Slowly but surely, Tesla has expanded its network of Supercharger stations–EV charging stations that can charge up a Tesla (and only a Tesla) with 150 miles of range in 30 minutes. That’s lightning-fast in the electric vehicle charging world, where it can take five times as long to charge up with an equivalent range in other vehicles.
The stations are only on the East Coast and in California today, but CEO Elon Musk announced this week that Tesla will triple the size of the supercharger network in the next month, according to AllThingsD. And by the end of the summer, Tesla plans to roll out new technology at the stations that will let people charge up their vehicles in about 20 minutes, shaving 10 minutes off the current charge time.
The network will span most of the metro areas in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2013–meaning it will be possible to take a long-distance road trip in a Tesla without worrying about running out of power. New stations will be installed in Arizona, Florida, Texas, the Midwest, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and in between Ottawa and Montreal. In a year, the stations will cover nearly the entire continent. Musk has said in the past that the company plans to install over 100 Supercharger stations by 2015.
Elon Musk is quickly eliminating one of the biggest criticisms of Tesla vehicles and EVs in general: a dearth of easily accessible charging stations (remember the New York Times debacle, where a reporter ran out of power while cruising along Tesla’s Supercharger network?). EV drivers who don’t own a Tesla, though, are out of luck. The Superchargers are only compatible with Tesla vehicles.