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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?

@robert: I agree completely.

Theoretical places for chargers are not at the edges of the car's range either. Even with a 300 mile pack, putting chargers 300 mile apart would make no sense as you can't guarantee if you could actually make it that far.
Putting chargers 100 miles apart would give you more flexibility. And those level 3 chargers would have to be in those "nowhere" spots like a restaurant along a mayor freeway. I am planning to get the 160 mile version simply because I can’t afford the larger ones. For me to drive any distance with the car, I would need chargers every 100 miles. Of course this would mean a 20-30 min charge every 1.5-2 hours!
For example: It is 365 miles to drive from my house to San Diego. This would require 3 charges in between if I started out with a full pack and then charge it again when I arrive. This is 5 hours of driving and 1.5 hours of charging in a best case scenario which is 6.5 hours. Really not much longer than taking the same trip in an ICE car.
The chargers would have to be spaced correctly and be available. If one of them is occupied, or worse, out of service, I would be “stuck” for the next 4-12 hours depending on what kind of other plug I could find. The benefit of the 100 mile interval being that I would still have range left to search for one :-)
So, yes, even with the 160 mile pack it is doable to drive long distances IF the infrastructure gets there.
I didn’t look / address the possible damage to the pack by rapid charging it so many times in a short period or the option to swap in a 300 mile pack for the trip if Tesla is going to provide this service.

As long as the fast charge is up to 75-80%, there shouldn't be much damage. And it's not like you're taking the trip every weekend.

An alternative that I'm going to use is to swap cars with a friend. They'll be fighting amongst themselves to be the "winner" who lends me their car for the weekend while they get to drive my sweet electric. :)

Mycroft, that's the obvious solution. However, I am not sure if it's going to work for me. I'll be having a seriously hard time -- emotionally -- to leave my Model S with someone else for a week... ;-) And also, driving an ICE for any amount of time, and particularly for long trips, will be more dissatisfying than ever.

That's the problem with you Deutschlanders, you're such an emotionally sensitive bunch. :-D

Particularly when it come to cars. So true.


But absence make the heart grow fonder; think how much more you'll appreciate the S after you return!

The whole idea of buying this car is to use it ALL the time. This would be my first truly luxury car (whatever the definition of that is :-) )

I don't mind having other people drive the car. I actually think we need to have other people drive the car to promote EVs but I especially want to be able to drive the car on longer trips. I don't want to take an ICE car in those cases if I don't need to.

Call me emotional about cars too :). Aren't we all? Isn't that why we are standing in line to get the first years Model S?

In the conference call, Elon talked about a public Tesla charging station being deployed in January/February with a capacity for 150 miles charging in 30 minutes. He seemed excited about an announcement that would be made at that time that would be 'very exciting' to the Tesla family. Perhaps a Tesla network of charging stations? I wish.

Almost surely he was referring to the Harris Ranch, CA facility. This facility has been announced as the first "supercharging" site.

A Tesla network is what I'm really hoping he announces. In talking to a Rep in the Park Meadows store in Denver last month he indicated an announcement about the rapid charging stations that would please most of us. Of course, he couldn't give any details. I'm just hoping he gives a list of locations and expected opening times for such stations.


Yes, he mentioned that, but he also indicated there would be an announcement of something more that he found to be very exciting.

The US is aproximately 3.8 million square miles (including Alaska and Hawaii and water). A charging station placed 100 miles apart, it would take 380 stations and that includes a lot of really remote areas. So I would estimate a much lower number to cover the entire US. So the question is, how much does it cost per station? Unlike gas stations, there isn't a need for large structures. Just someplace with access to electricty. One unit capable of say two cars at a time at each location. Then as electric vehicles become more populus, just add additional units where needed. Highway rest stops, restaurants and even existing gas stations, I think, will be quick to adapt.

Klaus, with a 100-mile radius, theoretically each charger serves a landmass of 10,000*pi ~ 31,416 sq. miles, so notionally 121 chargers can serve 3.8 million sq. miles. Optimal packing of circles is only 91% efficient, so bump that up to 133. (20 of those are for Alaska, though...)

Of course, the United States landmass is not a hexagon, so we'd need more. ;-)

Regardless, the idea that only 200-300 stations or so could blanket the U.S. and the southern tier of Canada says that this charging infrastructure is easily done.

Tesla Rapid Charging Corridor LA to SF.

FYI. Courtesy of Earth Techling /Green Car Reports.

“In an official Tesla earnings call last week, Musk let slip where the first of these ultra-rapid charging stations would be: somewhere between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Musk joked that the massively powerful “Supercharger” 90 kilowatt charging stations looked a little like an advanced alien artifact, reiterating that the stations could easily add as much as 150 miles of range to a 2012 Model S in under 30 minutes. “

Driving from Desert Hot Springs to Sacramento I saw a large "neon type" Harris Ranch sign off to the right (east) side of I-5. I didn't know it was that close to the highway.

Slightly off subject. We love eating at the Harris Ranch, it is worth a stop even if you don't charge up!

Besides CA, a Tesla rep mentioned a fast charge network between DC and Boston.

Oooh, yeah!

Yes, if that report turns out to be true and they implement it properly, it would open up a HUGE market for Tesla!

I believe Elon dropped a comment about making fast-charge available at TM expense on all major US routes, in the near future. He's determined to "break" range anxiety.

It's not entirely surprising that there are not many companies excited to set up charging stations across the country when you consider that so few plug-in vehicles are currently on the road and not many more will be so in the near future. Conceivably those of us with garages will likely have either a fast-charger or 240 V outlet. Perhaps we need an informal charging network of Tesla owners that could help each other out when someone needs a charge. Not sure how practical this is (homeowner would have to be home, location would have to be convenient, and homeowner willing, out of the kindness of his/her heart, to pay the electric bill). Just a thought.

"Conceivably those of us with garages will likely have either a fast-charger or 240 V outlet."

Hi Carl,

It is not likely any residential home is going to have access to sufficient electrical capacity to support a DC fast charger. The cost of a fast charger is likely to be at least $50,000.


Bank of America Maintains Buy, PT of $36 on Tesla

Tesla will be introducing a $50K supercharger.


Carl may have meant a 90A HPC as a "fast charger".

For Tesla (or any mfr.) it's a marketing expense. How many "range anxiety holdouts" will each $1 million invested in en route fast chargers turn into buyers? And how much is the positive publicity worth?

I think that's why Elon figures it's worthwhile to install them on all major routes in the country.

Sorry. I was thinking of 240V (70A ?) as "fast charger," not the 440V type. Still beats 110V!

Regarding putting stations in between destinations: trust me, I'm "passing through" Erie and Toledo, not stopping. :-)

Well, you'll miss out on Tony Packo's. Personally, I'd be thrilled to plug my car in there for a couple hours.

And Cedar Point amusement park in Toledo has an amazing collection of roller coasters. Maybe get some EV charging stations there...

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