Tesla will nearly double its Supercharger electric car charging network this year to 10,000 public charging units globally, up from 5,400, the company said Monday.
The company plans to begin producing the mass-market Model 3 later this year, and to expand its current annual vehicle production from 80,000 last year to 500,000 by the end of 2018.
Current charging locations will be expanded and new locations will be added. California will get 1,000 of the new charging units.
The proprietary Superchargers can be used only with Tesla cars. They are more powerful than current charging networks that work with other cars and reach full charge significantly faster than most. The company advertises a 170-mile charge in about 30 minutes.
Until recently, Tesla buyers got free lifetime Supercharger privileges as part of their purchase. Anyone buying a Tesla after Jan. 15 of this year will get an annual 1,000-mile Supercharger credit and pay fees after that.
Tesla isn’t the only company with charger networks expansion plans. As part of its settlement with the federal government and California over the emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen will be spending $2 billion on a network that will work with any electric vehicle model that accepts standard plugs.
Several EV charger start-ups are also planning to add to their networks.
California requires that electric vehicles comprise at least 15% of each automaker’s in-state sales by 2025.