Tesla Factory Store Uses Diesel Generators to Recharge Slow-moving Model 3 Inventory

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber

Let’s say you manage one of the soon-to-be-closed Tesla factory-owned stores and, for whatever reason, you have dozens of brand new Model 3 EVs sitting unsold on your lot. What are you going to do if one of them has a discharged battery? As car dealers learned a long time ago in the gasoline era, batteries won’t keep a charge forever and cars sitting for a long time sometimes need a boost to their batteries.

That’s true whether it’s a conventional 12 volt lead-acid battery for an ICE-powered vehicle’s electrical system or it’s the lithium-ion battery pack that powers a EV. That’s why car dealerships for conventional vehicles have battery tenders, heavy duty chargers that can be wheeled around the lot to whichever car might have a dead starter battery.

Of course, to recharge an EV’s battery, you’re gonna need a bigger charger.

After Tesla recently announced that it’ll will be moving all sales online and stop selling cars at their factory owned showrooms, PlainSite.org, a website that bills itself as “the law in plain sight, and news too,” checked out a couple of factory stores in the San Francisco area. Both the San Francisco and Burlingame locations were open, for both sales and service, and PlainSite tweeted out photos of both stores.

At the Burlingame, CA Tesla showroom and service center, though, PlainSite noticed dozens of unsold Model 3s filling their lot. Considering hundreds of thousands of customers gave Tesla deposits on Model 3s and considering those people waited years for mass production of the Model 3 to begin, it’s surprising a factory store has that much inventory. Sure, traditional car dealers often have hundreds of unsold vehicles in stock, but those dealers aren’t selling what is probably the most anticipated new sedan in decades.

Even more embarrassing to Tesla would be it’s oh-so-green public image getting besmirched by the use of fossil fuels, and that’s exactly what happened. PlainSite’s reporter also noticed a Tesla store employee trying to charge some unsold Model 3s whose batteries apparently discharged while waiting for their forever home, only he wasn’t wheeling around a commercial 12V battery charger. He was jockeying cars to a couple of Tesla charging stations, still mounted on wooden pallets, each of them hooked up to its own dedicated 300 kVA diesel-powered generator sitting on its own flatbed trailer.

It’s not easy being green.

[Images: Aaron Greenspan/PlainSite, via Twitter]

Ronnie Schreiber
Ronnie Schreiber

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, the original 3D car site.

More by Ronnie Schreiber

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  • ThosEM ThosEM on Mar 17, 2019

    If you aren’t careful you’ll become t”he fake news about cars.” Those slow selling Model 3s are outselling every other comparable car by a wide margin.

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Mar 19, 2019

    Fake news? Tesla cars in general are not selling well! Why would dealers in California have rows of unsold 3s on their lot if Tesla where selling well? It would be interesting to find out the days on the lot! My guess is it maybe an over 200 day average!

  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.
  • ToolGuy Also on to-do list: Read the latest Steve S. fiction work on TTAC (May 20 Junkyard Find)
  • 1995 SC I'm likely in the minority, but I really liked the last Eldorado best. That and the STS.