Tesla: Supercharger Cross-Country Travel Just Weeks Away

From its humble beginnings in 2012, Tesla's Supercharger network is now evidence of the company's intention to rapidly expand internationally.

Jan 21, 2014 at 10:01PM

Remember Tesla Motors' (NASDAQ:TSLA) humble days back in September 2012? Shares were trading around $30, quarterly Model S sales had just begun, and Tesla's Supercharging network had just six stations. A gain of 475% later, the story is quite different. In Q4, Tesla sold 6,900 vehicles, and it's now exporting vehicles overseas.

Today, there's no turning back. Tesla has ambitious plans to expand internationally. This is more evident than ever in its recent progress update on its Supercharger network.

Tsla Superchargers

Supercharger station. Source: Tesla Motors.

A journey from 6 to 80
Tesla's mission is ambitious.

"Our goal when we created Tesla a decade ago was the same as it is today: to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible," Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk said in a Nov. 18 blog post titled "The Mission of Tesla."

The company has already created a compelling electric vehicle. The next major step is to create a compelling electric vehicle that has mass-market appeal. Though the company's affordable car is still about three to four years out, Tesla isn't hesitating in building the infrastructure to handle such a vehicle.

Tesla Home Charging Twitter

Model S owners can charge their vehicles at home, too. Image source: Tesla Motors' official Twitter feed.

In just about a year and four months, Tesla has expanded its Supercharger network from just six stations to 80. Of these 80 locations, 14 are in Europe. While 80 may seem small compared with the type of convenience we are used to with gas stations, it's important to keep in mind that electric-vehicle owners can charge at home; so it doesn't take nearly as many charging stations for electric vehicles as it does gas stations for traditional vehicles to make long-distance travel feasible.

Even more, Supercharger stations aren't your average charging station. They are by far the world's the most powerful charging technology, providing up to 120 kilowatts of DC power. AOL Auto recently dubbed Tesla's Supercharging Network the "Technology of the Year." AOL Auto's multimedia director, Adam Morath, explained why the technology is game-changing:

With the Supercharger, Tesla is tackling the tired arguments against the electrification of the automobile head on by addressing range, charge times, charger accessibility and clean energy production (the Supercharger is powered by solar energy, not coal) all in one stroke.

Tesla says that its vehicles have charged more than 11 million kilometers using its network and that "nearly 1.13 million liters of gas have been offset." The company continued: "Its 14 locations in Europe now connect Germany, Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland. Norway, too, is energized with charging stations.

Where's Tesla headed next?
By March, 50% of the German population will live within 200 miles of a Supercharger, Tesla says. The company expects to have 100% of the population of Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, and Luxembourg within 200 miles of a Supercharging station by the end of 2014 and 90% of England, Wales, and Sweden.

But the expansion doesn't stop in Europe. Tesla is already talking about bringing its Supercharger network to China.

Domestically, Tesla has already equipped the West and East coasts with an adequate network for travel. And now Tesla says an announcement boasting cross-country travel on Superchargers alone is just a couple of weeks away.

By the end of 2014, Tesla expects to have charging stations within driving range of 80% of the U.S. population. By 2015, it plans to connect 98% of the population.

A reason to hold
Tesla's already priced for incredible growth, so the company's rapid expansion of its Supercharging network isn't a reason to buy. It is, however, a good reason to hold on to the stock. Building out its charging infrastructure effectively helps to hedge its bet on future demand for a compelling mass-market electric vehicle. Having the charging infrastructure already in place will certainly boost the value proposition for the car when it finally comes to market.

A proven strategy for finding growth stocks
They said it couldn't be done. But David Gardner has proved them wrong time, and time, and time again with stock returns like 926%, 2,239%, and 4,371%. In fact, just recently one of his favorite stocks became a 100-bagger. And he's ready to do it again. You can uncover his scientific approach to crushing the market and his carefully chosen six picks for ultimate growth instantly, because he's making this premium report free for you today. Click here now for access.

Fool contributor Daniel Sparks owns shares of Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers