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Tesla opens downtown Chicago charging station

Tesla Inc. opened a new electric charging station in Aqua Tower, 225 N. Columbus Dr., on Monday, part of nationwide effort to attract urban buyers who don't have a garage to charge in. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

NEW YORK — Tesla Inc. opened electric charging stations in downtown Chicago and in Boston on Monday, the beginning of an effort to attract urban buyers who don’t have a garage to charge in.

The Chicago station at 225 N. Columbus can charge 10 vehicles at a time, while the Boston station can charge eight.

A map on Tesla’s website shows urban stations planned for New York, Philadelphia, Washington and other cities before the end of this year.

The new stations take up less space and are easier to install than Tesla’s previous Supercharger stations, which are mostly along highways or at hotels. Tesla said it’s locating the stations near grocery stores and shopping areas, so owners can run errands while they charge.

The urban stations can deliver 72 kilowatts of power to each car, so it will take 45 to 50 minutes for most drivers to fully charge their vehicles. Tesla’s highway Superchargers deliver up to 120 kilowatts; they can charge up a car in 30 to 40 minutes.

The company began delivering the new Model 3 small car this summer. With a starting price of $35,000 — which is half the price of Tesla’s previous models — the Model 3 is expected to attract many more buyers to the brand.

Tesla said earlier this year that it planned to double its Supercharger network to 10,000 by the end of this year.