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Tesla launches fast electric car charging in Berlin, says more cities to come

BERLIN (Reuters) - Managers at electric carmaker Tesla Inc TSLA.O on Thursday demonstrated new supercharger equipment on a Berlin research campus, saying they were looking at more target cities to attract potential buyers worried about access to charging.

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“Now, as part of our commitment to make Tesla ownership easy and convenient for everyone including those without immediate access to home or workplace charging, we are expanding out supercharging network into city centres,” said Jeroen van Tilburg, manager Europe of charging infrastructure at Tesla.

A company spokesman told reporters Tesla would open at least one more inner-city fast charging site in Germany in 2020, possibly more.

He stressed that Tesla still believed in slow workplace and residential charging as the main way to charge vehicles but wanted to offer a quicker option.

The so-called V3 charger allows Tesla Model 3 cars to charge within five minutes enough to travel 120 kilometres (75 miles).

Older Tesla models would receive relevant software upgrades.

German policymakers aim to boost demand for electric cars to cut emissions.

“We have a lot to make up for in terms of charging infrastructure,” said Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier at the event.

He reiterated pledges to speed the roll-out of public charging points and permits for private charging which had hampered sales in the past.

Latest legislation for a green-led recovery after the coronavirus crisis offers buyers incentives and helps bump up power grids.

Tesla has chosen a site near Berlin for a new factory due to start operating next year.

Separately to the event, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper said on Thursday the factory had the potential to create 40,000 jobs, citing the economy minister of Brandenburg state.

Reporting by Vera Eckert, additional reporting by Joseph Nasr, editing by Lisa Shumaker

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