By Jhoo Dong-chan
Tesla Korea is set to build 14 supercharger stations in Korea this year.
Tesla Global Sales & Service President Jonathan McNeill confirmed during his visit to the company's local affiliate headquarters in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul, that it will build six supercharger stations in Seoul, three at highway service stations and the remaining five in other major Korean cities.
The Tesla supercharger is the U.S.-based electric vehicle maker's high-speed device that can charge more than 50 percent of its Model S 90D's battery in 20 minutes. One charging station can accommodate six to eight cars at a time.
Tesla has established 14 supercharger stations in Japan since it entered the market in 2014, but it is expected to take only two years to have the same number in Korea.
Tesla Korea said it will first build three supercharger stations in the Gran Seoul building in Jongno-gu, the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in Gangnam-gu and the Tedin Resort near Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, by the end of June.
It is also reviewing its plan to build a supercharger station in Pyeongchang by the time the Winter Olympics are held.
Tesla Korea said last month it has almost completed the destination chargers in the Shinsegae Department store in Gangnam and the Yeoju Premium Outlets in Gyeonggi Province. The destination charger is Tesla's low-speed charging device.
With five or six destination chargers now being built, the Gangnam Shinsegae Department store is expected to become the nation's largest Tesla charging station. The Yeoju Premium Outlets are expected to have three destination chargers.
Tesla vehicles have a high-capacity battery that takes more than 10 hours to charge fully with existing 7.7 kilowatt chargers. But it takes just 20 minutes to charge a battery to 50 percent with the high-speed supercharger and 40 to 60 minutes to fully charge it.
Tesla Korea has started finalizing the purchasing process for customers who ordered its Model S 90D sedan. Delivery is expected to start in June.
The Ministry of Environment has certified that the Tesla Model S 90D has a range of 378 kilometers when fully charged. The car's price starts at 121 million won ($106,937) and is expected to reach 161 million won for the full-option package.