Millennials--and Generation Z after them--are characterized primarily by a deep involvement in digital technology. However, this is not the only thing that attracts them to Tesla. The company cares not only about innovative cars and the disruptive technologies built into them, but its primary value is centered around the ongoing well-being of people and the environment.
"I think Tesla, to a lot of millennials, is more than just a car brand. It's a lifestyle," Kelley Blue Book executive analyst Akshay Anand told Business Insider. Anand said Tesla's appeal to millennials is rooted in the company's ability to create a narrative that includes renewable energies, self-driving cars, space exploration, and other developments that could bring broad benefits to humanity. He believes that millennials tend to be very cause-centric and care about what companies stand for.
Tesmanian interviewed recent high school graduate, Owen Sparks, for whom Tesla may be one of his favorite extra-curricular subjects.
I have never been a big “car person." When my parents would take me to car shows I could appreciate the craftsmanship and work that went into maintaining them, but beyond that, I didn't really care. Then, in the summer of 2016 Roman Atwood released a video where he was giving away a Tesla Model X. I had never seen anything like it, and it didn’t seem possible that an electric car could go that far and that fast.
At the time the only electric cars I knew of were the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, which are, well you know… hideous. Then this sexy spaceship of a fabergé egg comes out of nowhere and my reality is completely flipped upside down. Why has no one told me about this? Why was I just hearing about it now?
I immediately learned everything I could about Tesla and this guy Elon Musk who lands rockets on drone ships in the middle of the ocean. The ability to create your own energy, store it and then use it to power your car existed yet the world was still relying on fossil fuels. From that point on I have dedicated my life to teaching people about this secret I had discovered, a secret that is not-so-secret anymore, and one that will take down the corrupt oil industry who exploits our lands and pollutes our waters.
People my age understand Tesla more than older generations because they are just like our smartphones. Both share a touchscreen, games, apps, software updates, cameras, and when you're done using them for the night you plug them in.
Kids at school are often complaining about their cars breaking down and having to pay the maintenance bill, or the price of gas going up, so that alone is a reason to love Tesla because neither of those situations apply. Although Tesla has come out with more affordable versions like the Model 3, they would need to make an even cheaper model in order to be in the realm of possibility for the majority of High School and College students. That being said, by the time Tesla could come out with such a vehicle, the Robo Taxi network will be up and running and owning a car would not be necessary anymore.
Here are some of their responses when asked:
“Tesla is great for the Earth, less air pollution!”
“Wish I had one so I don't have to pay for gas anymore.”
“I think it is sad that [Elon] doesn't get a lot of credit.”
“I love how they are making more affordable products like the Model 3.”
“It’s so self-dependent and is great for the environment which is super rad.”
“They are the first big electric car company and they're gonna save the world.”
Driving the Model 3 was amazing and it blew away all my expectations, even as an avid Tesla fan. I loved how every surface was soft to the touch, and how responsive the car was when driving. There was nearly no delay between my input and how the car reacted, compared to an ICE vehicle where it takes a moment to get up to speed. I knew it would be fast and that the acceleration would be instantaneous, but I was not prepared at all when we drove out of the Tesla parking lot and my Dad stomped on the pedal. In that instant, he was sold, and any concerns he had about owning an electric vehicle had vanished. It is almost indescribable because it is unlike anything I have experienced before, and this was just the Long Range version.
Later on in the night, I got the chance to drive the Model 3, and when the right opportunity presented itself, I too stomped on the pedal. It literally feels like you're driving on rails. I also have to mention how incredible Autopilot was to use, especially on my first highway driving experience. After merging into the center lane and activating autopilot, it was nice to be able to focus on what was happening further ahead and monitor the vehicles around me using the traffic visualizations and cameras. I am excited to see where this technology goes and hope that every vehicle on the road will have such a system onboard.
Some love it, some hate it, and a few have said it would be a once in a lifetime purchase, as in the only vehicle for the rest of their life. That's the thing about Tesla and the Cybertruck especially, there is zero maintenance (besides normal tire rotations & windshield washer fluid) which will save you a ton of money over the course of ownership. I think one main reason teens love the Cybertruck is that it looks like a car from the future, the kind we’ve seen in movies, and in video games. Also, because of the stainless steel exterior, a few dents and scratches that are inevitable with young drivers won't be a problem, and will actually add to the coolness factor.
A concern they shared is about the Tesla Armour Glass, and what would happen in a crash where you need to break the glass in order to escape, however, I’m sure Tesla has thought about this and will have a way to get out if necessary.
Here are some of their responses when asked:
“It’s sexy and I like the option to wrap it”
“I want to buy one”
“I don't think our society is ready for it”
“It is really unique and has a very innovative design. I’ve heard it has a lot of room and as a larger person I have trouble fitting comfortably in most cars, which the Cybertruck appears to accommodate.”
I think it’s great that Tesla is doing a stock split because it means more kids my age will be able to invest. While it's possible to buy fractional shares on apps like Robinhood & Cash App, I think owning the full share is best. Either way, it gives us another option depending on how much we are ready to put away. Most High Schoolers can't afford TSLA at its current price, however, a few hundred dollars is very doable and wouldn't take that long to save up. In fact, I built and sold over 15 Pallet Christmas Trees this past winter in order to buy my first share at a price of $375 back in March!
Younger millennials, and especially generation z-ers, represent huge swaths of soon-to-be-buyers of both Tesla's products and its stock. This young group is already aligned with the high-tech lifestyle and sustainable energy values the company espouses. The road ahead is looking green. Flip on the Autopilot: Tesla will drive us there.
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