The case for FSD as a Tesla referral bonus

Referral programs are nothing new, most large sales businesses entertain some form of them. The concept is solid, if you help the company make sales, you get a little incentive to continue to do so.

In the case of Tesla, their current referral program offers the referrer and the purchaser an equal 1,500km of free Supercharging.

After receiving a referral link of my own –, I decided to get about sharing it wherever I could to further help with the justification of the vehicle purchase price. Basically the more referrals, the more free charging, the lower the ongoing costs for the first year, with enough referrals, I could essentially drive a year for free.

As the number of referrals continued to grow towards 10, I started to do the maths on how much I’d helped Tesla. With the cost of a Tesla Model 3 in Australia ranging from A$71K up to A$118k. Given we don’t know the options of each referred vehicle, I went with an average which is somewhere close to A$100k per vehicle.

If I reach 10 referrals, that’s somewhere close to A$1 Million of sales for Tesla, so I thought I’d offer Elon a deal. If I could make it to that number, would he consider throwing in Full Self Driving which currently costs A$8,500 in Australia.

Last night Elon replied on Twitter with a positive, ‘Will consider’.

Here’s why this referral bonus is beautiful for Tesla. Given the vehicle already includes the HW3 platform, everything required for Full Self Driving, the actual cost to Tesla to software unlock for FSD is not A$8,500. The actual cost is value of R&D that Tesla attributes to each vehicle, something much lower.

If Tesla does decided to add this to their referral program, many more people will be encouraged to hit 10 referrals.

We wait and see with anticipation.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
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. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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