Tesla has been talking about the ambitious production schedule for its new, mass-produced Model 3 for years now, but with just two months to go before the vehicle hits full production, the electric car company has announced it’s also going to build a whole lot more chargers.
Tesla announced on Monday that it would drastically increase the size of its network, doubling the number of chargers from 5,000 to 10,000 in 2017. The new stations will hopefully be able to keep up with the massive demand for the Model 3, which the company plans to churn out like crazy. Tesla’s goal is to produce 500,000 vehicles in 2018, which makes an expansion to the charging network seem like a no-brainer. Still, it’s a mistake that other companies have made. In China, a massive push for electric taxis could make charging vehicles in its biggest cities a living hell, and Uber’s big plans to go all electric in Portland, Oregon could fall victim to the same problem.
Accommodating for electric cars is more difficult than gas vehicles, because even the quickest charging cars take far longer to top up than simply filling up a tank. If the Tesla Model 3 or future vehicles really want to start cutting into the internal combustion engine’s profits, eventually they’ll need faster chargers.
Right now, a Tesla supercharger can charge a vehicle in around half an hour, which adds a lot of minutes to a long road trip but could be manageable as long as there’s a supercharger available. Tesla says it also plans to expand the “Destination” charging points (non-Supercharger places for a driver to charge, which are slower but still work) to 15,000 around the world.
The concept designs look pretty sweet too, with massive banks of solar panels powering the superchargers and plenty of spaces for vehicles in the lot. You can check out the full proposed network on Tesla’s site.