Replace the engine with a battery, the key with an app, and the console buttons with a central screen—Tesla’s apparent goal is to change the vehicle game, from the bottom up. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that buying a Tesla is different from the usual dealership experience as well.
The process is completed entirely online, exactly like any other online purchase. You select the desired model, customize your options, enter your contact information, and, just like that, you own a Tesla. The only hitch is you may have to drive a few hours to pick it up.
But worry not, electric-car lovers of New Orleans.
A Tesla service/delivery center is set to open on Tchoupitoulas Street, and it could the first of its kind on the Gulf Coast.
This long-time rumor was validated when Tesla added New Orleans as “coming soon” to the list of cities with facilities already. Permits have also been issued, and construction has already begun.
Details are sketchy, as the project has just started, but the facility will include a nearly 16,000-square-foot garage and a 30,000-square-foot warehouse with enough space for 70 vehicles.
This facility could mark a turning point in Tesla’s influence in the Gulf Coast. According to DMV data, nearly 450 Teslas are registered in Louisiana, a statistic that reaches well into the thousands in California. There are also half a dozen “superchargers” in our great state, the closest one to New Orleans being in Slidell.
With the opening of the New Orleans facility, we could expect to see those figures rise.
Tesla is also working to make the fully-electric car more accessible, with their latest Model 3 to enter production sometime soon. As of right now, the cheapest new Tesla available stands at $49,000, but options could drive that price over $70,000. The baseline price of the Model 3 will be $35,000.
Along with launching the Model 3, Tesla announced they would open 100 additional retail/delivery stations worldwide.
The New Orleans facility will also simplify maintenance. As you’d imagine, your local mechanic probably isn't very familiar with working on cars without, say, an engine. Without abundant service centers, Tesla drivers have had to rely on mobile maintenance, with authorized technicians servicing cars on site. These new facilities aim to change that.
So, if you’ve been pondering taking the plunge and buying a Tesla, it might suit you to wait for the service station. Although you’d still have to wait for your car to be shipped from California, it’d save you a drive all the way out to Texas.