The Tesla Motors T

Named after inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the company’s CEO Elon Musk has just published his “Master Plan, Part Deux,” where, among other things, the self-driving capabilities the car brand is working toward will allow owners to…

“…add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost. This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.”

Tesla symbol

According to TechCrunch, Elon Musk expects It’ll take a total of 6 billion miles of test-driving before fully autonomous cars are a reality. Fleet learning is currently happening at 3 million miles per day.

The portfolio of New Jersey-based RO Studio shows the following version of the Tesla logo where the symbol and wordmark are placed within a shield.

Tesla logo

Tesla stationery

The design has since changed, with the shield all but disappearing for a simpler look (it’s still partially visible on the front of the car).

Tesla logo

Tesla store LA
Tesla Store LA, photo by Misha Bruk / MBH Architects
Tesla logo badge
Via Motor Trend
Tesla logo badge
Via Gas 2

Tesla logo

Tesla Model S

Maybe the T emblem hints at the Tesla Tower or coil. Perhaps it’s the design execution, but I just don’t think it portrays the clean energy powerhouse the brand aims to become.

Elon Musk tweeted after being asked about the logo, “Similar to SpaceX, the T is like a cross section of an electric motor, just as the X is like a rocket trajectory.”

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