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The burgeoning electric car market has a way to go before it’s on par with traditional petrol and diesel vehicles in the U.S., but sales are looking promising, with Tesla helping to drive fully electric model sales up 47 percent so far in 2017.

One obstacle to electric cars’ growth is the availability of charging infrastructure — the last thing you want is to be stranded with nowhere to “juice up.” And where there are charging stations, they may be too slow for time-pushed commuters to bother with. That is partly why Tesla launched its own supercharger network five years ago, with a view toward bringing super-fast charging stations to highways around the world. Today, there are around 1,000 supercharger stations globally, with more than 6,500 superchargers in total.

In the city

Rather than confining this infrastructure to highways used for long-distance travel, Tesla has revealed it’s now opening its network to city centers too, kicking off with downtown Boston and Chicago.

With Tesla’s new mass-market Model 3 Sedan about to go to market, there will be considerable pressure on Tesla’s existing charging stations, so it’s understandable why the company is keen to ramp up its charging infrastructure. Tesla has already announced its intentions on this front, vowing to increase the number of superchargers by 150 percent in North America this year, with California alone the recipient of 1,000 new superchargers

In the future, Tesla said that it envisages its charging stations being available across key urban areas such as shopping malls and supermarkets, meaning drivers could charge their car while shopping. The company added that the city center charging stations sport a new compact design that use less space and are easier to install.

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