The Tesla Supercharger network provides free, relatively fast-charging for the Tesla Model S, delivering a full charge in about an hour. But that’s still a lot longer than it takes to fill up a regular gas-powered car, though a recent interview with Tesla’s technology chief reveals that the electric automaker is working on a way to deliver a 50% charge in as little as 5 minutes.
As it stands right now, it takes a Supercharger about 30 minutes to deliver a half-charge to the Model S, though a recent upgrade will drop that down to just 20 minutes. In an interview with the MIT Technology Review, Tesla tech boss JB Straubel says that in the next few years, they plan on cutting that time down even further, and eventually 5 minutes of charging could add up to 130 miles of driving. Not too shabby to be sure.
Still not fast enough? Well soon Tesla will roll out battery-swapping stations that can deliver a fully-charged battery in half the time it takes to fill a car with gasoline, though unlike the Superchargers it’ll cost you about the same amount of money as a tank of gas. But if you can afford a Tesla model S, you can afford the $80 or so a fully-charged battery will cost you.
Tesla’s approach to fast charging is only broadening its appeal to mass-market consumers, and soon the company will single-handedly solve one of the biggest issues facing EV drivers today.