President Joe Biden applauded automakers’ aggressive electric vehicle objectives at the White House. However, he did so without the help of Tesla, the world’s largest electric vehicle maker. Executives from Ford (F), General Motors (GM), and Stellantis, the company formed by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA earlier this year, joined Biden on stage. On the other hand, electric vehicles make up a minor portion of both companies’ United States sales —1.3 percent for Ford and 1.5 percent for GM so far this year — and Stellantis currently offers no pure Electric Vehicles in the United States.
Tesla (TSLA), on the other hand, has long been known for its battery-powered electric vehicles. So, why shouldn’t the world’s largest electric vehicle maker be involved? “Yeah, seems odd that Tesla wasn’t included,” Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, said in a tweet overnight.
The UAW (United Auto Workers) union would also be in attendance, which explains the seeming snub. The United Auto Workers (UAW) represents Ford, GM, and Stellantis employees but has been unable to organize Tesla employees at the firm’s Fremont, California, plant. Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, questioned Tesla’s absence during her press briefing.
“Of course, we commend the efforts of automakers that recognize the potential of an electric vehicle future and support policies that will help the President reach his goal,” Psaki stated. “I don’t think this is the last time we talk about clean vehicles and the transition to electric vehicles, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with a range of partners on that.”
When questioned if Tesla’s nonunion status was the reason it wasn’t featured, Psaki stated, “Well, these are the three largest employers of the UAW, so I’ll let everybody make their conclusions.” The three car manufacturers gave a joint statement declaring their “shared objective” for plug-in vehicles to account for 40% – 50% of the sales by the year 2030. However, plug-in hybrids using gasoline engines are not included in this figure.
The Biden administration has previously stressed the necessity of electric vehicles in creating “good-paying, union jobs.” When asked about it by the CNN, spokesperson of UAW Brian Rothenberg said he didn’t know Tesla did not receive an invitation to the event.
Volkswagen (VLKAF), which has already outsold Tesla in Europe this year, wants to start building electric vehicles for the United States market in the year 2022 at Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant. On two times, however, the UAW has been unable to obtain union representation ballots at such a facility. The German car manufacturer will also be missing from the event at the White House. Despite the fact that Tesla has opened a new production line in Shanghai, China, it primarily serves Asian and European clients, not Americans. It plans to construct two factories, one near Austin, Texas, and the other near Berlin, Germany.