Tesla, the largest maker of electric vehicles, did not receive an invitation to attend an “electric vehicle summit” hosted by the Biden Administration this week. Confirming his company’s exclusion, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the move “seems odd.”
The event, which was focused on the future of electric vehicles in the United States, appeared to be missing the most integral automaker leading the electric car industry, Tesla. Those who were invited to stand alongside Joe Biden at the Thursday event were executives from Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler’s parent company, Stellantis.
Elon Musk expressed his confusion as to why his company, which is responsible for about 74 percent of electric car sales in the United States over the past three years, was not invited to the summit.
“Yeah, seems odd that Tesla wasn’t invited,” Musk said in a tweet on Thursday.
The Biden White House did not confirm the exact reason why the most successful electric car manufacturer was not invited. However, some speculate that the Biden Administration simply bowed to union pressure.
After one Twitter user wrote to Musk regarding powerful unions that feel threatened by Tesla, which does not have unionized workers, Musk replied that its “biggest challenge” is not its employee treatment. Rather, it is “recruiting enough people to build cars.”
“SF Bay Area essentially has negative unemployment, so people at our factory have several other job offers. If they weren’t treated well, they would leave immediately,” Musk said.
When asked for comment on the controversy, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said “I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.”
According to an electric vehicle fact sheet published by the White House this week, Biden plans to sign an executive order that “sets an ambitious new target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles.”
It “also kicks off development of long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards to save consumers money, cut pollution, boost public health, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis,” the document stated.
Despite excluding the most successful pioneer of mass electric vehicle sales, Biden announced on Twitter that his administration plans to embark on “a whole-of-government effort to lift up workers and strengthen American leadership in the clean cars of the future.”
Without acknowledging the role Tesla will play in “electrifying 50 percent of all vehicles sold by 2030,” the Biden Administration could run into difficulties in achieving its goal.