Tesla took charge of the EV industry in many ways, but what really launched this company was developing its own charging network. CarAndDriver published a feature on Tesla and just how it took charge with Superchargers.
The feature was from the 2020 April issue and pointed out that without its Supercharger network, Tesla’s growth may not have happened. Perhaps this is how Tesla truly took over the EV industry–by creating its own network of charging stations. GM and other automakers have relied on third party stations such as ChargePoint. And these DC fast chargers aren’t cheap–they are around $300,000 each according to CarAndDriver.
Today, Tesla’s network covers 99% of the U.S geographically and is still growing. Tesla owner, Khalil Amar of the Morocco Tesla Owners Club is hoping for one in Morocco. I think it will happen. As Tesla continues to expand its network, it’s also improving it. Tesla now has a liquid-cooled cable in its latest V3 Supercharging stations and has more than doubled its peak charge rates to 250 kilowatts.
CarAndDriver shared that another thing Tesla got right was how easy it is to charge your car. “As the highway system, it’s a simple bet: Make something easy to use and people will use it.” You don’t have to worry about pulling out your credit card, using an app, or in the case of those still driving ICE vehicles, going to the gas station, and choking on those fumes.
Tesla has innovated major industries: the auto sector and the energy sector. Many Tesla owners probably take the charging for granted–not in a bad way but in a way that it’s just as natural as breathing. We don’t worry about how many breaths we have to take per minute. Many Tesla owners know that they can go to a nearby Supercharger and plugin if they are not home. With this in mind, it’s easy to ‘forget’ just how vital this network is. As with breathing, we do it automatically.
I agree with CarAndDriver in this respect. By not waiting on someone else to create an innovative charging infrastructure, Tesla grabbed the lead in the EV industry by creating its own. This lead enabled Tesla to do more including taking on the energy sector and revolutionizing it with batteries and solar. The Supercharger network is definitely a major foundational building block for Tesla and many companies in any industry can take home this lesson:
Create a product. Then create a support system for that product.