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Tesla Motors Charging Network

I have seen some mention in this forum about Tesla's plans to deploy their own charging stations. I was wondering if anyone actually had more information on this. Where did this information/rumor come from? Was there any mention of when, how many and where these would be? Any speculation on where they should put them?

The obvious answer for me would be to have them along freeways between their retail/service locations with an interval of about 100 miles but that would take a very large number of them.

Could non-Tesla cars charge at these locations? So many questions. They all might become irrelevant if a large public charging network will appear but will either be in time for the Model S reservation holders to use when we get our cars?

I posted a video link of Elon discussing this on the "California participation in the green coast highway" thred last month. Not a lot of detail in his statement but worth viewing.

Not much detail on that subject, no. But it's a very interesting talk and questions, so thanks for linking it. (He mentioned something which surprised me about creating energy storage using silicon chip factory methods, which means there's someone I should put Mr. Musk in touch with.... but anyway.)

I emailed Tesla to tell them to please focus on the Chicago-East Coast corridors. Those routes are long -- long enough that level 2 charging will actually slow trips down. The entire area is very-high-population. And -- unlike the West Coast and East Coast -- it's all utterly deficient in alternatives to cars. Especially for intercity travel. Train service is minimal and slow, and air service is overpriced and slow.

Yet, it wouldn't really take very many fast charging stations to blanket the area. It's not like covering the Mountain West. It's the most fertile market for fast charging, I think.

@ncn: Agreed! An east-coast charging network would be easy and helpful. The I-95 corridor is the primary backbone. Working from the north, charging stations in New England should be set:

1. Augusta, ME: University of Maine at Augusta campus, I-95 exit 112. Between the state and university, this should be easy. From here, all of the tourist areas is reasonable (118 miles to Bar Harbor, 142 miles to Baxter State Park, even 240 miles to St. John, NB)

2. Kennebunk rest area (north- and south-bound). This is 25 miles into Maine, and gets you to all the south and mid-coast of Maine (105 miles to Camden ME).

3. (north-bound) NH welcome center, NH-MA state line; (south-bound) MW welcome center, MA-NH state line. This point is just north of the I-95 / I-495 split.

4. I-90 (Mass Pike) Charlton rest area: just east of the I-84 / I-90 split.

5. I-95, MA Exit 7. Not much here, but this is strategically located at the intersection of I-95 and I-495. Charge here and Cape Cod is entirely in range (117 miles to Provincetown). Also, hits just north of the I-95 / I-295 split around Providence RI.

6. New Haven. I-91 joins I-90 here, connecting easily to charging stations #4 and #5 above.

7. Greenfield, MA. About 100 miles north of #6, 125 miles west of #3, and along the important Rte 2 east-west route. Also a hotbed of sustainable farming.

8. Danbury, CT. About 110 miles west of #4, and just east of the I-84 / I-684 split.

9. White River Jct, VT. 84 miles north of #7, at the cross-roads of I-91 and I-89. 185 miles to Montreal.

10. Concord, NH. At the cross-roads of I-91 and I-93. Puts all of NH in play, including the White Mtn resorts.

I think that pretty well covers it -- 10 stations to serve 14.5 million people. Not a bad ratio.

I had something similar in mind for the South West. There are the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson with a total population of nearly 20 million connected by about 1000 miles of Freeway. It would take another 10 stations to cover these corridors as well. It would be great if Tesla could put chargers along these roads because most of the roads between the cities (except for San Diego-LA)have a very low density population (very few people living between the cities) and they are far enough apart to make it impossible for any electric car to make the trip without recharging in between.

I think it would make sense for us to start contacting local city governments and ask them for their plans to put in level-2 and level-3 chargers. Even if they don't have plans, this might just give them the idea. I have contacted my first one.

Sure, Tesla could do it eventually. But co-ops, or for-profit organizations could easily be formed by investors to install fast charging stations every 100 miles along every major east and west interstate. Example: I 10 corridor (2,300 miles), 24 Fast charge stations linking Florida to California.

A network of only 300 stations would be adequate for traveling just about anywhere in the USA with a Tesla vehicle capable of a 230 mile range (or more).

Or perhaps one or more companies will offer leases of Level 3 charging stations? Or perhaps a major hotel chain might offer to be a key partner for Level 2 charging?

"Sure, Tesla could do it eventually. But co-ops, or for-profit organizations could easily be formed by investors to install fast charging stations every 100 miles along every major east and west interstate. Example: I 10 corridor (2,300 miles), 24 Fast charge stations linking Florida to California."

Hi David,

Yes, Elon has made a few encouraging statements about donating fast charging stations, but I doubt there will be any sense of urgency while they are grappling with rolling out the Model S.

I wonder how much these chargers will cost if private organizations are going to try to pick up the ball from Tesla? The fact that the charger is proprietary is going to present a bit of a hurdle to private implementation. Even with fast charging a full charge could take up to 45 minutes. So having a fast charger at roadside restaurants on major highways, were you could have a leisurely meal while waiting, would be ideal locations. However, restaurants might be reluctant to dedicate parking spaces and contribute to the installation costs of chargers that can only be used by Tesla Model S cars. Even Roadsters couldn't use the charger without an adapter.


In one of his interviews Elon said they could put in 12 charging stations and reach across the US @ a total of $1.2 million. I'm still searching for the source.


Does $100,000 per charger seem right to you?


I thought the number of stations would be at least 20. IIRC, the cost per station was no more than $50k.

Meanwhile, Nissan will shortly be shipping CHAdeMO 50kW units for less than $10k...

Maybe Tesla buys Nissan CHAdeMO chargers and modifies them for Model S :-)

No, he said one every 100 miles on all major routes. That would be at least 80-100.

Unless he is talking about one in every 100 miles in all major routes in Monaco :-)

Seriously talking, I don't think that covers Europe or Asia, so we are left behind in this. I hope there will be some global standard that is faster than CHAdeMO 50kW units that Model S can use.

@Larry Chanin
Donno. From what I read it seems reasonable. What Tesla needs is a tie-in with some national chain that would like to have Tesla buyers coming to their properties.

"Donno. From what I read it seems reasonable. What Tesla needs is a tie-in with some national chain that would like to have Tesla buyers coming to their properties."

Hi Jack,

To me that number is too high, even if we consider the cost of installation. Yes, it would be nice if a national chain of say roadside restaurants would partner with Tesla, but I think that is unlikely especially if the installations cost $100,000 each. Why would they spend so much for a proprietary charger that only accommodates Tesla Models S sedans? Not even Roadsters could use that charger without an adapter. They could spend a lot less for a more standard charger that accommodates both Leafs and Volts that will be produced in much greater numbers than Model S sedans.


Jackhub, I remember reading hte same comment about crossing the country. That was from Mexico to Canada along I-5. Don't remember where I saw it though.

The electric highway initiative probably.

And that's being done by the states (WA, OR, CA). There are already enough level II chargers in those states to make it from Canada to Mexico. They aren't all on I-5 though.

Level II chargers don't really help much, though. Adding ~30-50 miles/hour makes for very long waits between driving segments. Helpful in emergency settings -- I'd rather have some way to charge compared to no way -- but not an enabler for long-distance touring.

Exactly, but if Tesla can get level III charges installed, it will make it feasible to take reasonable length (time) road trips. An hour stop for charging and eating every four hours doesn't significantly add to trip time.

Here is a recent review of 5 different smart phone apps that locate your closest charging opportunities:

Does anyone know what comprises a charging station? How many simultaneous charging operations can be handled? Perhgaps Elon had something more in mind than a single car station. Where is the principal cost?

"Mr. Musk said that the first Supercharger would be installed along Interstate 5 at the Harris Ranch in Coalinga, Calif., roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, within the next three or four months."

Good. Now if they would put one at Barstowe Station.

What they might consider doing after the currently reserved cars have been delivered is to jack up the price per car $1000 and use that money to build the quick charge network. If they sell 20,000 cars per year they will have $20M each year to expand the network. That should amount to a few hundred chargers per year.

The money would have to be reserved by country. If norwegians buy 500 cars in 2013 then $500k should be used in Norway the following year.

Does anyone know if Tesa's Model-S GPS will provide displays for re-charging locations the future??
That would be a great anxiouty (sp?) relief for traveling long distances!

@VPLACE, I already replied in the other thread. It's usually not helpful to cross-post the same question to more than one thread.

I worked out potential locations using the 300-mile model S.

11 level 3 chargers in major cities would cover the entire triangle formed by Chicago, New York, and DC, plus most of Upstate New York and the populated half of Michigan.

Now that's a lot of population. And some of those chargers overlap the ones you'd want on the East Coast (NY, Philadelphia, DC).

For east coast-Chicago: NYC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Chicago
(also covers half of Michigan, much of Illinois, Connecticut, NJ, etc.)
To add most of upstate NY: Erie PA, Syracuse, Albany
(also ends up covering much of Pennsylvania)
To add Maryland and DC: DC
To add all of Ohio: Columbus
To add all of Indiana: Indianapolis

These 11 would also cover parts of West Virginia and Kentucky.

This is a short list to cover a huge, huge swath of population, and several of them are part of the desired East Coast network as well. Doubling the number (which could still be done entirely by locating in major cities) would make it possible for shorter range cars.

This really seems entirely within Tesla's reach. If they can manage the land acquisition, which given their store rollout I question.

@ncn: Level 3 chargers should be at mid-points, the "nowhere"s, between major cities. If I'm in DC, I'm staying overnight for business or pleasure, so Level 2 charging at my hotel will do the trick. The high-speed recharging of Level 3 is needed not at destinations, but at places I'm passing through.

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