Existing Tesla owners can now take a (free) journey from Melbourne to Brisbane after the company announced the expansion of its supercharger network.
The California-based company announced the arrival of three new charging stations in Knockrow, Heatherbrae and Coffs Harbour, creating a Supercharger corridor of 1600 kilometres connecting Brisbane to Melbourne.
Tesla has expanded its Supercharger Network to complete the Melbourne to Brisbane route with new stations now in operation.
Tesla's Supercharger locationsThe new stations in Heatherbrae and Knockrow are equipped with six charging bays and are available to use 24/7. The Mobile Supercharger Unit in Coffs Harbour has two bays and will be replaced by a permanent station at a nearby location in the near future.
A Tesla Supercharger can add up to 270 km of range in just 30 minutes of charging. Superchargers are designed for city to city travel, allowing owners to travel for about three hours, take a quick break, and get back on the road charged up.
The new Supercharger stations in Heatherbrae and Knockrow are each equipped with six charging stalls. The Coffs Harbour site is outfitted with two temporary Supercharger bays which Tesla says will eventually be replaced by a permanent location nearby, according to an email sent to Model S and Model X owners in Australia.
To ensure that the company’s entire range of vehicles, including the upcoming mass market Model 3 sedan, can travel between Supercharger stations without experiencing issues related to range, Tesla has strategically spaced stations no more than 150 miles apart, thereby allowing even its lowest range vehicle to travel comfortably between stations.
Superchargers are free connectors that charge Model S and Model X in minutes instead of hours. Stations are strategically placed to minimise stops during long distance travel and are conveniently located near restaurants, shopping centres, and WiFi hot spots. Each station contains multiple Superchargers to help you get back on the road quickly.
How It Works
Tesla vehicles use an onboard charger to convert alternating current (AC) from a wall charger to direct current (DC) that’s stored in the battery. Superchargers consist of multiple chargers working in parallel to deliver up to 120 kW of power directly to the battery. As the battery nears to a full charge, the vehicle’s onboard computer gradually reduces the current to the optimum level for topping off cells.
Charging each cell is like filling a glass of water without spilling. As the glass fills up, you reduce the flow to catch every last drop. In battery terms, this means reducing current in order to balance cell voltage, ultimately tapering down to a trickle as it nears full. The resulting charge profile is why it's recommended charging to 80%, which is typically enough to reach a neighboring Supercharger Station.
Using a Supercharger is easy. You simply pull up, plug in, and in approximately 30 minutes you have enough range to get to your destination or the next station. All new Model S and Model X come standard with Supercharger technology.
According to TheVerge.com, Tesla is making changes to its network supercharging stations. Any customer who orders a Tesla Model X or Model S after January 1st, 2017, will have to pay “a small fee” when filling up at a Supercharger station. Customers will also have to take delivery of those cars by April 1st, 2017, so fees will apply to customers who preordered the Model 3. Tesla says the fee will be “less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car.”
Current Tesla owners with Supercharger-equipped cars will be able to use the stations for free for the life of those vehicles, and a Tesla spokesperson told The Verge that the free charging will transfer to successive owners. Customers who buy Teslas after that January 1st cutoff will be afforded 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits each year - equivalent to around 1,000 miles - according to Tesla.