Elon Musk Pulls Plug on Tesla’s Charging Department

Electric car mogul announced ‘hardcore’ layoffs of workers in its Supercharger network
Photograph: Shutterstock

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in an email on Monday that Tesla is pulling the plug and going “absolutely hardcore” about layoffs, including 500 jobs from its supercharging team, according to a report by The Information.

But then the electric car mogul on Tuesday posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that “Tesla still plans to grow the Supercharger network, just at a slower pace for new locations and more focus on 100% uptime and expansion of existing locations.”

Tesla is considering rehiring some of those laid-off workers to maintain the operation of the supercharger network, Bloomberg reported.

Leaders of Tesla’s Supercharger network were quick to post on social media following this week’s layoffs, including Lane Chaplin, a former leader of Tesla real estate acquisition for charging in North America, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“Unfortunately, the Charging Organization at Tesla is no more as of last night, and my role was affected after almost 4 years at the company in senior real estate positions,” Chaplin wrote.

The latest round of layoffs prompted reactions across the auto industry with ABC News reporting that General Motors issued a statement that said the company is “continuing to monitor the situation regarding changes to the Supercharger team and the potential impacts.”

On Monday, The California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) released its First Quarter 2024 Auto Outlook Report that said Californians’ love affair with Tesla may have peaked. The report finds Tesla registrations are down again in The Golden State Year-to-Date, reporting a 7.8% dip (last quarter posted a 9.8% decline) amongst all brand registrations, the CNCDA said in a statement.

In January 2010, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a $465 million loan to Tesla Motors to produce specially designed, all-electric plug-in vehicles and to develop a manufacturing facility in Fremont, California to produce battery packs, electric motors, and other powertrain components for powering specially designed all-electric vehicles, according to the DOE website.

In 2024, the United States now has approximately 8,200 EV charging stations and Tesla is responsible for slightly more than one quarter of them, according to a Bloomberg Green analysis of federal data.

Last year, the Biden Administration recognizedTeslafor opening a portion of its U.S. Supercharger and Destination Charger network to non-Tesla EVs, making at least 7,500 chargers available for all EVs by the end of 2024. 

Tesla didn't respond to a CSP request for comment.

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