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This article was published on May 6, 2021


Tesla may slash its referral program and cut free Supercharging miles

Apparently its reward policy costs too much

Tesla may slash its referral program and cut free Supercharging miles
Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
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Ioanna Lykiardopoulou

Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives. Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives.

Tesla is to make yet another change to its referral program, sources told Electrek.

Having spent over $23 million in free Supercharging miles last quarter alone, the company is seriously rethinking its reward policy. 

Tesla launched the program back in 2015 to promote its vehicles through its user base. But giving credit or prizes to new buyers and owners who referred new sales proved to be too costly.

In 2019, it even ended up promising 80 new Roadsters for free to customers with enough referrals, which prompted Elon to kill the program.

Well, that didn’t go down, and instead he reduced the current prizes to 1,000 free Supercharging miles.

As it happens, this is again too much money for Tesla, so it plans to cut the referral links that are frequently spammed on social media.

In their place, the company wants to roll out an app-based referral program to promote in-person referrals, and to include more features for non-Tesla owners.

According to Electrek, existing owners can link their account to the new user’s app to give test drives to prospective buyers. If the new users purchase a Tesla after all, the owners will be rewarded. 

Will that help the company sell more cars? It sounds like more friction at this point, which isn’t such a good thing. All it might do is help save Tesla a few million dollars in Supercharging miles. 


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