Swipe left, Elon stans: that Tesla dating app is a joke, for now

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Despite several news articles that seem to suggest otherwise, a dating app just for Tesla owners isn’t real — at least not yet.

The brainchild of Canadian developer Ajitpal Grewal, the Tesla Dating Co. website says it’s “an exclusive community of like-minded Elon stans. You know, the kind of people that really understand you.” The site asks for an email address and notes users “must prove Tesla ownership before launch.” Perhaps its tagline is the first hint that this is all meant to be in good fun: “Because you can’t spell LOVE without EV.”

“Yes, the intention with the site starting out was parody, which I let everyone know,” Grewal said in an email to The Verge. “But, I did also say that if I see enough traction I would consider taking the app to launch. So far I’ve been seeing quite a bit of traction.”

That traction may be because Grewal told different media outlets different things about his pre-launch dating service. He’s quoted in The Wall Street Journal saying that Tesla ownership becomes a big part of someone’s identity: “Suddenly it hit me: These people would be perfect for each other.” It’s similar to what he told Business Insider. So maybe he didn’t spell out to everyone that the site began as (and mostly still is) a joke?

And the site looks… pretty real, even including screenshots of what the Tinder-inspired app looks like (or would look like):

Might want to go ahead and swipe left, Natalie
Tesla Dating Co.

To be sure, Tesla owners are a devoted bunch, stanning for CEO Elon Musk and hanging on his every tweet for details about upcoming features, new models, and anything else that crosses his mind. My colleague Bijan Stephen described their devotion to the Tesla CEO in a 2018 profile:

Musk — the South African-born multibillionaire known for high-profile, risky investments such as Tesla (electric cars), SpaceX (private space travel), the Boring Company (underground travel), and Neuralink (neurotechnology) — has reaped the benefits of a culture in which fandom dominates nearly everything. While his detractors see him as another out-of-touch, inexpert rich guy who either can’t or won’t acknowledge the damage he and his companies are doing, to his fans, Musk is a visionary out to save humanity from itself

So it would make sense to try to pair up some of these devoted fans. Just note that Tesla Dating Co. has no official affiliation with Musk or the car company, and there’s no apparent timeline for when the app might be available.

Grewal told The Verge in an email that the site had 1,000 signups as of Friday morning. He says he doesn’t have plans to do anything with the email addresses he’s harvested from the site so far, other than using them to notify people if the app ever launches.

“While I do have experience building apps, I haven’t launched anything to scale,” Grewal added. “I’m open to hearing from anyone who is interested in helping out.”

As for what kind of car he drives, Grewal’s answer was a bit surprising: “I would like to own a Tesla, but for now I get around fine with my zero-emission bicycle,” he said.

UPDATE: August 21st 10:44AM ET: Added comments from Ajitpal Grewal

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