How Two Billionaires Are Supercharging The Electric Car To Upend Big Oil - Forbes
“A key reservation people have about electric cars is whether they’ll have the same sense of freedom they have with a gasoline car,” says Elon Musk, the 41-year-old billionaire cofounder of Tesla Motors. Musk plans to eliminate that fear next year through a solar-powered Supercharger network–and the electrons are on him (as long as you own a Model S). “The clearest way to convey the message that electric cars are actually better than gasoline cars is to say charging is free.”How many gas stations are there in the U.S?
Solar panels will supply the electricity at Supercharger stations, with a 500-kilowatt-hour supersize version of its car battery as backup storage. That drives the cost of each station up to $250,000, but Musk says the solar panels will pay for themselves in a few years and Tesla can sell stored power back to utilities. The company is paying little or nothing to lease space for the charging stations, he notes.
Tesla so far has installed six supercharging stations in California and believes it will take only 100 locations to provide free coast-to-coast coverage, at a cost to the company of $25 million. “We can look at the map of where we have cars and query those owners and ask what are the destinations they’d like to go in their region,” says Straubel.
It sounds great on paper.
 There are 168,000 retail locations in the U.S. that sell fuel to the public.