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Tesla chargers coming to downtown Chico

"You're going to see a lot of electric cars coming out in the next few years, a lot, every single manufacturer is coming out with electrics in the next 2 years," said Knaus.

Posted: Mar. 5, 2018 4:46 PM

"Myself and my family are both thinking about the model 3, the affordable one," said Chico resident Jeff Jackson.

These days, a lot of people are have their eyes on electric cars,

"You can have fun little quirky cars like to Fiat 500E, and it looks like a toy car but it's a hoot to drive, and then you have cars like the Tesla that are actually faster than the gasoline cars," said Bernie Knaus, owner of New Autos Inc. in Chico.

A new study shows that by 2030 we can expect 32 trillion global miles driven in electric vehicles - that's about triple the current use.

But there are some hang-ups: there are only a few places to recharge in Chico.

"I have a Tesla coming in today for a doctor who has to commute back and forth to Rocklin. There's a super-charger there so to have one in Chico would be very welcome," said Knaus.

"As someone who's a renter, it's complicated to have a charging station at your place," said Jackson. "It would be necessary for me to have these charging stations around town."

The Tesla charging stations at Sierra Nevada can get you up to 60 miles per hour that you're plugged into it, but there's only a few in town, at that location and at the Oxford Suites.

A super-charger would get almost a full charge in about 30 minutes.

And now, the city may soon have that option.

City engineering's been in talks with Tesla and plans to add two more destination charging spots at the parking lot on 2nd and Wall Streets as well as the 3rd and Salem parking structure, and the company's alluded to having a supercharger in Chico sometime this year.

Of course, some are skeptical about this investment.

"I don't see how you could say it doesn't cost more morey, anything the city does, they get it from us and it's going to serve very few people,' said Chico resident Michael Roebuck.

Either way, it's a sign of the times.

"You're going to see a lot of electric cars coming out in the next few years, a lot, every single manufacturer is coming out with electrics in the next 2 years," said Knaus.

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