Originally published on CleanTechnica
In 2012 Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors would build a network of fast-charging, free to use Superchargers across the nation exclusively for Tesla owners. He also said that eventually, many of these Superchargers would be powered solely by the sun, and while it may have taken awhile, the first solar-powered Tesla Supercharger is nearly ready to go online.
In Rocklin, California, about 20 miles from downtown Sacramento, Tesla is building what could be called the ultimate customer service location, according to Green Car Reports. There’s a Tesla gallery of course, and a service center on site too, but the centerpiece is a massive solar panel array powering a stall of fresh Superchargers. There’s another, traditionally hard-wired Supercharger station just four miles away, but this solar-powered Supercharger could be the standard to which other EV chargers are held. That said, I still find London’s underground Supercharger station to be the most aesthetically pleasing.
In addition to being fast and free, two things it shares with all Superchargers, this new installation will source its energy directly from the sun, eliminating the argument that cars like the Tesla Model S merely “outsource” their emissions to power plants. They also provide some much-needed shade from California’s typically sunny weather, as well as a blueprint for future Tesla service center locations. Elon Musk has been adament about not allowing franchised car dealers to sell his products, and the solar-powered Superchargers could be one of the reasons for that. With new Superchargers seeming to go up every week, soon there will be plenty of places to plug in your Tesla vehicle.
Ford has been toying with the idea of powering some dealerships with wind, Tesla could go well beyond that by ensuring all of its stores, service centers, and charging stations are sustainably powered. That would forever destroy the argument of coal-powered electric cars once and for all.
Image: Green Car Reports