By on April 17, 2014
 Gila Bend 2

Pity poor Tesla Motors. The General Motors recall crisis has knocked the electric automaker out of the auto industry headlines. There were times when half the news stories on industry feeds like this one would be about Tesla. TTAC is here to help get the company back on track to maintaining their 3:1 News Stories-To-Cars Sold Ratio.

The above picture was taken in the parking lot of a Carl’s Jr. fast food restaurant in dusty, desolate Gila Bend, Arizona. If you have ever been to Gila Bend you can attest to the fact that the shot is actually in color.

It was quite a jolt to spot this under-construction Tesla Supercharger station in Gila Bend this week as I was headed towards California. It proves Tesla is well on its way to building a coast-to-coast network of charging outlets. Gila Bend sits between San Diego and Tucson on I-8 at the turnoff for Phoenix, so West Coast owners on their way to Phoenix can stop here or at the Hilton Garden Inn in Yuma, Arizona to “fill up.” (Curiously, Tesla’s website currently shows no San Diego chargers or any in Tucson.)

I am sure that part of Tesla’s strategy to is locate its Superchargers at the most upscale establishments available with easy access to the interstates. In Gila Bend the best place in town is this greasy burger chain. It will certainly be a new experience for Tesla drivers to eat a Western X-tra Bacon Thickburger or walk next door to the Love’s Truck Stop during their 75 minute stopover. Certainly, members of the Tesla Motors Club are excited about Gila Bend.

If Tesla should ever go out of business, perhaps due to having no traditional dealer network as Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon suggested yesterday, or due to an end to their subsidies from the government, their charging station stanchions will become as collectable as Route 66 signs.

I want one from Gila Bend.

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38 Comments on “Tesla Charging Station Coming To Carl’s Jr. In Gila Bend, Arizona...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    Welcome to Carl’s Jr. Would you like to try our EXTRA BIG ASS TACO? Now with more MOLECULES!

    Had to.

  • avatar

    I didn’t hear Cannon make any statement about Tesla going out of business because it has no dealer network. Since MB has a considerable stake in Tesla, I suggest he STFU. Did he make the comments at the show or some place else?

    I did hear Forrest McConnell go on and on about how great the dealer network is. Interestingly, he was mostly speaking to other dealers and some media types. If the dealer network system is the best, which it is, it will stand on its own on its merits.

    Also ironic was the fact that the event where McConnell spoke was sponsored by AutoTrader, one of the REAL foxes in the hen house.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Well Daimler has the stake in Tesla, not Mercedes (although Mercedes essentially = Daimler in the mind of the public). At the end of the day Mercedes and Tesla are competitors however, so they will still trash talk each other if necessary. I doubt the trash talking would ever come from Dr. Z though, unless the Daimler/Tesla relationship goes south a la VW/Suzuki.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    There is supposed to be a Supercharger in Yuma so I guess this is the next step east.

    At least in Gila Bend, all the Tesla drivers from San Diego won’t have to worry about the charger being used by the locals. Nothing like putting EV chargers in a town of about 2000 that has a median household income below $30K. A quarter of the town is below the poverty line.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Next stop:

      “Eloy? ELOY?!!! What the hell possessed you to have us vacation in Eloy?!”

      “I hate to say it, Hoss; even Yuma looked better’n this.”

      Or for another extremely obscure pop culture reference, perhaps the next set of stations will be in Benson.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I have been to Benson many times. The most recent was last fall. My wife has family that lives there. They are a small percentage of the Benson population that doesn’t follow the Book of Morman or cook meth.

        I’ve been to Eloy too. Its more depressing than Coolidge or Apache Junction. I’m more used to looking at Eloy, and their municipal airport, from my window seat on a Mesa Airlines CRJ-900. Connecting to Phoenix from Tucson is the most pointless airline flight ever.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Benson Arizona!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j-MzxDad2c

        “Benson, Arizona, blew warm wind through your hair
        My body flies the galaxy, my heart longs to be there
        Benson, Arizona, the same stars in the sky
        But they seemed so much kinder when we watched them, you and I”

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s hot as Hades between Yuma and Gila Bend. San Diego to Phoenix drivers will get their final boost in Gila Bend, and Phoenix to San Diego drivers will get their final boost in Yuma before crossing to El Centro, where they’ll probably need another boost to get over the mountains, or turn north for Palm Springs. Tesla doesn’t want Nissan’s desert range anxiety problem to tarnish its image.

  • avatar
    bills79jeep

    Luddite here – can other EV charge on Tesla chargers? I know there are several “industry standard” plugs. If not, is Tesla just being ambitious by installing 4 chargers in one location?

    • 0 avatar
      Scott_314

      Only Tesla. Not ambitious though because owners get together at these places for meetups fairly regularly, those from further afield will use the charger.

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      For 110/220 AC charging (up to ~40 kW) there is an SAE standard plug, its what you see on all the new charging stations that are in municipal lots, airports, etc. Tesla does NOT support this directly, instead Tesla owners have to carry an adapter. All the other EVs have this as their native plug.

      For 400V DC “fast” charging, there are 3 different plugs, the SAE one (BMW i3), Chadamo (no, I’m not going to cap-it how they do, Leaf), and Tesla. Tesla, being its own thing, is the same physical interface as their AC plug. The others are an SAE plug with an additional DC wart-connection off of it, making for a pretty big connector.

      And then there is the 3 MW real-fast charger, its called a gas pump, and for vehicles with a ~40 Mile+ electric range, only the Volt and i3 w range extender can take advantage of it.

      Overall, I think the optimal solution is ~100-150 mile EV range (enough for an 80 mile round-trip commute with spare range), with a range extender like the i3 or a motor/generator design like the one in the new Accord hybrid.

      You basically get a design where you almost never fill the tank, but if you need to go distance, you have this network of real-fast chargers. The biggest limit on that approach is California law: If the gas range is less than EV range, it counts as an EV for those fleet requirements.

      If the i3 had a 10 gallon tank instead of a 2.5 gallon tank, the environmental impact would be effectively the same except, well, normal people would be willing to buy them.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Tesla currently does not allow access to their Superchargers from non-Teslas, and their proprietary standard would require other manufacturers to license it, if Tesla licensed it, which AFAIK they don’t and won’t.

      I’d imagine they’d be willing to license it if other manufacturers sourced their batteries and/or drivetrains from them though, for a fee. I could imagine a Teslcedes having it as say $4k option for their 85kWh S-class.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    Only Tesla. Not ambitious though because owners get together at these places for meetups fairly regularly, those from further afield will use the charger.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “If Tesla should ever go out of business… due to an end to their subsidies from the government…”

    Please explain the government subsidies Tesla is receiving. Their prior LOAN was repaid in full.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Sales of their cars are subsidized with tax credits for the entitlement leeches that buy them and their own costs are subsidized by the carbon credit scam. Add them up and it points to a car that costs far more to produce than anyone involved in the transaction is paying. The real costs are born by people that pay for their conventional costs and other taxpayers.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        BTW, I just filed for my 2nd $7500 for my 2013 Volt. I sure hope this program’s around for the Model X, it’s really nice to keep some more of my money! I don’t really need it though, maybe I’ll pick up a Barrett M82A1 for grins..

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          How does the $7500 credit work? As long as you have a tax bill of $7500 or more, you just get that credit applied against your taxes owed?

          • 0 avatar
            Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

            Indeed, that’s how it works. If you don’t have $7500 in tax, you don’t get the full sum, and you can’t carry any portion of it forward. I believe you can get this for any number of vehicles you buy, but for me practically I’d have to serially buy every year, and for me spite takes at least 2 years of ownership to justify.

            However, if you lease (24mo minimum IIRC) the finance company gets the credit and factors it into the lease somehow.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            As long as the incentive only applies to people that don’t need it. Perfect progressivism.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The tax credit effectively goes to the company. Tesla gets to overcharge for the car, then collect more revenue from the sale than it otherwise would have. It’s not as if Tesla could get away with jacking up the price by the amount of the lost credit if the credit were to vanish.

  • avatar

    EVERY SINGLE REST STOP should have a generic charging station capable of 110 – 220V (or higher) and they should just charge people for the convenience of charging. TESLA charges your Model S for free, but considering you’ve just spent over $70,000 for the car, you’ve basically already paid for the convenience.

    I visited TESLA the other day (while going to a Shaquille Oneal signing in Roosevelt Field Mall) and I sat in a base Model S. For the cost of that thing, you are getting nothing at all. Might as well just buy a new Charger with the V6 and fully loaded on tech.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      bigtruckseriesreview @ Youtube – – –

      Amen. Amen. Amen. Preach that gospel, brother!

      Sometimes I think I am the only one who thinks that a solely battery-powered EV is next to the dumbest thing we’ve ever come up with. But what do I know?

      Just because lithium is one of the least common elements on earth, and mined successfully and commercially only in Bolivia, is no reason to say that lithium-ion batteries are a rapidly depleted, irreplaceable resource….and the greenies complain about petroleum, which we’ll have for 500 years…

      When that runs out, give me the Audi H2/CO2 Process any day….

      —————-

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        “Sometimes I think I am the only one who thinks that a solely battery-powered EV is next to the dumbest thing we’ve ever come up with. But what do I know?”

        Not much, apparently.

        “Just because lithium is one of the least common elements on earth, and mined successfully and commercially only in Bolivia, is no reason to say that lithium-ion batteries are a rapidly depleted, irreplaceable resource….and the greenies complain about petroleum, which we’ll have for 500 years…”

        Lithium is recyclable, and more abundant in the Earth’s crust than lead or tin. Also, it’s mined (or soon to be mined) in Nevada, which is right next door to Tesla’s manufacturing facility.

        If you’re going to pull crap out of your ass, do try to make it credible first?

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Actually, you should figure on around $2k per SC-equipped car for supercharging, so at ~4 cents per electric mile of “free fuel” you’re actually prepaying for about 50,000 miles of it.

      Also, I have no problem with tolled electrical sockets at rest stops, though preferably they’d be 50A 240V RV-park-style, and charge something reasonable per kWh delivered rather than a rapacious time-based fee. 2x the local residential retail cost of power is reasonable, 3x is excessive, and >=4x is highway robbery. And 110V charging is a waste of time and resources, unless it’s at parking lots where cars would reasonably expect to sit for >8 hours at a stretch, such as hotels or office-oriented parking lots.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      I agree, the car is the biggest scam ever for the money you pay and the little you get for it, not to mention the inconvenience. Assuming you go to a charging station and it is not full, you might get out of there in 40 minutes, now if it is not, you have to wait for at least one other car to finish charging before you can begin your 40 min charge. I’d pick one up as a cheap used runaround car in 3 years or so when they depreciate to an acceptable price, but not before that.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    “TTAC is here to help get the company back on track to maintaining their 3:1 News Stories-To-Cars Sold Ratio.”

    I am still rolling on the floor laughing…(^_^)…

    ————–

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    I was just there last week driving back from Vegas, it is next to a big Love’s gas station, it has quite a few charging stations. I have a better photo than that if you want …in color:)

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Where do you live that driving back from Vegas would take you through Gila Bend? Even when I lived in Tucson, I rarely took the Phoenix bypass when coming back from LA or Vegas.

  • avatar
    James2

    I haven’t seen that much gray since driving through Nevada a long time ago. No wonder the feds nuked that state… the bombs wouldn’t change a thing.

  • avatar
    ChichiriMuyo

    As someone who has lived in Arizona for ~30 years that joke about the photo being in color got a genuine laugh out of me. I’ve been through Gila Bend and it’s really an over glorified rest stop and nothing else. Also it does bother me that I live in Tucson, and I’m pretty damn sure there’s no supercharger station here or even in the works. :/

    Regardless, thanks for the article.


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