A month or so ago, the Iowa Department of Transportation stepped in to prevent Tesla Motors not only from selling the Model S in the state, but even from offering test drives. That move didn't sit right with some people, but it's not stopping the EV-curious in Iowa from learning about the popular electric vehicle thanks to Tesla's dedicated fan base.
A small number of Minnesota Tesla owners drove to Urbandale, Iowa this past weekend for a mini-EV meet-up in a strip mall parking lot. The event included test drives, a number of converted EVs (some the work of Nabil Hanke's Electric Dream Machine shop) and lots of explaining what a 'frunk' is. As a Model S owner identified only as Jason told local TV station KCCI, "This isn't us fighting anything. I think everyone here understands that this is really about sharing new technology." You can watch a video report over at KCCI 8 News.
It's easy to see why Tesla owners love their cars and the brand as a whole. Tesla just announced that its network of Superchargers has "delivered 14.3M kWh of energy worldwide, saving 2M gallons of gasoline and offsetting 50M pounds of carbon dioxide. The price for this energy to Model S drivers: $0.0."
When the Iowa DOT put the kibosh on the test drives, the state joined others, most recently Michigan, in restricting what the electric vehicle maker can do to promote its products. In some states, the company is allowed to sell vehicles in its stores but in places like Iowa, potential buyers need to order online and then take direct delivery. Events like the one in Urbandale are a different way to drum up EV interest.