Tesla is one step closer to opening a 1950s-style diner at its Los Angeles supercharger station

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Tesla is one step closer to opening a 1950s-style diner at its Los Angeles supercharger station
A Tesla supercharger station at Burbank Town Center, in Burbank on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020 in Burbank, CA.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
  • Tesla filed with the US trademark office last week to use its brand assets in "restaurant services."
  • Elon Musk tweeted the idea in 2018, and Tesla applied for permits, but little has happened since.
  • The company says its superchargers can add 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes.

It turns out that Elon Musk might not have been kidding around after all when he tweeted a few years ago about combining a diner with a Tesla supercharger station.

"Gonna put an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant at one of the new Tesla Supercharger locations in LA," the Tesla CEO posted back in 2018.

A few months later, the company applied for permits for a "Tesla restaurant and supercharger station" in the adjacent city of Santa Monica, then things went mostly quiet.

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But last week, Tesla's filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to use its name and logo in offering "restaurant services." Electrek first reported the filings, which are generally reviewed by an attorney after three months.

Food service and gas stations have long shared real estate, and national brands like Sonic and Checkers have shown that drive-up dining remains broadly popular in the US, not to mention local classics like The Varsity in Atlanta or Keller's in Dallas.

Musk elaborated on his idea in his 2018 tweets, saying the restaurant menu could appear on a Tesla's center display screen upon arrival, and that there would be a 1950s theme with classic film clips playing.

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But the pairing of a supercharger station with a restaurant is a retro-style solution to a growing challenge for electric vehicles: They're a hassle to charge.

A recent study found that one in five electric vehicle owners switched back to gas-powered cars due to charging issues. One analyst tested charging the Ford Mach-E on a standard household plug for one hour and only got three miles of range.

While so-called Level Two charging is substantially faster, it's outpaced by Tesla's new Level Three charging technology, which the company claims can add 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes.

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How long does it take to eat a burger?

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