EATON TWP — Dennis Radesic always has had an interest in alternative energy sources. Several years ago, he converted his farmhouse to be more energy-efficient with geothermal heating.
So when he learned that Tesla Motors was creating an all-electric car built from the ground up, he had to have it, even if it meant waiting four years.
On Friday, Radesic’s patience was rewarded when his new Tesla Model S vehicle — a car that will never require gasoline — arrived. Radesic said it was that feature that won him over.
“I have a really big problem with gas usage. The prices are just ridiculous,” he said.
Others may share Radesic’s sentiments.
Tesla Motors paid off a $451 million government loan nine years early from the sales of its $70,000, highly acclaimed electric car. The Tesla Motor S was rated Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year and Automobile Magazine’s 2013 Automobile of the Year.
A driver traveling at a speed of 55 mph can travel 206 to 265 miles on a Tesla Model S battery, according to the company’s website.
According to Motor Trend’s review of the vehicle, one of the most impressive features of the vehicle is its unique user interface — a giant touch screen in the center of the dashboard that controls everything from the steering, air conditioning and suspension.
Another unusual feature of the vehicle is that it has no engine. Instead, the Tesla Model S has an extra space for storage.
Radesic, who studied his new purchase Friday morning, admitted that he hadn’t figured out all of the features, and he jumped when the door handles moved by touch. Still, he was excited to take the car out for a ride, and he remarked on its smooth ride.
Although the vehicle was pricey, Radesic said he bought it to make a point. He said he believes the oil industries have made it hard on the consumer, with high gasoline prices and cars that aren’t much more fuel efficient than vehicles in the 1930s.
“I’m not into cars. I’m not into real fancy cars. That’s not why I bought this. I did it to make a point,” he said. “The technology for higher efficiency engines has been out there since the 1930s but none have been produced because big companies buy up the patents and then do nothing with them.”
Radesic said his switch to geothermal heating 12 years ago saved him money, and he believes the vehicle will do the same. Before, he was paying $600 a month to heat his home, not including his electric usage. After investing $14,000 in upgrades, his highest electric bill has been was $220.
“My geothermal system has six wells drilled down 140 feet and pull heat out of the ground. In the summer, it pulls heat out of the house and puts it back into the ground which gives me air conditioning,” he explained.
Radesic said he believes that the electric cars, like the Tesla Model S, will come down in price if consumers decide to invest in the new technology.
“Somebody’s got to get them on the road. Somebody’s got to pay the money to get the thing going,” he said.
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