Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s a phrase we ugly types cling onto for hope, and a very true ethos in the world of motoring.
Mention the word ‘Tesla’ and you’re likely to get all manner of responses about the appearance of their models. Some love the dedication to minimalism, others think they’re the epitome of dull and safe styling. And we can all agree somewhat that the Model X looks terrible.
What’s maybe less questioned is whether Tesla’s Superchargers are good looking or not. They’ve sprouted up all over New Zealand and the rest of the world, creating arguably the best charging network for EVs on the planet (one that will soon be available to non-Teslas).
Are they good looking? I tend to think they look quite fetching, particularly when contrasted with some of the awful outdated free chargers you can find out there. I’d say they even look better than the units ABB and ChargeNet have.
Not everyone thinks Tesla’s Superchargers look so good, however.
NZ Herald reports that Tesla is looking to build six new Superchargers in Tūrangi (50km from Taupō), with the manufacturer issuing a proposal to the town. Should it succeed, it would net Tūrangi some extra visitors each day.
The move is currently being mulled over by the Tūrangi-Tongariro Community Board, although it appears to not be a unanimously loved idea. Taupō District councillor John Mack has questioned the idea on several fronts, most notably on the styling front.
“I suppose what I would also ask is whether there is a way we can make them sympathetic to the environment. They are pretty ugly looking things and I think if we are going to do it that should be a stipulation,” Mack said at a community board meeting earlier this month.
Mack’s request is unlikely to bear fruit, of course. Going back to Tesla and asking them to redesign the Supercharger unit they’ve erected all over the world without much problem would be like going to McDonald’s headquarters and requesting that the Big Mac’s secret sauce is swapped for strawberry jam.
Mack also seemed to take issue with the number of chargers being proposed. Tesla wants to build six, with Mack noting that he doesn’t think Tūrangi needs that many. Although in the same sentence he acknowledged that “times are changing”.
“I suppose like everything, it’s tourism in theory. If we have six of these things and you’re a Tesla driver, it’s 55km to Taupō, you’re going to stop in Tūrangi,” he said. “However, if they get here and they are all being used, they’re going to carry on driving and never come back. Six is obviously over the top, although times are changing.”
The board ended up going back to Tesla to request if it would be open to building four instead of six, with councillors citing fears that the six chargers would take too many parking space options away from locals.