YouTube is horrible for many things but it’s awesome for training videos. My wife and I have used them for everything from very minor car repairs to fixing the sink to learning the Shim-Sham (a lindy hop dance – which we’re still trying to learn).
These repair videos have created some semi-famous people within very specific circles. One of them is Seabrook, New Hampshire, resident Rich Benoit, an electrical engineer who fixes Teslas. Reports GreenCarReports:
Benoit, an electrical engineer by day, gained YouTube fame, at least in the Tesla world, after he bought a Model S flooded in salt water and rebuilt it using parts from another, wrecked Tesla Model S. (He bought the flooded Model S, which he calls Dolores, for $14,000 from a salvage auction.)
After gaining an audience of thousands impressed by his perseverance and skills rebuilding the car, other Tesla owners, especially in New England, where Teslas and Tesla stores are thinner on the ground than many parts of the country started calling Benoit to fix problems with their cars. Between that demand and the stories of wait lists at Tesla service centers he decided to open his own Tesla repair business in his hometown of Seabrook, New Hampshire, called the Electrified Garage. He teamed up with his friend Chris Salvo, a former parts manager at a Tesla service center and founder of EV Tuning, an online Tesla parts store that he started after leaving Tesla.
In a YouTube video announcing the business (what else?), Benoit says they hope to build the business into a franchise to repair Teslas. “Our goal was to say how can we build something to help this company, and that’s all we’re trying to do,” he says. The pair say they haven’t received any reaction to their plan from Tesla, at least not so far.
Tesla has fallen behind on servicing all the cars it is selling, a side effect of its don’t-use-dealership model. They’d be insane not to embrace Benoit and others like him.
The Boston Globe had an article about Benoit this spring.