When Tesla unveiled the Model S in 2012, the company captured the worlds attention. But the question always remained, how will Teslas all-electric cars be able to travel cross-country? Unlike a gasoline vehicle, Tesla cars need a particular charging station to refill the battery of the car.
The owner, Elon Musk, envisions a country with as abundant a network of Tesla charging stations as currently exist with gas stations. And the Tesla Supercharger network is making it a reality.
In this article, you learn everything you need to know about the Tesla Supercharger network expansion going into effect. Learn how the Tesla supercharger network version 3 is set for expansion in 2019. And find out how much faster the new stations will charge your Tesla.
What Is the Tesla Supercharger Network?
The Tesla Supercharger Network is a cross-country collection of Tesla charging stations. Unlike an overnight charging station, Supercharger stations take around an hour and twenty minutes to fully charge your Tesla. So, get ready for the next family road trip in your all-electric vehicle.
Tesla electric vehicles feature two charging modes. Level 1 charging supports up to 120 volts of alternating current. Level 2 charging supports quick charging of 120 kilowatts of direct current.
A large collaboration between Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi are working to build fast-charging stations, called CHAdeMO. CHAdeMO charging stations are widespread across Europe, Asia, and Canada.
Tesla offers adapter cables so that you can charge your Tesla model at any CHAdeMO station. So, with the J1772 connector, your charging network expands even more.
Whereas CHAdeMO stations exclusively charge using DC current, Telsa cars are compatible with AC or DC charging.
But, charging at a CHAdeMO station means that you don’t get Tesla Supercharger speeds.
On November 19, 2018, Musk announced the supercharger network expansion set to take place in 2019. Over the year, Tesla will expand its supercharger network to serve 95 to 100 per cent of all Teslas active markets.
And, this expansion means that you can drive from one end of the country to the other using nothing but clean electric power.
Teslas expansion ushers in the Supercharger V3, which offers drivers a much faster charge time than version 2. Though Musk does not specify the exact charging time of the new version 3 superchargers, it is assumed to deliver more kilowatts of power than the current 120 kilowatts.
How Does Supercharging Work?
The biggest obstacle with all-electric vehicles is ensuring that it has enough range per charge. Tesla is solving this issue by building a vast network of charging stations.
Currently, Tesla owns nearly 11,500 Superchargers worldwide, across almost 1,400 stations. Tesla is thorough in building enough stations to enable on-the-road charging.
The Tesla Model 3 gets between 215 to 310 miles to a single charge. The Model S gets over 500 miles to a single battery charge. The goal for Tesla is to build stations no more than about 200 miles apart, to allow seamless road charging for their shortest range of cars.
And, as the Tesla Supercharger Network expands, travellers can find charging locations further from highways and major thoroughfares.
From your Teslas touchscreen, enter your destination in the Trip Planner. The system automatically creates your route to coincide with your cars charging requirements. Your directions automatically take you to the nearest supercharger stations at the necessary time.
When you reach a charging station, the Trip Planner tries to schedule it so that you only have to recharge for around a half-hour. Once your Tesla is charged and ready to go, you receive a notification on your Tesla App.
Part of Tesla’s expansion of Supercharger stations in 2019 includes urban area’s. Tesla is building superchargers in grocery store parking lots, downtown parking garages, and shopping centres in cities all over the world. The company says that this integration will allow drivers to make charging a seamless part of their daily rhythms.
Supercharger vs Destination Charging
Tesla already has an extensive network of global destination charging locations. These charging stations are located at hotels, restaurants, and shopping centres. They do not charge as fast as Tesla Supercharger stations, but they are great if you’re staying overnight somewhere.
Destination Charging stations act just like a home charger does. They offer the convenience of a charging station when you are away from home, but they are not as convenient as supercharging. In 2019, Tesla is going around the country to its Destination Charging locations to install Supercharger V3 stations.
With Tesla’s expansion of Supercharger stations, you won’t have to charge your Tesla above 80 per cent. The only reason you would want to charge fully is if you are deviating from highly populated routes.
Is the Tesla Supercharger Network Cheaper Than Gas?
On average, Supercharging costs around 45 per cent less than the equivalent cost of gas. Each Tesla car model gets a slightly different range per charge. The lowest range is the Model S, while the best range is the Model X.
To travel 3000 miles in the Tesla Model S, it costs around $250, whereas the gasoline cost would top $400. The Model X is slightly more expensive to Supercharge over 3000 miles, at around $285. And, the Model 3 drives 3000 miles for approximately $215 for Supercharger fees.
Pricing on the Tesla Supercharger Network
Most Tesla Supercharger stations are located in populated area’s near restaurants, shopping, and internet access. So, while you’re servicing your car at a station, you have access to the necessary amenities.
Like a gas station, Superchargers cost a fee for charging. Most stations bill you per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The cost to charge your Tesla is $0.28 per kWh.
At Supercharger stations that bill per minute, you are billed in two tiers of charging speed and cost. Tier 1 is for charging at or under 60 kilowatts and costs $0.13 per minute. Tier 2 is for charging over 60 kilowatts and costs twice as much, at $0.26. If you are sharing charging power with another Supercharger, then tier 1 cost applies.
You pay for charging with Supercharger credits. You purchase Supercharger Credits on your Tesla Account. So, you pull up, plug in your car, and charge it up.
If you leave your Tesla idle in a Supercharger Station that is over 50 per cent capacity, you are charged an Idle Fee. The fee is waived, however, if you move the car within five minutes of charging completion. Tesla charges an Idle Fee to keep charging stations open for those who need them.
Using a Supercharger Post at a Charging Station
Tesla makes recharging your car a seamless process to get you back on the road quickly. As soon as you plug in your car with the post connector, the flashing green charger LED light will indicate a successful connection. Open up your Tesla App to monitor and track the progress of your charge, or wait for the notification that your charging is complete.
You never have to get out your wallet to pay for charging, since all payments are automatically routed through your payment method on file. Every Tesla owner has a payment method on file in their online Tesla Account, which automatically refills your Supercharger credits.
Your Trip Planner automatically takes you to Supercharger Stations as needed. All you have to do is enter the destination in your Trip Planner and follow the directions. Your car will make sure you never are stranded between charging stations without power.
Where Does Tesla Place Supercharger Stations?
Supercharger stations are ideal along highly populated routes and in urban area’s. They provide a convenient charging when travelling long distances or visiting a city. The best locations for Supercharger stations is near hotels, shopping, and eateries.
Tesla accepts requests to host a Supercharger station. Hosting a Tesla Supercharger station is a great way to attract Tesla owner clientele to your business.
Property owners in populated urban area’s can host different Supercharger stations that are built for limited space. They are built smaller than normal Supercharger posts, but still, deliver a consistent rate of around 72 kilowatts. Charging at an urban Supercharger post usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
Supercharger stations are open all the time–24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unlike regular gas stations, Tesla Supercharger stations don’t require an attendant to provide your car with service.
All you have to do is tell your Tesla Trip Planner where you are going, and it will guide you through the Tesla Supercharger network.
If you like this article on the Tesla Supercharger Network, share it on social media. And subscribe to the newsletter for more posts on the future of electric cars. Thanks for reading!