Tesla uses a classic road trip icon, the Airstream, to show off its electric vehicles

tesla design studio road trip airstream
Tesla is aiming to put its line of electric cars in front of as many consumers as possible, and is doing it in a decidedly retro, yet also modern, way. The automaker has purchased six Airstream trailers — the mid-20th-Century RV of choice — and retrofitted each of them to act a showroom on wheels.

Each Airstream is pulled by one of Tesla’s Model X SUVs, which also show off the capabilities of the vehicle itself. Electric vehicles are often panned for their lack of power, but there’s nothing like towing a 7,000-pound trailer cross-country to prove that electric vehicles can do just about anything a traditional vehicle can.

The mobile showrooms will function just like the sales locations found across the country, and within them, salespeople will be present to answer any questions and assist in using the company’s Design Studio to place an order for your customized Tesla. So far, only five locations have been announced, with plans for another five to be announced through November.

Called Tesla Explores, the first event takes place September 9-16 in Santa Barbara, California, with another event September 16-18 at the Smyth Hotel in New York City. The show moves to Sanatoga Springs, New York September 23-30, and then Princeton, New Jersey and Venice, California during the month of October.

So far, all the locations are fairly close to a current dealership, although website visitors are encouraged to “request” a stop on Tesla’s website. Other planned locations at the moment do seem to be in states that have so far proved friendly to Tesla’s non-traditional dealership format, which does seem to raise some questions as to whether the traveling dealership will really help expand the brand.

It will be interesting to watch and see if Tesla attempts to take Tesla Explores through states that have caved to the dealership lobby. Michigan passed a law preventing direct sale to consumers, and Texas has done something similar. It’s unclear whether these dealerships-on-wheels will be able to get around these restrictive regulations.


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