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Tesla Plans Cross-Continent Expansion of Supercharger Network

Battery-carmaker hopes to end “range anxiety.”

by on May.30, 2013

Tesla plans to place "several 100" Supercharger stations across the U.S. and Canada by mid-decade.

Battery-car start-up Tesla Motors hopes to put a quick-charging “supercharger” within the reach of all U.S. motorists – and most of those in Canada – over the next several years, something that could eliminate the so-called “range anxiety” that has so far been a factor in the limited sales of plug-based” vehicles like Tesla’s Model S.

The roll-out of the Tesla Supercharger network will now come twice as fast as originally planned, with about twice as many of them being put in place, according to the maker’s founder and CEO Elon Musk. The fast-charging system will also be upgraded to reduce charging times by nearly half compared to the first chargers now in place, said Musk.

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“It does mean quite a lot to mainstream customers, being able to drive you (battery) car wherever you want to go…at a moment’s notice,” said the South African-born executive. “So (this is) very important to accessing a broader audience” for battery-electric vehicles like the Tesla Model-S sedan that went on sales last summer.


First Look: 2012 Ford Focus Electric

Detroit maker begins push to electrify its line-up.

by on Jan.07, 2011

Ford shows off the new Focus Electric battery car during a CES preview.

This is the year of the electric vehicle, or so proponents would like to believe, as a wave of battery cars make their debut and the first actually roll into showrooms.  Following last month’s debut of the low-volume Transit Connect Electric delivery van, Ford Motor Co. is rolling out what it hopes will be a more mainstream offering: a battery-powered version of its newly-redesigned compact hatchback, dubbed the Ford Focus Electric.

With an estimated range of 100 miles per charge, Ford’s offering won’t reach market until 2012, well behind the introductions of the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.  But what the Focus Electric loses by not having first-mover advantage Ford is hoping to more than make up for by offering a wealth of features on its first battery-based passenger car.

The Ford Focus Electric is visually similar to the gas-powered compact, which is offered in both sedan and hatchback configurations.  But there will be a number of changes designed to improve its efficiency, critical when trying to maximize battery power.  That includes a revised grille, an enclosed underbody and special wheels meant to improve aerodynamics, as well as low rolling-resistance tires.

Meanwhile, an LED “light ring” will surround the electric charger port – repurposed from the fuel filler door on a conventional Focus.  Soft blue lights will flash to indicate the Focus Electric is charging and then to signal the battery has been topped off.