NEWS

Elon Musk Fires Around 500 Members In Tesla’s Supercharger Team

Despite Controversial Firing Of Around 500 Employees In Tesla’s Supercharger Team, Elon Musk Says The Supercharger Network Is Still Aiming For Growth 

4 min read

By EV.com • May 5, 2024

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In the recent controversy surrounding the electric vehicle (EV) industry, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has fired around 500 employees in the company’s Supercharger team along with two executives. As Tesla finds itself in tumultuous times under the Musk’s leadership, the company is on the spotlight and leaving many questioning its future.

Tesla’s Substantial Layoffs

The recent in Tesla’s world began with the company reporting a disappointing Q1 2024 earnings call, unveiling a decline in volume and missed projections. Following this, the company also announced a 10% cut down in its global workforce. As a result, this included the resignations of prominent figures such as Drew Baglino, head of battery development, and Rohan Patel, vice president for public policy.

Yet, the storm of controversies were far from over as reports surfaced of massive firing in Tesla’s Supercharge team, which are responsible for the expansive charging network for Tesla owners. Notable figures departing from the company includes Daniel Ho, Tesla’s director of new products and vehicle programs, and Allie Arebalo, who is the company’s senior director of HR. With many departures, and many more. With five known members of Tesla’s senior leadership having resigned or laid off and the inclusion of 500 employees out from the company, rough times could be ahead through this significant transition.

Tesla’s Plans On Hold

Plans have been put on the backend with Tesla’s shrinking of its gigacasting manufacturing ambitions regarding its “unboxed” manufacturing process, where parts are assembled in designated areas in tis factory and assembled together at the end.

Now, the company is reportedly sticking to its familiar manufacturing process, where it entails the method of casting vehicle underbodies in three pieces: two gigacasted front and rear sections and a midsection made of aluminum and steel frames to store batteries according to Reuters. With Tesla’s plans being facing shrinkage, its ambitions for innovation could also be facing a tough transition.

Tesla’s Efforts For Appeal

Through all the noise that is coming off Tesla’s controversies, there have been many positives that occurred from the company’s actions for appealing to the EV industry. Among the many discounts and price cuts of its EV models with one notably its Full Self-Driving (FSD) program down from $12,000 to $8,000, the company has also reported to launch more affordable EV by 2025.

Furthermore, Tesla’s endeavours in the global market has made impact on the Chinese EV market notably through Musk’s visit to its Chinese government authorities including Premier Li Qiang. The results delivered a tentative approval for its FSD program in China. With results being placed on air from Tesla, the mixture of controversies and growth efforts certainly made the EV market fluctuate with Tesla owners unsure with the company’s position.

Where Does Tesla Go From Here?

With Tesla’s crown at the top possibly being taken away from all this, other automotive companies in the EV landscape are stepping to fill in the void with several reporting high EV sales like Kia’s U.S. EV sales reporting 144% increase year-over-year for April 2024. However, the company’s long-term ambitions of its robotaxi still remains as a major component for further growth.

In the case of Tesla’s continued efforts for its Supercharger network, Musk has stated that the company still plans to grow the Supercharger network, “just at a slower pace for new locations,” on his X account. As the EV market matures, ensuring adequate charging infrastructure remains a critical challenge especially with Tesla housing 2,234 Tesla Supercharger stations with 25,156 Tesla Supercharger ports in the U.S. landscape as of last month.

While many EV drivers rely on home charging, the accessibility and reliability of public charging stations remain essential. As Tesla navigates this tough period, the decisions made in the coming months from the company and especially from Musk’s end will shape the future of both themselves and the EV industry.

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