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

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber
tesla factory store uses diesel generators to recharge slow moving model 3 inventory

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]

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2 of 98 comments
  • 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!

  • MrIcky Seems like a Mustang for Mustang fans to talk about with other Mustang fans. I just went to the Corvette configutor and built a 2LT Z51 for 79,540, a base 1LT is $65k. Both are arguably nicer, and certainly better performers than this. If a Mustang is going to play in that bracket it has to do something different to beef up the emotional appeal. The supercharger did that, the flat plane crank that revved to >8k (if they worked out the bugs) does that. A 'regular' Mustang V8 with some parts out of the Ford Catalogue doesn't seem to be worth the >60k range.
  • Kcflyer For anywhere over 60k I'm buying a C8 which will run rings around any mustang ever made. I'm a huge mustang fan but......sorry. Now show me a GT with the "good" manual discounted to 40 grand and we can talk.
  • Analoggrotto Somewhere out there a certain Obama couple is smiling.
  • EBFlex 80k is about $30k overpriced. But for some reason Ford thinks the garbage they produce is worth paying a premium for. And especially this thing. This reskinned Mustang is awful inside and out. There was a reason ford was hemorrhaging sales to the much older Challenger. The Mustang sucks. And this looks like it’s half Camaro. Yet another project done by the interns. But, at least it’s a real Mustang
  • EBFlex Ford historically gave their worst effort here in the states. Alan Mulally changed that, a bit, and gave us some world cars like the Kuga, Fiesta and Focus. But by the time they got here they were crap. Or we just would never get them at all.