Carrie Rengers

Wichitans invited to test ride a Tesla at new charging station

If you ever wanted to check out a Tesla in person, you’ll have the chance Monday at the new Tesla charging station next to the Applebee’s at 47th and Broadway.
If you ever wanted to check out a Tesla in person, you’ll have the chance Monday at the new Tesla charging station next to the Applebee’s at 47th and Broadway. Associated Press

You can’t actually drive one, but if you’re interested in checking out a Tesla, you can ride in one on Monday at the new Tesla charging station next to the Applebee’s at 47th and Broadway.

“It’s an incredible feel,” says Applebee’s owner Jim Stevens. “The inside is very luxurious.”

That’s not necessarily the “incredible feel” part, though.

“The acceleration of this car is incredible,” Stevens says. “It just goes from 0 to 60 in nothing flat. … It’s like you’re shot out of a rocket.”

Make that a silent rocket. Because it’s an all-electric car, Stevens says there’s no sound.

This is his second partnership with Tesla Motors, which is putting the stations from coast to coast. Another Tesla charging station opened last year at Stevens’ Applebee’s in Hays.

So far, he says two or three people a week stop by to charge their Teslas in Hays.

Stevens says a charging station takes just over half an hour to charge a Tesla compared to most of the night in someone’s garage.

There’s already been one person who stopped by the station in Wichita.

Stevens says he expects numbers to increase.

“Once they get the X-series, the smaller, cheaper version, then I really think it’s going to be a lot of usership.”

Martha Baker, who is marketing director at Stevens Enterprises, says Tesla rides will be available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday for anyone who is interested.

“They can just kind of see what a Tesla is and check out the charging station.”

Baker says it’s “a cool car.”

“It’s just kind of something fun to see.”

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

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