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Watsonville home to county’s largest EV charging station

WATSONVILLE — Watsonville’s Overlook Shopping Center has become home to the largest electric vehicle charging station in Santa Cruz County, according to PlugShare.com. 

That’s thanks to a deal between Target, Tesla, ChargePoint and Electrify America struck in 2018. That deal planned to expand Target’s electric vehicle program to more than 600 parking spaces at over 100 sites across at least 20 states.

The Watsonville charging center, which opened in July, features 18 stations, 14 of them Tesla Superchargers that are available 24/7, according to Tesla’s website.

The Supercharger Stations fully charge most Tesla vehicles within an hour, according to Telsa’s website.

Target teamed up with Tesla to pilot its Supercharger Stations in 2017.

“Accelerating our efforts to install new charging stations at Target stores across the country is one way we’re building on our commitment to investing in solutions that leave our communities better for future families,” said John Leisen, vice president, Property Management, for Target. “And it’s an opportunity to work with industry-leading partners to bring a more convenient shopping experience to guests as we look to design lower-carbon solutions throughout our entire operation.”

There are more than 1,600 Supercharger Stations in North America, but Watsonville is the lone Supercharger Station in Santa Cruz County.

Gilroy, Salinas and Monterey are the next closest Supercharger stations.

Paul Boothby said he has used the station several times in the past. He stopped by Tuesday afternoon to run errands at Target and plugged in his Tesla for about 40 minutes.

“It was about half-charged when I pulled in,” he said. “Forty minutes will usually bring it up to full charge. I work over the hill and I usually charge it up near my workplace. But this is really convenient. I hope to get a charger at my home soon. But this works fine for now.”

He said he does not usually see many people charging up at the Target location, but over the hill the charging stations are “really full.”

Editor’s note: Reporter Tarmo Hannula contributed to this report.


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