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The Globe and Mail

Tesla expanding supercharger network into Ontario's cottage country

Tesla is expanding its electric car charging network, building new superchargers in Huntsville and Parry Sound, Ont., and Montreal, Magog, and Rivière-du-Loup, Que.

All five will be built this summer, but the company did not provide more specific dates.

Tesla currently has a global network of 624 supercharger stations, but only 18 of those are in Canada, including the newest one in Grimsby, Ont. Compared with the United States, Canada's supercharger network is small – with big gaps in the Prairies, Maritimes and the North.

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"The Grimsby supercharger, which opened last week, now enables travel between west New York, Niagara Falls, and into Toronto and Detroit," Tesla spokesperson Alexis Georgeson said via e-mail.

New charging stations in Hunstville and Parry Sound will make driving to Muskoka cottage country an easy, range-anxiety-free jaunt.

"Superchargers are designed for city-to-city travel, allowing Tesla owners to travel for about three hours, take a quick break, and get back on the road," Georgeson said.

Superchargers only work with Tesla vehicles, and are free to use for Model S and Model X drivers. A full charge on a Model S takes 75 minutes, or 40 minutes if you just want to fill an empty battery to 80 per cent. A 20-minute charge is enough for about 200 kilometres of driving, according to the company. Total range of a Model S varies from 370-470 kilometres, according to U.S. EPA ratings.

As of March 2016, Tesla has sold just more than 4,000 Model S sedans in Canada, according to data compiled by GreenCarReports. Despite being more expensive than its rivals — the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 — Tesla's Model S is the best-selling electric-car in the country. The entry-level model starts at $94,600 before government rebate, which is $3,000 in Ontario.

Tesla's Model X crossover – with its "falcon wing" doors – is currently on sale, while the company is taking deposits for the smaller Model 3 sedan slated to arrive in late 2017 with an estimated $45,000 starting price. If the rollout of these two new models goes well, Tesla will need all the new superchargers it can build.

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