Post and Courier
August 28, 2014

Auto briefs

Posted: 01/18/2014 12:01 a.m.


Taking care of business


When Lexus of Charleston sells cars to customers, the deals often run through the carmaker’s financing wing, Lexus Financial Services.

Last year, the West Ashley dealership’s volume of business with LFS was so impressive, it won an “Ambassador Award.”

Lexus Financial Services bestows the Ambassador Award when dealers achieve $50 million in outstanding lease and retail business with the financing company, said David Yarborough, vice president and general manager of Lexus of Charleston.

The dealership earned the award in July 2013. The honor comes with a plaque, and Lexus of Charleston — located at 2424 Savannah Highway — recently received its piece of finery.

Charge it

The much-publicized Tesla electric vehicle can’t go too far yet in one shot because there aren’t enough places to juice up.

But the carmaker’s gradually building its infrastructure, with the latest advancement in South Carolina.

Tesla Motors on Thursday showed off its first Supercharger location in the state at Interstate 95 just off exit 98 in Santee.

Situated about 60 miles from the Charleston area, the electric charging station “represents Tesla’s continued network expansion along the I-95 corridor and brings Model S owners one step closer to free travel between Boston and Miami,” the California-based company said.

According to Tesla Motors, the superchargers are opening between city centers “to enable free long-distance travel with Model S.”

As the car company explains it, “drivers can travel for about three hours, charge for as little as 20 to 30 minutes while they grab a quick bite to eat, and get back on the road with almost a full charge.”

The Santee supercharger will be open 24 hours a day and includes six stalls. Amenities nearby include an inn and restaurant, two fast food places, a general store and a pharmacy.

The carmaker said its superchargers have juiced up Tesla Model S sedans with more than 7 million miles of range, saving nearly 300,000 gallons of fuel.

The Model S posts a range of 265 miles without an electric fill-up, which stands as the longest distance of any production EV, according to the manufacturer.

“Tesla’s electric motor produces an impressive 443 pounds-feet of instant torque, propelling Model S performance from 0 to 60 in as little as 4.2 seconds,” the carmaker noted.

Tesla has delivered more than 19,000 electric vehicles to customers in 31 countries.