- Climate XChange has been running a Tesla raffle since 2015 and this year’s prize is a $165,000 Model X.
- The past three years have sold out, but in 2023 ticket sales are slow, the raffle organizer told Insider.
- Some past entrants have said that they no longer want to win a Tesla thanks to Elon Musk.
One of Tesla’s first giveaways had to find an alternate prize because many previous entrants were too upset with Elon Musk to buy another ticket this year, its organizer told Insider.
Since 2015, Boston-based nonprofit Climate XChange has offered a chance to win a luxury electric vehicle for a $250 ticket.
Proceeds help the organization’s campaign for climate-related policies in all 50 states, though raffle director Peter Kirby told Insider: “We tend to sell more tickets to people who are Tesla enthusiasts. that support the climate”.
Despite the last three raffles being sold out, the organizers noted that sales were well below the usual pace this time. That’s despite the jackpot prize, a Tesla Model X Plaid and all associated taxes, worth $250,000, a value 10% higher than the 2022 raffle.
Kirby said that last year Climate XChange sold all 5,000 tickets, but when Insider spoke to Kirby in mid-January, this year’s raffle had only sold 1,742 tickets. That’s just over a third of its fixed capacity, and the draw will take place on February 24.
Climate XChange tweaked its advertising strategy shortly after the initial launch last September, but still found a lack of interest.
“We were in October, and then November, and then we started getting feedback from people,” Kirby says. The emails and text messages made it clear that previous entrants were not interested in winning a Tesla because of Musk.
One person cited the way Musk fired Twitter staff as well as his political views, adding: “I’m so against Elon right now.” And another email called Musk a “fascist,” insisting: “You have to find another electric car to give away.”
But it wasn’t all politics either, as one person wrote to Kirby: “Unfortunately, Mr. Musk has done real damage to the Tesla brand and the quality of the cars.”
Since Tesla’s stock has fallen 62% over the past year, some Tesla investors said they can’t afford the $250 ticket price either. One of them had bought tickets as a Christmas present last time and sent him a message. text to Kirby in December: “Unless TSLA shows up this week, I can’t afford to do it again this year. But maybe, if things change in January.” I may reconsider.”
Kirby says he had several such conversations after calling previous ticket buyers to encourage them to re-enter.
A business strategy consultant for 20 years and an IBM executive for 10 years, he told Insider: “I’ve never dealt with a situation where the statements and actions of one individual could have such an impact on an independent organization.”
As a result, the nonprofit organization spoke with its lawyers and added a Rivian as an alternative prize. Kirby says that helped sell a few more tickets: a new entrant said “you couldn’t pay me to have a Tesla right now,” but they’re still far from his goal. “It’s critical to us that even if we don’t sell out, we at least get much closer than we’re on track to do right now,” he adds.
Kirby still owns two Teslas, a Model Y and a Model X, with the latter nearing the end of its extended warranty. He put down a deposit for a Rivian as a replacement, he told Insider.
And on top of Musk’s political statements, Kirby says: “I’m more upset that you’re just acting like a kid online. You’re supposed to run these companies. And instead you’re wasting your time on this kind of vanity project.” Twitter, rather than to keep driving Tesla.”
Tesla did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.