by Bianca Rodriguez
Tesla Superchargers are currently the best and fastest charging option for long-distance travelers driving one of Tesla’s all-electric vehicles. A Supercharger takes a mere 30 minutes to replenish batteries from 10% to 80% charge, enough time to take a restroom break or grab a coffee during a long trip; or 75 minutes to reach a full 100% charge, enough time for a meal at a nearby restaurant. A battery charged at 80% will provide about 170 miles of driving range, which should be enough to reach the next Supercharger along some of the more popular routes. Even so, Tesla is continuing to increase the number of Supercharger locations around the world to fill the need of an increasing population of Tesla drivers. This is especially necessary due to the new Tesla Model 3, which is expected to be available after 2018. Starting at $35,000, the Model 3 is Tesla’s most affordable car and will most likely increase the number of Tesla drivers as more people will be able to afford these high-tech full electric vehicles.
Access and usage of Superchargers have been free to Model X and Model S owners since their introduction. However, new Tesla owners who have ordered their vehicles after January 15, 2017 will receive a limited amount (about 1,000 miles worth) of charging per year, followed by fees for any additional charging. Any charging done past the allotted amount will be automatically billed to a credit card or bank account linked to the vehicle. Most Superchargers will have a fixed price rate per kWh (kilowatt hour) based on the charger’s location, but some Superchargers will be priced per minute based on the selected charging speed. Additionally, Tesla announced a new solution to overcrowding at charger locations. An “idle fee” has been implemented for cars left plugged in to a Supercharger after reaching full charge, encouraging drivers to move their vehicles upon charge completion. Fortunately, these fees will only be applied at crowded charging stations where at least half the chargers are in use.