Tesla Supercharger Network Expected to Grow to 250 in US By End of 2014

JAN 12 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 57

250 Tesla Supercharger Expected to be Operational in US by End of 2014

250 Tesla Supercharger Expected to be Operational in US by End of 2014

Judging by Tesla’s forward-looking Supercharger map, it appears as though the automaker targets having ~250  operational Superchargers in the US by the end of 2014.

There Seems to be ~250 Dots on This 2014 Map

There Seems to be ~250 Dots on This 2014 Map

As 2013 came to end, only 50 Superchargers existed in the US.

We know of dozens under construction right now and we’re certain that Tesla’s rapid Supercharger rollout rate can be maintained, but does 250 by year’s end seem reachable?

How many Superchargers does the US need to be Supercharged?  We’re sure Tesla has a figure in mind, but we’re wondering what you think.  Is there a figure you have in mind?

Assuming Gen III will be Supercharge-capable, will Tesla then have to install hundreds or thousands more Superchargers?  Or should the automaker just add more stalls at its existing sites?

Categories: Charging, Tesla

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57 Comments on "Tesla Supercharger Network Expected to Grow to 250 in US By End of 2014"

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Good question. I guess we shouldnt forget that there will be many other fast chargers around by the time and at a rate of 50kw or more theyll certainly do the job even if its not exactly the same thing. Agree?

I disagree. Except for a couple spots in the US (parts of Washington and Oregon), the Chademo charging network is extremely spotty to non-existent. That issue is compounded by the fact that all Chademo equipped cars have one third the range of the Teslas, so to have a competing network you would have to have a minimum of triple the density. Here in Wisconsin all of my trips are now possible on the Supercharger network, but there is only a single Chademo charger in the whole state, and that charger isn’t placed in a way that you could use it to travel to any other big city. Unless something dramatically changes (such as Nissan offering a 200+ mile car and building their own strategically placed charging network), only the Supercharger network will be a viable replacement for gasoline.

Ok, I got a little bit off your point there (that there would also be more Chademo chargers), but I don’t think those chargers will be relevant the way the Superchargers are.

I think that if the tesla’s can take a Chademo, supercharger and a Level 2 then there will be little excuse about range in a few years time….. maybe more than just a few years but if you can level 2 at home and work, fast charge on “the once a year road trip” and Chademo when you go to see granny who lives just a few miles out of range on a round trip then life will be very comfortable for a tesla owner. Clearly, this assumes that there will be lots more Chademo and level 2 chargers than super chargers. What ever happens I think Tesla are going to have complete control of the long range BEV market for the next 5-10 years with anyone starting from here having a pretty steep hill to climb to catch them. How many people actually drive enough miles in a day to need a supercharger I am not sure, if you can charge at home and work and you have a 200 mile range then will you need a supercharger more than once in a while? I am really not sure that network capacity is going to be a major issue… Read more »

Is this the couple of spots you’re referring to?

CHAdeMO and Tesla Superchargers December 2013:

The Chademo map (the one with the orange pins) that you’re showing includes Superchargers. Check PlugShare to see for yourself. Besides that, even in areas that do have Superchargers, they are only useful for local trips. Take my example. I live in Madison, WI. There is one Chademo charger here, another in Milwaukee, and there are a bunch in Chicago. However, there doesn’t exist a Chademo compatible car that could get me to either Milwaukee or Chicago. Same for driving to Minneapolis. On the other hand, I can easily drive to Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis today, in a Tesla, using the supercharger network. Take an even more specific example. It’s a 270 mile drive to Minneapolis for me. To be safe, I only need one Supercharger, and would only have to wait about 30 minutes to charge long enough to have a safe buffer. If I drove a Leaf, There would need to be 5 chargers along the same route, and I would need to spend over two hours charging. That’s irrelevant though, since there are currently zero chargers on that route. Anyways, not a knock on Leafs, but they will remain city cars because the Chademo network isn’t being… Read more »

Whoopsie, I wish I could edit. In the first line of my second paragraph, I meant Chademo, not Supercharger.

Too bad Santa didn’t bring us an editing feature
plus that altogether useful up/down vote button…

It might behoove me to keep my trap shut though,
esp. when I commentate on the i3… 😉

Nissan dealerships are upgrading. They just need a way to invite outside owners of non Nissan’s in and pay for a charge. There will be others. Remember, it is not Tesla versus the world. It is the world which includes Tesla.

Tesla will add more chargers to existing sites when utilization gets too high. They have set most of them up with underground conduit for an additional supercharger serving two more spaces.

However, space is limited at most sites. Also, additional sties are needed to prevent customers having to take longer routes because there are no Superchargers on the shortest or fastest route. Therefore I think that most of the supercharger expansion for Gen3 will be at new sites.

More 50 kW DC fast chargers will be a big help to Tesla customers with the proper adapter, and they are critically important for other EV users. I wish there was a way to get more of them deployed.

GSP

Tesla has all the data. They know where chargers are needed. So I think it will be a combination of both; more sites by doing research and increasing spots at existing sites where needed.

+1 KDAWG

Bingo!

I think 50 kW DC fast chargers are a complete waste of money in most cases.

It’s not enough energy transfer rate for a reasonably comfortable long distance travel cadence. Tesla’s original 90 kW Superchargers were pretty much the minimum for that.

It’s way too expensive for intracity travel. 10-20 kW is enough for hotels, workplace charging, etc. One can probably install 5-10x L2 chargers for a single 50 kW L3 charger. Which strategy would benefit EV adoption higher, having 2-6 L2 chargers at a hotel or 1 L3 charger? Airports only need L1 or very low amperage L2 and potentially many of them.

The vast majority of charging is going to happen at home anyways.

I have been using 50 kW charging for almost three years in Houston. The LEAF would be hard to own in a city this big without it. There is only 18 for this massive city and it is sufficient to get anywhere you need to go (and back home).

If I was forced to use L2 instead, my stops would be 3 hours not 15 min. That would make me not use the LEAF on some trips or not make it to dinner with friends after work.

I do not think that superchargers will last long. The new batteries and capacitors will hold enough charge for more than 1000 miles. At this point home charghing will dominate. It will also be that you can last for a month or more without charging. If a car can go 2000 miles on a single charge then it will be charged 6 or 7 times a year. I think that the super charging station are good for installing solar roofs and collect energy that is feed to the grid.

The amount of electricity flowing to a home is rather limited. I don’t think I’d want to look at recharge times for a battery that large. I know I don’t want to sit in a car for 14 hours without a break (1000 miles @ 70mph).

Why then not simply go into your house and ‘wait’ under the shower, at your dinner table, in front of your tv or in your bed? 😉

No need to wait inside your car, unless you like to watch the progress bar…

While I don’t share Alaa’s optimism about 1000+ mile batteries! I do think that all charging would take place at home after that. You don’t need to have a fully charged 1000+ mile battery to go to work in the morning. So even in the case that you managed to fully deplete it, by the time you woke up the next morning you would have 300 miles of range. Drive 50 miles and you still have 250. The next morning you wake up with 550 miles of range. Etc. A 1000+ mile battery and a regular L2 charger at home would be all you needed. I’m still not holding my breath for a 1000+ mile battery, but I’ll be happy if it happens!

Once they are denser, they will install fewer batteries. In fact, that is the point. Get to a chemistry to triple energy density and then you can make three cars for the same input resources. It is better to then use the higher density batteries for hybridization of the trucking fleet.

Are you planning on having a 200-300 kW station at your home?

Unless the prices on batteries get ridiculously cheap so that they almost throw them after you there is no chance that you will have more capacity than covering 90-95% of your trips.
When the price and weight go down and efficiency goes up the range will probably not go higher than 350 real world miles.
Home charging will always dominate, like it does today and will tomorrow. But it will still be pretty slow and mainly for your daily needs.

+1 Mikael

As you say home charging will always dominate personal EV as it does today. Charging is needed for daily miles driven not battery capacity. I rarely have to charge more than 100 miles on my Model S and even that is pretty seldom. A small percentage of people drive more than 120 miles on a daily basis.

Just to add my 2 cents, even if 2000 mile batteries are possibly, would anyone bother implementing them? Why not just put a 500 mile battery in there, save the $ and space? How often are you driving more than 500 miles/day?

Why not have a 2000 miles range? We are used to thinking that we have to fill up gas or recharge. It is just our normal way of thinking. In the old days we had to feed the horse and give it time to sleep and rest. Now we fill up and drive without rest for the ICE. A 2000 miles range is possible and will change our way we think. I agree that the price will have to drop and it will. I think the thing that will drive the cost down and energy density up is the new smart phones. I have one but I preffer my old one where I charged it once a week. It did the job. They have to make better batteries for me to like these new smart phones and once these batteries are out then not only Tesla will do well but all others.

There is just no way… *sigh*…

You will have a cold fusion reactor in the car before the automakers offer 2000 miles range EV’s.

And you and me will probably be dead before one of us is proven right anyway 😛

It might be possible if you manage to get a battery that is 70 times lighter than today. Then you will have the same weight as today… and then you will “only” need 1,2 million smart phones batteries in your car.

And then regarding the price…

I do a lot of long trips where they are like 400 and 900 miles and in some cases 1200 miles. The idea of a 1000 mile battery if it existed it still would not make the existing super chargers go away. The reason is why is when you go on a 1000 mile trip there is a good chance still that where you go you might be able to plug in such as a lot of hotels could still not offer anything. Or if you drive to a family members place and they don’t let you park anywhere near a outlet or you go to a place that is unfriendly to EV’s or remote.Having access to the Tesla super charger system would be good in a lot of ways. The first being say you are going to grandmas house and the house has old wiring or they don’t want you to park in the garage or they think you are going to drive up their electric bill you can’t plug in along with that it’s very difficult to plug in at the hotels and restaurants along the way. The Tesla super charger acts like a regular fueling station where… Read more »

Aside from the fantasy aspect, it’s simply a waste of money for a single car.

You can build ten 200-mile EVs with the same amount of batteries, and split the cost 10 ways.

It’s 191 dots on that 2014 map and it’s 242 on the 2015 map (including the ones in Canada on both maps).

Somewhere between 500 and 1000 are needed to cover the whole country. After that it’s just a matter of adding chargers depending on demand and filling in rare blanks when enough cars are sold.

I think they could raise the number of them to 600 by the end of 2015 but we would still need thousands more.

The shaded circle mapping hides the problem. Triangular driving patterns, nobody wants the inconvenience of going 40-50 miles off-route due to having an EV over an ICE. The true nationalization of superchargers would have to be 4000-8000 sites. This means, consideration of far more 2-head units and not 6-8 heads. And, one unit CHAdeMO solutions that can supplement. I personally think the SC network is overkill. It serves the purpose but many drivers do not need it. Hotels and airports first, in my view. But we all have different needs. Companies like Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott have to step up. 50A charging spots in every Marriott across the nation could help but they would need to have a form of pre-assignment when making a reservation. For me, Volt solves this problem within our current culture of ICE. A Volt with 150 mile range in different configurations and the use of range extention would be a huge success. And then you only need gas for long trips and electricity for all local driving. (i use the term Volt instead if EREV…any EV with range extender applies)

Yup, EREV is the future.

Once Tesla’s get their shit together (which admittedly may take years), they will have a cost and convenience advantage over the Model E by having a 100-mile battery paired with a $2k 30kW generator.

They will certainly have to add sites, and already have a 2015 map available.
http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger

I suspect the human factor will require stops every 200-250 miles, regardless of battery improvements.

Self-driving cars will reduce the human factor to food and bathroom breaks in the near future. Highway auto-pilot is one of the easier things to do when it comes to self-driving cars and then it might be a lot more than 200-250 miles per humanly needed stop.

I would go nuts if I had to sit in a car for 250 miles straight.

Really? I’d imagine getting in and then just getting 3 hours of sleep. Or sleeping one and watching a movie. Or watching a movie and then doing some surfing.

Well, some people can’t sit still but I would imagine that quite a few could do that time. Especially if you go by night.

I’d rather have a knife slowly inserted into me throughout the duration of a 250 mile drive than sit in the driver seat not being able to drive and do nothing.

Tesla has zero super-chargers in the entire northern New England region (MA, VT, NH, ME). Considering both pop density and politics, this is beginning to really stand out. I’d guess a “you first” approach has become a stand off, at least here in MA. No concrete evidence of public paid-for, or even grant supported, L3 exists. The costs of at least grant funding, even if prescribed for a couple dozen L3 units, is just not material but would have a huge positive effect on roll-out. It’s the optics that it seems to me the pols don’t want to flirt with. Yes, even for a blue state.

Intereseting observation pj. yes it does kind of look like Tesla is ignoring that area with no chargers added between 2014 and 2015.

I think Tesla is hitting the EV spots first, and also creating his path for the cross-country trip. Once that is done, it will be interesting to see where they start popping up next.

They are adding super chargers there during 2014. And with very little people living there they seem to be adding way more than proportional. And the East Greenwich super charger is already covering most of the populated area anyway connecting Boston with the rest of the country.

I-95 is a big travel corridor, right up to Canada. The western sea-board has excellent coverage up through northern, CA, OR and WA. I can accept that their power rates are cheaper (OR/WA), but population doesn’t really thin out until about Portland, ME, or perhaps after you get ~40 miles up into VT/NH. It’s the MA Tesla registrations vs. installed chargers which most surprise. The cars are certainly easy to spot.

@Mart
Yes always fun to play w/ the interactive map. IEV’s should always put the link to the interactive map in the article body. I’m liking the AZ build out. Flag and Gallup are up and running. Interestingly, it looks like they may have one in Gila Bend to open up the route to san diego. Also getting one soon in Holbrook. Gila Bend also has a solar thermal plant with salt storage up and running.

Is the Supercharger network going to be free for other models than the Model S? I thought I read that only Model S would have free charging. It is being offered to allow early adopters to make long range trips. As more models and chargers are added, won’t the owners of other models have to pay? A century ago, Ford built the first gas stations but then other companies came in to compete. Isn’t this Tesla’s plan as well? Surely Tesla doesn’t plan on offering free charging for life for all cars going forward. While that would be nice of them, the costs are going to keep going up.

You pay for the charging when you buy the Model S 85kWh, so it’s not really free. No one knows if Gen 3 will be in this same scenario. I’m guessing they will not include the “free charging” but you can buy it as an option. This is what they do with the Model S 60kWh. It’s a $2,000 option.

Yeah, I know it’s not totally free…but just like with bandwidth caps with “unlimited” data plans, I wonder of they would start limiting the number of free recharges allowed… or if they will really start jacking up the price for that option. $2000 is nothing for lifetime recharges, considering how much people spend on gas each year.

It would be interesting to know how many Model S owners actually use the Superchargers.. and how much they use them.

Some quick math, Tesla has sold 20,146 Model S’. If $2,000 was baked into the price of each one, that is $40,292,000 towards the Superchargers. If each Supercharger costs $150,000, that means they have already collected enough money to build 268 Superchargers. We can nit pick about how many Model S are the 60kWh versions without Supercharging, or how much each station costs, but either way, the stations are pretty much paid for and also the electricity to fuel the vehicles for their life.

I don’t think there will be too much of a “bandwidth” problem (at least not for a very long time), since the idea of the Superchargers is for rare use on long trips, not for daily use. And if people keep giving them $2,000, they can just keep building more.

I think it would also depend on who’s buying the cars right now such as if someone did a lot of long business trips where they drive 300 miles in a day in a model S they could easly take on several super charging secessions a week. But if you have someone who doesn’t really travel and charges at home they could technically not use a super charger for months or even years or in some cases never see or use one and it wouldn’t matter.

Another thing determning super charger use is how close they are to a group of people with Tesla cars.

It’s much more convenient to charge at home, work, and other places one regularly goes and typical costs are low. As a percentage, few will use unless they need it for long distance driving. Not many people drive more than 100 miles from their home more than several times per year. The chargers will certainly get use but nothing like the utilization per vehicle like gas stations. Their value is even more psychological than actual.

In areas of high electricity costs, Tesla may have more of an issue on their hands. Hopefully TOU billing by utilities will encourage off peak charging with low costs. That is already happening or already in place in many areas. It makes tons of sense (and cents) for the Utes so should spread everywhere.

In order to sell the Model E at a reasonable cost, supercharging will,have to be an option and perhaps even subscription. Such as $1000 option and $10/event. $2000 for model E supercharging access would be foolish for a consumer car.

Mikael counted 191 dots on the 2014 map and 242 on the 2015 map.
Anyway, if they wanted to have 250 by year end, they would only have to continue adding them at the present pace.
In the last 5 weeks, SCs coming online in US have been: 3, 5, 4, 2, 7. Average: 4.2 per week.
4 x 50 weeks = 200 (plus 50 at 1 January 2014 it’s 250).

The record week with 7 SC openings is the one ending today (or having ended yesterday).
4 new Superchargers have been added last Friday to the official Tesla’s website list:
– Somerset, PA (first in PA)
– Flagstaff, AZ
– Farmington, NM
– Grand Junction, CO
3 had been opened earlier in the week.

Total in US: 58
Europe:14
World: 72

Note 1: a few days ago Inside EVs already reported the (then unofficial) opening of the Grand Junction, CO Supercharger, as well as of the one in Madison, WI. This second one has not yet been added to Tesla’s website list. (Sure it will soon be…)

Note 2: the Global weekly record is still with
Week 2013 Dec 9-15:
3 in US, 1 in Switzerland, 4 in Germany.
Total: 8

They seem to have been pushing it a lot to open now to finish the coast to coast coverage. More have been completed than started building on. But a 10+ super chargers per month pace doesn’t seem unlikely and my guess is that it will be around 15 per month in average in the US in 2014.
Or in total numbers about 210 super chargers in the US (+Canada) when 2015 comes.

And they will surely do 15 a month in 2015 which would mean around 400 at the end of 2015, meaning the dots on the map will be increased a lot.

Now let’s hope that there will be 10 per month super chargers opening in Europe soon too. 100 super chargers in Europe would cover a lot so once they get starting the coverage will be great, just look at how much they have covered with just 14 super chargers.

Think for people to be able to comfortably plan their trips around them the next Supercharge opportunity on their route should never be more than ~50 miles away. Since there is 157K miles of highway in the US that would put the number of Superchargers needed at ~3000 units.

So it looks like Tesla has it’s work cut out for it but if it really plans on selling hundreds of thousand of cars per year some day it will both have the budget and the need for every single one of them.

Or 785 stations if they plan on putting a station every 200 miles of those 157,000.

Try to plan your trip conveniently around charging stations that are in most cases even beyond the range of the vehicle (S/60, Model E, S/85 if driven at speed).

One should be able to find a charging opportunity when it’s convenient rather than let the availability of sparse charging opportunities dictate one’s trip. That takes a very dense network, even 50 miles interspacing may only be considered marginally convenient compared to the longer range and shorter fill up times gasoline provides.

When I was driving long distance 800/day only stopping for gas, was a good day. Of course compared to some guys I was rather a wimp. I did do 2300 miler once straight through, not recommended as I began to hallucinate. Of course most of that is moot since 90% of trips are less than 25 miles. Anyway maybe a 1000 mi. battery though I highly doubt it, aside from the technical difficulties we don’t really need it. 250 superchargers by the end of 2014 seems a bit ambitious and in some ways not necessary. Though if they build that many they will probably get used.
I would focus on the interstates first, mainly the 3 east/west routes and the 3 north/south, which is what Tesla seems to be doing. The total number of highway miles in the U.S. should not be the main focus.

What is wrong with the Tesla super chargers now is that sure a lot of places are in the range of a super charger but in the case of driving down a highway route between two cities that are in the range of a super charger you could drive 200 miles on your whole route and still be 200 miles from the nearest super charger.

Look a little closer OR. That is not their build out plan. They are still filling holes along their first paths but there are only a few left to fill. They do show a 200 or 250 mile radius around their stations but almost all are 150 to less apart and all will be when built out. The Supercharger map should default to 150 radius and allow you to change the view to 200 or 250 if you wish.

They will basically have enough superchargers by the end of 2015, but they will want to fill in some more in order for people to be able to take the quickest most direct route to their destination.

And if i had a Tesla i wouldn’t need to use any.