Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rural towns banking on new electric car charging stations to boost tourism from Yellowstone visitors

A rural town in Montana hopes that installing electric car charging stations will boost tourism, mainly from visitors on the way to Yellowstone National Park. Red Lodge, Mont., located about 68 miles from Yellowstone, in June installed two Tesla destination chargers and two Clipper Creek universal chargers at public restroom sites, Erik Olson reports for the Billings Gazette. City officials said they hope travelers using the chargers, which take three or more hours to reach full power, will spend that time shopping in Red Lodge. Katelynn Essig, the city’s sustainability coordinator, told Olson, “They’re going to come in, cap off, eat something and go." (Olson photo: Red Lodge electric charging station)

The charging stations can be used on any electric car, Olson writes, "Installation of the four stations cost about $10,000, which will be reimbursed through Tesla Motors," whose owner Mo Fowell owns a home in Red Lodge. Fowell said "the stations will help eliminate 'range anxiety' for electric car owners who worry that their battery will die on the highway." Adding the new charging stations means that on Interstate 90 in Montana, no two stations are more than 150 miles apart, a distance that Tesla electric cars travel on a full charge. Fowell told Olson, “Last year, you couldn’t get to Yellowstone Park. Now you can." (Read more)

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