Family lends Tesla to Pitt State for lessons

A jump in gas prices is a hit in the pocketbook for most of us. But a few drivers can trade that in for the electric bill, something students are seeing firsthand at a local campus.

Some Pitt State students are focused on alternative fuels today. 

But it's not just a lecture - they've got an all electric Tesla in class, a vehicle that can also go driverless.

Sarah Arnold, PSU Student: "I would love to try the autopilot, but I'd have to make sure I had my hands on the wheel because it's something I'm so used to."

A Tesla on campus means PSU Student Sarah Arnold is in no hurry to leave class.

Sarah Arnold, PSU Student: "Really wanting to see under the hood, just to kind of see what it would look like. And when he opened what I thought would be the front end, there's nothing there because everything is under the vehicle."

Normally an everyday car for a Pittsburg family, they're loaning the 2016 Tesla Model X to the Kansas Technology Center as part of a lesson on alternative fuels.

Matt Brown, PSU Prof: "I try and do something like this two or three times a semester, to keep kids wanting to come and listen to me."

Not a problem for this lesson, which is even attracting students who aren't signed up for the class. This class covers the difference from gas and diesel to electric automobiles, and the impact of technology on vehicles of tomorrow.

Matt Brown, PSU Prof: "This is a brand new American made automobile and that excites me. Um this is like GM 100 years ago." 

This model is all electric and can be mostly driverless.

Matt Brown, PSU Prof: "It can drive itself to Joplin, it knows speed limits but it doesn't know stop lights and stop signs."

Brown says that's something that could be added in in version or software updates.

One of the biggest differences: no paying for gas - it's all on your electric bill, estimated at 50 dollars a month.

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