Monday, April 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Tesla station to bring electric cars to Wyoming

Remote Tesla Station

In this Jan. 2, 2014 photo, a pickup truck sporting Wyoming-themed mud flaps and a brush guard in front drives down Main Street in Lusk, Wyo. Electric cars are all but unheard of around here, but last month Tesla installed four of its Supercharger units in the courtyard of the Covered Wagon Motel in Lusk. A Supercharger can recharge a Tesla's depleted battery pack to a 90-percent level within 45-50 minutes, several times faster than any other charging option for the electric cars. Lusk is on the route of Tesla's first network of coast-to-coast Supercharger stations. The quick-charge stations promise to make cross-country travel by Tesla much quicker and easier. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)

LUSK, Wyo. — In the least populated county in the least populated state, old Ford and Chevy pickup trucks roam – and rule – the roads.

Finding a Tesla, the sleek and pricey all-electric car, around these ranching towns is about as likely as spotting the mythical jackalope. And yet, one day last month, a Model S sedan pulled quietly in at the America’s Best Value Inn Covered Wagon Motel in Lusk, population 1,557.

Its mission was to plug in four gleaming white Supercharger units the company had just installed in the motel’s courtyard. The visit was part of a test of a planned coast-to-coast route of quick-charge stations for Tesla vehicles.

The Palo Alto-based company plans dozens more across the middle of the continent in the months ahead to make it more feasible for the electric car to go from seashore to seashore.

Some folks in Lusk are cautiously hoping that the stations will bring a steady stream of wealthy motor tourists. In the meantime, if and when the next Tesla shows up, locals who commonly plug in their cars and trucks to keep their engines from freezing may be left wondering about the visitors who plug in their cars to charge them.

After all, there’s no shortage of skepticism about electric cars out here – it’s not the kind of place for electric cars.

First, people are partial to the pickup truck because of its ability to tow heavy loads and endure the rattling rides of going off-road. Second, Wyoming is famous for its open ranges, terrain that has worried electric car owners because they could end up being stranded.

The Model S, which begins at $70,000 but with options can top $100,000, can drive a long way for an electric car: Up to 265 miles on a single charge. Draining the battery pack and recharging it all the way takes more than four hours with the best available home charger.

The company’s Superchargers – Wyoming’s first are at the Covered Wagon – offer a trade-off that makes long-distance trips more feasible. The stations can charge a run-down Tesla battery pack to 90 percent in just 45-50 minutes.

In Lusk, that’s enough time to grab a burger at the nearby Outpost Cafe or Triangle 4 Cafe & Steakhouse, or visit the antiques stores downtown.

The Supercharger station will be a critical stepping-stone between stations in Cheyenne and Rapid City, S.D. Highlights on the first coast-to-coast route – to be followed, Tesla says, by a couple more cross-country options by the end of this year – include the scenic Four Corners region and Mount Rushmore.

“That’s kind of the thought behind this first, initial route, is enabling the great American road trip,” Tesla spokesman Patrick Jones said.

New Supercharger stations also are going in across Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania to connect existing facilities on the coasts. Tesla owners use the stations free of, well, charge. Tesla picks up the electric bill.

The last time Lusk got any attention for such cutting-edge technology was in the late 1990s, when a Microsoft television ad trumpeted the town’s connection to the Internet as an answer to tough times for the ranching community. In reality, a $3 million project to link Lusk to fiber-optic broadband was stalled for years.

For a time, high-speed Internet was as elusive as the jackalope, a creature based on a trick of taxidermy in which antelope horns are placed on a jackrabbit. Residents can now surf the Web pretty much like anybody else, but it’s an open question whether any locals will buy a Tesla, or any other electric car.

Niobrara County, population 2,456, is home to plenty of wealthy ranchers who can afford a Tesla, said Michael Mercer between oil changes at a downtown auto repair shop. The problem is that most live in country far too rugged for low-clearance vehicles.

“They’re not going to take some hundred-something-thousand-dollar car off road,” he scoffed.

Inga Miller, a bartender and store clerk at the Lusk Liquor & Lounge, said her dream truck is a Ford F-150 extended cab with four-wheel drive, a great stereo system and a bed big enough to haul plenty of hay for her friends’ horses.

“I’m a pickup girl. If they come out with one that’s an electric pickup, it might be all right,” Miller said.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Rodriguez musicians win big in Reno

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
 
Hundreds turn out for Kroc Easter Egg hunt

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1

Jelly Belly artist finds her work sweet

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Heroes for Hire event goes haywire

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

Center offers baby mammal care class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield police arrest 6 in alcohol sting

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

4-H Paper Clover Campaign starts

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
9th Annual Peace Summit on calendar

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Tour past, present, future in Mountain View

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Best of the best compete at dog show

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Event allows for safe medication disposal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Kids Fishing Derby to take place Saturday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Church offers document shredding

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Suisun City to host 3rd annual MS walk

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Club plans home garden tour in Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Local government meetings

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Il Fiorello to host mushroom class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Silent movie night set in Rio Vista

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Street-sweeping dealership comes to Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

Networking event at Solano College

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
North Bay Pediatrics marks anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

Firm facilitates building lease in Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
Weather for Monday, April 21, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Bid, Dick, bid: ‘Dick and Jane’ artworks for sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bee colonies damaged after almond pollination

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Country music singer Kevin Sharp dies at age 43

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Sleeping girl killed after car drives into home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Recreation areas reopening after Yosemite fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Nurse in critical condition after stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Delay in ferry evacuation puzzles maritime experts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Transcript of SKorea ship sinking: ‘We can’t move’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Opinion

Why Hillary? The public awaits her answer

By Ann McFeatters | From Page: A8

 
Local voices, important choices

By Rod Keck | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon for April 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Legislature critic is selective

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Knowledge, religion and the hard work of faith

By Cynthia M. Allen | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History for April 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My friend’s wife drinks too much, verbally abuses her husband

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes for April 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes for April 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
‘Capt. America’ tops box office for third week

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

TVGrid April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

 
Sharks take 2-0 series lead with 7-2 win vs. Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Chavez gets 1st win, A’s complete sweep of Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NBA: Refs missed foul call in Warriors-Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Posey, Lincecum lead Giants to 4-3 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Young Clippers try to mature against Warriors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Westwood wins Malaysian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimenez closes with 67 to win Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kuchar rallies from 4 back to win RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prep baseball: Pair of 10-run innings powers Vikings to win

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Prizefighter Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Red Sox remember Boston Marathon victims

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Duncan scores 27 points, Spurs beat Mavs 90-85

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

James, Wade lead Heat past Bobcats 99-88 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nene dominates, Wizards rally past Bulls, 102-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Aldridge leads Portland over Houston 122-120 in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Business

 
.

Obituaries

Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
.

Comics

Pickles April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard Of Id April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard Of Id April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7