If you own a Tesla and plan on driving it reasonable distances, then you probably know exactly where your nearest superchargers are. After all, these devices charge up your car in less than an hour. But if you look at a map of an urban area -- let's say, Philadelphia, which is about 20 minutes from where I live -- you'll notice something frustrating. The city, along with many other urban areas, is somewhat of a Supercharging desert. Tesla acknowledges that this is a problem and is expanding their Supercharging network into urban areas, starting with Chicago and Boston.
The bottom line is that for Teslas to fully take off, charging them has to be as convenient as pulling into a gas station to refuel. Right now, that's just not the case, and the company is well aware of it. The bulk of Superchargers are currently along major highways at hotels and restaurants. Tesla plans on expanding into urban grocery store parking lots, shopping centers, and downtown districts.
They've redesigned the Supercharger to give it a more compact footprint for urban areas. Additionally, they've increased efficiency so that Superchargers will provide a steady amount of electric charging power to each car, regardless of how many are plugged into it. At 72 kilowatts an hour, this means that a typical Tesla will be charged in about 45 to 50 minutes.
With the release of the long-awaited Model 3, with a base price of $35,000, Teslas are becoming more practical for people interested in EVs. But as long as they're inconvenient to recharge, adoption rates will be slow. We'll see if Tesla's urban Superchargers push is successful in helping to increase sales in cities.