Construction is underway to place a Tesla Supercharger Station near the Subway restaurant in the Payson Village Shopping Center just north of the Highway 87 and AZ 260 intersection in Payson. The stations charge electric vehicles in a fraction of the time it takes at other charging stations.

“Tesla is going across the country putting in stations,” said Town of Payson economic development specialist Bobby Davis.

He said the stations will encourage electric car sales.

“As Tesla ramps up production and the cost of electric cars fall, there will be more on the road,” Davis said. “It’s just a way to service their vehicles so consumers can have a place to travel to.”

The range of electric engines is limited. A lack of charging stations suppresses electric car sales. Therefore, increasing charging stations and dramatically reducing the distances between them, along with a decrease in prices, should spur sales of electric vehicles.

An internet search found there are 1,375 Supercharger Stations across North America with 11,414 Superchargers.

Davis said the project took time to develop.

“We’ve been working with them for almost a year with engineers picking locations and negotiating and finding the right location,” he said. “It’s pretty much right in the heart of Payson.”

Davis said Payson has a charging station at Quality Inn, but that the new stations charge engines more rapidly.

“(The one at Quality Inn) is a trickle charge, like you plug it in overnight,” he said. “This is fast and lets travelers move on.”

Tesla’s website indicates you can recharge a Tesla Model S for a driving distance of 170 miles in 30 minutes. The range for a fully charged Tesla varies from 237 to 335 miles, depending on the model. The Los Angeles Times reported it costs about $10 worth of electricity to fully charge a Tesla battery.

It’s unclear if the new Supercharger Station will accommodate all electric vehicles or just Tesla’s.

The number of electric cars on the road continues to rise. Currently, there are 3.2 million electric cars on the road — including 750,000 in the United States. The number of electric cars sold rose by a whopping 55 percent in 2017.

Contact the reporter at kmorris@payson.com

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