As silent as one of its motors, a Tesla Motors store and service center opened in Las Vegas this year.
In June, the electric car manufacturer launched a service center at 6260 Badura Ave., near Jones Boulevard and the Las Vegas Beltway. In November a sales floor was added.
“We noticed a lot of people coming through the door when it was just a service center,” said Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson, who said public interest encouraged the company to offer sales.
Tesla is led by CEO Elon Musk, a co-founder of PayPal who also heads Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, a spacecraft development company responsible for the first privately funded liquid-fuel rocket to reach orbit.
Musk is the principal shareholder of SolarCity, a solar-panel installation and maintenance company, which opened a Las Vegas office in August.
Tesla has more than 50 stores and more than 50 service centers in North America, with a comparable number in Europe and a handful in Asia.
At the new location, customers can test drive the Model S sports sedan, place an order and take delivery in three weeks to three months, depending on the level of customization.
Georgeson said the store isn’t high-pressure; it’s all order-based, so there is no inventory to push.
In 2014, deliveries begin for the Model X, which Tesla representatives describe as “the best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan.” New orders placed will be delivered in 2015.
The Model S comes with two battery options, 60 or 85 kWh, which allow for ranges of 208 miles and 265 miles, respectively. Its base price is about $70,000.
The 60-kWh battery model achieves 302 horsepower and accelerates from zero to 60 in 5.9 seconds, with a top speed of 120. The 85-kWh battery has 362 horsepower and accelerates to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, with a top speed of 125 mph. The sport-tuned 85-kWh Model S has the same range as the 85-kWh-powered cars, but with an increased horsepower of 416 and a top speed of 130. It can reach 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
Charging times vary based on method. Public stations provide 22 miles of range per hour of charge, while 240-volt outlets provide 31 miles of range per hour of charge, and a supercharger allows for 300. A supercharger takes 20 to 30 minutes to provide a half-charge.
Tesla superchargers are placed along popular highways in North America and Europe. The United States has about 50. A Las Vegas location is planned for 2014, according to Tesla’s website.
Tesla stock suffered recently when two car fires were reported, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reaffirmed a 5-star safety rating, the organization’s highest mark, for the company’s 2014 models.
Stock shares rose 5 percent Dec. 24, the day the rating was reaffirmed.
Federal officials are still investigating the fires, but the German Federal Motor Transport Authority found no manufacturer defects.
“They were both very isolated incidents with high speeds and high impacts,” Georgeson said.
Contact reporter Kristy Totten at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3809. Follow her on Twitter @kristy_tea.