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Tesla Supercharger Network

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:32 am
by palmermd
I'm sort of jumping the gun here since the presentation of the supercharger and the network is going to be released on June 22nd along with the first (non-employee) customer deliveries. I was watching the shareholder meeting from Wednesday (" onclick=";return false; ) and it got me really excited about Tesla, Model S, and this supercharger network. See Elon's comments at 23:00 - 24:00 regarding the network, 53:00-55:35 about his connector on the car.

All this discussion about ChaDeMo vs SAE may be for naught. Tesla may roll out something that we will all have to find a way to adapt to if we want to quick charge our cars. I'm already wanting a supercharger to ChaDeMo converter for my Leaf.

edit5: as of today, 9 June 2015, Tesla announced that they are starting to implement liquid cooled cables on the Superchargers so that they can use a thinner cable that is easier to handle. The first units are already installed at the recently opened Supercharger station in Mountain View.


edit3: current list as of 24Oct2013" onclick=";return false;

edit2: The Supercharger network officially goes live October 19th. Here is an email from Tesla.
We've been actively working on our game-changing Supercharger network. Since the unveiling last month, the installation and testing process has been in full swing. We now have some very good news to share.

As of Friday, October 19th, the first six locations will be open and ready to Supercharge your Model S.

There will be a software update sent to your Model S touchscreen just prior to October 19th. You will receive an email in advance explaining the installation procedure. It is necessary that you install this update prior to Supercharging.

We've placed Superchargers in convenient locations near fast food, other restaurants, attractions and shopping to make your Model S charge time convenient and enjoyable.

Folsom, CA
13000 Folsom Blvd, Folsom, CA 95630
Folsom Premium Outlets

Harris Ranch
24505 W Dorris Ave Coalinga, CA 93210
Near Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant

Gilroy, CA
681 Leavesley Road, Gilroy, CA 95020
Gilroy Premium Outlet, near Sony

Barstow, CA
2812 Lenwood Rd., Barstow, CA 92311
Near Country Inn and Suites

Tejon Ranch
5602 Dennis McCarthy Dr., Lebec, CA 93243
Near Yogurtland

Los Angeles, CA
3203 Jack Northrop Ave., Hawthorne, CA 90250
Near Hawthorne Municipal Airport

We are very excited to have our first six Supercharger locations up and running. October 19th is just the beginning. We will continue to expand the Supercharger network to give you more and more freedom to take your favorite road trip.

For those of you outside California, we are actively working on Supercharger locations in other parts of North America. We'll keep you up-to-date as we continue to expand the network. If you have any questions about Supercharging, our Model S Ownership team is here for you. Call us at 877-778-3752 or email
Let the Supercharging begin!
edit: Here is the detailed information after the unveiling.


Here is a link to an FAQ written by an event attendee. ... ling-event

Code: Select all

1. The superchargers will produce more energy than can be used by charging the car. They are connected to the grid, thus will contribute energy to the grid. Solar City is providing the installation of the PV panels.

2. The large monolith IS functional and contains the hardware and components used by the supercharging system. In some locations, due to local ordinances, they cannot build the monolith, so it will be placed in non-descript boxes near the charging station. It may not be the final design, and looked significantly different 3 days ago. Apparently Elon's space alien idea got shot down in favor of the "rocket ship". 

3. Batteries are used to store energy (same or similar to Model S) and are also located near the charging stations. They are NOT located in the roof of the station due to weight.

4. There will be 2+ stalls per station. They will calculate based upon population density of Model S/X/Gen III units sold in that area, increase the number in areas with greater population.

5. The superchargers do not affect battery life according to one of the supercharger engineers. They will charge in standard mode, ramping the charge down as the battery exceeds 50% charge so that the battery is protected.

6. The supercharging stations have a single on/off button on them, which, when pressed, reveals the charging cable (same Tesla connector). Pressing the charger handle button opens the charge door on the car exactly like the standard charging cable. Once you dock the cable after charging, there is a pause, and then the door closes, hiding the charging cable. I have video and pictures of this in action.

7. 100-150 miles is a reasonable separation distance. This is how they plan to distribute the supercharging stations.

8. It is a DC supercharger.

9. Roadster owners will not be able to use the superchargers. Some owners were very upset to learn this and requested that 70 A charging stations be installed at the supercharging stations. They suggested placing inverters with the charging stations so that the DC current can be converted for the roadsters. George stated that they will consider this, but made no promises. 

10. The superchargers will remain absolutely free to any Tesla vehicle with the appropriate charging hardware. This means that 60 kWh equipped with supercharger hardware, and 85 kWh vehicles will be able to freely charge anywhere within the network of superchargers. The superchargers will not work for vehicles not equipped with the supercharger hardware. I'm sorry I didn't ask if any previously built vehicle can be outfitted later with supercharger hardware for a fee.

Here is a link to show the currently operative locations. ... +locations

And here are some maps for Future locations:



Re: Tesla Supercharger Network

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:52 am
by coolfilmaker
Based on stated charge times these should be about 100 kw. That would make Tony really shit his pants over demand charges.

Re: Tesla Supercharger Network

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:03 am
by palmermd
coolfilmaker wrote:Based on stated charge times these should be about 100 kw. That would make Tony really shit his pants over demand charges.

Tony will not have to worry as I believe (pure speculation) that they will be owned and operated by Tesla. I don't believe they are building chargers to be sold on the open market (again speculating). I'm definitely looking forward to the public announcement of their plan on the 22nd.

Also, if you watched the video, he hinted at their being some connection between solar power and the superchargers, so if they are using solar to capture energy into a battery bank and then charging from a bank of batteries to the car, then you avoid the demand fees altogether. It makes it a little easier when you also own the largest solar panel installation company in the country. Again....looking forward to the announcement and their plan.

Re: Tesla Supercharger Network

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:11 am
by TonyWilliams
That's correct on Tesla owning and operating their DC chargers. I have been in direct contact with them. At some point in the future, they may / probably will open it up for 3rd parties like me.

Any DC charger can pump out the electrons slower than rated, so 90kW may be the design (maybe 100kW total), but certainly it can be used at 48kW, like our LEAF. Or 20kW to match the Tesla AC charger and diminish demand charges.

They have another goofy plan that I can't disclose, but when you hear it, you'll know.

Re: Tesla Supercharger Network

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:25 am
by pii100
I am going to guess banks of capacitors possibly in combination with on-site generation.

Re: Tesla Supercharger Network

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:42 am
by grommet
Having a Tesla Supercharger at Harris Ranch will make a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles effortless with a 265 mile sticker rated pack. Hypermileing not needed. ;-) I can't see why someone would do that regularly, but hey... this makes it possible for the "well to do."

Curious on costing, of course...

Re: Tesla Supercharger Network

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:42 pm
by adric22
TonyWilliams wrote: They have another goofy plan that I can't disclose, but when you hear it, you'll know.
I guess that means whatever it is, you aren't too fond of it.

Still, I watched the video and I was excited by it. I can't afford a Tesla right now. (besides I'm locked into leases on a Leaf and a Volt already) But I could see maybe buying the 3rd gen version in a few years if they stay in business that long.

Re: Tesla Supercharger Network

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:53 pm
by palmermd
pii100 wrote:I am going to guess banks of capacitors possibly in combination with on-site generation.
On-site generation, Yes. But with solar and not a pollution belching, fuel burning generator. Elon is a strong believer in renewable energy and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (Tesla, SolarCity). Solar fits since it is a core competency for his solar company SolarCity. As far as storage for the power generated, I think battery storage is a much more likely scenario. Battery storage is a core competency for Tesla, not capacitors. Combining these two helps show off those competencies in a very public way.

Re: Tesla Supercharger Network

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:41 pm
by evmike
I could image these charging stations being a home for retired Tesla car battery packs.

They could charge from either the solar panels or the night rate electricity.

This could even out the demand to the grid since I don't know if you would want to have 90 kW of solar panels to cover the demand directly.

I think Nissan is doing something like this in Japan at their factory.

Re: Tesla Supercharger Network

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:50 pm
by coolfilmaker
I think the crazy plan has to do with battery swapping at the supercharger stations. That would explain why the smaller capacity cars are not eligible to use them.