The market for electric cars is so new that Tesla wants (and needs) to help build out the charging infrastructure, which is one of the industry’s biggest barriers. Tesla’s first six solar-powered fast chargers are now live (and free) for Model S owners.

Tesla chargers, image courtesy of Tesla.
photo: Image courtesy of Tesla.

For the couple hundred lucky Model S owners out there, you can now start charging up at Tesla’s first six Superchargers in California for free. These puppies are now live — in Folsom, Gilroy, Tejon Ranch, Barstow, Coalinga and Hawthorne — and Tesla held ribbon cutting ceremonies at some of them on Friday afternoon.

Last month Tesla announced that it had kicked off its plan to offer free fast charging (30 minutes) at select locations throughout the U.S. The Superchargers are powered by solar technology, developed by solar installer SolarCity (Tesla CEO Elon Musk also is an investor and the Chairman of SolarCity). The chargers will enable Model S owners to drive from San Francisco to L.A., or the Bay Area to Tahoe, just stopping once to charge for 30 minutes.

Musk has been discussing the idea of a Tesla-bankrolled Supercharger for almost a year and I first heard about the plan back in November 2011. The idea is that because the market for electric cars is so new, Tesla wants (and needs) to help build out the charging infrastructure, which is one of the industry’s biggest barriers.

Here’s the address of the Superchargers, and below a handy map to see if one is near you:

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  1. They need to install these at the Nut Tree in Vacaville, and the In ‘n Out in Auburn, will be perfect for the drive to Tahoe, and when the Model X comes out!

    1. Ideally, you won’t need any recharging on the way to Tahoe, although it depends on precisely where you are coming from. The range of Model X should cover you. What’s actually more useful is a spot >in Tahoe< where you can get a good chunk of range in 30 minutes for a return trip. It seems like Tesla isn't fully grasping yet that if you go from, say, San Francisco to San Diego, you will not likely have better than 110V while you are there. That means minimal charging even overnight. Getting a "top up" while at the destination points (SF, SD, Tahoe, Las Vegas — they have LA somewhat covered in this regard) would be very useful.

      Of course, this will come as the goal is to make it possible to drive across the country.

      1. Good point, agreed!!! The range of a single charge should be enough. Tesla should definitely partner up with some of the Tahoe resorts, and install these there as well. I was thinking Nut Tree and Auburn, as they are usually natural 1/2 hour stop points on the trip to Tahoe and topping up would provide peace of mind if you got stuck in a road closure, or heavy weather situation.

  2. Mhaiacl Mleudin Friday, October 19, 2012

    The market is not new for electric cars. The United States government would like you to think that. Maybe one day we’ll see progress and not interference from the ‘greed’. Electric cars were around in the early 1900’s. Try 1914. That’s right. Call it the Detroit Electric Automobile. It went 241 miles on a single charge! The Edison Nickel Iron batteries were a $600 dollar upgrade for this 1914 vehicle which cost $2,650. The ‘U.S.’ had something to say about these things. Like mysterious fires at Edison’s laboratories. Basically, much worse and this undisclosed ‘U.S.’ entity killed it much like every early discover and invention that helped humanity. Edison wanted to spend all his money on making the electric car a stable influence among the auto industry. Watch the Netflix movie, ‘Who Killed the Electric Car’. Available via instant streaming. It will tell you all you need to know and how ugly the ‘American’ bureaucratic way of doing things blackens everything it touches. No this is not called being left or right. We are completely past this way of thinking and this strategy which the ones placed on either sides makes an enemy of the other. Spare me the insulting labels of your cookie cut, prefabricated, poorly designed disease. This country runs on greed and ignorance rather than alternative energy or anything great.

    1. I’m not responding to the article. Just the anticipation of this way of thinking. ;-l

    2. What happened to you to make you so bitter and sour? Spare US your nasty comments.

    3. Absolutely ANY government actions that discouraged Electric cars were ORCHESTRATED by powerful interests that had something to gain. RULE #1 “follow the money”. I leave it to you to just guess who may gain from no electric cars.
      Our government is in a shambles but one of the main reasons for this is the vast influence of huge corporate interests that love to manipulate media and government to accomplish their ends. It is all part of their devious plan to have people blame ‘government’ for problems that actually are created beyond government. Again, please always follow the money. Govenment is just a tool for the 1%.

  3. Mhaiacl Mleudin Friday, October 19, 2012

    I’m not responding to the article. Just the anticipation of this way of thinking. ;-l

  4. Built, made, and driven by the rich douchebags of the Bay area.

  5. Ben Thayer Dundat Monday, October 22, 2012

    but, can i buy lottery tickets at these places?

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