Elon Musk is fuming after President Biden snubbed Tesla once again during his State of the Union address
On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden praised Ford Motor and General Motors for their investments in electric vehicle production during his State of the Union address. But one U.S. EV maker was notably absent from the president’s speech: Tesla.
“Ford is investing $11 billion to build electric vehicles, creating 11,000 jobs across the country. GM is making the largest investment in its history—$7 billion to build electric vehicles, creating 4,000 jobs in Michigan,” Biden said, offering only those two companies as evidence of American manufacturers investing in domestic production.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was quick to notice the snub and took to Twitter to imply that his company has done much more for U.S. manufacturing than its rivals have.
“Tesla has created over 50,000 US jobs building electric vehicles & is investing more than double GM + Ford combined,” Musk said on Twitter, responding to a tweet from President Biden’s personal account.
Musk demanding attention from Biden is nothing new. The Biden administration’s neglect of Tesla has bothered the bombastic CEO for months.
In August, Musk said the administration was “not the friendliest” after a White House meeting with automakers excluded Tesla. Then, in January, Musk complained about his company being left out of an official White House video that promoted electric vehicles and featured GM CEO Mary Barra.
“Biden has pointedly ignored Tesla at every turn and falsely stated to the public that GM leads the electric car industry,” Musk told CNBC last week. “Tesla produced over 300,000 electric vehicles last quarter, and GM produced 26.”
Musk’s complaints aren’t without reason.
According to Bloomberg, Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., is the most productive automotive plant in all of North America, producing an average of 8,550 cars a week. Tesla plans to expand its production in the U.S. and elsewhere in this year, too, as the company builds a new factory in Texas, another in Berlin, and expands its existing operations in Shanghai.
But the White House is reportedly wary of working with Tesla owing to the electric-car maker’s nonunionized workforce and accusations that Tesla has actively suppressed union activity. Last month, a California regulator sued Tesla for racial discrimination, too, accusing the car company of operating a “racially segregated workplace.” Tesla called the lawsuit “misguided.”
Even so, Biden’s cold shoulder toward Tesla became too much for Musk’s fans to bear in January, when a group of devotees launched an online petition to get Biden to “acknowledge Tesla’s leadership in electric vehicles.” The petition quickly garnered 60,000 signatures and—coincidence or not—President Biden finally recognized Tesla’s achievements on Feb. 8, when he called the company “our nation’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer.”
But Biden’s snub during his State of the Union address suggests that Tesla has fallen out of favor with the White House again.
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