Tesla to triple superchargers by end of next year

supercharger network image
© Tesla

OK, so as everyone gushes over the newly released Tesla Model 3 (heck, arch car-skeptic Lloyd even liked it!), it's worth noting another small detail that Elon Musk revealed during the launch event:

By the end of next year, there will be three times more superchargers than there are today.

This is important. We already knew that they were planning to double by the end of this year, but Elon's promise of tripling suggest that this expansion will only continue apace. (Especially given that 2017 is already half over, so much of the previously promised 'doubling' should already have taken place.)

Of course, with the first Model 3s boasting a surprisingly high 310 miles of range, one could wonder just how much they'll need to rely on supercharging for even relatively long road trips. But if they really do start churning out 500,000 cars a year, we can expect existing Tesla owners to get nervous about capacity, and losing the access they've gotten used to.

The other thing about electric car charging is that Tesla's superchargers are just one part of the puzzle. They are also putting slower destination chargers in restaurants, hotels, and malls around the world—and cities, businesses and rival car manufacturers are also stepping up their investments in charging infrastructure. (VW are investing $2bn in charging—much of it superfast—as part of their settlement on Dieselgate.) Heck, gas stations may even be forced to do so in some locations. Many of these charging stations won't live up to the speed, convenience or coolness of Tesla's supercharging network (read Zach Shahan's Superchargers vs Ugh piece to understand just how much Tesla drivers love this infrastructure)—but they do provide many, many more options which will greatly ease pressure on the network.

Finally, it's worth remembering a much ignored fact about electric cars: As a recent survey from Carmax confirmed, most electric vehicle drivers are likely to install 240v Level 2 charging station in their homes, meaning when you go visit Auntie Jane/Uncle Bob or your old college room mate who just bought a Model 3, you can drive knowing you can most likely charge up when you get there.

I am sure that electric car skeptics will continue to worry about range anxiety. The rest of us, however, have places to be...

Related Content on Treehugger.com