Elon Musk’s Tesla company has applied to Kings County to build a 40-car supercharging station along I-5 in Kettleman City. The solar-powered station would be reconstructed in a former Burger King in town. The development would be larger than the existing charging station at Harris Ranch - the only other along this long stretch of Interstate 5.

Tesla owners could access the station and lounge 24/7 for a 30-minute recharge of their electric cars. Additional recharging capacity may be needed with a new lower cost Tesla being made this year that could boost the number of the company's cars on the road.

The new Model 3, rolling off the production line in California this month, will go 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds. The car has a 215+mile range. Kettleman City is 170 miles from LA and 215 miles from SF.

Tesla says owners will have to pay for supercharging the $35,000 Model 3. Model S owners get it for free.

Jobless rate climbs from May

The unemployment rate in the Kings County was 9.2 percent in June 2017, up from a revised 7.7 percent in May 2017, and below the year-ago estimate of 9.9 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 4.9 percent for California and 4.5 percent for the nation during the same period.

The increase in jobless numbers in June in the county was completely due to fewer farm jobs than May but with 200 more non-farm, manufacturing jobs. Year-over-year, Kings had 400 fewer farm jobs but 500 more non-farm jobs.

John Lindt is an independent business reporter. He can be reached at sierra2thesea@gmail.com

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