Posted on July 02, 2016 by Matt Pressman
At the Tesla Model 3 launch, Tesla Motors [NASADQ] doubled-down on their commitment to growing their network of Supercharger stations worldwide. At the time, Mashable reported that Tesla Motors: "CEO Elon Musk promised a big expansion of that network. Musk said the supercharger network would double in size by the end of 2017. The number of supercharger stations throughout the world today is 613 with 3,628 individual chargers, so that will grow to more than 1,200 stations and 7,000 chargers throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions." Now it appears major partnerships with both gas stations and restaurant chains are part of Tesla's Supercharger growth strategy.
In a recent press release from Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain, the company announced it will be proudly hosting a rapidly growing network of Tesla Supercharger Stations across the United States. "We’re thrilled to partner with Tesla Motors to offer our guests a place where they can charge their Tesla vehicle while enjoying a delicious meal," stated David Skena, chief marketing officer of Ruby Tuesday. “Expanding the Supercharger network to include Ruby Tuesday is good for both Tesla owners and our restaurants alike. We look forward to deepening our relationship with Tesla and opening additional Supercharger Stations in Ruby Tuesday markets around the country in the near future." Ruby Tuesday has over 700 restaurants nationwide and Tesla just opened its first Supercharger station at one of their locations in Miner, MO.
Image: The Country Caller
And, earlier this week the Washington Post reported, "Tesla is in talks with a major gas station and convenience store chain that could vastly expand the EV-maker's network of charging stations... Sheetz, operates hundreds of retail outlets across six states, mostly in the mid-Atlantic region. It does nearly $7 billion in business every year. It already has eight locations where EV [electric vehicle] owners can charge their non-Tesla cars, scattered throughout Pennsylvania and North Carolina. And now it could add Tesla's charging infrastructure to the mix."
Image: Geeky Gadgets
"We've had discussions with them about putting their chargers in our stores," confirmed Michael Lorenz, Sheetz's executive vice president. Other gas station owners are also getting into electric vehicle charging. Tristen Griffith is the president of the Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza, a truck stop that spent the past year researching EV technology, she explains: "We want to sell gas and diesel, but our future is electric vehicles, and trucks are going to be driverless. Times are changing, and we need to keep up with that change as well, if we want to be smart and stay ahead of the game."
It turns out Tesla is already opening Superchargers at gas stations around the world. Zachary Shahan at CleanTechnica reports: "Tesla’s first Supercharger station in Poland is at a gas station... Orlen is a fairly large gas station brand here, so I wondered if Tesla was planning to roll out Superchargers at more Orlen stations across the country. I found out from talking with people here that Tesla does plan to install Superchargers at other Orlen stations across the country."
CleanTechnica (via Gas2) goes on to say, "the gas station of the future will look radically different. It will be more like a restaurant or highway rest stop than a convenience store. It will focus on more inviting interiors where customers can relax while their cars recharge. It will sell a selection of higher priced products like high end coffee and prepared foods. Tesla is driving the coming changes and wants to be part of the action, which is why it is talking with Sheetz." With deals forthcoming with major restaurant chains and gas stations, it's clear that Tesla has big plans to expedite growth for Supercharger network expansion. We'll keep you posted regarding more news of these key strategic partnerships as they're announced.