July 27--Tesla Motors is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony today for its new charging station in Grand Rapids, its second in the state that's home to the U.S. auto industry.
The Supercharger station in Tesla parlance initially opened in late June at the Meijer at 28th Street SE.
The electric car company's first such facility in Michigan debuted in St. Joseph at the Panera Bread at 3260 Niles in December 2013.
Plus, construction is under way for a third in Ann Arbor and that station is scheduled to open in a few weeks, according to Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson.
"The Grand Rapids site enables travel between west Michigan and Detroit along I-96," she told the Free Press in an e-mail. "The Ann Arbor station will enable travel from Chicago through the St. Joseph Supercharger to Ann Arbor and Detroit. Last year we opened our first Michigan Supercharger station in St. Joseph, enabling travel between Chicago and Michigan."
The Supercharger provides up to 120 kilowatts of power and replenishes 170 miles of range in a half hour. For example, the Model S has a range of 270 miles, she explained, so it can fully charge is less than an hour.
"Tesla is very focused on providing free long distance travel across the country. We place Superchargers along major corridors that our customers often travel and that connect city centers," she said. "We strategically place Superchargers to allow owners to drive from station to station with minimal stops. Superchargers are located near amenities like roadside diners, cafes, and shopping centers so road trippers can stop for a quick meal and have their Model S charged by the time they're done."
She declined to say how many cars have used the St. Joseph charging station -- or the Grand Rapids one in its early days.
Both can charge up to eight Model S cars at a time.
In May, Tesla bought Grand Rapids auto supplier Riviera Tool, which makes stamping parts.
California-based Tesla Motors, named for induction motor inventor Nikola Tesla, was founded in 2003.
Contact Zlati Meyer: 313-223-4439 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ZlatiMeyer
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