Print 53 comment(s) - last by Schrag4.. on Sep 27 at 1:56 PM

Free solar charging network from Tesla will reduce range anxiety

Tesla Motors has a lot of hopes riding on its new Model S electric vehicle. The company hopes that the Model S will help it become profitable. In August, the company finished production of its first 50 vehicles and began deliveries to customers.

However, despite the excellent performance and sexy looks, one of the problems drivers have with any electric vehicle is range anxiety.
Drivers who might otherwise be interested in an electric vehicle become concerned that the car may run out of power before they reach their destination and often opt for a hybrid or conventional car instead of the EV due to that fear. Tesla has announced that it intends to install a revolutionary network of high-performance electric chargers around the country that it is calling the Supercharger network. The chargers will be available to Model S and other Tesla vehicle owners at no cost.
“Tesla’s Supercharger network is a game changer for electric vehicles, providing long distance travel that has a level of convenience equivalent to gasoline cars for all practical purposes. However, by making electric long distance travel at no cost, an impossibility for gasoline cars, Tesla is demonstrating just how fundamentally better electric transport can be,” said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO. “We are giving Model S the ability to drive almost anywhere for free on pure sunlight.”

Tesla Model S
Tesla has revealed the locations for the initial six Supercharger stations. The stations are installed throughout California and in parts of Nevada and Arizona. The electricity used to recharge Tesla vehicles using the Superchargers comes from a solar carport system installed by SolarCity. According to Tesla, using these solar installations means that there is almost zero marginal energy costs after the installation.
By next year, Tesla plans to install Superchargers in high-traffic corridors across the continental United States. The goal is to provide fast purely electric travel from Vancouver to San Diego, Miami to Montréal, and Los Angeles to New York according to Tesla area
The company will also begin installing Superchargers in Europe and Asia in the second half of 2013. Supercharger is an apt name for the new charging systems that are able to provide almost 100 kW of power to the Model S. The charging stations also have the potential to go as high as 120 kW in the future. The charging capacity is enough to allow the Model S to drive for three hours at 60 mph after 30 minutes of charging.

Source: Tesla Motors

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No it won't
By Motoman on 9/25/2012 9:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
Free solar charging network from Tesla will reduce range anxiety

No, no it won't. Not unless you installed one every 50 miles on every road in America. Or less.

Face it, electric car industry...the technology isn't ready. Go back to the drawing board and get back to us when you can get 300 miles from a single charge, and can recharge in something like 10 minutes.

RE: No it won't
By hankw on 9/25/2012 10:58:11 AM , Rating: 3
It's gotta start somewhere. How many gas stations were up when cars started to become popular? What were the range of those cars? If no one released any products until it met 100% of your needs there'd be very little innovation and progress.

RE: No it won't
By quiksilvr on 9/25/2012 11:24:23 AM , Rating: 3
What I don't understand is why does it have to be a SINGLE PLUG to charge?

Why can't the battery be divided into like 8 subsections and then just plug eight 240V plugs? That will be done in about 10 minutes plus plugging in something isn't exactly the most difficult thing in the world. It's easier than using a pump so I don't see why doing that eight times is such a hassle.

But if you really wanted to make it convenient, just have one super plug that divides it eight ways internally 240V for each subsystem?

We already have electric cars with 300 mile ranges. The main problem is cost, not the technology. We have the technology to have super fast charging. It's just expensive.

RE: No it won't
By soydios on 9/25/2012 11:49:51 AM , Rating: 3
That's sorta what they do already. The battery is a massive array of cells arranged both in series and in parallel. The smart charging circuitry charges each as fast as the chemistry safely allows.

RE: No it won't
By hankw on 9/25/2012 11:51:43 AM , Rating: 2
We already have electric cars with 300 mile ranges. The main problem is cost, not the technology. We have the technology to have super fast charging. It's just expensive.

Agreed, money is one of the main factors which is why they need to release something to make money and not let it incubate in the labs until everyone is 100% satisfied. Whatever mistake they make now will be corrected in the next iteration like all technology.

RE: No it won't
By web2dot0 on 9/25/2012 3:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
Hey genius, maybe you should patent this "idea" and make millions of it! hahahaha.

This why we have ENGINEERS working on this, not lay man like yourself. You know, like smart people, not people who bitch and complain and think they can do it better.

Ever heard of HEAT? Right, I'm just going to charge 6000 laptop battery simulateneously at full power and close quarters, at unlimited ampage and nothing wrong is ever gonna happen.

I wonder why people don't put 100000hp on a honda civic, like, wouldn't it go very fast?!?!?! Patent the idea buddy!!

RE: No it won't
By quiksilvr on 9/26/12, Rating: 0
RE: No it won't
By RedemptionAD on 9/25/2012 2:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
The issue I see with possible mass adoption is proprietary charging, like this charging system is only good on Tesla cars. If electric charging is standardized and could be a simple add on to an existing gas station then the system could begin to truly replace gasoline.

RE: No it won't
By Guspaz on 9/26/2012 3:49:37 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that there is no standardized connector for this yet. The closest there is is SAE J1772, which gets you up to only 20 KW, while Tesla is doing 100-120 through their port.

Tesla includes a J1772 adapter with the car so you can use those, but we'll eventually need a high power connector standard to solve this problem. Until then, adapters will have to suffice.

RE: No it won't
By Motoman on 9/25/2012 5:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
You're missing a very important the time that the car was first introduced, it was clearly superior to the other option at the carriages.

Electric cars are coming into an environment where they're inferior in every way to existing cars. Honestly, they wouldn't even be on the market it it wasn't for government subsidies.

You try bringing a new product to market that's markedly worse than everything else already on the market, and see how you do...

RE: No it won't
By Pirks on 9/25/2012 6:34:33 PM , Rating: 2
Electric cars are coming into an environment where they're inferior in every way to existing cars
This lie reminds me of the typical religious crap you always post in the Apple related threads here :)

Let's look at the reality and debunk some of your crap, shall we?

Advantages of EVs

1) less complexity 2) less service 3) less waste like oil changes 4) more efficiency than ICE 5) great potential for clean nuclear/solar/wind energy production, no CO2 or any other harmful emissions 6) quiet, no noise 7) more fun to drive with perfect flat torque curve 8) potential to make grid absolutely bulletproof and disaster proof with so many EV batteries connected to the grid acting as balance counterweights 9) nice backup storage of electricity for your house in case hurricane/snowstorm strikes and disrupts power lines in your area


1) price

Range is not a disadvantage because I mentioned price already, and with enough money right now you can equip EV with battery that will last 300 miles easily.

So folks don't listen to clueless Motoman here, he should stay in Apple threads and entertain public there ;)

RE: No it won't
By Manch on 9/26/2012 2:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
Advantages of gasoline engines:

3)fill up in less than 10 min vs 30min to several hours
4) more variety of vehicles to do the job you need.
5) You buy your own car, I don't have to subsidize your purchase.
6) For the price of an EV I can buy a car and a generator for my house and still have money to fill up both of them several times
7)I can also use that vehicle to get the hell out of dodge if a storm is coming

As far as EVs and your points go:
While point 7 is purely subjective, 5, 8, & 9 are just absurd.

Range is a disadvantage bc after 300 miles you need to charge it. If theres no quick charging station near by then what? Better get a hotel. Also, look at the leaf. All kinds of issues with that one.

Seems to me that you have taken on a religious view of EV's and cannot accept that they are just not ready. Hybrids are a better solution.

RE: No it won't
By macca007 on 9/26/2012 3:23:35 AM , Rating: 1
My V8 gets way less than 300 miles.
Lucky if I get 350km out of a tank honestly.
This range bullshit is rediculous, Most people will be lucky if they do 100km both ways to and from work. Plug in at home and charge it overnight it is more than enough.
Also others saying they need it to drive on long holiday trips and such, Why? When now airline tickets are so cheap you would be absolutely crazy to waste money on fuel driving there and wasting a day or 2 of your holidays getting there and feeling tired on arrival.
Personally I cant fkn wait to swap over to an electric car(performance version of course) when the price comes down,Range is not an issue will be just as good as what I have now. Also rather have electric car in front not giving me cancer from their 20 year old cars exhaust that hasn't ever been serviced. And before anyone says but the electricity comes from coal power and other polluting sources, Yes it does but it sure as hell is way more efficient and cleaner than burning oil.
As for servicing an electric car compared to my V8, Another winner for electrics. It would be funny, You book your electric car in for a service they are like ummm yeah we checked your tyres and refilled your windscreen washer fluid that will be $20 thanks. lol
My car is like $500 for a standard service, That's if I am lucky and no other issues! Amount of money on my car wasted in last 10 years would have probably covered 1/5 the price of the cheapest electric car on market already.
Give it time folks,They have to start somewhere. No more reliance on foreign oil and prices is also another good thing no matter which country you are presently in.

RE: No it won't
By Manch on 9/26/2012 10:13:58 AM , Rating: 2
1/5 of a NIssan Leaf ($35250)which is the cheapest electric car I believe comes out to $705 a year in maintenance costs.

I don't know what kind of car you drive but lets say:

12000 miles a year
oil change every 3k/7qts/$5 a quart your yearly bill would be $140
oil/air filters would cost you $80 yearly.
Tires rated for 35K means you would be bout halfway thru your 3rd set that you would have had to buy. @ $175 a tire that would average to $210 a year.

$60 a year for windshield wipers

$100 for incidentals

This totals to $590. Tese prices are what you would pay at an autozone, tirerack etc, so you complaining about 705$ a year?

Your std service fee of $500 seems like Bull$h!t to me. Plus the rest of your argument is nothing but hype, hyperbole, and hope it wills.

RE: No it won't
By macca007 on 9/27/2012 3:06:16 AM , Rating: 1
$700 a year to service a modified V8? heh what planet are you on, A clutch alone is 2k. Gone through 3 of those so far. And numerous other mechanical issues that I would not have from an electric car.
$175 a tyre? LOL ummm NOOOO my life is worth more than that try AU$450 and those are just average performance tyres not the top ones that pro car enthusiasts have.
$500 IS correct for a service I don't drive some cheap shitbox and I always get everything done even if it isn't really needed for a few more services, Are you in America or something where cars are rediculously cheap? lucky bastards.
Nissan leaf 35k? you must be as it starts at AU$51k where I am! yeah that's right $51k for that tiny car. Chevy volt is even worse it is about AU$60k, I would have really considered buying one if it was below $45k but at AU60k no hope. We don't even get any incentives here to buy these cars like you lot over there.
Like I said PRICES are main concern for some of us not range, Range is least of my concerns as pretty much any new car electric or ICE will be better than what I have now thanks to new technology. Even with more added power these new cars do better in fuel consumption!
You can laugh all you like but wait and see in another 20 years, Electric cars are here to stay and will only get better and cheaper.

RE: No it won't
By Schrag4 on 9/27/2012 1:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
Did I misunderstand your 2 longwinded posts? You seem to suggest that the only alternative to the Nissan Leaf is a suped-up modified V8 with huge expensive tires. You do realize there are gasoline-powered options out there for about 1/4 the initial and maintenance costs, right?

RE: No it won't
By Pirks on 9/26/2012 3:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
1) range is same as price (more price more range problem solved :P)
2) fill up time matters only for cab drivers, the rest will recharge at night
3) variety is not an issue with more and more manufacturers switching to EV every year
4) you buy your EV car too, no need to subsidize it
5) for the price of EV blah blah see price above, the ONLY real argument
6) you can also use EV to get hell out of dodge

no real sound arguments from you besides price. just as expected. and I didn't say EVs are ready for EVERYONE as of TODAY.

RE: No it won't
By Manch on 9/27/2012 5:31:05 AM , Rating: 2
Whether you pay 2K or 50K for a ice vehicle, range is about the same. Again a 5min fillup extends that. YOu can not do that with an EV.

All EVs are subsidized by tax payers, so no. If you buy an EV, everyone elses tax helps pay for it.

Yeah you can pay more to get more range, but spec a similar ice vehicle and the price is far less leaving you plenty of money to fill up.

You didn't address hauling capacity. The more you carry, the less distance you can travel. While this is true for ice vehicles, again 5min fillup.

More and more manufacturers are making EV's but do you see any trucks? SUV? Nope, because of RANGE.
EVs aren't ready. It's the batteries. Until they can resolve capacity and recharge rates, it will continue to be so.

Hybrids are a better solution. None of the range anxiety, prices are within reason for the most part.

RE: No it won't
By slunkius on 9/26/2012 1:01:52 AM , Rating: 2
at the time that the car was first introduced, it was clearly superior to the other option at the carriages

pure lie. when cars were introduced, the were not as reliable as horses, riding a horse was faster than a car, several horses could draw heavier loads than cars, and car was expensive toys for the wealthy. cars overcame these, so give time to electric and we chall see

RE: No it won't
By kingmotley on 9/25/2012 11:22:32 AM , Rating: 2
Ready for me. I don't drive 300 miles in a day.

If my city put one in at the train station parking lot, I'd never have to charge it except for there since I rarely drive more than 300 miles in a weekend.

RE: No it won't
By Flunk on 9/25/2012 11:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
Good point there, for a lot of us, particularly the city dwellers, even the current range available from the Leaf is enough for our daily commutes and in-town driving. Yes, it's not a road-trip vehicle but it's marketed as a second car. If you want a vehicle that is electric most of the time until you want to go on a trip the Volt is quite serviceable.

RE: No it won't
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2012 1:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
Like I've said before, most families have more than one car. You can have one electric and one gas, use the electric car for whomever's commute fits the range best and use the gas car for travel.

RE: No it won't
By SlyNine on 9/25/2012 2:05:48 PM , Rating: 2
And you split the wear and tear to. So both cars, assuming people take care of them, will last little less then 2x as long. I will get 2 cars at one point and one of them will be electric.

RE: No it won't
By Spuke on 9/25/2012 5:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
You can have one electric and one gas
Or better yet, one sports car, one diesel pickup, and one crossover.

RE: No it won't
By guffwd13 on 9/25/2012 11:48:54 AM , Rating: 2
no 10 min. charge, but for the record the 85kWh battery for the high end Model S has a 240-335 mile range driving at 50-70mph. realistically you're probably closer to the low end, but that's 4 hours instead of three, which is perfect for an 8hour drive split up with lunch or dinner.

RE: No it won't
By danjw1 on 9/25/2012 12:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
From what I have read they are at rest stops that already exist. Usually these have vending machines, water fountains, rest rooms and nice views. It gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs and move a around a bit. There is one on the main route from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe and the rest are currently south of San Francisco going down to Los Angeles. Maybe you like to strap your self and family into the car and drive eight to ten hours without stop, but most of us will not want to do that (don't forget your adult diapers).

The plan is to dot the country with these stations by the end of 2014. There will always be those who refuse to accept new technologies, but the rest of use can enjoy it while they sit on the sidelines and talk about how it will never work.

RE: No it won't
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2012 1:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
Well my Tacoma is 7 years old with 35,000 miles so at this rate I should keep it for another 14 years. So I figure 14 years from now electric cars should be at a high level of development. I'll let you guys buy the first generation of this stuff.

RE: No it won't
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2012 1:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
When was the saturn EV-1 about 14 years ago, now look at this testla. Thats a pretty amazing change in technology, imagine another 14 years.

RE: No it won't
By danjw1 on 9/25/2012 2:41:45 PM , Rating: 2
Hopefully, within 14 years we have efficient hydrogen cracking and will be moving to fuel cells. Fuel cells generate electricity; So research and development on EVs can be moved into fuel cell vehicles. This also assumes we commit to roll out hydrogen fuel stations around the country. Of course this also assumes we can find a safe way to store hydrogen in vehicles.

RE: No it won't
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2012 4:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
Safe? Gasoline is not safe. :)

RE: No it won't
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 9/25/2012 5:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
Naah, H2 is not nearly as good as gasoline as far as energy density goes. A gasoline/cng fuel cell would be ideal, especially if the gasoline or natural gas is fabricated from CO2 and water.

RE: No it won't
By web2dot0 on 9/25/2012 3:55:01 PM , Rating: 2
You should also wait until iPhone 100 comes out, because by then, it can read your mind and can drive the car for you and do your job at work ....

If everyone thinks that way, no one will ever discover america and no one will ever explore anywhere, and Neil Armstrong would of never stepped on the moon.

It's call progress, and you should embrace it, not fear it.

RE: No it won't
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2012 4:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly I want people to think like you and be an early adopter on whatever were talking about. Then I can come along and by the stuff for cheaper when its more developed.

RE: No it won't
By Spuke on 9/25/2012 5:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
Then I can come along and by the stuff for cheaper when its more developed.
At this point, I don't care how developed EV's are or not, I'm not buying one. In 10 years, I'll re-evaluate one as a used (under $10k including replacement battery pack), cheap commuter (2nd car will be an old Alfa or BMW).

RE: No it won't
By danjw1 on 9/25/2012 2:12:53 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, looks like they are putting them in spots that have restaurants nearby. So not what I was thinking of as "rest stops" that are along the I-5 here in California. There is one is Barstow, but nothing in Vegas. There are a number of public charging stations in Vegas that are free to use, but they aren't the Super Chargers, and Tesla owners will need an adapter to use the. It would be nice if they had one up in the Lake Tahoe area. They do have one between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, along I-80, in Folsom, CA. Within 2 years they say they will have Coast to Coast covered with the Super Chargers. Though, it looks like some the the northern no coastal states won't get coverage until a bit later.

RE: No it won't
By Spuke on 9/25/2012 5:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
Do you own or are planning to buy a Tesla? If so, the new sedan or the upcoming SUV?

RE: No it won't
By FITCamaro on 9/25/2012 1:51:58 PM , Rating: 3
Not to mention the huge cost of this. Free electricity stations just with the routes they've talked about? Sorry but it'd be prohibitively expensive in the long run. Those facilities will require maintenance. Those costs have to be covered by something.

RE: No it won't
By danjw1 on 9/25/2012 2:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
I saw a number for this in an article for building them. I think it was around $20-30 million for all of the North American stations, at least that is what I think I read. They also plan to start rolling out stations in Europe and Asia next summer.

They are using Solar City for the charging stations, that is a company that Elon Musk founded and is currently Chairman for. They do solar installations and maintenance for homes, business and government.

RE: No it won't
By danjw1 on 9/25/2012 2:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
Forgot to mention in this response that they intend to put more electricity into the grid then they pull out of it. If they can do this, then they could at least break even or at least mitigate the ongoing expense of maintenance.

RE: No it won't
By FishTankX on 9/26/2012 2:49:51 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, the biggest capacity model of Model S already has a manufacturer quoted max range of 300 miles. Second, if you can get 150 miles of range from half an hour of charging, you could theoreically just go in, grab a bite to eat and a drink, use the bathroom, and come back. Have enough range for tomorrow. The restaurants could work out a deal where you get a free charge if you eat there/buy something.

What would make alot more sense though, is rapid electrolyte exchange. That would allow instant charging for batteries. Ala BP's technology.

This would solve the massive current problem (Gas station's electrolyte charging electricity is constant current, negating the need for sporadically drawing down 300-400kw) and probably allow a 'fillup' in about 5 minutes, i'm guessing.

RE: No it won't
By GotThumbs on 9/26/2012 9:22:07 AM , Rating: 2
Only if you have an inability to think ahead. If you can't plan before a trip and how many miles you expect to travel, then don't buy an electric car. AAA is also working on supporting electric car owners with emergency charge vehicles when needed.

If your a negative will always take the negative view on ANY topic.

Any rational person understands there are limits to this evolving technology, but as time passes and new innovations occur in the area of batteries and support will be possible to safely travel further on 100% electric.

I drive 32 miles each day to and from work....even the Nissan leaf would satisfy my daily commute and I still have my other vehicles for longer trips. It's just not worth the cost of buying a new car at this time for me, but I'm not bashing the system like you are.

Try and start loving yourself and cheer up. Open your mind to the fact that no one is forcing you to buy one.

RE: No it won't
By FlyBri on 9/26/2012 12:39:40 PM , Rating: 2
I agree range and charging times need to improve. But in certain areas (like here in SoCal), these charging networks will reduce range anxiety.

And on a side note, I saw a Tesla Model S on the road here in L.A. yesterday -- looks amazing

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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