It was like the day after a “Lost” episode aired — everybody had their own ideas and some of them were just weird.
Of course, what is everybody to do but speculate when Tesla has never actually come out and said why their logo design looks the way it does.
So let’s fan the flames on these guesses some more in this month’s Logo Legends.
The railroad spike: Like the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860s, Tesla has made a mission to help people go Coast to Coast, only in Tesla’s case sans gas. Could the logo be stylized to look like a railroad spike in homage to this extraordinary endeavor in transportation history?
A torch: The first thing I saw when examining the Tesla logo was the flameless bottom of a torch. If that’s the story, perhaps it is meant to symbolize the passing of the torch from gasoline-powered engines to battery-powered Teslas. Too much of a reach?
A cat’s nose: As ridiculous (and unlikely) as it sounds, we do know Tesla CEO Elon Musk loves cats. In 2012, he tweeted this image, and at the Code Conference in June, he warned against the growth of artificial intelligence to the point where it surpasses human intelligence, effectively turning people into house cats for robots. Oh yeah, and in a Reddit AMA from a year ago, he also posted this video of a cat in a shark costume chasing a duck on a Roomba (go ahead, try to resist clicking that link).
Nikola Tesla coil: Tesla is named after Serbian-American inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla. Thus, one of the most probable reasons the Tesla logo looks the way it does is that it’s meant to represent a stylized Tesla Coil, an invention Tesla designed to produce high voltages at low currents.
An adze: Tesla is the Serbian word for “sdze,” a cutting tool used since the Stone Age. It’s a bit of a stretch, but the Tesla logo could be two adzes back to back, to resemble the letter “T.”
An electric motor: Finally, one other popular theory is that the “T” is actually a pole of an electric motor. In this blog post, builder Daniel Fourie makes a compelling case for why he believes the Tesla logo actually represents where torque is created inside an all-electric.
Do you have your own theory about the meaning of the Tesla logo? Let us know in the comments section.
To learn about more car logos, visit AAA.com/LogoLegends.