Former Tesla Employees Launch 1st Used Electric Car Retailer

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Originally published on EVANNEX.

Salespeople in car dealerships tend to push buyers towards gas-powered cars. Electric vehicles, in contrast, typically get low priority. But two former Tesla employees are setting out to change that with a new concept for an auto retailer that, instead, is setting out to embrace electric cars.

According to the Daily Herald, “The red Tesla Roadster inside a newly established used-car dealer in Naperville [Illinois] is a showpiece and a symbol. At Current Automotive, the vibrant convertible illustrates the company’s exclusive focus on selling used electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.”

“We’ll never carry a gas vehicle,” says Current Automotive co-founder Seneca Giese, a former Tesla product specialist and head of certified pre-owned sales in North America. “It draws people to us, the specialty.” Inventory at Current Automotive includes electric and plug-in hybrids made by at least 15 different manufacturers.

Giese’s co-founder is Trip Jacobs, also a former Tesla employee. “Not only do we have it,” Jacobs says of cars like the Roadster, “but we know it and can speak about it intelligently.” He adds, “The market is definitely changing… We know these cars. And we can really help people make the right decision for themselves.”

Former Tesla employees Seneca Giese and Trip Jacobs discuss their plans with Current Automotive (Vimeo: Naperville News 17)

Creating fewer emissions is one advantage of electric vehicles, but efficiency, high mileage, and decreased reliance on gasoline are often selling points that really resonate with Current’s customers. “The environmental benefits are there,” Giese said, “if you care about it.”

The team at Current Automotive educates car buyers “on the differences in driving, powering and maintenance between electric and traditional vehicles … [Giese] even helped recommend an electrician for a prospective customer who ended up buying a new Tesla instead of one from Current’s pre-owned stock.”

Chicago Tribune also reported on the founders. “The real goal is to educate people,” Jacobs explains. “We want them to come to us if they have questions.” Giese adds, “The sales process for plug-in is totally different… [but] once you experience an electric car, it’s so amazing.”

One of their customers, Debbie, stands next to her Model 3 in front of the Current Automotive showroom. (Facebook: Current Automotive)

To that end, the founders may be tapping into a new (and possibly big) opportunity. “We want to position ourselves to represent the plug-in vehicles as they hit the secondary market,” Giese said.

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Matt Pressman

Matt is all about Tesla. He’s a TSLA investor, and he loves driving the family's Model 3, Model S, and Model X company cars. As co-founder of EVANNEX, a family business specializing in aftermarket Tesla accessories, he’s served as a contributor/editor of Electric Vehicle University (EVU) and the Owning Model S and Getting Ready for Model 3 books. He writes daily about Tesla and you can follow his work on the EVANNEX blog.

Matt Pressman has 332 posts and counting. See all posts by Matt Pressman