A Tesla supplier says Elon Musk's Supercharger layoffs were 'a sharp kick in the pants'

Tesla has around 12,000 Supercharger stalls installed across the US.PATRICK T. FALLON/Getty Images
  • Tesla is reportedly gutting its EV charging team, laying off around 500 employees.
  • The news sent shockwaves through the industry, with one supplier calling it a “kick in the pants.”
  • Tesla dominates EV charging in the US, with many of its rivals switching to its charging network.

Elon Musk has gone “hardcore” again — and it’s sending tremors through the EV industry.

The Information reported late Monday that Musk is laying off around 500 employees on its Supercharger team in a move that one supplier has described as a “sharp kick in the pants.” The team is responsible for building its global network of superfast EV chargers.

“As contractors for the Supercharger network, my team woke up to a sharp kick in the pants this morning,” Andres Pinter, co-CEO of Bullet EV Charging Solutions, an Austin-based EV chargepoint installer that works on Tesla’s network, told Reuters.

“Tesla has already been awarded money under the federal government’s NEVI program. There’s no way Mr. Musk would walk away from effectively free money. It may be possible Mr. Musk will reconstitute the EV charger team in a bigger, badder, more Muskian way,” he added.

The shock job cuts have reverberated across the auto industry, with many of Tesla’s rivals backing the company’s charging network by making their EVs compatible with Tesla’s Superchargers in recent months.

Executives at EV startup Rivian, which recently said its drivers would be able to use Tesla’s network, were left confused and concerned by the job cuts, a source told Bloomberg.

Over the past few years, Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) has become the dominant charging network in the US, with the company installing 15,000 Superfast charging stalls across the country as of 2024.

Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis announced they will make their EVs compatible with NACS in the past year.

Business Insider approached Rivian, Ford, and GM for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.

In an email to senior executives at Tesla on Monday, Musk announced the departure of two executives: Rebecca Tinucci, senior director of the company’s Supercharger group, and Daniel Ho, head of new products, per The Information. He also castigated executives for not being “hard core” enough in cutting headcount.

Last month, Tesla laid off over 10% of its global workforce.

Tesla shares dropped early Tuesday as investors reacted to the news. Musk, meanwhile, sought to reassure owners and suppliers by stating that Tesla still plans to grow its Supercharger network, just at a slower pace than before.

However, there are signs that the company is cutting back on new Superchargers. The EV maker reportedly canceled four planned Supercharger sites in New York on Tuesday, according to InsiderEVs.

William Navarro Jameson, who worked as Tesla’s Charging Program Lead confirmed he was laid off in a post on LinkedIn.,

He wrote on X that the layoffs offered a “unique opportunity” for others looking to challenge Tesla’s charging stranglehold.

“If Tesla is yielding the charging crown, who will step up?” he said.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment made outside normal working hours.

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