In other news from the summer, Tesla began their first European Model S shipments, starting with Norway. Norway has also gained the first non-US Superchargers, in addition to new Supercharger sites in the US fast-charging network:
First things first, the Fremont, CA Tesla factory and the Palo Alto corporate headquarters gained a few Superchargers- why not? Even though they aren’t on key highways between cities, the sites could stand to gain at least the hardware, for cars in prep or coming in for service. And once you’ve got functioning hardware, you might as well finish it out into a complete unit. It then acts as a live demo for potential or wavering customers, or company/customer training. The Hawthorne, CA site (Los Angeles basin) also fit these (non-highway) criteria.
Normal, IL saw Superchargers open. Normal is on Interstate 55 between Chicago and St. Louis, as well as on I-74 (to the Champaign-Urbana area and on to Indianapolis). Aside from being a nexus of Interstates, the Bloomington-Normal area is the site of Mitsubishi’s North American plant, and is actively courting EV drivers and infrastructure. It’s also close to Springfield, the state capital. I’ll speculate that the company stands to gain by having VIPs see Interstate-capable EVs and infrastructure at work. The Normal installation is in a parking garage next to restaurants- and an Amtrak station, in case you feel like someone else driving the rest of the way.
Similarly, Texas Superchargers are incoming on Interstate 35, at Bellmead (a Waco suburb) and San Marcos, north and south of Austin respectively. These get you to Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio, respectively. You would think a Model S, with at least 200 miles of range, would be able to do Austin-San Antonio in one shot no problem, and Austin-Fort Worth on a good day. Again, methinks the sites are to impress the locals, who may be Texas politicians. Tesla has already lost one ruling (on dealerships vs. “dealerships”), and has dangled the prospect of a new factory in their state.
Washington state has Superchargers in Centralia and Burlington, flanking the Seattle area. Puget Sound EVers can head to Portland or Vancouver, BC (at least, in a Model S). Also note that the site is convenient to politicians in Olympia, just like the Folsom, CA site is near Sacramento. Future locations near Portland are pretty much inevitable. Oregon and Washington are hotbeds of EVs, and Tesla wants at some point to cover the entire coast route from Canada to Mexico. The I-5 strip is already represented (though not completely) by J1772s and CHAdeMOs as the “West Coast Green Highway.”
Darien, CT got a few Superchargers. Like Fremont and Palo Alto, this appears redundant to prior sites. In this case, Milford, CT already had a site. I’m guessing Darien covers people going north to Vermont/New Hampshire, instead of east to Boston, Rhode Island, etc. Darien also has solar panels, but I can’t tell yet whether they were there already, or were installed to power the chargers.
Florida got two, at Port St. Lucie (north of Miami and before 91) and Fort Myers (on I-75 between Miami and Tampa Bay). This lets South Florida buyers drive to middle Florida. Additional sites (likely Port Orange, south of Daytona and near the I-4 junction) will be needed to get to Jacksonville or the Panhandle. Florida’s huge, you know.
But not as huge as California. Besides the Bay Area sites above, a parallel route along the coast (the 101) now has Superchargers at Buellton and Atascadero. Coastal owners and ocean-seeking vacationers can now travel off the interior I-5 route. Meanwhile, the existing Harris Ranch site added units, as it only had one, and was seeing contention.
Not here just yet are Colorado ‘chargers, at Silverthorne and Glenwood Springs, west of Denver towards Utah. Colorado’s population tends to concentrate in a strip, like Oregon’s, here along the Front Range which doesn’t require highway Supercharging. EVers would use the two sites to go to Salt Lake City eventually, or maybe ski resorts. Those customers also benefits from state incentives; Colorado’s are some of the most enticing of any state. Rockford, Illinois is also widely rumored to be a future site; this would link Chicago to Madison, WI, on to Minneapolis/St. Paul, and indirectly to the Quad Cities. Chicago and the state of Illinois, besides Normal, favor EV adoption with infrastructure deployments and other policies. If Austin has Superchargers between Dallas and San Antonio, that implies Houstonians are in line… that line being I-45.
And then there’s Norway, with six different sites…