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Tesla Extends Electric Car Charging Network in Florida

September 18th, 2013 | WMFE- Tesla Motors opened an electric car charging station in Port Orange Wednesday. The charging station is part of a network Tesla says will eventually allow owners of its electric cars to travel long distance throughout the U.S.

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[Image: Tesla Motors]

A 20 minute charge gives the Model S sedan enough power to drive about 150 miles.

The Port Orange charging station, called a 'supercharger', joins two others which Tesla opened in Port St. Lucie and Fort Myers this summer. 

Tesla spokesperson Alexis Georgeson says the company plans to install more superchargers elsewhere in the country.

“By the end of the year we will allow free long distance travel from LA to New York, from Boston to Miami and on the West Coast from Vancouver British Columbia to Phoenix Arizona.”

Tesla says there are 13,000 Model S sedans on the road, and more than 500 in Florida.

Mark Thomason, who writes an electric vehicle blog in Orlando, says the superchargers won’t work for other electric cars.

"This is sort of like an Apple model, where the company Tesla basically is owning the infrastructure around these superchargers to enable their own cars," he says.

Thomason says he wouldn't be able to hook up his own electric car - a Nissan Leaf- to a supercharger.

"I don't know what the benefit would be anyway, because my Leaf just can't gobble that much energy."

Still, Thomason says it makes sense for Tesla to invest in charging infrastructure in Florida.  

I think Florida’s an awesome place for Electric Vehicles because it’s flat and it’s temperate, so that’s the really good thing. Plus there’s a bunch of people here that can afford them,” he says.

The Model S has a starting price of over $60,000, but Tesla says it is working on a cheaper car.

In the next four years the company aims to bring out a third generation model that will cost around $35,000.


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