Evita Blog

Community Review: Tesla

Community Reviews
Is Tesla a real cult or just a good business?
Let's review it using 🌸 Evita Cult Community Scorecard.


Metaphysical Thesis

"Exiting the fossil fuel era is good for humanity." Looks good, but it's too specific and easy to argue. Even Tesla's website says there's more CO2 produced during the manufacturing of Tesla than a typical gas vehicle. Plus, they cheat with competition evaluation: BYD sold 548k units only in China in 2021, while Tesla's website says it's less than 400k. Ouch... So, Tesla earns 50 out of 100 for this.

Clear vision of the bright future

Tesla has launched their annual presentation, a good tradition since Steve Jobs's events. But there are no famous cultural artifacts about the future vision of Tesla except a few memes with Tesla 3 in space.

Plus, it doesn't feel human-ish. Tesla's website has almost zero photos of people, even on the pages about their impact and mission. And the future environment looks like Mars: no humans, red half-desert, solar panels, and self-driving cars. So, 25/100.


Many articles describe the history of Tesla, but they're mostly framed in complex business language. Some books about Tesla written by different authors have tiny amounts of reviews (20-700) and mediocre responses from critics. One, Two, Three, Four. Benchmark: Steve Jobs' bio book has 12k+ reviews and a solid industry critics' response. 25/100

Giving hope

We couldn't find any significant emphasis on personal hope, but there is some positive future narrative around ecological impact.

However, considering the information about more significant CO2 emissions from Tesla cars manufacturing compared to gasoline ones and controversies regarding the lifecycle of batteries/solar panels, it's hard to build a solid vision of Tesla's bright future. 25/100

Emotionally supportive community

Local Tesla clubs are mostly run by independent enthusiasts while their communities are quite nice. 50/100

Shoutouts to the people

There's zero-to-no public shoutouts to Tesla owners or activists on Tesla's or Elon's Twitter accounts. 5/100


There are no specific secret features or events available to the loyal fans. 0/100

People feel the power

Tesla's management routinely votes against shareholder proposals. 0/100


Elon is dumping on both gas car producers and even American EV competitors which looks inconsistent with their mission. 25/100


Elon Musk is definitely an icon. There are tons of memes about him and a popular book with 17k+ Amazon reviews. But let's leave 100 points for the guys like Jesus. 75/100

Internal motivation

There is definitely some irrational motivation in buying Tesla because it's more expensive and less comfortable than many peers. But when it comes to the community contribution — the majority of Tesla owners are just users, and active club participation is not big (see "Local physical chapters" part for more info). 10/100


The logo is pretty clean, but it's used differently on different devices and accessories. While people barely wear Tesla's logo on their bodies like they apply religious symbols or fashion monograms. 50/100

Communication Architecture

Active peer-to-peer collaboration to solve vital issues

There are some forums for Tesla drivers to solve issues with their cars but the amount of people there is quite small (the largest forum has less than 50k registered users). 25/100

Active peer-to-peer collaboration to have fun

There are 20-30 active Tesla club chapters in the US, Europe and Asia where people gather annually/quarterly. But the overall activity looks limited and semi-private. 25/100

Structured network of ambassadors

We haven't been able to locate any active ambassador networks sponsored by Tesla. The last puublic activity was back in 2013 and hasn't gained much outreach. 0/100

Celebrity + followers

The No1 celebrity supporter of Tesla is Elon Musk which is a massive asset. 100/100

Local physical chapters

Tesla has a directory of local branches of owners clubs. Some of them (like in Silicon Valley Club) are quite popular and active, and the most of them are tiny. 75/100

Global outreach

Tesla clubs are almost everywhere except LatAm and Africa. 75/100


We haven't been able to find any of these:
  • System of achievements / ranks / social statuses
  • Gamification
  • Education
  • Leaderboards
  • Contests
  • User-generated content (UCG)
  • Random events (raffles, lotteries)
  • External (paid) motivation.

Okay, there are some rare cases of UCG , so this parameter gets 5/100. While the rest are zero.



You just buy a car online, and get it delivered. Sometimes you have to wait for a few months due to the supply chain issues. But in general — it's absolutely non-personal and humanless. 0/100

Daily rituals

Yes, people drive their cars almost daily, so they interact with Tesla very often. 100/100

Weekly rituals

We haven't yet found any of these. 0/100

Monthly rituals

We haven't yet found any of these. 0/100

Quarterly rituals

Only quarterly financial reports which are boring. 25/100

Annual rituals

Tesla started their annual shows and they get a lot of public excitement. 100/100


Here's where Tesla is really good.

Collaboration with governments

Collaboration with the US government is essential for Tesla as they've earned almost all the profit from government credits for years. Tesla also establishes deep connections with local administrations where the factories are located. 75/100

Collaboration with media/culture

Collaboration with media is fantastic: all media outlets buzz about every step of Elon or Tesla. 100/100

Collaboration with large businesses

Tesla is mostly contrarian to other brands while it sometimes shares technologies. 25/100

Collaboration with science

Tesla spends a lot on R&D but doesn't have its own research lab at major universities. 25/100

Collaboration with other communities

Tesla is mostly contrarian to other brands and is building a vertically-integrated holding, while it sometimes acquires startups. 25/100


And their business results are awesome when it comes to squeezing out maximum dollars out of the marketing budget.

Revenue / Marketing budget rate

Infinite: Tesla spends $0 on marketing. 100/100

YoY revenue growth rate / Marketing budget rate

Infinite: Tesla spends $0 on marketing. 100/100

5-year retention rate

Tesla is not a leader among car makers by brand loyalty in the US. And the long-term retention rate looks like less than 50%. 50/100

1-year retention rate

Tesla has 90%+ 1-year retention rate. 100/100

60-days retention rate

Tesla has 90%+ 60-days retention rate. 100/100

Community growth YoY in number of people

Tesla sold x2 units in 2021 compared to 2020. 50/100

Summary: Tesla is a great Corporation, but is not a Cult

Overall Evita Score: 11,315 out of 27,400.
Evita Community Grade is: 🧑‍💼 Corp.

Tesla has incredible brand power compared to other corporations, but it's still a corporation that doesn't feel human. Even their website feels plastic and creepy because there are zero to no people.

So, we have a huge potential to grow the Cult-ness of the brand:
— more human vision of the bright future
— shoutouts to the community members
— peer-to-peer mutual communications
— the network of ambassadors
— regular rituals.

Here's the Evita Radar for Tesla:

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