The first “supercharging” station in the region for Tesla vehicles will be installed soon in North Hills.
Providing an outlet for the luxury electric cars speaks to the upscale ambition of North Hills, and the customers it strives to attract.
There are currently six supercharging stations in the state; all are near interstates.
The 12 North Hills superchargers are part of a nationwide push by Tesla to increase production and double its network of 5,000 stations worldwide. The company is locating its chargers along busy routes near grocery stores, downtown districts, restaurants, hotels and Wi-Fi hotspots.
Teslas can be plugged into any electrical outlet and use the same public charging stations as other electrical cars. But Tesla’s superchargers juice up the vehicles in far shorter time. It takes 40 minutes to bring a car up to 80 percent charged.
Typically, Tesla owners charge their cars at home overnight. The superchargers can only be used by Tesla vehicles.
“The Tesla stations will be a welcome addition to North Hills for all Tesla owners,” John Kane, CEO of Kane Realty Corp., said in a news release announcing the supercharging stations on Thursday. “Being able to dine, shop, workout, have your nails done or go to a movie while you are charging will be a terrific convenience. It will also be very convenient for our hotel guests to be able to charge overnight.”
All 12 superchargers will be grouped in the Target area parking lot. North Hills also has 11 standard charging stations. They are near the Midtown Green Apartments, Bank of America Tower and Midtown Plaza – all in the area considered the Park District, which is across Six Forks Road from the main North Hills shopping area. The main shopping district has a 30-minute fast charge station.
Tesla’s models range in price from $68,000 to well over $100,000, although the new Model 3 is expected to sell for as low as $35,000, according to industry analysts.
The company has run into roadblocks with its model of selling directly to customers rather than through dealerships. There is only one Tesla dealership in the state, on Westgate Park Drive in North Raleigh near Interstate 540. It has a showroom and service center in Matthews, outside of Charlotte, but not a sales operation.
Legislation that would have allowed Tesla to expand its direct sales in North Carolina did not pass the General Assembly this year. Opposition came from Honda and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The N.C. Automobile Dealers Association supported the proposal as a compromise over previous legislation.
North Hills has been included in Tesla’s nationwide tour, which will bring a Model X and an Airstream trailer containing a gallery where visitors can design their own Tesla models. That will be from Nov. 27 to Dec. 4 in the commons area across from Regal Cinemas.
Last weekend, The San Jose Mercury News reported that Tesla fired hundreds of employees even as it is trying to turn out more Model 3 sedans. The company said it fired the workers for poor job performance, not because of financial problems.
Based in Palo Alta, Calif., Tesla has about 33,000 employees. It expected to produce about 100,000 vehicles this year.