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  (Source: nytimes.com)
Tesla will use solar panels and batteries at Supercharger stations to help supply this extra electricity

Tesla is looking to turn the electric vehicle (EV) industry upside down once again with a new system that could fully charge a Tesla vehicle in just five minutes. 

Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel recently said that the automaker is working on a charging system that would get drivers out of the Supercharger stations and back on the road with a full charge in just 5 minutes.

“It’s not going to happen in a year from now. It’s going to be hard. But I think we can get down to five to 10 minutes,” Straubel said.

Tesla plans to do this by making sure all parts of the charging process are communicating with one another so that the battery isn't negatively affected by such fast charging speeds. A battery can easily overheat at these speeds, but Tesla's Superchargers work differently from traditional charging methods.

Traditional charging consists of on-board chargers that take AC power from the wall socket and convert it to DC. From there, it can regulate the power given to the battery. 

The Superchargers, on the other hand, skips the use of the onboard charger and converts AC to DC outside the vehicle. The outside charger keeps an eye on battery voltage and temperature and changes rates of charging as needed to keep the battery safe. But in order for the outside charger to monitor these stats, it must communicate with other parts of the vehicle. 

Aside from potential battery issues, charging more quickly can take a toll on the grid and utilities. Tesla's current Superchargers deliver 120 kilowatts of electricity while most other charging systems -- such as General Motors' -- offers a maximum of 100 kilowatts. It's difficult to draw larger amounts of power from the grid without seeing costs rise significantly. 

Tesla plans to fix this by giving its Supercharger stations solar panels and batteries. The solar power would be stored in batteries and lessen the amount of electricity drawn from the grid. Also, the system could help utilities monitor major changes in the grid, and Tesla could charge them for this service -- hence keeping costs down. 

Other automakers have employed solar power for their EVs, too. For instance, General Motors (GM) announced a solar charging canopy called the Tracking Solar Tree, which moves with the sun and helps to charge GM's EVs. It's kept in Michigan, and is able to increase renewable energy production by about 25 percent due to its movable parts. In addition, the tree will produce up to 30,000-kilowatt hours per year and generate enough solar energy to charge six EVs daily.

Deploying charging tech that will allow drivers to charge their vehicles as quickly as it takes to fill up a tank of gas could significantly help push the adoption of Tesla EVs. Convenience and cost are two huge selling points, and it looks like Tesla has tackled both in this case. 

By the time Tesla rolls out the affordable version of the Model S, which is reportedly in the works, more people may consider buying the price-friendly vehicles and using its convenient tech. 

Tesla's Supercharger stations can charge a Model S battery halfway in just 20 minutes today. 

Just last month, Tesla unveiled a convenient alternative to waiting for a Model S to charge -- battery swapping. The idea behind battery swapping is to easily open the car chassis to pull the battery out and replace it with a fully charged one. This saves the driver from having to wait for their battery to charge before traveling.

Tesla is doing everything it can to get Model S' into the hands of customers, too, as it recently ramped up production to over 400 Model S' built per week.

Source: Technology Review



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RE: yawn
By flyingpants1 on 7/19/2013 1:02:43 AM , Rating: 2
Not only do I think that Tesla will give away solar power for free forever, the CEO has stated the superchargers will be free forever . It even says it on their website. It's solar. SOLAR. It costs nothing after the initial investment. If set up properly, it pays for itself. You have absolutely no reason to believe they will start charging money for it.

The rent on the stations costs nothing, zero. The stations cost $150k to build each. $300k each with solar panels.

It costs only $60 million to build 200 stations. Which is only 1.5 weeks of revenue for Tesla, and more than pays for itself in free advertising.

The supercharging stations will allow cross-continental solar-powered EV travel, for free, forever. This is a very big deal. It is the first time anything like this has been done. I think you just hate electric cars.

Your post is a hilarious joke, spouting off nonsense regarding something you seem to know nothing about. There's a way to be skeptical without being unreasonable.


RE: yawn
By BRB29 on 7/19/2013 3:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
If I own a big restaurant or convenience store like CVS/Rite Aid/Walgreens, then I would definitely let Tesla build a bunch of these things in my parking lot for free. I'll even maintain it for them. I'm sure the power company will be more than glad to give them free power if they slap their name on it.

If anyone hasn't noticed, energy producers and deliveries were forced to split. There's a lot of companies out there that buy energy credit. Anyone can change who to buy their energy from. I would give free off peak energy for advertisement space.


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