KETTLEMAN CITY, California — Situated amid large swaths of farmland and a smattering of gas stations, fast-food restaurants, and motels, Tesla’s largest-ever Supercharger station sits tucked away from the main street that runs underneath the 5 Freeway, on a corner lot that used to be a Burger King drive-thru.
There’s a gas station and a Carl’s Jr. across the street to the east, an auto-repair shop to the south, and two budget hotels to the west.
Further south across State Route 41, there’s a recently built strip mall, curiously named “Bravo Farms,” whose architecture was designed to resemble old Western saloons of generations past.
The Tesla Supercharger station, unlike the Burger King that occupied the land before it, makes use of nearly all of the available space. An expanse of covered solar parking shelters the 40 individual Superchargers on the lot. A private lounge invites Tesla travelers to rest in plush armchairs, plug in their mobile devices, and enjoy soothing music.
There are vending machines, restrooms, and Tesla staff on hand inside the lounge. A separate display section shows off Tesla Energy products: the solar panels and Powerwall battery packs it sells to residential and commercial customers.
Two large, flat-screen displays are mounted inside the lounge. One shows a real-time world map with the locations of every Supercharger station on the planet. Numbers at the bottom of the screen show three separate tallies: kilowatt-hours delivered, miles enabled, and gallons of gasoline saved. The numbers tick up as you watch.
This is now Tesla’s domain. Its presence in an otherwise folksy enclave — one of at least six on the route here from Los Angeles — is a clear sign that Tesla is gearing up to own the electric-car future.