After weeks of mounting pressure to “Just say it,” President Joe Biden has finally acknowledged Tesla’s position as the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in the US.
At a press conference earlier today to announce that Tritium will build an EV charger manufacturing facility in Tennessee, Biden mentioned Tesla alongside his favourites General Motors and Ford.
In a marked departure from his usual rhetoric on US EV manufactures, it wasn’t just Tesla that earned an honourary mention.
In the same breath as Tesla, Biden also brought up Rivian and Proterra as other American automakers making a difference in the transition to an electric future.
“From iconic companies, like GM and Ford building out new electric vehicle production, to Tesla, our nations largest electric vehicle manufacturer. To innovative younger companies like Rivian building electric trucks, or Proterra building electric buses.”
One of the reasons Biden finally said the word Tesla is likely because of a recent Change.org petition. The petition, which started last week and has gathered more than 58,000 signatures, asked Biden to “Acknowledge Tesla’s EV Leadership.”
This is the second time in less than one week the Biden Administration has mentioned Tesla, but the first time that Biden himself has uttered the word.
Last week Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in an interview with CNBC that they were willing to consult with Tesla, but only about how to solve the ongoing semiconductor shortage that has hampered automotive production (among other industries) for the better part of a year.
You can watch the relevant segment of the press conference below.