Tesla: “99% Of U.S. Population Is Within 150 Miles Of A Supercharger”

Tesla Supercharger

AUG 11 2018 BY MARK KANE 43

Tesla Supercharging expansion makes long-distance travel possible for almost all.

Currently, Superchargers are within 150 miles (240 km) of 99% of U.S. population.

Sure, there are still areas where Superchargers are not available or not ideally located, but it’s improving in terms of both the number of stations and number of stalls at stations.

The official Tesla map indicates 1,327 Supercharger stations with 10,854 stalls. More than 600 are in the U.S., while more than 400 were installed in Europe, and about 300 in Asia.

The largest stations in the U.S. are equipped with 40 stalls, while in China there are several that are 50 stalls strong.

It’s estimated that the Tesla Supercharging network delivers more than 55 MW of power and cumulatively dispensed more than 400 GWh.

Categories: Charging, Tesla

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43 Comments on "Tesla: “99% Of U.S. Population Is Within 150 Miles Of A Supercharger”"

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It’s laughable how some folks still claim CCS is somehow a viable alternative to the Supercharging network. Not even close.

It is, although Electrify America will make it a lot better, you still have problems with slow charging cars that will clog things up, etc. CCS is fine in urban areas but desperately lacking for long distance. I can’t easily get to any major cities with CCS that are all within 4 hour drive, any would be easy to get to with Superchargers.

Those cities are Chicago, Minneapolis/St Paul, St Louis, Kansas City, Omaha, etc. I could get to Milwaukee now.

How is Electrify America going to prevent free chargers? As an extreme example, Kochs decide to reimburse all DCFC cost simply by submitting the receipt. You don’t even have to go that extreme, even one company giving free charging to few dozen Bolts (Maven) clog up the entire city. There’s nothing preventing commercial use (aka, free charging for driver) for standalone charger business.

Tesla police their network to be usable for everyone, and abusers are punished. AFAIK, I think they disallow commercial use of Superchargers except those grandfathered in before the policy change (eg. old Tesloop cars).

I agree. In my area, almost all CCS stations are in city areas. Very few if any are near highways where they are needed for intra and inter state travel.

Those who claims CCS is viable to Supercharger are those who never see CCS in action. Just waited another 30 minutes for free charging Leaf and i3 (one on each handle, 2 minutes apart). Free charging SUCKS!!!!!!

Thanks for reinforcing my point. Some folks still don’t get it..

Yup. I see articles about iPace and Taycan as if they’re some sort of Tesla competitor because of high price, and I just shake my head. They haven’t a clue. Anything non Tesla is crap that should be priced $22K like Bolt, because they will wait sometimes hours at CCS for tapered to hell Maven Bolts, Leafs, i3s that charge for free.

Free charging is not synonymous with CCS. Correlation does not imply causation.

But free charging of any sort is usually a recipe for disaster.

Free charging is synonymous with stand alone charger business which CCS is part of. How are they going to prevent free chargers as I describe in comment above?

The operators could simply refuse doing business with anyone offering free charging (or any other pricing scheme that doesn’t punish overly long sessions) I’m sure?… I’d be very surprised if Porsche for example doesn’t do this for their stations.

(Or they could just add enough stalls for everyone — though I guess that might be prohibitive in terms of cost…)

That’s great but I don’t think a charging network is truly comprehensive until (almost) everybody is within 150 miles range of a Supercharger *in all directions*. After all a supercharger is of not much use if it’s not located in the direction you intend to travel. So I wonder to what extend the SC network has accomplished that sort of coverage.

True, but 99% ‘coverage’ is far less than what Tesla needs for a big advantage over its rivals. Look at the supercharger map and you’ll agree that they’ve got most major metro areas served in the sense of being covered to “where you intend to travel” unless its in the Dakotas.

Almost the entire United States is accessible within the driving distance of the average Tesla vehicle utilizing the Supercharging network. I swear, I think folks here don’t really understand how the very simple Supercharging network works. It’s simple, you plug your destination into your computer and the car calculates the stop(s), length of time at each stop, and how much battery will be left at your ultimate destination. It’s the only vehicle (ICE or EV) that I know of that automatically calculates your trip for you. Why folks still rail against the Supercharging network like it somehow doesn’t work makes no sense to me. Try doing what I just described with CCS/Chademo.

Here’s a map, which network would you rather use??-



That is pretty conclusive evidence. For now the Tesla network is still better.

One thing that is interesting is that if you remove several of these.
1) remove Chademo. Nothing is different. IOW, Chademo really does not contribute.
2) then remove level 2. A lot disappear, BUT, CCS/Tesla still have plenty of coverage. IOW, there is only a few spots where level 2 really makes a difference (basically, west texas and central wyoming ).
3) then flip between CCS off/Tesla on and CCS on/Tesla off. CCS off does not change anything else. BUT with tesla gone, CCS is a DISASTER. You can not go across the nation.The CLOSEST that you have is Colorado to eastern Ne, which is 340 miles. IOW, nothing will cross that.
4) add back in chademo, and you STILL can not cross. In fact, you can not go south to north.
5) adding level 2 to CCS makes it possible to cross, but you will have to charge for what 10 hours? That is insane.

The only decent set-up is Tesla, and by end of year, they should have America and Western Europe Covered.

THANK you. Added to your point is how the anti-Supercharging crowd point out that 1-2 years from now the Porsche/CCS/Electrify America/whatever network will be “just as good” when: 1) Tesla will keep adding to the existing already better Supercharging network from today into infinity, 2) Supercharging network typically charges at twice the speed as the other Level 3’s, and 3) Teslas will be able to use most of the other network(s) but those other vehicles will still not be able to use the Supercharging network.

Yes, but CCS is quickly changing, in a year cross country will be easily doable. See http://www.electrifyamerica.com/locations

Good article, I’m super stoked to see the expansion of EV’s, regardless of brand/type. Something to keep in mind regarding the Electrify America article, the last paragraph:

“Then we have the problem that CCS supports level 2 charging with the level 3 system. Which means slow DCFC vehicles like the ‘17 and ‘18 Chevy Bolt and the upcoming Kia Niro as well as older models like the BMW i3 will clog up Level 3 DCFC plugs, holding them for much longer because they take so long to charge to get adequate range. VW/Porsche hinted that they will charge large fees at their 320/350 kW plugs, which may help deter slower charging vehicles from using them.”

Also, I’m still pro-Tesla on this subject, simply because Teslas have access to BOTH charging networks. Why someone would knowingly purchase an EV with less charging options doesn’t make sense to me. (But then again, my wife doesn’t understand my rationale 90% of the time!!)

Most people never drive across the country in their entire lives. Yes, eventually it will be nice to have the option, but this really isn’t what is holding back the adoption of EVs in my opinion.

Meh. seems like you are letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Sure, at some point it would be nice if there were a supercharger even every 50 miles for absolute convenience of every single person under every conceivable situation. But it isn’t necessary right now.

Besides, you say it best here: “direction YOU intend to travel”. With EV’s Your Mileage Will Vary is more important than ever to consider. If anyone is buying an EV, it is pointless to look at what “(almost) everybody) needs. They just need to know that what THEY individually need for superchargers in the directions they need to drive exist or are under construction and will be available by the time they need them.

There’s already PLENTY of Superchargers canvassed across America and Europe.

Wonder what percentage are within 150 miles of a service center? Or more realistically – an hours drive with normal traffic?

More people bring their vehicles in for service than drive cross-country. OTA updates are great, but some stuff just can’t be handled that way. An now that the ranger service is $3/mi, it’s something Tesla is going to need to address fairly quickly.

Not I, Am on my 4th long distance drive in my Model 3. The SuperChargers are a game changer. And I have yet to go back to a service center. Which is good since I am 200 miles from one. I do have an issue with my glovebox and next week a Ranger is to stop by to fix it. What could be simpler?

what service do you need done on your EV?
You’re probably talking about service for ICE cars.

Service as in mechanical repairs and such.

The man needs to install more superchargers in places like Charleston, South Carolina. So where’s the baseline 35K EV Tesla? It already exists. It’s called a Chevy Bolt EV!

No offense, but you really shouldn’t be in this conversation until you do the research.

My bar to judge an EV is whether it can go from Atlanta to NE Indiana (625 miles) in one day. I make this trip a couple times a year. Renting a car would defeat the purpose. Tesla superchargers are spaced out along both 65 and 75. With a Bolt, I could DCFC crossing I 40, but nothing but level 2 after that. Two days. A year from now when Electrify America gets its network up and running maybe one day.

Electrify America is a great program, I love what they are doing. But they even say they are on a 10 year plan on their own website:

“Our Plan Over a ten year period ending in 2027…”

But with EV’s everyone should check their own needs and not worry about absolutely every charger that they won’t ever use. If EA makes your own trip possible, Bolt has plenty of range to make a 625 mile trip with just a couple of well timed shorter breaks for bathrooms and two longer meal stops that sane people would take anyways. Each stop doesn’t have to be a full charge, or even an 80% or 70% charge. It just needs to be enough charge to get to the next charger for the next bathroom or meal break, and then make it to your destination with the battery low where you can charge overnight.

This! I do a lot of driving, mainly for business. 50k miles per year the last 2 years. My driving is in Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and occasionally Virginia, Indiana and the Carolinas. So I don’t really care about the Dakotas or any other states outside of the ones I travel. Before ordering my Model 3, I analyzed every trip I made every day for almost 6 months. Each time, I asked myself “how would I make this trip in the Tesla?” And each time, I found a solution that added little (if any) time to my trip since I normally stop every 2 – 3 hours anyway (bio breaks, bottle of water, stretch my legs). I briefly considered an iPace, but there is no way on God’s green earth I could make that work with the current CCS network. Maybe 10 years from now, but not now.

Even 10 years from now, CCS will be choked with legacy EV at 50 kW capability, probably many owned by fleet/business providing free charging to their employees. Sure, you will make your trip eventually, you’ll just have to deal with frustration of waiting for tapered to hell EV charging at 2kW.

I don’t know about that. By 2023 CCS will be a different, and better, animal than it is today. Most CCS fast chargers deployed in 2020 will be 75 kW and a few will be faster. Those deployed in 2022 will most probably be over 100 kW and many will be faster then 150 kW.
Progress will also be made on how to charge extra fees for people trying to top off their packs despite the charge taper slowing their charge rate.
Progress is being made.

Many of current CCS are 3kW even with 50 kW capable cars and chargers. Advertised power means nothing when people sit around after the car’s tapered to hell. That won’t change in the future.

1% of the US population is 3 million.

So, I would say that 99.999% of the US population is within 50 miles of gas station.

SC is superior to just about everything electric out there. But to convince the rest of the population to switch over, it still has some ways to go.

Also, people who live withing 150 miles of SC don’t need to charge since they charge mostly at home. But what they need is to cover 99% of the route that they will ever drive…

To be fair, if you’re not within 50 miles of a gas station you’re basically stranded since a car needs the fuel to run. In theory an EV could be charged from a standard wall socket, even if you there is no fast charger anywhere nearby.

“Free Charging” now, conditions people to expect free charging forever. This is a bad thing. There is no incentive to build out an extensive network. It should be the exact opposite right now. The early adopters are the ones that can typically afford to pay for charging. If you could charge close to the same price as gasoline, money can be made, and they will build it. Remember, you still have home charging which will be lower cost, so you will only paying for convenience or long trips.

While the Supercharging network is certainly impressive and deservedly gets lots of positive press I think the rapidly growing Tesla destination charger network is also a game changer especially now that it is spreading to more mainstream hotel chains. Destination charging really helps close the gap with ICE in travel convenience. If one can start each day with 200-300 miles of range one can knock out 500-600 mile days pretty easily.

There are several things that Tesla got right to make their EVs a compelling alternative to ICE.

Arguably the biggest thing Tesla got right was to *in advance* of volume EV production invest in building out a robust convenient and reliable fast charge network for those occasional long distance trips and continue to aggressively add to that network literally each day.

I often read comments of how the Tesla Supercharger Network is no real advantage for Tesla because it’s not a big deal to build a Tesla type fast charge network and that the traditional car makers could easily do that in short order.

There is a big difference between *could* and *have*.

EXACTLY! And to your point, if it was so “easy,” why wouldn’t other manufacturers start doing it? It’s because is ain’t so “easy,” and I’m sure the cost is enormous. Look at the current Supercharging network: 1300+ location with almost 11,000 stalls! Imagine the time, logistics, and money to put in that network. It’s staggering.

Agree to all of this. But keep in mind that CCS has 4000 locations currently in Europe alone. The lack of CCS charging is mostly due to a lack of commitment by any of the big players in the US. With Lauches lining up (etron, eqc, i pace, ID buzz, tycan, others…) and most companies using CCS as a standard this is about to change.

Could we just all agree that currently, Tesla has the far superior fast charging facilities? Whereas CCS or Chademo usually only have 1 or 2 ports available (if they are functional, that is), Tesla has a MINIMUM of 4, and more typically 8 (but sometimes 40) car charging connection cords. I expect the 8 port supercharger by me to start seeing much increased usage seeing as the high sales lately of ‘3’s.

From a technical point of view, it is also interesting that a far greater percentage of Supercharger capacity is used when they are busy, than the typical CCS charger facility – since only the dinky 25 kw models seem to be taxed much. The 50kw and 100kw chargers end up only being slightly used because for some strange reason, manufacturers have much higher voltages and much lower currents, than practical cars need in real life.

So Tesla in addition to having far more facilities, also has far more greatly utilized facilities amoung the busy ones, which makes Tesla Owners happy since the cars charge up relatively quickly.