Carrie Rengers

Tesla charging station to open by south Wichita Applebee’s

Jim Stevens’ latest addition to his Hays Applebee’s worked out so well, he’s adding it in Wichita, too.

Another Tesla charging station is under construction to the north of his Applebee’s at 47th and Broadway.

“If it really gets going strong, there may be 10 charging stations down there,” Stevens says.

Initially, there will be eight stations to charge Teslas.

In May, Stevens told Have You Heard? about the Tesla charging station that was opening next to his Hays restaurant’s parking lot.

“It’s doing well,” he says.

Tesla Motors is putting the stations from coast to coast.

Stevens says the company’s stations nationwide have charged Teslas for a total of 14 million miles, which he says equals a savings of more than 500,000 gallons of gasoline.

“That’s what they’ve done already.”

Stevens says one charge is good for 250 miles, and the company wants a station every 175 or 200 miles.

“By the end of 2015, they want all the interstates from east to west and north to south to have charging stations,” he says.

When Interstate 70 is complete all the way to the East Coast, Stevens says, “Then I think it’s going to see a lot more activity.”

The cars take about a half hour to charge.

“Most of the time, the people at Hays that charge have gone into Applebee’s to eat,” Stevens says.

That’s also the thought behind putting the new one, which opens in January, next to this Applebee’s.

“That’s what we’re hoping.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.