By Derek Stephens
UM School of Business
Oxford has been nominated to host a Tesla Supercharger for the first time.
To vote for Oxford, visit https://www.tesla.com/supercharger-voting and create a free account on the Tesla website. One does not need to own a Tesla to vote.
These votes will help Tesla decide on new Supercharger locations, although Tesla states they are non-binding. However, it is important to express community interest to gain the company’s attention for consideration.
Superchargers are Level 3 EV chargers that can charge up to 200 miles in just 15 minutes, much faster than the Level 2 chargers available throughout the town of Oxford, which charge around 20-30 miles per hour.
With the growing number of Tesla vehicles and other electric vehicles on the road, as well as the multitude of visitors that Oxford receives each weekend, the potential addition of a Tesla Supercharger would be extremely beneficial to Oxford and Ole Miss.
A Supercharger in Oxford would provide increased convenience and flexibility to Tesla owners who may spend extended periods in Oxford or require a quick charge.
Also, Elon Musk and Tesla recently opened their Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs. Owners of non-Tesla EVs such as the Chevrolet Bolt, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Hyundai Kona Electric would have access to the network as well. According to Electrek.co, the year-over-year growth from 2021 to 2022 for EV registrations in Mississippi grew 68%, the sixth-highest growth rate in the country.
To promote widespread adoption, there is still much work to be done on the availability of Level 3 charging stations. This starts with connecting EV owners with more frequently visited areas, such as micropolitan, metropolitan, university towns, and even frequently visited rural areas. Oxford and Starkville are currently the only two SEC college towns without a Supercharger in their nearby vicinity.
A Tesla Supercharger in Oxford would also have economic benefits for the community and would support the growing demand for rapid charging in the area. Tourists, alumni, prospective students and their families, and others come from all over the country to see Oxford and Ole Miss. Nearly 23,000 students are enrolled across the University of Mississippi’s seven campuses for fall 2022 with a 5.1% growth rate from the previous year.
According to the Census Bureau, after growing 36% from 2010 to 2020, Oxford is projected to grow another 28% in the following decade to over 33,000 residents. These projections further support Oxford’s need for rapid charging.
As a Tesla owner myself, I’ve seen the impact that Superchargers can have on communities. For instance, I noticed recently at the Tesla Supercharger in Germantown, Tennessee, that many Tesla owners would leave their vehicles while charging and shop at the businesses located near the Supercharger. The nearby parking lots also had several Tesla vehicles, whose owners decided to eat and shop after charging.
Please consider supporting a Supercharger by voting at https://www.tesla.com/supercharger-voting. Remember, owning a Tesla is not required to vote.
Derek Stephens is the Assistant State Director of the Mississippi Small Business Development Center at the University of Mississippi. He is also an Adjunct Instructor of Management at the School of Business.