Tesla CEO Elon Musk was in Germany on Saturday in part for a festival that was intended to celebrate all things Tesla, as the company tries to get a factory up and running there. The ticketed festival included a site tour, and it sounds like Tesla didn’t have much problem attracting fans. Protesters, too.
At the event, in Gruenheide, Germany, Musk said lots of things, including that Tesla is aiming make up to 10,000 cars per day at the plant; that he was worried about finding enough workers since the plant might employ over 12,000 people; that the first cars from the Germany plant will roll off the line next month. Musk also defended the plant against those who say it should be dismantled over pollution concerns. If you’re a glutton for punishment or German you can watch Elon’s appearance on stage here:
Reuters was also there, and caught up with some Tesla fans. While I know that fandom is an irrational thing that comes with big incentives to overlook problems, with Tesla it’s always that and more. It sounds like everyone had. a nice time, except maybe the protesters who were there who say that the plant will pollute the water
“Look, Mummy! A Tesla,” shouted an excited 9-year old called Emil, one of many children lined up with parents waiting for a 90-minute site tour.
Fans cheered and laughed when Musk took the stage at sunset, welcoming him like a popstar.
“This day is unique,” said Tesla fan Fred Schroeder. “The Tesla factory in Germany will be opened to the public for the first time. That is a very special day.”
Another had driven his Tesla from Milton Keynes in Britain, despite not having a ticket. He said it was worth it just to see the site from the outside.
It’s hard for me to tell, at this point, where Tesla fandom ends or begins. If you’re a fan of EVs, there are a lot of other automakers who make EVs now; if you’re a fan of underdogs, well, Tesla isn’t an underdog anymore; and if you think Tesla is saving the world, they’re not. If you’re a fan of Elon Musk, then that’s fine, I get the charm. Being a Tesla owner or stockholder also counts, as you have a stake in seeing Tesla succeed.
For everyone else — which is most people — what do you think when you think Tesla? I wonder what normies think about Tesla, if they ever do at all.