With a vehicle as potentially paradigm-shifting as the Model S, you've got to have the service to match. That's why Tesla Motors is rolling out what it calls a "transformed service experience." "Moving beyond automobile service of the past 100 years means bringing service to you in a new way," wrote Joost de Vries, vice president of global service, on the company's official blog.
Tesla will be nearly tripling the number of Tesla Service Centers so more customers have them close by. Since customers have reserved the Model S in advance, Tesla says it knows where the first 12,200 cars will be delivered. Based on the expansion map, over 90 percent of current Model S reservation holders in North America will be within 100 miles of a center, and more than 80 percent will be within 50 miles, de Vries writes. These service centers probably more like labs than what most car owners are used to seeing – the "floors are spotless and the air is free of exhaust."
If Model S owners can't make it to the service center, they can call the Tesla Rangers. The Rangers will visit an owners home or office and can provide any service offering that doesn't require a service lift.
During a scheduled annual inspection (or after 12,500 miles), a service technician will spend several hours conducting a full assessment of vehicle components including brakes, tires, suspension, steering, lighting, and safety components.
Tesla's service department will regularly receive updates on how the car is performing. If the diagnostics find a potential issue, it can alert Tesla's service team and a message may pop up on the instrument panel to alert the driver. The Model S has software designed to control this functionality, and many of its service interactions will be in the form of a software update using the car's Internet connection or a wifi network.
This connectivity means that service enhancements can be installed remotely. Tesla is working on updates that will include a speed warning that chimes, additional stereo system settings, and memory seat functionality. Some of these enhancements are coming through customer feedback. One example of drivers telling Tesla what they want of their car: the Model S will soon get an update that will allow forward 'creep' when you remove your foot from the brake. Tesla heard this feedback during the recent Get Amped tour.
So, what will all of this service cost the Model S owner? In North America, a one-year (or 12,500-mile) service plan costs $600 and covers annual inspection and all wear and tear parts, excluding tires. A pre-paid four-year service plan is available for $1,900 and includes four annual inspections up to 50,000 miles. Ranger visits cost a $100 flat fee per visit, and there is a combined plan that includes "Tesla Service and unlimited Ranger Service for four years or 50,000 miles for $2,400." Or, as it's know in Tesla costs, two High Power Wall Connectors.