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Tesla Planning to Double the Number of Supercharger Stations

[Image: Tesla Motors]

With the “affordable” Tesla Model 3 on its way to an anticipated July production date, the company has promised to double the number of fast-charge plug-in points to feed the company’s growing fleet.

The electric automaker has already installed over 5,400 Supercharger outlets and about 9,000 lower-voltage Destination Charging connectors at various locations around the globe. In North America, Tesla promises a 150-percent increase in the number of charging points. However, don’t expect many of those stations to look like the photo above.

The existing Supercharger connection points are found at more than 800 stations. Tesla envisions much larger stations arranged in space-efficient bays, plus smaller, outlying stations to connect vehicles in lower-use areas to the grid.

To feed the more than 300,000 Model 3 vehicles currently reserved by patient buyers, as well as existing and future models, the worldwide tally of connection points will rise to 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 Destination Charging plugs.

“In North America, we’ll increase the number of Superchargers by 150 percent, and in California alone we’ll add more than 1,000 Superchargers,” the company stated in a blog post. “We’re moving full speed on site selection and many sites will soon enter construction to open in advance of the summer travel season.”

The images accompanying Tesla’s post shows charging bays topped with a canopy of solar panels, surrounded by lush greenery. In reality, most of the stations will run off of the local power grid, as they currently do. It’s possibly that the automaker could forge a feed-in agreement with a utility to supply solar power to the local grid via those roof panels, but it wouldn’t make a large-use facility a completely green operation.

However, Tesla’s SolarCity sister company could be called in to power off-the-grid stations in remote areas — something company CEO Elon Musk mentioned in a December tweet.

“Yes, grid won’t be needed for moderate use Superchargers in non-snowy regions,” Musk tweeted.

In that case, electricity would be stored on site via an array of Powerpack energy storage devices already offered by Tesla. Yes, that setup would be pretty green — assuming you can find one. Meanwhile, as its network of charging stations grows, Tesla has already revamped its pricing structure to cover costs.

[Image: Tesla Motors]


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