Tesla is no longer reserving its supercharging stations for long-distance travelers

Chugging some juice.
Chugging some juice.
Image: Tesla
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American urban dwellers are in luck: Owning a Tesla has just gotten easier.

Tesla is extending its supercharger network to US city centers, beginning with stations in Boston and Chicago opening today. Stations in several other cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Austin, will open by the end of 2017, according to a map of the supercharger network. The effort is “part of our commitment to make Tesla ownership easy for everyone,” said the company’s press release, “including those without immediate access to home or workplace charging.”

Tesla’s supercharger stations are only available to Tesla owners and are mainly used by people driving long distances; most people routinely driving in cities recharge their electric cars at home overnight. Tesla currently owns and operates 951 supercharger stations worldwide. Most are located along major highways to allow relatively fast recharging on long trips—it typically takes between 30 minutes and an hour to recharge a Tesla at a supercharger station.

Tesla still wants you to charge your car at home and pay for it yourself. Late last year, the company announced that Teslas purchased after Jan. 15 or delivered after April 15 would no longer receive unlimited, complimentary charging from the network’s stations. Instead, Tesla owners receive 400 kWh of supercharger credit each year, enough to drive 1,000 miles.

The city superchargers will be rolled out near grocery stores and shopping centers to let Tesla owners charge while doing errands. They will sport a more compact, space-efficient post design, which Tesla says will “enabl[e] more rapid deployment in tight city spaces.”