Joe Biden Finally Acknowledges Tesla's Role In EV Space, But Elon Musk Fires Back After President Complains About China Being Sectoral Leader

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - Feb 9, 2022 04:45 PM +05:30 IST
Joe Biden Finally Acknowledges Tesla's Role In EV Space, But Elon Musk Fires Back After President Complains About China Being Sectoral LeaderTesla CEO Elon Musk
Snapshot
  • It was said that as per White House aides, the president has neglected Tesla, a non-unionized firm, in favour of honouring heritage Detroit automakers that recognise unions, such as Ford and GM.

When the President of the United States, Joe Biden, tweeted about China being the leader of the electric vehicles race, tech billionaire Elon Musk did not take it lightly and immediately responded by tweeting a link to a report on EVs.

Their most recent feud erupted after the president, for the first time, addressed Musk's EV company, Tesla, during remarks on American companies establishing EV infrastructure around the country.

Later, Biden took to Twitter and said that the United States had lagged behind China in producing EVs.

“China has been leading the electric vehicles race, but that’s about to change. We’re building a convenient, reliable, equitable national public charging network,” he tweeted.

Biden also added: “It’ll make America more economically competitive and help us tackle the climate crisis at the same time.”

The tweet from Biden apparently irritated Musk, who then responded with a link to an article on the world's top electric car making companies, with the title "Tesla".

However, according to the White House news release from 8 February, Biden said: “Since 2021, companies have announced investments totalling more than $200 billion in domestic manufacturing here in America, from iconic companies like GM and Ford building out new electric vehicle production; to Tesla, our nation’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer; to innovative younger companies like Rivian, building electric trucks, or Proterra, building electric buses.”

This is the first time the American president mentioned Tesla’s role in the industry after leaving Musk’s firm out of these discussions for several months. Later, Tesla CEO Musk tanked fans for signing a petition calling on Biden to acknowledge the company’s EV leadership.

At the same time, a Tesla owner in Austin, Gail Alfar, wrote on Twitter: “Thanks to over 58,000 people that signed this petition, asking @POTUS to say the word Tesla, and acknowledge Tesla as the leader in EVs — @POTUS has finally done it @elonmusk he said TESLA.”

While responding to this tweet, the tech billionaire said, "Thanks, this made a difference!"

A section of the petition at change.org says that “the White House and the Biden Administration have intentionally been trying to ignore Tesla's hard work while propping up GM and others as 'EV Leaders".

It was said that as per White House aides, the president has neglected Tesla, a non-unionized firm, in favour of honouring heritage Detroit automakers that recognise unions, such as Ford and GM.

However, as reported earlier, Tesla delivered over 930,000 EVs worldwide in 2021, even though it does not reveal sales figures specifically for the United States.

At the same time, GM's Chevrolet brand sold fewer than 25,000 EVs in the country, trailing Tesla and Ford, which sold 27,140 Mustang Mach-E EVs.

In the case of Tesla, the Indian government has also explained the issues with the EV maker as the company wanted to get into the country while asking for tax relaxations.

According to PTI, Union Minister Krishan Pal Gurjar said that relaxations will not be granted to Tesla unless it participates in manufacturing activities in India. He added that there cannot be a situation where the market is India, but jobs are created in China. During Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, the minister of state for heavy industries also stated that the corporation has yet to apply for government-sponsored initiatives.

Responding to a query on whether the government would invite Tesla to enter the Indian market, the minister said: “The company wants workers from China and the market of India. This is not possible in Modi government... our government's policy is that if Indian market is to be used, job opportunities will have to be given to Indians.”

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