Tesla plans to build more than 10,000 electric cars per week by the end of 2018. Now, it’s trying to build enough stations to charge them. On Nov. 15, the company announced its two largest Supercharger stations in North America along popular two California routes in and out of Los Angeles.
Tesla is decking out its stops with high-end amenities and comforts in an effort to help define how people view the transition to electric transport. Tesla Superchargers use high voltage connections to fill up cars’ battery packs in about 30 minutes (home chargers can take several hours).
The company has built one 40-stall station in Kettleman City, California, for motorists along the Bay Area-Los Angeles route that includes a “customer lounge” for Tesla drivers who access the building with a key code from their Tesla’s console. Amenities include a kid’s play wall, food, craft beverages, restrooms, comfortable seating, WiFi, and Tesla apparel. A second station in Baker, California, serves travelers between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The company has installed solar panels and PowerPack batteries to boost charging capacity at each station.
Tesla’s new supercharger station in Kettleman CA (Tesla)
Tesla gives Model S and X owners about 400 kWh (~1,000 miles) of Supercharger credits annually before charging about $0.20 per kWh (kilowatt-hour). In response to complaints that motorists where leaving their cars parked at stations, Tesla now charges “idle fees” for a car occupying a Supercharger stall after five minutes without charging if the station is at least 50% full.
“The ongoing expansion of the networks will ensure that Tesla drivers are able to quickly and easily charge their vehicles no matter what, and that a seamless charging experience remains our priority,” the company stated.