Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla Motors has unveiled its Supercharger network, a group of stations to power its Model S EV. The first six stations are located in California.
The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation, according to Tesla.
‘We are giving Model S the ability to drive almost anywhere for free on pure sunlight,’ says Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla.
Each solar power system is designed to generate more energy from the sun over the course of a year than is consumed by Tesla vehicles using the Supercharger. This results in a slight net-positive transfer of sunlight-generated power back to the electricity grid, Tesla says.
In addition to lowering the cost of electricity, this addresses a commonly held misunderstanding that charging an electric car simply pushes carbon emissions to the power plant. The Supercharger system will always generate more power from sunlight than Model S customers use for driving. By adding even a small solar system at their home, electric car owners can extend this same principle to local city driving, too, the company adds.