Tesla expands self-serve test drives to destination chargers


Updated on:

Tesla is expanding its self-serve test drives without staff to destination charging locations around the US.

In the summer of 2021, Electrek exclusively reported that Tesla was implementing a new sales strategy. At the time, we reported that the main changes were that the automaker was moving away from high-rent locations in malls and shopping districts in favor of delivery centers and remote test drives.

The strategy is again focused on online sales, but Tesla has recognized that physical presence is still necessary to enable test drives.

When someone used to place an order for a Tesla vehicle online in North America, the customer was assigned a “Tesla Advisor” at their local store to help manage the process leading up to the delivery.

Instead, Tesla started to assign orders to “virtual sales advisors” not assigned to any specific stores, and customers could go to cheap remote test drive locations with Tesla vehicles in parking lots.

The company has been gradually implementing this new strategy in North America and expanded to Europe last year.

Tesla hosted locations in parking lots with a few cars that people could sign up to drive on Tesla’s website.

Now, Tesla has started to reach out to property owners who host Tesla Destination Chargers to offer them to also host test drive vehicles for self-serve demo drives.

The automaker will supply them with up to 4 vehicles, which Tesla will maintain.

In fact, the property owners basically don’t have anything to do as customers sign up through Tesla and they can unlock the vehicles themselves with the app.

Tesla has added “self-serve demo drives” locations on its “Find Us” page:

In exchange for hosting the Tesla test drive vehicles, destination charger hosts would get more traffic to their businesses.

Electrek’s Take

This is pretty smart of Tesla. Very 2020s. Many people don’t want to talk to anyone as part of a buying process. They do their own research. Now, they can do their own test drive.

If they decide to go through the purchase after taking the test drive, they can do it straight to the app. While a virtual advisor is going to be assigned, they could go through the whole process without having to interact directly with anyone.

It could be popular with the millennial crowd. At least for those who can afford Tesla vehicles.

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