Earlier in the week I received the following tweet from Tesla:
I was very interested for two reasons:
1. This is clearly a milestone for Tesla in their global launch program.
2. I live a stones throw from their northern Sydney dealership and have watched it morph from a Mitsubishi dealer through a specialist sports car outlet to a modern, fresh and exciting premises.
What did the mass media have to say about this milestone? Well the first article I read by a reputable (?) journalist from News Corp about 10 minutes after the tweet was full of negativity, doom and gloom and warnings about buying such a new fangled contraption. The headline said it all: “Tesla electric car saps too much power from Australian energy grids.”
All the article could concentrate on was the dire warning that plugging one of these cars into your house would cause a major failure of the system and the grid wouldn’t be able to cope, and I quote “Unlike other electric cars, the Tesla cannot be recharged via a normal power point and requires a special charger to be installed at home or work at a cost of up to $10,000 — and may also need to have the local electricity substation upgraded at a cost of more than $50,000, according to experts.”
The article then went to state that there was only one other charging station in Sydney (at Star Casino) and that the network of “Superchargers” was unclear because Tesla hadn’t told them where they would be explicitly. Clearly the journalist wasn’t listening at that point of the presentation as his main rival newspaper listed where they would likely be!
The article finished with a statement from the Master Electricians Association throwing more doom and gloom and a comment that the car had not been safety tested and implied it was therefore not saleable.
Such a negative story focusing on perceived problems and trying to sound a consumer “warning”.
Current State of Australian Media
I fully understand that the local media are desperate to write a story that is “controversial”, “shocking” or has “backflips” (especially for political stories), however I fail to understand why they can’t be creative in a more positive way. For example, Tesla’s launch could have been welcomed with comments about local investment, new jobs, new technological advances even a great write up about owners who see this as the future of motoring. Simply put, this launch is all of that and more – it is a pity that the company was not helped by a negative response. Strangely, the original article was pulled a day later and replaced with a bland report that still didn’t give Tesla any credit or show any enthusiasm.
It is now common to read “click bait” where the headline and the story differ completely and it is difficult to find an online news article that isn’t negative – what ever happened to good news? Tesla’s launch is a good news event.
Dear Tesla, Welcome to Sydney
So on behalf of those that really care – welcome. It is an exciting time to see the next generation vehicles come to Australia and thank you for investing in the network that will help your customers use their vehicles to the max. I for one are keen to see you succeed and to see more examples of your gorgeous Model S on the road!
There is a happy ending to this post. News Corp have done their own “backflip” and posted a story today entitled “Tesla Model S Australian review: The future of motoring is amazing”. Well done – next time save some work and write this first.