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by Richard Uhlhorn
Representatives of Tesla Motors were in Chelan to give a special presentation to City Council in hopes of finding a location within the City to install a number of superchargers for owners of Tesla automobiles.
Jorn Van de ven, project developer at Tesla gave the city council a presentation on the potential installation of Tesla supercharging stations in Chelan
Jorn Van de ven, Tesla senior project developer and Chris Wimer, Tesla market lead, shared a visual presentation and talked about the possibilities of installing supercharger sites in the City. Tesla is the only car company actively setting up supercharger sites for their car owners across the United States and beyond.
These chargers are proprietary to Tesla vehicles and will charge a car in 45 minutes to one hour. The idea of having chargers available in Chelan is assure owners that they can drive back home. Tesla’s, depending on the model, can drive 250 to 330 miles on one charge.
“Ideally, you want to charge your car at home,” said Van de ven. “However, when you travel, you will need to rely on a form of charging.”
The stations would be installed at no cost to the City, outside of the land provided. A Leavenworth shop owner just received 16 new superchargers and his dirt lot was paved. He is leasing the land to Tesla on a negotiated deal. Tesla spent an estimated $800,000 in the addition to the 16 stalls.
Chelan, which already has parking issues, will consider all options. There are several parking lots that could be used, but Tim Hollingsworth suggested utilizing a neighborhood city easement instead. “What are some of the criteria,” Hollingsworth asked? “We want an experience for our drivers,” answered Van de Ver. “We would like them to be close to amenities… to be able to spend quality time.”
Mayor Cooney asked if Tesla purchases the (charging) power for its owners. “We look for a places ready to go. We invest in the infrastructure which adds value and weigh it against being in a town like Chelan.”
Tim Hollingsworth and Ty Witt explained that Chelan has parking issues.
Ty Witt stated that Chelan is already in trouble with parking space. Hollingsworth added that parking is at a premium, but added that the City has a lot of public right aways close to town. “These are a block or two from town.”
Cooney asked it they had been in discussions with Chelan County PUD. Van de Ver said they had. He added that purchasers of Tesla’s Model 3 would be required to pay for a charge.
Wendy Isenhart asked if owners of other electric cars would have reciprocal rights.
Wendy Isenhart asked if there would be reciprocal rights and added that would be a nice benefit for other electric car owners. Tesla’s Chris Wimer said that it was more technical than that. “The superchargers done charge through an inverter, they charge directly to the Tesla battery.”
Chelan currently has six charging stations in the downtown area. Columbia Valley Health added another four stations at their new facility. Nefarious Winery also has a charging station.
Electric cars like the Tesla are becoming more commonplace and Chelan will begin to see more and more electric car activity as the vehicles become more affordable and offer better mileage options like the Tesla.