Tesla Urban Supercharger: Compact 72 kW Stations Designed For City Centers

2 months ago by Jay Cole 82

Tesla’s Urban Supercharger

Tesla is rounding out its Supercharging network with the addition of new, sleeker stations designed for urban centers – hence the name Urban Supercharger.

The more compact stations will be used in more populated areas, and can deliver up to 72 kW worth of charge.  The first function stations are already set-up in Chicago (10 units) and Boston (8 units).

As, and unlike today’s larger Supercharging stations, “charge splitting” doesn’t come into play if more Teslas are in the area getting a boost.

To increase efficiency and support a high volume of cars, these Superchargers have a new architecture that delivers a rapid 72 kilowatts of dedicated power to each car.” – states Tesla

Tesla goes on to note that this results in  “consistent charging times around 45 to 50 minutes for most drivers.”

Pricing is unchanged from the company’s existing Supercharger network.  Tesla also plans to place these Superchargers in places too tricky for its traditional set-up.

Tesla Model S at Urban Supercharger (Photo krtrice/Imgur via Teslarati)

On reddit, jwardell posted this video of the Urban Superchargers in Boston:

Tesla statement on the Urban Supercharger:

It is extremely important for our customers to be able to easily charge their cars. The most convenient way to charge is to plug in overnight at home, and for most people, this is all that is needed. However, for customers who use their car for long distance travel, there is a growing network of Superchargers located along highways on popular driving routes. We have also installed thousands of Destination Charging connectors at hotels, resorts and restaurants that replicate the home charging experience when you’re away from home. Now, as part of our commitment to make Tesla ownership easy for everyone, including those without immediate access to home or workplace charging, we are expanding our Supercharger network into city centers, starting with downtown Chicago and Boston.

Supercharger stations in urban areas will be installed in convenient locations, including supermarkets, shopping centers and downtown districts, so it’s easy for customers to charge their car in the time it takes to grocery shop or run errands. They also have the same pricing as our existing Superchargers, which is far cheaper than the cost of gasoline.

Superchargers in urban areas have a new post design that occupies less space and is easier to install, making them ideal for dense, highly populated areas. To increase efficiency and support a high volume of cars, these Superchargers have a new architecture that delivers a rapid 72 kilowatts of dedicated power to each car. This means charging speeds are unaffected by Tesla vehicles plugging into adjacent Superchargers, and results in consistent charging times around 45 to 50 minutes for most drivers.

We will continue to expand our charging networks so that Tesla owners always have abundant and reliable access to charging wherever they go.

More information and Supercharging maps are available here.

Via Teslarati, photo via Imgur Krtrice

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82 responses to "Tesla Urban Supercharger: Compact 72 kW Stations Designed For City Centers"

  1. BenG says:

    It’s a positive that they are expanding the network to urban locations, and they have the more compact form and a steady charge rate, but it’s too bad to see them installing new Superchargers that are limited to significantly lower power than existing ones.

    Too bad they couldn’t/didn’t keep ~125 kw max power as the standard.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      If many new cars are Model 3s, they will not charge faster than 70-80kW even on the faster superchargers anyway.

      1. Quebec 100% EV says:

        MTN Ranger – Standard range Model 3 will charge at max 60kw and long range Model 3 will charge at max 80 or 90kw.
        So this will indeed slightly affect those who are planning on getting the long range version.

        1. Nix says:

          actually, we don’t know what the MAX is for either car. All we know is the AVERAGE is over 30 minutes (based on 170 miles and 130 miles per 30 minute charge session).

          We don’t know if that starts at 120 kW, and quickly tapers down, or if that is based upon a constant charge rate throughout the 30 minutes with zero taper.

    2. pjwood1 says:

      Better than the 6.6KW ChargePoint units. By my math 72KW is no different than a gas-pump pumping 10X as quickly. 115KW supercharging tapers, after ~15 mins anyway.

      The strategy coming clear is this is the wattage a city-dweller, who has no access to an outlet, will put up with and still buy the Tesla Model 3. Mated to Model 3’s efficiency, it’ll probably be another win for Tesla. Nothing the others should sneeze at.

      Interesting, too, how they went with a strategy that focuses on each city’s EV-ecology.

      1. BenG says:

        Yeah, Tesla is crushing all comers with their charging station strategy. 72 KW is nothing to sneeze at. Beats any current commercial CCS or Chademo charger out there.

        Tesla intelligently targets installations and deploys numerous chargers at each site so it makes a vastly more effective network than the existing infrastructure.

      2. Oswald says:

        While it’s certainly a great addition for urban centers it is nowhere near the speed of a gas pump. A gas pump can refuel 400 miles in a couple minutes. If a Model S uses 32 kWh per 100 miles, a 72 kW charger could charge 225 miles in an hour. For comparison, to charge a vehicle 400 miles (that would be a 128 kWh battery) in 3 minutes would require a 2,560 kW charger, or 2.56 MW.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Charging 350 miles in @6 minutes should be entirely sufficient. It doesn’t make much sense to install much more expensive equipment, and pay for much higher power, just to save the average customer 3 minutes out of his life. How much would you pay for those three minutes? I can’t see the average person being willing to spend twice as much, or even half again as much, to charge his car, just to save three minutes.

          EVs don’t need to charge as fast as filling the tank on a gasmobile to be fully competitive. A handful of extra minutes to charge, and that’s only when you’re not charging at home or at work, isn’t going to stop most people from passing on all the advantages of a BEV over a gasmobile!

          1. Priusmaniac says:

            Yes indeed but Oswald’s calculation still indicate the desired long term target. If not the full 2.5 MW, having 1 MW would certainly be desirable. That is even more so if pickup or semi trucks are concerned.

            On the other hand for these shopping center chargers where you typically spend one hour or more 73 KW is indeed appropriate.

            1. ziv says:

              I mildly disagree that 1 MW charging is all that desirable, considering the incredible cost and complexity it would bring to the table. SuperChargers are going to be used by the vast majority of drivers a rather limited amount of the time.
              Both the SuperCharger and DCFC networks would be better served by realizing the obvious, that more drivers would be better served by an incremental approach to increasing charge speeds. And that relatively ubiquitous 75 kW charger stations would be more help than a relatively rare 150 kW charge station this year and next.
              Every 2 or 3 years we will probably see the average speed of new installations double up to around 300 kW stations actually being installed in some numbers in the 2025 time frame. Not as fast as we would like, but probably soon enough for the adoption of BEV’s by the majority of American drivers. Europe may beat the US to this goal by a couple years.
              Once the majority of chargers are able to charge at around 300 kW, and most packs are able to accept that charge rate for most of the charge session, the average “pit stop” with an electric car will last longer than the charge session, due to the need to hit the head, grab a soda and stretch your legs a bit.

        2. Robert Middleswarth says:

          My Mini Van gets around 300 miles a fill-up and takes me longer than 3 mins to fill up. Many times it takes 10 min just to pull into the pump. Then you have to insert your CC and get it approved. Then start pumping and you have to stand there the entire time as gas burns. Most of the time it generally takes me 20 min to gas and if you happened to be in Atlanta this last weekend with all those people fleeing FL it was more like an hour to fill up.

      3. Spider-Dan says:

        What math are you referring to?

        A “normal” Tesla SC will refuel up to 300mi/hr. A standard gas pump will refuel a 25MPG car at 15,000mi/hr.

    3. chibi_kurochan says:

      Another reason for the lower rate is also battery life. Aside from what others have mentioned, load balancing etc.

  2. MikeG says:

    Smart idea. Tesla optimized the current superchargers for fastest charging possible if no other vehicles present (charger splitting), while these new urban superchargers will give consistent recharge times regardless of present usage.

    1. unlucky says:

      It will also cut their demand charges. And that means they can offer lower prices to people charging. That’s important if you’re going to try to get urban customers who can’t charge elsewhere to use this as their charging.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        “Will also cut demand charges.”

        Wouldn’t bet on that. 2 cars charging next to each other will draw supposedly 144 kw from the chargers, – although IF the wall boxes are the new charging bays and an emphasis has been made on efficiency (the existing rack cabinet models used to billow out heat when fully working) then it that sense there would be a slightly reduced electricity bill – for Boston, that is…. They seem to pay about double what Buffalo pays as it is.

        It is interesting that the size of these new products is not really increasing that much.

        Perhaps basic costs have put a defacto limit on charging speed. 7 years ago now I thought the limit for an individual car was going to be 150 kw. Tesla seems to be saying the ‘most modern’ limit is 72 kw, at least for places with confiscatory electricity rates.

        Oh and as far as the obtuse BOLT display comment goes, this was with a charger limited to 30 amperes, so the 32 ampere theoretical limitation in the case I was mentioning was an irrelevancy. The BOLT could have an 80 ampere charger in it, but in the case I mentioned, the 30 ampere number is the only one that mattered. 8 kw is impossible with the car on and using parasitic juice, 7 kw is not even possible.

        1. unlucky says:

          I had assumed that with the 120kW chargers there were times when two cars on a charger are together taking more than 144kW.

          With how demand charges work a single tall peak (of 10 minutes or 6 minutes or whatever) will increase the cost of every kWh. So if you can keep the peaks down you win. And I figured this would keep the peaks down.

          If two adjacent stalls never add up to more than 144kW on the 120kW system then I agree with you, this won’t decrease demand charges.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            “6 or 10 minutes”.

            You obviously aren’t conversant with this stuff. Demand charges in North America are regulated by the individual state’s Public Service Bureau, and are either 15 minute or 30 minute integrated averages. 6 minutes of usage doesn’t sway the bill much.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “2 cars charging next to each other will draw supposedly 144 kw from the chargers…”

          Yeah, whether or not the station will generate a demand fee will depend on how many cars are charging there at once, and how much total power the local electrical utility is willing to provide without charging a demand charge.

          If there are a lot of cars at one station, that’s going to create a lot more demand for power than just a few at normal, 145-kW rated Superchargers.

  3. MTN Ranger says:

    We’re getting some of these at a new urban supercharger location near me. Tons of apartments near it.

  4. ffbj says:

    San Fran, Portland, next, though the real estate is high, it fits the paradigm, upscale, yuppie domains.
    Anywhere where gentrification reigns.

    So it will be neighborhoods within the city, is what I am getting at. Not citywide. If you catch my meaning, if you get my drift.

  5. unlucky says:

    Well that’s interesting. Slower charging: the new frontier?

    1. William says:

      WATTs another 5 or 10 minutes, at the charging rate of 72 kW to 80%, going to hurt the Model 3 driver? Not a bad deal if you have been L3 Leaf 40/45 kW Fastcharging for years.

      When the older 24 kWh Nissan Leafs starts to taper down to 36 kW at about 60%SOC, from between 40/45 kW, its at HALF the New Tesla Urban Compact Supercharger charge rate. This still makes us FREAKwent L3 24 kWh Leaf chargers, want the Model Y ASAP!

      1. unlucky says:

        What’s a few more minutes? Something Tesla fans seem to find reason to complain about when talking about other EVs.

        Somehow Tesla is getting a PR bump from slower charging when everyone else gets dinged for it.

        I find it strange.

        1. Mark.ca says:

          Maybe you should take a look at how they compare to others. Going down from 125 to 75 is still way better that going up from 3.3 to 6.6.

        2. pjwood1 says:

          Name another manufacture with a 100+KW network, that is “slowing” to 72KW charging, and you will stop sounding as if you have three heads.

          EV owners complain about destination charging that drops form 6KW, to 3KW. Tesla installs destination chargers (or downtown charging) at 72KW, and you’re trying to be a smart Alec.

          Is a floppy disk better than going from a flash drive, to a DVD? The auto-industry is filled with floppy disks.

          1. unlucky says:

            These aren’t destination chargers. Destination chargers can be acquired for under $600 (if Tesla doesn’t flat out give them to you). These are nothing like that, they don’t fill the same niche.

            And your floppy disk thing makes no sense.

            1. pjwood1 says:

              i am hearing crickets, not about other “non-slow” options you must have in mind.

              nohing to stop use of these chargers as “destination”, even if city-dwellers find them just swell.

              1. unlucky says:

                Crickets?

                You didn’t ask me a real question. Why did you expect some kind of answer?

                You only asked me about floppy disks and that question isn’t worth answering.

                I’m not sure what you’re expecting from me.

          2. Prad Bitt says:

            +1.44!

        3. SparkEV says:

          “Tesla is getting a PR bump from slower charging”

          That isn’t the case due to load sharing. With conventional supercharger, having two on same circuit effectively cut the power up to half. For busy sites and times, this new unit is actually power increase for many times / locations.

          I visited a local supercharger site, and it was almost full, no doubt with free chargers. If I had to charge (hopefully some day), I would’ve been as low as 45 kW with existing supercharger. Indeed, many plugshare comments complain of low charging power at this site sometimes. This new one is welcome news, especially for busy sites and times.

          1. unlucky says:

            Your post is a great example of how somehow slower charging can be turned to a positive by some people when it’s Tesla involved.

            It’s baffling.

            1. BenG says:

              Well, nothing wrong with pointing out that the new chargers will be faster than what you get from some existing supercharger sites, on average, due to crowding and sharing power.

              And while 72 kw is slower than an unshared regular supercharger, it’s a heck of a lot faster than what’s being deployed around the country now by other standards like CCS or Chademo.

              I would have preferred to see 125 kw, why not? But it’s still a hell of a thing – installing a national fast-charge network at the pace Tesla has done it. These urban sites will add a lot of utility to the network.

              Just amazing to me that Tesla intends to boost the network so radically this year. They are serious about making this electric car thing work. 72 kw is fast enough for me to not complain.

            2. SparkEV says:

              It’s a matter of theoretical vs reality. Theoretically if all superchargers do not share power, this new one is slower. But the reality seem to be there’s constant power sharing based on plugshare comments and my limited number of observations (always over half full). Then the new unit is increase in charge power in reality.

              This is like the argument in theory for SparkEV being quicker than Bolt in long distance trips due to higher average DCFC power. But in reality, waiting at / to get to DCFC makes Bolt lot quicker.

              1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

                AFAIK Tesla supercharger with 2 shared stalls was upgraded to 135 kW and later to 145 kW total. Individual car limit is different story and may be lower.
                https://electrek.co/2016/07/20/tesla-supercharger-capacity-increase-145-kw/
                Half of 145 kW is the same 72.5 kWh as this “compact” one.

                Sure you can see all kinds of different power restrictions or malfunctions in practice, but it isn’t directly related and will not make slower one faster. You already can provide 72 kWh per car on 145 kWh charger with 2 cars charging.

                1. SparkEV says:

                  Have they upgraded all superchargers or is that only for new charger installations? I would think they do that for new chargers and slowly upgrade the old ones.

                  Few comments from San Diego Supercharger in past few months show some claim almost 120 kW while some claim as low as 25 kW. Here’s a sample.

                  “starts at full power (>100kW) then fairly quickly drops to about 50kw, even on a nearly empty battery (so it’s not the taper curve)”

            3. Get Real says:

              I have a feeling unlucky that you are doomed to be forever baffled.

        4. Bill Howland says:

          “Tesla getting a PR bump from slower charging”.

          That is overstating the case – I already meantioned how a fully utilized area will actually have a bit more juice for each car.

          The other thing is, if the alternative is nothing at all, people will learn to ‘suffer along’ with ‘only’ 72,000 watts.

          To Tesla’s credit, the new equipment has a nice sleek, modern look, – missing from most of the existing supercharger installations.

          High end buyers (think APPLE, etc) want everything associated with their ‘Tesla Experience’ to be ‘upper crust’.

          Stylish Dispensing stations don’t affect the car it is true, but does affect how the car owner feels about it, as well as a positive influence on the Tesla Brand in general.

          1. stimpacker says:

            Unlucky appears to have an axe to grind with Tesla.

            He’s just using the wrong way to describe this news.

            When everybody else has NORMAL chargers, Tesla has LUDICROUS chargers. Now Tesla is adding INSANE chargers.

            Also, notice they are large, multi-bay stalls, nothing like to silly 2-stall CHAdeMO/CCS stations.

            For EVs, this is good news.
            For Tesla shorts, this is not good news.

            1. unlucky says:

              There are DCFCs in Sacramento that go to 62.5kW. These aren’t insane next to those. These are faster but not insanely so.

              And again, it is amazing people can spin slower charging into a positive. It doesn’t work for anyone else.

              Superchargers started at 90kW. When it went up to 100, 110 and 120, people said how amazing. 120kW now! Great stuff!

              Now it’s getting slower and somehow that’s amazing too.

              It doesn’t make any sense. No other company could get this kind of PR boost from slower charging.

              1. BenG says:

                Those 62.5 kw CCS chargers are awfully thin on the ground from what I understand, non-existent in most areas.

                If someone had an aggressive plan to build a national network of those chargers, both for interstate and city use, then they’d be approaching Tesla, but that ain’t happening as far as I can see.

                I guess the VW money will help, but Tesla is moving a lot faster than that.

        5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          unlucky said:

          “Somehow Tesla is getting a PR bump from slower charging when everyone else gets dinged for it.

          “I find it strange.”

          It’s only “slower” because Tesla put the “Supercharger” label on these new intermediate speed chargers. If Tesla had called them “Ultra Destination Chargers” then we’d all be marveling at how fast Tesla’s new destination chargers are!

          It’s a glass-half-full versus glass-half-empty sort of thing. It just depends on how you choose to view it. If you choose to look at it in a negative fashion, well that’s your choice. But to claim the glass-half-full viewpoint is “strange” just means you haven’t looked at it from the other perspective.

    2. wavelet says:

      Sure, it’s obviously a compromise, but that’s not unreasonable. I suspect the primary advantage is very small footprint — it fits in places current superchargers just can’t, ditto for heat dissipation, overall energy use etc. Still better that destination charging.

      1. BenG says:

        Lower heat dissipation, and by downsizing everything a bit they probably cut the cost significantly, which is equally important.

    3. Shaun says:

      What are you finding difficult to understand about this? They tailored the charge rate so one can get a full charge in roughly the time it takes to shop around in the places they plan to put these. Yet its a major improvement over the Level 2 chargers typically placed in locations like this.

      1. unlucky says:

        No one puts in level 2 in places like that around me at least. Level 2 for shopping peaked years ago.

        And tailoring the charge for shopping, that’s astounding spin. There is no point at which faster charging would work worse than this. It’s not tailored, it’s slower.

        ChargePoint should release a new sheet about their 62A chargers which says they are “tailored” better than those other, faster chargers. See if people lap that up the same way.

        1. floydboy says:

          You know what, cry me a fricking river when Tesla’s NOT installing any chargers of any kind for urban dwellers who may have no other charging access! You’re sitting here whining about the speed, when the crux of the matter is better access to high speed charging in the first place! Talking about missing the point! Very high speed supercharging is best reserved for long distance travel anyway.

          Why don’t you let that whine age until a more appropriate date.

          1. Get Real says:

            Isn’t it amazing how a serial anti-Tesla troll like unlucky can twist and spin ANYTHING that is positive and Tesla into something negative!

        2. Shaun says:

          Its still very common. Them being slower makes them cheaper and less demanding to install, allowing them to be more ubiquitous. IDK, this all seems pretty obvious to me. Either you are trolling or not terribly bright.

        3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          unlucky whinged:

          “And tailoring the charge for shopping, that’s astounding spin. There is no point at which faster charging would work worse than this. It’s not tailored, it’s slower.”

          Now you’re just ignoring reality and flailing around to find something to whine about, because you’re a GM fanboy who hates and fears Tesla.

          These Urban Superchargers are intended to serve a different purpose than intercity Superchargers, and there is no need for them to charge that fast when they are intended for local charging.

          Ignoring facts does not actually change facts, Unlucky. Furthermore, digging in your heels and practicing willful ignorance on this subject isn’t going to persuade anyone you’re right.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      unlucky said:

      “Slower charging: the new frontier?”

      Seems like the “new frontier” is Tesla trying to appeal to at least some apartment owners who don’t have access to their own dedicated EV charge point.

      I’ve argued that Tesla wouldn’t be paying for everyday charging, and couldn’t afford it. Clearly Tesla thinks otherwise!

      Go Tesla!

      1. BenG says:

        With the demise of free Supercharging, they can manage pricing of electricity so that these sites roughly break even.

        Tesla is making a play for apartment and condo dwellers, yes, but also continuing the buildout of the national network.

        When you are traveling cross-country sometimes you want to stop and see a city, enjoy some good food or shop, so it’s convenient to sometimes charge while in the urban core even while traveling cross country.

        They know that if they succeed, as planned, in putting hundreds of thousands of Model 3s on the road in the next couple years, that is a lot of customers who can either be pleased with the charging network available, or frustrated. Happy customers build sales.

  6. Get Real says:

    Right, just like the Bolt does.

    I know because I have one.

  7. Get Real says:

    Oh, and how many chargers has GM put in???

    1. William says:

      Wow, you really came out swinging! I would love to pile on the GM dog pile, but the Bolt is Currently an EV segment vehicle. And, yes GM won’t be adding much charging infrastructure anytime soon, except on Chevy Stealership lots!

  8. realdb2 says:

    I am not a Tesla fanboy and in fact I have criticized them for various things in the past but man, they have the best and most comprehensive approach to charging.

    Nice job, Tesla.

  9. floydboy says:

    You mean I don’t have to share with Fred?
    Cool! Sleek, powerful, easy to use. Yep, it’s a Tesla.

  10. gorr says:

    This is weird, they probably receive money from goverments and the carbon market to implement a tesla only recharging network.

    If someday evs are enforced by goverments the main problem will be charging infrastruture incompatibility and all king of different price rates.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Well that is a point – but by the same token, Tesla is under no obligation to provide services to other manufacturers. If they want to pay for increasing their visibility as well as the usefullness of their products – there is certainly nothing wrong with that part of what they are doing.

    2. John in AA says:

      “they probably receive money from goverments and the carbon market”

      Unless you can substantiate that, it’s complete supposition, and not very plausible supposition at that.

  11. Reijer says:

    Charging while doing the groceries will be enough for the whole year for a majority of the family cars. And that for the same price as charging at home. Amazing job Tesla

    1. unlucky says:

      Unless you pay demand charges at home or you can avoid them here (some places don’t bill demand charges at night) it’s going to be more expensive than home simply because with demand charges for 72kW power the electricity will cost Tesla more than it would cost you at home at night.

  12. cab says:

    Yet another step in Tesla’s real play….Energy. I have to admit, up until now I’ve always thought other car companies would cave and eventually license the SC network for their own cars, but that’s not necessary at all.

    Tesla can just create an adapter and lease it to individuals or make it part of the SC setup and the INDIVIDUALS simply pay per use via the adapter (presumably to CCS or ChaDemo). Heck, Tesla could even limit it to certain lower volume SC locations initially (note: outside of California, most of these places sit empty for much of a given day).

    Tesla – the company who went so far as to build cars to allow them to sell energy. Impressive.

    1. William says:

      Tesla creating an adapter (CHaDemo/CCS-Combo)! That is RICH! That sure would make for some interesting EV news, along with the Adapter Lease Arrangements, not coming from St. Elon or Tesla, anytime soon!

      I sure Hope I am Wrong, as Wrong can be!
      Musk I keep waiting, to be proven absolutely wrong, on the NEW and upcoming Tesla Adapter Protocol!

    2. WadeTyhon says:

      Pretty much agree.

      I, like a lot of people, said for several years that it makes good sense to build urban superchargers even though previously Tesla had said they were intended for long distance travel only.

      But major cities are where an EV will work best. Young people tend to live there. Young professionals are more open to this technology and the base price of the Model 3 is more or less aimed at us.

      We prefer to live in cities – and as a result it is more likely for us to live in apartments, townhomes or condos. Newer complexes are more likely to have EVSEs but older ones do not. So This is smart of Tesla.

      Next up? Once Supercharging stations expand enough where supply meets or exceeds demand, start installing CCS chargers or offering an adapter as you suggest. Reel other EV drivers in with convenient locations and fast charging speeds but higher charging rates. Do it before competing charging networks are ubiquitous and they will remain synonymous with long distance travel. It could eventually become profitable enough to be spun off into its own business.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Tesla can just create an adapter and lease it to individuals…”

      Not going to happen. Tesla isn’t interested in using the Supercharger network to generate profits, which means it’s not going to allow individuals who aren’t driving a Tesla cars to clog up the Supercharger network. It’s only interested in getting other auto makers to help build out the system. Only if other companies help by building and paying for the electricity for more Superchargers is Tesla going to allow other cars, non-Tesla cars, to use the network.

      “Tesla – the company who went so far as to build cars to allow them to sell energy.”

      You’ve got the tail wagging the dog. The purpose of the Supercharger network is to help Tesla advertise and sell its cars. Not vice versa!

  13. Bacardi says:

    Why not gyms/fitness centers?

    1. Nom de Plume says:

      Why not? Who’s to say they aren’t planning to do that? They’ve only just started rolling them out.

    2. stimpacker says:

      WTH?
      So you wanna burn energy to get to a place where you will pay money to burn your own energy.

      For that, someone should install charging stalls, probably so you can park nearer and thus burn less energy to walk in so you can burn more energy inside.

      With your stuff in the locker, it is doubtful you will come out to move your car when it is full.

  14. Mister G says:

    GO TESLA GO DESTROY DIRTY GAS GUZZLERS from a proud MUSKATEER.

  15. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    So, these “urban” Superchargers really are different from the regular ones!

    72 kW, or exactly half the usual 145 kW of the newer Tesla Superchargers. I would guess, then, that one central unit services four stalls, as opposed to normal Superchargers where one central unit services two stalls?

    Or does dividing power up work that way? I’m not an electrical engineer!

    http://insideevs.com/tesla-superchargers-now-capable-145-kw/

    1. unlucky says:

      You would need 288kW of power to run 4 of these.

      After some thinking, I think these really are just half of the other kind of supercharger. So instead of two cables and a variable power split you end up with two devices with one cable each and a fixed power split.

      It’s relatively cheap to do and it will work pretty well. I think that the independent units give more flexibility as to location (see the top picture with units against a wall). If you have an underground garage like you see here, then the parking spots are already located. You can’t move them around because of the posts under there.

      When Tesla builds the other kind of supercharger they move the parking spots a bit further apart to make room for the supercharger between them. That’s not practical in these cases, you can’t move the spots. And you can’t really squeeze the cars in since they make rather wide cars (and a future truck would be wider probably). So you move the charger to the end of the spot, make the spot poke another 12 inches further into the driving lane (if necessary) and you’re good.

      I no longer think this was a special rethink, adaptation to how charging is used in cities or anything like that. I think it was just a good way of fitting the equipment you’ve already designed into a more restricted space.

      1. BenG says:

        Sounds reasonable.

        And I agree it seems like a sensible, affordable approach.

        I’m sure Tesla owners will be psyched to find a steady 72 kw charge in the city. Very useful.

        There was just a bit of a letdown for them to be calling them ‘Superchargers’ and have the peak charging speed so much lower than existing.

  16. ClarksonCote says:

    Do they still require the large AC/DC transformer/pad somewhere?

    1. unlucky says:

      Transformers don’t convert AC to DC. They just transform AC into AC of different voltage.

      That large transformer you see at a supercharger station is not, strictly speaking, required. The reason it is there is because if you want to bring in 500kW of power (or more) you don’t bring it in at 440V. That would require 1,000A which means rather large cables. And you’d lose a lot of power (I won’t explain that here, too complex).

      So instead you bring it in at a higher voltage. Maybe even 3300V. At that voltage, 500kW is only 151A. That’s no more current than runs to your house (depending on the house). So you can use much smaller cables.

      To convert the high voltage you are receiving power at to the voltage that the superchargers want you use a transformer. And you’ll need to do that in this case too. So yes, somewhere near there there is a rather large transformer.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        I wonder where the location is in their pictures? 😛

        Yes, I realize what transformers do. My comment AC/DC transformers/pad was referring to transformers for AC and some pad electronics for the DC conversion. Though I realize now how the comment looks…

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Missed you at the Drive Electric event in Syracuse…. Talked to a bunch of old friends there anyway, but I think it was sparsely attended this year since they were charging $.49/kwh – and a bunch of the chargepoints didn’t work anyway. (No one must use the ’15’ ChargePoints on a normal basis since the peak demand for the month was only 6400 watts at 11:30 am., and then when a guy from rochester was charging his LEAF (HE HAD to charge to get back home), it pushed up the demand for the whole lot to 8800 watts.

          Meanwhile, I thought it a bit surreal that with ostensibly all this electricity around, there 3 honda, and one other brand generators there making the electricity for the event. Seemed like a “Gasoline Rules!!!” Convention.

          I only stayed from 11:30 to 2 pm anyway, since I drove back to Sodus, NY to the cop shop and caught an hour’s shuteye.

  17. Rick Bronson says:

    16 years ago on this day, terrorists struck at the heart of this country and in response, millions bought hybrids which morphed into plugins and electric vehicles. In the same parallel, across the World many more millions bought flex fuel vehicles (Ethanol & Biodiesel), bi fuel vehicles (Natgas, LPG) and the others bought just some form of a more fuel efficient vehicle.

    Today those petrodollar countries which funded the terrorists are kept on the defensive as the oil prices has crashed from the $100+ to just $50.

    With the plugins and other alternative fuel vehicles, we can not only reduce the terrorism, but also clean our environment and ensure that the oil prices don’t spike and throw our economy into recession and threaten our jobs.

  18. BillT says:

    These seem like they would be an ideal fit for highway restaurants and Starbucks. Basically grab a meal or leisurely coffee and by the time your are done you have an 80% charge.

  19. Priusmaniac says:

    Reflecting on the name Urban Supercharger, it would be go to shorten it to just Urbancharger.
    That is a more straightforward name and would also avoid confusion with the existing Superchargers.

  20. Bojan says:

    Regular superchargers are placed along highways. They’re there for people that are travelling somewhere far, so they have to be as fast as they can be. Other considerations, such as electricity cost and battery degradation, come second to speed.

    Urban superchargers are placed in the cities. They’re meant for people who live there. They are placed in locations where the people using them can get other everyday stuff done while they wait for the car to charge. Speed is less important here, while battery life and cost is more important because people without home charging will be using these a lot more.

    Considering that the two designs have different priorities, I don’t see any problem with the two designs offering different speeds. Making a fuss about this seems as silly as making a fuss about destination chargers being slower than superchargers.

    Perhaps the problem is in the fact they use the same supercharger name, so this is seen as a downgrade, when in fact all existing and future highway superchargers remain faster. There is a simple solution for this: the next time Tesla upgrades the regular superchargers, even if just from 145 to 150kW, they should also take the opportunity to rename them to hyperchargers.

  21. Bill Howland says:

    IN response to Clarkson Cote’s question, apparently these use the same old supercharger bays – just relocated out of sight: – the 72 kw limitation is due to the 200 amp limitation of the stylish dispenser.

    Here’s the nameplate of the SC Bay (same as always):

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