First to 10 gets a free Tesla: Elon Musk launches 'send a friend' incentive for electric car buyers

It sure beats a free keyring

Elon Musk is offering a free Tesla Model X in a refer-a-friend incentive

LIKE A pyramid selling scheme, it sounds too good to be true, but Elon Musk has announced that Tesla will give a free car to the first Model S owner in Europe to refer 10 friends to the Californian car maker.

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Musk says that the scheme is influenced by the success of similar sales incentives at PayPal and believes that it could save the company from the expense of opening more showrooms.

Tesla is running a trial period In Britain and America until the end of October, and any existing Model S hatchback owner that sends a friend to Tesla earns them a £1,000 (or $1,000 in the US) discount on a Model S, and a further £1,000/$1,000 for themselves to spend on a new Tesla, accessories or servicing with the car maker.

Owners who persuade five friends receive an invitation to the opening of the Gigafactory battery production plant near Sparks, Nevada, which will make as many as 500,000 batteries a year in partnership with Panasonic when it is completed in 2017.

It gets better: the owner with 10 Tesla-buying friends gets not only £10,000 credit but also the right to buy a special edition of the new Model X crossover, called the Founder Series, with a £16,000 ($25,000) discount.

For those with wealthy acquaintances, the race is on: Tesla UK told Driving that the first person in Europe to hit the target of 10 referrals will be given a free Model X.

Tesla Model X and Model S comparison

The 90-day trial applies to new Teslas only. However, Musk said that if it proves successful, not only could the incentive be a permanent sales tactic, but it could also be extended to used-car sales.

Note: after an earlier version of this story was published, Tesla UK confirmed to Driving that the offer would be made available to British drivers.

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