SlashGear Asks: Have Elon Musk's Actions In 2022 Affected Your Decision To Buy A Tesla? - Exclusive Survey

Elon Musk has never been a straight-laced character. He fits the eccentric millionaire mold quite well — or, at least, the eccentric part. The world's richest man's bank balance is far greater than that of a millionaire, with Forbes estimating a net worth of over $272 billion at the time of writing. However, the eccentric part may have to change, too, if Tesla is to continue its success. 

Musk's actions over the past year have resulted in a few high-profile lawsuits. His interest in cryptocurrency, and his enthusiasm for meme currency Dogecoin, in particular, have led to a case being filed against him in a federal court. Keith Johnson, the plaintiff in that particular case, is seeking damages of $258 million after likening Musk's tweets and comments about the cryptocurrency to a pyramid scheme. Johnson claims Musk promoted the cryptocurrency despite knowing it is inherently worthless. The man suing Musk has also attempted to back his accusations with quotes from other tech billionaires and investors, including former world's richest man Bill Gates.

Most of the controversy surrounding Musk has centered around Twitter, the social media platform that is the subject of another lawsuit he is currently embroiled in. There was significant backlash against his plans to turn Twitter into a "free speech" platform if his takeover went ahead, and the majority of Musk's comments on cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin came from his Twitter account. The billionaire tweeting himself into trouble isn't a recent thing, either. In 2018, he referred to Vernon Unsworth, a diver leading an effort to rescue a group of trapped children from a cave in Thailand, as "pedo guy" after Unsworth expressed concerns over the practicality of a submarine Musk had shipped over to assist with the rescue efforts.

Over a third of potential buyers put off by Musk

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, and Tesla is arguably the biggest player in that ever-growing market. Recent changes to how electric vehicle tax credits are handed out in the United States may also make a Tesla even more appealing. The old tax credit system came with a cap on the number of qualifying vehicles a manufacturer could sell. In 2018, Tesla became the first manufacturer to hit that cap and as a result, its customers could no longer apply for money back on their tax returns. Not only is the new tax credit system tax-free, but Tesla is one of the companies that are most likely to meet the strict manufacturing conditions required by the new system in the near future.

So purchasing a Tesla may make financial sense, and the company also produces some of the most cutting-edge vehicles on the market. But according to a survey SlashGear recently conducted, Musk's antics are in danger of holding his most famous company back. We asked 588 U.S. residents if Musk's actions this year had affected their decision to buy a Tesla, and 35.28% of them said it had. The remaining 64.80% said the opposite: their decision on whether or not to buy a Tesla was unaffected by anything Musk had said or done this year. This is bad news if Tesla wants to reclaim and hold on to its place at the top of the global electric vehicle market.