Tesla plans 'Supercharger' station at Meijer in Rolling Meadows

  • An artist's rendering shows the 10 proposed Tesla charging stations to be installed in the Meijer parking lot.

    An artist's rendering shows the 10 proposed Tesla charging stations to be installed in the Meijer parking lot. Courtesy of City of Rolling Meadows

 
 
Updated 4/28/2017 4:51 PM

Tesla has proposed installation of 10 charging stations for its electric cars in the Meijer parking lot in Rolling Meadows.

The charging location would be one of only four Tesla Superchargers in the Chicago area where car owners can plug in for a quick charge of 30-45 minutes and get up to 170 miles of range.

 

The current Superchargers are at the company's store and service center in Highland Park, outside the Woodman's store in North Aurora, and at a shopping plaza in Country Club Hills. Tesla is proposing to install additional charging locations by the end of the year in Skokie, Bolingbrook and at three sites in Chicago -- as part of a goal to double the number of Superchargers around the world from 5,000 to 10,000 by the end of the year.

Many of the sites -- like the one in Rolling Meadows -- are near highways, and Tesla is aiming to start and complete installation of its new charging stations before summer travel season.

Tesla already has nearly 20 "Destination Charging" sites at restaurants, hotels and shopping centers in the Chicago area, but cars take longer to charge there, and the charges don't last as long.

Most Tesla owners charge at home overnight by using an adapter to plug into household outlets or an upgraded wall connector, but those charges are good for only 29-52 miles of range per hour of charging, company officials say.

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Andrew Levy, Tesla's Midwest project manager for its Supercharger network, told the Rolling Meadows plan commission that Tesla selects locations where there's something to do nearby while people wait. In the case of the Rolling Meadows location, there's a number of neighboring restaurants and stores, including Meijer, which has an existing partnership with Tesla, Levy said.

Tesla plans to install the charging boxes and related equipment in the northeast corner of the Meijer parking lot at 1301 Meijer Drive, near Golf and Algonquin roads.

A landscaped island will be constructed and contain some of the equipment, and three or four small poles will be added nearby to protect the equipment from errant vehicles, officials said.

The area will also have surveillance cameras, per Police Chief John Nowacki's recommendation, because of vehicle traffic in the area and the potential for crashes.

The charging station, which would be open 24/7, could charge only Tesla cars. Owners pay through a Tesla app.

The city council approved an ordinance on a first reading vote this week to allow installation of the charging stations. A final, second reading vote is scheduled for May 9.

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