By Bill Dragon
Tesla Motors, the California-based maker of the Model-S electric car, opened its first Indiana store at the Fashion Mall at Keystone at the Crossing on Dec. 13.
Unlike traditional automotive dealerships, Tesla stores invite customers to learn about electric driving with enticing visuals, interactive displays and a design studio where customers can create their own Tesla.
And, yes, the car is also available for test drives.
“This store is not your traditional dealership. This is not a high-pressure sales environment. You can’t buy a car today and drive off with a Tesla. We don’t keep any inventory here,” said Alexis Georgeson of Tesla. While orders can be placed in the store, each car is built to order at Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Freemont, Calif.
“Each customer has the ability to customize their car to fit their lifestyle. Delivery can take three weeks to three months,” she said.
The model-S starts at $62,400 and comes equipped with a 60 kwh battery pack that will drive an EPA-rated 208 miles on a single charge. For $10,000 more, you can step up to the 85 kwh battery pack, good for 265 miles on a single charge. Additional options can put the final price at about $80,000.
“We recommend that owners install a 240V outlet (like an outlet used for a clothes dryer) in the garage, which allows for a full recharge in an eight-hour period,” Georgeson said.
Recharging is usually done overnight at home. However, Tesla said it is placing power booster stations around the country – at their own expense – that will recharge an additional 120 miles in about 20 minutes. And, of course, there are the additional recharging stations springing up around the country.
There are currently existing recharging stations in Carmel at Clay Terrace and downtown on West Main Street. Another 27 are located within a 25 mile radius of Carmel.
The Tesla Model-S has a slick, impressive design. Test driving for the first time, most people will be amazed by its responsive, rocket-like acceleration ability to go from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds.
For more information visit www.teslamotors.com/keystone