Clean energy giant Tesla has its fingerprints on projects all over the globe, and even outer space.
Now the American company has its sights set on Tūrangi.
Tesla has approached the Tūrangi-Tongariro Community Board with a proposal to establish an electric vehicle (EV) charging station near the town centre under a licence to occupy.
Tesla approached council officers in July requesting to install six charging stations and associated hardware in either the western or eastern carpark adjacent to the Tūrangi town centre.
It then came up with three options which were presented to the community board in a report on November 3, leaving the board members to decide which option best suited the town.
Any decision will be subject to further consultation with Ngāti Turangitukua.
The report, presented by Taupō District Council transport engineer Jacob Kuchlein, said there are no public Tesla charge stations between Taupō and Mangaweka, so the addition of six bays in Tūrangi would provide further reason for commuters to stop in the Tūrangi town centre.
"Although Tesla Superchargers are currently only available to vehicles manufactured by Tesla, Tesla's CEO has recently announced they will be opening up the Supercharger network to vehicles of other manufacturers," the report said.
Proposal one would see a licence issued to occupy six parking bays in the eastern carpark along with the adjoining traffic island.
The site would use the traffic island for the supporting cabinets and the six parking spaces for vehicle charging.
Tesla advised this option would require the removal of the existing Banksia tree from the island for the installation of hardware.
Proposal two would occupy eight parking bays in the eastern car park, two for the supporting cabinets, protected by bollards, and six for vehicle charging. This would avoid any tree removal.
Proposal three relates to six parking bays in the western carpark along with an area of the adjoining berm.
This option would use the berm area for the supporting cabinets and the six parking spaces for vehicle charging.
Tesla has acknowledged that regardless of which site is preferred, it is likely they will be required to upgrade existing electricity transmission infrastructure and have budgeted accordingly.
Tūrangi-Tongariro Community Board members discussed the different proposals at their meeting on November 1.
Taupō District councillor John Mack, who sits on the community board, questioned whether six EV charging bays were too many and whether the board could request "more aesthetically pleasing" charging stations.
"I don't really think we need six," he said.
"I suppose like everything, it's tourism in theory. If we have six of these things and you're a Tesla driver, it's 55km to Taupō, you're going to stop in Tūrangi.
"However, if they get here and they are all being used, they're going to carry on driving and never come back. Six is obviously over the top, although times are changing.
"I suppose what I would also ask is whether there is a way we can make them sympathetic to the environment. They are pretty ugly looking things and I think if we are going to do it that should be a stipulation."
The board members agreed the western carpark was the best option for a charging station as it had better lighting and would therefore be safer.
However, board member Te Takinga New raised concerns about regular parks being made unavailable to Tūrangi locals.
"As a community user, I would want these to go in car parks that aren't used the most. If we went with the western bay, that's where our community park to go to the Tavern, New World, the bank. Those carparks are key so I'd rather them closer to the police station or the middle carpark.
"Carparks in prime positions should be given to community users rather than Tesla users."
George O'Connor Patena agreed the best parks should be left for local users and that six chargers were a lot for one space.
Councillor Tangonui Kingi suggested going back to Tesla and asking for no more than four chargers being installed.
"I do see Teslas around now but I wonder if it's a stage thing - if we go for two or four and see how it goes. That might be a bit more palatable."
In the end, the community board voted to go back to Tesla asking whether four chargers, rather than six, were feasible, whether they could be made more aesthetically pleasing and if the western carpark could be used but utilising parking bays further along towards the police station.