What’s Up with Tesla’s Charging Network?

The company let go most of its EV charging team this week.

May 03, 2024

“Tesla’s move this week to lay off much of the team responsible for creating the largest and most successful electric-vehicle charging network in the U.S. threw the industry into a state of shock and confusion,” reported The Wall Street Journal.

On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the announcement to staff, writing that the company needed to be “absolutely hardcore about headcount and cost reduction.”

Tesla opened its charging network to non-Tesla vehicles last year. The Tesla Supercharger network has been considered a bright spot in a patchy nationwide network. After that announcement, the Tesla plug gained wide adoption.

“Tesla is known for building charging stations cheaper and faster than competitors,” the Journal reported. Tesla has “more than four times as many pieces of equipment as the nearest charging provider.”

Musk stated via X that the charging network would continue to grow, just more slowly than planned.

Wired also reported on the move, stating “Industry players said that while Tesla’s move was very unexpected, it could signal that the automaker believes other charging firms have caught up to it and are ready to take on the responsibility—and the capital costs—of building out the network that will make electric cars go.”

Although EV use continues to go up, the rate of growth has slowed dramatically. Tesla’s decision may spur a continued sense of retrenchment in the industry. Hybrids, however, have been taking off.

Yesterday, Reuters broke the news that Tesla “has backed away from an ambitious plan for innovations in gigacasting, its pioneering manufacturing process, according to two sources familiar with the matter, in another sign that the electric-vehicle maker is retrenching amid falling sales and rising competition.”