Tesla CEO Elon Musk Has “Surprising Alignment Of Interests” With President-Elect Trump


Though President-Elect Donald Trump thinks that climate change is a Chinese hoax, and that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is one of the biggest advocates for repairing global warming, the two may end up seeing eye-to-eye on some critical fronts.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Morgan Stanley’s lead analyst, Adam Jonas, visited the Gigafactory for Tesla’s investors event. He said:

“To the extent that the creation of high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States is a priority of the incoming administration, we believe Mr. Musk might have some interests that could be very much in alignment with those of President-elect Trump.”

Other investors that attended the event shared part of Musk’s speech with Electrek:

“The President-elect has a strong emphasis on US manufacturing and so do we. We are building the biggest factory in the world right here, creating US jobs… I think we may see some surprising things from the next administration. We don’t think they will be negative on fossil fuels… but they may also be positive on renewables.”

We have already said that if Trump is looking for successful, American-based businesses, with a global impact, Tesla is the answer. Trump has already called out Ford for planning to move more production to Mexico, and now ironically, Ford has changed course.

The Tesla Model S, the most "American" car one can find on the market today

The Tesla Model S, the most “American” car one can find on the market today

The Tesla Model S is currently the most American-made electric car, followed by the Chevrolet Spark EV, the Chevrolet Volt, and presumably the Chevrolet Bolt. Once the Gigafactory is more functional, the Model S will likely be near the top of the list of the most American-made cars overall. Reports are concluding that the Tesla Model 3 will be the most American-made vehicle for 2017, and likely for years to come.

Trump wants to make America great again, to grow domestic jobs and production, to be more globally competitive, to lead the world in innovations – these all align full well with what Tesla and Elon Musk have the potential to achieve.

President-Elect Trump and Tesla CEO Elon Musk - strange bedfellows?

President-Elect Trump and Tesla CEO Elon Musk – strange bedfellows?

The president-elect has made his focus on technology public already. He hosted a recent invite-only tech summit, of which Musk attended, with the likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook and others. Trump even put Musk on his Strategic and Policy Forum.

For Tesla to achieve its vast goals, the company will need a huge employment base. Tesla is constantly hiring and plans to continue expansion. Domestic jobs for American citizens is important to Trump. Not only will Tesla continue to hire automotive and battery talent for the Gigafactory and its Fremont factory, but also needed are all of the workers that build and expand Tesla’s current and future pursuits. We are talking about architects, construction workers, electricians, plumbers, etc. Jonas share:

“As the bus drove up to the massive plant (Tesla Gigafactory) yesterday morning, one could not help but notice the hundreds of cars in the parking lot from the construction crew (yes, roughly 1/2 of the vehicles were pickup trucks), part of 2,100 construction workers running two shifts per day.”

Electric cars may be a threat to the oil industry, and Trump has vowed to protect that. However, for Trump to not support Tesla, would go against most of the ideals that he believes in. Only time will tell.

Sources: Business Insider, Electrek

Categories: General, Tesla

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78 Comments on "Tesla CEO Elon Musk Has “Surprising Alignment Of Interests” With President-Elect Trump"

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This will cause much consternation among the liberal elites.

No, because we think that a good thing is still a good thing if it is “done” by not so very good people.

Elon wants to do some good,
Trump is just a lying sack.

Though, he managed to bring Apple & Tesla to the same table. These days I really doubt anyone can boast of such an accomplishment. The public mindshare is that Tesla and Apple cooperation (merger) upsides would outweigh setbacks by an order of magnitude. If the advisory team shares same opinion, then in the upcoming months we may see more of those two bundling up.

If they were dumb enough not to see a bipartisan advantage here, they wouldn’t be particularly elite, would they?

Speaking as a latte-drinking left coast liberal elite, I’m more than happy to see an expansion of American manufacturing. In that sense, my values line up with those of Trump, although his values are historically highly malleable and he has made no efforts to manufacture his own goods stateside.

So far, many conservative state governments have fought to keep Tesla out of their states, so Trump can start by bullying his own people into line and letting the greatest American manufacturing success story of my time thrive and expand. But so far Trump’s pattern has been to let his enemies come kiss his ring and then he promotes anti-environmentalists into high office. So, I’m not hopeful.

I could see him doing something like extending the $7500 credit but only if the car was made in the US. So the Bolt, Volt, and Tesla would qualify but not Toyota or Nissan EV stuff since they aren’t built here. (at least I don’t think they are built here)

Nissan Leaf is built in Tennessee.

So how did Tesla not make it onto this list?

Panasonic’s batteries are a significant part of the car (value, weight, ..)

That should also make the Bolt EV not very American with its large LG content.

While the LG assembled battery for the Bolt EV is currently made in South Korea LG is a global company and a number of LG made components in the Bolt EV are made in the USA (and other countries) as well.

I think the only good thing about Trump is that he is very familiar with B.S. being full of it himself he knows how to recognize it instantly.

Trump is a neo-fascist aligned with a global white supremacist and far Right extremist movement. His presidency is a grave threat to civil liberties, voting rights, and the American experiment itself.

That is not, whatever you think, a liberal or elite point of view. It is a bipartisan, mainstream position based on the facts.

Our business leaders have a responsibility to their employees and customers as much as to their shareholders. We should stand united against tyranny, and be unforgiving of those in positions of power who fail to do so.

I’m with John Oliver on this issue. We cannot pretend this is in any way normal or OK.

Well said. I was appalled when one of the pundits on “Washington Week” said something like “We must accept this as the new normal.”

No, there is nothing whatsoever “normal” about having a President-elect who is clearly, obviously, and very deeply unfit for the office. In fact, unfit for any public office, let alone President of the United States. Normalization isn’t going to happen so long as Trump is either President-elect or actually President. Here’s hoping the latter period will be far less than 4 years; even one day would be an extremely bad precedent.

And just a few short years ago, President Obama was being compared, and it was even suggested in print, that he was the Anti-Christ.

Without doing any research at all, I still say that EVERY presidential election since the forming of this country has had a winner and a loser, and some were mad and some were glad. It’ll be nice when we can move on….

You know, I’m actually surprised someone hasn’t called The Donald the antichrist. Seems to have many more fitting attributes than Obama had.

quite a bit of tolerance, open-mindness from the liberal bunch.

Also Mel Gibson and V Vaugh were ridiculed today that they were not clapping and laughing while Meryl Streep expressed her political views.
Reminds me of N Korea, you have to show enthusiasm so the liberals are happy, anything else is anathema.

And now even if Trump will support tesla , renewables etc as it seems from Em’s tweet, this is still intolerable, for some.

What’s the definition of hatred, intolerance, again?

While I am neither a Trump supporter, nor a Trump apologist; if what you say were remotely true, Trump would not have won the election.

Well sven, let’s unpack your statement some.

How could this news be a concern to the “liberal elites”?

If Musk was tight with Trump then wouldn’t it be concerning to all the Big Oil and the global warming deniers that make up the entire Trump Cabinet???

I know you like to spin things to support your Trumpet status but your so-called logic leaves a lot to be desired.

Well said. I think Sven was trying to provoke anger and outrage from those who see Trump for what he is, as a serious threat to the integrity, institutions, moral and ethical standards, and reputation of the United States. But what Sven really earned, at least from me, was a snicker at being such an obvious troll.

as opposed to HRC I guess, who was an example for her moral compass be accepting enormous speaking fees, supporting tpp, illegally blocking Sanders, and rewarding the ex-dnc head after she was forced to resigh, and total respect for the security of the top institution she ran (apparently people died because of those emails being exposed).
Trump is no angel, maybe not even an honest person, we’ll see. But the reason why he’s elected lays with the quality of his competitor.

How’s that swamp feeling between your toes?

yawn. More shallow blathering by sven.

He’s just buttering up Trump because Trump is so easily manipulated, like the way Putin manipulates him. A few buddy-buddy comments, and Trump is so desperate for validation that his father never gave him, that you can lead him around by the nose.

No need for any concern. This is how Trump is steered.


Causing consternation is the sole purpose of your own remarks here at Inside EVs.

Your comments are just a worthless waste of everyone’s time, and you know it.

Grow up.

You are late for the presidential inauguration.

Trump owns, among other cars, a Tesla.

The Spark EV was made in S. Korea. How does it make the list of most American EV’s ahead of the Volt?

Maybe the uplift is high enough. 😉

Probably because the electric motors and battery packs were built in the USA and then shipped to Korea for installation into the Spark EV.

Maybe for the 2014 with A123 batteries. But, the 2015&16 used LG-Chem Batteries. Seems odd to call the Spark EV (or any Spark) American-Made.

The LG Chem batteries are manufactured in Michigan. 🙂

A US-Market “American” car that’s made in S.Korea using a battery that’s made in America by a S. Korean company. How all that shipping made sense is beyond me. But, it’s a fun little car!

Lol! It is indeed a bizarre process. But its a great car.

The cells are manufactured by LG Chem in Holland Michigan. The battery pack is manufactured directly by GM in their Brownstown Michigan facility. This is the same for the Volt and CT6 PHEV as well.

CCIE asked:

“The Spark EV was made in S. Korea. How does it make the list of most American EV’s ahead of the Volt?”

Because how anyone measures the “made in America” percentage of a car is rather arbitrary, and thus such comparisons are rather subjective and not very meaningful.

Really, what yardstick do you use for comparison? Cost of individual components? Weight? Size? Hours of labor used to assemble them?

No doubt one could come up with very different lists by using different yardsticks.

Not overly suprising in any way…
Trump will most likely run the country like a business man and the numbers already favor solar and wind energy and from an economic TCO and security perspective already there for EVs…
Chevy and Toyota have also came out in how they will support and increase American manufacturning…
I truly hope he doesnt gut the EPA and expand 3/%#@3 fracking…

But he is also an irrational narcissist with thin-skin. He has an irrational personal hatred of wind turbines because they are being installed offshore from his Scottish golf course. So he will often make petty irrational decisions based on personal quirks.

If any of my neighbors would have watched this documentary, and seen how he treated that farmer, they never would have voted for him.


So he is a politician not that far from the rest…
Maybe just more honest to his character in public than the others…

Anyone who sees a petty, deeply irrational, fascistic narcissist as in any way “normal” for a politician, is denying reality as firmly as Trump does himself.

Trump is a protectionist and he is nationalist. Those two things are evident. Trump is a fascist in a world Bernie sanders is a communist, which is not this one.

You can perhaps spin an AWS instance with Washington Post, where facism triumphed in America.. Oh that is Amazon Video!!!

Actually, I said Trump is fascistic; that is, he has fascist tendencies. I’m not sure those are so pronounced that it would be fair to call him an outright fascist, but let’s see how many fascist “boxes” Trump checks: 1. Believes in strong authoritarian leadership. Check; he’s praised Putin for exactly that. 2. Uses his position of power to bully others. Check; too many examples to pick out just one, and he encourages his followers to do the same. 3. Advocates that government should be run for the benefit of Big Business. Check; just look at his cabinet picks! 4. Advocates racial superiority of his own ethnic group, and actively tries to suppress the civil rights of others. Check; both Trump’s support for various neo-Nazi (so-called “alt-right”) groups and spokesmen, as well as Trump’s own long-term pattern of housing discrimination against people of color. 5. Advocates expelling certain ethnic and/or religious groups from the country; check. Hopefully I don’t need to point out his ongoing advocacy of racist policies against Muslims and those he labels as “Mexicans”, by which he means Hispanics. 6. Advocates using paramilitary groups to enforce his policies against those ethnic groups that he wants to expel.… Read more »

Perhaps you had a bit to much new year ultra left Champaign. Fake Champaign that is. Sorry but I don’t follow you on that smearing campaign slope.
Trump is a gentleman with five kids and grand kids. Ok he likes blink blink and his favorite color is gold but at least we are sure he wont let the Saudi meddle into us politics. I would like to have a Trump right here in Brussels to solve the mess we let grow here. Instead the hyper leftist went as far to make Merkel doctor honoris causa today. Imagine! They are on Cutty Sark ultra left Whisky here.

“…he is a politician…”

That’s funny. He ran promising he wasn’t a politician, and before he is even sworn into office, the excuse for his missteps I keep hearing from you and others is that he’s just being a politician.

I guess that didn’t last long…

If he is going to run it like the businessman that he is then he will run it in such a way that he personally profits from it the most with the ability to walk away from the smoldering husk when he’s done with it.

His life history in business has shown absolutely no altruistic behavior to lead any of us to believe this one time he’s doing it for his fellow man.

In Texas, many Republican lawmakers see natural gas as a part of the “clean energy” pie in addition to solar and wind. It helps that the natural gas boom over the past few years has made them a lot of money.

Coal workers should be troubled, however. If less electricity is being generated by coal and more by natural gas, electric cars are not necessarily a threat to the oil industry.

“Trump has already called out Ford for planning to move more production to Mexico, and now ironically, Ford has changed course.”

I highly doubt Trump has had any effect on Ford yet. They have not backed off of anything due to Trump.

As I understand it, Ford announced a year ago that focus production was going to mexico but that production of more SUVs/Pickups would take its place in the US.

Originally they were going to build a new plant in Mexico for Focus production. But with sales of the vehicle being down, they are instead expanding investments to produce more SUVs. The Focus will be built in an existing Mexican plant. Not a new one.

But Trump will be claiming personal responsibility for anything “good” that happens anywhere ever.

Natural gas is incidental product of fracking for oil. So, in some ways, there is a case to made and on top of that NG burns clean and NG is the energy source that kicks Coal powered fire plants to the curb.

NG is important for many facets of modern life, so yes the definition is a stretch but I see where they are coming from.

There are plenty of members of that party who claim that “Clean Coal” is clean energy, just because they put the word “Clean” in front of it….

Just ask VW and their “clean diesels”.

“Clean* coal” is one of the biggest money pit shams in the energy sector. But all of these oil execs to me says that he has no intention to invest in “clean* coal”. XP

But of course who knows with Trump. He has a history of making terrible investments.

But even Clinton saw Natural Gas as a net positive. Not surprising. She has typically been a moderate pro business democrat. Clinton on discussing energy security and clean energy:

“We are, however, producing a lot of natural gas, which serves as a bridge to more renewable fuels.”

Can Trump support fossil fuels and renewables? It will be a reality show with real consequences.

The only thing I’ve heard Trump say about “high-tech” is that computers confuse him. He wants to bring back old-school, low-tech manufacturing… stuff that’s never coming back.

He said we should send the important messages by courier.

Hire more couriers! That’s one way to increase American jobs……..

Gotta try to make lemonade when you are given lemons.

Hmmm . . . There is a very different yellow liquid in Trump news today.

I think the biggest part about Trump right now is not what we know about him, but what we don’t know. I’ve never seen a politician that could win an election without stating much at all about his views on things. When faced with a question he would often say something ambiguous like “we’re going to do something better!” without stating what that would actually be.

So at this point, I don’t think anyone knows how his policies (or lack of) will affect the EV industry. But this article is correct, we do at least know that Trump thinks American manufacturing is a good thing, and so Tesla should be on his A list because of that fact alone.

As for subsidies. I’ve been curious for some time if the manufacturers have baked that into the price of these 2nd generation cars, knowing that during the lifetime of these vehicles, the tax credits will end. So will we see a big price drop in these vehicles when the tax credit goes away?

From someone on the outside looking in I agree with you completely. All bets are off with what Trump could do. In particular around trade, where I understand he has absolute authority. I am fairly certain the law won’t let him pick and choose who to promote or punish so I can see a lot of his actions on trade benefiting Tesla and being very liberal and green in their overall effect. Let’s face it he can’t pull the environmental legislation down so far as to make production of a product in the USA as environmentally damaging as to make it in east Asia (Japan and South Korea are the exception). I think that trade is where he can have the biggest effect but the policies that I am really interested to see are the ones that affect oil price which I can only see going up. All the power in the USA is now pretty much controlled by pro-oil parties. Trump has said he is going to reduce all the red tape around the oil and gas industry and I am sure he is going to get plenty of help from the Senate and Congress to do that but… Read more »

David Murray said:

“So at this point, I don’t think anyone knows how his policies (or lack of) will affect the EV industry.”

But we can make a pretty good guess about what kind of policies his “oil-igarchy” cabinet of millionaires and billionaires will make. Appointing a promoter of neo-Nazi propaganda and fake news as his chief strategist is pretty telling, too.

Regarding policy, I don’t think it matters much what the Twitterer-in-Chief says. There have already been predictions that the Vice President, the Cabinet, and White House advisors will do the actual work of the administration, and leave Trump as mainly a figurehead spending time on his Tweet storms and his public appearances.

I think the problem is the average voter can’t or don’t care to keep more than 2 or 3 good or bad facts about a candidate in their head at one time.

And so they see 3 bad things about the candidate from the party they don’t like and 3 bad things about the candidate from the party they do like and they vote for that one.

In this case there is a sea of problems and conflicts of interest with our current President-elect but most supporters just tune it out and focus on those 3 good things about their guy.

I think you overestimate a large portion of voters.

For many, voting is like watching their favorite team play a football game. All they care about is whether or not somebody is on their favorite team. If the ref makes a call against their team, they blame it the ref being blind.

The same goes for voting. If the candidate is on their favorite team, he/she can do no wrong. If the candidate is on the “other” team, he/she does everything wrong. Then they vote a straight ticket for their team up and down the ballot without even bothering to read the names.

Or they simply can’t be bothered enough to get out of their couches to vote in the first place.


It will be interesting to see if the President-elect distinguishes between US manufacturing and blue state manufacturing.

It’s certainly savvy for the public spokesman of any high-profile company to extend an olive branch, as it were, to a new presidential administration. No point in sabotaging any potentially positive relationship before it can materialize. That goes double for someone as petty and vindictive as Trump.

However, let’s not mix up what Elon actually said with what others did. I note that at least in the quote cited above, Elon didn’t mention Mr. Trump by name. So maybe he only needed to take a single shower after making those cautiously optimistic remarks the Twitterer-in-Chief-elect.

“Trump even put Musk on his Strategic and Policy Forum.”

Yes, that is a hopeful sign. But let us never forget that everything Mr. Trump does is calculated to get him the maximum amount of attention and money, and that when it comes to policy, real facts are entirely irrelevant to him. We can be sure that Trump will ignore anything from that Forum if he sees a personal benefit in doing so.

Musk can help deliver three things Trump wants:
1) Energy Security
2) American Manufacturing Jobs
3) Project Apollo II (Mars)…yet tbo

Trump can help deliver 3 things Musk wants:
1) Energy Security (albeit specifically solar/renewable)
2) American Manufacturing Jobs
3) Project Apollo II (Mars)

To whatever extent Trump and Musk may have a difference of opinion on Global Warming & Carbon Tax, a reasonable middle ground on that topic satafactory to the parties will be arrived at that delivers to both parties the majority items of importance of what they are seeking from the other.

Yes, this will greatly upset the zealots on both sides of the Climate Change topic.

This isn’t surprising at all. They both have a strong relationship with Peter Thiel. That alone should give Elon an important advantage with the upcoming administration.

I thought this was going to be about the anti-Elon diatribe in the New Yorker today http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/elon-musk-has-delivery-issues
Basically saying that Musk doesn’t achieve his claims and it’s going to get worse, along with equating Trump and Musk’s business achievements.
I like the author bio: “Jeffrey Rothfeder is a former editor-in-chief of the International Business Times and a former national news editor at Bloomberg News. His latest book is “Driving Honda: Inside the World’s Most Innovative Car Company.” “

Another business leader morphs into regime collaborator. These guys have no principles and no spine, only special interests–their own.

“Regime collaborator”
That’s even more over he top.
Have a visit to Maelbeek instead of CNN studios.

As an outsider looking in, it’s kind of interesting how this man Trump is underrated.

Yet, he is a billionaire, a successful business man, was a key figure in a popular tv show, have wonderful children who admires him,fund his own election campaign and win, spend farless than his opponent, As president he decided not to take a salary, and impacting corporate decisions and not yet in office.

He seems to have a way to get everyone to talk about him, he’s even talked about in places where
He should be out of context.

Just wondering, With such achievements how could he be the idiot that most made him out to be.

Only time will tell if his presidency will once again add to the list of his achievements

Wow; just… wow.

Writren by RT no doubt.

“…fund his own election campaign and win, spend farless than his opponent…” He didn’t need to spend his own money on advertising his campaign. In fact, that would have been pointless. He was already getting saturation-level advertising by most if not all the major news outlets — especially TV news — giving him “lead story” attention for well over 50% of the days in the months — literally months — leading up to the election. (That is neither an exaggeration nor just an opinion. That’s verifiable fact.) Trump’s candidacy and election is a creation of the news media, who almost entirely refuse to recognize their own huge contribution to his nomination and election. Yes, he is very clever at manipulating mass media to get attention. He’s probably better at that than anybody since Adolph Hitler, who — just like Trump — mastered “The art of the Big Lie”. Trump is certainly not a good businessman, and if you think he is, then you need to read up on his many bankruptcies and business failures. In fact, Trump’s biggest source of income is now licensing his name to appear on buildings he doesn’t own. Nor is Trump a self-made man; his… Read more »

@PuPu, said: “…He’s probably better at that than anybody since Adolph Hitler, who — just like Trump…”

@PuPu, Wow..reading that I had a flash back. When Ronald Reagan ran for president I was in college…I had a know-it-all law professor, Dr. Fletcher, that advised the entire class that Reagan if elected would prove to be the next Hitler…he was certain of it.

I’m a bit surprised that Elon appears to have gotten played by Trump, here.

Trump has proven repeatedly to say one thing to your face, then go back and Tweet the opposite later.

I hope that this is a rare exception to the rule. We shall see.

I know there is a lot of discussion here — but Trump’s biggest thing was he wants to make the US Energy Independent. We really will never have the oil production and refining capabilities to be independent if we continue the ICE route — so the conversion to electric where multiple energy sources can be used would make 100% sense.

Just because Trump is supporting US Energy companies does not automatically mean he is anti-EV. I believe he will want to tap all ways the US can generate energy and nuclear and renewable are not off his list.

We gave Obama who had very little governing and no executive experience a chance — let’s at least give Trump that same chance as well. I’m not a supporter – I just want to see the US thrive.