Tesla’s referral program isn’t generous enough

I think we can all agree, Tesla’s old referral program was too generous. A number of people ended up with not just 1, but multiple free 2020 Roadsters. At...

I think we can all agree, Tesla’s old referral program was too generous. A number of people ended up with not just 1, but multiple free 2020 Roadsters. At A$300,000+ each, that’s a lot of potential revenue to give up.

A few years ago, Tesla started ramping Model 3 production to literally keep the company alive. In this light, offering 2% off a Roadster. for each referral made sense and I’m sure Tesla weren’t planning on many people hitting 50+ referrals.

In 2019, Tesla revised the referral program to remove this discount on new vehicles, as well as the credits model that allowed referral credits to be spent on Tesla Energy products like Powerwall or for servicing costs.

This change occurred before those Australian Model 3 owners received their referral links.

The referral program now offers you (the referrer) and anyone using your referral link, to receive 1,500km free Supercharging. Each referral also gives you a chance to win a Founders Series Model Y or Roadster. Exact details on this are hard to get. The referral website doesn’t provide information on how many will be given away, and provides no information on previous winners.

So understanding that the old program was too generous and the new one isn’t generous enough, I propose a new referral program.

Suggested new referral program

Bring back referral credits. The amount is something Tesla needs to determine, but this could be a dynamic figure based on the number of sales they’re looking to hit per quarter.

  • Referral credits can be spent on any Tesla product
    • Powerwall 2
    • Solar Panels
    • Charging Products
    • Apparel
    • Vehicle Accessories
  • Referral credits can be spent on Tesla Upgrades
    • Full Self Driving (FSD)
    • Performance unlock for SR+
  • Referral credits can be spent Tesla associated services
    • Premium connectivity (annual)

Given the overall objective of Tesla is to help transition to sustainable energy, the use of referral credits on other energy saving products like Powerwall 2, just makes sense. When Tesla begin offering their solar PV products here, they should equally be added to the list.

The other items like FSD and Premium connectivity unlocks help Tesla owners improve the story when engaging in word-of mouth sales. Often many people on the fence about buying a Tesla are converted to a buyer once they experience the vehicle. Only when the full capability of the car is shown, can the chance of another sale be maximised.

At the time of writing, I’m sitting at 47 referrals and will soon reach that major milestone of 50 referrals. Under the old program, I would be be getting a free Roadster with a range of 1,000km+ a top speed of 400km/hr+ and a 0-100km/hr time of just 2.1seconds. While you do have to pay on-road costs on the new vehicle, the founders series Roadster is worth A$326,000.

Instead, the current program offers 75,000km of free Supercharging.

In Australia, Tesla charge $0.42c per kWh for Supercharging which works out to be just over A$30 to fill the 75kWh battery. You can drive up to 500km per charge, which means 1,500km of driving should be roughly around $90 of value. This means the current value of 50 referrals is only around $4,500, still awesome, but not a Roadster.

I really think there’s a nice place, somewhere in the middle of the two extremes of the old and the current referral program. I hope Tesla reconsiders the referral program, especially their current financials have improved dramatically since the last change.

The company is still growing rapidly with the upcoming Model Y, the Semi and Cybertruck, so it’s hard to ever say what Tesla can afford, but as long as the referral program serves as a better alternative to advertising, it is worth spending money on rewarding loyal fans of the brand that help sales.

Those regular followers of techAU will know that we have a dedicated Tesla Hub for news about the company and it’s products. Make sure you check it out at https://techau.com.au/tesla

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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