Elon Musk announces strategic shift in Tesla’s Supercharger expansion following layoffs

Elon Musk has addressed the significant changes to the company’s Supercharger team, saying that Tesla will continue expanding the charging network, but with a new strategic direction.

As we reported earlier today, Elon Musk laid off Rebecca Tinucci, Sr Director of EV Charging at Tesla, and her entire 500+ member Supercharger team. The move was part of the broader layoffs announced by Musk three weeks ago, which was expected to impact over 10%, or more than 14,000, of the company’s global workforce.

Despite the news breaking late last night, Musk made no comment on the dismantling of the Supercharger team, despite posting and interacting most of the morning on his social media platform, X. This led to a lot of speculation among investors and fans on the future of the Supercharger network, with some theories even going so far as saying Tesla was planning to sell the Supercharger network.

After being asked likely thousands of times on X, Musk finally commented on the situation, and while he didn’t provide the reasons for letting the entire team go, he did give some clarity on the Supercharger network moving forward.

According to Musk, the company will still expand the Supercharger network with new locations, but at a slower pace than before. Not only will the growth be slower, but that expansion will focus more on adding stalls at existing locations.

Despite having a near perfect uptime rate of 99.95%, Musk also said the company will focus on improving that metric to 100%.

While the clarity was definitely needed, there are still many questions that remain unasnwered. With the Supercharger team now decimated, there will still be a short term impact on Supercharger expansion as there will be no one to immediately take over the reigns. How short term that impact is and how long it takes for a new Supercharger team to be assembled, no matter how small, remains to be seen.

Additionally, focusing on expanding existing locations will obviously provide far fewer new charging posts than focusing on adding new locations. Many locations that are already up and running have little to no space for expansion, not to mention the charging deserts that exist in many parts of Canada that will now not see a new Supercharger, likely for years to come.

The focus on improving uptime is also a little perplexing, considering the currently near perfect uptime. In fact, the reliability of Superchargers is one of the biggest talking points of the network, and one of the key reasons, if not the key reason, that every major automaker has agreed to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) in order for their EV owners to have access to the network.

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