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From our friends at the Methow Valley News: Winthrop may get some Tesla electric vehicle charging stations. The Town Council there is considering a proposal by Tesla to install eight “supercharger” charging stations in the parking lot of the Visitor Information Center on Highway 20.

Tesla is proposing to install six back-in stations on the west side of the parking lot nearest the highway, and two pull-through stations for larger vehicles or those pulling boats, trailers or campers. Tesla would lease the spots from the town for a fee that has yet to be determined.

Under the proposed agreement, the town would be locked-in for at least 11½ years. Tesla has proposed a 10-year lease agreement that cannot be terminated until the first five-year renewal period, and then with 18-months’ notice.

Tesla representative Zac Whitney told the council that the carmaker had been contemplating a bank of charging stations in Winthrop for several years, and that the planned “superchargers” would be compatible with most EVs. He said the goal is install the stations next year.

Greg Mendoca, general manager of the Okanogan County Electric Cooperative, said the co-op is working on an agreement to provide electricity to the supercharger site that would, in his words, “accommodate it without subsidizing it.”

One concern for council members was whether giving up eight spaces in the Visitor Center parking lot would compromise tourist parking, as well as parking for Mack Lloyd Park events and the ball field across the street.

Town Planner Rocklynn Culp said that question and others will be part of ongoing discussions.

Whitney acknowledged that Tesla typically deals with private property owners so the process for reaching agreement with the town may require different wording.

This is a familiar story: you'll remember that some years back, Tesla proposed installing some charging stations in Chelan, looking for private property owners to allow them, but nothing happened.

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