The electric car manufacturer first approached Moab City Mayor David Sakrison in August about installing a charging station in town, but it took several months to iron out a lease agreement and get approval for the building plans.
The charging station is located at the Canyonlands Best Western hotel, 16 S. Main St., and will be able to accommodate up to four cars at a time. Tesla claims that its charging stations are the fastest charging stations available.
“Superchargers provide half a charge in about 20 minutes and are strategically placed to allow owners to drive from station to station with minimal stops,” according to the Tesla website.
Tesla was founded in 2003 in an attempt to “prove that electric vehicles could be awesome,” according to the company’s website. Sakrison said that Tesla vehicles can travel 365 miles between charges, depending on how they’re driven. When hooked up to a Tesla charging station, the cars are charged at no cost to the owner.
Sakrison said the company has already installed charging stations up and down the East and West coasts. Tesla is now moving inland to offer more options for car owners.
“They’re working their way from Denver to Moab,” he said.
The company will have several charging stations along the I-70 corridor, including stations in Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs. The first Utah charging station opened in Blanding earlier this month.
Sakrison said the company tried to choose scenic places along the route. “Their thinking behind this is that people that drive Teslas will want to visit special places,” Sakrison said.
Zach Bynum, the manager of the Canyonlands Best Western, said the construction is almost done, and they’re just waiting on Rocky Mountain Power to hook them up.
Bynum said that he hopes that the station will draw Tesla car owners to visit the area.
The technology isn’t affordable for most Americans, despite hefty tax credits for the purchase of the electric vehicles. The model that Sakrison rode sells for approximately $69,000, he said. Sakrison said he was told that Tesla is working on a sport utility vehicle that it hopes to release within a year, and that the company is hoping to have a more affordable, mass-market car available within the next three years.