January 16, 2014

Tesla sets up charging station in Santee

Tesla Motors Thursday unveiled its first Supercharger station in South Carolina.

Tesla Motors Thursday unveiled its first Supercharger station in South Carolina.

The station – located along I-95, just off Exit 98 in Santee – is part of the carmaker’s developing route that will allow drivers to travel freely between Boston and Miami.

The $70,000 Model S electric sedans will run roughly three hours, or 265 miles, off of a battery charge. At the Supercharger station, drivers can get close to a full charge in 20 to 30 minutes, the California-based company said in a release. The automaker has said it will produce a Model X electric crossover utility vehicle and a next-generation Model S for $35,000, but declined to say exactly when.

The S.C. station, at 114 Bradford Blvd., Santee, is open around the clock with six charging stalls. Nearby amenities for waiting drivers include Clark’s Inn and Restaurant, Santee General Store, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and CVS Pharmacy.

The automaker defended its reputation at the recent North American International Auto Show following a recall in wall chargers after one caught fire in a garage and two incidents in which the cars’ lithium-ion battery packs burst into flames after running over debris. Company leaders said the cars and chargers are safe and the problems stem from “modern technology.” No drivers have been injured.

Tesla’s sales have been strengthening. The company said earlier this week that had delivered 6,900 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2013, 20 percent more than it said it had anticipated.

Tesla said it has delivered more than 19,000 electric vehicles to customers in 31 countries in total.

To date, Supercharger stations like the new one in Santee have powered Model S vehicles with more than 7 million miles of range, saving nearly 300,000 gallons of fuel, the company said.

The New York Times contributed.

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