New Tesla chargers are being installed at Goleta's Camino Real Marketplace, part of California's green economic wave to make long-distance EV driving possible. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

A dozen shiny, red-and-white Tesla supercharging stations have appeared in the parking lot at Goleta’s Camino Real Marketplace, part of California’s ongoing green economic wave. The all-electric car manufacturer is working through Ambient Electric to finalize platforms and a wall for the installation. The exact completion date is unknown, said Goleta spokesperson Kelly Hoover, but it’s expected soon. Only Tesla vehicles can be charged at these particular supercharging stations; they quickly pour large quantities of power into the vehicles’ battery systems, which are customized to handle such a load. A supercharger takes about 50 minutes to fully charge the car’s battery, according to Tesla.

Most electric-vehicle drivers charge at home, but in 2018, the State of California put into law a plan to add more charging stations to encourage higher numbers of carbon-free vehicles on the roads. According to the Sierra Club, more than 1,000 public charging stations dot Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties, and can be found online through map apps and websites. 

To encourage more charging stations, Goleta’s City Council voted to streamline the permit process for EV chargers. About $4 million is available to the Santa Barbara County area under Assembly Bill 1236 to boot up charging stations wherever electric cars are driven. As have the county and city of Santa Barbara and also Carpinteria, Goleta will be implementing a permit application checklist before the May deadline to expedite charger installation and tap into the monies available under AB 1236.

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