Tesla Continues to Grow Supercharger Network Ahead of Model 3 Launch
The EV giant is working to solidify its charging infrastructure to support growing demand.
Earlier this year, Tesla announced that it would be doubling the number of superchargers in North America over the course of 2017. The auto manufacturer has ensured that progress is well under way, as it procures additional permits for construction around the United States.
In a blog post by Tesla made earlier this year, Tesla was happy to announce the expansion of its top-tier charging infrastructure. "In 2017, we’ll be doubling the Tesla charging network," the post explained, stressing that not only will new sites be built, but a focus will be put on "expanding existing sites so drivers never wait to charge."
First reported by Electrek, Tesla has been acquiring permits or has broken ground on at least 40 stations since the announcement. Renderings have been produced of solar-panel equipped charging stations, which would be able to handle large numbers of vehicles. According to recently-acquired photos, contractors have taken delivery of equipment that will reportedly allow for at least a dozen chargers in a single location.
One of the reasons Tesla may be focusing so intently on the rollout of more Superchargers could be to handle the additional volume of all the upcoming Model 3s hitting the road soon. In order for Tesla owners to be satisfied with their purchases, the charging infrastructure must be able to accommodate the influx of additional vehicles—something which Tesla is aware of and is actively working to improve.
Previously, researchers have noted that, based on their projections, the Model 3 will not be profitable at its projected price point of $35,000 before incentives. This would indicate that Tesla would either need to cut costs in manufacturing (by implementing strategies such as limiting the number of possible configurations), or try and make up the lost funds over time using other tactics. One way Tesla could increase passive profits would be to charge for Supercharger access, something Tesla has indicated it intends to implement...at some point.