TRUCKEE — Tesla Motors Inc. is building a supercharger station in the Sierra Nevada north of Lake Tahoe where drivers of the company’s electric cars can recharge for free along Interstate 80, a newspaper says.
Tesla officials previously announced plans to build a station near Truckee, California, about 30 miles southwest of Reno but hasn’t confirmed an exact location or opening date.
The Sierra Sun reported Thursday that six charging bays with “Tesla” labels have been delivered to a cordoned off site in Truckee and construction equipment has been assembled behind a supermarket.
Assistant Truckee town manager Alex Terrazas confirmed Tesla had pulled required permits and paid appropriate fees for the station.
Tesla will pay the Truckee Donner Public Utility District to supply electricity to the station as part of a development agreement, said Steven Poncelet, conservation manager for the district.
However, he told the newspaper a confidentiality clause prevented him from disclosing details.
A Tesla spokesperson told the newspaper the company is not able to comment publicly on financing or the exact cost of the Truckee station.
Tesla has 106 supercharging stations across North America, including more than a dozen in California and one in Las Vegas.
The stations provide the company’s Model S with a half charge in as little as 20 minutes, for free, the company says.
The Truckee station is about 45 miles from an industrial park east of Sparks, Nevada, where Tesla has broken ground for a possible plant to build a $5 billion lithium battery factory. Other sites under consideration are in California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.
Tesla says the factory will help it make cheaper batteries for its Model 3, a mass-market electric car that Tesla hopes to sell by 2017 for about $30,000. Tesla’s only current vehicle, the Model S sedan, starts at $70,000.
Poncelet said he’s excited about the opportunities that will flow from the “electrification” of Interstate 80 and the Truckee-Tahoe community.
“The benefits include reduced environmental impacts from fossil fuel vehicles, economic development opportunities and cementing Truckee’s reputation as a place people want to be,” he said.
Earlier this year, Nevada’s Incline Village General Improvement District installed four, 70-amp, 240-volt ChargePoint ports at Diamond Peak Ski Resort and the Championship Golf Course on the edge of Mount Rose.
Squaw Valley became the first California ski resort to install privately owned ports in September. Other private ports are located at the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village, Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee, and Harveys Lake Tahoe in Stateline, Nevada.