Nov 21, 2011
Chris Weiss

Tesla To Build First Rapid Charge Station In California

It’s a well-documented fact that Tesla has yet to become a profitable company. Some might be surprised to hear this, because the EV-maker has been one of the most innovative things to hit the automotive industry in decades. But, as many famed minds and companies could tell you, innovation doesn’t always equate to profits.

One of the big things that still stands in the way of Tesla and other EV manufacturers is limited range and limited charging. As a quote from a charging hardware manufacturer recently made clear, even the Level 2 stations that are being deployed around the country are really insufficient for any meaningful range boost.

What we need is rapid chargers. And Tesla is leading the way once again.

Tesla revealed earlier this year that it planned to build a rapid-charging infrastructure on major highways around the country, citing Interstate 5 in California, Oregon and Washington as one such highway. Earlier this month in a conference call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the first such charging station will be built on the heavy transportation corridor between San Francisco and LA.Tesla will use 90 kW charging hardware at the station, offering up to 150 miles of extra range in about 30 minutes. While 30 minutes is still a pretty long time to stop and fuel, it is a huge improvement over Level 2 charging stations that offer only about 15 miles of range per hour of charging.

Putting the first rapid-charging station on the route between Los Angeles makes perfect sense for Tesla. Not only is Tesla a California-based company, but California is always among the initial launch markets for electric vehicles, so it is certain to have more EVs than most states. And an EV station between two of its biggest, most prominent metropolitan areas is certainly logical.

The distance between San Francisco and LA along I-5 is about 380 miles. Drivers of the 300-mile Tesla Model S would be able to make the journey with one stop; however, 230-mile and 160-mile Model S owners would be out of luck. We’d imagine Tesla will add a second charging station shortly after the first so that owners of the lesser-range Model S cars will be able to make the full trip.

Building its own charging infrastructure sounds like just one more move that will add to Tesla’s reputation for forward-thinking innovation while pushing profits even farther into the future.


1 Comment

  • great article hopefully we can see some charging stations in Florida.

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