Originally published on CleanTechnica.
There is so much difference between Florida and California, and yet there is a common interest in automobiles, and especially one, in particular — the Tesla Model S, an all-electric automobile that is widely considered the best mass-market automobile in the world. Along with being a clean and fast status symbol, it is also the safest car ever tested in the United Staes. California backs up the state’s wish for clean air with the Charge Ahead program. Still, without such state standards, Florida is second to California in US Tesla Model S certified pre-owned (CPO) sales as well as new sales.
Florida seems transfixed in a daily siesta as far as getting up to pace with electric cars. I have tried to rent one and they are impossible to find here. The Sunshine State is also, ironically, behind on the use of solar power, but I’ll leave that for another day. However, as a state that adores the automobile, it is not entirely surprising to see the Model S selling so well here.
Trust me, I would take the tram any day of the week if I could find one. They are nowhere found in this part of the sometimes exceedingly hot Sunshine State, though. So, most of us feel compelled to turn to our cars. Out in public, practically all I see and smell is automobiles. So I am relieved and delighted that, according to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida is second only to California with the pioneering Model S, at least based on the CPO sales data and new-car data collected by Edmunds.com, a consumer car research firm. “Out of all 1,600 Tesla Model S used electric cars in the country, there are more owners in Florida than in any state except California.”
Tesla is more than a simple luxury car– it is a response of responsibility for future clean air and water. It is an electric car designed by a futuristic company that many did not take seriously at the start… and some still don’t take seriously (somehow). Many did not take its CEO and innovative business persona, the now iconic Elon Musk, seriously, either. But Tesla Motors sells its Model S new for $70,000 to more than $100,000, and it is selling very well. The CPO Teslas are also selling faster than they come in. Who is laughing now?
According to Tampa Bay Times, the Tesla CPO program website lists the cheapest used Model S in Florida at $65,700.
I am happy to say the Gulf side of Central Florida has two showrooms. One is in the highly urban area of the Tampa Bay region off US Highway 301 in Tampa. Another one is at the rather new suburb-turned-trendy-town-center for the well to do at the Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota. Very modern, not the old Florida experience. So it is fitting to offer the state-of-the-art technology of electric vehicles in the outer layers of what was not so long ago a sleepy little beach town on the Gulf.
Now a billionaire, Elon Musk is a Tesla founder who once slept in his office dreaming up Tesla and other ventures with his passion for cutting-edge business with a conscience. He cofounded PayPal, then went on to risk loss by reinvesting in Tesla Motors, as well as founding SpaceX.
Justine Griffin for Tampa Bay Times points out that the pre-owned market is new to Tesla, but this market offers the opportunity for Tesla Motors “to reach a new demographic of customers.” Griffin continues that around a quarter of new Model S buyers earn less than $100,000 a year (according to Edmunds.com data), following with 36% when this additionally includes buyers of used models. And the used Tesla buyers also “skew younger than new car buyers.”
“The used Model S data proves that with a more attainable price tag, there is demand for the vehicle from a more diverse customer set,” Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds.com director of industry analysis, said in a statement. “A wide-ranging buyer base is essential for a brand like Tesla that hopes to grow with mainstream shoppers. These findings offer encouragement for Tesla as it prepares to make its biggest move into the mass market with the upcoming Model 3.”
Griffin reports that “Edmunds.com examined registration data of all 1,600 Tesla Model S cars that have ever been sold in the pre-owned market in the US.”
Continuing, more numbers show that about 30% of the nation’s used Tesla Model S car sales are in California. A bit more than 11% are in Florida. For new Teslas, about 45% of the nation’s sales are in California, while Florida takes about 7.3%.
It is nice to hear positive news on electric cars in Florida. More on the interesting story of Tesla and Musk, compared recently to the Ford Model T and Henry Ford, comes from a previous CleanTechnica story, via EV Obsession and Bloomberg:
So, basically, it’s a “simple” story. Tesla’s target for producing 500,000 a year by 2020 matches what Ford reached 7 years after production of the Model T started. Tesla’s annual production and projected production from 2013–2016 is very similar to (but slightly higher than) Ford’s Model T production from 1909-1912. …
We shall see. If Tesla is able to hit its 2020 target, though, you can be damn sure you’ll see a lot more comparisons between Elon Musk and Henry Ford between now and 2020…
It’s an interesting time. Let’s just hope the electric car market grows fast in Florida, and elsewhere. We could all use the cleaner air and a stable climate.