From time to time, I visit the Reddit EV forum, which often has threads that CleanTechnica readers may find interesting. The other day, I chanced upon one started by Mixima101 with this intriguing title — “Tesla Is Off My List.” Here’s what that person had to say to start that discussion:
“I think that Tesla’s are the best EVs out there currently, and I love what they’ve done to disrupt the car industry. I’ve been wanting to purchase one since the model 3 came out. That being said, I choose to buy any EV that isn’t a Tesla, after Elon Musk’s comments on Ukraine. I’ve always been on the fence about him but this was the final straw. I would buy a worse car over supporting him. Polestar it is.”
Well, that is certainly provocative, so I clicked through and was astonished to find people had left 2,484 comments under the short note. Clearly, the thread had struck a nerve with lots of folks. Here is a small sampling of the comments.
Snoo74401 — “This is why most CEOs keep a low profile and typically keep public statements limited to company relevant information. I canceled my model Y order. It supposed to arrive December — January. F*ck Musk, I don’t want to support his companies and be associated with him in any form or shape.”
lol_alex 80 — “Yeah most CEOs are aware that their every word can influence the stock price. And have their statements carefully reviewed by corporate lawyers and PR department. Wait; Tesla has no PR department anymore.”
AlexKnolly — “I once said I would never buy a Tesla because of Musk’s behavior and I got a lot of ‘what abouts’ other CEOs. The issue is Musk has clearly chosen to make and reinforce himself as the public face of Tesla. If you see someone driving a Tesla, many people assume that person likes/is a fan of Elon Musk. No one ever sees a Bolt driving and thinks, ‘Wow, they must really love Mary Barra.'”
Intrepid-Leather-417 — “If I didn’t have my model 3 and solar already I would be considering the competition. I’m growing tired of his antics and constant need for attention.”
Candelent — “Same. I love my car. Also, the vast majority of people working at Tesla are not Elon. I would very much like to see Tesla to move on without Elon at this point. But given his ownership and control, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
“Also, having a bit of inside knowledge of Elon, I know he does not give a damn about the share price, that he is impulsive and that he is probably very genuinely worried about nuclear war. He has a god complex and thinks of himself as saving the world. But holy f*ck he is so, so wrong on Ukraine.”
comeradenook — “Me too. I love my M3, the car, software, network, all great. But if Elon could just shut the f*ck up, Teslas reputation would be in an infinitely better place.”
The Tesla Takeaway
Note from the editor: We have many cleantech fans writing here on CleanTechnica, and they have a large variety of opinions. We value free speech, the idea of a site like this being a discussion space for people with overlapping but sometimes different opinions, and trying to not censor the opinions of our diverse writers. Below is Steve’s take on Elon Musk and Tesla. Some other writers would have vastly different opinions, and some would wholeheartedly agree with him. Wherever you happen to stand, it’s worth noticing and understanding that there are many Tesla owners and shareholders — like Steve — who are struggling with the issues presented here. Simply blocking out or censoring (“cancelling” as they call it these days) people or sites because they have this fairly widespread viewpoint is more counterproductive than not, in my humble opinion.
I own a Tesla Model Y. I also own a few piddling shares of Tesla. I have been writing about the EV revolution for the past 12 years. Speaking for myself, I am far less enthusiastic about Elon Musk today than I was a few years ago. Back then, he was an innovator. He was personally going to build subterranean transportation systems, end traffic fatalities, and lead the world into a zero-carbon future.
But more and more, he just seems unhinged. He probably always has been but we let it slide because he was doing so much good. Today, he spends too much time reading his own press clippings and asking the mirror on his wall “Who’s the fairest of them all?”
I have witnessed him have a flopping fit when a health official in Fremont tried to do her job, but never, ever has he had a bad thing to say about officials in Shanghai who shuttered his factory there for the better part of a month. That makes him a hypocrite, at least in my opinion. His proclivity for dumping on the little people while extolling the virtues of tyrants troubles me.
The “run around and break things” mentality that was such a part of the tech world for so many years has long since lost its appeal. It’s time for Elon to step aside and let real managers run the company. Every business today has a vital stake in its reputation. Elon is hurting the reputation of his companies more and more these days.
Tell Us What You Think
Clearly, Elon is a lighting rod. Probably most readers have an opinion about him. Feel free to share your thoughts with us and other CleanTechnica readers in the comments section.
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