There are now enough Tesla Model S electric cars — as well as the company’s electric car chargers that keep them going — out there driving on the roads of the world that a substantial amount of electricity is being delivered by Tesla’s chargers. Tesla said in a blog post this week that its fast chargers delivered 1 gigawatt hour of electricity to Model S cars in the month of June.
For comparison’s sake 1 GW hour is about enough electricity to power between 1,000 to 2,000 American homes. The Hoover Dam has about 2 GW of capacity. (My bad that’s not a fair comparison, see update below)
So pushing half a Hoover Dam of capacity through Tesla chargers into the batteries of Model S cars is no small potatoes.
Tesla plans to ship 35,000 Model S cars by the end of 2014, and it delivered 22,477 in 2013. So by the end of 2014 there will be well north of 50,000 Model S cars charging and discharging energy into millions of lithium ion batteries throughout the day and night.
Tesla is somewhat unique in the electric car charging market in that the chargers were launched specifically as a benefit — free electricity — for Model S drivers. Most other electric car infrastructure companies don’t also sell cars, so networks like Chargepoint are building businesses just off of installing electric car chargers and then selling subscriptions or doing other deals to recoup the investment. Nissan has taken a cue from Tesla in that it’s offering free charging for new LEAF drivers.
Navigant Research forecasts that global revenue from the sales of electric vehicle supply equipment will grow from $567 million in 2013 to $5.8 billion in 2022.
Updated to clarify its 1 GW hour per month and the number of homes powered is much smaller than originally reported.