Now live: Tesla’s solar-powered Superchargers in Cali

For the couple hundred lucky Model S owners out there, you can now start charging up at Tesla’s first six Superchargers in California for free. These puppies are now live — in Folsom, Gilroy, Tejon Ranch, Barstow, Coalinga and Hawthorne — and Tesla held ribbon cutting ceremonies at some of them on Friday afternoon.

Last month Tesla announced that it had kicked off its plan to offer free fast charging (30 minutes) at select locations throughout the U.S. The Superchargers are powered by solar technology, developed by solar installer SolarCity (Tesla CEO Elon Musk also is an investor and the Chairman of SolarCity). The chargers will enable Model S owners to drive from San Francisco to L.A., or the Bay Area to Tahoe, just stopping once to charge for 30 minutes.

Musk has been discussing the idea of a Tesla-bankrolled Supercharger for almost a year and I first heard about the plan back in November 2011. The idea is that because the market for electric cars is so new, Tesla wants (and needs) to help build out the charging infrastructure, which is one of the industry’s biggest barriers.

Here’s the address of the Superchargers, and below a handy map to see if one is near you: