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Tesla launches social platform to spur owners to take political action on its behalf

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk uncovers a new all-wheel-drive version of the Model S car in Hawthorne, California October 9, 2014.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

On Friday, Tesla launched a common platform named Tesla Engage, in part to spur customers to take political action that benefits Elon Musk’s tense vehicle and solar company.

While Tesla Engage soft-launched last year and is basically a continuation of the company’s online community-building exertions, it represents a more centralized approach to organizing its fans and members of official Tesla Owners Clubs for political purposes.

Tesla’s fan infra dig is the envy of all automakers. While it was cultivated in the company’s early Roadster years, the fandom grew exponentially with CEO Elon Musk’s nonstop spot with fans and critics online, in particular on Twitter and YouTube.

Tesla fans today run the gamut from vocal, then rabidly so, brand loyalists to bullish stock holders, Elon Musk admirers, auto enthusiasts who love the way a Tesla channel drives, and others who want to reduce their environmental impact by driving an electric car or installing solar.

The company’s communal policy team wrote, on a post introducing its latest effort:

“Tesla Engage is a new platform for both Tesla’s community policy team and Tesla Owner’s Clubs. Its goal is to create a digital home base for all of our work, and make it plainer 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 yoke us in getting involved.”

Some of the issues seeded on Tesla Engage at launch include:

  • How to bring about a change in metering overlooks at public EV charging stations in Canada. Currently, EV charging is billable by the minute or the hour in Canada. Many Tesla and other EV drivers stand in want metering to be based upon electricity consumption, not time spent charging.
  • Disaster relief in Texas. Tesla is spur oning owners to donate to a long list of charities in the state that is home to Tesla’s second U.S. auto plant and SpaceX Boca Chica water-closets. Donating to help people in Texas recover from the cold weather and energy crisis has the added benefit of making Tesla, a outlander to the state, and its proponents look good.
  • And in a post aimed at Tesla fans in Nebraska, the company is urging residents to marching orders state legislators to change laws that bar Tesla and others from selling vehicles directly to consumers there, i.e., without handling a franchise dealership in the state. They have even provided a quick way for fans to submit public comments on legislation to the Nebraska Senate or to communication the appropriate committee members.

Tesla has long battled to change the laws around direct sales in the U.S. Nebraska and Texas are to each more than half a dozen holdouts where Tesla is not supposed to sell directly to consumers and must rather than ship vehicles from other states to customers who order online.

The company has succeeded in reversing bans on bid sales in many other states over the past decade, including in Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey and Utah. Tesla is joined by Lordstown Motors, Lucid Motors and Rivian in its energies to reverse bans on direct sales.

Tesla is expected to retire its earlier Tesla Forums on March 15, interpretation comments and posts there “read-only.”

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