Tesla is one of the fastest growing car companies in the world, with its unique electric cars attempting to change the world for the better. At the driving seat behind it all has been Elon Musk. Musk is incredibly proud of everything he has achieved with Tesla, and rightfully so. The company has grown very quickly and does have the ability to make a huge impact on the globe, especially in the battle against climate change and pollution.
Whether you like him or you loathe him, Musk has become the figurehead of the company and is often the first person people think of when Tesla is mentioned, which is why he cares so much about the public image of Tesla. However, no company is perfect and Tesla has certainly made some mistakes, some of which have been made fairly public and are quite serious and others that many people might not know about.
There are plenty of things that Elon Musk would rather the world didn't know about his precious Tesla brand, mainly to keep its public perception as high as possible. But nothing stays a secret forever, as you are about to find out. Here are 20 things that Elon Musk doesn't want people to know about Tesla.
20 No Way To Test Drive
This is quite a strange situation revolving around Teslas but you can't actually test drive the car before purchasing one—like you would be able to with any other vehicle, meaning you are effectively going in blind. Tesla expects a customer to buy the car without getting behind the wheel for a short trip, which is quite a strange experience and is actually something that could put a lot of people off buying one. It shows how confident Tesla is in the car that they don't need people to drive them before buying but at the same time, it is a risky business strategy.
19 It Takes Months To Purchase One
When most people are looking to purchase a car, the idea is that when they buy one it will be ready to be driven that day, if not very soon after. However, when it comes to buying a Tesla that isn't the case as it can actually take months to purchase one. This is something Elon Musk likely won't want everybody talking about because it isn't exactly convenient.
It seems totally against the marketing goal of a company which is trying to make this car become the normal vehicle for everyone to drive. But according to Forbes, customers can be stuck waiting several months before the car arrives after their purchase, timing which tends to come down to customization features, which is cool but not convenient.
18 Cold Weather Affects Performance
A lot of drivers don't tend to enjoy driving in the winter months, especially if the climate is particularly bad in their area due to the dangerous elements that can come with weather such as ice and snow. Unfortunately, a Tesla isn't the car you would want to calm those nerves, as the cars do not perform well in cold weather.
In cases of extreme cold, the battery of a Tesla is actually at risk of not performing correctly. This isn't exactly something that Tesla is going to be singing about from the rooftops because the fact that the car doesn't work to its maximum capacity in cold weather isn't great news for anyone.
17 Maintenance Is A Problem
Every single car suffers from generic wear and tear and Tesla is not exempt from that situation, with the usual problems cropping up. However, whilst most basic issues are easily solvable, that isn't always the case for a Tesla. The fact is that Teslas are still not as common as people think, especially outside the United States, and this means that getting parts isn't always easy for local mechanics in order to fix the cars.
This is even a problem for Tesla itself and, according to The Motley Fool, after one Tesla Model S got rear-ended, the owner reported that it took seven months to be fixed due to delays in getting parts.
16 No Spare Tire
It is usually commonplace for a vehicle to come with a spare tire upon purchase—for the obvious reasons. Should a tire burst or become flat, then the extra tire is there to be used as a backup. However, this is another sign of how much Tesla bucks the trend because their cars do not come with spare tires, meaning you have to ring up a tire service center to fix the issue and therefore, sit around and wait until another tire is sent your way.
This is obviously a major issue if you happen to be stranded somewhere or are in need of the car urgently, because a new tire isn't going to appear immediately, especially for rural owners.
15 Illegal To Buy A Tesla In Some States
Despite the growing popularity of Tesla, it is actually illegal to buy one in certain states, such as Connecticut, where it is illegal to purchase an automobile from independent car dealerships. Considering that Tesla sells directly from the manufacturer, this causes some major issues. Tesla is a direct-to-consumer model, although the company has recently opened up some dealerships—perhaps because of issues like this—but the law still prohibits them from being sold in certain areas of the country.
Thankfully, this rule does look to be changing with some states seemingly set to reverse their stances, meaning that the cars should become widely available in the near future, which will certainly help the business.
14 Hardware Lags Behind The Software
Finally, another situation that Elon Musk likely doesn't want everyone to know is that the hardware needs to be upgraded at a very expensive price, meaning that it cannot keep up with the software. Software updates on Teslas are able to happen automatically and straight away, often the cars just do it on their own without being prompted.
But because the hardware doesn't do the same, you end up with outdated hardware running on the latest software, causing an issue. This can then make it be unusable for the driver, which is basically Tesla's way of squeezing more money from the customer when people have to update their vehicles.
13 Electric Car Technology Still Needs Work
No matter how much progress has been made in terms of electric car technology, the fact remains that the format still needs a lot of work to become sustainable before technology will allow every car to be electric. This isn't what Elon Musk wants you to know, of course, as he is more concerned about selling Tesla's cars but, in reality, this is one of Musk's biggest problems, as a lot of people are still not convinced by electric cars and their future.
Hopefully, the technology does evolve into something sustainable and popular, as it could have a drastic impact on the world in a positive manner. But, sadly, it is going to take some time before they can work in the way that Musk envisions.
12 They Aren't Affordable For Everyone
Elon Musk is really trying hard to make Tesla the next major brand in the car world. His vision is having Tesla becoming the most popular company in the world, with as many people driving them as possible to help the environment. However, the fact is that for that to happen, they would need to be much cheaper to purchase.
Right now, they are simply not affordable for everybody, as they have gained a reputation of bordering on being a luxury vehicle. A Tesla Model 3 starts out at $35,000 prior to tax, which is on the pricier side of things when you consider what people can go out and get for half of that money.
11 You Can't Drive Model X On The Brooklyn Bridge
One very major detail that Elon Musk doesn't want to admit about Tesla is the fact that its Model X vehicle actually can't drive on the Brooklyn Bridge, which is due to the fact that it has a curb weight of around 5,441 pounds. But when it's full of fuel, gear, and passengers, it can weigh 6,700 pounds.
The Brooklyn Bridge actually has a weight limit of three tons—which happens to be 6,000 pounds—meaning that it is actually against the law to drive a Tesla Model X down the bridge, which isn't the greatest news for someone living in New York.
10 Early Models Still Have Kinks
Every company has growing pains and the first model for any car company never tends to be absolute perfection. Tesla has suffered from this just as countless others have done before. Tesla's vehicles are packed with state-of-the-art technology, however, and relying on new technology is never a brilliant idea.
The Model 3 suffered from that, with certain bugs not quite being ironed out at the start when they were being produced. Thankfully, it seems like Tesla has got through those early teething problems and the cars are now very reliable, with the unique technology being a major selling point for most people.
9 They Have Rattles
Usually, the last thing you want to hear whilst driving your car is a slight rattle from somewhere within the vehicle, as this normally sends alarm bells ringing about possible disasters and expensive costs to fix the issue. However, there have been many complaints regarding Teslas and it seems that this is a common issue.
It seems that the cars often develop a premature rattle, with the noises coming as early as when the car hits 18,000 miles on the odometer. This is obviously a cause for concern, especially due to the fact it can take a while for parts to be fixed and replaced. And that isn't something you expect to be dealing with so early on into owning a new vehicle.
8 Tesla Has Yet To Make Major Profits
You would think that a company the size of Tesla that would be making money hand over first. However, CNN has reported that the company has actually lost $4.6 billion and isn't making the profits most would expect. It was reported that Tesla would need as much as $3 billion in 2018 to avoid a cash crunch that could impact its operations, so it's clear that not only are there no profits being made but instead, that the company is seriously struggling.
Musk decided to take to social media to respond to the reports, stating that the company was going to make profit. However, it seems like Tesla is a ways off from being a majorly profitable business.
7 Tesla's Future Is In Doubt
Despite the fact that Tesla is quickly becoming one of the most popular car brands available, it is still a very young company, having been started back in 2003. But already, the future looks to be in doubt. In a report by The New York Times, the company was dropped down a few notches in terms of its credit ratings, suggesting that critics worry that Tesla is struggling in terms of its financial situation.
If Tesla's financial situation really is as bad as it is to be believed, then there is a good chance that the company might not be around for as long as people, especially Elon Musk, hope that it will be.
6 Musk Didn't Start Tesla
Because of how big of a role Elon Musk has gone on to play for Tesla, being the public figurehead that everyone thinks of when discussing the company, most people simply presume that Musk was the man who founded Tesla. That actually isn't the case, though. Tesla was started in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, yet Musk didn't even join the company until a year later.
However, the year he joined was a critical one for Tesla. Musk spearheaded Tesla's Series A financing and was a crucial part in helping the company develop. And whilst he wasn't the one who started it, the role he has played cannot be understated.
5 Ludicrous Mode
You would think when you are coming up with a car having a "ludicrous" mode is something that you would avoid doing, as it just sounds a little bit dangerous and like it shouldn't be used. Well, that is exactly what Tesla did with its Model S, adding the mode, as you can see in the image above.
In reality, the mode just dedicates all of the car's power into acceleration only, making it go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. It has been reported by Business Insider that this mode puts the Tesla vehicles in the same ballpark as a Ferrari when it comes to speed but you would think they could have named it something a little better.
4 Musk's Finances
It shouldn't really be a surprise to learn that someone with as much power as Musk has within the Tesla company allows him to earns huge sums of money but that isn't exactly the case. The way Musk earns big money is a little bit different from most people's understanding.
Musk does his best to be a people's man and because of that, he doesn't take a huge weekly salary like some CEOs. Instead, his income is dependent on how well the company performs. Whenever the company achieves certain goals, Musk earns a tremendous pay packet. The company reportedly has one goal, to reach a market cap of $650 billion, which would see Musk earn a staggering $59 billion.
3 Humans Can’t Be Trusted With Autopilot
One of the major selling points of Tesla has been the autopilot feature that has been created. However, it has been made fairly public news that the autopilot system doesn't always work and has caused some serious incidents. Musk has claimed that 'additional constraints' will be included in future models after footage revealed that people weren't following the guidelines of the technology, which left Tesla in a negative light.
Musk then went on to say he didn't think that people could fully be trusted with the technology, which makes you question why Tesla put it in the cars to begin with.
2 Shareholders Want To Remove Musk
This point doesn't have anything to do with the Tesla car's themselves but instead focuses on Elon Musk as a person and the fact that many shareholders actually want to remove him from his position with the company. Musk has gained huge popularity through his work and has become a firm favorite among fans of the brand.
However, shareholders seem to feel otherwise, with rumblings that they are looking to oust Musk being commonplace. Jing Zhao, who is one of the stockholders, has previously issued a request to replace Musk as the chairman of the company, showing that there are issues going on behind closed doors, which isn't what the company wants the world to know.
1 What Tesla Car Models Spell Out
This is a bit of a strange example of something that Elon Musk likely wouldn't want people to know about, as the models of his Tesla cars actually sort of spell out a word. If you use the Model 3, the Model S, the Model X, and the Model Y, the word can be spelled out from its stylish design.
Of course, this really isn't an issue because nobody is going to buy every model of Tesla and arrange them in order and then stand far enough back to spell out the word and have it be an issue for other people. However, it is an interesting note and something that Musk likely doesn't want the entire world knowing about if he can get away with keeping the little joke a secret.
Sources: Business Insider, Forbes, Elektrek, and The New York Times.