Tesla, Maker of Electric Cars, Plans to Install Route 12A Charging Station
Lebanon — The Route 12A commercial strip in West Lebanon is finally to get a new refueling station for automobiles. Only it won’t help drivers running low on gas.
Tesla, the maker of $70,000-plus electric cars, is planning to build a charging station for its vehicles adjacent to Price Chopper in a move that brings the first major electric vehicle power station to the Upper Valley.
The station comes after Korpela Family Trust, the owner of property on which Price Chopper and WalMart is located, was granted a building permit approval for the project Feb. 19 by the Lebanon planning department.
The charging station, which will cost $130,000 to build, will be squeezed between the west side of Price Chopper and Route 12A.
It will include eight “supercharger” stations, which deliver up to 120 kilowatts directly to the battery in the Tesla. The typical supercharge takes about 30 minutes and can power the car for a range of about 170 miles, according to Tesla’s website.
Neither Tesla or Korpela responded to requests for comment.
Although Tesla owners can charge their cars at home, it takes much longer: One hour for every 23 miles of range using a 240 volt outlet.
The company on its website says it is building a network of supercharger stations to “encourage road trips” and “places superchargers along the most popular road trip routes, accounting for distance and local driving conditions.”
It notes the “superchargers are located in developed locations where customers want to stop, such as cafes, restaurants, and shopping areas.”
Tesla, based in Silicon Valley, currently has 409 supercharger stations around the country, but so far only two in New Hampshire along the northbound and southbound lanes on Interstate 93 in Hooksett and one in Vermont in Brattleboro. The West Lebanon station will have eight charging “stalls,” according to the site plan.
Tesla owners get to charge their cars for free at a supercharger station. The stations are currently compatible only with Tesla vehicles. Tesla has said it plans to open its network to other electric vehicles, although many technical and financial hurdles remain.