- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Tesla customers who paid deposits to reserve the company’s first mid-priced, fully-electric sedan have begun canceling their orders due to CEO Elon Musk’s involvement in President Trump’s administration.

No fewer than five Tesla customers told BuzzFeed Monday that they’ve canceled plans to purchase the car maker’s highly anticipated Model 3 after Mr. Musk agreed to participate in two White House advisory groups, particularly in light of the president authorizing a broad executive order last week limiting the intake of refugees and restricting immigration.

“I feel that someone that wants to colonize Mars and who worries about the machine uprising should not be scared to voice opinions counter to the Trump administration,” Chicago resident Jodie Eason told BuzzFeed this week upon cancelling her Model 3 order with her husband. “We figured that speaking with our dollars is really the most effective way to get through to business people.”

Jenny Messerly, a Bay Area software engineer, said she canceled her own preorder over the weekend.

“While I would like to help fund technological progress to fight climate change, as an LGBT American, raw survival is now the main concern,” Ms. Messerly said, BuzzFeed reported. “Learning of Elon Musk’s relationship with Trump was the decisive factor for me.”

Despite telling CNBC prior to Election Day that Mr. Trump was “not the right guy” for the White House, the 45-year-old South African-born entrepreneur has since accepted roles on the president’s economic advisory group and manufacturing council.

Speaking to Gizmodo last week, Mr. Musk defended his decision to advise the Trump administration, stating, “the more voices of reason that the president hears, the better.”

“Simply attacking him will achieve nothing,” he said. “Better that there are open channels of communication.”

Tesla currently has about a yearlong of preorders for its $35,000 Model 3, and is slated to begin volume production on the vehicle later this year, CNBC reported. Each preorder required a refundable deposit of $1,000.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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