When Tesla announced new expansion plans for its Supercharger network earlier this year, it managed to ease some of the concerns that its current owners had over the network becoming overcrowded with the launch of the Model 3.
We started to see Tesla adding chargers to its current Supercharger stations and build new ones with up to 20 chargers.
But the expansion also included a new type of station with much higher numbers of stalls. We now get our first good look at those stations through new site plans for one of the very first stations.
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Electrek has obtained the project plans of a new Supercharger station to be built in Kettleman City, California. It’s located along the highway 5 roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, where there are high concentrations of Tesla vehicles and therefore, one of the most popular routes for long distance travel.
Tesla secured the land for the project this week, which puts it on track to be among the first of the new type of large Supercharger station. There are several more at different phases of development.
This one in Kettleman City will feature 40 Supercharger stalls, which is double the number of chargers in Tesla’s current biggest stations and consequently, it should become the largest fast-charging station in the world.
Like the current Supercharger stations, the new ones also feature stalls A/B per Supercharger – meaning that the power will likely again be split between two stalls.
In the expansion announcement, Tesla also announced what it called “customer centers” at those new Supercharger stations.
In the site plans obtained by Electrek, the building is instead called a “Supercharger lounge”. It appears to feature a restroom, chairs, tables, and sofas.
Tesla already has Supercharger lounges at a few stations, but nothing of this size.
The company submitted the plans for bids at the end of last month and those projects generally move to the first phase of construction about a month later.
The plans for the new Kettleman City Supercharger are actually very similar structurally to the renders of the concept that Tesla showed in April when announcing the expansion – albeit with fewer stalls:
Tesla has long promised to increasingly power the Supercharger network with solar energy, but only a few stations featured solar arrays out of the company’s more than 800 stations in the world to date.
The plans for the new Kettleman City Supercharger include solar arrays – just like the renders of the station that Tesla featured in its announcement.
The main difference is the building since Tesla is actually working with an existing building at the location. Here are side-by-side of the current lot and renders of what Tesla plans to do, as supplied in the project bid:
There are a few other tidbits of information that we learn through the plans for the project.
For example, it includes an area for food trucks to park right on the site so that owners have some more dining options when charging – though there are plenty of fast food joints within walking distance of the location. McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr., In-and-Out, Starbucks, Jack in the Box and Denny’s are all just around the corner.
There’s also a stall marked for “van”, but also marked for “EV charging only”, which is interesting.
Finally, Tesla has removed all electrical specs from the project bid and therefore, it hides any possible upgrade to the Supercharger infrastructure that could be coming with those new stations.
As you might expect, a charging station of that size represents a significant power load even at 30-50% capacity.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been teasing an upcoming next-gen ‘Tesla Supercharger V3’ with over 350 kW power output, but we have yet to get a clear idea of when they will start being deployed. Though he did first link it to the deployment of more solar arrays, which is happening with this new Kettleman City Supercharger… but it would only be speculation at this point.
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