On the heels of debuting game-changing solar roof tiles and expanding the production capacity of its electric cars, Tesla just announced that it will double its charging network in 2017.
Currently, Tesla offers three different ways to charge its electric vehicles. The most convenient way to charge is to plug in overnight where you park. But to serve people who don’t have parking or are traveling long distances, Tesla also introduced the Supercharger network in 2012 to provide charging stations along highways. There is also a network of Destination Chargers at hotels, resorts, and restaurants.
In anticipation of the launch of its $35,000 Model 3 electric car later this year, Tesla knows that it has to invest in more charging infrastructure. Perhaps because of its lower price point, some 373,000 people have already put down a $1,000 deposit for the Model 3, and production is slated to begin this summer.
To prepare for this influx of hundreds of thousands of new electric car owners, Tesla plans to double the number of Superchargers—from 5,000 to 10,000—globally by the end of the year.
North America will see a 150 percent increase in the number of Superchargers, and California alone will add 1,000 Supercharging stations. Hotels and restaurants will also get more Destination Chargers, an increase from 9,000 stations to 15,000 stations.
The busiest routes—think: San Francisco to Los Angeles, for example—will have larger charging sites that can accommodate several dozen Teslas Supercharging simultaneously. When you’re at the supercharging station, it’s a lot like filling a tank of gas, except that cars remain plugged in for approximately 30 minutes to travel another 170 miles.
Urban residents in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, where parking is scarce, can also expect more Destination Chargers in parking garages.