Tesla could be coming to Temecula, bringing the sale of luxury electric vehicles near the 15 Freeway.

“Customers will have the opportunity to take vehicles out on test drives, purchase products, pick up their new Tesla and offer service repairs such as software updates, tire replacements and other miscellaneous repairs,” the city tweeted Wednesday, Nov. 18.

If approved, it would be the first Tesla in the Inland Empire, though there is one in the Riverside County desert in Palm Springs. The company, founded in 2003, has stores in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange counties.

Rather than following the traditional franchise dealership model, Tesla sells cars directly to customers. People can see the all-electric vehicles — ranging from roughly $36,000 for a base Model 3, to a little over $100,000 for a Model X, according to MotorTrend — in a showroom-like setting, take a test drive and order online.

The proposed 1.8-acre facility on Rancho Way is a short drive from the Temecula Valley Auto Mall along Ynez Road. It previously housed Temecula Auto Repair & Radiator, according to the city.

Luke Watson, Temecula’s director of community development, said Tesla filed in late August for a conditional-use permit for auto sales. A director’s hearing date to consider approval is set for Dec. 17, Watson said. Building permits have been issued, and the site is being inspected.

Tesla officials could not be reached for comment.

The facility would have about 20 employees in service, maintenance, office and sales. The site would also have four charging stations, according to the city.

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“Tesla’s plans to open a sales and service center in Temecula is a testament to the popularity of their high-performance, clean-energy vehicles and is very exciting news for our city and region,” Mayor Pro Tem Maryann Edwards said.

She said the center would be helpful for local Tesla owners, who now must drive to Carlsbad, Mission Viejo or Palm Springs for service.

Auto dealers currently generate 27% of Temecula’s sales tax revenue, City Manager Aaron Adams said.

Tesla’s opening date will be determined at the December hearing, Watson said.



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