Tesla Supercharger Network: The Complete Guide For The UK

Tesla Supercharger

Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

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Company Overview: Tesla

Tesla, Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors Inc.) was founded by American engineers, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2003. They named the Palo Alto based company, Tesla, as a tribute to the engineer Nikola Tesla. In fact, Elon Musk (co-founder, Tesla) become involved with the company post the founding of Tesla Motors. He was the lead investor in the 2004 Series A investment round.

In 2008, Tesla unveiled its first zero-emission electric vehicle (EV), the all-electric Roadster.  As they say, the rest is history! Tesla is a publicly listed company and has a market value higher than any other automotive manufacturer. Elon Musk is also ranked as one of the richest individuals in the world. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he is ranked first with a net worth of US$189.3 billion (source: Bloomberg: December 2022).

Tesla has the following battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), either in production or in development. In 2020, the EV company surpassed a production volume of 1 million plug-in electric cars. Tesla also sells battery energy storage, solar panels, solar roof and other EV charging related equipment and accessories.

Tesla Supercharger Network


Tesla Ultra-Rapid Superchargers (credit:Tesla)

It has been a decade since Tesla introduced its Supercharging network in September 2012. The first Superchargers totalled six and were launched in the US, primarily for the use of the all-electric Tesla Model S. Since then, all Tesla electric cars have used the rapid charging network, to include: the Tesla Model X, Tesla Model 3 and the Tesla Model Y.

The propriety charging network has been developed and is operated by Tesla. The ultra-rapid charging network has expanded to over 40,000 Superchargers across key global markets, to include, the UK and Europe. The company claims it owns and operates the largest global fast charging network in the world. There are approximately 4,470 Tesla Supercharger stations globally, with North America and Asia/ Pacific region dominating. There are 1,772 stations in North America and 1,801 stations in Asia Pacific. Europe currently has 897 Supercharger stations. In general, each charging station has between 8 to 9 Superchargers.

To put the above scale in context, according to zapmap, the UK currently has a total of 6,712 rapid/ ultra-rapid devices, across 3,916 locations, across all operators (30th November 2022)! These figures include the Tesla network, which remains the remains the largest DC charging network in the UK. After Tesla, InstaVolt operates the second largest network of rapid and ultra-rapid chargers in the UK.

Elon Musk, foresaw the importance of providing accessible and widespread public charging stations, for the successful adoption of Tesla electric cars. Among a number of factors that have contributed to the popularity of Tesla electric cars, the provision of the supporting public charging infrastructure has been a key driver. Indeed, one of the competitive advantages of Tesla, compared to other EV automotive manufactures, is the Tesla Supercharger network. Currently, most automotive manufactures depend on third party public charging networks, to include, Tesla Superchargers.

There is no doubt, in that, the majority of electric cars are charged overnight at home. However, public EV charging infrastructure continues to remain vital to the success of the electric driving industry. We can expect to continue to see the DC charging capability of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) to continue to improve. At an average, most BEVs incorporate between 50 kW DC to 100 kW DC charging capability. Premium electric cars usually offer a higher performance DC ultra-rapid charging capability. Tesla electric cars are a good example!

DC Ultra-Rapid Charging: Tesla Electric Cars
Tesla Model Y250 kW DC Rapid Charging/ Up to 150 miles in 15 minutes
Tesla Model 3250 kW DC Rapid Charging/ Up to 171 miles in 15 minutes
Tesla Model S250 kW DC Rapid Charging/ Up to 200 miles in 15 minutes
Tesla Model X250 kW DC Rapid Charging/ Up to 175 miles in 15 minutes
Source: Tesla

Though Elon Musk had originally envisioned the use of the charging network exclusively for Tesla electric car owners, the company has opened up its network to non-Tesla owners (May 2022). Non-Tesla car owners pay a higher price for charging compared to Tesla car owners! However, non-Tesla owners can only currently access 15 Supercharger locations in the UK.

Tesla introduced the Supercharger network in the UK in 2018 with six Supercharger hubs. The hubs were delivered by Centrica Business Solutions and it took 6 months to build and complete. Since then, the network has expanded rapidly, and as of November 2022, there are 1,000 Superchargers across 100 locations. The Superchargers have a distinctive red and white colour scheme and are fast becoming a common sight across the UK.

There are currently three-generations of Tesla Superchargers: V1, V2 and V3. The V3 Supercharger is the latest generation and offers ultra-rapid DC charging capability up to 250 kW DC. The V3 is a new Supercharging architecture. The V1 and V2 Superchargers are limited to 150 kW DC.

The V3 Superchargers feature the single-cable CCS technology, which is compatible with all post May 2019, Model 3, Model Y, Model S and Model X electric cars. The V2 Superchargers feature dual-cable posts to accommodate both, DC Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 charge-ports. Tesla is now working on introducing its next-generation of Supercharger, the V4, which is expected to have a DC charging capability up to 350 kW DC.

For those fortunate enough to own a Tesla electric car, the EV can be fast charged up to 80% within 35 minutes. The reason that EV manufacturers usually display rapid charging up to 80%, is because the EV battery management system (BMS) slows down the charging rate for the remainder 20% to protect the EV battery.

The charging can be controlled via the Tesla app on your phone or the touchscreen in the car. The charging stations usually operate on a 24/7 basis. For those Supercharging stations that operate only limited hours, the information is displayed when the station is selected.

The company does not offer a ‘one price’ tariff structure for the Tesla Supercharging network. Prices depend from station-to-station and the time of the day. There also also pricing bands like ‘peak and off-peak tariff rates’. Historically, Tesla owners could charge their cars for 28p per kWh. However, with the increase in energy prices globally, 2022 prices for Tesla Superchargers have also increased. The average is now closer to 70p per kWh. Pay-as-you go customer pay a higher price! To improve the efficiency and convenience in the use of the Superchargers, the company charges an ‘idle fee’ to those EVs that are parked at the charging bay past the charging session. If the electric vehicle (EV) is removed within 5 minutes of reaching a full charge, the idle fee is waived.

For those businesses keen to offer their customers access to EV charging, Tesla offers a ‘Host a Supercharger’ scheme. Tesla owns and operates the Superchargers at the partner sites, offering a maintenance free electric car charging solution. To learn more about this scheme, visit the Tesla website.

Tesla EV cable
Tesla Compatible EV Charging Cables Are Available Via e-zoomed

We at e-zoomed offer a comprehensive range of high quality Tesla compatible EV charging cables to include single-phase and three-phase Tesla EV charging cables from 2m to 45m. For those keen to enquire further email us at shop@ezoomed.com.

While e-zoomed uses reasonable efforts to provide accurate and up-to-date information, some of the information provided is gathered from third parties and has not been independently verified by e-zoomed. While the information from the third party sources is believed to be reliable, no warranty, express or implied, is made by e-zoomed regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregate uses of this information.

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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