Tesla in Germany: Creating the Charging Net

Gary S. Vasilash

Late last year, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), became interested in the post-crash fires that had occurred in North America with some Tesla Model S vehicles. As its name implies, the KBA is in charge of motor vehicle regulations in Germany.

Tesla Model S

Making its assessment based on information provided by Tesla and other sources, the KBA stated:

“According to the documents, no manufacturer-related defects [herstellerseitiger Mangel] could be found. Therefore, no further measures under the German Product Safety Act [Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG)] are deemed necessary.”

Which is a good thing for Tesla, because last week it announced that it has opened new Superchargers—its stations that put 120 kW of DC power into the Model S battery at a rate that it can receive half a full charge in about 20 minutes—in Europe, including stations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands.

The company projects that by the end of March 2014, 50% of the German population will live within 320 km (199 miles) of a Supercharger. By the end of 2014, it will reach 100% of the German population (or those who own Model S models).


With an 85-kWh battery, the Model S can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph, which makes it reasonable for the autobahn. When driven at 55 mph (which would only occasionally happen on the autobahn), it has a 300-miole range, so that 199-mile positioning makes the travel proposition in a Model S in Germany a reasonable one.