Today, Tesla added another tool in its charging infrastructure toolkit. After the Supercharger network for long distance travel and Destination chargers for charging once at a destination, Tesla is now unveiling a new version of its Supercharger designed as an urban charging solution.
They updated the design and architecture of the Supercharger for new stations to be installed in city centers. Tesla wrote in a blog post:
“Superchargers in urban areas have a new post design that occupies less space and is easier to install, making them ideal for dense, highly populated areas. To increase efficiency and support a high volume of cars, these Superchargers have a new architecture that delivers a rapid 72 kilowatts of dedicated power to each car. This means charging speeds are unaffected by Tesla vehicles plugging into adjacent Superchargers, and results in consistent charging times around 45 to 50 minutes for most drivers.”
That’s down from Tesla’s main Superchargers having a capacity of up to 145 kW and Tesla’s vehicles being capable of supporting up to 120 kW.
Though the capacity of current Supercharger stations can be split between two stalls and therefore, depending on how many vehicles are at a Supercharger station, it can affect the charging rate.
Those new stations have a dedicated charging capacity of 72 kW per stall – meaning that the overall charging capacity of the station stays roughly the same as the non-urban Superchargers.
Tesla describes where those new “urban” chargers will be installed:
“Supercharger stations in urban areas will be installed in convenient locations, including supermarkets, shopping centers and downtown districts, so it’s easy for customers to charge their car in the time it takes to grocery shop or run errands.”
The first two stations are in Chicago and Boston:
- Chicago – 10 stalls at 225 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois United States 60601
- Boston – 8 stalls at 800 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts United States 02199
The pricing of the chargers will be the same as the new Supercharger Credit pricing model introduced by Tesla earlier this year.
Owners get free credit annually worth a few charges and after that, they have to pay per kWh. The price is linked to electricity rate in the market and they are much cheaper than gas (for example: California: $0.20 per kWh, New York: $0.19 per kWh, Illinois: $0.15 per kWh).
Update: We take a look at the first two stations and look at upcoming new ones:
- First look at Tesla’s new kind of Supercharger station with design refresh
- Tesla updates Supercharger network with new upcoming stations enabling new routes and city charging
The move doesn’t come as a surprise. When Tesla announced its Supercharger expansion earlier this year, we reported that “Tesla’s new Supercharger strategy is a major shift that will enable urban EV ownership”.
But there are a few new unexpected points, like the design update, but also the new dedicated charging rate per stall.
It means that charging speed will be more consistent and it shows that the intent is less of a solution for a quick top off to get to your destination, but instead a more regular charging solution for city dwellers.