In his first-ever public acknowledgement of Elon Musk-run Tesla’s contribution to the world of electric vehicles (EVs), US President Joe Biden has said that the country is building a reliable national public charging network to counter Chinese challenge in the EV market.
Biden’s acknowledgement came after Tesla CEO Musk repeatedly complained on Twitter about being ignored by his administration.
“From iconic companies like GM and Ford building out new electric vehicle production to Tesla, our nation’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, to innovative younger companies, manufacturing is coming back to America after decades,” he said late on Tuesday.
In a tweet on Wednesday, the US President added: “China has been leading the electric vehicle race, but that’s about to change. We’re building a convenient, reliable, equitable national public charging network. It’ll make America more economically competitive and help us tackle the climate crisis at the same time”.
Musk replied to his tweet, just saying ‘Tesla’.
Last month, Musk said that Biden “is treating the American public like fools” after he met with executives from rival car companies General Motors and Ford Motor.
Biden invited GM CEO Mary Barra and Ford CEO Jim Farley to the White House along with other business leaders to discuss his administration’s $1.75 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ legislation, which was stalled in the evenly split Senate after US Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) refused to support the legislation.
The massive spending bill would bump up the $7,500 tax credit to $12,500 for union-made electric vehicles and would also make GM and Tesla eligible for the existing tax credit again after they hit the 200,000-vehicle limit for the credit.
Biden touted GM’s recent $7 billion investment in Michigan to ramp up electric vehicle production.
“Companies like GM and Ford are building more electric vehicles here at home than ever before,” the president tweeted after the meeting, prompting the response from Musk that Biden was treating the American public “like fools”.
Musk also tweeted that “Biden is a damp (sock) puppet in human form” and “Starts with a T, Ends with an A, ESL in the middle.”
It is not the first time that Musk took on Biden.
The electric vehicle pioneer said in September last year that the US administration was “maybe a little biased” and “seems to be controlled by unions.”
2021 was a breakthrough year for Tesla and for electric vehicles in general, as the EV maker ended the year with $5.5 billion in net income, compared to $721 million in 2020.
For the full year 2021, the company delivered 936,172 vehicles, just short of the promised 1 million vehicles but still an increase of 87 per cent over the previous year.
According to Gartner, six million electric cars (battery electric and plug-in hybrid) are likely to be shipped globally in 2022, up from 4 million in 2021.
With China imposing a mandate on automakers requiring that EVs make up 40 per cent of all sales by 2030 and automakers establishing new factories for manufacturing electric cars, Greater China will account for 46 per cent of global EV shipments in 2022. North America is expected to be the third highest region in shipments of EVs this year, Gartner said.