While everyone had their eyes glued to the Model 3 at the unveiling event last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made an important announcement regarding the automaker’s two networks of charging stations. He said that Tesla will double the number of Superchargers to 7,000 units and quadruple the number of Destination chargers to 15,000 units within the next 2 years.
If the close to 400,000 Model 3 reservations (and still counting) end up turning into orders, Tesla will certainly need all those stations to allow its customers to make roadtrips and travel long-distances. We now learn that the company is already getting to work. Tesla secured permits or started construction at 11 new locations (~90 new Superchargers) since the unveiling event.
The new permits are for new Supercharger stations in Plattsburg (NY), Landsberg (Germany), Magog (Quebec) and more – see full list below.
The process can often be long and difficult since it is dependent on several outside parties like the municipalities, contractors and the local utilities. They all need to come together to bring a new stations online, which is not always a painless process like anything in the infrastructure business.
We’ve heard so many stories of frustrated Model S owners waiting for their local Supercharger to come online, while there’s some sort of holdup in one bureaucratic process or another.
But now after over 600 stations and 3,600 Superchargers, Tesla has learned a lot and we are starting to see new stations going through the process and coming online quicker. Here are the current stations with permits or already under-construction via Superchare.info’s interactive map:
Also, we should start to see more stations entering their construction phase up north now that winter is over and snow is melting.
Tesla has a team of EV infrastructure experts headed by Cal Lankton, Director of Global EV Infrastructure, based at the automaker’s headquarters in Palo Alto, and also regional teams in all of Tesla’s markets to lead local efforts to develop the network.
Before joining Tesla in 2013, Lankton, a US Navy veteran and MIT graduate, was leading Swedish-Swiss robotic giant ABB’s effort to develop electric vehicle infrastructures.
While the Supercharger network is getting most of the attention, Tesla’s other charging network, the ‘Destination Charging’ network, is expected to launch in Europe later this month. The network is using level 2 chargers installed at restaurants and hotels to charge once you arrived at your destination, hence the name.
Featured Image: Tesla Supercharger station under construction at Petaluma, Ca by Snowbug on TMC – Jan, 16 2015
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Weren’t the SuperChargers supposed to be solar powered? Does anyone know how many are now and what the plans are for that going forward?
True, Superchargers are to be solarpowered in the future. But Tesla decided to build Superchargers first and start with the solar panel canopy later as this is a totally different permitting process due to the height of the construction. Therefore Tesla eats the electricity bill and get a relief later.
Solar won’t come close to powering the superchargers, just by the numbers. Like not even 10%. It’s fine to put solar panels nearby, but it’s just to make a point.
Superchargers solar powered? Have you guys ever calculated, how much power the SC has to deliver and how little a solar panel can produce / sqm? Solar is ok when you need pretty little power and can adjust your usage, but the SC must deliver massive amounts of electricity reliably, every day and night. It’s an absolutely mission critical part of Tesla’s success. There’s no way it can rely on solar panels.
You’re basing your math on a solar array being at each charger. The entire gigafactory is going to be covered in solar panels. That is going to pump a substantial amount of solar power into the grid because I doubt the factory will use that much electricity. Excess goes into the grid to offset Supercharger use. I’m sure they’ll have solar panels at the charger locations too eventually, but not enough power to cover a busy Supercharger. That said, a relatively idle Supercharger out in west Texas with a solar array might generate more than it puts out. The combined solar power of all the locations with the gigafactory excess could possibly provide enough solar energy on some clear summer day in like 2020 to say “Tesla’s supercharger network was completely solar powered today.”
Apparently putting up the solar panels (they were going to be solar canopies so you can charge your car in the shade) exceeded the legal *height limits* for zoning in a lot of local municipalities. As a result Tesla decided to postpone the solar panels for now. They’re going to try to put the solar panels up after the Supercharger network is more fully established, rather than delaying the Superchargers to get the zoning variances.
All the Superchargers have huge battery packs. The solar arrays will simply be charging the battery packs. So adding the solar panels later is not so hard.
Did Tesla ever stop expanding its Supercharger network? Coincidence is not causality.
Tesla has to figure out a viable biz model for SC network that gives a reasonable return on investment. I think it has to charge an initial fee plus per minute of usage fee and/or KWh per regulations. These charges could vary by location, time of the day, etc. Customer enters the credit card info once and billing is done automatically. A good ROI will finance rapid expansion, increasing supply. Demand will be controlled by price. Consumer will benefit due to increased network of chargers.
It is not like Henry Ford gave away gasoline to compete with cheap or free grass the horses could eat. In the end, the oil biz became bigger than the auto biz and very profitable.
Please do some research before giving Elon Musk business advice, newbie as he is. The Model S owners currently using the Supercharger network paid a decent amount for the privilege. Something like $2500 (either outright or built into the cost of the car).
Without the Supercharger network though, or a public equivalent, electric cars are not viable as a primary means of transportation for 100% of a typical driver needs.
They do have a business model. It is: The supercharger network offers their vehicles a huge lead over the oppositions vehicle, and thus will be a big factor in them selling more cars. Superchargers are a marketing/advertising expense for Tesla. I expect the cost of developing and administering a billing system would negate a lot of the revenue they would get from it.
My guess is that they’re going to give away Supercharger usage to Model S and X owners, they’ll charge at least electricity costs to Model 3 owners, with billing automatically done as you say.
My guess is it will be a $2000-2500 option on the base model, and included as standard on the higher models. There has been a 30+ page thread on the Tesla Motors Club forums about this. The big cost of Tesla is building the stations – the electricity is a fraction of a percent of the overall cost. Charging upfront for access provides the capital required for this.
The question is : is charging for charging viable & costeffective
In Norway for example, giving away the electricity is cheaper than paying for all the backoffice needed to be able to charge for charging. With electricity only getting cheaper (due to more & more renuwables), the businesmodel for charge to charging only fades more & more.
For Tesla the Superchargers are part of the “tesla-world”. Just as Mac Os is part of a Mac Computer, and without it, it would be a PC and many people would not like/buy it
Superchargers are for road trips. They need a system that discourages abuse while still encouraging long drives to see the country. I was thinking a rollover system. Every month you get a certain amount of free charging KWH. The less you use, the more they add up in your account. You take a trip and you charge up for free, but if you go over, you’re charged market rates.
The free-for-life concept in a Model S won’t fly with the Model 3. There’s just going to be way too many Model 3’s fighting for chargers if there’s not some sort of impediment to habitual local Supercharging abuse.
The problem is congestion. The answer is parking meters. Charge $1/hour and it’ll keep the locals away.
Actually, when Henry Ford introduced the Model T, gasoline was a garbage waste product of kerosene refining. It was actually cheap or free.
Is there any news if “Landsberg” is Landsberg am Lech or Landsberg an der Saale?
Landsberg an der Saale – you can see it on http://supercharge.info/?page=changes
Very unfortunate, the other one would have been perfect for me 🙁
There are seven superchargers within 100km from there, I think you’ll be fine! (Remember that 90% of charging happens at home, supercharging is designed for long distance driving)
Will there be any super chargers in the Pittsburgh area?
Pittsbugh, PA? Already has a site just North of the City!
See http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger and http://www.supercharge.info Erie, PA is in Permit stage.
Should have used Lada Cube (www.ladacube.com) rather than brick and mortar covering for the transformers. Would have sped up the process immensely.
Erie is coming! 🙂 This makes an I-90 drive possible in winter.