St. Louis Tesla Enthusiast Group Makes Charging Stop in Effingham


Published on April 5 2015 10:43 pm
Written by Wayne Moran

Technology that many say is the future of the automotive industry, cars that use no fuel and rely solely on electricity, now has a operational charging station in Effingham. An enthusiast group from St. Louis made use of them Saturday during a road trip.

Telsa Motors, which manufactures cars in the US, brought its Effingham charging station online at the end of March. The bank of chargers is located on the south side of the Jumpin' Jack Flash gas station just off I-57/70 on Keller Drive in Effingham. The chargers only work with Tesla vehicles, and as members of the St. Louis Tesla Enthusiasts told us Saturday during their trip from the St. Louis area, most only needed a 20 to 30-minute charge before being able to return home.

The charging station in Effingham is one of only nine in the state. On Interstate 70, Effingham's station is Tesla's oasis between the St. Louis area and Indianapolis. On I-57, Effingham's station is one of only two in existence, with the next being the Chicago area, a distance that's in reach for a Tesla driver with a full charge. Tesla owners are, however, able to charge their vehicles at home. Those that purchase a Tesla Supercharger are also able to charge for free at any station coast to coast. Tesla has an interactive charger map located here.

Tesla Motors is, however, a company that finds itself in the cross-hairs of some local and state governments, several of which have sought to block Tesla sales because the company doesn't have brick-and-mortar dealerships that employ local people.

Instead, the company relies primarily on online sales and a handful of self-owned retail stores where customers can view models and place an order. This approach has caused a stir in the automotive industry, where dealerships are the norm. On Friday, West Virginia became the latest Tesla battleground, with its Governor signing legislation requiring the use of dealerships, effectively shutting out Tesla from being able to sell cars in the state.

Our Greg Sapp spoke with Liz, a member of the St. Louis group, during their stop in town Saturday. (direct link)