Just this week, Turlock Irrigation District’s board approved a resolution to work with the Best Western Plus Villa del Lago hotel to install six chargers. Dominic Speno, managing general partner of the hotel and developer of the surrounding Villa del Lago commercial center, saw potential in placing the charging station along the Interstate 5 corridor, with hopes that it will draw more people to town. If all goes as planned, those chargers could be up and running within the next couple of months.
Meanwhile, the city planning commission has pushed for chargers at several future projects. The future Arco am/pm service station and O’Reilly Auto Parts store and the Golden Valley Health Centers expansion all will include electric car chargers when they are completed next year.
The only other existing charging station in Stanislaus County listed by the U.S. Department of Energy is at Central Valley Nissan in Modesto, which sells the electric-powered Nissan Leaf.
Kudos should go to developers such as Speno, as well as TID and city officials, for their forward-thinking approach on this matter. If current trends continue, electric vehicle owners will not have to find a service station where they can fuel up but can recharge their cars at the hotels and shopping centers where they are headed. Patterson’s Best Western Plus Villa del Lago could be one of those destination spots, and it’s heartening to see Speno is considering the tourism potential that could result from getting ahead of the curve.
As our ability to depend on fossil fuels wanes, electric vehicles appear to be the wave of the future. Local developers and leaders are wise to jump on the bandwagon now and should be commended for their foresight.