A few years ago, Tesla announced a plan to start building next-level Superchargers. These Superchargers would be huge (a lot of stalls), include lounges with snacks and restrooms, sometimes also feature special family & pet facilities, and maybe even sell merch. I was thrilled! This was really where Tesla Superchargers needed to go, in my opinion, and where EV fast chargers on other networks should go, too.
Someone may be inclined to now say, “But the cost!” Sorry, that is a backwards take on this. Gas stations don’t make money on gasoline — they make money on all the stuff they sell to people who are stopping in to gas up. Charging stations could capitalize on that stop much, much better — because people are stopping in long enough that a sit-down coffee, a snack or meal, and some relaxed shopping are as easy to sell as it gets. Plus, these are rich early adopters driving EVs, and especially Teslas! They will spend money to get these facilities off the ground.
Naturally, powering these places with solar is also a critical part of the Tesla mission and should be done in every location. Unfortunately, it’s not, and as far as I know, Tesla is nowhere close to achieving that early vision. Naturally, it was important for Tesla to survive and get cash-flow positive, but hopefully this will be a priority in the next couple of years now that Tesla is rolling in cash.
The good news is that one of these large solar-powered Supercharger stations with lounges and restrooms is reportedly being built in Santa Monica, California, and it’s said that it will be the company’s largest Supercharger station in North America.
Tesla Supercharger Team is planning a 62 stall V3 urban location at 1401 Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica – will be largest American location complete with solar, battery storage, lounge and restrooms. @WholeMarsBlog
— Tesla Full Self Driving Devotee (@CathyKichler) March 2, 2021
It’s uplifting and exciting just to see just one of these being built. But it also makes me impatient for a large network of them, all the more so since a plan to focus on these was rolled out more than 3 years ago.
If you feel like I haven’t ranted enough, don’t run away yet! More ranting follows!
We really need to see Tesla Supercharger stations with solar carports. Tesla bought a major solar company. It can do this. Fastned powers its stations with solar power and it doesn’t have a solar installation or solar technology company under its wings — and it’s primarily a Dutch network battling abundant rain and grey skies. Come on, Tesla, you can do it! We want to see a lot more Tesla solar carports over Supercharger stations in the US. These would also help protect drivers from the elements on unpleasant days.
These stations should really be attractive destinations as well. Why not? Why not have super cool Tesla coffee shops, restaurants (I hear someone’s board-member big brother is in that sector), and lounges that people want to hang out at? The Supercharging can just be the excuse, while the real attraction is creating Tesla “third places.” Or make them even better than that by creating great family fun centers, regional attractions, and travel landmarks. At last one non-Tesla company is already headed in this direction.
If the “Tesla Fun Centers” are attractive enough, there’s so much potential here to rope in non-Tesla drivers and educate people about electric cars and clean energy. Look bigger, Elon. Look broader. You have a social movement in your hands. Make the most of it! Heck, you can even teach people about Mars at these places if you want. Instead of “Tesla Fun Centers,” they could be “Mars Experience Centers.” Or they could be Meme Museums, each one unique. Elon, everyone knows you can sometimes be creative and entertaining. Why stop at Twitter? Bring that meme-lording to the real world.
I’m not joking, even though I am trying to make this story entertaining in order to inspire a whole new wing of Tesla. But hey, at the very least, where’s a master plan for the rollout of hundreds of solar-powered Tesla Superchargers with lounges and restrooms? I can settle for that.
And, for more on this topic, here’s my 2017 article about this topic when Tesla first announced such stations: “10 Awesome Design Features Of Tesla’s Newest Supercharger Station.”
Lastly, readers, please do let us know if you know about some solar-powered Tesla Supercharger stations with lounges — in the US or elsewhere.
Related story: “Wicked Awesome ‘Electric Forecourts’ & Net-Zero EV Leasing Now Offered In UK.”