Tesla’s drive-in restaurant moment couldn’t have been served at a better time

Friday, June 4, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_Meanwhile at a Tesla "Charge Club" [Flashpop/DigitalVision via GettyImages]_

Meanwhile at a Tesla "Charge Club" [Flashpop/DigitalVision via GettyImages]

I’ll have the Musk Burger... with a side of Ludicrous Mode Mayo. That could soon be a reality for Tesla owners: Tesla just filed trademarks for restaurant services, including take-out, self-service, and pop-up restaurants. Think: fries and pressed juice while you juice up your Model S — instant "range anxiety" killer.

Pull up the Elon tweet... Since 2017, Tesla execs have been flirting with restaurant concepts. Picture: Tesla-only charging stations with convenience stores and upscale burger joints. In 2018, Elon tweeted that he was “Gonna put an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant" at a Tesla Supercharger station in LA. That hasn't happened yet, but Tesla has been developing a "Charge Club" model.

  • Tesla opened a lounge at its Kettleman City, CA Supercharger station. Think: free cappuccinos while your car charges — like an airline lounge, but for EV trips.
  • Owner-only perks reinforce the "lifestyle brand" strategy. That's why Chinese EV maker Nio created "Nio Houses," sleek showroom-clubhouses to give Nio owners a place to chill.

Exclusivity breeds brand loyalty... exactly what Tesla needs right now. Tesla’s global EV market share fell to 11% in April, from 29% in March. Ford and others are dropping sleek EVs at attractive prices, and the Biden admin is pushing for wider EV adoption. Competition is hotter than ever, and Tesla needs differentiators to justify its higher prices. With "Charge Clubs," Tesla can offer an ecosystem that others haven't built yet. Just like some people pay extra for loyalty flights with lounges, some might buy a Tesla over a Mach-E thanks to "Charge Clubs."