Dealership offers a one-stop shop for EV and hybrid vehicles, repairs, chargers and rebate info
Al and Michelle Salas had been eyeing the empty dealership at 623 Main Street for a few years before making the move to transform the space into Eco Auto, which Al Salas says is all about the motto “Be Green, Save Green.”
The couple has 35 years combined in the automotive industry and founded Eco Auto with a very particular vision.
“It’s about saving money and saving the environment,” said Salas. “Our model is very different in our approach to customers. Customers are in charge here. We don’t have any commission sales. Everybody works as a team.”
That team invites residents to an EV Event, which is open to the public and focuses on the future of electric vehicles (EVs), chargers, rebates and infrastructure. The event runs Wednesday, May 17 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. and will offer the opportunity to:
- Learn about EV charging solutions, rebates, and incentives for businesses, as well as current and future infrastructure trends.
- Enjoy a guided tour of Eco Auto’s state-of-the-art facility, showcasing the latest technology for EV vehicles.
- Witness a live wheel alignment demonstration using our advanced Hunter Wheel Alignment machine.
- Engage with industry experts and local leaders in a panel discussion on the future of sustainable transportation.
- Network with professionals and enthusiasts from various sectors, fostering new connections and collaborations.
There will also be raffle prizes.
The Carnation took a tour of Eco Auto during a recent open house, where Al Salas shared the vision for the dealership.
“We are on a mission to lower the barriers to entry for people interested in buying electric vehicles,” he said.
The Salas’ research shows that there are three factors that potential EV buyers worry about: the initial price of the vehicle, how to charge it and ongoing operating costs.
“People have a lot of questions,” he said. “How do you charge this vehicle? What’s the lifestyle adjustment? Say I do buy an electric vehicle, What is it going to cost me to run it?”
Eco Auto addresses all three factors. It will go out to the wholesale market to find the exact vehicle a customer wants, and it sells a wide range of chargers. The Salas’ team are knowledgeable on available rebates, and Eco Auto offers service.
History with the Tech
Salas has owned EVs for years, since he purchased an early Tesla, so he speaks from experience when he explains advances that have happened in the industry, including in the range of companies offering electric and hybrid models.
“You don’t have to visit seven dealerships to try out the different types of EVs,” he says. “Here customers have the ability to test drive a Tesla, a Mustang, a Chevy Bolt, a Nissan Leaf, you can do it all in one visit, all at once, with no hassle. You can also test drive hybrid technology so you can compare. It really gives you a one stop shop.”
Eco Auto also has a partnership with Protective Insurance, which allows them to provide a lifetime warranty on all hybrids.
“And if the customer is shopping electric, we also have extended warranties available that cover the batteries,” he said. “If somebody’s looking for peace of mind, they can get it on an electric vehicle as well.”
Salas says electric vehicles are far more efficient and reliable than gas-powered vehicles. Because an EV has no transmission, for example, the likelihood of something breaking in the vehicle is less. A regenerative braking system, where the power from the motor actually slows the vehicle down, means brake pads last for a long time.
And, thanks to advances in battery technology and expanding charging infrastructure, EV ownership is significantly more practical for most.
The Salas’ team includes sales, service, finance and repair personnel experienced in the unique aspects of electric and hybrid car ownership.
Charge Me Up
In addition to vehicles, Eco Auto advises on and sells charging infrastructure equipment suitable for both homes and businesses chargers, including stations that work with homes that run on solar.
The dealership also has a state-of-the-art service department able to handle any type of repair or maintenance work for EVs, and hybrids as well as traditional gas engine cars, including battery replacement and basic oil changes.
During the tour, Salas showed how EV tires are lined with foam to absorb road noise and showed off a special Hunter alignment system. The lifts, above, are specially designed for easy EV battery removal.
The dealership will offer a range of financing options and help customers navigate the incentives and tax credits that are available to EV buyers.
“Pre-owned EVs in particular are much more affordable than people think,” he said.
The Salas’ are looking forward to expanding their involvement in the community and welcome residents to stop by Wednesday, or anytime, to learn more.
Oh, and for every car sold, 75 trees will be planted.
The Carnation loves it when our local businesses have big news to share with the community. Are you new to town, expanding or making a significant change to your business model? Drop us a line at email@example.com.
Be First to Comment