Tesla unveiled a high-speed charging station last night aimed at
freeing owners of its Model S electric sedan from worries about running
out of juice on a long trip.
Already, Tesla has installed four of
them to connect Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas. CEO Elon Musk
told owners and press at a swanky ceremony at Tesla's Los Angeles area
design studio that a network of "superchargers" will be installed across
the U.S. in about four years, about 100 in all.
"People have this
idea that if you have an electric car, you have no freedom --you're
stuck," Musk explained. The stations will dispel the notion, he added.
Tesla's Model is comes in various ranges, all the way up to 265 miles
per charge, the most of any pure electric car.
Each will include
about four to six charging stations. Only Tesla Model S sedans have
charging systems that allow them to use the high-speed chargers. They
won't work on rival electric cars or even Tesla's older $109,000
roadsters, which raised the ire of at least one set of owners.
charging stations will be installed near groups of restaurants, so
owners can go inside for a meal while their cars recharge. They'll be
In an interesting "green" twist, Musk said the stations will
also be linked to solar arrays that will pump electricity back into the
system. In essence, Musk said, the cars will charge from sunshine, not
power plants. The array will be capable of producing enough electricity
equal to 100,000 miles of driving a year.
Musk says owners weren't
asking for it. They're just getting it. "This is something those who
bought the car didn't know they were getting," he says.