- Climate XChange has been running a Tesla raffle since 2015 and this year’s prize is a $165,000 Model X.
- The last three years have sold out, but in 2023 ticket sales are slow, the raffle organizer told Insider.
- Some past participants have said they no longer want to win a Tesla thanks to Elon Musk.
One of Tesla’s first sweepstakes had to find an alternative 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 the chance to win a luxury electric vehicle for a $250 ticket.
Proceeds help the organization’s campaign for climate-related policy in all 50 states, although sweepstakes director Peter Kirby told Insider, “We tend to sell more tickets to people who are Tesla enthusiasts and who for perhaps they support the climate”.
Even with the last three drawings sold out, organizers noticed that sales were well below the normal pace this time around. That’s despite the top prize, a Tesla Model X Plaid and all associated taxes, worth $250,000 – an amount 10% higher than the 2022 draw.
Kirby said last year Climate XChange sold out all 5,000 tickets, but by the time Insider spoke to Kirby in mid-January, this year’s raffle had sold just 1,742 tickets. That’s just over a third of its fixed capacity, with the draw scheduled for February 24th.
Climate XChange changed its advertising strategy shortly after the initial launch last September, but still found a lack of interest.
“We were in October and then getting into November, and then we started getting some feedback from people,” says Kirby. The emails and text messages made it clear that past participants weren’t interested in winning a Tesla because of Musk.
One person cited Musk’s way of firing Twitter employees, as well as his political views, adding, “I’m so anti-Elon right now.” And another email called Musk a “fascist”, insisting: “You need to find another e-car to donate.”
But it wasn’t all politics, with one person writing to Kirby: “Mr Musk has unfortunately done some real damage to the Tesla brand and the quality of the cars.”
With Tesla shares down 62% over the past year, some Tesla investors have said they can’t afford the $250 ticket price either. One of them bought tickets as a Christmas present last time and texted Kirby in December: “Unless TSLA shows up this week, I won’t be able to do it again this year. But maybe, if things change in January, I might reconsider.” .”
Kirby says he has 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 an individual’s statements and actions could have such an impact on an independent organization.”
As a result, the non-profit spoke with its lawyers and added a Rivian as an alternate prize. Kirby says this helped sell a few more tickets — one new entrant said “you couldn’t pay me to have a Tesla right now” — but they’re still far from their goal. “It’s critical for us that even if we don’t sell out, we at least get much closer to what we’re on track to do now,” he adds.
Kirby still owns two Teslas, a Model Y and a Model X, and the latter is nearing the end of its extended warranty. He put down a deposit for a Rivian as a replacement, he told Insider.
And above Musk’s political statements, Kirby says, “I’m more upset that he’s just acting like a kid online. He should be running these companies. And instead, he’s wasting his time on this kind of vanity project.” of Twitter, rather than to continue driving Tesla.”
Tesla did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.