The spots are surprisingly wide. Should be no problem pulling head in and opening the car door. Hypothetically.
Electric-car maker Tesla builds charging station in CapistranoA 30-minute charge will soon be available for the electric cars.
By IAN HAMILTON / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Published: Jan. 8, 2014 Updated: Jan. 9, 2014 12:56 p.m.
If you've noticed more cars rocketing down the carpool lane with a big T on the rear hatch, it's because Tesla has a growing Orange County presence. The electric-car maker has three stores at local malls to peddle its $70,000-plus Model S to the county's luxury market.
And soon Tesla drivers will be able to speed-charge their vehicles for free within county borders.
Tesla is building one of its supercharging stations in the Union Bank parking lot in San Juan Capistrano just off I-5 at Del Obispo Street and Camino Capistrano. When completed, it will join a rapidly expanding network of stations that can boost the range of a Model S by 150 miles in about 30 minutes.
The closest such station now is across the Los Angeles County border, in Hawthorne.
The network represents an effort by Elon Musk – the satellite-launching, solar-panel selling, Hyperloop-theorizing billionaire CEO of Tesla – to eliminate range anxiety from an electric-car purchase decision. Day to day, electric car owners recharge at home. But trips beyond the Model S's 200-plus-mile range require advance planning to locate charging opportunities.
Last year, Musk announced the expansion of Tesla's charging network, to more than 50 active stations now. Tesla said it planned to enable coast-to-coast travel from supercharger to supercharger in different states in a diagonal route across the U.S. this winter, while expanding to 80 percent coverage of the U.S. in 2014 and 98 percent next year.
In California, there are supercharging stations up and running in Hawthorne, Atascadero, Barstow, Buellton, Corning, Folsom, Fremont, Gilroy, Harris Ranch, Mount Shasta, Tejon Ranch and Vacaville.
Tesla owners are closely following the progress of the San Juan Capistrano facility.
“We are actually waiting for that charger to finish before we buy the supercharger upgrade for our Model S,” said Eric Swenson, a Malibu resident who does a lot of traveling with his wife, Renee, through Orange County to visit family in San Diego.
The couple bought a lower-end Model S with the least range and it needs an upgrade to make it work with the new station.
In San Juan Capistrano, the red Tesla logo sits atop more than a half-dozen arched ports. They're still being installed but feature thick cables that, when unfurled and plugged into a car, resemble the hoses most of us use to pump gasoline. Well-heeled car owners (the station can be used only by Teslas) will have to wait about half an hour or more while their cars fill up.
For the restaurants, cafes and other businesses that surround the station, that spells opportunity.
“I'm really happy, I think I'm banking that's it's going to (bring) more people,” said Al Oliman, who owns The Señor Barber in the same lot as the charging stations. “I think it'll make it more cosmopolitan.”
Tesla did not respond to requests seeking details on the station, including when it is expected to be finished or whether it will be solar-powered. The electricity in Tesla's supercharging stations is said to be generated by solar panels on top of carport canopies, to fulfill Musk's promise that the stations will always provide free energy – to both the owner of the car and to the fossil-fuel dependent electrical grid.
“I don't have range anxiety because we plan around it,” said Renee Swenson. “Every time I've gone further than I expect, I know where the chargers are to get what I need.”
Contact the writer: 949-229-2426 or [email protected]
Brianstorms is referring to the picture of the one spot with the wall of the generator right off the white line. Just looking at the picture, I don't know how you could be hooked into the supercharger and then open your door in that spot without angling in and not parking inside the lines.
Who knows when site will go live. No activity from the utility yet. The construction crew is done/gone.
Need that hat easement to get approved for the utility to lay cabling to the tesla cabinets.
I went by there today. Here's a view of where the utility needs to hook up electricity. Ply wood covers area.
Yeah, it seems to hold true. This is literally the only SC I really care about for the near future, so of course it's one of the few that has had problems with the politics. I thought SoCal people were supposed to be some of the most eco-conscious in the country after the Bay Area folks.
My observations: SJC has a very slow growth rate; population just over 35k (the mission was founded in 1776). Compare that to it's neighbor Mission Viejo with it's population of 95k+ and 1965 origins. There is anti-development sentiment at work here; people want to keep the small town feel.