Tesla Motors has announced the availability of a new Supercharger network capable of ultrafast charging using the power of the sun for owners of its four door Model S electric sports sedan.

Quietly built out in secret, Tesla yesterday unveiled the locations of the first six stations throughout California and noted its plans to install over 100 additional stations in high traffic corridors across the U.S. by 2015. In the latter half of 2013, the company will begin installing them in Europe and Asia. This will allow Model S drivers around the globe to travel long distances without worrying about finding a place to charge up their vehicle.

The Supercharger stations, which are being built by SolarCity and are 100 percent solar-powered, are designed to generate more electricity annually than a Model S consumes. In just 30 minutes of charging – less than the time it may take a family to stop for lunch – the Model S can regain three hours of 60 miles per hour drive time. In order to keep construction and maintenance costs down, the Supercharger network uses technology already developed for use in the Model S itself. The charging hardware comes standard on those models with an 85 kWh battery and is optional on those with a 60 kWh battery.

“Tesla’s Supercharger network is a game changer for electric vehicles, providing long distance travel that has a level of convenience equivalent to gasoline cars for all practical purposes,” said Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO Elon Musk. “We are giving Model S the ability to drive almost anywhere for free on pure sunlight.”

Obviously Tesla has much at stake for the worldwide success of electric cars, and this Supercharger network should do a lot to alleviate concerns of those buyers hesitant to purchase an electric car due to range anxiety. In addition, it will also eliminate the argument many have about EVs in that while they run on batteries, they still charge up using power from fossil fuel burning power plants.

Since some gas stops take 15 minutes or more, waiting a few extra minutes to power up an EV isn’t too much of a sacrifice for the privilege of driving a car that is capable of traveling 300 miles on a charge, racing from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds, and that gets all its power from the sun. Now, if they could just lower the price a bit…

Image Credit: Tesla Motors