Part of what makes the Tesla such an attractive option for an electric vehicle is its supercharger network, which provides free, clean juice to keep the journey going. But right now, there are only eight charging stations, scattered across California and the east coast between New York City and Washington DC. By 2015, however, Tesla has announced that it will cover 98 percent of the US (and a teeny slice of Canada), enabling drivers to can go anywhere in the US on free energy. Add that to the recent announcement for two new models to the Tesla lineup, and we’d say the company is really moving.
Tesla Supercharger Stations will be built along highways near amenities like restaurants and shopping centers so that drivers can stop and eat or shop and drive off with a new charge when they’re finished. Right now, a half charge takes 30 minutes, but Tesla is working to bring that down to about 20 minutes. That’s 20 times faster than traditional charging, which can only provide about 7-10 kW of power to the battery at a time. And if you just can’t wait until 2015, Tesla plans to at least get you covered in each major metropolitan area by the fall and to allow you to drive from coast-to-coast by the winter.
The Supercharging station works by delivering power directly to the battery, bypassing the on-board charging equipment that is normally used for a regular charge, delivering 120 kW of power. That 20 to 30 minute charge can give you 200 miles of range. And if you buy the upgraded battery for your car, it’s free for life. Some stations even integrate solar power to make the energy better for the environment. Tesla already has great sales numbers, and with the new models in the works, this will likely help push the electric vehicle manufacturer even further.