When Tesla planned their global distribution of electric vehicles, they knew charging infrastructure would be critical to customer adoption and overall success. Not willing to wait for Governments to build it for them, Tesla went it alone and began installing Superchargers across the globe.
That recharging network now totals more than 5,400 Superchargers and more than 9,000 destination chargers across North America, Europe and Asia Pacifc.
As Tesla prepares for the Model 3, their more affordable, mass-market vehicle, charging locations are going to become increasingly under demand and with more Tesla’s on the road, there’ll need to be more of them.
Overnight Tesla has announced a bold plan to double the amount of Superchargers in the world. The ramp up is going to be aggressive, as at the start of 2017, there was 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.
As other auto makers invest in electric vehicles, they too need to solve the recharging infrastructure problem. While standards continue to be debated and opposing charging standards continue to be rolled out, Tesla are firmly putting the foot on the accelerator and saying to the world, catch up. A more sensible path forward, rather than every company be faced with the economic challenge of rolling out a recharging infrastructure before selling their first EV to consumers, is they standardise on the industry leader’s platform and customers that recharge at Tesla locations pay a small fee.
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.
For owners, the ideal scenario is still the solar panels on the roof of your garage that charge a battery (Tesla hopes a Powerwall) from which your car is charged for free overnight (after the cost of the system).
We know that to truly advance electric vehicle adoption, we must continue investing in charging infrastructure.
In North America, the number of Superchargers will increase by 150% (much needed due to the concentration of Tesla owners), and in just one state, California alone they’re adding more than 1,000 Superchargers. The accelerated pace of the rollout is designed to meet the needs of Tesla cusotmers as the US summer travel season approaches later in the year. Construction of new sites and expansion of existing sites is scheduled to commence shortly.
Tesla’s cars and infrastructure are different than most. Being connected, it provides an amazing dataset to lead into investments such as this, to determine which locations and routes are the highest priority.
Tesla will build larger sites along the busiest travel routes that will accommodate several dozen Teslas Supercharging simultaneously. This is a substantial difference in what we see today, with the highest count in Australia around 8 bays at a Supercharge location. With the number of pre-orders for the Model 3 numbering in the hundreds of thousands, its a sensible move forward to expand the recharge spaces, as availability has often been a source of frustration from Tesla owners.
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.
Lets hope we see more of those solar roofs on the Supercharger locations, minimising the draw from the grid which will only help the long-term economics of the company.
By the end of 2017, Australian Tesla owners will be able to drive from Brisbane to Adelaide using Tesla’s Supercharger network. Unfortunately little old Perth is still a very long way away.