This isn’t the first time an automaker was inspired by Tesla, and it probably won’t be the last. Tesla has electrified and brought fresh life into the automotive industry while bringing a refreshing and much-needed focus onto clean vehicles rather than those that contribute to tailpipe emissions.
In a case of imitation and flattery, a Ford dealership recently showcased Ford-branded charging stations that look eerily like Tesla’s own Superchargers. They look so much like a copy, paste, logo, and color scheme switcharoo that even Tesla’s director of product design, Javier Ventura, shared some thoughts on Twitter.
Hey look!! A new Supercharger is now open at a Ford dealer in Dover, DE!! pic.twitter.com/FhCazxFZ3y
— The Supercharger Updates Guy (@MarcoRPTesla) November 23, 2021
And by fancy you mean disingenuous, unnecessarily large, poorly executed knock-off of our design
— Javier Verdura (@JVerdura) November 23, 2021
The chargers, which are relatively slow Level 2 chargers (nowhere close to the power of a Tesla Supercharger), rightfully received constructive criticism from Verdura, who is one of Tesla’s top designers. Teslarati also pointed out that Verdura has won some of the industry’s most prestigious awards, such as the Red Dot, IDEA, and Good Design awards.
Verdura is also the person who designed Tesla’s Superchargers, and his criticism, I believe, was incredibly fair and accurate. It may seem harsh to some, but this isn’t the first time that Tesla’s ideas have been used by automakers only to be touted as “original.”
As someone who owns a very small number of shares of Tesla, it’s kind of bittersweet to see automakers being inspired by Tesla while also witnessing Tesla being openly snubbed by the current presidential administration.
General Motors is constantly being touted as the “EV leader” by the Biden administration, yet in my opinion, if any of these legacy automakers wanted to create EVs and lead the industry, they would have done so long before Tesla came along.
That said, it’s great to see Ford and GM at least doing something, even if they are clearly following Tesla’s lead.
The Mustang is a popular American icon and the Mustang Mach-E is a great way for Ford to introduce its customers to EVs — if it can resolve issues with dealerships that some customers complain about, not to mention the high markups. This problem, however, isn’t restricted to Ford, but to any automaker that has a dealership where the local dealers want nothing to do with selling EVs.
It will be interesting to see what other inspirations automakers take from Tesla as it continues to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy.