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Tesla plans to triple Supercharger network

Posting in Government

Now that Tesla is all square with the U.S. government, the electric carmaker is looking to take care of its customers.

Tesla Motors' CEO Elon Musk, speaking at the D: All Things Digital conference, revealed plans for a massive expansion of the company's Supercharger network, Bloomberg reports.

There are currently nine Supercharger stations in the United States which allow owners of the Model S to quickly recharge their car. There are two routes: one connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles, the other connecting Washington, D.C. to Boston.

Now Musk says the company will focus on tripling the number of Supercharger stations, covering most major metropolitan areas, and making a Los Angeles to New York trip possible by the end of the year. Without the charging stations the cars have an industry-leading 265-mile range per charge.

“Traditional charging has been way too slow and it’s not effective for long-distance travel,” Musk said in an onstage interview at the D: All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. “When people buy a car they’re also acquiring a sense of freedom.”

The announcement will likely only help Tesla's already sizzling stock, which has more than tripled this year.

Tesla is planning a formal announcement of the Supercharger network later today. If we get more information we'll update you here.

UPDATE: In a statement, Tesla was more specific with their Supercharger rollout timeline. The number of Supercharger stations will triple by the end of next month. By the end of the year, there will be Superchargers in most major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and Canada. And, a year from now, the Supercharger network will cover "almost the entire population of the US and Canada." Here's what that will look like:

And this interactive shows the planned progress of the network.

Tesla also pointed out that they're working on making Supercharger technology even faster:

Tesla is improving the technology behind the Tesla Supercharger to dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes to charge Model S, cutting charging time in half relative to early trials of the system. The new technology, which is in beta test mode now and will be fully rolled out to customers this summer, will allow Model S to be charged at 120 kW, replenishing three hours of driving in just over 20 minutes.

Tesla Expanding L.A.-New York Car Charging Network [Bloomberg]

Photo: Flickr/jurvetson

— By on May 29, 2013, 11:35 PM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure