Tesla Motors unveiled the first locations in its Supercharger network, which will allow the Model S to travel long distances with ultra fast charging throughout California, parts of Nevada and Arizona. The Supercharger is substantially more powerful than any charging technology to date, providing almost 100 kW of power to the Model S, with the potential to go as high as 120 kW in the future.
This can replenish three hours of driving at 60 mph in about half an hour, which is the convenience inflection point for travelers at a highway rest stop, according to Tesla. Most people who begin a road trip at 9:00 a.m. would normally stop by noon to have lunch, refresh and pick up a coffee or soda for the road, all of which takes about 30 minutes.
Tesla said it developed the core technology internally and that it leverages the economies of scale of existing charging technology already used by the Model S, enabling Tesla to create the Supercharger device at minimal cost. The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity.
Tesla said it plans to install Superchargers in high traffic corridors across the continental United States. Tesla will also begin installing Superchargers in Europe and Asia in the second half of 2013.
Model S comes with three battery options; the 85 kWh Model S has received a US fuel economy rating of 89 MPGe and an EPA-rated range of 265 miles. Supercharging hardware is standard on Model S vehicles equipped with an 85 kWh battery and optional on Model S vehicles equipped with a 60 kWh battery.