Mount Shasta welcomes Tesla Supercharger

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta city councilor Tim Stearns prepares to take a spin in a Tesla Model S with Tesla employee Alexis Georgeson, who is in the midst of a 1,500 mile journey up the west coast, from San Diego to Vancouver, using only Superchargers. Mount Shasta's Supercharger facility is the only one between Corning and Grants Pass, Ore. Photo by Skye Kinkade

Mount Shasta’s Best Western Tree House is the site of a newly constructed Tesla Supercharger – the only such facility between Corning and Grants Pass, Ore.

Tesla owners can stop in Mount Shasta to achieve a full battery charge in under an hour – enough to travel up to 265 miles, said Tesla representative Alexis Georgeson.

Using the Supercharger is free.

Mount Shasta’s Supercharger is one of 31 currently operational in the United States, though by 2015, Tesla plans to have Superchargers in dozens of cities in the US and Canada, allowing its drivers to traverse the country free of charge.

It's hoped the Superchargers will lure Tesla drivers off I-5 for a quick, free charge, and also tempt them to see what Mount Shasta has to offer.

Driving Tesla Model S is like piloting a luxurious spaceship; it’s soundless and when you press the accelerator, the car is immediately responsive.

The Model S can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds and can seat up to 7 people (with two stowable bucket seats for children in the far back).

A 17-inch touchscreen computer, larger than an iPad, dominates the console.

Everything is controlled digitally, from air conditioner, seat warmers and sun roof to the car’s clearance, which can be raised or lowered for different conditions. The car automatically drops while on the freeway to create better aerodynamics, Georgeson said.

Tesla owners also have the option of charging their vehicles at an outlet at home. A full charge costs about $9, said Georgeson.

Because there is no internal combustion engine, Teslas don’t need oil changes and most maintenance can be done via wireless updates. Teslas have no tailpipe and produce zero emissions.

According to Tesla’s website, the Model S retails for about $63,000 (that’s with a federal tax credit of $7,500).