By JACK WEATHERLY
Unless you’re looking for them, you may not recognize them as they look oddly like a hollowed-out old gasoline pump.
The eight red and white charging bays for Tesla electric automobiles were opened recently in the edge of the parking lot at the Outlets of Mississippi in Pearl.
There is no Tesla dealership in Mississippi. The closest ones are in Nashville, Atlanta and Dallas, among nearly 100 in 25 states.
That raises the question: why the charging station?
That’s part of the strategy of Tesla Motors, which manufactures all-electric cars.
The company is justifying its rollout of stations in part because of the strong reception to its Model S, which won’t be on the market till the end of 2017.
It received $1,000 refundable deposits on 325,000 vehicles in the first week, the company says. And priced at $35,000, it qualifies for a federal tax credit of $7,500.
However, Automotive News reports that the company may find itself in a squeeze because of a limited number of credits. Tesla is trying to find a way work around the limit, the publication said.
“All early producers of electric-drive cars, including General Motors with its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Nissan with its Leaf EV, eventually will run out of credits under the U.S. program, created by an economic stimulus bill in 2008,” the publication reported.
California-based Tesla has set up what it calls corridors composed of “superchargers” to serve the cars from city to city, whether in California or the East Coast. There are more than 600 stations with in excess of 3,000 individual superchargers.
The first Mississippi supercharger, which opened on March 31, will enable a Tesla driver to leave Memphis, recharge in Pearl and get to New Orleans.
“We have a growing network of destination ‘charging partners’” such as ski resorts and hotels, a spokeswoman said in an email.
A full charge takes less than an hour and will carry the Tesla 270 miles, according to the company.
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