Tesla Lays Off Entire Supercharger Team as Musk Talks About the Future of Superchargers

By Cláudio Afonso
Tesla Supercharging
Tesla Supercharging

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk emailed the company’s executives informing them about further layoffs including Supercharging, Public Policy and New Product Iteration teams. The reductions come in addition to the more than 10 percent staff cut announced two weeks ago.

In an email seen by The Information, Musk stated that the company needs “to be absolutely hardcore about headcount and cost reduction”.

“Starting at 10 AM EST Tuesday, I will ask for the resignation of any executive who retains more than three people who don’t obviously pass the excellent, necessary, and trustworthy test,” the Tesla CEO wrote.

Musk Talks About the Future of Superchargers

Tesla recently reached 50,000 Superchargers globally and marked the occasion with a special edition Supercharger. Superchargers are the world's most reliable, fast-charging network, partly due to Tesla’s real-time monitoring. As Tesla has recently started opening its Supercharging network to other automakers, the move to axe the entire Supercharger team caused perplexity among investors and customers.

On X, Musk commented on the concerns a few hours later saying Tesla still plans to grow the Supercharger network, "just at a slower pace for new locations”. The company will instead focus on “100% uptime and expansion of existing locations,” he added.

This statement is particularly odd given that Tesla’s Superchargers are already highly reliable with more than a 99% uptime. However, depending on your region, some charging locations can become rather congested, and this will likely worsen as more vehicles come equipped with NACS ports and get access to the Supercharger network.

Rivian recently announced that it will open up its much smaller network of fast chargers to Tesla and other EVs. This may help fill in some gaps, especially since Rivian tends to focus on more rural areas.

William Jameson, strategic charging programs lead at Tesla, confirmed on X that Musk had let the "entire charging org go”. Later on, Musk disclosed that all the sites that are currently under construction “will be completed, ” including the highly anticipated Hollywood Diner. There’s also a new Supercharger planned that will be New England’s largest and include a solar CyberCanopy.

Musk added that Tesla will add “additional Superchargers anywhere where there are gaps,” although as he previously said, it will be at a much slower rate than before.

Tesla announced the first generation of Superchargers in September 2012 with the first 6 locations in the US while expansion to Europe and Asia arrived in mid-2013.

Open of Supercharging Network

In May 2023, Ford announced that it became the first automaker to gain access to Tesla Superchargers across the U.S. and Canada. Less than two weeks later, GM CEO Mary Barra said in an X Spaces with Elon Musk, that GM customers would also access more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in North America.

Major automakers such as Volvo, Mercedes, and Honda plus EV startups including Rivian and Polestar have followed over the next months bringing up the number to 20.

Further Teams Affected 

Daniel Ho, Director of Vehicle Programs and New Product Introduction (NPI), has also left the company, along with the entire public policy team previously under Rohan Patel, former Vice President for Public Policy and Business Development.

At the time, Patel said on X that Tesla has “the best policy/biz-dev team in the business” while thanking Elon Musk for “empowering” to “lead big initiatives at the company”.

Impact Report: Tesla Vehicles 8x Less Likely to Catch Fire, Batteries Degrade 15% After 200k Miles

By Karan Singh

Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by producing products far superior to fossil fuel alternatives and sourcing and manufacturing them sustainably. Tesla released its 2023 Impact Report yesterday, discussing their ongoing impact on the environment and the improvements seen.

Displacing Fossil Fuels

In 2023 alone, Tesla’s impact on the environment through its vehicles, Powerwall, and Solar Roof has been massively impactful – Tesla customers avoided releasing the equivalent of 20 million metric tons of CO2e into the environment. That is the equivalent of 51 billion miles of driving an average internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

Each Tesla vehicle that is on the road avoids an average of 51 tons of CO2e emission into the environment. After just 3 years of driving, a Tesla’s lifetime emissions are lower than those of a comparable ICE vehicle. After the average lifespan of a vehicle in North America – 17 years – a single Tesla will have exceeded that value 5.5 times over.

Integrated Ecosystems

Tesla offers comprehensive ecosystems of products to address clean energy and transportation needs, from Megapack, Solar Roof, and Powerwall, to the Model S, 3, X, Y, and Cybertruck.

Tesla Solar produces power for storage in Megapacks or Powerwalls, which charge electric vehicles. Tesla also produces some of their own batteries, for both its storage applications and vehicles, enabling a complete cycle.

On the software side, products like Autobidder, Full Self-Driving, and the upcoming Robotaxi work to maximize the productivity of electricity that is stored in vehicles, helping to further displace fossil fuels in a single ecosystem of well-designed products.

Tesla's ecosystem depicted.
Tesla's ecosystem depicted.

World’s Best EVs

Tesla’s Model Y is still the best-selling vehicle in 2023, a trend likely to continue in 2024. And it’s not for little reason. It is the world’s most efficient EV, capable of running Autopilot/FSD, and is considered one of the best safety picks in both North America and Europe. Tesla’s data has also proven that they are, on average, 7.63 times safer than a traditional vehicle when running Autopilot.

Additionally, the Model Y is priced $3,000 USD below the average new vehicle in the US before the Federal EV Tax Credit – a difference of $17,000 after factoring in the credit and gas savings over 5 years.

Battery Degradation

Model 3/Y battery degradation over time
Model 3/Y battery degradation over time

Battery degradation is often brought up as a concern for EVs and the environment. Batteries fade away, become useless, and cannot be recycled. According to Tesla’s data and experience, this is far from the truth.

In fact, Tesla has found that their batteries degrade about 15% after 200,000 miles – the equivalent of the average lifetime of a vehicle. And in fact, they do even better in the cold than they do in the heat, with better degradation performance in Canada over the US.

Another interesting fact is that Tesla vehicles in particular – are 8 times less likely to be victim to a vehicle fire, compared against the US average.

Sustainable Sourcing

Sustainably sourcing materials is essential to reach Tesla’s vision of a world with reduced environmental impacts. In 2023, Tesla recovered enough battery materials to produce 43,000 Model Y RWD vehicles, while also sourcing Gigafactory Berlin with 100% renewable energy.

Overall, Tesla solar owners generated enough energy to power all Tesla locations, including all the Mega and Giga Factories, and all other facilities – over 3 times.

Tesla has also reduced water use by 25% over the last 5 years for vehicle production, marking a new milestone low – at 2.48 cubic meters of water, versus 3.37 cubic meters of water for an average ICE vehicle.

Tesla Breaks Ground on New Megafactory in Shanghai

By Karan Singh

Tesla broke ground on a new Megafactory in Shanghai’s Lingang free trade zone pilot program. This factory will be Tesla’s first foray into battery production outside of the United States, mirroring its direction in Lathrop, California.

Batteries, Not Cars

Megafactory Shanghai won’t be producing cars but rather will be producing Megapacks, which are grid-scale battery solutions that can power entire electricity grids.

Each massive Megapack battery unit, about the size of a shipping container, can deliver about 1.2 megawatts of power capacity, with 3.9 megawatt-hours of electricity. A single Megapack unit can power approximately 3,600 homes for an hour.

The Megafactory is scheduled to begin production in early 2025, with production goals of 10,000 Megapack units per year.

Sustainable Energy and Megapack

One of Tesla's Megapacks
One of Tesla's Megapacks

Tesla’s mission is more than just producing self-driving cars – it’s to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. As part of this mission, Megapack and grid-scale energy solutions are key to offset energy costs and carbon emissions when wind, solar, or hydro are at reduced capacities.

Megapack helps to maximize renewable energy use, minimize carbon use, and allow base-load capacities like nuclear power to maintain their output. Similar energy-storage solutions like pumped storage hydropower are expensive, require specific terrain features, and can take years to construct. Megapack units ship assembled, allowing for rapid installation with minimal complexity.

Lathrop vs Shanghai

Tesla’s fairly new facility in Lathrop, California is a mirror of the new facility being built in Shanghai. However, just like the differences between Fremont, Giga Texas, and Giga Shanghai, Mega Shanghai will likely incorporate new technologies to improve productivity. Additionally, it serves as a way to serve the energy market in the Indo-Pacific region, which has been at the forefront of energy development in the last decade.

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