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USA: Tesla Motors unveils ‘Superchargers’ at event near Los Angeles

HAWTHORNE — Addressing a key concern consumers have about electric cars — their range between charges — Tesla Motors (TSLA) on Monday unveiled an aggressive plan to build a nationwide network of high-speed “Superchargers” to make it possible for drivers of its all-electric Model S sedan to go on long road trips without having to make long stops to recharge their batteries.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has been dropping hints about Tesla’s foray into electric vehicle charging for months, wore a black
Tesla’s new Model S sedan at Tesla headquarters in Palo alto, Calif. Friday, July 13, 2012. (Patrick Tehan/Staff) (Patrick Tehan)
“Supercharger” T-shirt and spoke before an enthusiastic crowd at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne. Some of the biggest applause came when he announced the charge-ups would be free for Model S drivers.

“You can drive almost anywhere in California right now,” said Musk, who spoke in broad terms about the initiative but offered few details. “We’ve built these up in secret and are unveiling them for the first time tonight.”

The Supercharging stations, which Tesla says will be twice as fast as any now in use, will be installed at highway rest stops, with the idea that drivers can top-off the charge on their battery while they go to the bathroom and grab a bite to eat. Six stations are already installed in California: at Gilroy,
Harris Ranch, Tejon Ranch, Barstow, Folsom and Los Angeles.

By 2015, Tesla plans to expand to more than 100 charging stations across the United States.


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