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Tesla hopes to double Supercharger network in 2017

In the US alone, Tesla wants to increase its Supercharger network by 150 percent.

Charger with Tesla logo at a Supercharger rapid battery charging station for the electric vehicle company Tesla Motors, in the Silicon Valley town of Mountain View, California, August 24, 2016. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Tesla has been hard at work expanding its network of 145-kW Superchargers over the past five years. But this year might be its most important yet.

Tesla hopes to double the size of its Supercharger network in 2017. It wants to bring its equipment total to 10,000 Superchargers at 15,000 Destination Charging connectors. To that end, Tesla is already deep in site selection, and several spots will begin construction soon, in anticipation of the summer driving season.

Tesla could make some cash licensing Supercharger use to other automakers, but that could also create some serious gridlock.

Mark Reinstein/Corbis/Getty Images

It should be noted that the above figures represent Tesla's global Supercharger network. In the US alone, Tesla wants to increase the number of chargers by 150 percent, adding more than 1,000 Superchargers in California alone.

Destination Charging connectors are not the same as Superchargers. Tesla partners up with hotels, restaurants and other destinations for this program, helping them set up Tesla wall chargers that could ideally increase business, albeit only by Tesla owners.

This doesn't mean Tesla is setting up thousands of brand new Supercharger stations. Some of this increase will be devoted to adding more chargers at existing Supercharger stations, so that more vehicles can charge simultaneously. It will build new sites as well, though, many of which will be farther from highways, giving local users better access.

Superchargers were originally limited to large thoroughfares, as they are meant to enable longer-distance travel. With a charging power of 145 kW, it can provide approximately 170 miles of range in about 30 minutes' time, which is long enough for an owner to grab coffee or pull out a newspaper.