Behind the Badge: Does the Tesla Emblem Represent More Than the Letter ‘T’?
Does this pioneering motor company's logo have a hidden meaning?
Despite many of its own fans wishing Tesla Motors didn’t use a badge on its cars–to go even further against the norms of the automotive industry–the electric vehicle company does indeed possess its own logo, as practically every business does.
This sleek, modern emblem, designed by Prado Studio, adorns the grille of the Model S and the upcoming Model X. Its simple, elongated shape is unique, considering how circular most major automakers’ badges are, and creates a powerful, determined persona.
More Logo Explanations: The smart car logo and its forward-thinking meaning
Speculation on Hidden Meanings in the Tesla Logo
The most apparent and universally accepted explanation is that the Tesla emblem is the letter ‘T,’ signifying the name of the brand (like ‘H’ for Honda). It’s depicted as a capital letter ‘T’ with a triangular gap in the top and a curved shield across the top.
However, because this obvious explanation has never officially been confirmed by the company, speculation has run rampant over the years as many fans have developed theories on what it alternately represents.
For instance, the name Tesla is Serbian for “adze,” the name of a curved cutting tool. Perhaps that’s what is depicted on the Tesla badge. Or, it could be any of these popular hypotheses:
- A stylized Nikola Tesla coil
- Part of the schematics symbol for “battery”
- A uterus (despite that already being done by RAM)
- The rotor slot/post in an AC induction motor
- A spike, considering how it cuts into the horizontal line underneath it
- One pole in a rotational electric motor, with the split being the air gap between the rotor and the stator.
- A push self-defense knife
- A cat’s nose–an amazing accurate observation once you notice the resemblance
Until the official word is given, I suppose any theory could be valid. We at The News Wheel are still vying for the cat nose explanation.
Enjoy learning about Tesla’s ‘T’? Check out the rest of our Behind the Badge series examining automotive brand logos!
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Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.