Tesla Supercharger Unveiling Right about ... now, Tesla Motors is unveiling its new proprietary Supercharger high-speed charging network. The livestream can be seen here, and we've got the first official release about the network below. Here are the details – as we know them – of the "Free! Solar! Energy!" from the headline:
  • The first six Supercharger stations have already been built – under complete secrecy in various locations in California – and now "will allow [higher-end] Model S to travel long distances with ultra fast charging throughout California, parts of Nevada and Arizona." The high-speed charging system is only compatible on Models S version with an 85-kWh (where the necessary Supercharger bits are standard) or 60-kWh (optional) battery packs.
  • The electricity "used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation."
  • Tesla even says each Supercharger will generate more solar energy than the Tesla vehicles will use, resulting in "a slight net positive transfer of sunlight generated power back to the electricity grid." This point is apparently important enough to repeat: "Supercharger system will always generate more power from sunlight than Model S customers use for driving."
  • More Supercharger locations are coming to other, "high-traffic" parts of the U.S. "by next year" and will be installed in Europe and Asia starting in late 2013.
  • Superchargers can fill up a Model S with three hours of driving (at 60 miles per hour) in around 30 minutes. The charger currently provides "almost 100 kilowatts" of power, but could be reconfigured to 120 kW down the road.
We knew some of these things based on discussions with Tesla CEO Elon Musk and other sources. There will be more details ferreted out in the coming weeks, but at first blush, this looks exactly like we'd expect a Tesla charging product to be: big, brash and beyond expectations. The dreams are big over there. What do you think the reality will be like?
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Tesla Motors Launches Revolutionary Supercharger Enabling Convenient Long Distance Driving
Drive the Model S electric car anywhere in the country on pure sunlight for free


HAWTHORNE, Calif. – Sept. 24, 2012 –Tesla Motors today unveiled its highly anticipated Supercharger network. Constructed in secret, Tesla revealed the locations of the first six Supercharger stations, which will allow the Model S to travel long distances with ultra fast charging throughout California, parts of Nevada and Arizona.

The technology at the heart of the Supercharger was developed internally and leverages the economies of scale of existing charging technology already used by the Model S, enabling Tesla to create the Supercharger device at minimal cost. The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation. Combining these two factors, Tesla is able to provide Model S owners1 free long distance travel indefinitely.

Each solar power system is designed to generate more energy from the sun over the course of a year than is consumed by Tesla vehicles using the Supercharger. This results in a slight net positive transfer of sunlight generated power back to the electricity grid. In addition to lowering the cost of electricity, this addresses a commonly held misunderstanding that charging an electric car simply pushes carbon emissions to the power plant. The Supercharger system will always generate more power from sunlight than Model S customers use for driving. By adding even a small solar system at their home, electric car owners can extend this same principle to local city driving too.

The six California locations unveiled today are just the beginning. By next year, we plan to install Superchargers in high traffic corridors across the continental United States, enabling fast, purely electric travel from Vancouver to San Diego, Miami to Montreal and Los Angeles to New York. Tesla will also begin installing Superchargers in Europe and Asia in the second half of 2013.

The Supercharger is substantially more powerful than any charging technology to date, providing almost 100 kilowatts of power to the Model S, with the potential to go as high as 120 kilowatts in the future. This can replenish three hours of driving at 60 mph in about half an hour, which is the convenience inflection point for travelers at a highway rest stop. Most people who begin a road trip at 9:00 a.m. would normally stop by noon to have lunch, refresh and pick up a coffee or soda for the road, all of which takes about 30 minutes.

"Tesla's Supercharger network is a game changer for electric vehicles, providing long distance travel that has a level of convenience equivalent to gasoline cars for all practical purposes. However, by making electric long distance travel at no cost, an impossibility for gasoline cars, Tesla is demonstrating just how fundamentally better electric transport can be," said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO. "We are giving Model S the ability to drive almost anywhere for free on pure sunlight."

About Model S
With the most energy-dense battery pack in the industry and best-in-class aerodynamics, Model S has the longest range of any production electric car in the world. Model S comes with three battery options to fit the unique needs of different drivers. The 85 kWh Model S has received a U.S. fuel economy rating of 89MPGe and an EPA rated range of 265 miles.

Model S is the first premium sedan designed from the ground up to take full advantage of electric vehicle architecture. A revolutionary powertrain sits under the floorboard of Model S, creating an ultra-low center of gravity. Paired with an aluminum body engineered for superior handling, Tesla has created a vehicle that raises the bar for performance and efficiency while meeting the highest standards for safety.

Without an internal combustion engine or transmission tunnel, the interior of Model S has more cargo space than any other sedan in its class and includes a second trunk under the hood. Model S seats five adults and two children in optional rear-facing child seats. Model S Performance models accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 4.4 seconds. The interior features a 17" in-dash touchscreen with internet capabilities, allowing for streaming radio, web browsing and navigation.

Customers can reserve a Model S at one of Tesla's retail stores or online.

About Tesla
Tesla's goal is to accelerate the world's transition to electric mobility. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV power train components for partners such as Toyota and Daimler. Tesla has delivered more than 2,350 Roadsters to customers worldwide. Model S, the first premium sedan to be built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, began deliveries in June 2012.

Interested in keeping up with Tesla Motors? For more information on Tesla Motors and its products, please visit: teslamotors.com For more information for Tesla Motors investors, please visit: ir.teslamotors.com For the latest information from Tesla Motors, including press releases and the Tesla blog, please visit: teslamotors.com/press

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release including statements regarding future Supercharger locations and capabilities are "forward-looking statements" that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations. Various important factors could cause actual results to differ materially, including the risks identified in our SEC filings. Tesla disclaims any obligation to update this information.

1 Supercharging hardware is standard on Model S vehicles equipped with an 85 kWh battery and optional on Model S vehicles equipped with a 60 kWh battery.


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