With Tesla Motors recently unveiling the affordably priced Model 3 – to much critical acclaim and unprecedented sales figures for an electric vehicle (now approaching 400,000 units valued at $14 billion) – it’s clear our long-awaited and long-predicted “electric future” has finally arrived. And for one particular Tesla dealership in Northern California, that opportunity includes a variety of sustainable transportation options, including the Surface 604 Boar E350 electric assist fat bike.
As one employee (we’ll call him “Gavin”) at that dealership told us: “I’ve always been fascinated with disruptive technologies that will facilitate our shift from fossil fuels.” After some online research, Gavin initially brought a Boosted electric skateboard into their showroom, but – with its high speeds and long wheel base – found it was too difficult for his patrons to master without a substantial time investment, and some were even getting minor scrapes and bruises during that learning process.
At that point, Gavin shifted his sights to a mode of transportation he expected most would be able to pick up instantly: “I landed on the Surface 604 website, and thought the Boar would really resonate with our customers,” he explains. Gavin immediately ordered the bike online, and decided to locate it in their bustling Service Department. “On the day the bike arrived, it attracted such a crowd that we had to shut the department down for almost an hour,” he recalls with a chuckle.
For the past twelve months, the service team in Gavin’s dealership has made the Boar E350 available to any of their customers waiting to have their automobile serviced. “It has been tremendously successful,” states Gavin unequivocally, “People just love it. Rather than sit down and read a magazine for a couple of hours, they will take the bike for a spin. As a result, they are getting outside and doing something active, and almost always return to the dealership with a smile on their face.”
On occasion, Gavin and the crew at Tesla will even permit some of their customers to borrow the Boar E350 for a night or two. This then allows them to take the bike home and show it off to their families and colleagues, to attempt cycling to and from their place of work (often for the very first time), or even take a recreational ride on some of the spectacular foothills, mountain bike trails, and beaches in the area.
For those trips in more rural surroundings, the combination of electric car and electric bike is especially enticing. Tesla offers an optional roof rack system that allows you to haul a pair of bicycles, opening up an entire world of possibilities. Imagine, for a moment, driving out to your favourite bike trail, spending several hours exploring it, and then returning home without burning an ounce of fossil fuel.
Gavin recalls one particular family on whom the Boar E350 had an immediate impact: “They took the bike home in the trunk of their Tesla, brought it back to the dealership the very next day, and then went home and ordered three!” he exclaims, rather proudly. And for Gavin, building that path to an “electric future” is what’s most important: “If that means those children are going to bike to and from school every day instead of being driven by their parents, then that’s a win for me.”
It is this rare philosophy of cooperation and innovation that has made Tesla a global leader in sustainable transportation. Let’s not forget, this was the company that made all of its patents available online, even to competitors, in the spirit of the open source movement, and the task of solving society’s greatest challenges together. We’re excited to play a significant part in that solution, and continue to introduce new people to the world of cycling, whether for transportation or for recreation.
“A co-founder of Modacity, a multi-service communications and marketing firm focused on inspiring healthier, happier, simpler forms of urban mobility through words, photography and film”