But sometimes, to get a concrete handle on things, it makes sense to just look at some numbers. To that end, we thought it would be fun to look at where Tesla is building up its infrastructure in the US, especially in the states where it can't or doesn't sell cars.
This isn't as easy as it sounds, since there are only three states – Arizona, Texas, and Connecticut – where the rules explicitly say Tesla can't open a store and is limited to galleries (store-like establishments that operate under special rules and cannot actually sell cars). There are plenty of states, though, where Tesla doesn't sell cars through a store. Thirty-two of them, in fact. In some of these, it would be perfectly legal for Tesla to open a store, but it just hasn't yet. And then there are the grey areas. For example, Tesla's Alexis Georgeson told AutoblogGreen that, "It's not a black-and-white issue so it's not as simple as grouping states together as 'can sell' or 'cannot sell,'" when we asked about states like MIchigan. "Michigan," she said, "has restrictions but we haven't actively tried to open a store or service center there yet."
Perhaps most telling, in each of the three states where Tesla is forbidden from making actual sales (Arizona, Texas, and Connecticut), the automaker has opened at least one gallery (Texas, perhaps because everything's just bigger there, has three). There are five states where Tesla has galleries: the three where it can't sell, plus New Jersey and Maryland.
So, for the purposes of this article, we grouped Tesla's activities into two groups: "does sell" and "doesn't sell." This data comes from Tesla's own map and does not include any "coming soon" locations. It is accurate as of June 2, 2015. The number of Superchargers includes units hosted at Tesla stores.
- Number of Supercharger locations in states where Tesla does not have a single store: 87
- Number of Supercharger plugs at those locations: 496
- Number of Supercharger locations in states where it is illegal for Tesla to sell cars: 21
- Number of Supercharger plugs in those states: 125
- Number of Tesla stores in the US: 61
- Number of Tesla stores in California: 20
- Number of Galleries: 9
- Number of non-store service centers: 24
- Number of states without a Tesla store: 32
- Number of states with just one Tesla store: 8 (Hawaii, Minnesota, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, Indiana, Colorado, and Oregon)
- Number of Supercharger outlets in the US: 1,223
- Number of states that have about half of those outlets: 9 (California with 220, Florida/79, Arizona/66, Utah/48, Illinois/40, Oregon/39, Texas/37, and then two of Colorado, Ohio, Georgia and North Carolina, which each have 36)
For obvious reasons, California has the most of just about everything when it comes to Tesla. The most Superchargers (220), the most stores (20), the most headquarters (1). It doesn't have the most Gigafactories, though. Therefore, it makes sense to look at second place in the Tesla infrastructure race for some more tidbits.
- State with the second-most Tesla stores: Florida (8)
- State with the second-most Supercharger outlets: Florida (79)
- State with the most Supercharger outlets but no Tesla store: Arizona (66)
Oh, and one more fun little fact. Almost every Supercharge station has an even number of plugs, but there are a few (one each in Texas, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, and Florida) that have an odd number of stalls (five) and two in California that have seven. We thought you'd like to know that.
Looking at the map for as long as we did, it's clear that Tesla's infrastructure (besides Superchargers) is entirely focused on urban areas. That means getting your Model S fixed isn't going to be as easy as it is with ICE engines, since every small town has a garage that can take care of at least minor problems. But, with the Tesla Ranger home service teams and the fact that EVs require less service than ICEs, you can see how Tesla's infrastructure roll out plan makes a lot of sense for the majority of its customers. The locations of the Superchargers, too, is based on a lot of logical assumptions of where the Model S drivers will be going. It's a fascinating look at the nuts and bolts of where Tesla's big plans are today, and by the time the Model 3 arrives, these numbers can only grow.