Tesla leaves mark on Sisters


Last updated 2/6/2024 at 10:32am

Photo by Bill Bartlett

New EV chargers will soon be in place at Three Wind Shopping Center in Sisters.

Within weeks Tesla will have seven of its Superchargers operational at Three Wind Shopping Center on North Arrowleaf Trail at the north end of the parking lot. Incorporating its Magic Dock connectivity, drivers will be able to charge not only Teslas but any EV with a CCS plug (nearly all EVs made after 2019).

Tesla already has two mapped chargers in Sisters, which are obscure from passing traffic. One is at FivePine Lodge, open for public use, and the second, according to its map, is at Sisters Bed and Breakfast on East Jefferson available for customers, neither of which is a fast charger.

A Supercharger's output is 250 kW, meaning you can charge your vehicle to at least 80% capacity, about 200 miles range, in 15 minutes. If you charged at Eagle Crest Resort or Black Butte Ranch by comparison at 13 kW could take as long as 6-10 hours for an 80% charge.

Tesla has about 50,000 Superchargers (individual charging docks, not locations) of which some 18,000 are here in the U.S. Charging is not free. It costs $15.52 on average to charge an EV depending on the model, according to Texas A&M.

You can't roll in and say "fill'er up" nor expect to pay with cash or even a credit card. You will need a Tesla app on your phone to get charged. The charging station will be well lighted and available 24/7/365.

The cost of installing a Tesla Supercharger is about $43,000 per dock, placing the value of the station in Sisters at around $300,000. It operates without employees.

Unlike slower charging stations such as the free one at City Hall, drivers will not have time to shop or dine in Sisters, as they will be on their way quickly.

It may seem counter intuitive to put seven fast docks in Sisters the same month that Ford, GM and Volvo have all announced major pullbacks in EV production. Rental firm Hertz Global Holdings is selling about 20,000 electric vehicles, including Teslas, from its U.S. fleet about two years after a deal with the automaker to offer its vehicles for rent, in another sign that EV demand has cooled.

Hertz will instead opt for gas-powered vehicles, it said on Thursday, citing higher expenses related to collision and damage for EVs, even though it had aimed to convert 25 percent of its fleet to electric by 2024 end.

Tesla is not waiting for federal funding to grow its charging network. According to a December 5 report from Politico, Congress at the urging of the Biden administration agreed in 2021 to spend $7.5 billion to build tens of thousands of electric vehicle chargers across the country, aiming to appease anxious drivers while tackling climate change.

Two years later, the program has yet to install a single charger.


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