CALIFORNIA, Md. — A once unreachable idea— the dream of electric cars— is becoming more mainstream every day. What many people thought would never exist is now a reality in places like Southern Maryland.

After partnering with Klein Enterprises in the St. Mary’s Marketplace, just a few hundred feet from Harris Teeter, Tesla has successfully placed eight supercharging stations at the corner of the parking lot. Although the chargers have been visible on the property for months, they did not become operational until May.

“We [Klein Enterprises] were originally contacted by Tesla in 2019. They had identified our center as a host partner. They installed a few other stations at Harris Teeters and this was a natural fit, our team was excited and jumped at the opportunity,” a statement from the property’s developer said.

And what better way to celebrate what is on the horizon than with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring politicians and members of the local business community.

“I’m an old motorhead. I did 38 years running a gas station and automotive business, my family has over 50 years in St. Mary’s County,” County Commissioner Mike Hewitt[R] said at the event. “The idea of the electric car was something that we never thought we could do… This guy Elon Musk is one of the things about America that makes it such a proud country to live in.”

Members of the “Tesla Owners Southern Maryland” group on Facebook also came out in full force. Ed Winson Delmoro, the founder of the group which currently has 161 members, said he thinks this is the most well-attended local event he has seen.

Photo: Delmoro speaking to the crowd. His shirt reflects the current line up of models that Tesla offers(Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y).

He and another member of the group estimated roughly 32 Tesla owners showed up, with several hopeful future owners. Some attendees came from as far as Atlantic City and the state of California.

Delmoro emphasized the importance of offering these quick-charge stations nationally, as they can provide drivers substantial benefits.

One of these superchargers can provide one of the electric vehicles with 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes of charging. Delmoro explained how this vastly outpaces a wall outlet’s 120-volt output, which provides an estimated 2-4 miles of range after an hour of charging, or a 240-volt dryer/stove outlet which provides roughly 10-40 miles of range in an hour.

Maryland Delegate Brian Crosby[D-29B] touted the benefits this American-made vehicle will bring for local tourism and the business community as more stations continue to open.

“To continue to see electric vehicles, specifically Tesla’s, proliferate on the road, is unbelievable,” Crosby said at the event. “I promise you my next car, if I’m allowed, will be one. They are incredible.”

Another six Tesla supercharging stations were slated to open with the newly renovated Sheetz off of Chancellors Run Road, however after the remodel finished ahead of schedule, the supercharging stations were not quite ready to open with the business.

It is unclear when those stations may be ready to use. Although the demand for the stations is high, Klein Enterprises said that Tesla has been easy to work with and relatively quick in getting the stations completed.

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