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Tesla unveils first Australian supercharger locations

As Tesla opens the doors on its first Australian showroom, the company has also confirmed locations for two supercharging stations in Sydney, and released a map of its projected east-coast supercharger network.

Claire Reilly/CNET
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The supercharging station at the Tesla Motors showroom in St Leonards, Sydney. Claire Reilly/CNET

Tesla Motors has confirmed the first two supercharger locations for its Australian network, with EV enthusiasts able to power up at the new Tesla Sydney showroom or at Sydney's Star Casino.

The announcement comes as Tesla opens the doors on its first Australian showroom in the Northern Sydney suburb of St Leonards, with members of the public able to get hands on with the first Model S vehicles to arrive in Australian from December 10.

The showroom opening follows a gala launch event at Star Casino that saw the first nine Model S EVs delivered to the company's "signature customers" -- the first Australian consumers to place their order (and a deposit) for the vehicle after it was announced.

The choice of the Star as a launch venue is particularly pertinent, with Tesla confirming that 5 of the 10 supercharging stations to be unveiled on December 10 will be in the underground carpark of the casino. Tesla customers will be able to access the Star carpark and charge their cars for free in between roulette spins, or they can opt to charge at one of the five supercharging stations at the St Leonards Showroom.

These supercharging stations are capable of bringing the Model S battery from 0 to 50 percent charge in 20 minutes, with a full charge taking just under an hour.

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Tesla's projected supercharger network for Australia. The dark area shows the range for 60kWh battery vehicles while the pale band shows the battery range for 85kWh vehicles. Claire Reilly/CNET

Tesla is also keen to reassure potential customers that a supercharger network for Australia is in the pipeline, allowing customers to charge their vehicles away from home.

"In 2015 we'll look at rolling out a supercharger network connecting Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney," said Tesla Motors' Marketing and Communications Manager for Australia, Heath Walker. "And then in 2016, we'll connect all major cities on the east coast. So it's fair to say we're not mucking about."

The Canberra-Melbourne-Sydney network is expected by "end of 2015", with that network extending up to Brisbane by the end of 2016. Each station will be positioned around 200 kilometres apart, allowing for those drivers on the entry-level Model S which offers a 300-kilometre range when fully charged.

The supercharger network rollout is the cap on a year of developments for Tesla in the local market. After announcing the development of a right-hand-drive model of the Model S late last year, the EV officially went on sale locally in May this year, allowing Australian fans to get their hands on a Tesla roughly two years after it became available in the United States.

The company announced the local launch date last month with an invite for customers to be there when the keys were presented to the first "signature" Model S customers at a "handover event like no other".

Updated December 10 at 11:00 a.m. AEDT to include supercharger network map.