Tesla plans to have a complete Supercharger network between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane by the end of 2016.
The company announced its plans for the fast-charger network at the official launch of the Model S this week, where the first nine pre-ordered vehicles were delivered to their new owners.
Currently there are only two Supercharger stations in Australia: one at its retail centre in St Leonards on Sydney’s North Shore, and the other at The Star casino in Darling Harbour. There are five chargers at the St Leonards site and four at the casino.
Each Supercharger station allows Model S drivers to charge their vehicles quickly and for free. Tesla claims that a Supercharger point can recharge a drained battery to half-full in 20 minutes, to 80 per cent within 40 minutes, and to full charge within about 75 minutes.
In 2015 the company will expand Supercharger coverage to include the popular Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne corridor along the Hume Highway. By the end of 2016 the start-up electric car maker hopes to extend the area covered to include the Pacific Highway route up from Sydney to Brisbane.
Supercharger stations will be placed at a maximum distance of 200km from each other.
As we discovered when we drove the Tesla Model S from Seattle, Washington to Los Angeles, California, the Supercharger network does allow for long-distance electric car travel, although it does still require a little more planning and forethought than a similar journey in a diesel- or petrol-powered car.