Tesla unveiled Tesla Engage on Friday, in part to encourage consumers to take political action in support of Elon Musk’s electric car and solar company.
Though Tesla Engage was first introduced last year and is essentially a continuation of the company’s online community-building activities, it reflects a more organized approach to coordinating Tesla fans and affiliates of official Tesla Owners Clubs for political purposes.
The other automakers are envious of Tesla’s fan base. Although it was cultivated during the company’s early Roadster years, CEO Elon Musk’s nonstop interaction with fans and critics online, especially on Twitter and YouTube, developed the fanbase exponentially.
Tesla fans today range from enthusiastic, often rabid, brand loyalists to bullish stockholders, Elon Musk admirers, auto enthusiasts who like the way a Tesla vehicle drives, and those who want to minimize their environmental footprint by driving an electric car or building solar panels.
On a blog post announcing the company’s new initiative, the company’s public policy staff wrote;
“Tesla Engage is a new platform for both Tesla’s public policy team and Tesla Owner’s Clubs. Its goal is to create a digital home base for all of our work and make it easier for Tesla community members to learn what’s top of mind for us, take meaningful action, and stay in the loop. We hope you’ll join us in getting involved.”
The following are some of the problems that were seeded on Tesla Engage when it first launched:
How to change the metering regulations at public electric vehicle charging stations in Canada. In Canada, electric vehicle charging is now billed by the minute or the hour. Many Tesla and other EV owners want metering based on energy demand rather than charging time.
Texas disaster relief. Tesla is urging owners to donate to a long list of causes in the state where Tesla’s second U.S. car plant and SpaceX’s Boca Chica facilities are located. Donating to help residents in Texas recover from the cold weather and energy shortages also helps a newcomer to the state and its supporters.
In a post targeted at Tesla fans in Nebraska, the corporation encourages people to petition state politicians to amend regulations that prohibit Tesla and other automakers from exporting cars directly to customers in the state without first opening a franchise dealership.
They’ve also made it easy for fans to send public input on bills to the Nebraska Senate or email members of the relevant committee. Tesla has long fought to reform the rules in the United States governing direct sales. Tesla is not allowed to sell directly to buyers in more than half a dozen states and instead must import cars from other states to customers who buy online.
Over the last decade, the company has been active in overturning bans on direct sales in a number of other jurisdictions, including Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, and Utah. In its attempts to overturn direct sales bans, Tesla is joined by Lordstown Motors, Lucid Motors, and Rivian.