Musk: Tesla ‘To Spend $500m’ On Charger Expansion This Year

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has said the company plans to spend more than $500 million (£400m) expanding its network of charging stations, days after abruptly disbanding the company’s Supercharger unit.

“Just to reiterate: Tesla will spend well over $500m expanding our Supercharger network to create thousands of NEW chargers this year,” Musk wrote on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, which he also owns.

“That’s just on new sites and expansions, not counting operations costs, which are much higher,” he wrote.

Late last month Musk said the company still planned to expand the Supercharger network, but would slow the addition of new locations while focusing on uptime and expansion of existing locations.

Image credit: Unsplash

Charger unit dissolved

That message appeared on X on Tuesday, 30 March, the day after Musk told staff internally that the head of the Supercharger unit, Rebecca Tinucci, would be leaving the company and that the unit would be dissolved.

Reports speculated that Tinucci had resisted the large headcount cuts that Musk has demanded amidst a sharp fall in Tesla profits, and that the move to disband the charging business was Musk’s response.

After Tinucci’s sacking Musk reportedly told other executives in an email that they, too, would be fired if they did not deliver the required cuts.

Musk’s comments appear to be intended to quell fears that he is pulling back from the Supercharger charging network, which is seen as key to the company’s success and to take-up of electric vehicles generally.

Image credit: Tesla

EV infrastructure

“Any retreat from this part of the business will have a negative impact on the EV industry,” said fund manager and Tesla investor Ross Gerber.

Competing EV makers have been adopting Tesla’s North American Charging Standard, making the company’s charging network closer to an industry standard.

The company has been one of the main recipients of $5bn in US federal funds under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure programme that aims to build out 500,000 EV chargers over five years. Tesla’s cutbacks and its lack of a charging team may delay the program.

Musk has recently been emphasising Tesla’s investments into artificial intelligence, last month announcing progress on introducing its driving-assistance technology into China and plans for a robotaxi event in August.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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