Next Up, Tesla Will Take on 7/11
Back in 2013, the sky was the limit for
Earlier this week at FSTEC , the restaurant industry's annual food-tech conference, Tesla's chief technology officer J.B. Straubel told attendees that Tesla is making a serious effort to build out convenience stores at its 951 Supercharger stations. "People are coming and spending 20 to 30 minutes at these stops," Straubel lamented. "They want to eat, they want to have a cup of coffee, and they want to use the bathroom."
At the moment, these stations have a strange, unfinished quality. Tesla owners pull up to a slim charging station, connect the charger, and settle in for what Tesla
is about 30 minutes to get half-way charged. The idea is that you should be charging the car's battery at home overnight and the supercharger shouldn't be needed as regularly as a standard filling station. But if Tesla really wants to
kill the old gas-powered car
, it's going to need to expand its
, Straubel showed off slides of a charging station "that looked exactly like a c-store,"-industry jargon for a convenience store. But what would a Tesla
However Tesla works this out, it's interesting to remember the enormity of the company's ambitions. A lot of focus gets put on the tech and price of the battery-powered cars, but manufacturing and infrastructure are huge parts of the business. The " Gigafactory " plant in Nevada is designed to produce more batteries than the entire industry currently pumps out. With the superchargers, Tesla is attempting to replace filling stations. But those stations are mostly owned by the oil industry. In Tesla's case, it has an opportunity to control the car manufacturing, fuel delivery, and the sugary treats you pick up while you recharge. It seems wise for Tesla execs not to throw themselves into the complicated supply chain of the food industry, but it still has the option.
One exciting prospect is the idea of teens once again hanging out at the convenience store like the slackers in SubUrbia . Hell, everyone will be hanging out-they've all got a lot of time to kill.
[ GrubStreet ]