Utah Transportation
6:02 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Tesla Motors Opens Electric Charging Station In Blanding

The first Tesla electric charging station opened Tuesday in Blanding, Utah. Some residents are confused, others hope the move will bring more tourism to the area.
Credit Jim Motavalli / DIGITAL JOURNAL

Tesla Motors opened its first charging station in Utah for its electric cars on Tuesday, but its placement in Blanding has left more than a few people shaking their heads.

Janet Bradford works at the Blanding Visitors Center, which shares property with the station. She said she hasn’t seen anyone charge up yet.

“The station’s there and it could be used, there’s still some fencing around part of it…I haven’t even seen anything in town that could use it,” Bradford said.

Though Tesla owners can already charge their cars at home, the company said the new station in Blanding, a town of 3,000, will be part of a greater network linking Los Angeles and New York City.

Blanding Community Development Director Bret Hosler said the city is excited for the tourism opportunities and to be part of such a historic event.

“What we are hoping is that the people who can afford these types of electric cars might stop here as they charge their car, and find some of the charm of Blanding and think they might want to open a business or relocate, possibly, to our area of the state,” Hosler said. “You know, it’s great to be on the cutting edge of what we hope is a good technology for keeping our state beautiful and clean.”

Tesla said it will pick up the electric bill at the new station, allowing owners to use it free of charge. 30 minutes of charging will allow drivers to travel around 150 miles. A full charge, equaling over 250 miles, will take 50 minutes.

More than 60 charging stations already dot the U.S.