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Tesla to focus on ‘major’ expansion of urban charging network, says Elon Musk

Despite the rapid expansion of electric vehicle charging networks, electric car ownership can still be difficult for apartment dwellers and people who don’t have access to home charging.

Tesla has been working on the issue for a while and CEO Elon Musk now says that the company will focus on a “major increase” of their urban charger network over the “next several months.”

The automaker updated its Supercharger expansion plans earlier this year with a shift in their strategy.

Beyond just expanding the network with a goal to have 10,000 Superchargers by the end of the year, they shifted the goal of the network from primarily enabling long-distance travel to also facilitating urban travel or even owners without driveways or garages. They wrote:

“In addition, many sites will be built further off the highway to allow local Tesla drivers to charge quickly when needed, with the goal of making charging ubiquitous in urban centers.”

Musk now says that this shift should be more concrete in the “next several months.”

The vast majority of current Supercharger stations are built along highways and popular routes between major population centers where Tesla owners live or travel, and while there were sometimes one or two stations within metro areas, Tesla is now clearly focusing on adding stations directly in cities.

Tesla’s Supercharger expansion also includes a new type of Supercharger station with 40 or more stalls. So far, those stations are still being built along highways, but Tesla has also been increasing the number of stalls in Superchargers within cities. The new 20-stall Supercharger in Burbank is a good example.

The company is also using its Destination Charing network, which consists of slower level 2 chargers, in cities to help apartment dwellers.

A good example is Manhattan where Tesla already has an extensive network of Destination Chargers and they now plan 3 Supercharger stations:

When looking at Tesla’s new maps of planned Superchargers, you can easily find several more examples of metro areas getting significantly more Superchargers. Montreal, Toronto, Washington, Seattle, even Tesla’s already relatively well-covered home turf of San Francisco, are all good examples:

Tesla has been using data from its Model 3 reservations to determine where they will need to deploy more charging capacity.

Over the last month alone, Tesla started construction and obtained permits for over 50 new Supercharger stations as it attempts to double the number of chargers by the end of the year.

Last month, Tesla reached 6,000 Superchargers and it’s not clear if they can reach the ambitious goal within just a few months.

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