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So it looks like this is really going to happen. A few years ago Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed his desire to have his Supercharger stations be like a mini theme park. Feature movies shown on a big screen, kiddie rides, and a 1950s-themed restaurant, are among some of the features. We’ve seen the submitted plans to the city of Santa Monica, California. So Tesla’s idea for its charging stations to become actual destinations is coming to life. 

What will the Tesla Supercharger stations have?

Tesla supercharger
Artist’s conception of a Tesla Supercharger station | Tesla

To be located at Santa Monica Boulevard and Orange Drive, it will feature 34 charging stalls. Two movie screens can be viewed from both the charging area and the diner according to the plans. Both indoor and rooftop seating will be a feature of the two-story restaurant. A Musk tweet encapsulates the plan, “Major new Supercharger station coming to Santa Monica soon! Hoping to have 50’s diner & 100 best movie clips playing, too. Thanks, Santa Monica city!” 

MarcoPR on Instagram posted the actual plans. Feature presentations on the screens will run for about as long as it takes to get a full charge, which is around 30 minutes. This cements the layout on the heels of recent reports about Tesla Supercharger stations. However, these could change or even be tossed out based on a number of factors including environmental impact reports and city reviews. 

Charging stations are mostly a time waster

Supercharger station
Kiddie ride proposal for Tesla Supercharger station | Tesla

This makes a world of sense. Rather than killing time in your Tesla, or walking around to find a restaurant or fast food, everything is right there at the charging station. And those alternatives probably won’t make the kiddos happy, either. What could be more appropriate than a 1950s-themed diner? After all, they’re associated with car culture.

What makes this more doable for Tesla is that Musk’s brother Kimball owns a group of restaurants. And he’s on Chipotle Mexican Grille’s board. So Elon has a built-in window for how the restaurant biz works. Though, he could hire people for that. Nonetheless, he has had plenty of time to confer with his bro over this idea. 

Is there a precedent for a charging station like this?

1950s drive-in
1950s drive-in | Getty

You’ve heard of Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, right? Then you know what an attraction started in the 1930s to be a time-killer for restaurant patrons waiting for tables can become. That’s right, Knotts started as a carousel for kids to help kill time while parents waited for a table at its chicken dinner restaurant. 

Tesla Supercharger
Tesla Supercharger station proposal | Instagram

So there is definitely a precedent for how successful a distraction while charging could become. And other locations besides Santa Monica are in the works. This type of trademark is for franchising, according to Automotive News. 

We know that McDonald’s has been investigating how it might run adjunct restaurants to existing charging stations. It’s obvious there is a lot of potential for this concept. As if Musk needs more…


Tesla Wants to Be McDonald’s: Files Trademark for Drive-In Franchise