by Eric Cohen
What do children, the great outdoors, electric vehicles, and a digital marketing agency have in common? Not much. That is, until you meet Tim Peacock and David Tillson, principals of VSSL, an agency based out of San Diego, California. Together, Tim and David have built a nationally recognized agency while raising active families. And all while driving electric vehicles.
Tim and David met while working at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). When SAIC made the decision to relocate its headquarters from San Diego to the Washington, DC area the perfect opportunity presented itself – start a new agency and build it from the ground up. Easier said than done. But with grit, determination, and creativity, Tim and David slowly grew their business while their children grew alongside. Throughout their journey, cars were the least of their interests. Neither are car buffs, and both tend to focus on family cars they can keep for a long time. In Tim’s case, he holds onto cars for 10 years; David’s 2000 Jeep kept him and his family going for 19 years. That’s why it was a surprise to learn that both have electric vehicles.
“When it came time to get a new car, electric vehicles were just starting to become mainstream in Southern California,” commented Tim. “I didn’t want to deal with oil changes and lots of maintenance. But I also wanted something that would be fun to drive.” Tim got a 2021 Tesla Model 3 as his commuter car, sitting alongside a Honda Pilot for longer family trips. When it came time for David to make a change, he initially considered a hybrid but eventually settled on a 2019 Kia Niro (while maintaining his GMC Suburban for roadtrips and towing boats). While Tim heads to the mountains and woods to escape, David prefers the open waters of the San Diego Bay and beyond. With large families and lots to tow, two-car families are the norm.
“Prior to the Kia, I remember when I’d get ready to drive the Jeep and realize it was out of gas. In a rush, I’d resort to the gas-guzzling Suburban,” commented David. “There’s a huge convenience factor when I think about wireless charging and simply pulling into the garage and the car begins charging. I know it’ll be ready when I’m ready. You can’t put a price tag on that.” Tim quickly added, “The Tesla is cool, but I still have to remember to plug it in. I love the idea of not having to consciously plug it in. And, with my wife and I sharing the car, I know that whoever drove it last, the car will be ready to handle my daily commute the next day.” David couldn’t wait to get the last word in, “It’s the obvious next step in EV charging. When was the last time you got up to change the channel on your TV? Or plugged in your electric toothbrush to charge? It’s a no brainer.”
“It’s magical,” said Tim. “Convenient,” added David. “I’m excited for the day when I can be part of the WiTricity Halo beta test and have wireless charging in my garage.” Not to be outmaneuvered by David, Tim insisted on the last word, “It’s just going to make my EV experience better.”