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Not Just Another Small Town, Second Tesla Charging Station Underway

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With the number of Tesla supercharging stations being relatively sparse across the country, they are in short supply in small towns. Those that do sport these stations often only have one place of respite for those traveling to or through that municipality. Cities as large as Tampa can contain as many as five of these, but even Sarasota and Fort Myers only boast two such stops. What a surprise it was when it was revealed that Brooksville would be receiving its second station for the popular electric vehicle.

Local Tesla owners like Rodney (who preferred not to disclose his last name) tend to have personal charging stations in their homes, so it is not such a pressing need for them. But for owners who are trekking long distances, however, these stops are necessary to get where they need to go. Fortunately, the centralized locations where the chargers are often installed generally make stopping during long trips more convenient as “they are typically near amenities.”

The original spot for someone to charge their Tesla in Brooksville was constructed near a major thoroughfare. Located in the Winn-Dixie parking lot near I-75 (31100 Cortez Boulevard Brooksville, FL 34602), drivers are able to exit the highway and fuel up as much as any traditional car owner. The site has 12 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 250 kW.

If a Tesla owner were to take Highway 19 while passing through town, they would still have a nearly 30-minute drive ahead of them to get to the nearest Supercharger. With the building of the second station on Highway 50 by Chick-fil-A, these travelers now possess more options when looking for a place to recharge.

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“The goal of the Supercharger network is to enable freedom of travel for Tesla owners at a fraction of the cost of gasoline,” said Tesla’s website. “Reduce your cost per mile and never pay for gas again.”

As there are over 45,000 Supercharging stations worldwide, Tesla boasts “the largest global, fast charging network in the world.” The average number of charging ports at these stations also varies between 8 and 15 plugs, not unlike the number of pumps at a traditional gas station.

One other major advantage of “refueling” a Tesla- the price. To top off the charge on his car, Rodney asserts that he must only spend “between 8 and 12 dollars.” As Tesla’s batteries often hold at least 300 miles of charge, the amount of money saved per charge can quickly become significant. Other models of the vehicle, such as the Model S and Model X, hold up to 396 and 333 miles, respectively.

One unfortunate fact that drivers of these electric vehicles had to tolerate was that the recharge times took upwards of 45 minutes. According to Tesla’s website, recent advancements in technology have reduced the time required to a mere 15 minutes to recharge up to 200 miles. Having driven his Tesla since 2016, Rodney now owns a pair of them and has become a proponent of these electric cars since switching from Mercedes seven years ago.

An interesting but understandable quirk of these Superchargers is that the network is proprietary. At least it was. Due to the technologies involved in the connector, no other electric vehicles on the road were able to utilize the tens of thousands of Superchargers the brand’s customers enjoy daily. That is set to change as other electric car manufacturers will soon be able to develop vehicles that accept this “Tesla-style plug.”

According to an article by Forbes, starting in 2021, Tesla rolled out a “pilot project” that saw “10 Supercharger stations in the Netherlands become accessible for other EVs.” Since then, the company has slowly increased the availability of compatible Supercharger locations for non-Tesla EVs that use the Combined Charging System (CCS). The owners of these vehicles are also required to use the Tesla smartphone app (version 4.18 and later, according to Tesla) to utilize the high-speed connection. Other lower-speed Tesla chargers are already available for non-Tesla EVs through the use of a J1772 adapter.

This shift is due to government assistance, said our resident Tesla expert. While the company had previously footed the bill when creating the chargers, the federal government is now looking to subsidize the creation of these stations to some degree to encourage the purchase of EVs.
While this might eventually remove one competitive advantage that Tesla holds over other companies, it should make travel far more convenient for people who drive such cars. It will also likely make the prospect of electric vehicles more appealing to drivers who are in the market for a new vehicle. The manufacturer will receive extra commission, however, for each use of their system by non-Tesla owners, as stated on the company’s website.

“Pricing for non-Tesla drivers reflects additional costs incurred to support charging a broad range of vehicles and adjustments to our sites to accommodate these vehicles.”

So, why is Brooksville already receiving its second supercharging station? Rodney, who has a career in marketing, feels he knows the answer. Simply put, the small town has become a desirable place to be. His reasoning is that “It’s a great transportation spot and a convenient place for people to visit,” as well as being a location that generally sees a number of travelers who “are just passing through.” Combined with Tesla’s stated Q3 2021 goal of tripling their worldwide network of Superchargers over a two-year span, this paints a clearer portrait of why the small town received one of these coveted stations.

“For a town like Brooksville to have two is just unbelievable,” said local Tesla owner Rodney. “I think there can’t be another small town in America that has two like that.”

The technology giant also takes feedback into account by allowing people to vote on new locations every quarter. Businesses that wish to see a Supercharging station built on their premises can apply on Tesla’s website to become hosts as well.

Some nearby cities and their supercharging stations:
Crystal River, eight supercharger ports
Wawa/505 US-19 Crystal River, FL 34429; 24/7; up to 250 kW

Ocala Market Street at Heath Brook
4414 SW College Road Ocala, FL 34474-4790
8 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 150kW

Ocala, FL – West Silver Springs Boulevard
3312 West Silver Springs Boulevard Ocala, FL 34474
8 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 250kW

Okahumpka Service Plaza
299 Florida-91 Wildwood, FL 34785
8 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 250kW

Lady Lake, FL Wawa
116 North Highway 27/441
Lady Lake, FL 32159
8 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 250kW

New Port Richey, FL
Wawa
4026 US-19
New Port Richey, FL , FL 34652
8 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 250kW

Odessa, FL Wawa
12048 FL-54
Odessa, FL 33556
8 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 250kW

A Tesla charging station is being installed on Cortez near Chick-Fil-A. Photo by Austyn Szempruch.

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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