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Published on June 25th, 2014 | by James Ayre

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Tesla Looking To Create Pan-European Supercharger Network By End Of Year

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June 25th, 2014 by
 
Tesla is aiming to have a pan-European network of Supercharger stations up and running by the end of the year, according to recent reports.

With the opening last week of three new stations along Germany’s highways, the network is continuing to steadily grow, but there remain some areas that still need to be filled in.

Image Credit: TeslaImage Credit: Tesla

As it stands currently, there are 23 supercharger stations spread out across the continent (compared to 97 in North America) — nine of which are in Germany, and six of which are in Norway. Several countries don’t have any. So there is definitely some work to be done before continent-wide travel relying only on the fast-charging stations is a reality.

The target number that will allow for such continent-wide travel has yet to be revealed by Tesla, so the exact number to be installed before year’s end remains speculation for now.

Commenting on the goal, a Tesla spokesperson noted: “This shows how important the European market is for Tesla.”

Bloomberg provides a bit more:

The carmaker, led by billionaire Elon Musk, plans to open more than 30 new service centers and stores in Europe as it anticipates a jump in sales for the Model S, priced at about $70,000. The move is part of a global rollout as Tesla forecasts a jump in deliveries of more than 55% this year.

In related news, Morgan Stanley recently made the interesting comment that Tesla Motors is now the world’s most important automaker.

Much of the very high appraisal seems to come from Tesla’s near-term plans, and from its ambitions. While it does seem pretty likely that the company will manage to meet these ambitions (or better) — the first Gigafactory, the Model E, success in the Chinese market — they all do remain as something of an open question for the time being.

So, while labeling the company as the most important in the world may seem a bit hasty, perhaps it can fully earn this title before too long.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • George T.

    And all this at the expense of Canadian Tesla owners.
    We will not be getting the SC in Canada at all! We are. apparently, irrelevant to them.

  • JamesWimberley

    The whole idea of a charging network created for one particular brand of ev is misconceived. The aim must be a dense network of universal chargers. After all, no ICE cars are sold that only run on Shell gasoline. The manufacturers can do this together.

    • Sasha S.

      Netherlands company Fastned is currently busy building a network of 200+ charging stations alongside major highways. Those charger stations are equipped with ABB Terra 52 and Terra53 fast chargers that can be software updated to be compatible with Tesla charging protocol (now that relevant patents are open-sourced). Although Tesla superchargers are 135kW and Fastned are 50kW (for now) this means that Tesla drivers will be soon able to have high density charging network supplementing current 2 supercharging stations. Other countries will follow / other companies like Nissan and Mercedes / BMW probably also.

    • RobS

      The big difference between EVs and gas vehicles is that gas vehicles do 100% of their fuelling at public stations. EVs do <5% of their fuelling at public stations and over 95% in owner's homes. This makes public chargers a supplementary device rather than a primary charging device. The reality for Tesla is that every other manufacturers EVs are for all intents and purposes Neighbourhood electric vehicles with sub 100 mile ranges and agonizingly slow charge rates that will never be functional for long range driving regardless of oublic charge infrastructure. As a result there is zero incentive for industry wide adoption of standardised high speed chargers in locations that would facilitate long range travel, for the other manufacturers this would represent a huge cost for something their vehicles would remain incapable of. Tesla therefore was faced with two option, copy what the other guys are doing, or go it alone. They chose to go it alone, design a car capable of long range travel through a combination of a battery allowing up to 260 miles of travel oer charge and with the capability to be recharged in under an hour by the right chargers. As the only manufacturers with a car with such capability they knew that they would have to similarly go it alone on the charge infrastructure.

      • Steve Grinwis

        The SAE combo charger is capable of delivering 170 kW, and several cars other than Tesla are capable of fast charging. All we’re missing is a bit more range, and that will come with cheaper batteries.

        • Offgridmanpolktn

          Being capable of a function and actually doing it are two totally different stores. The last I heard these are still set at something like 60-80 Kw, which will provide a very slow charge to a model S. So for right now these are set to provide ‘fastcharge’ to the sub 100 mile range vehicles. For right now Tesla is the only EV that you can take on a cross Europe or cross America drive and they are setting up the charging networks to make this possible, until the rest of the manufacturer’s decide to catch up.

          • Steve Grinwis

            It’s true that Tesla is the only one appropriate for such a journey, but that’s largely a function of range, not charging ability. The Mitsubishi I-Miev can charge in 15 minutes to 80% with it’s Chademo port. But, it’s not 120 kW so I guess that doesn’t count, physics be damned, right?

            When the super chargers were first rolled out, they were 90 kW. Now they’re 120 kW, I believe. But there exist SAE chargers right now that are 100 kW. How is that *not* a fast charger? Granted, most cars can’t charge at that speed, but this is largely a function of the size of the battery packs. It’s pretty hard to charge a 16 or 24 kW/hr pack at 100 kW. They would overheat. Once normal cars have 60 kWh packs or higher, we’ll start seeing the 170 kW capacity of the SAE combo charger being used.

            You’re really hard on cars that have sub 100 mile range. Why is that? I have an electric car that has, I believe, a 68 mile range. It serves my purposes excellently, and instead of costing an eye popping 80k+, it cost me $16k after rebates. In my opinion, it is Telsa that needs to catch up to other manufacturers and offer me a car that I can afford, and suits my needs. If I really need to take a road trip, I can use my other vehicle, or rent a car. This is a solution that’s cost effective to EVERYONE, RIGHT NOW. Not the promise of a cost effective car 3-4 years out.

            I don’t get this dogmatic Tesla fanboyism that prevails on the internet. Like, the Tesla is an amazing car, but it’s priced such that 90% of the population can’t afford it, and never will. Ferrari and Porsche fans don’t attempt to shame Honda drivers for their lack of horsepower. I suspect, by the time Tesla offers a cost effective car, it’ll be one with barely over 100 mile range, and competitive cars will have similar range. Oh well. I guess the internet doesn’t have to make sense.

          • Offgridmanpolktn

            I’m less of a Tesla fanboy as you put it than more down on the other manufacturers that won’t make EV’s for real usage. It is my choice to live out of the cities, had to live in and around them for forty years in order to work so think that choice is earned.
            I am glad your city car works for you, but our trips to the store, boys school, and extracurricular activities all involve 10-15 mile trips one way. Then three times a year there’s the 530 mile run to be with family at the holidays. So even with the miev’s “fast charge” we would be stopping every fifty miles for a half hour (your twenty minutes quote plus on off highway time) so would add five hours to our 9.5-10 hour trip. That is if there was sufficient charging stations, right now the closest charger is 60 miles in the wrong direction, and 100 miles in the right one even though I am on an interstate in 35-40 miles in either direction. So for now we are stuck making the trip in our old gas mobile without any gas stops, when for at least the past five years we have had plenty of surplus from our solar system to drive for free at least ten months of the year.
            Another reason for not being a fanboy is I am not paying that much for a car, even the base price is more than I paid for my 25 acres of property. However if any of the other manufacturers would add ten thousand to their 20-40 base prices to include a decent battery I would gladly give them cash for one.
            The American people got screwed by GM and the oil companies back in the 80′s with the blocking of EV’s. In the past twenty-five years my computer has gone from needing its own desk to fitting in my pocket. If the same freedom of market development had happened at the same time with EV’s they would now match the range of the gas guzzlers.

          • Offgridmanpolktn

            A little correction for misquoting you, on the miev you said fifteen minutes for the fast charge, it is wiki that said twenty. However the government rating of 62 miles of range probably involves city and highway driving so to get fifty on straight interstate trips isn’t going to be possible. So more likely to add six hours of stopping and “fast” charging to our current ten hour trip.
            I do have hopes that the stories on the Kia Soul EV pan out with the 100+ miles of range and fast charge upgrade available because we could work with that. But it is sad that this is finally coming from Korea when the US was producing electric cars with 40-60 miles of range over a hundred years ago.

          • Steve Grinwis

            It’s not like I’m the one-off here. The average commute fits nicely inside the range of a 68 mile electric car.

            That it doesn’t fit for *you* makes you the odd case. I also don’t understand your other statement. If your trips are 20 – 30 miles… sounds like a 68 mile EV would work great for you! You can do a trip in the morning, come back home, plug in, and then do a few more trips in the evening. Alternatively, plug in at work, if that’s how your day goes.

            Also, from what I can tell from what you’re saying, You don’t want to buy a Tesla, You don’t want to buy a “City EV” so that means that right now you drive a gas guzzler, and are complaining about how you’d have to drive a gas guzzler to drive your three 530 km trips to see your family… Seriously? This car seems like it fits about 96% of all your needs, and for the rest, you can cheaply rent a Prius or something.

          • Offgridmanpolktn

            Just because a city EV works for a majority of people that number could be as small as 51% of the driving public. I can easily list thousands of people just in my rural county that the thirty to sixty mile range of city vehicles won’t work because while the school or grocery store may be within thirty miles the city with the doctors, public offices and most forms of entertainment are forty or fifty so 68 still doesn’t cut it. So I am not really the odd man out.
            Not buying the model S is in part a refusal to pay the premium for new tech, just like not buying a new smartphone when they come out at 500$ plus when waiting six months to a year gets it for 200$.thats why I will have the cash for a model X or economy Tesla whenever they finally show up for the forty or fifty grand range.
            Cheaply rent a prius? Sure after the fifty mile trip to the city to get it and then I am still supporting the fossil fuel industry.
            What is so wrong with my expecting 200 mile EV’s from the manufacturer’s, which I told you is who my major gripe is with. There are millions of us that need them and are forced to keep supporting the fossil fuel companies until they are in the showrooms.
            Since you converted my 530 mile trip into kilometers am going to assume that you are not in the US. So have no comprehension of the millions of us living in rural and suburban areas where a long range vehicle is a requirement because there is no public transportation.

          • Steve Grinwis

            I’m in Canada. And the U.S. around 8% of commuters travel more than 35 miles one way. The other 92% travel less than that. You are the outlier.

            Cite: http://www.statisticbrain.com/commute-statistics/

          • Offgridmanpolktn

            So as I said you do not live in the US and cannot identify with the conditions here. If you are only going to acknowledge the people with jobs as drivers then you ignore 42% of my local population which is retired or disabled and still need to drive forty plus miles to reach their doctors.
            Even sticking with your 8% number of the 120 million employed people in the US as of 5/14 don’t they deserve a EV that will serve their needs?
            Maybe there is something wrong with me but I just can’t understand why you think that short range city EV’s or hybrids are the best that we can expect out of the automotive industry. Even if we are outliers or a minority of the population does that mean that we only get one company with an overpriced product serving the market?
            As shown in multiple industries over the past couple of centuries (or even millenia) when there is demand for a better product multiple suppliers come forth to fill that need and I am just one of the voices making that need known.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m one of the thousands who live “40 plus miles” to just about anywhere. (Other than the mailbox. It’s only four miles away.)

            Thing is, there are hundreds of millions who live less than 40 miles from everything.

          • Steve Grinwis

            “Even if we are outliers or a minority of the population does that mean that we only get one company with an overpriced product serving the market? ”

            For now, yes. That’s how the market works. The market tries to make the most money with the least investment.

            The batteries for this current generation of EV’s, were still pretty expensive. Expensive enough that building vehicles out to the range you want is cost prohibitive. That batteries in the Model S 60 kWh were worth 45k when they first started production. It’s anyone’s guess what they’re worth now. Would you buy a 60k – 65k electric vehicle? Would you consider that ‘overpriced’?

    • Matt

      Lets talk again in 9-12 months when the open source Tesla IP has had a little time to sink in.

      • Steve Grinwis

        The “open source’ Tesla IP isn’t actually open. it’s just a statement from Elon saying ‘We wont sue you’. For it to be truly open, some sort of licence must be produced.

        Also, a lot of the patents for batteries involve adapting to the tiny little cells that Tesla uses, instead of the higher quality large format cells that everyone else uses.

        As such, they’re mostly useless to the rest of the world. Nice gesture though. The interesting thing is access to the supercharger network. If other companies get on board with that, and start building cars that can use them, and start contributing to the network buildout, that would be really interesting…

        • Teo

          Bigger cells are neither cheaper, or more advanced or easier to cool. Tesla battery pack have liquid cooling. With bigger cells you can’t cool them quickly. Therefore you can’t charge them faster with higher current. That’s the reason why no other electric car charges as fast as a Tesla.

          As for patent licensing, Elon Musk said (in a conference call with media on the same day the patent blog post was published) that Tesla will sign an agreement if anybody wants to do that.

          To listen to it click on the following page. It works even if
          you enter a bogus email.
          http://www.media-server.com/m/p/6vpa5qod

          • Steve Grinwis

            That explains why the I-Miev charges in 30 minutes via it’s Chademo port and is air cooled?

            For the record, that’s as fast as the Tesla by % charge, and with a simpler cooling mechanism to boot.

            So, no. You’re flat out wrong on that. Tesla doesn’t have magic tech or engineering that lets them do things no one else can. If the I-miev pack was scaled up, it could accept more current. It’d still be limited by the acceptable charge rate of the cell. Nothing more. It’s a chemistry limitation, not a battery pack limitation.

            Also, the large format cells *are* more advanced. They are custom made, large format cells, and they’re built tougher than the laptop cells that Musk favors. They aren’t cheaper, but they’re still falling in price. They also mean that the large format packs are much easier to engineer, since they have a few hundred cells, instead of the 7 thousand that are in the Tesla packs.

            Finally, You can totally cool the large format cells as fast, and as hard as you want, My electric car is also water cooled, (and the A/C can be used to chill the water). They just put a water jacket around the cell. Done. Easy, peasy. You design the larger cells with heat transfer in mind, to get the heat to the water jacket.

          • Offgridmanpolktn

            In previous posts you have been calling me a Tesla fanboy, why are you such a Tesla hater?
            The miev that you keep on bragging on can’t even do one quarter of the range of a Tesla, no matter if it is big or small cells.
            And actually thanks for the smile, it is really humorous that the fifteen minutes charge time you were claiming before has now turned into a half hour.

          • Steve Grinwis

            I’m not a Tesla hater, I just realize two things:

            1) That Tesla doesn’t have any magic technology not available to anyone else.
            2) That Tesla’s are horribly expensive right now.

            As for the i-miev, I don’t own one, so I keep looking up sources for the charge time, and they apparently vary. It’s somewhere in that 15 – 30 minute gap though. Close enough. It’s going to vary wildly by temperature and SoC anyway.

            And yes, the i-miev is a better car, in pure technical terms. It’s affordable, durable, and covers the needs of the overwhelming majority of the population. That is has 1/4 the range is irrelevant, when it’s target market is for people who drive 1/16th the range to work.

            When the next generation of electric cars comes out, I’m sure they’ll have more range, but probably not the hundreds of miles you’re talking about, as that doesn’t make sense.

            In short, have fun waiting for a product that few people want, and that you probably can’t afford anyways! :D

            In the meantime, I’ll keep driving my little EV, and enjoying the savings, and the awesome driving experience that comes with EV’s. And you enjoy hating having to pay for gas, m’ok?

    • Teo

      Tesla superchargers provide 135 kW power. The nearest competition is Chademo at 63 kW. There is no other electric car that can charge at 135 kW. It is not Tesla’s fault other electric cars and charging stations are limited.

      • Steve Grinwis

        The nearest competition is the SAE CCS port, which will be upgraded to 90 kW shortly, and scales to 240 kW.

        Cite: “The SAE DC Level 3 charging levels have not been determined, but the standard as it exists as of 2009 has the potential to charge at 200–600 V DC at a maximum of 400 A (240 kW)”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772#Charging

        A BMW i3 charged at 240 kW would charge at a rate of 18 miles per minute.

        For the record, I don’t believe the Supercharger connector is capable of this.

        • Offgridmanpolktn

          Still you respond with potentials and possibilities, and if something was to happen. Right now the model S with the larger battery pack and software upgrade is charging at 135 Kw. Their plan (Tesla) with the 300+ mile batteries coming out of the gigafactory is to get that over 200 Kw of charge. Here like you I am talking about an ‘if’, but since Tesla has the patents and has continually come through with the results of the high range vehicles it would seem they have the best odds of actually being available unlike the chademo possibilities. Of course one of the primary purposes of Tesla from the start was to stimulate the rest of the industry towards producing high mileage EV’s, which as explained at the last shareholders meeting still isn’t happening, so the decision to release their patents as open source.
          Also came back to thank you for making me laugh again with your previous comment on what kind of car I can afford. But then you have no way of realizing that when taking early retirement ten years ago bought my property (twenty acres of which are left in trees for carbon capture), built our home, and installed a solar/wind system that has kept us off grid for the past seven years with cash. Though it was explained that if there was a 200 mile EV for less than fifty grand it would already be in the driveway. So just to reassure you my paid up reservation is in on the model X, so will be making the change with a long range more reasonably priced (to me) EV as soon as possible, and possibly with the Soul also if the rumors pan out. Maybe you can try to understand that my reasons for not buying a city car that won’t serve our needs go beyond the actual cost. However I would be quite happy to compare carbon footprints with you with the choices and timing that have been done.
          However since there just doesn’t seem to be a way for you to see that any of my comments could be valid may you have many happy miles in your grid charged city car and this is actually a sincere thank you for your choice to do what you can to try and make things better for our earth. Please just try to understand that while we may be outliers and few unless the market provides options that work for all of us the health of the world is still going to be damaged.

          • Steve Grinwis

            It’s awesome that you have built your home like that, that’s well outside of what I could ever possibly afford.

            That may explain our issue here actually. I, like most of the country, can’t afford anything from Tesla, and won’t be able to unless they manage to release the Model E for less than $25k. I couldn’t currently afford something with the kind of range you are discussing, and similarly, I don’t think most people could yet either. Falling battery prices may eventually change that, but not for a few years.

            I still think it’s unfair to rag on the other manufacturers for failing to deliver an expensive niche product in a nascent market. They’ve managed to sell 25k volts so far. A product at double the price, would probably be sub 1k. I’m kind of hoping that as battery prices fall, we’ll eventually be able to buy additional range as an option, like what Tesla does now with the 60 kWh and 85 kWh packs.

            That will likely be the only way you get the range you need out of normal manufacturers. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • No way

    Pan-european = covering all of Europe.
    That’s just a joke. There will be coverage of some central european countries and nordic countries.
    Anyone claiming a pan-european network has never seen a map of Europe before.

    • A Real Libertarian

      http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger

      According to the map it’s supposed to go from Krakow to Aragon and from Naples to the Arctic Circle, plus all of England, Wales and Scotland (minus Shetland the Orkneys).

      • No way

        Yes, as I said. Some central european countries and some nordic countries. It’s still less than a fourth of Europe.
        It’s impressive to have built that in such a short time. But it’s way off being a pan-european network. Maybe by the end of 2015 it will be almost a pan-western europe network.

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