Toss That Boring Flamethrower: Tesla Is Making a Leaf Blower

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

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Seems like Elon Musk is willing to make anything but profits.

In an almost inexplicable tweet earlier this week, Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed that Tesla is going to build a silent leaf blower. Why? Because why not, I guess?

  • Elon Musk tweeted something crazy about Tesla’s future
  • Tesla will manufacture and presumably sell an electric leaf blower
  • Elon Musk has marketed both a flamethrower and peanut brittle in the past
  • Twitter, as a community, responded

How would Tesla even begin to construct such a product? From the company parts bin, apparently. In a response to a fan, Musk that Tesla “can probably just repurpose Model 3 HVAC parts. Not a big deal.”

This isn’t the first time Tesla has been called on to make such a silent yard maintenance product. It’s supposedly “been suggested by many, externally & internally (to Tesla),” according to Musk.

As the Twitter user @justadood so sagely pointed out, there are already electric leaf blowers on the market. Musk thinks he can do his better, though. No big deal.

That sort of attitude is one of Musk’s biggest problems. He thinks so highly of his own abilities, he feels he is capable of not only re-envisioning but easily improving products others have been making for years or even decades.

For example, it was Musk’s admitted hubris that delayed both the Model X and Model 3. With the Model X, they overcomplicated the vehicle with features like falcon-wing doors, which made the all-electric SUV almost impossible to produce on a mass scale.

And with Model 3, at Musk’s insistence, Tesla skipped soft production tooling for Model 3. This resulted in some parts having to be fixed (or even made) by hand on the assembly line, which further slowed production that was already well behind schedule.

What’s more, Musk is easily sidetracked and distracted from the clear and present obstacles in his path. This is evidenced by the founding of the Boring Company, which began carving tunnels underneath cities for express automated car ferrying. Before that, though, it built and sold a flamethrower. And Musk did this because he was tired of sitting in traffic — the tunnels not the flamethrower.

 

Now, presumably, Musk is going to allocate funds and brainpower to solving a problem that was already figured out, just so he can stand in front of a crowd of ‘Cult of Elon’ obsequious fans and bask in their adoration.

Instead of wasting time on a Tesla leaf blower, Musk should figure out how to produce the Model Y sooner, build his current Tesla models more profitably, and turn the firm around from the brink of financial ruin. Because, even if he was able to build and profitably sell some Tesla leaf blowers, what good would it do?

Maybe it’s time that the Tesla board relieve Musk from his position as CEO and let him just be some billionaire who wanders around Twitter saying wacky stuff. That way, his hair-brained schemes won’t get in the way of Tesla doing what it’s supposed to do: build cars … at a profit.

Then again, most Tesla owners are buying into Musk more than the unreliable EVs themselves. So it stands to reason that Tesla could just start selling all sorts of stuff, so long it has a cool look and is hawked by Musk himself.

Now that I think of it, maybe Musk is onto something … Forget cars. They’re hard. Tesla should build innocuous products no one really needs. I’m sure Bezos would let Musk sell them on Amazon.


About the Author

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

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