Tesla Introduces Free Quick-Charge Network for Model S Owners


Tesla on Monday introduced a handful of proprietary quick-charge stations across California, Nevada and Arizona with free charging for Model S owners that spring for the optional hardware.

The California automaker disingenuously markets the technology as "supercharging." Of the three battery strengths on the Model S — 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh — supercharging hardware is unavailable on the 40 kWh, optional on the 60 kWh and standard with the 85 kWh.

The six stations allow Model S owners "free long-distance travel indefinitely," Tesla says. Each station will comprise a carport with multiple solar-powered chargers that gather enough electricity year-round to accommodate periodic charges by Model S owners, but The New York Times reports just two of the six are fitted with solar panels right now. The other four run off grid power.

The stations replenish some 180 miles of highway range at 60 mph in just 30 minutes — probably less when you cruise at 70 or 80 mph. Tesla plans to build more stations across major corridors by the end of 2013: Vancouver to San Diego, Miami to Montreal and Los Angeles to New York. Europe and Asia will get their own networks in the second half of 2013, Tesla says.

The Model S supports Tesla's proprietary quick-charging instead of conventional DC quick-charge ports, and our quick-charge field trial revealed built-in timeouts well before you reached a full charge, which can make for dubious pricing. The option to quick-charge an EV closer to full without paying for multiple sessions makes sense, and Tesla says its charging network works substantially faster than existing DC stations, which add 60 to 80 miles of range in 20 minutes to a typical light-duty EV. The Model S has an adaptor that connects to Level 2 (240-volt) public chargers.

The U.S. currently has 4,592 electric charging stations, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, but it's unclear how many of them are Level 2 versus DC quick-charge units. (Level 1, or the slowest charging, uses a three-pronged household outlet.)

The EPA has certified the 85-kWh battery's range in the Model S at 265 miles, but the 40 kWh and 60 kWh batteries are still pending certification. Tesla claims 160 and 230 miles, respectively, but we'd expect those ranges to decrease under EPA certification, especially since the automaker originally claimed 300 miles on the 85-kWh battery.

Field Trial: Level 3 Quick-Charging Two EVs
2012 Model S Deliveries Start Today, EPA Figures Official
More Automotive News


Donald Gonci

I note that Tesla has a charging station in Connecticut..where please?

Please share where other stations are or are planned in New England.

Thank you. Don


There are 18,000 + EV charging stations nationwide.

I hope Tesla will cover the entire nation with super chargers even 100 miles before Model X launches.

For Where Tesla's Super chargers are - look at the TeslaMotors Website, under Superchargers, or go the the PlugShare website - and click the Settings Gear - and un-check everything except the Super chargers. The App says there are over 18,800 Chargers on PlugShare now! www.teslamotors.com or www.plugshare.com

Leland Brown

Can you give me locations of charging stations in the Napa, Santa Rosa area ?

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App