With a gasoline-powered car, refueling is as simple as pulling into a gas station and waiting a few minutes for the gas take to be refilled. Things are a bit trickier with electric vehicles, however, which require charging stations rather than gas stations. Tesla has been rolling out it SuperCharger network over many months, having added six in California back in October, for example. At tonight's D11 conference, Musk made an announcement early: Tesla's SuperCharger network will be tripled.
The announcement was slated to be made tomorrow, but Musk decided to let it out early following encouragement from those around him. When asked about concerns of range and charging station availability, Musk originally responded: "We're planning to announce something about that tomorrow." Such an answer simply prodded curiosity ten-fold, however, and he soon elaborated on Tesla's planned announcement.
"We have something cool called the Supercharger. Ok, I might as well let the cat out of the bag. So the Supercharger technology we developed because regular charging is slow and not effective for long-distance travel. But when people buy a car they’re buying a sense of freedom that they can go wherever they want and not feel fettered." Following this, he made the big announcement: "There’s going to be a dramatic acceleration of the SuperCharging network. It’ll be tripled. We’ll put the map live tomorrow."
According to Musk, the increase in SuperCharging stations will allow Tesla car owners to "drive from LA to New York" using only that SuperCharger network, no doubt good news to both current owners and those who have hesitated in purchasing the vehicle over concerns about charging station availability. "We'll be both increasing the density and the scope of the network." Those who drive the Tesla cars won't have trouble finding a SuperCharger station, either, because the company's software gets auto updates, which will bring with them the new maps. When a charge is needed, the driver will be directed to the SuperCharger station closest to wherever they happen to be located.
Talk about range and charging brought up banter about the New York Times review of the Model S earlier this year, which drew a great deal of criticism from Musk, who claimed that it had been intentionally done in such a way to make the vehicle look bad. "If we didn’t speak out against it, that article would have lived forever, and people would have gotten the wrong impression of the car. Ultimately the NYT public editor agreed the article was wrong but didn’t think it was intentional, but I don’t think there’s any way it was not intentional."
The topic was then quickly switched away from Tesla to SpaceX.