Tesla can bring SuperCharging technology to cities. This will let EVs beat gas in convenience, in addition to all the other ways electric is already better. This can be done economically, and scaled rapidly.
Tesla is now focused on SuperChargers for road trips between cities. This is a smart priority since it promotes EV adoption by enabling distance travel. Tesla's decision to provide unlimited fuel for trips without any recurring costs is an amazing and unmatched benefit of this car.
As the SC network gets completed, Tesla will begin to address another need: Fast charging within cities.
This will solve some other issues -
1. Apartment dwellers without their own charger.
2. Travelers who circulate within their destination city, but don't want to leave town just to charge.
3. City residents with unexpected needs for an immediate refill.
Addressing these demands will further dissolve the differences in convenience between gas and electric. But a network of city chargers will also bring with it some complex choices for TM.
Those who live very near to one will be tempted by the free fuel instead of charging at home. Beyond the economic problems this poses, the bigger issue with this is availability. If the city chargers are flooded with denizens, there will be no capacity for travelers.
So what should TM do? Here' a proposal:
MetroChargers are SuperChargers that are right in the heart of town. They're as convenient as gas stations when you need a quick charge. The SC's will continue to get faster, and in the future they will be virtually as fast as filling a tank (say 15 minutes).
The difference is in how MetroChargers are priced relative to SC's.
- If you live farther than 50 miles away, it's free.
- If you live closer, you buy the kWH's you use. (At about 1.5X the local power rates).
MetroChargers are located in Shopping center parking lots, because the synergies are so logical for merchants. Prodding affluent shoppers to come and spend time at the mall is a compelling benefit for merchants. It's also a more useful and pleasant place for shoppers/diners to spend time while their cars refuel.
You don't need to hassle with your credit card either. They work just like SC's, with no card kiosks. The system knows your ID from GPS data and wifi addresses. It automatically records the transaction, debiting charges (if any) to your credit card on file with Tesla. It also understands where you normally reside from GPS history. This all works passively so there aren't any forms to fill out or complicated residence registration process.
The result is a robust network with both local and remote infrastructure. It reconciles the appeal of unlimited travel charging, with the efficient allocation of local resource to those who most need it. And it's infinitely scalable, since MetroChargers provide a self-sustaining revenue stream, and there is massive, motivated parking capacity at competing malls in cities.
The day is not far off when any last vestige of range anxiety will be roundly eliminated. Tesla MetroChargers can be an important part of that milestone.
The intent of this thread is to provide Tesla with community input on the local component of the SC infrastructure. The idea is to flesh out the issues to inform TM's strategy as they are developing it.
What do you think about the need for MetroChargers?