A network of fast-charging stations could make longer trips in electric vehicles more realistic.
According to Telsa, the Supercharger is "substantially more powerful than any charging technology to date, providing almost 100 kilowatts of power to the Model S, with the potential to go as high as 120 kilowatts in the future." The initial stations, constructed in secret, are expected to be available to the public in the next few weeks.
Many believe the success of electric vehicles is highly dependent on the charging infrastructure, which in most of the U.S. remains in its infancy. Others also argue that the EV cost proposition needs to achieve cost parity with the gasoline engine, a prospect that is dependent on the development of better battery technology. Even an entry-level Model S costs nearly $60,000, with much of the price tag swallowed up by the battery.
An artist's rendering of a Tesla Supercharger station.
EV skeptics will likely laugh off Tesla's attempt to provide a network of Supercharger stations as expensive and insufficient. While the firm promises an infrastructure of fast charging stations in high-traffic corridors across the U.S., until the stations are actually laid out and built, it's difficult to judge how robust this infrastructure will be. And while there are not a lot of Model S vehicles on the road today, one can easily imagine a logjam with lengthy waits at Supercharger stations if the Model S hits it big.
Still, Tesla's Superchargers have the potential to be remove a electric vehicle adoption. The perceived freedom to travel much further than previously possible with reasonable charging intervals could be just the thing to answer the road trip question and get more people off the fence and into an EV.
Tesla CEO Elon Must takes the stage, surrounded by laser light, at the Supercharger launch event.
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