In Manhattan, where most people live in apartments, charging an electric car is quite a hassle. Whereas a Tesla owner with a private garage can simply install a Tesla-branded 240-volt charger and charge their car fully overnight, city dwellers are reliant on limited public charging stations.
Tesla’s New York Destination Charging program will offer both monthly parking spaces to Tesla owners living in Manhattan, and hourly parking for owners commuting into the city. Chargers will come to 30 garages in the next couple of weeks, and Tesla plans to add more in the near future.
The new chargers are just like the ones electric-car owners would install in their own garages. Although they aren’t as fast as Tesla’s Superchargers, which can add 170 miles of range in just a half hour, they still charge much quicker than regular outlets, which only add 3 miles of range per hour.
Tesla cites an increasing number of Model S owners in Manhattan as being the main impetus for creating this service.
The Tesla Model S is arguably the best purely electric car on sale right now, but this issue speaks to the drawbacks inherent in all electric cars. It’s a lot quicker to fill up a conventional car — any car — with gas, and obviously more convenient thanks to a large infrastructure already in place.
Tesla has needed to create its own infrastructure as it attempts to push electric cars into the mainstream. In a sense, the Tesla Model S is a public beta product, and its owners are very much early adopters.