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Why is TESLA associating itself with Leilani Munter?

Why is TESLA associating itself with Leilani Munter?

Leilani Munter is a contradiction. She owns a Tesla Model S and contributes to Huffington Post in support of electric vehicles, yet she is a professional race car driver for Indy/Nascar. These race cars use combustion engines and contribute to polluting our air for sport, not necessity for personal transportation.

I don't understand why Tesla would choose her as a speaker at TESLIVE 2013. I was planning to attend TESLIVE 2014 but will be checking the speaker lineup before I decide to attend. I don't want to hear what a woman who calls herself an environmental activist, yet makes money off wasting fossil, fuels has to say.

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/teslive/agenda.php

Her website is "carbonfreegirl.com." Is this a joke?

http://www.carbonfreegirl.com

cloroxbb | December 17, 2013

So because her job uses fossil fuels, she's not good enough to own or speak of/for Tesla? What kind of snob are you?

TSLAholic | December 17, 2013

So if she gets picked up by Formula E, will you attend TESLIVE 2014 then? Seriously, your argument is like saying Elon Musk burns more fossil fuel with his rocket launches than all Teslas comibined omit using by being electric.

TSLAholic | December 17, 2013

combined

PXChanel | December 17, 2013
PXChanel | December 17, 2013

cloroxbb:
I am fan of Tesla like most people on this forum. I don't consider myself a snob beacuse I care about our environment and can detect a contradiction in people like carbonfreegirl.com. I think a company like Tesla can do better when choosing their spokespersons.

TSLAholic | December 17, 2013

Have you considered the fact that some of us do not wish to associate EV's with the the tree-hugger movement? Believe it or not, some people are intrigued by the performance aspects of Tesla vehicles, and do not buy them for any kind of political or environmental reasons.

GeekEV | December 17, 2013

@TSLAholic - I'm one of those people. Though for me it was more about technology than performance. The environmental aspect was just a nice bonus. Although owning it HAS led me to think about such things more, install solar, scrub my house for wasted power, etc. I now try to think environmentally whenever it's not too much of a compromise to do so.

just an allusion | December 17, 2013

I'm thinking PXChanel is a bit misogynistic....

Just saying.

TSLAholic | December 17, 2013

I wasn't going to comment on the gender remark, but I agree since you brought it up.

@GeekEV

Same here! Everytime I pass by a portable generator or see an outlet other than a simple 5-15, I can't help but to crunch the numbers in my head to come up with a mph Model S charge rate :) There is absolutely nothing wrong with energy efficiency, recycling, or renewables. I just don't wish to be labeled because I choose to accept these practices.

Jewsh | December 17, 2013

I would consider myself a pretty big environmentalist. Even so, I don't think that the occasional race in a high powered ICE vehicle is the problem. The biggest problem are the littany of commuters everyday who are just trying to make it to work. Racing an ICE on occasion is a drop in the bucket when it comes to carbon emissions.

Nevertheless I see your point, PXChanel. Indeed perhaps once Forumla-E takes hold Leilani will cut over to this league in lieu of Indy/NASCAR.

ian t.wa.us | December 17, 2013

@PXChanel - First of all Teslive isn't in any way organized by Tesla Motors. It's organized by Tesla Motors fans and customers through the Tesla Motors Club forums. Tesla Motors doesn't have a say who speaks at Teslive.

Second, have you seen Leilani's speech from the last Teslive? It was incredibly moving and did a great job of explaining why she should be a spokesperson for Tesla.

She's bringing attention to the environmental movement in a place, that of good ol' Amurican stock car racing, that hasn't had that light shone in it ever. She also buys tracks of rainforest to offset the carbon she produces by racing.

Yes, it's a contradiction.

Brian H | December 17, 2013

CO2 is saving China.
By reversing desertification, etc.
http://www.co2science.org/subject/g/summaries/chinadesertgreen.php

More, please, Sir?

Timo | December 17, 2013

Who cares if electric cars are greener. They are simply BETTER.

That's the message we should give the rest of the world. The fact that they are "greener" is just bonus.

PXChanel | December 18, 2013

@jjust an illusion:
Your comment doesn't deserve a reply. Even if I were mysogynistic, I would not accept hypocrites. Speaking out for EV yet making a career out if burning fossil fuels for fun is a contradiction whether you agree or not. An analogy would be if were a spokesperson for Kool-Aid, Cheese Puffs, Corn Dogs or Nerds, yet I had a career as a nutritionist. Or if I were a physician, counseling patients on the hazards of ethanol, tobacco, illicit drug use, yet I became a drug dealer myself. Hypocritical. I would have no credibility. Leilani has dubious credibility. I am just an average person. If I can pick up on this story and ask why, it's only a matter of time before the media learns about it. The last thing Tesla needs is more negative press. Tesla shares are finally picking up.

Timo | December 18, 2013

@PXChanel, it's not an contradiction, because BEV:s are simply better. It's just race car driver that likes BEV:s. It is exactly the example we need. When we have a illiterate redneck trucker speaking out for BEV:s we have succeeded bringing right message to people. Convert, not because car is green, but because it is better than alternative.

US Kiwi | December 18, 2013

@PXChanel the media has already taken notice of Leilani's story and this is what they had to say...

DISCOVERY’S PLANET GREEN #1 ECO ATHLETE

ELLE MAGAZINE 2012 GENIUS AWARD RECIPIENT

GRIST.ORG #1 BADASS GREEN

A WOMAN WE LOVE, ESQUIRE MAGAZINE

"A GREEN RACE CAR DRIVER WITH A CLEAN CONSCIENCE" - THE NEW YORK TIMES

"LEILANI HAS LANDED A STARRING ROLE" - USA TODAY

“ONE OF OUR OWN GENERATION’S DAVIDS, A MODERN DAY GOLIATH KILLER” - ACADEMY AWARD WINNING DIRECTOR LOUIE PSIHOYOS

GLAMOUR MAGAZINE ECO HERO

AMERICA’S BEST GREEN SPEED DEMON, READER’S DIGEST

"AS GREEN ADVOCATES GO, LEILANI IS EXCEPTIONAL BY EVERY
MEASURE" - ABC’S GREEN RIGHT NOW

"ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN GREEN" - COCO ECO MAGAZINE

"AN AVID ENVIRONMENTALIST" - US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

ONE OF NASCAR’S MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, SPORTING NEWS

FAST & CONSISTENT AT DAYTONA, AUTOWEEK

ESQUIRE MAGAZINE’S FAVORITE NASCAR DRIVER

"A MEGA-GREENIE" - NEWSWEEK

A MULTI-TALENTED RISING STAR, INDY 500 PROGRAM

"A DELIGHTFULLY GREEN PARADOX & ECO HERO" - GREEN DAILY

“VERY GENUINE, SHE KNOWS HER STUFF” BLUE PLANET ALMANAC

AMERICA’S SEXIEST RACECAR DRIVER, MEN’S JOURNAL

TOP TEN FEMALE RACE DRIVERS IN THE WORLD, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

“LEILANI DID A GREAT JOB, I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING HER RACE SOME MORE” FOUR TIME INDY 500 CHAMPION RICK MEARS

“LEILANI IMPRESSED A LOT OF PEOPLE HERE” KEVIN LEE, INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY NETWORK

US Kiwi | December 18, 2013

@PXChanel If you had bothered to do a little research, you will have found that Leilani has been a guest of the White House twice and the United Nations for discussions on environmental issues. I am going to guess the White House and the United Nations vet credentials quite well.

She's also featured in a book by the United Nations called "Champions of Change" about athletes who are making a difference for the Earth.

cloroxbb | December 18, 2013

Well PX Chanel, who would be a better spokesperson then? You obviously can complain about Leilani, so who should replace her?

Oh and you should stop breathing, you are releasing CO2 in the air...

PXChanel | December 18, 2013

I don't care what those bureaucrats "think," if you can call their decisions "thinking." I have a right to my opinion. Besides, I took one look at her front webpage and couldn't get past it. Very unprofessional.

PXChanel | December 18, 2013

@cloroxbb
If there is no one better to replace her, Tesla should not have one at all. They have Elon Musk. He is the best spokesperson. They don't need anyone else.

@USKiwi has nothing better to do with his/her time.

PXChanel | December 18, 2013

My message was intended more for Tesla admin to read.

Haeze | December 18, 2013

@PXChanel
If you are building a product that will change the way people think, who should you advertise, and speak to in order to spread the word ?

Do you just talk to the audience that already agrees with you, and already follows your every move ? No. You go to the industry you want to replace, to educate and thus convert THOSE people.

Leilani Munter is the EXACT person Tesla wants as a spokesperson. Someone who gets their entire livelihood from the old way of doing things, but is passionate about changing it for the better.

She, herself, isn't a hypocrite because she was the first driver ever to race a carbon-neutral race car. Her race team invests in saving enough rainforest to offset every bit of carbon their car produces in order to be sure they aren't causing net-positive pollution.

If you would try reading up on who Leilani is, and what she stands for, before you post negative junk on the forums, it would go a long way toward having a productive, and meaningful discussion on the forums.

just an allusion | December 18, 2013

@PXChanel

Obviously Miss Munter is positioning herself as spokesperson not necessarily just for TM, per se, but more likely for EV integration into the conventionally recognized ICE racing markets (stock car/Indy/NASCAR, etc.), a time tested and proven marketing strategy which has demonstrated its viability as a practice for re-energizing interest in the sport, e.g. Danica Patrick and NASCAR.

This is something that you, no doubt, would perhaps have picked up on had your reasoning faculty not been tainted with an anti-female inclination"?"

kikiorg | December 18, 2013

Thank you, @Haeze. You said all the things I was going to say.

Ms. Munter feels all of those contradictions. But racing is her life, her talent, and her passion.

We all have contradictions in our lives. Many others of us even work at jobs that we feel contradict our values. Those who don't understand that often have much wider choices in life, or that their limited choices are all within their values. This is not the case with all the world.

What other career should she be in, if not racing?

(What other career would you be in if all your talent happened to be wrapped up in fields that were not perfectly moral? Is your career you have now perfectly in alignment with your own morals? Can you really not find contradictions in your own life?)

I agree with Ms. Munter's own explanation: that starting the conversation among racing enthusiasts is making a big difference in the world -- one that would not have been made had she been in another career.

And I also believe that she'd rather be racing EVs! And that she's working towards making that day a reality.

I'm not much of a racing enthusiast (I like racing when I see it, but don't go out of my way.) Ms. Munter is one of my heroes, however, because she stands up for what she believes in and fights her way out from the inside. Women have a tough time in male dominated fields, and so I, personally, feel kinship with her own struggles and the courage she has in facing them. The label "hypocrite" is likely a lesser struggle.

That she keeps fighting -- against odds like this one -- is something I look up to.

ian t.wa.us | December 18, 2013

Besides, Tesla didn't choose Leilani, Leilani chose Tesla. Why? Because she likes to drive and the Model S is a great drivers car.

PDXChanel - You're right that you're entitled to have an opinion. You're also right that you can express it here. Just don't expect many here to agree with your opinion.

If you haven't already, please go watch Leilani's speech from Teslive.

Cheers!

ian t.wa.us | December 18, 2013

Well said Haeze and kikiorg.

ian t.wa.us | December 18, 2013

Sorry that should have been PXChanel.

cloroxbb | December 18, 2013

PXChanel posted:
@cloroxbb
If there is no one better to replace her, Tesla should not have one at all. They have Elon Musk. He is the best spokesperson. They don't need anyone else.
---------------------------------------

So, noone should publicly endorse Tesla except for Tesla... Got it.
You only want Tesla to be successful, if Tesla themselves advertise. Word of mouth and advertising by other public figures not directly related to Tesla aren't good enough?

What is the real reason you have a problem with Leilani, cause your responses dont really seem to support your reasoning IMO.

DHrivnak | December 18, 2013

PXChannel, have you listened to her talk from Teslive? It was quite impressive and I have to say she is doing a GREAT job in reaching many people especially those who thing anything green is bad. I for one am VERY glad we have Leilani speaking out.

If we could all make such a contribution the battle would be won by now.

RanjitC | December 18, 2013

Leilani Rocks. We all use petroleum products in our daily lives and jobs, does that make any of us less important when we support Tesla. This is just the beginning of the end of fossil fuels!

carlgo | December 19, 2013

If you want Tesla to succeed and to lead the world into adoption of electric vehicles then you will applaud its wider and inclusive view of the world.

If you want Tesla to fail, hope that it only caters to environmental purists, those who will loudly wail away about the use of oil-based grease in the wheel bearings.

Dramsey | December 19, 2013

I can see why some people see her as a hypocrite: it's not just that she drives ICE vehicles, she makes her living doing it, and they're far, far more polluting than any passenger car.

(Well, except Indy cars. They run on alcohol.)

And heck, her license plate is "EFF OIL". Would you patronize a surgeon who claimed Western medicine was garbage and said everyone should use homeopathic remedies instead?

Then again, environmental hypocrisy is hardly new. I'm sure many of us can think of lots of examples (cough Al Gore cough). And the same excuses will be trotted out: yeah, his giant mansion and fleet of SUVs have 20 times the carbon footprint of the average citizen, but look at all the good he does for The Movement!

Still, in the larger scheme of things, it's irrelevant. What percentage of emissions do you think comes from auto racing when compared to passenger vehicles?

cloroxbb | December 20, 2013

@dramsey

Your metaphor is not the same situation. There is no problem here, except the fantasy that PXChanel has in his head.

Skotty | December 22, 2013

Is any environmentalist or EV advocate a hypocrite if they fly across the country to visit family? Why did they fly so far and waste so much gas when they could just stay in touch by phone? Why didn't they take an electric plane? Did they drive an EV to the airport? Are they a hypocrite if the electricity for the EV came from a coal plant?

While there is a Formula E out there (is that the closest thing to electric NASCAR?), I doubt switching from NASCAR to Formula E is as easy as pressing a button. Everything about it is probably different, and it would probably be extremely difficult to switch from one to the other.

They only way I see any hypocrisy in a NASCAR driver promoting EVs is if it was very easy for a NASCAR driver to switch to some EV equivalent, something that I think is highly unlikely at this time.

PorfirioR | December 23, 2013

When will the day come when one can be an EV advocate and own a company that launches rockets to space without being called a hypocrite?

olanmills | January 8, 2014

It seems like no one has yet mentioned the important fact that TESLIVE is organized and executed by fans, independently of Tesla. It's true, the organizers were able to solicit participation from Tesla, but the planning and execution of the event is handled by Tesla fans from TeslaMotorsClub.com

ian t.wa.us | January 8, 2014

I made that point on the first page olan. No response to that fact from the OP though.

DutchieN | January 9, 2014

Tesla did not choose Leilani for Teslive. Why? Because Tesla Motors has nothing to do with Teslive. Teslive was organised by Tesla enthusiasts and not by Tesla Motors

SamO | January 10, 2014

There are few bigger EV enthusiasts or love of great cars that go fast, than Leilani.

ian t.wa.us | January 10, 2014

Is there an echo in here?

uselesslogin | January 11, 2014

Also, in that case, why would Tesla allow Elon Musk to be their leader? The man flies a private jet and owns a rocket company and has already admitted that he believes all forms of transport will become electric except for his precious rockets burning all the fossil fuels we have left. What a hypocrite.

frmercado | January 11, 2014

You're a troll and this thread should be marked as spam. Two things already pointed out by others.

1. TESLIVE in not affiliated in any way to TM. except for the fact that it is made out of a group of enthusiast for the cars it[TM] builds.

2. And "She also buys tracks of rainforest to offset the carbon she produces by racing." Which is true and you can easily verify it.

You are either a troll or a very misinformed individual.

Brian H | January 12, 2014

Offsetting is bogus, just guilt money like indulgences. Field day for fraudsters. "Send me $10 or this dog gets it!"

Jolinar | January 12, 2014

@PXChanel

Did you even listen what she said at 2013 TESLIVE???