Tesla charging stations: Consumers should be wary of hype and safety, says expert

CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS OFFICE
June 3, 2013

Tesla charging stations: Consumers should be wary of hype and safety, says expert

Paul Mutolo is a fuel cell chemist and director of external partnerships for the Energy Materials Center at Cornell University. He comments on Tesla’s recently announced plan to expand its network of charging stations to allow for cross-country travel. The car manufacturer says it will soon unveil a similar plan for Europe.

Mutolo says:

“It’s encouraging to see an automaker embracing the infrastructure problem in a meaningful way. That said, the consumer should be wary of two things: hype and safety.

“They say the improved chargers will provide 3 hours of driving time after a 20 minute charge. But the numbers don’t add up. You’ll get about 140 miles, which is only 3 hours if you drive less than 50 mph.

“Moreover, the charger is only one piece of the puzzle. Rapidly charging today’s lithium ion batteries is a dangerous proposition. To safely deliver that much energy that quickly to such a battery pack will require a new kind of battery, not just a new charger.”

 

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