Published on August 30th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


Tesla Brings Superchargers To Norway

August 30th, 2013 by  

Originally published on sister site Ecopreneurist.

Tesla Motors today introduced its supercharger network of electric car chargers in Norway. Norway has one of the highest electric car ownership rates (relative to its population size) in the world. Constructing charging stations there would help thee early adopters and make prospective electric vehicle buyers more confident that they will be able to recharge whenever necessary.

Many of us consider this is critical to the adoption of electric vehicles. Tesla Motors has been promising to place its Supercharger networks within the range of all Tesla Model S vehicles so that they will not have to worry about running out of charge, and thanks to Tesla’s special technology, these Superchargers live up to their name and charge quite fast.

Tesla Model S with Supercharger in Norway. Image Credit: Tesla Motors.

Another thing worth noting is that, the faster a person charges, the more cars can charge per day, and the less likely it is that people will have to wait for someone else to finish charging.

Superchargers have been installed in Lyngdal, Aurland, Dombås, Gol, Cinderella and Lillehammer. Norway is mostly covered by Superchargers now.

According to the news source, PR Newswire, Model S customers can drive routes such as the E6 from Trondheim to Oslo, the E18 from Oslo to Kristiansand, the E39 from Kristiansand to Stavanger, and Highway7 from Oslo to Gol for free and with minimal stops. Approximately 90% of the Norwegian population lives within 320 km of a Supercharger station, and about 60% of the country’s total land mass is within the same distance of a station.

The fact that the Superchargers are free is of course a great perk. This gives Tesla Model S owners a great deal of assurance: Relatively fast charging, anywhere in the country, and its free.

Attempting to cover an entire country with charging stations may be very costly, but it could be worth it. As Shai Agassi noted in a series of posts in the past two weeks, the company that leads the way in a new, disruptive market gets rewarded handsomely (look at Apple, Google, Ford, etc.).

This means that in the US and Norway, the Tesla Model S is the most practical electric car (where range and the ability to recharge is concerned). Tesla has done something that no other manufacturer has done: build the cars and the infrastructure to support them!

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Rack1600

    Fantastic! When is a supercharger coming to Denmark?? Tesla’s also fit our requirements perfectly, we are just missing the charging network.

  • Bob_Wallace

    I wish I knew Tesla’s strategy going forward from the S/luxury models.

    Do they see themselves setting up adequate charging for their $30k/cheaper EVs as well? Keeping them exclusive for Tesla products?

    If so, that’s way too Apple-ie and Sony-ie for my taste.

    I don’t see an advantage to being so much removed from the remainder of the market. There are going to be places off the main routes where EVs will be fewer. Better to put in a generic fast charger for all brands.

    (I moved away from Apple early on largely due to their restrictive computers and never considered purchasing a Sony digital because of the Memory Stick.)

    • RobS

      Firms are free to put in generic chargers, fast chargers are mainly for road trips and frankly none of the other players seem interested in making a vehicle with a range that makes road tripping practical. With a leaf at highway speeds you would need to put superchargers every 50 miles, Tesla only needs them every 150 miles. I fully support Tesla going it alone when the rest of the market is clearly uninterested in delivering a car capable of long distance travel.

      • Bob_Wallace

        I don’t at all agree that none of the other EV manufacturers are interested in making a longer range EV. They are simply trying to go for a different share of the market. GM is apparently testing a battery that gives almost twice the range of the Tesla battery. I suspect they would use that to create a more affordable EV with S- like range.

        What Tesla is doing is like creating a set of gas stations that only a small percentage of cars would be able to use. In the long run volume is going to bite. The more a charge station gets used, the cheaper/more profitable it is.

        • Matt

          I agree, I think a fast charger that is useable by most EV is a better bet. Of course your Tesla key gives you free charging where other EV owner insert their credit card and pay a small fee. If a service provider for EVs does appear they work a deal with Fast charges already in place (if they like) and then their key works there also. Of course for this to work you have to have standards, just like how a ICE is refueled. I know they exist, the problem is that right now there are at least three (CHAdeMO, CCS , and Tesla). When a industry is young and developing new techno it is hard to get the standard right, but at some point it is required to go to the masses. If the best standard if developed by a a private company, and they decide to keep it private it will die on the vine. The is the lesson of Sony Betamax verse VHS. Yes there are will be adaptor to allow connecting.

          • Rack1600

            Other EVs are way behind on charging tech. The Tesla supercharger uses totally different voltages to acheive the 10x charging rate of other charges (eg for the Leaf, or Ion, or others).
            Tesla is leading the tech, which is why they are going solo here.

          • globi

            They could still offer an additional generic plug for non-Tesla vehicles.
            After all a single gasoline pump offers different gasolines, E85 and diesel. It’s not rocket science.

          • johnrysf

            No, Tesla cannot “offer an additional generic plug for non-Tesla vehicles”. To quote a comment from the day before this comment:

            “Tesla uses own DC charging protocol. So even if Tesla would allow other car manufactures to charge, they could not charge without drastic modifications to the car electronics and battery cooling systems.”

            “It is very complex process to charge at 120 kW and why Tesla is the only one who offers 120 kW charging is that they are the only ones who developed such charging system — others are stuck in 40 kW. E.g. Golf-EV boasts 30 min charging time with three times smaller battery. I would guess that if you put 120 kW DC into Leaf battery, it will just fry!”

            During Tesla’s shareholders’ meeting last May, CEO Elon Musk said he wished to encourage other manufacturers to design their EV’s to be capable of using SuperChargers. He suggested that the other makers would need to pay a fee to offset their addition to required capacity.

    • Ivor O’Connor

      Are you saying there are standards already available that could supply the Tesla with the needed power for the quick charges? Generic fast charging standards? The separate billing for non Tesla vehicles could be arranged probably.

      I would not be surprised if Tesla made owners of non-S models pay but I’d be flabbergasted if they could not use the same chargers. Backwards compatibility though is not easily accomplished.

      I’m glad to hear you are not an Apple person.

      • Bob_Wallace

        17.63.020 Designation of electric vehicle charging stations.

        An electric vehicle charging station is a public or private parking space(s) that is (are) served by battery charging equipment with the purpose of transferring electric energy to a battery or other energy storage device in an electric vehicle and is classified based on the following levels:

        A. Level 1 is considered slow charging and operates on a fifteen to twenty amp breaker on a one hundred twenty volt AC circuit.

        B. Level 2 is considered medium charging and operated on a forty to one hundred amp breaker on a two hundred eight or two hundred forty volt AC circuit.

        C. Level 3 is considered fast or rapid charging and operated on a sixty amp or higher breaker on a four hundred eighty volt or higher three phase circuit with special grounding equipment. Level 3 stations can also be referred to as rapid charging stations that are typically characterized by industrial grade electrical outlets that allow for faster recharging of electric vehicles. (Ord. 1425 § 3 (part), 2011).

        C.b Tesla

        • Ivor O’Connor

          So there is no need for Tesla to have a separate standard? That is disturbing if true.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I can see Tesla installing rapid chargers and limit them for S owners in order to make very long distance driving possible with the S. Opening them up to 100 mile EVs would likely make it hard for S owners to charge.

            Phase one I understand. What I would like to know is where Tesla is going from here. Are they planning on staying separate or joining up later? Guess I’ll have to wait and see.

          • eject

            There is. 480V multiphase AC at 60A delivers 50kW max. Teslas Supercharger delivers 90kW now and they promised 120kW. This is power that best is taken from a battery which is drip fed by the grid.

            Also Musk said that the System is up for sale to other manufacturers but they will have to adopt the same concept. The life long Supercharger network needs to be included in the vehicle price. No follow up costs.

            But clearly Tesla is in the empire business. On a side note, each of those stations comes with a 1MWh battery. The bigger ones will need soon more storage to keep up with proper high demand. It won’t be for long until they own 1GW grid storage. There is another business model in there.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            So though the level 3 spec does not say there is a maximum real world implementations have put the maximum at about 50kW max.

          • Shiggity

            eject sees it too! The Tesla Supercharger network will be the first legitimate smart-grid in the US. (Computer control + energy storage + energy generation).

            It should also be noted that Tesla Motors manufacturers their own charger unit and it is scalable and modular. The other car makers are sub-contracting.

            Level 3 charging is just insufficient for anything over 60kwh. Plus Tesla isn’t going to stop at 85kwh, they’re going to bring out a 120kwh pack by 2015-2016.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Tesla uses (I believe) a 480 vac feed from the grid. Same as Level 3 charging. Level 3 charging is not restricted.

            “Level 3 is considered fast or rapid charging and operated on a sixty amp or higher breaker on a four hundred eighty volt or higher three phase circuit with special grounding equipment.”

            Now, can the utility run a large enough wire to the charging station to rapidly charge vehicles or will the charging station need to store a lot of power on site in batteries? That’s a different question which will apply to both Tesla and non-Tesla charging.

            I can see Tesla’s thinking behind restricting their chargers to their cars – at this point in time. Long term, no.

            It will make no sense to have a Tesla station sitting empty and a line forming at the generic charge station or vice versa. It would mean overbuilding which is not efficient.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            This is starting to sound like the debates about 4G vs 3G. No place in the world has an actual 4G network as defined officially. However anything and everything even at the same speed as the much better defined 3G is now called 4G.

            In much the same way I’m thinking the Level 3 standard is too vague. Too vague because there are already chargers out, or so I’m led to believe, that are considered level 3.

            A new standard that has a minimum output of about 10x that of the current Level 3 needs to be made. Only something capable of these huge levels will be able to charge a Tesla or competitor in less time than a car currently fills it’s tank with petrol. Only a standard of this level is capable of making EVs truly workable for all.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If you look at the classification above it’s L1 = 120 vac, L2 = 240 vac and L3 = 480 vac. I’m not convinced we need a L4 = “5kv” category.

            What I think we need to do is to move away from a charging station model to a ‘eat, rest and charge’ oasis model.

            Why copy the gas station model where you stop and fill and then go somewhere else, stop and eat? Move from sequential to simultaneous.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Because we are all frantically behind schedule! lol.

            There doesn’t appear to be any end to future efficiencies in charging stations though.
            So we might as well embrace the innevitable monster chargers that will ultimately help all EVs.

            Even if it takes a few more level standards to finally get there.

          • eject

            I don’t know how the Tesla stations are connected to the grid but the supercharging uses 360V DC. Videos on youtube do show cars receiving 255A. Which amounts to slightly above 90kW.
            (I assume the 360V DC have something todo with that being a multiple of the 3.6V of a Li-poly cell. Damn we need finally someone who does the ifixit analog for cars, I want to see a tear down of a Tesla).

            The 50kW figure I quoted was calculated from the 60A breaker on a 360VAC 3Phase connection. i.e. 360V*60A*sqrt(3)=49.8kW.

    • Jouni Valkonen

      Tesla uses own DC charging protocol. So even if Tesla would allow other car manufactures to charge, they could not charge without drastic modifications to the car electronics and battery cooling systems.

      It is very complex process to charge at 120 kW and why Tesla is the only one who offers 120 kW charging is that they are the only ones who developed such charging system — others are stuck in 40 kW. E.g. Golf-EV boasts 30 min charging time with three times smaller battery. I would guess that if you put 120 kW DC into Leaf battery, it will just fry!

      But I think that in around 2020 there will be superchargers every ten miles, so there are no worries. Tesla has shown that it takes just few years for small start-up company to expand supercharging network to continent sized.

  • Shiggity

    Charger networks on multiple continents in 4 business quarters…

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