My experience with a Tesla Model S and fast charging / supercharging stations

In my experience with a Tesla, what is most important about EVs is not the car itself (all of them are good, as this presentation shows) but the availability of level 3 (fast charging) stations. Level 2 is perfect for home-based overnight charging or charging at your office or work site. But I add about 40 miles of range for every hour of level 2 charging. Hence it is not practical for driving long distances – it would take 5 hours to add 200 miles of range. On a level 3 charger (often called fast chargers, Tesla calls them superchargers) I can add 100 miles of range in 15 mins (just time for a coffee break) and 400 miles in an hour (maybe a lunch stop?). This makes long distance travel a pleasure. I regularly drive from Boston to the New York City / New Jersey area (250 miles one way). The door to door time is the same as flying. Flying costs $250 round trip.  Driving costs me $8 round trip if I charge from my solar panels and $29 if I am paying Eversource. Did I mention the zero carbon footprint?

Today, only Tesla has a large network of fast charging stations. EVgo, Chargepoint and others are building their networks of fast chargers but today they are no where near as good as Tesla’s. This reminds me of the early days of cellphones – it’s not the phone, it’s the network!