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MAP | Tesla charging station being built in Somerset

SOMERSET — Local owners of Tesla Motors electric plug-in vehicles will soon be able to supercharge their cars nearby, without spending hours at home or stranding themselves at a public charging station.

As part of a new construction initiative, the California-based electric car manufacturer is bringing cutting-edge charging bays to Somerset and other carefully chosen spots around the country.

The new Tesla supercharger station, at 1030 N. Center Ave. near the Wendy’s restaurant, is being constructed by Michigan-based Newkirk Electric Associates. It’s set to be completed before the end of the month, according to a company spokesman.

“In general, we’re placing the supercharger stations on major routes between major cities and tourist destinations,” said spokesman Patrick Jones. “The sites are specifically in locations where there’s restaurants and some type of shopping available, which gives people something to do while their car is being charged.”

While Jones said charging times vary depending on how depleted the battery is – the less charge, the faster the fill-up – supercharger stations can put about 150 miles of range into a Tesla vehicle in 20 minutes. Getting a full charge, which will last for about 270 miles, could take up to 50 minutes, he said.

That’s lightning quick compared to a full charge done at home, which Jones said takes an average of seven hours.

The new Somerset site works just like a common fossil fuel station, with six stalls and hoses that plug in to the vehicle. The station is only for current and future Tesla models, however. Tesla car owners are provided with J1172 adapters to hook up at public charging stations, but the local proliferation is decidedly lacking.
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