Tesla Set to Further Expand Its Supercharger Network in the US

Jon LeSage
by Jon LeSage

Tesla will be sizably growing its Supercharger presence in the U.S. this year.

In its most recent letter to shareholders, the company committed to doubling the number of Supercharger sites in the U.S. during 2017. Green Car Reports cites 373 Supercharger site locations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico from a total of 2,636 individual Supercharger stations in North America. A Tesla website map shows the vast majority of North American Supercharger sites are located in the U.S. The company reports that it globally has 810 sites that total 5,195 Supercharger stations.

Tesla has bragged that it offers the fastest chargers out there, with multiple chargers working in parallel to carry up to 120 kW of power directly to the Tesla vehicle’s battery. Users can charge up at one of these stations for about 30 minutes to gain an 80-percent recharge.

EVgo and ABB are working on passing that fast charging rate by installing the nation’s first High-Power fast charging station to a supermarket in Fremont, Calif. Swiss engineering firm ABB’s High-Power fast charging system features a maximum charging rate of 150 kW, with enough capacity to reach a 350-kW upgrade.

Meanwhile Tesla has also begun installing 240-volt Level 2 charging stations to supplement the Supercharger network. The American automaker is working on bringing Level 2 chargers to hotels, parking garages, and other locations where the electric vehicle will be parked and charged for longer periods of time.

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Tesla has been gradually adding charging fees to address overcrowded stations and Tesla owners leaving their vehicles there longer than they need to. Buyers who ordered a Tesla electric car after January 15, 2017, are given 400 kilowatt-hours of free charging before fees kick in. Supercharging had been free and unlimited. In December, Tesla added a $0.40 per minute ($24 per hour) “Supercharger Idle Fee,” for Tesla vehicles that have completed charging but remain parked. “Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking,” said CEO Elon Musk said in a statement.

Doubling the Supercharger network will also coincide with the launching of the Tesla Model 3. Tesla aims to manufacture 500,000 vehicles per year starting in 2018, with most of them being Model 3s. The Model 3 will be able to travel at least 215 miles per charge, and a few of the Model S and Model X options can go even farther. Still, a larger network of Superchargers spread around the U.S. is expected to help Tesla make its case.

A version of this story originally appeared on Hybrid Cars

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