As you are probably already aware, President Biden has yet to acknowledge Tesla or Elon Musk in his talks about EVs produced in the US, as well as what our country's EV future will look like. He's eager and excited about helping the US become a leader with EVs, and he's banking on unionized automakers, such as GM and Ford, to make it happen.
Tesla is already the global leader when it comes to EVs. The company produces and delivers far more EVs than any other US automaker, and demand for its vehicles is growing rapidly. Moreover, Tesla employs tens of thousands of workers in the US, and while they don't belong to a union, they're arguably helping the transition to EVs more than anyone else.
Tesla supporters, along with Musk and many others, have taken notice, and now they're essentially demanding that Biden "says Tesla." In fact, a digital ad in New York City's Times Square simply says, "Just Say It." Next to the ad is another digital ad that shows Musk's earlier tweet, "Starts with a T, Ends with an A, ESL in the middle."
This isn't the first time a Tesla ad has appeared in Times Square. We previously reported that what appeared to be a fan-made Tesla spec ad was running on one of the big screens not too long ago. However, we have no idea who pays to run such ads.
The Tesla supporters who are unhappy with Biden's obvious plan to ignore Tesla, as well as assure that everyone on his staff follows suit, started an online petition on change.org. The petition has been signed by nearly 50,000 people.
While Tesla skeptics may say that Elon Musk brought this on himself, or that he's acting childish, this isn't really about Musk. Anyone can disapprove of Musk, and many do, including the President. However, those same people can (and arguably should) still give credit to Tesla as a company, as well as its employees. To pretend Tesla simply doesn't exist whatsoever is clearly disingenuous, and people on both sides of the aisle can clearly see that.
Tesla's employees – those accelerating the global transition to EVs while working right here at home in the USA – deserve credit. Union or not, Biden should probably acknowledge these hard-working folks. Ford CEO Jim Farley has been talking up Tesla and Elon, and he's admitted, along with others, including VW Group's Herbert Diess, that EV adoption wouldn't be where is it today if it wasn't for Tesla. Regardless of Musk's words or actions, it's not his employees' fault, and it doesn't take away the fact that Tesla is leading the charge.
That said, Musk can tend to rub many people the wrong way at times. And, he's been pretty active on Twitter lately, tweeting out attacks on the President and other politicians, along with tweets on controversial topics and politics in general. This, all while Musk says he stays out of politics.
Perhaps Biden simply doesn't want to affiliate himself with Musk, which is understandable. This seems to be the case since the President has also failed to acknowledge SpaceX. However, at this point, the world is watching, and it seems the administration may have to eventually set the record straight.
There's no reason Biden can't say that Tesla has made incredible progress and is the leader in EVs without outright supporting the company or its CEO. He could simply say that Tesla isn't focusing on inexpensive mass-market EVs, but rather, building EVs for the rich. Some would argue that's disingenuous as well since Tesla's EVs have hit the mass market unlike those from any other company.
Still, Tesla's cheapest EV – the Model 3 – starts at around $45,000, which is $10,000 more than the promised $35,000 Model 3 that finally arrived and disappeared long ago. While the company said it had plans for a $25,000 EV, Musk made it clear during the recent earnings call that it's not a priority. Tesla's other EVs carry starting prices ranging from about $60,000 to over $100,000.
EV startups like Lucid and Rivian are also focusing on more expensive EVs, at least initially. Meanwhile, legacy automakers claim they're focusing on mass-market electric vehicles so that all Americans can eventually drive an EV. GM's Mary Barra just reiterated that the company will offer an Equinox EV for around $30,000, as well as a cheaper EV to follow. However, GM has started its latest EV onslaught with the expensive Hummer EV, which will be followed by pricey electrified Cadillacs.
Other reports point out that Biden's recent event, which welcomed Jim Farley and Mary Barra, among others, was specifically for supporters of the President's Build Back Better plan. Musk wasn't invited, but he has said he doesn't support the legislation. However, the Biden administration was forgetting about Tesla and Musk long before the CEO made negative comments related to the bill.
Clearly, this is a touchy subject, and while many folks have strong opinions one way or the other, it seems many others don't really want to choose a side. Consider this a conversation starter. Which side are you on? How do you think President Biden should handle the situation?