Monday, May 20, 2024

Tesla Laid Off Its 500-Person Supercharger Team Overnight

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Elon Musk’s decision to lay off the majority of Tesla’s 500-person electric vehicle (EV) charging team, except for a few reassigned employees, has “blindsided” other carmakers who were depending on Tesla’s infrastructure for their new EVs, industry officials and analysts told Reuters on Tuesday.

General Motors, Ford, and other automakers who signed deals to power their EVs with Tesla’s technology were preparing to make new EVs for customers to use with Tesla’s 50,000+ global charging stations.

According to Reuters, these companies are not changing their plans — though they might be unsure about the future of the network and surprised by Musk’s decision to cut the team.

The laid-off team is also “in complete shock,” a source told Axios.

Tesla electric car plugged into a Supercharger station. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

Internal emails obtained by The Information and Electrek late Monday documented Tesla CEO Elon Musk informing executives that nearly all of Tesla’s electric vehicle charging team would be laid off the next day.

“In the middle of the night, I learned, along with all my Tesla Global Charging colleagues, the Tesla Charging org is no more,” Lane Chaplin, Tesla’s former North America real estate lead, wrote on Tuesday.

Rebecca Tinucci, the senior director leading the global charging team who had been at Tesla for six years, and Daniel Ho, an executive who managed the Model S, 3, and Y, led the new vehicles program, and worked at the company for a decade, were also part of the cuts announced in the email.

The Tesla teams they led, along with the group under former Tesla public policy lead Rohan Patel who left the company earlier this month, will be dissolved, per The Information. It’s unclear how many employees worked under Ho and Patel.

Related: Elon Musk Informs Tesla Staff That Layoffs Will Affect at Least 14,000 Employees

Musk took to X on Tuesday to state 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 the single largest recipient of federal EV charging grants under a 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law. Tesla received an estimated 13% of all grants handed out so far under the law — more than $17 million.

Tesla’s demanding work culture has received scrutiny in light of recent layoffs, with multiple employees talking about their dedication to the company. Musk himself has spoken about his work ethic and stretches of 100-hour weeks.

Related: Elon Musk Reveals His Tactics for Building Successful Companies





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