NYC to L.A. for Free: Tesla Expands Supercharger Network
The solar-powered stations will triple in California by the end of June.
Imagine driving your car from bustling New York City to sunny Los Angeles and paying nothing in fuel charges. Also, you'll leave a nominal carbon footprint.
That isn't some faraway scenario from a futuristic, clean-energy utopia. In fact, it's what drivers of Tesla's Model S will be able to do in as soon as six months.
Elon Musk's car company announced ambitious plans to expand its Supercharger network -- a chain of solar-powered charging stations -- from coast to coast. Model S owners can use the outposts to charge their car batteries in under 30 minutes.
The CEO discussed the supercharger network expansion during a question-and-answer session at the All Things Digital conference on Wednesday, May 29. He elaborated on the plans during a conference call on Thursday, May 30.
Eight Superchargers are currently installed in parts of California and Nevada, as well as scattered along the route between Washington, D.C., and Boston.
By the end of June, Tesla says the number of stations will grow to 27, with the number in California tripling and additional stations connecting Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. Most metropolitan areas will become equipped by fall 2013, with coast-to-coast travel operational by winter 2013.
The news comes amid a buoyant time for the company founded by the South African Musk, who also founded PayPal and space-tourist service SpaceX. Company stock topped $100 for the first time on Tuesday, May 28, up $7.25 to $104.33 per share on the Nasdaq.
Earlier this year, Musk got into a tussle with the New York Times automotive critic John Broder, who claimed the Model S was incapable of making the journey from D.C. to Boston in cold weather.
Tesla later offered its drivers an unconditional battery warranty, "even for user error."
Tesla has many celebrity fans, including Will.i.am and Morgan Freeman. Producer Dana Brunetti spoke out to The Hollywood Reporter in defense of the company, calling for Broder to lose his job.