Former Tesla Employees Open Used EV Dealership & Education Center

DEC 24 2018 BY EVANNEX 19


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 a dealership that, instead, is setting out to embrace electric cars.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Founder Seneca Giese sits next to a Tesla Roadster showcased inside Current Automotive’s used car dealership (Image: Naperville News 17)

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.”

Above: 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.”

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


Source: Daily HeraldChicago Tribune; Video: Naperville News 17

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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19 Comments on "Former Tesla Employees Open Used EV Dealership & Education Center"

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Well, I wish there was more dealerships like this one.
Wish them luck.

It’s a good idea, as people wanting to buy an EV are more likely to go to a place that specializes in them, vs the local Honda dealer who happens to have something in their used lot.

The simple act of keeping some charge in their EVs alone puts them above most dealerships. I hope they succeed and expand to more locations.

Great idea need better spokesperson

Checking them out now

Nice concept and hope to see more of it. I’m a bit concerned that they only showed Tesla vehicles, it reinforces the already existing public image in the US that the only EVs that count are Tesla. But Tesla cannot convert the global fleet on its own.

Also, the cheapest used car they have is >$26k. Reinforces yet another canard about EVs, namely that they are “toys for the rich”. I wonder whether they consider used Volts and Leafs beneath their level. This has nothing to do with range, b/c they show there an Audi with 16 miles EPA range.

I saw more than Teslas on their site. I am hoping they ship to Canada, I left them a message asking them.

Very cool! I would definitely go to a place like that. Sounds like a good franchise business model if it works. Open up a chain of these where ever they are needed.

Makes me wonder about used Tesla car “dealerships” in those states that are currently prohibitive towards Tesla direct sales.

Great forward thinking, will be very useful for all electrics!

“Current Automotive”: Nice name, love the double meaning! 🙂

I wish them luck. Most new businesses fail, so I hope this is an exception.

I’ve often been tempted to start a used EV dealership myself. Mentioned it to some people last year. But alas, never enough time in the day as it is.

I wonder if they will do a partnership with someone who is not too near but wants the inventory to help sell.

Platt auto group of Oregon only carries used EV’s.

I’ve bought two Leafs now from Platt Auto in Oregon. They had 64 Leafs in 2016 when I bought my first one. Totaled it and bought another this summer. They only had about 30 Leafs this time.

Glad to see EV focused dealers. But its definitely not the first. in Sidney British Columbia Canada has been a used ev dealership years. Not sure when, I first noticed them in 2014.

Very cool! Not the first ever though, as others have mentioned.
Autotalo Ampeeri has been selling used EVs ans plug-in hybrids in Finland for a little more than a year now.

Thanks for the well wishes everyone. To clarify a point, we say we are the “nation’s first online pre-owned electric and plug-in hybrid retailer.” Emphasis is being online focused, and purchasing / shipping to your door wherever you are in the country.

I wish them all the success. Tesla Motors has been unable to provide bare essential service in the used car segment. Used car buyers have reported trying experiences through Tesla’s process. People have had to wait multiple weeks to get the keys for a Tesla car that is on Tesla’s lot, but Tesla has been unable to manage the logistics to get the car to customers. Hopefully more dealerships like this will crop up to service the needs to customers without going through the Tesla motors buying process. It’s a good product, but the experience of buying a car from Tesla motors is hard to understand. Kudos guys, you found a problem and are solving it.