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Tesla Model S grabs attention at involvement fair

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CSU-Pueblo students checking out the Tesla Model S at the Involvement Fair. Photo courtesy of Tyler Shomaker
CSU-Pueblo students checking out the Tesla Model S at the involvement fair. Photo courtesy of Tyler Shomaker

Joey Shaw, a Colorado State University-Pueblo graduate, returned to campus to show students the Tesla Model S at the Automotive Industry Management Booster Club booth during the involvement fair.

“It has no engine,” Shaw said to a passing student’s question. “It’s electric.”

Shaw graduated from CSU-Pueblo in May of 2013, and has been working for Tesla Motors since graduation, as an ownership adviser.

“I help educate people about the car, go to test drive events, get people excited about the car and help people with the ordering process,” Shaw said.

Shaw added that Tesla is releasing an SUV crossover built from the same platform as the Model S.

The Tesla Model S starts at about $69,000, according to Shaw, but the car he showed at the involvement fair is priced at $120,000. This Model S has the performance package, an 85-kilowatt battery and a performance inverter that can deliver 416 horsepower and 443 foot-per-pound of torque. The Model S also has a 50-50-weight distribution, according to teslamotors.com.

The Tesla Model S qualifies for a $7,500 tax deduction from the federal government as well as $6,000 from the Colorado government, Shaw said.

“Tesla Motors is the only manufacturer to not owe the government any money, and all the cars are manufactured in the United States,” Shaw added.

The Tesla Model S is marketed against luxury cars such as Audi and BMW in price and features. The performance model of the Tesla is priced to compete with such luxury brands, but competition is different because it is electric.

“If you drive 15,000 miles a year it will cost you a little under $300 a year in electricity.” Shaw said.

Shaw added that the car can be charged with normal 110-volt household outlet and it charges your car at the rate of 3 mph. On teslamotors.com, it says anyone who installs a 250-volt outlet can charge the car at a rate of 29 mph.

“At 250 volts the Model S will be charged in about 8 hours,” Shaw said.

The Model S also shows a 300-mile range in the city.

“We recommend that you change the radiator fluid at 100,000 miles,” Shaw said.

He added that the battery warranty is eight years, but the 60-kilowatt is 125,000 miles and the 85-kilowatt is unlimited miles.

“We (Tesla) expect them to last you 10-15 years and they cost around $10,000 dollars to replace,” Shaw said.

The booth was well received, as was the Tesla Model S.

“I call it the nighthawk, because it’s fast and extremely quiet,” said Anthony Scott, a senior automotive industry management major.

Scott said that before the Tesla, he did not like electric cars.

“Before this we only had the Prius and that was not all about torque,” Scott said.

Professor Bencini of the automotive industry management program said he enjoys how the car is able to sink you in your seat and be extremely safe.

“This is probably one of our best attention getters we have had for the AIM program,” Bencini said.