Last night, Tesla finally unveiled its planned electric car for the masses, the Model 3. The presentation was reminiscent of early Apple launches, with people lining up outside the company stores just for the right to put a $1,000 deposit down on a car that they had not even seen yet.
The most striking aspect of the presentation was how Elon Musk began by talking about climate change. Before even mentioning the car or showing it off, he put up two graphics on the screen. One, showed carbon emissions from the beginning of time to present day. The other, showed how global temperatures are rising over time. He then spoke about how this car is important to the future of humanity; that it is important for the world to switch away from the internal combustible engine and to clean electric transport.
The take away from it all... this company is about more than just a car. Tesla is selling a powerful idea, an idea that they are the ones that will stop climate change. They are going to bring clean transportation to the masses, and on top of that, it will be done with a great car. A car that has the ability to run software updates wirelessly and plugs in to charge just like your phone. Buying a Tesla means you will never visit a gas station again. Musk finished off by thanking the 650+ Model S and Model X owners in the audience for their purchase, telling them they helped to fund the Model 3. Again, the belief that a purchase of a Tesla is about something greater than just a car. Your purchase of a Model S helped save the planet by funding the low cost Model 3. Now, your purchase of the Model 3 will help stave off climate change.
Whether right or wrong, this belief has already helped Tesla build a tremendous cult following. It is this fervent belief in Elon Musk's dream that may help propel the company to the top in the years to come.