Planners to discuss electric car charging station
A California-based electric car company might one day be generating a buzz in Mitchell.
During a noon meeting today in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St., the Mitchell Planning and Zoning Commission plans to discuss an inquiry from Tesla Motors regarding the zoning and permitting procedures for an electric car charging station in the city.
According to City Planner Neil Putnam, the city's code is silent regarding electric car charging stations.
"We would probably need to amend the code," Putnam said. "I just wanted to get some initial feedback from the commission and see what they think."
Putnam made clear that, to his knowledge, Tesla has no specific plans right now to build a charging station in Mitchell.
"They're more likely exploring what they would do if they ever wanted to build something in Mitchell," he said.
Putnam said an electric car charging station would first need to be defined in the city's code. Then, he said, the city would need to decide which district would be appropriate for a charging station and determine what regulations might be necessary for construction.
Tesla began building a network of 480-volt fast charging stations in 2012. There are currently 18 of Tesla's charging stations across the U.S., according to the company's website.
Tesla's chargers provide half a charge in about 20 minutes and are free to use. The charging stations are strategically placed to allow owners to drive from station to station with minimal stops, the company's website says.
Tesla hopes to build enough charging stations to allow coast-to-coast travel by this winter, according to the company's website. By 2015, the company hopes to have built enough charging stations to provide coverage for 98 percent of the U.S. and parts of Canada.
The fully electric Tesla Model S -- the only vehicle the company currently sells -- starts at around $70,000 with a 60 kilowatt-hour battery, which has a range of approximately 208 miles, according to the company's website. The basic Model S can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 120 mph.
The range of the Model S jumps to 265 miles with a more powerful 85 kwh battery, but the price of the car increases to around $80,000. With the more powerful battery, the Model S can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph.
Plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet, the Model S charges at a rate of five miles of range per hour of charge, according to the company's website. On a 240-volt outlet, the car charges at a rate of 31 miles of range per hour of charge.