Tesla Motors announced last September 24 that it will be creating a network of 100 solar-powered charging stations across the United States by the end of 2015.
The fast chargers that are designed for the electric vehicles can deliver three hours of highway driving range with a 30-minute charge. What’s good is that the service will be available for free to Tesla owners.
Planning for Solar-powered Charging Stations in the Future
According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, creating the charging stations for the entire network could cost between $20 million and $30 million. Each station will have four to six charging ports, which will be at key highway rest stops near established restaurants.
Each station will get their power from solar panels that are mounted overhead. The solar panels will be provided by Solar City, which is Musk’s sister company. It can generate more power than charging cars can draw. This means that the stations will add to the electrical power grid even when a car is charging during a cloudy weather or at night.
The company secretly created four charging stations in Southern California and took the wraps off late last Monday. Two more will go online next month, and the network will also see an expansion to Las Vegas, Northern California, and Oregon by next summer.
Within two years, most of United States will be covered with Tesla charging stations. In relation to this, the following time will also be used to backfill areas. In turn, stations will not be more than 200 miles apart. Musk added that similar sized networks will be added in Europe and Asia beginning next summer.
However, the fast chargers will only work with the Model S and future Tesla vehicles. The CEO pointed that it is because a 100 kW charging current will be too powerful for lesser battery packs. Musk added that they want the Model S to drive almost anywhere “for free on pure sunlight.”
Challenges and Obstacles
When it comes to battery-powered cars, one of the challenges that car manufacturers point out is the limited range. Tesla Motors’ new and upcoming charging stations can be a way to address this problem.
The company, on the other hand, wants to become profitable as early as 2013 by selling more Model S cars and supplying battery packs and motors to their investors—Daimler AG and Toyota Motor Corp.
Their goal is to deliver over 20,000 Model S sedans next year and achieve a gross profit margin of more than 25 percent. In addition, the company plans to install superchargers in busy traffic corridors across the United States.
The six California locations unveiled today are just the beginning. By next year, we plan to install Superchargers in high traffic corridors across the continental United States, enabling fast, purely electric travel from Vancouver to San Diego, Miami to Montreal, and Los Angeles to New York. Tesla will also begin installing Superchargers in Europe and Asia in the second half of 2013.
Image Source: teslamotors.com/goelectric
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