Tesla to double charge network ahead of Model 3

Tesla to double charge network ahead of Model 3
As Tesla prepares to release its first ever mass-market vehicle, the electric car pioneer is expanding its global charging network.

In what is a significant landmark in the electric revolution, the California-based manufacturing giant introduces Model 3 to the car buying public later this year.

Expected to retail from a starting price of around £30,000, the new release should prove a breakthrough model – its first foray outside of the premium market.

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In outlining plans for doubling its fast-charging network, Tesla said the focus is on making charging “convenient, abundant and reliable” for all owners, current and future.

Latest figures suggest that UK drivers are starting to catch on to alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs). This January, the number of AFVs sold grew by 19.9% on the same month in 2016.

Tesla will double the number of its ‘Superchargers’, installing in inner-city locations and expanding on existing hubs along major routes.

Currently 5,400 Supercharges cater for over 200,000 Teslas worldwide. In addition, 9,000 locations like hotels and restaurants offer ‘Destination Charging’ via Tesla Wall Connectors.

With Model 3 production ongoing through the summer, by year-end the firm hopes to have 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 Destination Chargers globally.

The company’s website reveals 17 chargers are currently being built in the UK and Ireland.

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Advice for electric car drivers remains that home charging is the first port of call, with the network to be used primarily as a range extender.

In accordance with this, the majority of Superchargers are currently found on motorways or at busy shopping centres. But this looks set to change with the mass-market introduction of the Model 3.

Tesla’s thinking is that its existing customer base is typically wealthy, and more likely to have a home with a driveway, making home charging manageable.

But with the cheaper launch price of the Model 3, more inner-city-based customers are expected to join the revolution, making home charging – perhaps from high-rise flats for example – less convenient.

As such, Tesla says that “many sites will be built further off the highway to allow local Tesla drivers to charge quickly when needed, with the goal of making charging ubiquitous in urban centres”.

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