Tesla To Unveil 'Supercharger' Recharging Stations Monday

Next Monday, Sept. 24, Tesla Motors intends to introduce at its Hawthorne, Calif. design studio its much-anticipated “Supercharger” fast charging system for Teslas on the go.

A level-2 charger might take eight hours to replenish an 85-kwh battery pack in the Model S, but the publicly situated 440-volt Superchargers are promised to cut this to one hour, if not less. Word has it also the recharging stations may also be solar powered.

“It will feel like alien spaceships landed at highway rest stops,” said company co-founder Elon Musk to his 88,856 and counting Twitter followers.

Or, it could at least feel like something closer to the time it takes to fill a gas tank in a conventional car, if we might allude to one of the objections some make about electric cars.

Yes, it is a debate, but let’s not forget the positive attributes offered by electric cars – like lower operational costs than demanded by those fast-filling fuel burners, and reduced dependence on petroleum given that electricity is domestically produced.

Not unaware of consumer expectations, Tesla will roll out its Superchargers to help meet desires for increased convenience. Unfortunately, there are questions as to how damaging to the battery frequent high-voltage recharging would be, and whether it would diminish the lifespan of one of those pricey packs comprised of Panasonic li-ion cells.

Located along highway routes, the Superchargers are expected to be an expedient means to contemplate longer travel, while 240-volt charging is to be the more battery friendly way to go for day to day charging.

The 85-kwh Model S gets an EPA-rated 265 miles range, and this number can go lower with more stomping on the accelerator and easygoing driving can improve on this estimate as well.

Presently it is the longest range EV on the market, and soon drivers will be offered limited opportunities to access a growing network of uber-fast chargers.

We’ll have a full report after the launch next week.


  • Van

    Yes the name supercharger is great for a level three charger that charges at near 60 kw. So to recharge a 60 kwh battery it would take one hour.

    So a person could drive 3 hours then stop for a one hour brunch, then drive 3 more hours and enjoy a lupper, and then finish the day with three more hours before stopping for the night.

  • dougliser

    That’s great that the car can charge so quickly. Any reason not to use Chademo or SAE? Do we really need a proprietary charger added to the mix?

  • Max Reid

    I think Chinese are introducing even 500 volt charger which can charge much faster.

    Anyway great job Tesla, hope they will also charge other EVs plugins.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Hmm…I wonder if he’s going to use those alien looking “solar trees”…they actually work and exist.

    One hour would be incredible.

    MrEnergyCzar

  • tgordi

    Isn’t there an issue with batteries being charged this fast frequently? I know Nissan states that frequent charging with the L3 charger may decrease the battery life.

  • Solopants

    tgordi:

    Nissan can’t even give you the expected life time on their batteries with the 120v charge let alone a supercharge. Haven’t you heard the Leaf after only 2 years is already losing 20% of it’s charge due to heat in Arizona? Sheeech!

  • Van

    @Tgordi, yes frequent rapid charging, can reduce the life of some kinds of Lithium batteries. Others can take rapid charging with little degradation. Rapid charging should only be needed infrequently, i.e. on road trips greater than the range of the EV. Plug in Hybrids should not need rapid charging, they can drive on gasoline/diesel until they can be recharged overnight.

    Just another reason, the right choice now with existent technology, is a plug in Hybrid such as the Prius PHV, Volt, C-max Energi or Fusion Energi. But the next generation batteries may change all that.

  • tgordi

    I have heard of the problems in Arizona but it doesn’t affect me personally as I live in the cooler Northern CA. I can’t ignore the feeling I get reading your comment that you don’t seem to like EVs.

  • tgordi

    To be honest, since we started driving Leaf, with no need to burn fossil fuels, I have difficulties going back to an internal combustion engine. we have a minivan (large family) and it is awful! We put most our mileage on Leaf and it is clean, cheap, and fun to drive. I can see the utility of plug-in ones but, hey, if I need to drive long occasionally, I can just rent a car for a short period of time and that would be it.

  • Van

    I like the EV concept but right now we do not have the technology to satisfy most folks. They identify 3 problems (1) too short of range, (2) too high of cost, and (3) takes too long to recharge away from home.

    A plug in hybrid, solves those three problems and so for now something like the Ford Fusion Energi seems the best choice.