On Thursday the White House hosted a summit on the future of electric vehicles, but it appears that Tesla, the nation’s top-selling electric car company, was not invited.
The administration announced their executive action on green vehicles which includes increasing the share of plug-in hybrid, battery-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to 50% of sales by 2030.
Representatives from Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis were present at the event, and President Biden was seen driving a PHEV Jeep Wrangler around.
Many thought it was odd that Elon Musk’s company Tesla was not present at the event. Some have said Tesla was not included because they have been electric from the start, meaning the other companies have more work to do in terms of electric vehicles. However, Musk expressed on Twitter that the absence was unexpected.
In the past three years, Tesla has been responsible for approximately 74% of electric car sales in the US.
During a press briefing with Jen Psaki, the press secretary was asked about Tesla and whether the absence was because its employees were not part of an automotive union.
Psaki responded, “Well, these are the three largest employers of the United Auto Workers, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusion”.
Musk has publicly discussed his discouragement of union efforts at Tesla. in 2018 he tweeted “Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing”.
Biden has emphasized the importance of keeping EVs American-made. He recently tweeted “The future of the auto industry is electric — and made in America”.
Tesla’s exclusion from the summit is not likely to affect consumer perception of the automaker.