The Gilroy Premium Outlets is home to an electric car charging station, one of six such places in the country.
A Tesla Supercharger was installed last week on the north side of the Outlets, near Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth and San Ysidro Avenue.
Tesla Motors make electric cars that can go for about 150 miles between charges. Because of its limited battery life, the company is attempting to build a network of charge stations around the state, and eventually, the country, to enable their customers to take road trips.
“We chose Gilroy because it is on the way to Los Angeles, which is a route we expect many of our customers to drive,” said Shanna Hendricks, Tesla spokeswoman.
The other thing that made Gilroy an attractive location was the abundance of shopping and dining that the Outlets has to offer, Hendricks said.
“We like to build them in places where our customers can hang out for a bit, since the average charging stop is about 35 to 40 minutes,” she said.
The Gilroy location is the sixth of its kind in the state. Other locations include Lebec, Coalinga, Barstow, Folsom and Los Angeles.
Kristi Abrams, community development director, said the City is “really happy” to have the charge station, that the added traffic it will bring couldn’t hurt business.
But with just 132 Tesla cars currently on the road, the stations won’t draw a crowd just yet. Hendricks said as the company begins to up the level of production of the cars which have only been on the market since June, that will change. Tesla plans to deliver about 2,500-3,000 cars in the fourth quarter of this year.
Abrams said Tesla pays for all the electricity the charge station will use, as part of their agreement with the Outlets.
An entry level Tesla model starts at $57,400, Hendricks said.