Tesla Motors, the electric car start up headed by PayPal and Space X billionaire Elon Musk, hopes to jump start interest in its vehicles by setting up free electric charging stations across Texas, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  Alexis Georgeson of Tesla Motors tells 1200 WOAI's Michael Board one of the biggest barriers to the widespread use of electric cars remains what San Antonians and former GM CEO Ed Whitacre calls 'range anxiety.'  People are afraid to venture too far from home in electric car due to a shortage of places to recharge their batteries.


  Georgeson says that's why Tesla Motors is installing the centers along busy Interstates like I-35 and I-10.


  "We put them along well traveled highways between major city centers where we find our customers want to go," she said.


  The first $70,000 Tesla charging station is being built along I-35 in San Marcos.  Georgeson says the plan is to have five more on highways between San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston by the end of this year.


  "Our owners are based in this area," she said.  "This will enable them to drive for free between all of those cities."


  While Whitacre's Chevy Volt and the all electric Nissan Leaf are sputtering, Tesla's Model S appears to be charging.


  The Model S has just received the highest safety rating every awarded to a car by Consumer Reports.  Tesla also plans to have an 'affordable' electric car on the roads within three years.


  But the new charging stations may be a true game changer, by reassuring drivers that it can drive between Texas' major cities by finding charging stations, and they can even drive for free.