Tesla might be aiming to give its Supercharger locations a makeover, which could be great news for hungry, bored electric car drivers who miss gas stations filled with bathrooms, scratch off lottery tickets, and beef jerky.
The automaker has a plan to add convenience store-esque amenities to its fast-charging stations, according to a report from Restaurant Business spotted by Grub Street. The new plans would transform Supercharger stops from single-purpose power-up stations to mini rest stops.
“People are coming and spending 20 to 30 minutes at these stops,” Tesla CTO J.B. Straubel told an audience at foodservice-technology conference FSTEC, referring to the Supercharger’s estimated half hour power-up time. “They want to eat, they want to have a cup of coffee, and they want to use the bathroom.”
Straubel then showed off an “aerial depiction” of a tricked out Supercharger station outfitted with all the hallmarks of a convenience store, according to the report. A Tesla rep couldn’t send Mashable an image of the rendering when reached for comment, so we can only imagine that it looked like any old rest stop you can find off major highway exits.
The automaker isn’t going all in and starting up its own chain of Supercharger-adjacent eateries, however. Straubel dismissed the idea of a Tesla-run food management operation, instead shifting the focus to potential partnerships. “We already have been working with restaurants,” he said. “That can only start scaling up.”
Tesla says that it specifically places its Superchargers near amenities like hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas to give drivers something to do while their car is charging up. The company is missing out on a massive potential revenue stream by declining to monetize the areas even more — so there’s no reason it shouldn’t build out its own version of 7/11 stores.