Tesla’s Supercharger network is evolving quickly. Not only did Tesla recently launch their new “urban” Superchargers, but they are also working on their new type of larger Supercharger station with 40+ connectors, lounges, and restaurants.
Co-founder and CTO JB Straubel went to the Foodservice Technology Conference Trade Show (FSTEC) this week to discuss this evolution.
What is Tesla’s Chief Technology Officer doing at a food service conference you ask?
FSTEC wrote in the description of Straubel’s session at the conference:
“What can the world’s foremost expert in battery technology and energy storage share with restaurant IT experts? Learn about innovation from the ground floor, challenging mainstream processes, creating advances and solutions based on platforms from seemingly unrelated industries, and how your customers will relate to technology in the not-so-distant future.”
Straubel is often seen at conferences about energy, but this one is a first. It started to make more sense when he talked about Tesla’s Supercharger stations.
“People are coming and spending 20 to 30 minutes at these stops. They want to eat, they want to have a cup of coffee, they want to use the bathroom.”
Tesla tries to build its Supercharger stations around businesses like cafes and restaurants in order for drivers to have something to do while their vehicles are charging, but with Tesla’s new bigger stations, the concept is evolving.
Like we reported in our exclusive look at the first of Tesla’s new type of Supercharger station with 40 stalls between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Tesla is building a lounge for owners on the site of the Supercharger and they are even planning to reserve a section to allow food trucks to come into the station.
“They are starting to look a lot like convenience stops. It’s amazing how quickly things are evolving.”
The first station is currently under construction in Kettleman City, California (between Los Angeles and San Francisco):
The news had people widly speculate that Tesla could venture into the restaurant business, but Straubel clarified that they are leaving that to other companies on their station sites:
“We already have been working with restaurants. That can only start scaling up.”
The new stations will help toward Tesla achieving its goal to have 10,000 Superchargers by the end of the year. With 40+ chargers per station, it should give the company a good boost if they are completed by the end of the year.
Tesla currently has just over 6,600 Superchargers around the world.