Elon Musk is giving back to the community. On Tuesday, the Tesla CEO wrote on his Twitter page that he would be “happy to donate […] personally” some toy replica Tesla Model S vehicles to various kids hospitals and hospices, as part of a plan by a Tesla fan club president to kickstart a new movement.
The plan sees Tesla fans donating the kid-sized cars they may have received as a bonus gift from the company for referring new customers. Will Fealey, president of the Tesla Owners UK fan club, wrote to Musk asking for help with a plan to donate the RadioFlyer-produced Tesla Model S for Kids to children in need. The Founders Series edition of the toy, with an exclusive brushed aluminum license plate, is available as a prize for electric car owners that refer either one or two friends to buy their own vehicle. Musk responded positively to Fealey’s plan to buy 24 cars and roll out a donation program across Europe. Fealey claims that so far, members of the fan club have pledged to donate 26 cars, with the aim of reaching 50 via external support.
Much like their life-size counterparts, the zippy vehicles offer a strong lithium-ion-powered punch. The toy sits one child aged between three and eight years old, supporting a maximum weight of 81 pounds, with a top speed fo six miles per hour that can also limit under parental supervision to three miles per hour. The toy has working headlights, horn, forward and backward mode, a frunk and an MP3 sound system. Like the larger Teslas, they also come in four colors: red, blue, silver and white.
It’s not the first community-led initiative that’s had a positive effect. Two fans in May used the Model 3 to set a new “hypermile” record, demonstrating how drivers can get the most energy efficiency with a number of key tips. Tesla has also given back in ways before, granting a dying man’s wish to drive the Model 3 in December 2017. Of course, all these efforts help create a strong word of mouth, meaning the company was able to spend around $6 per car on advertising in 2016.
The toy cars are part of Tesla’s new referral program, rolled out in February, that also brings gifts like premium wheels to the table. One of the biggest prizes is the chance to drive a Tesla Semi electric truck before its launch in 2019.
While the toys were initially a cool novelty given as a starter prize, the new idea could lead to something much larger. With Musk’s backing for the project, Fealey’s initiative could receive a huge boost in support.