Tesla Motors drivers will soon be able to charge up while passing through the Tri-Cities.
The California-based electric car manufacturer is adding Superchargers that can power up to eight of its cars at a time near the gas station at the Kennewick Fred Meyer, 2811 W. 10th Ave.
“Tesla is very focused on providing free long-distance travel across the country,” spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson said.
“We place Superchargers along major corridors that our customers often travel and that connect city centers,” Georgeson added. “Located at the intersection of a number of major highways, the Kennewick station links I-84 and I-90 routes and unlocks travel to popular vacation destinations.”
The charging station should open within the next couple of weeks, she said. Charging stations are at sites like the Wildhorse casino in Pendleton, Best Western Plus in Ritzville and the Holiday Inn Express in Ellensburg, according to its website.
The Tesla Model S has a range of 270 miles per charge, and takes only 20 minutes to charge enough power for traveling 150 miles, Georgeson said.
“The Tesla Supercharger is substantially more powerful than any charging technology to date, providing up to 135 kilowatts of power and replenishing half a charge in 20 minutes,” she said.
Tesla strategically places the Superchargers to allow its owners to drive from station to station with minimal stops, Georgeson said. They place them near roadside restaurants and shopping centers, among other amenities, to give drivers a chance to have a meal and have the car charged by the time they are done.
The service is free for Tesla Model S owners, Georgeson said.
The Model S starts at $75,000 cash, or $57,500 including incentives and estimated gas savings over five years, according to Tesla’s website.