Tesla looks to double size of global supercharger network

Dive Brief:

  • Ahead of mass production of the Model 3, Tesla has announced a plan to significantly boost the breadth of its charging network, doubling the number of Superchargers available globally.
  • In a Monday blog post, Tesla said it has built over 5,400 Superchargers so far, and intends to double that number to total more than 10,000 Superchargers, along with and 15,000 Destination Charging connectors around the world.
  • In North America, the company is planning to increase the number of Superchargers by 150% and in California drivers will have access to more than 1,000 Superchargers of the fast-charge stations.

Dive Insight:

Tesla says the exact timing of its new stations is difficult to estimate, but you can see details of the company's plans here.

"Permits, inspections, weather delays and other circumstances beyond our control all influence the actual opening date," the company said. "We’re moving full speed on site selection and many sites will soon enter construction to open in advance of the summer travel season."

Tesla says its Supercharger stations provide up to 170 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes. But the rate of charge depends on the state of the battery's charge. The company says charging from 10% to 80% is "quick and typically provides ample range to travel between most Superchargers."

Charging from 80% to 100% doubles the charge time, the company said, because the car must reduce current to top off cells.

Electric vehicle manufacturers are working to introduce new longer-range and more affordable vehicles, possibly helping to spur adoption. Tesla's Model 3 is set to go into production this year, starting at about $35,000, and the Chevy Bolt is about the same price

But, while electric vehicles can claim 1% of the market share, sales could plunge if a federal tax credit expires, leaving efforts to develop charging ports in limbo. According to Edmunds, an analyst firm, "without these credits, this market is likely to crash." The firm studied the Georgia market, where EV sales dramatically dropped following the removal of a hefty $5,000 state tax credit. Others beg to differ, and Motley Fool's Evan Niu (who owns shares in Tesla), says the company's strong orders for the M3 indicate "there is meaningful demand for the right EV at the right price."

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Filed Under: Distributed Energy
Top image credit: Wikipedia Commons