In many cases, Tesla fans such as myself, have been accused of being or acting in a manner that is toxic. It’s hurtful to many to be called this, especially when many Tesla fans only want what’s best for their families: clean air, a vehicle that doesn’t pollute the air, and for legacy automakers to agree with them on these things.
Tesla is the only major automaker that has actively played a key role in reducing pollution in the air by creating vehicles of its own free will that do not produce any emissions. This is what won over many of us who find ourselves in a community of car lovers. I want to address this FUD, for that is what this is. This myth, a Tesla myth, is another form of fear, uncertainty, and doubt that is being painted over a diverse group of people who are advocates for what they believe in.
“Many in our community believe strongly in the mission of Tesla, which in spite of many challenges over the last 17 years, has remained true to its founding mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and transport. We remain, believers because Tesla continues to make good on this promise. We hope other companies genuinely want to do the same.”
— AL Taco’s and Teslas
One reason many are being seen as toxic is due to their stances on Nikola Motor and the CEO’s confusing back and forth tweets about his products. He went from not having a product to suddenly going public and raising funds behind a product that only exists in pictures.
Many Tesla owners and advocates are pointing out the eerie similarities as to how this CEO is acting in the manner that Tesla critics accused Elon Musk of being a fraud. Earl, also known as @28DelaysLater (the frunkpuppy guy), told me that there is an unchallenged Tesla myth that claims Tesla fans are against all other EV companies. I have seen this for myself — there are some who prefer Tesla to any other brand, but those who do acknowledge the fact that it’s a great thing to see others taking the initiative to create compelling EVs — if they actually plan to follow through.
Earl told me that many Tesla fans are skeptical of the promises from legacy automakers who have struggled to make an EV that compares to a Tesla. Granted, there are some great attempts like the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. Hydrogen is also potentially an attempt — one that I think is more of a distraction than anything. Earl noted that we should be skeptical of hydrogen due to the same reason many are of legacy auto’s unmet promises. It is hyped forever and never delivers.
One thing I’ve noticed in my own feed is that some Tesla fans also advocate for other EVs simply because they align with Tesla’s mission.
Criticism of Nikola Motor isn’t the only instance in which Tesla fans have been called toxic. In many cases, media headliners that attack the brand have painted a picture of a nutty Tesla cult member. The Verge even went as far as to publish more directly about this back in 2018. This particular article is what inspired Etienne to create his parody account, the “Pope of Muskanity.”
Brethren, there are so many rumors & conspiracy theories about @elonmusk. What is your favorite?
Mine? That he's a 3000-year-old time-traveling vampire. pic.twitter.com/VObQB0rr1x
— Pope of Muskanity (@RationalEtienne) June 19, 2020
Every brand has its own community, advocates, and fans. However, when a brand is shaking things up and forcing others to change their ways, that brand is often noted as a troublemaker — even if the change is good and needed. Tesla is doing this, truly forcing legacy automakers to at least acknowledge EVs and try to make some good ones.
Here is why I think many in the Tesla community are labeled as toxic. If you were to walk up to me and slap me, I would punch you back. Probably in the throat. It may damage you for life (I have a pretty hard punch). You may hate me forever because of this and see me as this vicious type of person who likes to throat-punch people.
The truth is, I’m a nice person, but I will not allow someone to just attack me without any type of repercussions. This is the Tesla community in a nutshell. If you go on the offensive, the community will stand up for itself and what it believes in. The community will abide by its values and morals no matter what — and call a spade a spade. And when you mix in emotions — as we are emotionally tied to what we believe in — things get a bit emotional.
People want results, not phony press releases, misleading product presentations for vaporware, and Twitter rants. If you really want to prove those who are opposing you wrong, then make something and focus everything increment of your time on that product instead of overhyping your products several hours a day.
“The myth of the toxic Tesla fan has been repeated enough that we no longer challenge the very basics of the idea. Do Tesla fans really blindly slam any non-Tesla EV? This is patently false. From Rivian to Bollinger to Arcimoto you find almost across the board support from EV fans who want an emission-free future. However, vaporware, technology pushed by the fossil fuel industry, and empty legacy promises are harmful to this clean future vision. We can love EVs and still keep our brains turned on. Being critical is not bashing.”
There are many anonymous Tesla advocates on Twitter — people who love the cause but choose to keep their identities protected. Some may work in big oil — so I get that. You brand your accounts with the Tesla logo, your favorite Tesla vehicle. Some of you are not anonymous and may have a photo of a Tesla in your cover photo or even the $TSLA symbol in your bio. You are all valuable members of an awesome community. However, we sometimes get caught up in the moment because we know when something isn’t right and we have to speak out.
My advice is to speak out, but remember the reason why. You love Tesla. Tesla loves you back. If you are advocating for Tesla, remember you in some way represent Tesla — you are an extension of the company, so remember to choose your words kindly and with the focus of Tesla at heart. I mean, remember who you are representing. It may not be official, but you do represent Tesla in this way.
I don't know which is more toxic… The elon character or tesla fans…. People bought tesla because it was popular now they are popular as the most toxic car brand in the world with a cult following…
— Captain Planet (@Captain54672005) May 10, 2020
If you have the words Tesla or Elon Musk anywhere in your bio, your account comes up in a Twitter search when someone searches those terms. I had “Tesla fan” in mine once and was shocked when I did a search on Twitter and saw my profile.
Yes, speak up and against something that doesn’t fit in with your morals, but remember the reason why you started your account. Remember and make that your full focus — but don’t shy away from speaking your truth. Just don’t forget to breathe during those moments of speaking and tweeting.
We can stand up against what we feel is wrong in any type of way — but many will always see us as toxic because we are speaking out. Even if what we say is from a place of love and kindness. To the FUD fighters, I salute you. Never stop advocating for love, truth, and what’s right.