May 31, 2013

YOUR NEXT CAR WILL BE A VOLT:

Tesla speeds up free nationwide charging network, 20-minute quick repower (Justin Hyde, May 30, 2013, Yahoo)

If there's one nut left uncracked by Tesla Motors, it's the inherent range limits of electric vehicles. The Model S sedan can travel about 270 miles on a full charge, but the combination of lack of high-power vehicle plug-in stations and lengthy charging times keeps the Model S from being of use for a classic American road trip. Today, Tesla co-founder Elon Musk revealed the company would speed the expansion of its free Supercharger network to make a coast-to-coast journey viable within two years -- and a new charging system that would drastically shorten how long Model S sedan owners would have to wait for juice. [..]

Tesla vows that its owners can use the Superchargers for free, for life; the chargers only work with Teslas, and can handle between four and 10 cars at a time. While a full recharge at the Supercharger currently takes more than 40 minutes, Musk said Tesla would soon deploy a higher-power charging option that would restore three hours of driving time in 20 minutes, using a 120-kW charge -- about 60 times more power than a typical house uses in a day -- while not harming the Model S battery packs.

Over time, Musk says he plans for the Superchargers to be powered mostly by solar panels, with large battery packs in the chargers that store spare energy and recharge vehicles. "These stations will operate even if the entire national grid goes down," Musk said. "Even if there's a zombie apocalypse, you'll still be able to travel using the Tesla Supercharging system."

Posted by at May 31, 2013 9:38 PM
  

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