Buying Tesla and the Social Class of Green Technology

Topics: Sociology, Renault, Electric vehicle Pages: 2 (437 words) Published: December 26, 2013
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--Buying Tesla and the Social Class of Green Technology--

Electric Cars are not a new concept, but are finally gaining a market share in today’s car market. These cars are extremely efficient and produce the least pollution out of any other car, however they have also become a symbol of status and wealth exemplified by Tesla Motor’s fast and status-oriented automobile models. The article “Positive and Negative spillover effects from Electric Car Purchase to Usage” by Klockner states how research resulted in the understanding that individuals who buy electric cars have no deduction in the amount of miles put on the annual mileage of their gas using cars. In other words, buying an electric car does not change Tesla owner’s consumption patterns. The ultimate green automobile is used more as a status symbol and companies such as Tesla Motors understand this and market primarily to the wealthy. This has created a form of “Green Aesthetic” which makes some consumers believe this is the way to gain entrance into an environmentally concerned upper class if they own these electric cars. Heider defines class as an order of which society divides people into sets based on perceived social or economic status. Even though individuals may want to reduce the overall carbon footprint, they lack the necessary financial stability to purchase a fuel efficient car like a Tesla. Owning such vehicles has become a type of “Electric Cool” where a status oriented society sees owning a tesla as being a method of exemplifying social strata. The middle and lower class have been encouraged to use much cheaper methods to reduce their carbon footprint such as recycling, further confirming the previous notions of the “Green upper class.” Tesla claims to market to all buyers to build a customer base for the next ten years, however it is quite relevant that they target the base of people who can afford such high costs. The idea to create electric cars is not new to the...
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