“Free long-distance travel, throughout the country (USA), forever.” Sound like a good deal? Because that’s the extraordinary offer made to potential Tesla customers by Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk.
Musk announced the deal this week, outlining Tesla’s plans to build additional Supercharging Stations all over the United States.
While the Better Place charging station supplier filed for bankruptcy last week, Tesla appears to be going from strength-to-strength with its supercharging network and new models in the pipeline.
“The number of Tesla supercharging stations is increasing dramatically,” Mr Musk said. “Within six months, we will have covered most of the major metro areas in North America.”
“A year from now, we will have covered 80 percent of the North American population and within two years, we will have covered 98 percent.”
The supercharging stations are essentially large carports with solar-powered roofs. Previously, they were able to provide a full charge in around 45 minutes.
Now, thanks to technological improvements, that time has been cut to around 20 minutes.
Currently the Model S luxury electric-vehicle (EV) sedan is the only car Tesla makes. But it plans to add the Model X EV SUV to its line-up by the end of 2014 and then an “affordable” EV sedan a few years later, priced at around the $US 40,000 mark.
All three of these EVs will be able to use the supercharging stations, but the model that launched the carmaker - the Tesla Roadster – does not possess the technology required to use the stations.
But Roadster owners could easily be persuaded to trade-up to a Model S or a Model X in the next few years, with Mr Musk promising that customers need never pay to refuel their Tesla EVs.
“It’s not just free now, it’s free forever,” Mr Musk said.
No word from Tesla about any supercharging stations in Australia, but keep watching TMR for news of the expected local launch of the Model S.