It is a popular opinion that people who buy EVs from Tesla also like the company's CEO Elon Musk. In fact, for most people Tesla and Elon Musk seem entirely synonymous. But a new survey conducted by a research firm Escalent counters this perception.
The research was conducted on 1,003 people in the US between December 21, 2020, and February 19, 2021. The respondents included 100 Tesla owners, 100 non-Tesla electric vehicle owners and 803 drivers who do not currently own EVs.
The survey showed that Tesla vehicles appeal to both EV owners and those who intend to buy an electric car within five years. Their reasons to like Tesla EVs are similar to what people would look for in any other EV - the styling, performance and acceleration, build quality. Also the fact that they're new and different. Battery range is another major reason that drives people towards buying an EV.
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But for Elon Musk, both Tesla owners and non-Tesla owners had a lot to say. A number of respondents who are either non-Tesla EV owners or plan to buy an EV actually see Musk to have a negative on their decisions. He is the major drawback that lead to their decision to not buy a Tesla EV.
While those who own a Tesla also said some things that were negative about the CEO, especially talking about his views on Twitter but some also said that his contributions to Tesla outweigh those negatives.
However, a quarter of Tesla owners or 26 per cent of the respondents said that Musk detracted from the brand. He ranked above EV driving range, purchase price, build quality and Supercharger availability. The majority of non-Tesla owners who viewed him as a negative impact on the brand, said, "He is a genius, but an outspoken, obnoxious one." as quoted by the research firm.