As we recently discussed, one of the biggest concerns for some Tesla Model 3 reservations holders, especially if they have been following the automaker for a while, is how Tesla will be able to scale its Supercharger network with the anticipated massive increase in the number of vehicles in its fleet over the next few years.
At the unveiling of the Model 3, Tesla announced that it plans to double the number of Superchargers to 7,000 units and quadruple the number of Destination chargers to 15,000 units within the next 2 years.
An interesting way to follow the growth of the network is to look at the number of vehicles in Tesla’s fleet per Supercharger.
Tesla Motors Club member Troy, who is doing a tremendous work collecting data on several Tesla topics, published a new report today on the growth of the Supercharger network. In an email, he told Electrek why the subject is particularly interesting to him:
“The reason I started this topic is because I thought it will be interesting to see what kind of effect the Model 3 will have on the supercharger network. Can the superchargers keep up or will they be too crowded in the future? Currently, globally there are less than 40 Teslas per supercharger stall. We will see how this number will change after the Model 3 launch. I plan to update the data until the end of 2018.”
It is interesting indeed.
Here we can see that the growth of the Supercharger network caught up with the fleet in 2014 and maintained a healthy ~30 vehicles per Supercharger stall in 2015, but that changed in the last 3 quarters as Tesla’s quarterly deliveries significantly increased:
To be clear, we are talking about Supercharger stalls here, meaning the actual charger, not Supercharger locations. As we recently discussed, Tesla appears to be increasing the number of stalls per Supercharger as evidenced by two upcoming Supercharger locations which will become the automaker’s biggest with 20 stalls each.
While it’s interesting to look at global numbers, it’s more practical to look at numbers per region since for example, the numbers in the US can bring down the average in European markets even do the fleet in the US wouldn’t use any European Supercharger.
Here are the stats in Tesla’s main markets:
Now it’s a little more tricky in Europe since Tesla owners are a lot more likely to travel between countries and therefore, Superchargers are not only useful to Model S and X owners in the same country.
For example, Italy has a ridiculous number of Superchargers (104) for a country with only 282 Tesla vehicle registrations, but Tesla owners from across Europe have been known to drive down there on vacations, which can put a stress on the local charging. Same goes for France.
An interesting and well-rounded example is Germany with 8.8 vehicles per Supercharger stall. Tesla is servicing a fleet of ~3,300 vehicles in the country. While we can expect owners from other markets stopping by on road trips, it seems like Germany is one of the best countries for local Tesla owners looking to take advantage of the Supercharger network for long-distance driving.
Norway is actually one of the company’s worst market for vehicles per Supercharger even though it has 196 stalls. Its impressive fleet of over 11,000 vehicles is putting a strain on the network. By simply opening the 20-stall Supercharger located in Nebbenes, Norway (just north of Oslo), Tesla will increase the number of stalls in the country by 10%.
The US is also interesting since it’s arguably Tesla’s most mature market. Tesla’s fleet has 41.8 vehicles per Supercharger stall. It will be interesting to see if Tesla can bring the number down ahead of the Model 3 launch in late 2017.
Tesla already confirmed that Model 3 owners will have Supercharger access, but as an optional package. It’s not absolutely clear if it will be a one-time purchase, like it was with the original Model S 60, or if it will be a pay-per-use model, but what is clear is that the arrival of the Model 3 will really put some stress on Tesla’s charging infrastructure.
In the meantime, Tesla is also increasing the charging rate capacity of the Supercharger. If the automaker can simultaneously increase the number of stations, the number of stalls per station, and the charging rate, the network should be able to handle the arrival of the Model3 just fine.
Sounds like a great challenge.
Big thanks to Troy for the data.