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Autofield Blog

Telsa, Superchargers and Cool


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4. November 2013

The real value proposition of the Tesla Model S is that the car is cool. And if you buy a cool car, then, ispo facto, you must be cool, too.

It has a stunning design. It has an advanced interior that doesn’t make it seem as though it is something sourced from Space X. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.

All cool.

Last week, Tesla Motors announced that the “West Coast Supercharger Corridor” was charged and running.

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Tesla Supercharger: A Different Kind of Pump

What this means is that there is a series of stations running along the Pacific Coast where Model S vehicles equipped with the 85-kWh battery can quickly charge their cars—as in about 50% in 20 minutes, as it provides up to 120 kW of DC power—for free.

This means that the car can travel from San Diego to Vancouver—some 1,750 miles—without an issue of “range anxiety.” (The Model S has a range of up to 265 miles; the Superchargers are strategically located for making runs up and down the coast.)

Here’s the thing.

The Model S with the 85-kWh battery pack starts at $81,070 (before rebates, incentives and whatnot are subtracted).

Chances are, someone who spends that kind of money doesn’t worry about the price at the pump.

The free charging is cool, not particularly an economic boon for the owner.

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Tesla Supercharger Locations

Consider: someone has a car that gets 30 mpg and makes the 1,750-mile run up the cost. Gasoline costs $4.00 per gallon. That means the person would be looking at spending $233.33 for gas.

Yes, it is $0 for the Model S. But you have to buy the Model S.

And saying: “It cost me just $233 to make that drive to Vancouver” isn’t nearly as cool as “I used the Superchargers all the way up to Vancouver and it didn’t cost me a thing.”

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