Tesla fires charging team, leading to fears that drivers won’t be able to charge their cars

Tesla Stock (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Tesla Stock (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Tesla appears to have fired its Supercharger team, leading to fears over how drivers will be able to charge up their vehicles.

The electric vehicles rely on a widespread network of Superchargers, or stations that include plugs and allow the cars to be plugged in and charged back up.

The layoffs were part of a broader package of cuts that were aimed at being “absolutely hard core” about cost reduction, according to a memo reported by The Information.

Chief executive Elon Musk stressed that it would continue to grow its network of Superchargers, which are used to power up the batteries in the cars.

But that would happen at a “slower pace” and lead to a focus on existing locations, Mr Musk said on X/Twitter.

That led to outrage among drivers, many of whom responded to that tweet. “This is a goddamn disaster,” wrote one, with another calling it a “disastrous long-term strategy”.

Other companies do offer charging stations, some of which are compatible with Tesla cars. But Tesla operates many of the most popular charging locations and they can offer additional speeds to their own vehicles.

Tesla has also been making deals with other car makers and charging companies to use its “NACS” standard, so that vehicles made by other manufacturers could hook up to the Supercharger network.

The future of that infrastructure was in question, suggested one former member of the team. Tesla’s strategic charging programs lead said that all of his colleagues had been let go – and indicated that it was unclear what would happen to the existing charging network as well as its expansion.

“[Elon Musk] has let our entire charging org[anisation] go,” wrote Will Jameson. “What this means for the charging network, NACS, and all the exciting work we were doing across the industry, I don’t yet know.

“What a wild ride it has been.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent.