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Luxury EV Maker Tesla to Provide Fast Chargers from LA to New York

Luxury EV Maker Tesla to Provide Fast Chargers from LA to New York

By Jeff Youngs, May 31, 2013
This week, Elon Musk, head of Tesla Motors, U.S. luxury electric vehicle (EV) maker, announced plans to accelerate the process of expanding a network of fast-charging stations to allow drivers of Tesla's luxury Model S EV to travel between Los Angeles and New York. During a recent conference on the topic of digital technology held in California, Musk said the automaker will triple its super charging coverage area by the end of June this year.

Tesla, which is based in Palo Alto, California, and makes cars at a former Toyota and General Motors joint venture auto plant in Fremont, California, has nine charging stations in California to provide free power charges for Model S owners. There are charging stations already set up on the East Coast in Connecticut and Delaware, according to Tesla's website. The company plans to roll out 100 stations along U.S. and Canadian highways by 2015, according to media reports such as Bloomberg News.

The announcement about expanding Tesla's fast-charging network is welcome news for Model S owners, since fully recharging a Model S takes as long as 8 hours with a 240-volt home-charging system. The new fast chargers will allow a car to be repowered in much less time, providing 150 miles of driving range in about 30 minutes, with electricity flowing at about 400 volts, according to Bloomberg News.

After 10 Years, Tesla Turns a Profit

Earlier this month, Tesla reported its first quarterly profit since start up in 2003 and paid off a $451.8 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. The automaker also made a public stock offering that propelled its share price to more than $100--three times higher than the share value a year ago.

Tesla Motors was named after inventor Nikola Tesla, who worked for Thomas Edison and later Westinghouse, and is credited with helping design the Alternating Current (AC) power delivery system to transport electricity. Co-founded by Musk and several other Silicon Valley engineers in 2003, Tesla launched its Roadster high-performance electric sports car in 2008. The first Tesla model shared a platform with the Lotus Elise.

The Model S, designed by Franzvon Holzhausen, former director of design for Mazda North America, was next to debut. It has a suggested retail starting price of $59,900. The Model X, an all-wheel drive electric crossover (CUV), is slated to begin production next year. The company's long-term plan, according to Musk, is to build a wide range of models, including "affordably priced family cars." Entrepreneur Musk also is the co-founder of PayPal and currently the leader of a space transportation company called Space X.

Through the first 4 months of 2013, Tesla has sold 6,322 units of its Model S cars in the U.S. market, compared with 1,233 unit sales in all of 2012. Year-to-date sales of the Model S surpassed other midsize premium conventional models including the Audi A6, Lexus GS Series, Infiniti M, Jaguar XF, and Volvo S80, among others in the segment. The category's two top sales leaders are the BMW 5 Series, followed by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

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