In this photo taken May 27, 2011,  a Tesla Roadster Sport is seen at a charging station in Portland, Ore.
In this photo taken May 27, 2011, a Tesla Roadster Sport is seen at a charging station in Portland, Ore. (AP PHOTO — Rick Bowmer)

FARMINGTON — Farmington isn't the first city in New Mexico to build a Tesla Motors supercharger station, but it was close.

Though no official date has been set, Tesla Motors, the makers of the all-electric Tesla, expects to complete the state's second supercharger station to charge its cars in Farmington by mid-January at the Marriott TownePlace Suites on Sierra Vista Drive.

Gallup opened its station Wednesday.

The two stations began construction the same day -- the company actually approached Farmington first -- but bad weather delayed local construction, said Ray Hagerman, CEO of Four Corners Economic Development.

Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts said the supercharger station will give visitors another reason to visit the Four Corners, and it will give Farmington another tool to market San Juan County as a tourist destination.

"We're just going to be positioned nicely," he said. "There aren't going to be many of those (supercharger stations) in New Mexico and in the Four Corners region."

Hagerman doesn't know any Tesla owners in Farmington, but he expects the station will prompt some to buy the expensive vehicles. Tesla Communications Manager Patrick Jones said the cars range from $69,000 to $130,000.

Jones said a Tesla car takes 20 to 40 minutes to charge, and that waiting time will be good for the city's economy.

"While people are plugged in and getting a charge, they're actually in town and eating at restaurants, shopping at local places," he said.

Tesla Motors chose Farmington for the station because it's a tourist destination and in the company's planned path for its cross-country route, Jones said.

He said the two new stations are part of Tesla Motors' mission to expand its supercharger stations nationally.

Currently, there are 44 stations in the country, according to the company's website. There are 18 down the West Coast, nine along the East Coast, 12 in the Midwest and five in Texas, according to the website.

But before 2014, the company plans to open a belt of almost 50 more stations that stretch coast to coast, according to its website. A Tesla car can travel 265 miles before it requires charging, Jones said.

"We're just excited because it's one more thing that puts us on the map," Hagerman said.

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and dschwartz@daily-times.com. Follow him @Dan_J_Schwartz on Twitter.