Tesla’s hordes of ardent supporters have taken to the streets to express their displeasure with the Biden administration’s “snub” of the company in public comments and at events promoting electric vehicles.
By Tuesday morning, more than 38,000 signatures had been collected on a Change.org petition calling on President Joe Biden to recognize Tesla’s leadership in the field of electric vehicles, which was launched on Saturday.
According to the petition, Biden has unfairly praised Ford and General Motors for their electric accomplishments while ignoring the Texas-based automaker’s achievements in the field.
In their petition, the petitioners claim that the White House has ignored Tesla because it is a non-union company, in contrast to other US automobile manufacturers.
“The White House and the Biden Administration have purposefully attempted to ignore Tesla’s significant efforts while promoting General Motors and other companies as ‘EV Leaders,'” according to the petition. According to Tesla, “this is an insult to the Americans who work for the company.”
The controversy began in August when President Biden invited representatives from General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) to the White House lawn to promote electric vehicles. Tesla, by far the largest seller of electric vehicles in the United States, was conspicuously absent from the event.
Musk, the CEO of Tesla, took notice, tweeting, “Yeah, seems odd that Tesla wasn’t invited.” “Yeah, seems odd that Tesla wasn’t invited.”
When asked whether Tesla was excluded because its employees are not represented by a union during a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded by saying, “I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.”
The White House has proposed new tax credits for electric-car purchases that would give preference to vehicles built by unionized workers, according to the Washington Post.
As part of his tour of the auto industry, Biden visited General Motors and Ford factories and took a test drive in the companies’ upcoming electric pickup trucks.
The president also met with business leaders, including the heads of Ford and General Motors, but Musk was conspicuously absent. Tesla CEO Elon Musk reacted angrily to a White House tweet from the meeting, which praised “companies like GM and Ford” for “building more electric vehicles here in the United States than ever before.”
“Biden is a dripping sock puppet masquerading as a human being,” Musk responded, using the sock emoji.
According to an anonymous White House official who spoke to Insider on the condition of anonymity, Tesla is credited with helping to push the auto industry toward electrification.
According to the official, President Biden is committed to the creation of union jobs and to the right of workers to bargain collectively in the workplace. Musk has expressed anti-union sentiments, and the National Labor Relations Board found that Tesla had violated labor laws by firing a union supporter last year, citing the company’s refusal to bargain collectively.
Tesla is by far the most important manufacturer of electric vehicles in the United States. In 2021, it will have delivered 936,172 vehicles around the world, nearly doubling its output from the previous year.
According to a Bloomberg analysis, Tesla’s Fremont, California factory will surpass General Motors’ Detroit plant as the most productive auto plant in North America by 2021.
However, while General Motors and Ford have increased their EV efforts in recent years and plan to introduce a slew of new electric vehicles, neither can match Tesla’s current production capacity.