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Tesla's drive to dominate the world of electric vehicles, beginning with the U.S. market, has passed a new milestone after CEO and co-founder Elon Musk last week posted on Twitter that the company has completed the coast-to-coast section of the free Supercharger network. Model S owners will now be able to travel from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast for free by using a series of free supercharger stations.
According to the Tesla website, there are a total of 71 supercharger stations installed around the country, available for use by 80% of the population (as long as you own a Tesla Model S). Each station is located near major highway intersections, next to restaurants, cafes, or shopping malls in order to allow the owners to relax for the 30 minutes it takes the vehicles to recharge.
Musk tweeted that the "Tesla Supercharger network now energized from New York to LA, both coasts + Texas!"
This achievement will not mean the end for Tesla's ambitious plans. Many more free supercharger stations are scheduled for installation, with the website claiming that next year they hope to cover the entire country and benefit 98% of the population.
The Supercharger network is a vital part of the company's plans to conquer the U.S. motor industry. Without it, the Model S drivers would be limited by the 265-mile range offered by the car's battery, and would then need to plug it in for nine hours in order to recharge it to 100%. Now a 30-minute charge can provide 170 miles of range, giving the Model S a huge advantage over competitor EVs and removing the biggest killer of enthusiasm in EVs among the general population, the dreaded range anxiety.
Tesla expects the entire Supercharger network to be complete by the time the affordable Model E is released to the market in 2017.
Cleantechnica reports that thanks to the Supercharger network, buying a Tesla doesn't just mean buying a zero-emission electric car. It also means free fuel forever, or as long as Tesla decides to offer the use of the Supercharger stations for free.
Musk also announced that two teams will drive Tesla cars across the U.S., using the newly completed Supercharger network, to try and set a cross-country electric vehicle speed record. They will leave LA on the 31st of January and hope to arrive in New York on the 2nd of February.
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Written by James Burgess at Oilprice.com.