There can’t be too many Tesla electric cars cruising the highways and byways of South Carolina, but there’s now a stop in Orangeburg County for drivers of the closely watched vehicles.
Santee is the site of the state’s first “Supercharger” station from Tesla Motors. It’s off Exit 98 on Interstate 95, about an hour’s drive from Charleston. It services the company’s $70,000 Model S sedans and will re-energize all future Tesla models.
“This latest Supercharger opening represents Tesla’s continued network expansion along the I-95 corridor and brings Model S owners one step closer to free travel between Boston and Miami,” the automaker said in a statement last week.
Launched by PayPal cofounder Elon Musk, Tesla also designs and manufactures powertrain components for partners such as Toyota and Daimler.
The company invited Model S owners to help unveil the free charging station at a ceremony Thursday. The device at 114 Bradford Blvd. has six car stalls and is open around the clock. It provides the Tesla sedans with almost a full charge after about 20 to 30 minutes.
While they wait, Tesla drivers and passengers can grab a bite to eat or shop at nearby Clark’s Inn and Restaurant, Santee General Store, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and CVS Pharmacy.
The two nearest Tesla charging stations are off I-95 at exit 104 in Savannah, to the south, and at exit 140 in Burlington, N.C., to the north. The maximum driving range for the Model S is about 265 miles.
In total, the automaker said it’s delivered more than 19,000 electric vehicles to buyers in 31 countries.
The late trial lawyer Ron Motley and Mardi Gras revelers seem a natural pairing, with both prone to be entertaining, intriguing and, on occasion, imbibing. Let the good times roll, indeed.
Motley, the hard-charging Charleston litigator who took on Big Tobacco and other legal foes, died in August at age 68. But his name will be remembered over the next few weeks, as Fat Tuesday approaches.
The Carnival connection is courtesy of Motley’s longtime law partner Joe Rice. Together, they founded the Mount Pleasant-based law firm Motley Rice after Ness Motley Loadholt Richardson & Poole split up.
Rice and wife Lisa happen to be this year’s “King and Queen of the Royal Court” for Krewe of Charleston. Pronounced as “crew,” the New Orleans term refers to an organization that puts on a parade or ball during the annual run-up to Lent.
The local group says it’s the only one on the Atlantic Seaboard. This year, it’ll be donating some of the money it raises from its Feb. 8 masquerade ball and other events for the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center, which the Rices have supported for years.
The festivities kicked off Jan. 10, in a waterfront event space inside the Motley Rice headquarters near Patriots Point. It was there that Charleston Krewe founder Donnie Bulliard announced he was renaming this year’s organizing group to — drum roll, please — Motley Krewe.
Settle down, now
Baby boomers who are leaving the rat race behind would do well to head to the Holy City.
So says Forbes magazine, which last week picked Charleston as one of the 25 best places in the country to retire in 2014.
The business publication noted several attributes that make the area an attractive spot to wile away the golden years, including its abundant public waterfront access, warm climate, strong economy, favorable state taxes and low crime. It also said the cost of living is about on par with the U.S. average.
Curiously, Forbes gave Charleston low marks for volunteering, but it did not elaborate about how it determined that.
Bluffton, Clemson and Brevard, N.C., also were among the top 25. The full list can be viewed at forbes.com by typing “Best places to retire” in the website’s search tool.
Gifted South Carolina high school students with high-flying plans can now take advantage of programs offered through the Boeing Co.
The aerospace company has invested in the three-year launch of Accelerate, a new virtual engineering program offered through the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. Boeing will also help sponsor the inaugural year of CREATEng, an engineering summer camp planned for the Lowcountry.
Developed by the school, Accelerate is designed to cultivate the future creative engineers and technical leaders by offering highly motivated, high-achievers an accelerated completion of the first-year of college engineering during the last three years of high school.
Coming this summer for the first time, CREATEng, is a new, one-of-a-kind, weeklong immersion into engineering and design-based thinking for rising ninth-graders in the Upstate and Lowcountry.
Working in teams, students will apply principles of engineering design to solve daily challenges.
Jack Jones, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina, has repeatedly called STEM education — an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — a high priority for the company.
“They want to hire in-state talent, and we want to prepare our students to fill their need for engineers,” added Kim Bowman, CEO of the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics Foundation.