I ran across a classic Montana story I just had to pass along.

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KTVQ in Billings tells a story of a Tesla owner in Ekalaka.  It's pure Montana gold.


It All Happened Innocently Enough

Chad Lauterbach, a nationally known taxidermist, headed to Ekalaka to volunteer for the Dinosaur Festival.

He an his girlfriend decided that this year, they'd take their electric Tesla instead of his '89 Toyota Landcruiser that gets 10 miles a gallon.  After all, they weren't doing any real outdoorsy stuff that would require a rig, just volunteering at the museum.

One Tiny Problem

Mr. Lauterbach and his girlfriend couldn't find a charging station anywhere NEAR Ekalaka.  Lauterbach said that from Gillette, Wyoming on, his car kept warning him he was headed toward a charging station desert.

They figured if they couldn't find a proper charging station, they could inquire about charging it at a home, but that method can take days to fully charge an electric vehicle.

Then, He Saw It, Like Magic

Then suddenly, out of the blue, they spotted an RV type outlet on a utility pole that would charge the car and it was unlocked.  They couldn't believe their luck.

His girlfriend warned that he needed to go around and find out who to talk to for permission to use the plug, especially since she didn't want to get the "California" reputation in Ekalaka.  Lauterbach told his girlfriend he had already spoken to a guy at the museum.  Besides, they'd be easy to find if there was a problem.  He was able to charge his Tesla and all seemed well at the Dinosaur Festival.


That Wasn't The End Of It

Lauterbach brought his car back to the pole to recharge the vehicle only to find the outlet's power had been cut off.  A man drove by and told him to take a look at the newspaper.

Lauterbach Became Big News In A Small Town

He found a The Ekalaka Eagle, and saw his car, front page with a headline that said "Borrowed Volts".

As soon as Lauterbach saw the article, his girlfriend headed for the utility office and said, “here to pay for the crimes of the UEV”.  She was met with laughter, and they even told her not to worry about it.  In the end, the couple ponied up 60 bucks to cover the electricity.  She remarked how amazing it was to have an "I told you so" on the front page of the paper.

I bet they bring the Toyota next time.

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