As more and more consumers make the green decision to forego their combustion engines for electric vehicles, they may not be as in tune with charging standards. kW, voltage, and amps might sound like jargon compared to miles per gallon, but these are essential units to understand to get the most efficiency out of your shiny new EV.
Let the following serve as a guide, offering all you need to know about the various charging options out there and how they differ.
I recently complained about the inability to drive a Tesla direct from New York City up the Hudson River and to Montreal directly to the EV29 show, without going around Lake Champlain into Vermont. In the month since I complained, Tesla has opened up a Supercharger in Plattsburgh, NY near the Canadian border and it looks like another is being readied (image below via sheltz32tt) north of Albany in Queensbury near affluent Sarasota Springs. Now, I can move on to complaining about lighting up route 80 from New York to Cleveland thru Pennsylvania…
Tesla is also bolstering its Superchargers north of the border, today announcing another location in the heart of Montreal (Place Vertu Shopping Centre 3131 Cote Vertu Boulevard Montréal H4R 1Y8) and another in Magog (Carrefour Sante Globale 2381 Rue Principale Ouest Magog J1X 0J4) that will help Tesla owners in the Northeast US get to and from Quebec City. expand full story
In a future where the world’s car fleet is rapidly transitioning to electric vehicles, gas stations will be forcefully downgraded to simple convenience stores and consequently, they will lose a significant revenue stream brought in by people stopping for gas but buying something at the convenience store. Now it looks like Tesla is offering a lifeline to the industry as we learn that the electric automaker is talking with gas station chains about installing Superchargers at some of their stations in the US. expand full story
Yesterday, Tesla inaugurated its 100th Supercharger in China located at its ‘Tesla experience center’ in the business district in Beijing, and for the occasion, the automaker announced the official launch of ‘Tesla Public Charging Partner Program’ in the country.
Under the program, Tesla is inviting hotel groups, commercial real estate companies, industrial parks, office buildings, banks, resorts, and other businesses across the country to participate in Tesla’s Supercharger and Destination Charger networks. expand full story
The Tesla Supercharger in Newark, Delaware, is an important charging spot for Tesla owners traveling on the east coast. It is one of Tesla’s biggest location, with 12 Supercharger stalls, and it is strategically located on I-95 between Washington and New York.
Earlier this month, someone backed into one of the stalls and damaged it. A week later, the station came offline and has been down for the past 4 days . Now with the fourth of July coming, a lot of traffic is to be expected along Tesla’s Supercharger routes and owners are starting to worry about the response time to fix any issues with the charging network.
Update: the station finally came back online around midnight last night (June 25). expand full story
Last month, we reported on how Tesla announced its first location for a Supercharger in Mexico in the most subtle, weird, but awesome way. We now learn that the automaker brought the Supercharging station online, making it its first DC fast-charging station south of the US border, and just in time for the introduction of the Model X in Mexico. expand full story
A parked Model X at the Newark, Delaware Tesla Supercharger prompted a lot of reactions from the Tesla community over the weekend. The Model X in question decided to block 3 Supercharger stalls instead of removing its bike rack, which is seen as a breach of the unofficial Supercharger etiquette. expand full story
After Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Model 3 last week and went through a few of the car’s features, it would have been difficult to find an EV enthusiast disappointed by the event. But now a week later, the automaker has been altering the language around the Model 3’s features and it has raised a few eyebrows.
Tesla changed the wording around the Model 3’s safety rating, Autopilot and Supercharging capabilities, which are arguably Tesla’s three best-selling points. expand full story
Real-time Supercharger availability data is a feature Model S owners have been asking Tesla to implement for a while now. It’s something we know to be possible since the automaker already displays the data of each charger stalls of its most popular Supercharger locations in real-time on the ‘Supercharger Dashboard’ located in its design studio in Hawthorne (see above), but the feature is not available in Tesla vehicles. expand full story
Update: Tesla confirmed now having “attendants” at certain Supercharger stations, but it is not calling the service “valet charging” since they claim that “they will not be driving the vehicles or taking the keys”. As you can read below, we received direct reports from Tesla owners claiming to the contrary, but you can also read the full statement from a Tesla spokesperson below./
Tesla is rolling out a new valet service to facilitate charging at a few stations of the Supercharger network, the automaker’s network of fast-charging stations. Tesla owners arriving at a Supercharger when all stalls are occupied will be offered to have a valet park their car until a stall becomes available and then the valet can move the car and starts the charging session.
The service will likely be especially useful at Tesla’s busiest charging stations in California and other regions where Tesla’s vehicles are becoming increasingly popular.
The possibility of such a program being implemented first came up late last year when Tesla started looking to hire people in a new role called “Charging Experience Specialist” to “manage onsite customer demand at Tesla Supercharger Stations”. expand full story
Currently, a Model S has a 1 in 2.5 million chance of burning down while charging at a Tesla Supercharger but that’s really not something Tesla owners need to worry about. This statistic is simply based on the fact that Superchargers have been used 2.5 million times with only one report of a fire earlier this year in Norway. Though it was quite a significant fire, burning the car to the ground, no one fortunately was injured.
Today Tesla revealed that it concluded its own investigation and confirms that the cause of the fire was a short-circuit in the car and though the automaker doesn’t know why the short-circuit happened, and again the odds of another fire are extremely low, it will nonetheless push a software update to its fleet to “provide extra security during charging”. expand full story
By enabling long distance travel for its fleet of electric vehicles, Tesla’s Supercharger network of DC fast-charging stations is one of the company’s greatest assets, which is now reflected very clearly on the company’s balance sheet according to a recent SEC filing.
In its 2015 financial report filed last week, Tesla confirmed attaching a book value of $339 million to its Supercharger network, up from $107 million just a year ago. expand full story
Charging protocols and standards are fuelling an ever evolving debate in the electric vehicle industry. Some are calling for a global standard, while others are just fine with multiple infrastructure efforts using different adapters. Where does Tesla fit in this debate? The company has been developing its own charging infrastructure called “Superchargers“, while offering a range of adapters to let Tesla owners use other charging networks. expand full story
The authorities and Tesla launched investigations to determine the cause of the fire. Last week, the police released the scene of the Supercharger for the ‘crime technical examination’. Today we learn that the ‘Accident Investigation Board’ (AIBN) is shutting down the investigation, but not before disclosing that they found indications that the fire “originated in the car”. expand full story
A Tesla Model S caught fire while plugged-in at a Supercharger in Norway, and almost completely burned down to nothing. The event happened at 14.30 Friday afternoon (local time) at a Tesla fast-charging station in Gjerstad, Norway expand full story
It’s a feature Model S owners have been asking Tesla to implement for a while now. We know it’s possible since the company displays available stalls in real-time on the “Supercharger Dashboard” located in its design studio in Hawthorne, but the feature is not available in real-time in the car itself, where it could actually be extremely useful.
A third-party app is looking to fix the problem, or at least pressure Tesla to finally release the feature. expand full story
A Smart EV owner traveling in Germany claims that he “accidentally” plugged his electric Smart at a Tesla Supercharger and couldn’t unplug it. The owner sent the picture seen above to German publication Electrive. expand full story
Jordan, a small Middle Eastern country of about 8 million people, is popular in the media these days for its role in the Syrian refugee crisis. The country is providing asylum to about 1 million refugees according to the UN Refugee Agency. Some, including Britain’s Prince Charles, see climate change as the root cause of the civil war in Syria, which sparked the refugee crisis.
An extreme drought believed to have been caused by climate change forced as many as 1.5 million people between 2006 and 2009 to migrate away from lands and into the cities. The sudden urbanization caused social stresses which eventually led to the March 2011 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Arguably, Jordan is doing more than its part by offering asylum to so many refugees, but the country is also addressing the root cause by accelerating its plans to curb emissions. The government recently announced a tax and custom duties exemption for electric vehicles and charging equipment. Tesla is one of the first company to take advantage of the new policy. expand full story
According to PlugShare’s quarterly report, Tesla added 858 charging stations across the US from September 2014 to September 2015. The increase is largely due to Tesla’s “Destination Charging” program, which now accounts for over 80% of Tesla’s charging points in the US.
The automaker operates two different types of charging networks, the “Superchargers” and “Destination Charging“. Supercharger stations can charge a Model S at a rate of more than 300 miles of range per hour and they are mainly located next to popular routes to facilitate road trips. expand full story
On November 20th, Tesla completed the Supercharger route between Melbourne and Sydney by opening a location in Gundagai. The company now operates 7 Supercharger locations in Australia and they are all located between Victoria’s coastal capital and the capital of New South Wales. expand full story
Since Tesla is taking its sweet time to starts delivering the Model X in volume, we thought you might want to get your eye-candy fix of the all-electric crossover. Tesla delivered the very first Model X, a ‘Founder series’ P90D, to its CEO Elon Musk and a Tesla Motors Club member recently spotted the vehicle at the Hawthorne Supercharger. expand full story
During a press conference today in Germany, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla is in talks with “some [auto] manufacturers” to share the Supercharger Network.
In the past, Tesla confirmed being opened to the idea of sharing its extensive network of fast charging stations, which now operates over 2,900 chargers at over 500 locations around the world, but until now, we couldn’t confirm that any automaker showed interest in the offer. expand full story
At Electrek we have been gathering registration data on the top-selling electric vehicles for a while now and although we are still sorting through all the information (and you can expect more posts about the data going forward), one thing that caught our attention is Tesla’s recent growth in Sweden.
Tesla has a presence in Sweden since late 2013, but sales in the country have been lagging until the last two quarters. From January to August 2014, Tesla delivered only 141 cars in the country, but during the same period this year, it delivered 635 Model S’s according to registration data – a 350% year over year increase to date.
Earlier this year we wrote about the impressive growth of Tesla’s Superchargers, a network of DC fast charging stations for the company’s electric vehicles, now Tesla says its network has seen a 5 times increase in used for road trips over last summer.
Electric vehicles have long been thought to be impractical for long distance driving due to their generally short-range capacity, but Tesla installs its stations at strategic intervals along popular routes and combined with the Model S’ 200+ miles range, Tesla owners can have interesting road-trip experiences. expand full story
Last week Tesla activated 5 more Supercharger stations to bring the total to 453 stations and 2,519 Superchargers. Since introducing its network of fast-charging stations in 2012, Tesla has been expanding the network at an impressive pace, making it the largest and fastest manufacturer-owned network in the world.
Tesla updated the Supercharger map again this morning and it now appears that all of the major gaps on the east coast (Savannah,Georgia) and the biggest cross country (Macedonia, OH, Wyoming) have been filled and it is now theoretically possible to drive a Tesla from Vancouver BC to San Diego California to Boston Massachusetts down to Miami Florida. Theoretically…if you are very easy on the accelerator.
Tesla hasn’t officially announced the milestone yet because that 302 mile Wyoming-Colorado jump is probably too big to drive without some range extending mode happening. The imminent Cheyenne, WY station should cut this to 164 miles. Also the altitude climb here is significant.
What you are looking at above is the state of the Tesla Supercharger network on The last day of 2013/first day of 2014. Tesla counts 50 Superchargers in the US (1 per state!) and another 14 in Europe. While Elon Musk originally planned to take his family on a Christmas holiday across the country, there are still some rather big holes to fill.
Tesla rejiggered its Supercharger map today moving Fall and Winter 2013 into a “Coming Soon” category. Fall is a few weeks from being over and it was clear Tesla wouldn’t be able to make the deadline on many of its stations, especially in the east coast where things have all but stalled in the Supercharger front. expand full story
Great find from @mgillet onTwitter. This appears to be a Tesla dashboard at the headquarters showing significant growth in charging over the past few months. More importantly, we some highly anticipated charging stations ‘coming soon’. Probably most exciting for Tesla is the Oregon and northern California stations that will close the I5 corridor meaning the West Coast will be covered. Also two stations on the California/Arizona border will allow trips to/from Phoenix and LA/San Diego.
You’ll notice that two stations, one in Colorado and one in Texas, are lit up even though Tesla hasn’t pushed to the Supercharger Station website Map, below.
Texans will get two more Supercharger stations in Eastern Texas linking them to Arkansas and Louisiana. East coasters will get a couple in Northern New Jersey as well as Virginia and North Carolina allowing folks in Vermont/New Hampshire to travel to the Carolinas and vice versa.
Some fun facts:
Fremont (Tesla Factory) and Hawthorn in SoCal seem to be far and away the busiest Superchargers with Gilroy coming in third over the last 30 days.
Unsurprisingly, most people put 20-40kWh into their Teslas during a stop.
1576 cars visited superchargers in the last week
Almost 4 million miles have been charged at Supercharging stations…
That equates to 14,000 MWh…
Which has saved nearly 160,000 gallons of gas.
Compare with the current map as of today, 10/21/2013:
“It’s not going to happen in a year from now. It’s going to be hard. But I think we can get down to five to 10 minutes,” Straubel said in an interview with MIT Technology Review. He noted that the current superchargers, which deliver 120 kilowatts of electricity, “seemed pretty crazy even 10 years ago.” Conventional public charging stations deliver well under 10 kilowatts.
Tesla has already reduced its Supercharger times in half going from 40 minutes to 20 minutes for a half charge. A few more ‘half times over the next few years and we’ll be there. One of the barriers of this type of charging is heat so this might involve external or internal cooling for battery charging.
One challenge of fast charging is that delivering power to a battery very rapidly can cause it to overheat. To avoid damaging the battery, the outside charger needs to communicate with the electronics that monitor the state of the batteries, including their voltage and temperature, and quickly adjust charging rates accordingly. “To do that kind of charging, everything has to be designed and working in perfect synchrony,” Straubel says.
Achieving five-minute charges will require not only further improving the charging system, but also improving the interface with the electrical grid. As it is, only some places on the grid can handle 120-kilowatt charging. Drawing large amounts of power from the grid also incurs demand charges from the utility, increasing the cost of the system.
But Straubel says that Tesla plans to get around these problems by equipping supercharging stations with solar panels and batteries.