Ahead of the Model 3's delivery rollout, Tesla has announced a worldwide expansion to its customer service with the addition of 100 service centers, 350 repair vans and 1,400 technicians to support the broadened operation.
The electric automaker based its expansion on a map of Model 3 reservation holders to identify where new service centers are most needed, the company said Tuesday. With up to 40 new repair lanes that do not require vehicle lifts, Tesla said the new centers will allow technicians to operate four times faster than traditional repair shops while using three times as less space.
Tesla owners can also receive support on the road. The expanded van fleet can meet drivers at home, work or out and about as long as the location is relatively accessible, the company said. Similar to the service centers' new lanes, Tesla vans typically don't require vehicle lifts to do repairs, which cost the same from the mobile fleet as they do in Tesla's stationary centers. The company is hopeful the vans will streamline the repair process and remove 80% of the volume from its service centers.
The key to Tesla's customer service expansion is the vehicles' internal technology, which allows owners to run diagnostics on their cars without ever stepping foot in a repair shop or needing a van to come assist them. Most issues — Tesla estimates bout 90% — can be identified and diagnosed remotely, giving repair shops time to order replacement parts in advance or let users schedule appointments straight from their vehicle's dashboard.
CEO Elon Musk on Sunday tweeted images of the very first production version of Tesla's new mass-market electric car, the Model 3, which is expected to start being delivered later this month.
At just $35,000 for the base edition, Musk is hoping the Model 3 can usher in a new era of mainstream electric vehicles — and the expansion of its customer service operations is a critical step in ensuring that that transition can happen smoothly.