Tesla love in the Telugu community: A South Asian affair with electric excellence

Group 95. PHOTO: Courtesy Tesla Inc.

During my Sunday visit to the Bridgewater Balaji Temple in New Jersey, the priest shared a fascinating tidbit – it’s like a Model Y parade every day! Apparently, around 10 sleek Model Y cars grace the temple grounds for a special car pooja. With the enticing New Jersey charge up rebates and the added perk of no sales tax, it’s become a bit of a ritual. Who wouldn’t be tempted to join this unique automotive celebration?

The Telugu community’s affinity for Tesla extends beyond just owning the vehicles. Tesla’s custom light show last year, in New Jersey celebrating the Oscar win for the song ‘Naatu Naatu’ from the movie RRR, exemplify the community’s deep connection with the brand or status symbol or the typical word Milage. Does owning a Tesla enhance their social standing within the community?

Tesla’s delivery numbers tell a compelling story. In Q3 2023 alone, the electric car giant achieved a remarkable feat with 435,059 vehicle deliveries, setting a quarterly record. The irresistible charm of the Model 3/Y played a pivotal role, with collective sales reaching over 419,074 units in Q3 2023, with a staggering 50.58% share in the EV company market, Tesla outpaced competitors like Hyundai, Kia, Ford, and Volkswagen.

According to U.S. Department of Energy Electric Vehicle Charging Stations database, One of the most attractive features for Tesla owners is the Tesla Supercharger network, a game-changer in the electric vehicle charging landscape. With 2,268 Superchargers in North America, California leads the charge with 400 locations followed by Florida (144), Texas (137), New York (83), and Pennsylvania (71). The sates with charging stations exclusively for Tesla users hints the U.S. metropolitan areas with a high Indian Telugu population, including New York- New Jersey, San Francisco, Pennsylvania align with the states reporting substantial Tesla sales.

Tesla’s manufacturing prowess is also highlighted by Business Insider, naming it the most American-made car brand, further enhancing its appeal among patriotic consumers. Additionally, data from the World Population Review indicates that California, Florida, Texas, and Washington recorded the highest Tesla sales from 2021 to 2022, underscoring the widespread adoption of Tesla vehicles across key states.

S&P Global Mobility’s analysis reveals that Tesla’s loyalty is notably strong among diverse consumer bases, especially among Asian-American buyers. Among Indian buyers, Tesla’s loyalty stands at an impressive 72.1%, surpassing the industry average by 33 points.

Tesla graph showing loyalty of minority groups. PHOTO: author

The reasons behind this loyalty are diverse. For many Indians, a belief in climate change, the status symbol associated with Tesla, limited alternatives in the EV market, and financial incentives, including IRS rebates and EV charger installation rebates, contribute to the decision-making process.

A closer look at Tesla owner demographics among the Telugu community highlights a unique profile. The average household income of a new Tesla owner in 2024 is $150,015, showcasing financial prosperity. Moreover, Tesla owners tend to be older and also more educated on average and earn a higher income. One-third of all Tesla drivers have a master’s degree (compared to 13% of the general population). Engineers, managers of operations, and software engineers were among the most common occupations of Tesla owners. Sriman Narayana from New Jersey said “Safety, Gas Savings and Cost of Maintenance is low, with a Good Brand Perception makes me happy.”

According to Sandy Dietrich and Erik Hernandez, the Telugu-speaking population in America has witnessed a remarkable 351.5% increase compared to any other native South Asian language over the last decade. This surge in population growth further amplifies the influence and appeal of Tesla within the Telugu community.

Tesla’s innovative electric vehicles have garnered praise for their environmental friendliness and cutting-edge technology. With features like autopilot systems enabling semi-autonomous driving, Tesla cars represent the pinnacle of modern automotive engineering. This technological sophistication, coupled with its aspirational appeal, has made Tesla the vehicle of choice for many Asian families, symbolizing success and progress in their communities.

The Telugu community’s love affair with Tesla goes beyond a mere transportation choice; it represents a cultural shift towards embracing sustainability, innovation, and excellence in the electric automotive landscape. As Tesla continues to captivate hearts and garages, the Telugu population stands as a testament to the electric love story on American roads.

(This article was updated by the author from a previous one)



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