Tesla Motors has announced a mobile service program featuring house calls for customers in the United States and Canada. And you guessed it - they travel by internal combustion engine trucks.
These specialised technicians known as Tesla Mobile Service Rangers will visit owners’ homes, offices or parking garages fully equipped like para-medics to perform an array of procedures, including annual inspections and firmware upgrades. They can even diagnose problems remotely and make house calls so customers enjoy hassle-free service -- without trips to the dealership (which might incidentally be outside the Tesla's battery range anyway).
Customers will pay $1 per roundtrip mile from the nearest Tesla service centre, with a minimum charge of $100. For a customer in Portland, Oregon that would work out at about $350 plus parts and labor for mobile service from Tesla’s Seattle facility. The PR blurb says that 'Mobile service offers peace of mind – even for Roadster owners in Honolulu, Anchorage, Banff...' Sure, but I'd hate to imagine how much any of those round trips are going to cost.
As the only automaker selling highway-capable electric vehicles in North America or Europe, Tesla claims that it took a refreshingly "white sheet" approach to its service strategy. Instead of taking cues only from the auto industry, Tesla relied on customer feedback from some of its 700 owners and studied pioneering retailers such as Zappos.com, the computer repair service Geek Squad, and fresh-to-your-doorstep organic produce delivery services.
Haven't they heard of the Automobile Association or the RAC? I thought that was what those guys have been doing for yonks - our cherished 'knights of the road' who represent the 4th emergency service in the UK - so couldn't they just be trained up to include electric cars on their house call rota? They always seem able to fix any ICE car. Anyway, Tesla now plans to roll out mobile service in Europe and all markets where it sells cars. Just don't hold your breath.