Tesla Supercharger Station, Tesla Model X at Santana Row. Click image for article
Article by Michael Bettencourt
Tesla ‘supercharges’ Canadian road trips, finally
Almost two years after Tesla first stated it would start installing Supercharger stations in Canada, the first one opened in Squamish, BC this summer – half way between Vancouver and Whistler – followed soon after with another two in Ontario by the end of August, one at the Tesla store in Toronto, and one in Cornwall, near the Quebec border.
With the first three Canadian high-speed and free Tesla Superchargers now online and powering Model S sedans, it becomes somewhat easier to believe their Supercharger map, which suggests that the innovative California company has another three planned in these areas in the next month or so, plus about double that number by the end of 2014.
Tesla spokesperson Alexis Georgeson says that Tesla never promises a certain number of Superchargers, but instead lists the red dots on its Supercharger map so owners can visualize the ones online now, and the routes planned in the short term and for 2015. Georgeson confirmed that the company plans to enable the following routes by the end of 2014: Toronto to Montreal, Montreal to Quebec City, Vancouver to Calgary, and Calgary to Edmonton.
The Model S with the smaller 60 kWh battery pack has an EPA-rated range of 335 km, while the largest 85 kWh battery is rated to 426 km, making some of these routes already possible with one Supercharger stop. Those early Model S owners who jumped on the least expensive 40 kWh model may be out of luck though, as they require at least the 60 kWh battery and Supercharger enabling, which is standard on all 85 kWh models. It’s a remarkably powerful charger, too, allowing for a 50 percent charge of the Model S battery in as little as 20 minutes, making it about 16 times faster than the usual 240V chargers out there.
It will likely be the same for the all-wheel-drive Model X, Tesla’s hotly anticipated seven-seat three-row SUV, which starts production in early 2015. No specific timelines for deliveries in Canada yet, with Tesla’s Canadian site currently saying only “2015” as a guideline for new reservations.
No other manufacturer has announced firm plans for an all-electric SUV in Canada, though the cubic Kia Soul BEV that’s somewhat crossover-ish is set to land in certain Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal dealers in October. But the Model X won’t be the first luxury plug-in SUV on the Canadian market, with word that Porsche plans to deliver its 416-hp Cayenne S E-Hybrid plug-in around November, starting at $86,800, which promises 18 to 36 kilometres of all-electric driving.
Meanwhile, the Model X will also battle premium plug-in SUVs from Volvo, which just recently released official information on its XC90 and its Twin Engine plug-in hybrid top-line version, which is scheduled to arrive by the third quarter of next year, confirmed Volvo Canada this week. No pricing information is available yet for the plug-in, but it will offer a 400-hp turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine, up to 40 km of all-electric range (with a light right foot), as well as seven seats, just like the Model X.