Tesla Motors have been working on several ideas for reducing charging times for their vehicles for a while now. That’s why Tesla has introduced its Supercharging stations, which allow Model S owners to charge their cars’ batteries halfway in just 30 minutes. But, this is still far from perfect, and waiting 30 minutes to recharge your battery halfway is much longer than what it takes to refill a gasoline-powered car’s tank. So, the company wants to improve its supercharging technology, in effort to reduce charging times to anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes.
Tesla’s Chief Technology Officer, JB Straubel, has said that their superchargers work great because in addition to the stations, the company builds the electronics for monitoring the battery pack, and the cooling system for the battery, which allows all these parts to work together as smoothly as possible.
The challenge for Tesla is to improve the interface with the electrical grid, because at the moment, it often can’t handle 120-kilowatt charging. They intend to address this issue by installing solar panels and batteries at their supercharging stations.
As far as price is concerned, Tesla plans to build a car that will be much cheaper than the Model S, which has been selling pretty well. A couple of months ago, Elon Musk said that they intend to launch a sedan in 2016, that will be a bit smaller than the Model S, and is currently referred to as Gen 3. It’s price should be somewhere around $35,000, nearly half the price of the Model S. They hope to achieve a lower price by increasing production volumes, and by equipping the car with a smaller battery pack, which will on the other hand, will reduce the car’s range.
Also, Tesla is not allowed to sell its cars directly to consumers, which is perhaps the biggest legal hurdle it is facing. Direct car sales are banned in most states, and car manufacturers have to sell their products through franchised dealerships. This is a big issue for Tesla, as its business model is based on selling cars from company stores.
However, there are a few states that allow Tesla to open their own stores there and sell cars directly to consumers. The company operates retail stores in Colorado, Florida, California, and New York, among other states, where potential buyers can take a look at a certain model, see its specs and pricing, but are usually not allowed to get inside the cars and take them for a test drive, and sales people working there don’t get commissions.