Tesla has created the first solar charging stations for its Model S and plans to offer free charging. Is free fuel enough for the electric car to finally gain traction?
The technology at the heart of the Supercharger was developed internally and leverages the economies of scale of existing charging technology already used by the Model S, enabling Tesla to create the Supercharger device at minimal cost.
The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation. Combining these two factors, Tesla is able to provide Model S owners free long distance travel indefinitely.
The “free charging” part applies at least to Model S owners, and will be available first from a network of charging stations in California, Arizona, and Nevada, to be expanded nationwide over the next 2 to 4 years; Engadget features a video of the announcement.