Tesla Supercharger stations: Everything you need to know
When electric cars manufacturers started producing pure electric cars, people were wondering about how the cars will be able to travel long-distances as there were no enough charging stations, especially in rural areas. It was now the role of the electric car manufacturers to increase the network of charging stations so that consumers would be convinced to buy their cars. Tesla has been a leader when it comes to expanding its network of charging stations all over the world.
The company has a vision of a world with enough charging stations as it is now with gas stations. This article is a guide to Tesla Supercharger stations and all you need to know before purchasing a Tesla electric vehicle. Read on to learn more about types of charging stations, how to find Tesla chargers in the UK, how fast they charge and the cost to recharge.
Types of Tesla Charging stations
Over the past few years, Tesla has put a lot of effort and resources towards increasing its network of charging stations in countries where they have a considerable number of Tesla car owners. Currently, Tesla car owners have two public charging: Destination Chargers and Superchargers. Tesla has installed about 500 supercharger devices in the UK in 63 locations across the UK and Ireland. The worldwide network of Tesla Superchargers is more 12,800 charging points spread in both cities and along major roads.
A majority of Tesla charging stations have Tesla Superchargers. A Tesla Supercharger station can charge a car in less than an hour, thanks to their high power of 480 volts. This fast charger best suits long-distance travellers as it can charge a tesla from 0 to 80% in just 40 minutes. The charging rate then slows when the battery reaches 80% to prevent battery damage.
Unlike the typical electric car chargers that provide power in the form of Alternating current, superchargers bypass the process of converting AC to DC by charging the battery with direct DC power. This helps it to achieve the lightning-fast charging speed. Tesla car owners don’t have to worry about the rest 20% because Teslas have high quality batteries that offer longer drive distances per charge. An 80% charge is enough to power a Tesla Model S for a distance of 280-300 miles.
All in all, it will take you around 75 minutes to fully charge your Tesla car at a Supercharger station. This rate is higher compared to other electric chargers, but it is still slower than refuelling a traditional diesel or petrol car. Electric car owners should, therefore, consider this extra time when planning for their trips.
In addition to the Supercharger stations, Tesla cars owners can also make use of the available network of destination chargers in their area. These chargers are installed and run by Tesla’s ‘charging Partners’. Charging partners are individuals or businesses that decide to install Tesla wall connectors on their private property for public use (mostly hotels, bars and restaurants).
Destination chargers will charge your car at a lower rate than a supercharger due to the lack of special features. You may be required to wait for up to 12 hours to charge your car if you are using a destination Charger, but this depends on the charge left on the battery. You can use a Destination Charger if you are spending a night at a hotel as it is not helpful if you are just stopping for refreshments.
Tesla Charging stations’ network in the UK
Tesla has close to 100 superchargers in the UK. You will find most of these chargers in most popular routes, especially along major highways. Most stations inside cities are located in parking lots for major shopping centres and hotels to enhance the convenience of charging a car.
How to find a Tesla Charger
Apart from providing charging stations for their customers, Tesla also aims at making charging more convenient using their Trip Planner tool. Users are only required to enter their destination on their car’s touchscreen, and Trip Planner automatically plans their route based on the availability of Supercharger stations. The tool also tells users the charging duration for each station and also allows them to adjust the route if the one suggested does not meet their needs.
Tesla users can also find the Supercharger closest to their location using their car’s touchscreen. You can also check the vacant stations and the station’s charges. All these features help Tesla car owners to enjoy their trips without worrying about running out of charge along the way.
Cost of Tesla Supercharging
The cost of charging at Tesla charging stations depends on your Tesla car model. Owners of recently purchased Tesla car models can enjoy 1000 miles of free Supercharging, after which they are charged a small fee each time. Anyone who purchased a Tesla vehicle before January 2017 however will enjoy free Supercharging for the entire life of the vehicle.
On the other hand, Used Tesla cars and Tesla Model 3 are required to pay for recharging services at Tesla charging stations. The cost varies depending on the charging formula and the locations—some Superchargers charge per kilowatt-hour and others per minute.
Tesla has also introduced idle fees to prevent people from using charging stations as parking lots. Users are required to pay idle fees if their car remains connected to the charger after it has reached full charge. However, the charge is lower if the charging station is not occupied to capacity.
Tesla is the leading electric cars manufacturer, and it is looking to increase its sales by ensuring the convenience of charging. Thanks to their extensive charging station network, Tesla car owners can now drive long distances knowing that they can trust their car no matter how long the trip is. Since superchargers are easily accessible along highways, users are assured of convenience and fast charging at a cost lower than that of refuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle. Owners of newer Tesla models are only required to meet the initial cost of purchasing a Tesla since charging at supercharge station is free for these models.