One of the many ways Tesla tries to make its cars more attractive to buyers is by giving them a referral discount when they buy a car from a friend who already owns one; if the buyer goes through with the sale, said friend can win all sorts of prizes ranging from new wheels for their car to a miniature Tesla for their eco-conscious toddlers. But one owner took it up a notch (or fifty), referring a whopping 55 people to buy Teslas and winning a Founder’s Series edition of the next-gen Roadster.
Ben Sullins, host of the popular Teslanomics YouTube channel, gave out referral discounts via his website, smartly leveraging his large audience to make as many referrals as possible (the people he referred also get benefits like unlimited free Supercharging and a $1,000 discount as part of the program). Teslanomics analyzes the data behind Tesla’s fleet and turns it into easily-digestible videos, making it appealing to people without an advanced economics degree.
According to data Tesla sent Sullins, the people who’ve bought Teslas with his code have saved 47,275 lbs of CO2 and 4,498 gallons of gas. That’s a pretty impressive impact for one guy, YouTuber or not.
The way Tesla announced this Roadster referral tier flew mostly under the radar. Back in July, Tesla owners who had made prior referrals got a notification on their Tesla app revealing a “Secret Level” reward stage. They would receive a 10% discount for their next five referrals, and 2% for each one after that, towards the cost of a next-gen Roadster. Sullins made so many referrals that, in all technicality, he’ll be able to “buy” the new Roadster at a 100% discount. He also got several special rewards like an invite to the reveal event of the Tesla Semi and a chance to drive the Boring Company’s tunneling machine.
So, if you really, really want a Tesla Roadster but don’t want to pay for it, all you have to do is buy a Tesla, become a YouTuber, amass 44,000 subscribers, and get 55 other people to drop a hundred grand on an electric car. Sounds doable.