The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that 8 Tesla SuperChargers are now active at a downtown public parking garage at the corner of Bijou Street and Cascade Avenue. Why is that important? Because Tesla is deliberately positioning its SuperChargers where people can visit shops or restaurants while their car fills up on electrons. Drivers pay $1.00 to park for an hour. When they leave, the city refunds the $1.00 fee and is reimbursed by Tesla. If the driver stays more than 1 hour, regular parking rates apply.
The new location will help Tesla owners travel Interstate 25 from one end of Colorado to the other, Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson told The Gazette via email. “We place superchargers along major corridors that our customers often travel and that connect city centers,” she said. “We strategically place superchargers to allow owners to drive from station to station with minimal stops.” The garage is located just a few blocks from an exit off Interstate 25.
But Tesla is doing more than just making long distance travel by electric car possible. It is also changing how we travel. For most Americans, the typical road trip involves hitting the superslab and getting to our destination as quickly as possible. Most of us time our bathroom breaks so they coincide with refueling stops so we can do both and get back on the road as quickly as possible.
Many people complain that it takes too long to recharge an electric car, but Tesla suggests we need to look at the whole long distance travel thing differently. Instead of dashing in and out of a gas station in record time. we should slow down, enjoy a leisurely meal, maybe do a little shopping, then go on our way, refreshed and relaxed. It’s the interstate version of the “slow food” movement.
Merchants love it. Tesla just opened a SuperCharger station along the main highway that runs between Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. But it’s not stuck out at the rest stop outside of town. It is located a few miles away in the center of a small town that was bypassed by the highway decades ago. Tesla owners are highly prized by merchants and restaurateurs for their upscale tastes and larger than normal wallets.
The proliferation of Tesla SuperChargers continued at a rapid rate in 2015. Tesla increased the number of locations from 330 to 590 last year, as illustrated in this happy little video. Most of the new stations are situated where drivers and passengers can eat or shop while their car is plugged in. Elon Musk’s main goal is to wean the world off fossil fuels, but a secondary objective may be to teach us to slow down and enjoy the ride.