Tag Archives: gas mileage

Electric Car Show-room Coming to UTC

Tesla is pulling into San Diego.

The luxury plug-in electric car maker has begun outfitting a showroom store at the Westfield UTC shopping center on La Jolla Village Drive.

A spokeswoman for the car maker declined to say how soon the University City store might open. A boarded-over storefront already bears the Tesla logo.

Like Tesla’s cars or not, U.S. taxpayers have a stake in the future of the Palo Alto-based upstart, whose ongoing expansion is backed by a Department of Energy loan.

The company recently reached an agreement with the federal government to delay payments on the $465 million loan, while issuing stock aimed at raising as much as $225 million.

Tesla still intends to repay the loan ahead of its 10-year schedule. Its stock offering ended early last week.

Tesla also cut its revenue target for the year, warning that it had fallen behind on production of its flagship sedan.

At existing dealerships, which look more like an upscale electronics store than a traditional auto sales outlet, most eyes are the all-aluminum bodied Model S sedan, Tesla’s entry into mass manufacturing and somewhat-competitive pricing.

The S sells for between $50,000 and $98,000 after a federal tax credit, depending on the battery size. California zero- emission vehicle rebates also apply.

The design of Tesla’s stores has been overseen by a company executive, George Blankenship, who helped create the Apple store experience.

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Electric Car Makers Looking to Seize Opportunity

To drivers, the high price of gasoline is a scourge. To the electric car industry, it could be a game-changer.

Nissan’s electric Leaf and the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid both hit dealer showrooms in late 2010, riding a wave of carefully cultivated hype. But first-year sales were lackluster at best, as consumers balked at the high sticker prices and unfamiliar engineering.

This year’s gas-price spike could change that.

Technology that looked like a gamble to many car buyers last year might look more like an insurance policy now.

“Every time it goes up, my phone rings a little more,” said Ron Coury, with the Northbay Nissan dealership in Petaluma. “It’s the ones who’ve been sitting back and watching, and now they’re sticking their feet in the water.”

Nissan and General Motors, which makes the Volt, have a chance to reset their marketing campaigns. Other companies introducing electric cars this year – including Ford, Mitsubishi, Coda Automotive and Tesla Motors – could benefit from the timing in a way that GM and Nissan couldn’t in 2010.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/24/BU771NOQ0U.DTL#ixzz1q9ae7IUQ

 
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