Vehicles

Tesla Model S Arrives In Southern California Limo Fleet

Posted on March 20, 2013

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Matt Strack, CEO of Strack Transportation, a chauffeured transportation service with offices in Orange County and Los Angeles, took delivery of a Tesla Model S all-electric luxury sedan last Saturday.

“I want to be an innovator in the industry,” said Strack, whose fleet now totals 15 vehicles. “I think electric cars are on the forefront of technology, and [the Tesla Model S] is the most technologically advanced car on the road.”

More profitable

Strack’s Model S is black on black with standard rims and comes equipped with active ride suspension and the large 85-kilowatt battery offering a range of about 260 miles.

Patrick Cooney, Vice President of Operations for Philip Wockner International in Los Angeles, tries out the Tesla Model S sedan bought by Southern California operator Matt Strack of Strack Transportation, based in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Patrick Cooney, Vice President of Operations for Philip Wockner International in Los Angeles, tries out the Tesla Model S sedan bought by Southern California operator Matt Strack of Strack Transportation, based in Costa Mesa, Calif.

“I got the high-powered wall charger, which would recoup the 260-mile range in four to five hours,” he said. “Hawthorne airport, which is about two miles from [Los Angeles International Airport], has a supercharging station, so in a little over an hour I can charge and get the full range back. And with the 85-kilowatt battery, I have an unlimited mileage warranty on the battery for eight years, and that’s key.”

The supercharging stations are 100% free to use on the two larger batteries, but not the smallest one, Strack said. By eliminating fuel costs completely, he believes the vehicle will be more profitable in the long run.

“I believe this car will last longer than most cars,” he said. “The margins in our industry are getting smaller and smaller, and with the Tesla being all-electric, I eliminate the fuel costs that vary on a daily basis. If we can run all-electric fleets five to 10 years from now, without range anxiety, it’s only going to improve our efficiencies. Who knows how expensive gas will be in a few years?”

The Model S will receive maintenance from Tesla every 12,000 miles and will repair or replace any problems they find.

Strack paid $90,000 for the car, but believes he will break even in three to four years just on fuel savings alone. He also has struck up an agreement with San Francisco-based Angel Worldwide Transportation, which also took delivery recently of a Tesla Model S, to be able to provide the vehicle in Northern and Southern California.

Strack Transportation’s Model S already has two bookings, one from a bride-to-be who wants it for her wedding, and one from Tesla, who wants Strack to pick up one of their clients and deliver him to the dealership to receive his own Tesla Model S.

Less legroom, silver lining
The limiting factor is the space in the backseat, Strack said, which he compared to the legroom the Cadillac XTS and Chrysler 300 sedans.

“The Town Car is no longer available and every car on the market has legroom or headroom issues,” he said. “Here’s a car with the same issues, but it’s 100% electric. And it has no engine, so there are two trunks, which offer enough room for luggage.”

Strack already has taken several people out to test the Model S and has received extremely positive response on the comfort, quietness and in-vehicle technology.

Strack Transportation will base the sedan out of its Los Angeles office because that market is more eco-minded and technologically advanced, particularly Santa Monica, which is known as “Silicon Beach.” He will market his vehicle through his blog, social media and local advertising on Patch.com.

Here is a video of Matt Strack of Strack Transportation test driving a Model S several weeks before receiving his own.

If the video above does not play, please watch it here: Strack Tesla Model S Drive

— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

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