Local Business Owners Embrace Tesla
By Danny Garrett
Tesla’s the car of the future. Look no further than its Model 3.
First off, it’s electric, as all Teslas are. Due to climate change and the incessant depletion of the Earth’s fossil fuels, as time goes by, vehicles will need to rely more and more on alternative energy to power them.
Second, the Model 3 comes equipped with autopilot. The future of cars will mean more safety. With human error moving out of the picture, more cars — and certain highways, too, which will become fully autopilot and self-driving spaces — will run off machine computation.
Teslas aren’t omnipresent in Lake Charles. Souped-up F150s and Chevy Silverados still occupy most of the vehicular population in town. However, as Tesla continues to lower prices and charging stations become more prevalent — you may have seen a line of them in between Buffalo Wild Wings and the Sonic on Nelson Road — you’ll begin to see more Teslas on the road.
A few hometown business owners have already gotten a head start. Here are their stories.
Owner: Nick Fontenot
Type: 2017 Black Model S
Name of Tesla: Tessie
Nick Fontenot is the owner of Fix My Phone in Lake Charles. Tesla first caught his attention when he was on vacation in Houston; his company has a dealership at the Galleria. While there, a curious Fontenot took the Model S for a test drive in a neighborhood that’s in close proximity to the Galleria.
After the test drive, deliberation was unnecessary. Fontenot knew this was the right vehicle for him and his family. If he could, he would have driven the sedan right off the lot. He desired the Model S that badly.
Unfortunately, he had to wait a month for his new baby to be delivered. He could have had the car delivered straight to his home, but he wanted the Tesla as soon as possible; so he had it delivered to the Houston dealership, and picked it up there.
Once he had the Model S — dressed with a graphite black exterior and interior — he couldn’t get enough of his new toy. Fontenot’s a tech guru, as you can tell from his occupation. His technical prowess and curiosity are a perfect fit for the Tesla Model S.
The sedan’s essentially a computer on wheels, with a 17-inch touch screen display north of the console that’s equipped with the internet and voice command. These are Fontenot’s favorite technological features. As for the features that combine technical ingenuity, economic efficiency and safety, Fontenot would have to go with the Model S’s sensory and charging powers.
Fontenot and his wife are parents of four children. If they take a family trip to Grapevine, Texas, there’s no need for “range anxiety.” The Fontenot family can charge the Tesla wherever there’s an electrical outlet.
Aimless searching is never a factor. Tesla’s GPS system will find the nearest charging station for the car while on the road, and calculate, based on battery power, when it will need to be charged. Fontenot doesn’t worry; he has a dual charging system for his Tesla, which charges the car two times faster than a single system.
So, in case you’re one of those potential Tesla buyers worried about being stranded on the side of the road because you couldn’t find a charging station — don’t worry. You’ll be safe, which is why the Fontenot family will continue to be inside a Tesla.
It has a self-driving function. And it also has sensors that number in the double-figures that pick up direct or potential obstacles in the environment. With the Model S’s supreme computing power, it reads speed limit signs and informs the driver of them through the screen display.
Many more family trips are to come for the Fontenot family — as well as lone-wolf drives for Fontenot himself. No matter the specific number of Fontenots inside the car, the experience will always be one of supreme enjoyment.
Owner: Cory Cochran
Type: Silver Model S 75
Name of Tesla: Tessie.
(This is a popular name.)
Cory Cochran’s the owner of Line-a-Bed & Truck Accessories in Westlake. It’s a local truck accessory shop that specializes in bedliners, bedcovers, toolboxes and steps.
Based on his automotive occupation, it’s safe to assume that Cochran would find much to appreciate in his new silver Model S. He, too, discovered the beauty of Tesla craftsmanship in Texas. But his journey began in San Antonio and Dallas rather than Houston.
Where he purchased and picked up his Tesla was of little concern. Cochran’s an automotive enthusiast. He was ready to get behind the wheel and experience how the electric Leviathan could accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds.
Cochran has likened the Model S’s speed to those of a Corvette and Mustang, which places Tesla in good company.
The Westlake native is also impressed by his Tesla’s computational talents. He describes his car as being built by a “computer company.” He’s correct in his assessment. Tesla sends software updates to your car, as if it were a Microsoft PC or an Apple Mac.
Cochran hasn’t had any software issues with his car yet, but there was a physical problem with one of its doors popping out ever so slightly. Cochran didn’t need to take his Tesla to a local car shop, or drive two hours down the road to the Tesla dealership in Houston. Tesla mechanics came straight to him and corrected the issue then and there. This customer service par excellence is common practice for the company. To fix whatever’s ailing your vehicle, Tesla will come straight to your home or place of work.
Cochran likes to travel. He often takes his family on trips to Baton Rouge to cheer for LSU in Death Valley or dine at Acme Oyster House on Perkins. It’s a plus that he’s able to do so in a Tesla, which he describes as a beacon of safety and efficiency with its self-driving capabilities and GPS specifications.
It’s been a thing of beauty not to have to fill up at a gas station anymore.
Owner: Brandi Cox
Type: Pearl White Model S P85D
Name of Tesla: Badass
Brandi Cox is the owner of Mercy Manor in the Lake Area. She’s been a fan of Teslas for a long time. For years, she had waited for the long-talked-about Model X to hit the market.
Unlike the Model S, Tesla’s Model X is an SUV rather than a sedan. It has spacious seating for up to seven adults — and it’s quick. It can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. That’s fast for a car, let alone an SUV.
Stylistically, it boasts Falcon Wing doors and a panoramic windshield; it also has a lot of the same technology S does. However, the X didn’t meet its release date in 2014, and the date kept being pushed back. Cox could take no more, so she decided on the Tesla Model S P85D.
Like many other Tesla owners, she loves the speed. With its 221-hp electric motor in the front and 475-hp motor in the back, the car can go from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
The technology impresses her. She’s most amazed by the navigation system and the personalized radio setup, which she can access from the touchscreen in the car’s middle instrument panel. It’s about comfort, essentially. She jams to her favorite tunes on her personalized radio stations, and never feels as if she’s lost or stranded. Even if she’s deep somewhere in a Mexican valley, Tesla’s GPS system can pinpoint her location with accuracy.
Cox hasn’t had any physical problems with her car yet, but she has had one software issue. The Tesla team fixed the technical ailment from one of the company headquarters in Florida. No travel was needed.
Look Out For Tesla
Tesla’s here to stay. The company and its vehicles have too many appealing qualities. Chief among them is not having to pay for gas. When oil reserves start to really dwindle and gas prices rise exponentially, an electric car like a Tesla will be a safe bet.
The beautiful thing is, as a Tesla owner, you certainly won’t be missing out on speed, style and technological greatness. The Teslas on the market have all those qualities, and they’ll only get better in the future.