Owners of Tesla Model S sedans can now drive their vehicles from coast to coast for the first time, Tesla Motors Inc. chief executive and founder Elon Musk has remarked. Musk said in 2013 that Tesla would set up "Superchargers" in most major cities in the United States and Canada to allow long-distance trips at no charge.
Tesla now has over 70 supercharging stations across North America, according to its "Tesla Supercharger network now energized from New York to LA, both coast + Texas!" Musk said in a Twitter post. "Approx 80% of US population covered," he added. Tesla needs to expand its network of charging stations as it seeks to address the limited driving range and long charge times of battery cars, which could discourage future buyers.
Without the supercharging stations, the Model S could only get their passengers as far as its battery range could go -- 265 miles 426 kilometers). In addition, the battery of the Model S could take as long as 9 hours to recharge.
According to Musk, superchargers are installed near major highway interchanges on properties close to restaurants, cafe's or shopping to enable drivers to take breaks while their units are being recharged. The Superchargers, currently compatible only with the Model S, provide 170 miles of range in a 30-minute charge, according to Tesla.
The cheapest version of the Model S compatible with the Superchargers is priced at $73,070, according to Tesla's Web site. Tesla will have two teams of drivers try to set US cross-country EV speed records using the superchargers, departing January 31 from Los Angeles and arriving February 2 in New York. Musk also plans a "LA-NY family road trip over Spring Break," using the superchargers, he said on Twitter.