Wednesday 26 September 2018

'Superchargers' lead to much longer electric car journeys - report

Tesla Supercharger in Ireland. Photography by Roger Kenny
Tesla Supercharger in Ireland. Photography by Roger Kenny
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

ELECTRIC vehicle drivers are venturing much further abroad thanks to mushrooming numbers of superchargers across Europe and Ireland, new figures suggest.

While most electric vehicle (EV) owners charge their cars at home for the daily commute, many more are also piling up huge mileage on long journeys, it is claimed.

New data from Tesla turn the old bogey of ‘range anxiety’ on its head by claiming that the European network of superchargers has now fuelled 850 million electric kilometres.

That, Tesla says, is the equivalent of more than 1,100 trips to the Moon and back. Or driving 21,000 times around the Earth.

The figures suggest that drivers are now able to confidently undertake big journeys thanks to the proliferation of the superchargers.

Indeed, the Irish Independent reported last year on how Irish man Grattan Healy drove a Tesla Model S around 9,500km from Galway to Morocco and back.

There are now more than 400 locations across the continent with 3,200+ superchargers. Last year the Elon Musk-led Tesla brand added as many as eight locations a month and opened 20 new Superchargers a week in Europe.

Last month a car was hooked up to be charged at a Supercharger every 10 seconds in Europe.

Not bad for a network that kicked off with five countries in 2013. Now it embraces 23 – including Ireland (where the latest addition opened in March on the M1 at Castlebellingham, Co Louth with eight Superchargers northbound and eight southbound).

The average charge time for a Tesla on a long journey is just 30 minutes (equivalent to 270kms).

And as demand grows, some sites are packing in huge numbers of superchargers. These include Breukelen in the Netherlands with 28 and Rygge in Norway with 34.

According to Tesla, the network fuelled almost 70,000 cross-border trips last year with the two most travelled routes running through France and Germany as drivers from northern Europe headed to the Mediterranean.

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