In Chicago’s highly competitive limousine market, one company is using the Tesla Model S to give it both a strategic and economic advantage.

E-Motion Chauffeurs and Hires began operating this past October with a fleet of six Tesla Model S vehicles, providing a range of services including airport drop-off and pick-up, corporate chauffeurs and special events. The initial launch was so popular, the website server crashed due to high demand.

The Teslas in the E-Motion fleet are distinctive as they were ordered with both a black exterior and interior. Owner Abdullah Illahi said that an additional six vehicles have been ordered with the first scheduled to arrive in January. In the meantime, Illahi has had to reach out into the Tesla owner’s community for help.

“We are completely booked and I’ve been looking for other Tesla owners to try to cover some of our overflows” said Illahi.

The idea to use Teslas as their fleet vehicle of choice was a decision not made for environmental reasons alone. According to Illahi, he knew that the limousine market in Chicago was extremely competitive and to succeed he would need to have an edge. With the Model S, he found that customer intrigue was high, and that this could be leveraged as a strong marketing tool to drum up business.

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Additionally, the cost to operate a Tesla fleet would be less than when compared to other vehicles typically found in a livery service.  While Illahi agreed that a zero-emission vehicle has positive environmental impacts, it was by no means the only rationale for making the decision to operate a Tesla fleet.

The next series of Tesla Model S vehicles on order will be the all-wheel drive, Model D. There are also plans to add the new seven-passenger Model X crossover, once they eventually begin production.

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Since launching E-Motion, other area livery companies have added Teslas to their fleet, but Illahi can lay claim as the first and the largest in Chicago.

Expansion into other markets is also in the works. Once the Chicago fleet receives its twelfth delivery in March, E-Motion is tentatively targeting Los Angeles for its first expansion. However Illahi said that New York City may yet jump ahead of Los Angeles. “We’ve gotten a lot of regulars from New York. They love Teslas and would love to see us take our business to Wall Street.”