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Thanks to Tesla Chicago Sales Advisor Mike Snow for extending the offer to take a Model S ride the next time we were in Chicago. Also a big thank you for putting up with the back and forth emails – which he promptly responded to. I didn’t get to the store the first time we headed back to the area. But we did get there on our second visit last week.
I was aware that Mike would not be working the evening we wanted to stop by. He assured me that he would give a heads up to those who would be. The memo must have gotten lost in the mix somewhere. But no worries it all worked out smoothly.
Evan O’Donnell the Assistant Store Manager for Tesla Motors Skokie was working that evening at the downtown Chicago store / service center. After a slightly awkward explanation as to why we were there and my girlfriend making sure he knew we were cash poor and wouldn’t be buyers – he was still kind enough to give us a ride.
This was my third visit to this Tesla store. I was there in 2010 for the grand opening event. We’ve been there twice this year. Each time everyone has been very welcoming.
As I was in the process of trying to get a much clearer video of the vehicle price and information sticker – I was alerted to the fact that we were ready to go. So I still don’t have a decent video shot of that. I wasn’t going to hold up the ride process. It was late in the evening and I didn’t want to take up to much of anyone’s time.
We loaded into the car in same place out front where I took my Tesla Roadster ride in 2010. I had a hard time getting my video camera to focus inside the Model S. So when we got our first power acceleration experience I didn’t get it recorded.
Evan made mention of the Roadster’s acceleration. Honestly I think the acceleration “jolt” is more noticeable in the Model S. Granted I wasn’t fully settled and ready for the first “hyper jump” in the S. In both cars you are easily aware of how much power is available.
Several competing electric cars were discussed. Tesla Motors has always stated the most important thing is the adoption of electric cars. Of course they would prefer consumers do so by purchasing their brand. But Tesla is fully aware that right now not everyone has the ability to afford their superior vehicle.
Everyone who has purchased a Tesla Roadster, Model S or stock is helping Tesla Motors to achieve the goal of producing a car priced at a point where a good majority of the public can afford to purchase it.
Other electric cars are well built and will provide their owners with a great experience. But these cars aren’t a Tesla – which takes the EV experience to a whole different level. Keep in mind even in a Nissan LEAF which has much slower acceleration – it is easy to break the speed limit without noticing.
Illuminati Motor Works the Central Illinois Automotive X Prize competitors got a mention in our conversation – when the topic of regenerative braking came up.
The fact that we are stockholders was discussed.
Evan O’Donnell was kind enough to drop us off at our hotel – Crowne Plaza Metro Chicago – which isn’t all that far away from the downtown Tesla store / service center. What really surprised me is no one really gave the car a second glance. You’d think pulling up in a very nice looking almost completely silent car would turn a few heads. I guess those who visit Chicago are immune to this. Earlier in the day when a Tesla Model S owner was parked next door at the Greektown Walgreens – several people definitely gave the car a look.
In some ways this shows that electric powered cars aren’t really that noticeable versus gas powered. They don’t look that different – they only have a different power source. Since they don’t look different this should help the continued adoption of electric cars. But in some ways you want people to notice so they ask questions and maybe get curious about buying one themselves.
It also would have been nice to get noticed pulling up in such a highend car. Definitely not every day I get to exit out of such a sweet ride. It’s definitely easier to get out of a Model S versus the Roadster.
I’ve skipped my usual EV rants and raves. But it should be kept in mind the Tesla Model S is Made in the USA in a factory that was shutdown before they reopened it ( former New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, California now known as Tesla Factory ). The Model S has 55% United States and Canadian parts. American workers that may have not had jobs in that region are employed making an American product.
Keep in mind that as far as I’m aware all electric cars on the road in the United States except for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and plug-in hybrid Prius are Made in the USA.
Two of the most popular EV’s the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF are both produced here. Nissan built a factory just for LEAF manufacturing in Smyrna, Tennessee. The electric motor and batteries for the LEAF are also produced in the USA.
The point being that when you purchase an electric car in many cases you are buying American and supporting American jobs!!
The BMW i3 mentioned in the video will be manufactured in Leipzig, Germany. The Tesla Model X which looks slightly similar will be built here in the USA ( Fremont, California ). Might be worth keeping in mind when considering how to spend your car purchasing dollars.
The “rumor” that a few Model Ss should be roaming around Springfield Illinois was again not denied. I have yet to find these hidden gems in our area. I have made it my mission to record as many local electric cars as possible – I’ve done a fairly decent job at doing so. It took me a good amount of time to find the local i-MiEVs. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton from the Chicago area supposedly drives his Model S to the Illinois State Capitol here in Springfield, Illinois.
Disclaimer – I am a very minor Tesla Motors stock owner. Unfortunately I didn’t have near the amount of money I wanted to invest in this company. But I do own a few shares.
These articles – some with video others with pictures feature a couple of the electric vehicles mentioned above.
Look at how far electric car technology has come.
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