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Tesla’s Decision to Shut Down Supercharger Department Sends Shockwaves

Daniel Kim Views  

On the 24th of last month, Tesla vehicles were sighted charging at a Supercharger station in Fremont, California. Fremont (USA)/AFP-Yonhap News

Tesla faces a wave of reductions, particularly in the battery charging sector, a core part of its electric vehicle business. This move has left the industry in a state of confusion.

According to the New York Times (NYT), on the 30th of last month (local time), Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, announced in a letter to employees that he would be shutting down the department that operates the Supercharger business and laying off all 500 employees from the department. He also announced that Rebecca Tinucci, head of the Supercharger group, and Daniel Ho, the product responsibility manager, would leave the company accordingly.

Following the news of the mass reduction, Tesla’s stock, which had surged over 15% the previous day due to expectations of autonomous driving deployment in China, declined by more than 5%.

Other car manufacturers are left stunned. The future of NACS, which was becoming a North American standard applied to superchargers, has become uncertain as Musk suddenly decided to abandon the business. A Ford representative stated, “Our plans have not changed.”

Superchargers have played a significant role in Tesla’s dominance in the electric car market. Fast-charging stations were hardly found in 2012 when Tesla launched its first sedan, the Model S. Now, there are over 2,600 charging stations across the United States, with Tesla Superchargers being the only charging stations in most areas.

The related industry involved in Tesla’s business is also in shock. Andrés Pinter, co-CEO of Bullet EV Charging Solutions, who was in charge of installing chargers for Tesla, commented, “Until today, Tesla was hastily pushing us to expand into other states. This decision is a shocking turnaround in a situation where we were fully delved into the Supercharger network.”

NYT analyzed, “Tesla’s layoffs raise questions about the charging station deal that Musk, CEO of Tesla, signed with General Motors and Ford representatives last year. When companies like Hyundai and Ford slowly encroach on Tesla’s market share, Musk may have concluded that building more charging stations is not beneficial for Tesla.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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