Tesla has now officially ended its referral program for its vehicles and everything else except its solar roof.
We expect a new version of the program to launch in the near future.
Tesla Referral Program
For years, Tesla relied on its referral program to boost demand.
The automaker doesn’t like to spend on marketing or advertising and instead, it relied on its userbase to promote its vehicles and rewarded them in the process.
At the core of the referral program, new buyers can use referral links from current owners when buying a new Tesla and each party gets prizes.
The prizes have changed a lot over the years.
At the peak of the program, Tesla was giving away free new Roadsters to owners who accumulated enough referrals.
An impressive number of people ended up reaching that level, and we estimated that Tesla would be giving away about 80 new Roadsters on top of giving out significant discounts to many more.
CEO Elon Musk later announced that Tesla is killing its referral program due to cost concerns associated with all those Roadsters, which the automaker has yet to deliver.
Tesla didn’t end up killing the program, but it did reduce the prizes to 1,000 free Supercharging miles on both sides of the transaction.
Is Tesla ending the referral program?
Today, Tesla updated its website to add a mention that as September 18, 2021, it is not accepting referrals for vehicle products and solar panels:
“As of September 18, 2021, vehicle products, and solar panels are no longer eligible for Referral awards.”
However, Tesla is keeping the referral program for Solar Roof and even increasing it to $500 award per system activation:
“At this time, orders for Solar Roof are eligible for the Referral Program. To earn Referral awards, Solar Roof orders must be placed through your unique referral link. Note that referrals cannot be added after an order is placed, and awards are granted after the Solar Roof system receives permission to operate on the grid from your utility.”
This change has been reflected in Tesla’s mobile app:
The solar roof was only a small part of Tesla’s referral program and now that it’s all that remains of it, some are predicting the end of the referral program era.
However, we previously reported that this was coming and that it should be replaced by something else.
Earlier this year, we reported that Tesla plans to completely revamp the referral program:
“According to a source familiar with the matter, Tesla plans to eliminate referral links, which owners often spam on social media, and instead turn to an app-based referral program promoting in-person referrals.”
The details are still unclear, but now that Tesla stopped taking referrals for vehicles, I’d expect the changes to be announced soon.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.