Tesla is looking to enhance the charging experience of its EV owners by providing free Starlink-backed WiFi at Supercharger outlets.
Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), is starting to deploy Starlink antennas at Supercharger stations to provide free internet to customers. This service will be based on satellite, and beneficiaries will be able to tap into the free WiFi while charging their Tesla cars.
In addition to facilitating media outlet engagements, the Starlink broadband at the Supercharger stations can also aid vehicle functionality. For example, it could replace or supplement the already existing connections that cover basic charger status and payment functions. This could potentially fast-track the deployment of Superchargers around the US, especially in more remote areas. This may be very crucial, especially if Tesla chooses to open up the charging service to accommodate non-Tesla EVs. A decision like this could cause the size of its station network to explode at an astronomical rate.
At the moment, it is not clear how many Supercharger stations are on ground or if drivers can access them now. However, there have been some sightings in parts of Florida, Lisbon, Connecticut, and Long Island, New York.
A Closer Look into Tesla’s Starlink Supercharger Feature
Although Tesla continuously tries to make charging faster, some owners still spend 30 minutes at charging stations. However, just like with the Starlink free internet service, Tesla is putting a host of features in place to make the experience enjoyable. For instance, the electric vehicle automaker is developing in-car apps for entertainment. These include Tesla Theater, a multimedia platform with Netflix, YouTube, Twitch, to name a few, and Tesla Arcade, a video game platform. So far, Tesla is yet to comment on the rollout, and reports suggest the car company disbanded its PR team.
Tesla owners who have premium connectivity, a $10 monthly subscription for data-intensive apps, can access the aforementioned in-car entertainment. They will be able to do so using Tesla’s LTE cellular connectivity. On average, the US Starlink connection is a little over 97Mbps.
Furthermore, reports gathered that Tesla recently reduced the trial period for premium connectivity. As a result, some owners had to pay up to extend the service life. However, some others decided to give it up altogether. Regardless, as long as their Tesla cars remain connected to WiFi hotspots like the Supercharger stations, owners can still be privy to such features.
One potential issue that may affect this service is network congestion, especially if all the chargers are busy. On the flip side, this might be enough to convince customers to obtain the Starlink service for their homes. The service enjoyed at the Supercharger stations, especially if commendable, could push Tesla owners to private Starlink purchase. A few months ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to deploy the Starlink service to homes and offices in select regions.
Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
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