The upcoming launch of the Tesla Model 3 and the automaker’s overall increase in production will put an incredible strain on Tesla’s charging infrastructure.
When they unveiled the new vehicle in 2016, the company had already announced plans to double the number of Superchargers to 7,000 units and quadruple the number of Destination chargers to 15,000 units by the end of 2017, but today they released updated details about those plans
The biggest news is Tesla’s announcement of upcoming new Supercharger stations with “several dozen” chargers per station and “customer centers” – pictured above.
Today, Tesla updated the goal for the Supercharger network to 10,000 and reiterated the quadrupling of Destination chargers. They also added that many sites are coming by the summer:
“We started 2017 with over 5,000 Superchargers globally and by the end of this year, Tesla will double that number to total more than 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 Destination Charging connectors around the world. In North America, we’ll increase the number of Superchargers by 150 percent, and in California alone we’ll add more than 1,000 Superchargers. We’re moving full speed on site selection and many sites will soon enter construction to open in advance of the summer travel season.”
The focus on California with a 150-percent increase by the end of the year makes sense since that will be where Tesla’s fleet will increase the most in the short term due to the early Model 3 deliveries being concentrated in the state – closer to the Fremont factory.
Considering Tesla currently has over 5,400 Superchargers and more than 9,000 Destination Charging connectors, the company plans to roughly add more charging stations this year than over the last 5 years combined.
We also learn that Tesla plans to add those new chargers not only through more locations, but through more chargers per locations:
“Toward that goal, Tesla will build larger sites along our busiest travel routes that will accommodate several dozen Teslas Supercharging simultaneously. In addition, many sites will be built further off the highway to allow local Tesla drivers to charge quickly when needed, with the goal of making charging ubiquitous in urban centers.”
That’s a change that was already happening over the past year as the company started opening new stations with significantly more Superchargers, but those were capped at 20 stalls per station – like the one pictured below in Norway (Tesla Supercharger in Nebbenes, Norway by Model S owner Christoph Lumpi):
“Several dozen” chargers in a single station and Supercharging for local urban demand are new for Tesla. The featured images at the top and below are renders representing those new stations, which are supposed to be under construction shortly.
Based on the renders, it looks like “several dozen” could be closer to 50-100 individual chargers at a single Supercharger station. Can you imagine the power?
As the renders show, the station is equipped with solar arrays, which was promised with the original announcement of the Supercharger network, but only a few stations ended up getting a solar installation. Last year, Elon Musk linked those new solar installations to the upcoming next-gen ‘Tesla Supercharger V3’ with over 350 kW power output. He said that Tesla could technically bring some Supercharger off-grid with solar and Powerpack.
Tesla didn’t talk about any next-gen tech upgrade to the Supercharger with the announcement today.
The company is also updating its Supercharger maps to better represent the 2017 expansion. On the left, you have the previous 2017 maps and on the right you have the new ones with the grey dots representing the upcoming new stations:
You can also access Tesla’s interactive map to zoom in on the upcoming new locations.
Here’s Tesla full blog post about the announcement:
Charging is our priority
As Tesla prepares for our first mass-market vehicle and continues to increase our Model S and Model X fleet, we’re making charging an even greater priority. It is extremely important to us and our mission that charging is convenient, abundant, and reliable for all owners, current and future. In 2017, we’ll be doubling the Tesla charging network, expanding existing sites so drivers never wait to charge, and broadening our charging locations within city centers.
As always, the most convenient way to charge is to plug in overnight where you park. However, to better serve the needs of owners who are traveling or those who don’t have access to reliable home charging, we will continue to aggressively expand our public charging networks. Since we first energized the Supercharger network in 2012, Tesla has built over 5,400 Superchargers with the goal of enabling convenient long distance travel for more than 200,000 Tesla owners around the world. In parallel, we’ve built a network of more than 9,000 Destination Charging connectors that replicate the convenience of home charging by providing hotels, resorts, and restaurants with Tesla Wall Connectors. But we know that to truly advance electric vehicle adoption, we must continue investing in charging infrastructure.
We started 2017 with over 5,000 Superchargers globally and by the end of this year, Tesla will double that number to total more than 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 Destination Charging connectors around the world. In North America, we’ll increase the number of Superchargers by 150 percent, and in California alone we’ll add more than 1,000 Superchargers. We’re moving full speed on site selection and many sites will soon enter construction to open in advance of the summer travel season.
Toward that goal, Tesla will build larger sites along our busiest travel routes that will accommodate several dozen Teslas Supercharging simultaneously. In addition, many sites will be built further off the highway to allow local Tesla drivers to charge quickly when needed, with the goal of making charging ubiquitous in urban centers.
Tesla will continue to lead the industry with the fastest, most advanced charging technology in the world and continue to build the only cars capable of leveraging that power. The ongoing expansion of the networks will ensure that Tesla drivers are able to quickly and easily charge their vehicles no matter what, and that a seamless charging experience remains our priority.
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