Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, unveils a new all-wheel drive version of the Model S on October 9, 2014 in Hawthorne, California.
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters
On Friday, Tesla launched a social platform called Tesla Engage to encourage customers to adopt policies that benefit Elon Musk’s electric vehicle and solar company.
While Tesla Engage was launched last year and is basically a continuation of the company’s efforts to build an online community, it represents a more centralized approach to organizing its fans and members of official Tesla Owners Clubs for political purposes .
Tesla’s fan base is the envy of all automakers. While cultivated in the company’s early roadster years, fandom grew exponentially with CEO Elon Musk’s continued dedication to fans and critics online, particularly on Twitter and YouTube.
Tesla fans today range from vocal, sometimes rabid, brand loyalists to bullish stockholders, Elon Musk admirers, car enthusiasts who love the way a Tesla vehicle drives, and others who reduce their environmental impact from driving an electric car or more want to reduce a car’s install solar.
The company’s public policy team wrote in a post introducing its latest endeavors:
“Tesla Engage is a new platform for both the Tesla Public Policy Team and the Tesla Owner’s Clubs. The goal is to create a digital basis for all of our work and to make it easier for members of the Tesla community to experience what is most important to us. ” Take meaningful action and stay tuned. We hope you will join us in getting involved. “
Some of the problems I encountered while launching Tesla Engage are:
Tesla has long fought to change direct selling laws in the United States. Nebraska and Texas are among more than half a dozen holdouts in which Tesla is supposed not to sell directly to consumers, but instead has to ship vehicles from other states to customers who order online.
Over the past decade, the company has succeeded in lifting bans on direct selling in many other states, including Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, and Utah. Tesla is supported by Lordstown Motors, Lucid Motors and Rivian in its efforts to lift direct sales bans.
Tesla is expected to discontinue its previous Tesla forums on March 15, where comments and posts are “read-only”.