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
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.