Tesla ownership is not evenly distributed across the U.S. population, or even close. The ownership of Chevrolet cars and pickups might be, or Fords, but they sell seven figures in vehicles a year. Due to this lack of distribution and ownership, Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) does not have to have any Superchargers at all in some states, and almost none in others. People can charge a Tesla at home, but the Superchargers are essential for drivers on long trips. The car has a range of about 265 miles on a single charge.
Superchargers are free connectors that charge Model S in minutes instead of hours. Stations are strategically placed to minimize stops during long distance travel and are conveniently located near restaurants, shopping centers, and WiFi hot spots. Each station contains multiple Superchargers to help you get back on the road quickly.
The situation is unlikely to change until Tesla releases its affordable Model 3, which is expected to be priced around $35,000. In the meantime, Tesla simply does not sell enough cars per year to need anywhere close to an even distribution of Superchargers, and the cars are currently too expensive for most buyers with any income less than six figures. The company sold 14,000 cars in the fourth quarter of last year, about a week of sales of the Ford F-150 pickup, the top-selling vehicle in the United States.
Tesla ownership in California is high, and the state, by some estimates, produces as many as 20% of Tesla’s U.S. sales. Tesla has 41 Superchargers in California, the most in any state.
Six states have no Tesla Superchargers: Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nebraska and North Dakota. Since the company is adding hundreds a year, that may change, but these states are sparsely populated enough that the count in these states will never be large.
Depending on whether the cars or the Superchargers come first, the incentive to buy a Tesla vehicle in these six states is close to nil.