Tesla Motors Opens Chicago Store

Tesla Motors, the only automaker producing highway-capable electric cars will celebrate the opening of its Chicago store on Thursday and offer test drives throughout the weekend of the world’s most exciting electric vehicle, the Tesla Roadster.

The City of Chicago, in collaboration with Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition and Gas Technology Institute, was a recipient of a US Department of Energy 2009 Clean Cities Petroleum Reduction Technologies grant [link]. The award aims to reduce vehicle emissions, displace 3.08 million gasoline gallon equivalents of petroleum every year, deploy 554 alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles and install 149 alternative-fuel fueling and electric vehicle charging stations throughout the Chicago region.

“With over 50 Roadster owners in the area, Chicago is an important market and strategic base for Tesla,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

US Roadster customers get a $7,500 federal tax credit and the Illinois Alternate Fuels Rebate Program provides a rebate of $4,000.

Tesla’s Chicago store, located at 1053 W Grand Ave., is also the newest regional hub for Tesla’s pioneering mobile service squad. Professional technicians known as Tesla Rangers will travel to customers’ homes and perform annual inspections, firmware upgrades and other services. Tesla uniquely offers “house calls” so all customers can enjoy service from their home or office.

Tesla’s house-call approach is an innovative initiative to give customers peace of mind – whether they live in Chicago, Indianapolis or Iowa City. The Chicago facility will be the service hub for customers throughout Illinois and the Midwestern United States.

The Roadster Sport, with an acceleration of 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, consumes no gasoline. Owners simply charge the Roadster overnight and wake up to the equivalent of a full tank – roughly 240 miles of driving. The Roadster requires less routine maintenance than conventional cars. It does not need regular oil changes or exhaust system work. Roadsters have no spark plugs, pistons, hoses, belts or clutches to replace. Zero tailpipe emission means no smog checks.

Tesla’s goal is to produce increasingly affordable cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla sells cars online and has delivered nearly 900 Roadsters to customers in North America and Europe. In addition to South Florida, Tesla has showrooms in California’s Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Boulder, South Florida, London Munich and Monaco.

Tesla Motors will partner with Japan’s Panasonic Corp (6752.T) for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries.

The Tesla Roadster is faster than many sports cars yet more efficient than a Hybrid. With an EPA-estimated range of 244 miles per charge, it costs less than $5 to charge.