BLANDING, Utah – Utah’s tourism economy could see a boost, courtesy of Tesla Motors.
The maker of the popular electric vehicles has installed its Tesla Supercharger stations in Blanding, Green River, Moab and Richfield. Blanding city manager Jeremy Redd said Tesla strategically locates the stations in areas close to tourism hot spots.
Several Tesla drivers have stopped in for a free electric charge since the station opened earlier this year, Redd said.
“We’re averaging at least one car-charging per day,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago, we had four separate cars from separate places charging at the same time. I think as the summer driving season picks up, we’ll see an increase in those numbers.”
Redd said Tesla paid all costs for installing the charging station at the city’s visitor’s center, and also pays all utility costs. He said tourist attractions in the area include national parks and monuments.
According to Tesla’s website, there are more than 80 supercharging stations in the United States, located in cities along well-traveled highways. The company says the Tesla Model S can get a half-charge within 20 minutes and can travel 300 miles on a single charge.
Redd said Blanding has become a destination for Tesla drivers, and hopefully some of their tourist dollars.
“Hopefully they would stay here two or three days, charge their vehicles, then head out and see an attraction and come back and charge it again at night, and head back out,” he said. “However they use it is a bonus to us because there’s certain places they have to go right now, and we’re one of those places.”
With some Tesla vehicles priced at more than $100,000, Redd said people coming into the area probably have extra money to spend at local retailers.