Following a long period of suspense, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors revealed yesterday his plans for expanding the Supercharging network across the U.S..
Musk said Tesla would install 25 Superchargers by the end of June in California, the Pacific northwest, Texas (to connect Dallas, Austin and Houston), Illinois, Colorado, and on the east coast. By fall, they will start to improve coverage in the aforementioned areas, and by winter Model S owners will be able to take a road trip from L.A. to N.Y., for free. Musk even said he’ll take his five kids on a cross-country road trip once the route is all covered.
The interactive map posted on the Tesla website shows that by 2015, the entire U.S. will be Supercharged, and owning a Model S (or X, by that time) will save you from the range anxiety of other electric cars that don’t have this extensive access to a super-fast charging network (by the way, I felt range anxiety in a gas car when gas was nearly over and I had nowhere to fuel it up).
Roadsters and electric vehicles made by other manufacturers are not compatible with Supercharging, but Musk said he’s open to working with third parties for possible implementations. All they have to do it build their batteries so that they’re compatible with Supercharging. “We just need to get going and other manufacturers can either copy us or join us,” he said.
The really good news is that Tesla is now experimenting with a version 2 of the Supercharger that can give as much as 120 kW of power, much, much more than the competition currently has (like 7 to 10 kW) (I don’t know, for some reason, are other people technically retarded, or what? Kudos to Musk for being smart!)
Grid storage has also been thought of – 500 kWh batteries will be installed at some of the solar-powered stations. These will charge when not used and will provide grid-independent charging so that “even if there is a zombie apocalypse,” Elon said, “you will still be able to travel throughout the country using Superchargers.”