Burnaby tech startup will cover employees’ deposits on Tesla Model 3

A local tech startup is offering to cover part of the cost of its employees’ new cars — that’s if they’re investing in a Tesla Model 3.

Burnaby-based Traction on Demand will pay the US$1,000 deposit for all of it nearly 200 employees if they wish to purchase the electric vehicle.

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Tesla Motors opened up pre-orders last week for its new US$35,000 car aimed at the mass market. The company said it’s received more than 325,000 pre-sales as of April 7.

Chris Peacock, Traction on Demand’s vice-president of marketing, said the company wants to do more to commit to environmentally sustainable technologies.

“To me, it’s a no-brainer,” he said.

Peacock was among the half-dozen employees who had already placed a deposit on the Model 3 by Monday, when CEO Greg Malpass told workers at a morning huddle Traction on Demand would cover the deposit.

Employees that had already placed a deposit would get that money covered by the company as well.

Malpass, who was unavailable for an interview while travelling in the U.S., said in a statement he believes “a large number” of his employees will take him up on the offer.

Peacock told Business In Vancouver he conducted an informal poll among employees through an online chat application to gauge interest. So far, 65% of respondents said they would take the company up on the offer.

If that informal poll represents the final tally, Traction could end up spending US$130,000 to cover the deposits.

Tesla Motors has said all the deposits are 100 per cent refundable.

“It baffles me why anyone wouldn’t partake,” Peacock said.

For more by Business in Vancouver, see www.biv.com.

torton@biv.com

@reporton

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