Friday, October 17, 2014
Early Tesla Owners Protest Lack Of Support For New Features
In an example of how an electric car is not just a disposable, electronic device, a group of early owners and supporters of Telsa Motors electric vehicles are protesting a lack of an upgrade path for their cars. The owners--led by Los Angeles investor Richard Wolpert--are asking the car company to provide a retrofit of the new AutoPilot features into their existing vehicles.
According to the campaign Wolpert started on Change.org, Tesla is offering up the new AutoPilot features--including things like adaptive cruise control and automatic lane changes--to new, Model S owners, but not to owners of older Model S automobiles. The petition so far has the support of around 720 Tesla Owners. The lack of support has particularly irked people who ordered their Model S vehicles earlier this year, before the announcement of the new features, and only received delivery recently. The Model S has an MSRP of between $69,900 and $93,400 depending on options.
Wolpert helps run Los Angeles startup accelerator Amplify LA, and also is a Venture Advisor for Accel Partners, in addition to being a prolific angel investor in startups here. Wolpert explains, "Overall I am a fan of Tesla and want them to be successful I just think they have taken a bad misstep and need to take care of their loyal customer base."