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Electric car maker Tesla gaining traction in Minnesota, but not without controversy –

Kevin Chu works about half the time at his marketing agency’s Minneapolis office, and the rest at the company’s San Diego headquarters. His ride, however, is trapped out west.

Chu drives the Tesla S, the all-electric luxury sedan that recently garnered Consumer Reports’ highest-ever car rating and has been hailed as a magical confluence of auto engineering, digital technology and eco-propulsion.

But while the Tesla S has a range far superior to that of the Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf and other mainstream electric cars navigating U.S. roadways, Chu would not make it anywhere near the Twin Cities before he ran out of juice and found himself with no quick, efficient way to recharge.

Therein lies the electrical-car dilemma. While Silicon Valley-based Tesla Motors more than any other car maker has proven such autos’ practicality in urban areas and in virtually any climate (it recently put its sedan through arduous Minnesota-winter testing) the S is not the kind of vehicle that can be driven anywhere, worry-free.



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