Tesla refused $6.4 million in funding to build four large Supercharger stations in California, which would offer 428 stalls. The state's requirements for payment system integration do not match Tesla's more streamlined way of working.
Tesla could have received $6.4 million from California to build Superchargers in the state. Funding was offered through the California Energy Commission's Clean Transportation Program Rural Electric Vehicle Charging program. Tesla was going to build four large Supercharger stations, with a total of 428 stalls. One of the charging stations, at Coalinga, was designed with 164 stalls, which would make it the largest in the world. In addition, there were to be two Supercharger stations of 100 stalls at Willows and Barstow, and one at Baker with 64 stalls.
However, Tesla's plans have changed. Drive Tesla has learned that the company has told officials it will no longer accept funding from California. In a letter from Tesla’s Policy and Business Development Lead in California, Jennifer Cohen, it was explained that the program’s “unnecessarily cumbersome payment infrastructure requirements” caused them to refuse.
“The California Clean Energy Commission (CEC) has been a great visionary in the expansion of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in California. Unfortunately, due to unnecessarily cumbersome payment infrastructure requirements, we are unable to utilize this award.”
At the moment, all Tesla Superchargers work through the Tesla App, allowing owners to pay through their accounts. This is a very simple and easy payment method, which significantly increases the satisfaction of using the service. In addition, by not using screens on their charge piles, Tesla avoids the additional cost of manufacturing and maintaining a complicated design, as the screens often fail. However, under the program, California required that charging operators must have “multiple point-of-sale methods,” including credit or debit cards, in addition to mobile app payments, which included adding screens to the charging piles.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.