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Tesla adds Supercharger station in Rhode Island

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  January 9, 2014 09:45 AM

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Tesla Motors opened its 54th fast-charging station in Rhode Island on Wednesday, allowing owners of its electric Model S to cruise long distance with a bit more comfort.

The fast-charging stations, called Superchargers, are owned and operated by Tesla in 22 states. They can charge the Model S sedan to half-full in 20 minutes, or from dead to full in 75 minutes, and cost nothing. While DC fast-charging stations are still scarce as automakers fight over plug standards, Tesla's proprietary 120-kW design is only made for Model S owners. The California automaker, which is fighting to sell cars from factory-owned dealers in Massachusetts, wants to build enough stations so Model S drivers can drive coast to coast, for free and without any emissions.

The station is right off the Route 2 exit on I-95 in East Greenwich near a Walgreens and Barnes and Noble. Eight plug bays are open 24 hours a day. The nearest stations are all in southern Connecticut off I-95 -- two in Milford and another two in Darien -- which is enough, Tesla says, to make the journey from New York to Boston or from Rhode Island to the Cape. Considering there are no stations in Massachusetts, we're not sure about that last claim.

Last winter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk attacked the New York Times after it published a review mentioning that the Model S got stranded on a drive from New York to Boston. While Musk had originally admitted that there was too much space between the charging stations on I-95, the CEO alleged that the reporter faked the story. Of course, there's that little problem with batteries losing their charge in cold weather, as we all know during this month's arctic freeze.

We still haven't driven a Model S, but all we hear about is how great it is. We'd love to put the electric car's considerable 265-mile range to the test, and go visit that beautiful Walgreens in East Greenwich.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
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AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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