As the owner of a Tesla Model S in New York's Hudson Valley, I've long lamented the puzzling dearth of Superchargers in the Northeastern U.S.

But in the last few weeks, the official opening of two of Tesla's superfast (120-kilowatt) free DC charging stations in New Jersey and upstate New York--both ideally sited--have left me no choice but to declare that the Great Northeast Supercharger Drought is now officially over.

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It took a while, though.

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan [photo by owner David Noland]

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan [photo by owner David Noland]

When Tesla opened its first batch of seven Superchargers in December 2012, we Nor'easters got one of them: a station along I-95 in Milford, Connecticut.

So far, so good.

But in subsequent months, while Superchargers sprouted like dandelions in California, Texas, Florida--even South Dakota, for gosh sakes--the populous and Tesla-rich regions of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and the other New England states remained frustratingly free of Superchargers.

That meant I had to leave my Model S at home and drive my Chevy Volt range-extended electric car to visit friends in Baltimore, Cape Cod, Maine, and even upstate New York.

Empty promises

Tantalizingly, Supercharger  maps on the Tesla website last spring promised three new Northeast Superchargers by Summer 2013, and seven more by Fall--including one apparently sited in Newburgh, New York, just a few miles from my home. Hallelujah!

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Yet by the time Winter rolled around, only one of those 10 had appeared, in Darien Connecticut. And it was just 25 miles down the road from the Milford Supercharger, making it essentially redundant.

For all practical purposes, the Northeast went without any useful new Supercharger locations for more than a year.

2013 Tesla Model S at Supercharger station on NY-to-FL road trip [photo: David Noland]

2013 Tesla Model S at Supercharger station on NY-to-FL road trip [photo: David Noland]

At last!

But just before Christmas, a new Supercharger opened at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

Although far from the I-95 East Coast corridor, it was well-placed for long-distance airport shuttles--as well as for drivers heading out to the glitzy Hampton beach towns on the far end of Long Island.

The JFK Supercharger wasn't particularly useful to me--I can make the round trip from my Hudson Valley house to the airport and back with ease--but it was an encouraging sign nonetheless.

Then, in January, three more Northeast Superchargers went on line. Two of them--in Syosset, New York, also on Long Island, and Greenwich, Connecticut--seemed somewhat redundant with the JFK and Milford stations.

But the third,  near Providence, Rhode Island, pushed the Supercharger frontier 80 miles further north along I-95--opening up Boston and southern New Hampshire. 

Bingo!  This was perfect for me; I could now use the Tesla for my annual August pilgrimage to a friend's Cape Cod summer house.

2013 Tesla Model S at Supercharger station on NY-to-FL road trip [photo: David Noland]

2013 Tesla Model S at Supercharger station on NY-to-FL road trip [photo: David Noland]

A three-month lull followed this encouraging flurry of news. Then, just two weeks ago, two more stations opened, in Albany, New York, and Hamilton Township, New Jersey (just north of Philadelphia).

The Albany Supercharger, perfectly located at the junction of I-87 and I-90, opens up the full Adirondack Mountains region and all of Vermont.

It's also a boon to me personally; the new Supercharger is only 20 miles from the college where my daughter will be heading next fall. Without it, she would have been just beyond the range of my Model S.

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The Hamilton, New Jersey, Supercharger also makes life easier for me as well. Previously, I  had to limit my cold-weather speed to reach the Supercharger in Newark, Delaware, the previous southern gateway along I-95.

Now, no matter what the temperature, I can drive the normal 75-to-80-mph speeds along I-95 and make it 106 miles to Hamilton with ease. From there, it's a quick 75-mile hop to the next one in Newark, Delaware.

Tesla Motors Supercharger network in Spring 2014 - map as of May 13, 2014

Tesla Motors Supercharger network in Spring 2014 - map as of May 13, 2014

More to come?

A planned new Supercharger along I-95 in Edison, New Jersey, remains at the top of the wish list for many New York metro Tesla owners. (Don't you just love the irony of Tesla in Edison?)

While a building permit has been issued, construction hasn't yet started. In an online forum, a Tesla VP was quoted as saying the Edison Supercharger would be up and running in six to eight weeks--likely meaning sometime in July.

As well as Edison, the Tesla Supercharger "Coming Soon" map shows pending sites in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, one along I-95 near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and another on I-90 near Worcester, Massachusetts.

Push the sliding crystal ball on Tesla's website to "End of 2014" and we see seven more Superchargers--slated for Maine, Vermont, and upstate New York--planned for the next eight months.

Given the documented delays in Tesla's track record of prognosticating Northeast Supercharger dates, I'm trying not to get too excited.

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But I can't help but notice that the red dot near Newburgh, New York, that disappeared from the map last spring has now returned to the "End of 2014" map.

Imagine it: A Supercharger ten minutes from my house. A pipe dream?  Maybe not.

If it happens, it's the ultimate dream of every Tesla Model S owner: a fast, smooth, silent electric car--and never having to pay for automobile "fuel" again.


Stay tuned.


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