On the heels of a report from Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) that said the company had completed its strategically placed Supercharger units along the German Autobahn, the company has followed it up by announcing that it has just put the finishing touches on its route from Los Angeles from New York, enabling Tesla owners to travel from coast to coast for free.
This puts Tesla’s Supercharger count at a total of 70 within the U.S. since the first one was constructed in 2012. CEO Elon Musk, as per his usual modus operandi, took to Twitter to share the news.
Tesla Supercharger network now energized from New York to LA, both coast + Texas! Approx 80% of US population covered.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 26, 2014
For Musk, the completion of the West Coast-East Coast charging corridor also means that his highly publicized family vacation, which is scheduled for March, is all but certain. Last year, he pledged to make the trip from California to New York to demonstrate that trans-continental travel via electric power was not just possible, but far more convenient than plug-in electric vehicle critics have proposed.
The Supercharger units are, essentially, the equivalent of a gas station for Model S drivers. They are capable of delivering 170 miles of range within 30 minutes, and are strategically placed near coffee shops, restaurants, and retail locations to offer Tesla drivers something to do while their vehicle is reloading for the next leg.
Before Tesla’s huge initiative to create a nationwide web of charging stations, range problems were a defining characteristic of the shortfall of EVs. The inherent limitations and lack of a supporting charging infrastructure has kept electric vehicle use to a limited radius of the driver’s home, and making long-range trips — a hallmark of America’s open-roads reputation — virtually impossible.
However, Tesla’s efforts to provide free charging for its customers is slowly and surely dismantling the barriers of EV ownership little by little, and in time for its introduction of its Gen-III vehicle, which is expected to take the automaker from its current niche-vehicle status to a more mass-market position.