Published on January 27th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Free Tesla Supercharger Network Now Covers Cross-Country Driving

January 27th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Gas2.


Late last week, Elon Musk made a low-key but important announcement via twitter. Tesla has just completed the coast-to-coast Supercharger network needed to allow the Tesla Model S to make a cross-country drive. It’s the first network of its kind in the U.S., and an important step in Tesla’s planned dominance of the American automotive market.

According to Musk, some 80% of Americans are “covered” by the Supercharger network, and with the completion of the interior corridor, Model S drivers can now drive from one coast to the other and back, for free, using the fast-charging system. Of course the Tesla Supercharger network doesn’t stop there, as there are plans to install many dozens more free filling stations, until the entire country is covered.

The network should be firmly established by the time the Tesla Model E comes to market in 2017, and the proprietary charging technology will give Tesla a huge advantage over competitors whose cars rely on home or public charging stations. Buying a Tesla doesn’t just mean buying a cutting edge electric car; it means access to free fuel forever, or at least until Tesla changes its business plan.

For now though, Tesla-owning Americans can now enjoy a classic American road trip without paying a single penny for fuel, a remarkable advancement in just a short amount of time. Now about those battery swapping stations

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

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • MrE85

    Three men from Minnesota will set out for the Tesla factory in California on Feb. 3, 2014 in a Model S. They also plan to use only SuperChargers on their journey.

  • Henry WA

    Providing free power is a marvellous service and a great marketing device but it is surely unsustainable. it is bit like GM running free petrol stations for its vehicles. What is the cost to Tesla and what is its business plan in this regard.

    • Bob_Wallace

      It’s not clear that free charging is unsustainable.

      I ran the numbers for the investment in solar panels per S and it wasn’t actually that high. Plus the panels will power generations of Teslas.

    • RobS

      The amount Tesla is spending on these stations is like a rounding error compared to the marketing budgets of the big 4 Auto makers and they generate enormous free marketing value and actual genuine usefulness for owners. Tesla spends nothing on direct marketing.

      I am yet to see actual confirmation but the original model called for the electrical service to be sub contracted out to solar city who would use their bulk buy solar discounts to generate power for SC’s and sell the unused generation to make a net profit. In which case the power costs Tesla nothing at all.

    • Henry,

      Sunlight is free, unlike fossil fuels that are controlled by a small group of the superwealthy.

      Why do you think there is so much hate writing about renewables in the mainstream press, that is controlled by the same clique?

      For the $ 2000 that a Model S owner pays upfront for the Supercharging option, an amount of solar panels can be bought and installed that will generate the average necessary amount of electricity during the lifetime of the car. Solar panels usually outlive the average car (20+ years lifetime).

      Remember that ‘free forever’ is only free during the lifetime of a car, so from a Tesla point of view, it is a steady source of income from each sold vehicle. No vehicle lasts forever. It’s a brilliant move.

      • Bob_Wallace

        $2,000 buys about 1kW of installed solar. With 4.5 solar hours per day that’s 4.5kW per day. 1,640Wh per year.

        At 0.3 kWh/mile that’s over 5,000 miles per year of power. Most people don’t drive a lot of >200 mile days.

    • Patrick James Bayham

      they are solar powered.solarcity.

  • The first coast to coast trip on the Supercharger network has already been completed:

    John and his daughter Jill covered 5800 km, confronted blizzards and -30°C cold that left some ICE’s stranded by the side of the road. The Model S and all Superchargers performed flawlessly.

    They started off from JFK airport on 21 January at 7:00 AM and arrived at the Hawthorne supercharger 25 January, 17:35 PST.

    When they departed from JFK, some of the superchargers had not yet been opened.

    Total cost for the trip: $ 0.

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