Supercharger event September 24

Supercharger event September 24


Looking forward to concrete information...


lph | September 24, 2012

There is a new Tesla web page showing the whole set up.
Looks cool!

DouglasR | September 24, 2012


I think the nominal charge he was talking about was to enable the 60kwh cars to use the superchargers -- i.e., whatever hardware and software upgrades are needed.

DerekM | September 24, 2012

There is now a Supercharging tab under Go Electric that has more information, or confirms what we have been talking about.

mrspaghetti | September 24, 2012

I'm still in disbelief. Is it really possible generate all the energy the cars will use, plus pay for the materials and labor for putting these in place with excess solar energy sold back to the grid? As much as I want to believe it, it just seems too good to be true.

Maybe tax credits/rebates make it financially feasible for Tesla?

Brian H | September 24, 2012

What % of the time do you travel long enough distances to need Supercharging? If it's more than 2%, then just accept the fact that you will be somewhat reducing its lifespan. And replace it with the savings when it has degraded enough to require that. By that time, batteries may be immune to "DC degradation"; some new designs minimize the heating and other issues.

lph | September 24, 2012

When talking to a Tesla rep a couple of weeks ago he said that you can use the supercharger as often as you like with no damage to the battery. Can anyone verify this?

jonesxander | September 24, 2012

(Cont.) There was a very tall column of curtains obviously concealing something...well very tall and thin haha.

So Mr. Musk says, let's show you the supercharger(or something to that effect, as I was watching football as I previously mentioned)! The curtains didn't fall lol. After about 20 seconds after he said "....eventually", it went to a video and some more electronic music.

The video was just a bunch of flashes, which I'm sure someone had an epileptic fit watching it.

Once the video was over (which was very long considering the level anticipation, and several seizures), they cut back to the live feed.

There was smoke on the stage enveloping the entire height of the "mystery" object, which we all know was a supercharger.

Finally once the smoke dissipated, there was about a ~30 foot tall model of the charger.

Then Musk goes on to talk about the solar energy, and outlined the map of the superchargers. Map showed the ability to travel from the southernmost tip of California to the very north of it. Those are live and ready to go NOW. (there was video of people using it today, he specifically stated).

He stated that within four years, (lol he called it "Tesla long term") there would be superchargers across the country, and if you pack food, and stay at friend's houses, you can travel across country for free. Pretty amazing. I missed some things, I wish I recorded it. There was more, but this was the beginning that someone had requested.

He did refer that he would hope that day would go down in history as a day worth remembering, much like the SpaceX cargo delivery.

Here's my critique, as well as my apology for being honest as to what happened...

I am a HUGE Tesla fan. Every day on my lunch break, I watch to see a Tesla going by. In the wild. Again I work in Newport Beach by Kimera, for you locals.

Mr. Musk, please for God's sake....Hire a marketing specialist next time, lol. Trust me, I can see your vision, but the event could have been longer, you could have shown more.

Yes the proof is in the pudding. I've sat inside of one at the Newport Fashion Island store. I bought a T shirt!!! A little bit of showmanship would have done WONDERS to show the world that this is real. You gave us a glimpse. But I think we deserved a spectacle.

That's all I'll say. Feel free to write if you have any other questions.

PS, please don't hate me brian, volker, volker, and everyone else lol.

Tiebreaker | September 24, 2012

I missed the bit about the "nominal charge"... On the "Options and Pricing" page, the 60kWh version lists supercharger hardware as standard.

Brian H | September 24, 2012

Error: by DC degradation above I was trying to refer to hi-voltage DC charging. All AC charging is really DC, of course, after it passes through the chargers.

DouglasR | September 24, 2012

From the map posted above in this thread, it appears that they will be focusing on I-80 and I-40 for East-West travel, and I-5 and I-95 for North-South travel, at least in the two-year build out. Does that sound right?

jbstl | September 24, 2012

I think these are great but wouldn't it make more sense to put them between major metro areas instead of in them? I live in St Louis and noticed their map has dots in St Louis and Chicago but none on the route in between. The dot in eastern IL (Champaign?) isn't anywhere near the major interstate (I-55) between the two.

Scorch | September 24, 2012

Love this, WTG Tesla! Can't wait to drive cross country in my S. I had thought I would have to use or rent a ICE for the rare road trips I make. Now there is nothing I can't do in this car, assuming it shows up soon. :) Nov/Dec can't arrive soon enough.

hammy16 | September 24, 2012

I think the issue is charging to the full value and not just the supercharger mode. I think you can specify the amount of charge
and even charge rate with the supercharger but I would certainly like
some clarification. One would hope you could tailor a charge at
these locations as to not penalize overall battery health.
Wish there had been some more detail presented.

jackhub | September 24, 2012

I believe the onboard hardware to enable supercharging for the 60KWh is 'free', part of the battery package. The nominal charge mentioned would apply to actual usage at the supercharging station. As for the 40KWh, the electric system is not designed to take the supercharging rate. That is part of the cost reduction enabling the lower price. This is discussed in another thread somewheere.

stevenmaifert | September 24, 2012

Hit this link again and you can see the whole setup:

LarsT | September 24, 2012

Wow, what a great announcement. This puts every Model S owner into the executive lounge class (where you not only get peanuts for free, but the power).
Range Anxiety - gone! Cross-Country: Possible in the same time as ICE cars... Great incentive to those who still wonder if this is good.

And of course you can produce the power with sunlight. No problem - the price for solar panels drops between 3 and 5% A MONTH - that is around 40% a year. So if there will be more cars, just add panels! Elon - this is just awesome!

And one more thing: Why is everybody so worried about the DC-Fast-Charge and the degrading of the battery? Have you looked into modern notebooks lately? Many of them now have "rapid Charge", 80% in 30 Minutes or so - EVERY time they charge, and still promise some 2000 cycles or more. And they don't have such an advanced cooling systems like the Model S. So I don't worry at all.

olanmills | September 24, 2012

Some have mentioned that you can see the recording now, but I can't find it. has all the facts now, but I don't see the video, nor do I see it on the front page or blog.

That said however, the image and text on the page makes a few things clear:

The "spire" (let's please call it that :)) is just a sign.

The solar panels are on the roof of the station.

At least some stations will have multiple charge ports.

Not all stations will be solar powered (but if you consider that the other stations overproduce and feed back to the grid, then the net is that the cars can all be solar powered and excess still goes to the power station); text says there are solar panels "at many locations".

There is no mention that you must limit the use of these stations to protect the battery. My guess is that either this will be in some fine print somewhere, or else, the limit of only ever charging half the capacity keeps the battery life intact. Does someone with more knowledge on the subject think that is plausible?

Robert22 | September 24, 2012

I guess we now know where our maintenance plan dollars will be going. Perhaps a recognition plaque: This solar drive-in subsidized by Tesla Owner # X?

Tiebreaker | September 24, 2012

"Nominal charge" at time of charging? Will the supercharger identify a 60kWh car and refuse to charge until paid? Doesn't sound right. Will have to wait for the recording to dissect that part...

mrspaghetti | September 24, 2012

LarsT has a point, the cooling system may make supercharging mostly safe for the Model S

DouglasR | September 24, 2012


That map gives only the early stage California build-out. I wish they would provide a readable version of the map that is posted above in this thread showing the national build-out over two and five years.

Brian H | September 24, 2012

There are 6 now installed "in secret". There will be 13 in CA by the end of the year. Within 2 yrs the country will be covered. Within 4-6 yrs. the northern plains and southern Canada, encompassing most of the population, will be covered, as will much of the world.

The Superchargers are not expensive to install, and Solar City has the incentive mentioned above to emplace as many as possible.

The video will be available from the same site (in a day or so?) to review or download.

cerjor | September 24, 2012

Will Leafs, Volts, RAV4s, and other EVs be able to use these superchargers? For a fee?

Tiebreaker | September 24, 2012

Although free charging for life is for long-distance travel, that ain't so bad. It is pretty good, as a matter of fact. Which ICE car manufacturer pays for your gas when you goon vacation?

kalikgod | September 24, 2012

Man, I am bummed. I missed the event.

Did they answer our debate on the size of the grid connection? Are they are pulling 90 kW per car from the grid for charing the cars?

From the comments it doesn't sound like it. If anyone gets into a store soon, ask to see if the Superchargers are just pure grid connections or if they have energy storage.

Please and thanks.

asblik | September 24, 2012

Is it true that only 85kWh and some 60kWh (Optional) packs will be able to use the SuperChargers??

That would be shame since 40kWh folks are the ones that really need to get help going from one city to next.

Klaus | September 24, 2012

Judging from the photos I saw of one of the charging stations, it looked it had around 80+ panels. I have no idea of their output but my system on my roof has 22 panels that produce 7500 kwh a year. That translates into over 26000 miles. Needless to say, that's a lot more than Ill ever need for my S (soon to be delivered). So 100+ stations across the country will produce plenty for the number of Tesla on the road. Remember, Tesla is only producing 20000 to 30000 a year until Gen III.

Besides, I for one will probably only make one trip of any great length in my lifetime just to prove it can be done. I'd rather fly coast to coast.

Capt601 | September 24, 2012

Just wondering when they are going to list the actual address ofmthe current supercharger stations. Or will we have to guess where to find one?
Is the Barstow one located where the present tesla roadster charge station is?
And will there be a reservation system? Or a way to know if it is already occupied?
They missed some details on this.

jonesxander | September 24, 2012


This was not mentioned, either to address the reservation system, nor to know whether one is already occupied or not.

yeti130 | September 24, 2012

The awesome part is that the LA supercharger allows one to drive straight out to any of the channel islands ;)

Capt601 | September 24, 2012

@yeti130. Yes and I'm looking forward to my first weekend drive out to Catalina island. Forget the Catlina express, I'm driving myself!

Tiebreaker | September 24, 2012


The Options and Pricing page now lists supercharging as standard for the 60kWh version, I am not sure since when.

The 40kWh is targeted for local driving, not really for long distance driving... so the $10K option for 60kWh.

Tiebreaker | September 24, 2012

... therefore the $10K option for 60kWh.

jonesxander | September 24, 2012


I agree to call it a spire. Good choice of words haha.

Wayne3 | September 24, 2012
cerjor | September 24, 2012

Californians: Where is Tejon Ranch?

Capt601 | September 24, 2012

About 1 hour north of LA. The Tejon pass is a pretty steep climb going out of the valley north of LA. So probably a good location to set up the supercharger. Also many films were made in the tejon ranch area.

Brian H | September 24, 2012

I counted about 75 grey dots on the map, for the 4-6 yr. buildout, in add'n to the 90+ (?) red dots in 2 yrs, so a total around 165 - 170.

nickjhowe | September 24, 2012

@kalikgod - assume the stations are taking at least a 1kV feed from the grid - maybe even higher.

HarryS | September 24, 2012

Nice start. For my California driving, a supercharger on Hwy 101 between SF and LA is sorely lacking. Please add Paso Robles, or thereabouts! We don't all take Hwy 5.

kalikgod | September 24, 2012

Finally watched the video from the Engadget post...

I definitely think I was wrong about the charger having on board storage. Elon comments about economies of scale with regards to the Model S chargers (not batteries) pretty much confirms it. Sounds like they stacked 5 of the 10 kW chargers for each charger. Size wise that looks about right. It does sound like they found a way to drive the cost out of each unit, hence the aggressive installation plan. Did they make the I-5 electric highway obsolete before it was constructed?

There is no space for an energy storage unit in the size of those chargers. The canopy w/ solar panels is totally optional as seen in the videos, so no space there. And the "spire" (excellent name, also saw "pylon" from Starcraft used in other comments) is just a banner so you can locate it, basically only functional for impromptu highway-side raves. At first the "spire" seems a little absurd, but it actually is a pain to find a blink charger unless you already know exactly where it is. I usually do scouting missions when visiting a new area of town and I have plenty of charge in the LEAF.

Overall the only real new item here, is that it is completely free to charge, albeit a HUGE new piece to the puzzle. Elon did say Model S (not all Teslas) will always charge for free. Does that imply that Model X or Gen III will not get the same deal? Or will Gen III not be capable of doing city-to-city travel ala 40 kW Model S?

That would seem a little disingenuous after this event, but time will tell.

My only major disappointment was no information on vehicle integration for availability, reservation of charging, and can you charge multiple cars at the same time (presumable so from the pictures of multiple cars at one station)?

benjamin.brooks | September 24, 2012

So awesome! FREE. That's fantastic... my cousin installed the one in Folsom... :) and now I can leave San Jose to visit my brother in Lake Tahoe over 300 miles away... for free... each way! That is a game changer people...

Brian H | September 24, 2012

pbrulot & DouglasR;
At 8:44 of the video the 2-year extensions are shown.

I see one near Vancouver BC and two in the Toronto - Montreal corridor, part of the early buildout. There are another 12 or so in the 4+ yr. timeframe (some are hidden by the map title).

gary.greene | September 24, 2012

My understanding was that supercharger capability comes with the 65k battery (says included in my garage/design) so why wouldn't free access to supercharger stations work for these versions of Model S?

Schlermie | September 24, 2012

I don't think there's any technical reason why the 60kWh battery couldn't access the supercharger for free. I think that's just the business model.

StephRob | September 24, 2012

@benjamin.brooks: where in Folsom is the Supercharger? I wonder why they chose to put it along I50 rather than I80?? Much less convenient for me, that's for sure.

Brian H | September 24, 2012

Elon was referring to installation of the SC hardware in the 60kWh pack. I think his statement is "outdated"; it has been made standard in all 60kWh packs, as you observed.

So it's all free (included).

sergiyz | September 24, 2012

umm, Lake Tahoe is about 230 miles away from SJ, you could probably make it on a single charge, although last 50 miles there's a lot of elevation change.
I wouldn't go there on 21" wheels and low profile tires even summer time though...

DouglasR | September 24, 2012

Looks like it will be two years before they build out the I-5 corridor between Seattle and California. Prior to that, I suppose one could plan on one overnight charge somewhere in Oregon, and then perhaps make it to the supercharger network in the north of California on the second day in order to keep going . . .

Docrob | September 24, 2012

If the Barstow supercharger is already in place then Elon should allow Motortrend to repeat their Las Vegas road trip, this time they could do it at 80 mph with the AC on 60 the whole way with a 20-30 min stop for a supercharge and refreshments in Barstow.

Free vacation charging anywhere in the US is game changing for the Model S, once news of this gets out I would expect a surge of new reservations from people who may have had doubts about the functionality of this vehicle.