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Normal Council Votes To Install "Tesla" Charging Stations

Tue, 07 May 2013 09:28:25 CDT
By: Rachel Darling

The Normal Town Council approved a letter of intent for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations that only service Tesla Motors' vehicles. The vehicles, costing between sixty and seventy thousand dollars, are able to travel 300 miles on a single charge. Councilman Jeff Fritzen says he's concerned about catering to a non-local auto maker...

   

"I'm really hesitant to go down this road, considering the fact that we already have multiple stations that, you know, could give somebody a charge."

Councilman Fritzen says the need for exclusive stations is a "Tesla problem." Tesla's models can be charged at preexisting Level II charging stations within the community, but take six to eight hours to charge compared to the one hour charge-time of the exclusive super-charging stations. Councilman Sonja Reese says she's "encouraged" by the idea...

   

"...a couple of stations might be an incentive for people to buy those vehicles and know that they could get them charged here."

Councilman Scott Preston also expressed concerns about catering to a non-local competitor and questioned the amount of use the stations would see...

   

"My understanding is a very limited market, they are...I believe, start, you know, at sixty-seventy thousand, more expensive cars, the closest dealer being in Chicago --I wonder if there's anyway to know what kind of traffic we'd be expecting with these."

The quick-charging electric car stations could bring new attention to the Town of Normal from other communities, according to Normal Mayor Chris Koos...

   

"To me its, its a marketing expense that I see, the ability to market our community and to raise awareness of our community. That would be the reason I would be supportive of this."

Tesla Representatives answered the Council's questions before the vote that passed the motion, with Councilmen Preston and Fritzen dissenting.

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