Much to my delight, EVs have slowly but surely been infiltrating various forms of pop culture in the last few years- first, a Tesla Roadster appeared in the Xbox 360 game “Project Gotham Racing 4“- then it went on to appear in “Ironman“, “Leverage“, and finally (my favorite) as a $1 Hotwheels car- by far the most requested piece of merchandise among EV drivers of various sorts. The Volt has gotten in on the fun, too, with an appearance of sorts in this summer’s “Transformers 2” in a purple color that can’t be missed.
But scootercatalog.com has added a “Tesla Dream Roadster-style” ride-on toy to the mix. Intended for kids under 6, the very obvious knock-off looks nothing like a Tesla (and interestingly, the page address notes it also as a “Corvette-style” car.) I’m sure the Tesla folks will be offended enough to have their car featured in something called “scooter catalog”, but even more so that the site’s “dream” version of the iconic zero-emissions vehicle includes not one, not two- but four TAILPIPES. I’m just waiting for someone to claim this is an oil industry-funded stunt…
UPDATE #2: As of early July, all references to Tesla on the ScooterCatalog page have been removed. Based on all the inquiries to them I was copied on, can’t say I’m surprised…turns out they weren’t so flattered, either.
UPDATE: So I couldn’t help but write to the website and suggest that the tailpipes might be a more sensitive design deviation than most, and loved their response so much (hey, I’m easily entertained) that I had to post it below. They definitely have a creative definition of both “opinion” and “customer service”!
Thank You for the opinion, others have a different one though.
From: Chelsea Sexton
Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:34:54 PM
Subject: Tesla Roadster ride-on car
I was so excited to see your “Tesla Roadster-style” ride on car, but I’m thinking you might have a fundamental misunderstanding of what a Tesla is…Given that it’s fully electric, there is no exhaust, and therefore no tailpipe- let alone dual exhaust on each side! The other design differences are one thing, given that this is clearly an imitation, but anyone who actually wants a Tesla for their kid isn’t going to overlook that one.