Tesla Motors Launches Mobile Service Squad

Tesla Rangers diagnose problems remotely and make house calls so customers enjoy hassle-free service -- without trips to the dealership., April 20, 2010

SAN CARLOS, Calif. -- Tesla Motors today announced a mobile service program featuring house calls for customers in the United States and Canada. Specialized technicians known as Tesla Mobile Service Rangers will visit owners’ homes, offices or parking garages equipped to perform an array of procedures, including annual inspections and firmware upgrades.

Customers pay $1 per roundtrip mile from the nearest Tesla service center, with a minimum charge of $100. For example, a customer in Portland, Ore., would pay about $350 plus parts and labor for mobile service from Tesla’s Seattle facility. Mobile service offers peace of mind – even for Roadster owners in Honolulu, Anchorage, Banff and other locations.

“Our customers told us that they wanted service that was convenient, clean and fast – and our ‘house call’ approach is just what the doctor ordered,” said Greg Zanghi, Tesla’s director of service operations. “Our strategy reflects Tesla’s goal to take an uncompromising approach to everything we do, and we hope our Rangers set a new standard for the industry.”

Tesla, the only automaker selling highway-capable electric vehicles in North America or Europe, took a "white sheet" approach to its service strategy. Instead of taking cues only from the auto industry, Tesla relied on customer feedback from some of its 700 owners and studied pioneering retailers such as Zappos.com, the computer repair service Geek Squad, and fresh-to-your-doorstep organic produce delivery services. Tesla plans to roll out mobile service in Europe and all markets where it sells cars.

Mobile Service Makes the Roadster Even More Convenient

Tesla customers say the highly acclaimed Roadster is already one of the most convenient cars they've ever owned. It consumes no gasoline and never requires a detour to a gas station. Owners simply charge the Roadster overnight from a conventional 120- or 240-volt outlet, and wake up to a full charge. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Roadster averages 244 miles per charge in mixed city and highway driving. Tesla owners can already upload data from their Roadster and have Tesla diagnose and remedy problems before ever looking at the car.

Additionally, the Roadster – faster than a Porsche 911 and twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius -- requires vastly less routine maintenance than conventional cars. It does not need regular oil changes or exhaust system work. Roadsters have fewer breakable moving parts, no spark plugs, pistons, hoses, belts or clutches to replace. Zero tailpipe emission means no smog checks. Tesla recommends a standard service and diagnostic inspection once a year or every 12,000 miles (whichever comes first) – and Rangers can perform it in the field.

Rangers are based out of Tesla’s regional showrooms and service centers in California’s Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, Seattle and New York. Stores will open soon in Chicago, Washington DC, Toronto and South Florida. Tesla plans to have at least 20 regional sales and service locations in the United States within roughly two years.

About Tesla Motors

Tesla sells cars online and has delivered more than 700 Roadsters to customers in North America and Europe. The company’s goal is to produce increasingly affordable cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EV technology. Tesla also sells patented power train components to other automakers, including the battery pack and charger for the electric Smart, built by German carmaker Daimler.

Tesla achieved overall corporate profitability in July, thanks to strong demand for the Roadster. The all-electric sports car is faster than Porsche 911 or Audi R8 yet is twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius. With an EPA-estimated range of nearly 250 miles per charge, it costs less than $5 to refuel. Roadsters qualify for numerous incentives, including a $7,500 US federal tax credit, sales tax waivers and credits in several states, and incentives throughout Europe.