Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg praised Elon Musk’s Tesla for sparking the electric vehicle revolution in the United States – the first time the Biden administration has talked about the carmaker in such terms.
During a recent interview, Buttigieg said that Tesla is the largest manufacturer of EVs in the country and seemed to walk a fine line of trying to avoid favoring one company over another – despite previous White House statements and actions that were more explicit in snubbing Tesla.
‘Look, we’re– as a regulator, we call balls and strikes. And we regulate to make sure that they’re compliant with the laws. We don’t cheer for one company over another. Tesla is the largest producer of EVs in the country,’ the transportation secretary said in the Yahoo! Finance interview.
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Tesla is the largest producer of EVs in the country,’ Pete Buttigieg, US transportation secretary, said in the Yahoo! Finance interview
When a Twitter user shared a story about the interview with Tesla CEO Elon Musk – who has previously decried being snubbed by the White House – he responded with ‘cool’
‘They’ve played a remarkable role in propelling EV revolution. There are many companies that are doing remarkable work.’
Musk responded with ‘cool’ when a Twitter user tagged him in a story about Buttigieg’s comments.
When President Biden invited automakers to promote electric vehicles for an event in August 2021, Tesla wasn’t included, and analysts at the time noted that the event – to mark an executive order focused on increasing EV car production – was focused on unionized firms. Organized labor isn’t a factor at Tesla’s factories.
At that time, sources told CNBC that Musk was not invited to any meetings with other corporate leaders in the electric vehicle industry because Biden’s advisors worry the eccentric executive will say something that might embarrass the president or administration.
However, Musk said that if he were ever invited to the White House, Biden has ‘nothing to worry about. I would do the right thing.’
Biden further inflamed the situation in November when he claimed that GM CEO Mary Barra had ‘electrifying the entire auto industry’ – something that is at odds with the reality of Tesla’s leadership in the EV space.
During Biden’s State of the Union, he specifically lauded General Motors and Ford for their electric vehicle production and did not mention Tesla at all.
When President Biden invited automakers to promote electric vehicles for an event in August 2021, Tesla wasn’t included, and Musk, seen above, took note of that fact
Biden mentioned GM and Ford during his State of the Union address this year, showcasing their creation of jobs, explicitly not mentioning Tesla at all
Musk responded to Biden’s assertions on Twitter to state that Tesla is investing far more in EV production in America and has hired more workers here
‘Ford is investing $11B to build electric vehicles—creating 11,000 jobs across the country. GM is making the largest investment in its history—$7B to build electric vehicles, creating 4,000 jobs in Michigan,’ the president’s Twitter account said on Tuesday night following his address.
Musk hit back to say that ‘no one was watching’ the address and responded on Twitter.
‘Tesla has created over 50,000 US jobs building electric vehicles & is investing more than double GM + Ford combined. [fyi to person controlling this twitter],’ the Tesla CEO tweeted.
Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, as well as its Nevada and Texas factories, are in the midst of ramping up production as the company rebounds from supply chain chaos caused by Covid and commodities inflation that impacted its ability to access batteries.
Musk said last week he hopes to get Giga Texas to a point of making 1,000 cars per week in the coming months, a milestone that the Berlin factory achieved in June. The tech company celebrated the production of its 2 millionth vehicle in July.
‘Congrats to Tesla Fremont + Giga Nevada for making their 2 millionth car!’ the billionaire wrote on Twitter at the time.
‘To think that Fremont was just a derelict building & Giga Nevada was just rocks & bushes when started!
‘California used to have a dozen car factories. NUMMI was last to close. Now, Tesla Fremont is the biggest car factory in North America!’
The latest news comes as Tesla plans to expand the Gigafactory Texas general assembly area by 500,000 square feet, as revealed in a permit filed by the automaker with the city of Austin, Texas, and reported by CleanTechnica.
Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, as well as its Nevada and Texas factories, are in the midst of ramping up production as the company rebounds from supply chain chaos. In an aerial view, Tesla cars sit parked in a lot at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California