Tesla has set up nearly 1,000 fast-charging Supercharger stations around North America, but people who own its cars in big cities are still hard-pressed for convenient charging solutions. That’s hopefully about to change. Tesla announced today that it’s developed a smaller Supercharger that’s more suited for cramped city life, and it will start rolling them out soon in Chicago and Boston.
In order to make these new Superchargers smaller, they aren’t quite as powerful as the ones that can be found near highways or hotels. The city Superchargers are capable of delivering up to 72kW of power to the car, which is a little more than half the 120kW ceiling of the existing ones. That means the charge time will be slower — about 45–50 minutes to replenish the car’s battery.
Tesla says these new Superchargers will be found at or near “supermarkets, shopping centers and downtown districts,” so that owners can spend that charging time running errands instead of just waiting around. It also claims that the slimmer profile of these chargers will help speed up expansion into major cities, though the company hasn’t detailed which ones will be next. This could be a big step forward for Tesla owners when you consider how city dwellers, faced with a lack of home charging options, typically have to settle for a mishmash of lower-capacity charging infrastructure.