The Tesla Supercharger network is only good for long distance travel if it can get you where you need to go, and Tesla is partnering up with other companies to make that happen. On the official front, restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday announced that they are installing Supercharger stations at a selection of their restaurants along interstates. The first such station just went live in Miner, Missouri, at the intersection of I-55 and I-57.
A restaurant chain partnering Tesla to install Supercharger stations makes perfect sense, especially a sit-down establishment like Ruby Tuesday. A typical Tesla Model S or Model X will take roughly 30 minutes to put on 170 miles of charge, with a full charge taking around 75 minutes — plenty of time to sit down for a meal. The Miner location is just the first of the Supercharger stations that will be installed at Ruby Tuesday restaurants; the restaurant says that additional Ruby Tuesday Supercharger stations are "currently in the planning stages or under construction."
And in a delicious bit of irony, gas station chain Sheetz is in talks to install Supercharger stations at some of their locations. Sheetz operates more than 500 gas stations and convenience stores across the Mid-Atlantic and Appalachia regions of the United States. Electric car charging stations aren't new to Sheetz — they have eight locations in Pennsylvania and North Carolina with EV chargers. According to the Washington Post, Tesla declined to comment specifically on their negotiations with Sheetz, but did confirm that they are "actively courting gas stations, hotels and restaurants."
Hotels and restaurants make sense, but a location like Sheetz makes less sense. Gas station convenience stores are most frequently structured around quick service: you fill your car's fuel tank in a few minutes, go inside for a bathroom break and to purchase refreshments, and then continue your journey. An electric car, however, requires a much longer period of time to recharge. Tesla has so far endeavored to install Supercharger stations at locations where a driver would be willing to spend an hour or so waiting for the recharge to complete.
On the flip side, all these gas station owners are going to need to do something with their lands after they pull out the gas tanks and pumps, right?