Place data in the products we use and love: Spotlight on Tesla

In the previous post in the series we shined a light on, who relies on map layers to add contextual data to properties. This week we focus on Tesla.

This tweet recently caught my eye:

The significance of this may not be immediately obvious. You could, of course, always look up the location of a Supercharger in the Tesla app before this was announced. But... you had to do it on your own! If you're anything like me, you probably hate having to leave an app to do something that should clearly be supported within it. With this small change, Tesla not only removed friction from the experience of driving one, but opened up the opportunity to capture even more of your money. Why look up a (competing) Chargepoint station if you're going to be automagically routed to a Tesla-owned Supercharger?!

Once 'potential stops along my route' becomes a variable in Tesla's routing algorithm, why not extend the set, partner with brands located near Superchargers and charge them an affiliate fee for visitors? In this model, routing suggestions allow Tesla to support a broader advertising business (not unlike Google Maps). (Relatedly, I am surprised they don't yet operate billboards/OOH advertising space at Supercharger stations.)

Even without ad revenue, the potential for incremental revenue from Supercharger fees seems to far outweigh the cost of incorporating Supercharger locations into the routing algorithm. This seems like a brilliant move for Tesla. But it also opens up opportunities for other businesses. Check out this idea: 

If you're staying at a hotel in America, chances are you'll drive there. What better way to get Tesla drivers to stay there than offering them chargers? Airbnb, an innovator in many ways, started offering an option to filter for properties with EV chargers in 2021. Maybe Marriot Bonvoy and others will follow?

It's still early days, but I think we're going to see a lot more companies leverage data like this to improve their products and business models.

Previous posts in our Spotlight Series


- Zillow:

- Airbnb:

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