Tesla’s New Orleans service center may soon be here. Right now, it’s in “coming soon” mode on the Tesla website. Back in 2018, The Times-Picayune first reported that Tesla would be opening a service center in New Orleans. Tesla is renovating an existing warehouse lot on Tchoupitoulas Street to provide space for new vehicles ready for delivery. In plans Tesla filed with the city, the center will perform maintenance and repair services for Tesla vehicles and be a delivery point for new vehicle orders.
By the end of September of 2018, a few members of the Tesla Motors Club (TMC) forum were saying that the building was painted but there seemed to be no more progress after that. In fact, it has been over a year since the plans for the service center were announced. In the meantime, Tesla owners in Louisiana have had to go to Dallas or Houston, depending on what part of the state they reside in, for service and deliveries.
Please open the one in New Orleans! I'm right tin the middle of service centers making me drive 5+ hours any direction to get to one
— Justin 🇺🇸 (@VirtuousMoose) May 7, 2019
Although things may seem a little slow, there is good news.
I got to meet quite a few people at the Abita Springs National Drive Day the other day, and one of them was a friendly Tesla Ranger who services pretty much the whole state. He’s driven from Lake Charles to Shreveport servicing Tesla owners and helping them solve whatever issues they are having.
I asked him for an update and he told me, “I believe the last thing they are waiting on is the certificate of occupancy from the city.”
A user on Reddit, Taveanator, posted this screenshot below showing that Tesla is hiring for the New Orleans service center. The post is just two weeks old. The positions were posted in July of 2019 and August of 2019.
Even though Tesla is banned from selling directly in Louisiana, there is hope. People are excited about Tesla and electric vehicles, and those who own a Tesla vehicle or Tesla stock (or both) are very passionate about Tesla and this catches on like wildfire. I’ve had several conversations with people who excitedly say, “Yes, I know what a Tesla is!” and go on about how cool the car is.
When I tell them about the $39,000 Model 3, they get even more excited, as they realize that, yes, a Tesla can be a car for an ordinary person.
Tesla New Orleans Service Center now has hours posted!!! Photos by Ryan Pasternak. pic.twitter.com/VAsJf3Y9L2
— Getting Stoned 💎 (@JohnnaCrider1) September 30, 2019
Another sign that people are warming up to Tesla here in Louisiana is that, even though he signed the bill into law banning Tesla sales, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards passed on that he had a great first experience in a Tesla Model X and has heaped praise on the car and company. He was attending a classic car show for National Nite Out that Karen Rudisill, owner of that Model X, was invited to. “I showed him the Atari games to play while sitting at the Supercharger. … He thought the falcon-wing doors were cool.” Karen said.
Louisiana may seem unfriendly towards the idea of Tesla and be adept at blocking direct sales, but where there is a will, there is a way, and many people who I’ve met in the state have a positive take on Tesla. They know Tesla produces electric vehicles that are cool. Friends often take photos of Teslas in traffic and send them to me because they know I am a fan and shareholder and plan to own one.
Opening the service center in New Orleans will definitely help Louisiana residents when it comes to taking delivery — well, will help South Louisiana residents at least. North Louisiana residents may find it easier to travel to Dallas since it’s closer to Shreveport than New Orleans.
Tesla will also, as you can see from the screenshot, provide jobs. As Louisiana opens up to Tesla and the EV transition, it will create more jobs for its citizens. Why shouldn’t it do that?