Model S test car indicated that the process is simplicity itself.

Model S users simply drive into the adjacent parking spot, stopping when the front wheels are on pads that position the car correctly.

Pushing a button on the station causes a door to slide back, revealing the thick charging cable.

Plug it into the Model S, make sure it's properly locked in and the charging light illuminates, and then...just wait.

Tesla will continue to open more Supercharger stations next year, the company says.

The 2013 Tesla Model S all-electric luxury sport sedan was named Green Car Reports' 2013 Best Car To Buy.


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Comments (12)
  1. Free electrons are not just for physics class anymore. Took delivery of my Model S yesterday... lovin' it!!!

  2. "Because Tesla can't prohibit other cars from using the parking spaces with Supercharger stations adjoining them, said spokeswoman Shanna Hendricks, it "can only hope" that users respect the Supercharger signs."

    BTW, I wonder why that is. Doesn't Tesla own the land on which the superchargers are placed?

  3. @Anne: No, Tesla doesn't own the land at public rest stops along highways. I presume the company pays the operator (or owner) a fee to be allowed to put its Superchargers there.

  4. If that is the case, then how reliable are those superchargers then? If those spots can be "ICED", then they are USELESS when you "need" it unless the owners are willing to "enforce" it.

  5. Agreed. I guess though that offering free top ups means Tesla has to make some sacrifices as to the extend of the service. Paying the owner/operator to keep the spaces reserved probably is too expensive now, but that might change if there is more Tesla vehicles on the road and (presumably) the service is no longer free.

  6. people will most likly buy food or something while they wait so im sure there is some incentive to the owners/operators. They know that they got a customer for at least 30 min. I usually dont buy food at rest areas only gas and i keep moving.

  7. That is true. But why would store owners piss off other paying owners who are ICE drivers that block the spots? After all, there are FAR MORE ICE drivers than Tesla S drivers. Store owners aren't getting paid from the electricity charges. A paying customer is a paying customer... In fact, the faster the spot turns over, the better for the owner...

    That is exactly what happened to Costco free charging spots and guess what? They are NO longer there anymore...

  8. I would not expect a fee paid by Tesla, the owner benefits since this attracts wealthy customers to their site.

  9. And how does that increase anymore revenue than the more frequent paying ICE customers?

    Did we NOT learn anything from the Costco EV charging spots? After all, there are far more ICE drivers than Tesla/EV drivers...

  10. Imagine if GM/Ford/Toyota all had their own gas stations. That would blow.

    Would be great if the electronic car companies standardized on plugs and exchangeable battery bays (that is the fastest charge one can get it).

    Lets not make the same mistake we made with laptops.

  11. You should note that the Supercharger is only for the 60kwhr and 85kwhr battery sized Model S sedans. And the 60kwhr model must be equipped with the optional Supercharger adapter ($2000).

    If you expect to travel outside your city, and you purchase a Tesla Model S, you should consider no less than the 60kwhr model with the Supercharger adapter. For only $8K more you can step up to the 85kwhr battery. I say "only" because by the time you add some options (I like red, and optional paint protection which adds $2450) you are looking at about $66k for the 60kwhr version and $74k for the 85kwhr model, abut 10% more.

  12. Oh, and I forgot to add that the 85kwhr version has unlimited mileage on the battery warranty vs 125k miles (both 8 years), which could be worth the $8k difference all by itself.

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