How A McDonald’s Capitalized On A Remote Tesla Supercharger Station

You’ve probably never heard of Firebaugh, Calif., a small remote highway town along Calfornia’s Rt 5 — unless you drive a Tesla.

Firebaugh is home to a large Tesla Supercharger station. And right next door is a McDonald’s. With a banner that reads:

Recharge with McDonalds’s while you recharge your Tesla.

Food delivered directly to your charge bay.

(See image below.)

With 56 chargers, the Firebaugh Supercharger station is big, even by Tesla standards.

A McDonald’s employee in Firebaugh confirmed that they have the banner posted as a direct appeal to Supercharger customers.

And in case you have any doubt, Tesla lists McDonald’s, along with Subway, on the Firebaugh Supercharger page.

A recent Reddit post about the Firebaugh station generated more than a few comments — though mostly about which fast-food chain would best cater to Tesla Supercharger customers.

The fact is, many charging stations, including those that don’t cater to Tesla customers (such as EVgo and Electrify America), are located at major shopping centers, supermarkets, or hotels.

The exceptions are those like Firebaugh — small-town pitstops located along remote stretches of an interstate with relatively few local businesses.

But the logic is the same as gas stations. A pitstop is an opportunity to rest and grab a snack.

The difference is, with EV charging stations there is even more opportunity. When charging an EV, you have more time to burn because it takes longer to charge an EV to 80 or 90 percent than to fill up a gas tank (sometimes much longer*).

Tesla is not oblivious to this. Tesla’s Supercharger station in Kettleman City, Calif. has a 24-hour Tesla customer lounge that provides snacks and coffee — and it even has a Yelp page.

Tesla’s Kettleman City station page also lists Denny’s, Jack in the Box, Carl’s Jr., and Starbucks as being nearby.


*My charging sessions at Electrify America typically take at least 30 minutes.

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