Tesla has been focusing on the problem of overcrowded Supercharger stations lately in anticipation of a rapid expansion of its fleet after the upcoming launch of the Model 3 during the second half of the year. The new idle fee and the change to the ‘Supercharger Credit’ program are good examples of that, but the best solution is, of course, to expand the network itself.
We have been focusing on the number of new stations, but now Tesla is focusing on adding new stalls to existing Supercharger stations as a ‘top priority’, says CEO Elon Musk.
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When Tesla first introduced the Supercharger network in 2012, the company was building mainly 4 to 6 stalls per station.
That eventually went up to 6 to 8 stalls and the 2 to 4 stalls were mainly reserved for small stations at Tesla Service enters and stores for example.
Last year, the number of stalls went up again and now it’s not rare to see 12 and even 20 stalls per Supercharger stations – like the one pictured above in Norway.
When asked about the number of stalls per station on Twitter yesterday, Musk confirmed that “increasing capacity at existing Supercharger locations is now a top priority”:
Tesla currently has just over 800 Supercharger stations and 5,000 Supercharger stalls for an average of about 6 stalls per station.
The company plans for the number of stalls to reach 15,000 by the end of the year and it released the maps of the planned expansion last month.
Here’s the current map in the US versus the planned map in 2017:
Of course, another way to “increase the capacity” and to help the overcrowding issue is to improve the charge rate of the Supercharger and the vehicles that use them. That way vehicles have shorter charging sessions and wait times are reduced.
That’s apparently also in the plans with the ‘Supercharger V3’ that Musk confirmed is coming.
If it’s now a “top priority” to add stalls at existing stations and that a new version of the Supercharger with a higher power output is coming, the future looks bright for Tesla’s DC fast-charging network.
Featured Image: Tesla Supercharger in Nebbenes, Norway by Model S owner Christoph Lumpi