CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - A new luxury car brand has opened it's doors in the Coachella Valley. Telsa Motors officially cut the ribbon Friday for it's new service and sales center in the Cathedral City Auto Mall. It's adding over a dozen jobs, but also adding a new way of looking at cars.
Luxury car dealers are nothing new to the desert, but an all electric one is. Tesla Motors is offering the longest range no gas vehicle on the market. Now with place to order and maintain one here locally. it's certainly getting noticed.
"It's something you can take to a restaurant or any shopping experience with anybody and not be embarrassed by a strange looking little car," said Tom Winstrom, a potential buyer.
Strange looking, this sedan is not. Tesla Motors designed this car to be sleek, and chic, but unlike other luxury cars offered in the desert,this one has no engine.
"It runs on pure electricity," said Telsa southwest region general manager Jeremy Snyder.
It much like a golf cart except this electric car has horsepower that you won't see on any sidewalk.
"Model S is Tesla's flagship vehicle, all electric, 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds," said Snyder.
It drives just like any other high-end vehicle. It goes 265 miles on a single charge.
"You get home you plug it in, just like you would with your cell phone. You wake up in the morning with a full charge everyday, you never have to think, 'Oh I need to stop for gas.' You fill up at home," said Snyder.
An advantage for desert homeowners with solar power.
"I can't imagine this is going to cost more than to keep my refrigerator running.," said potential buyer Richard Scrima.
It's about one tenth the cost of gasoline. However, just like with a gas powered car, things like speed, traffic, and air conditioning will affect your mileage. It takes about a 6 hours for a full charge or you can stop at a Tesla Supercharge Station for a 150 mile boost.
"From Palm Springs to Las Vegas you can stop in Barstow grab a coffee and a sandwich and be on your way to Vegas in 20 minutes later," said Snyder.
As far as the summer heat, Snyder told us it's no problem for the climate controlled battery.
This car not for everyone, the base model starts at $69,000 and goes up to well over $100,000. It's a cost many in the Valley are willing to pay.
"I would rather pay $85,000 for this than a gasoline car for $85,000," said Scrima.
"I think it's worth a try," said Winstrom.
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