Musk Met With Biden Officials to Discuss Boosting US EV Production
This meeting could mark a major turning point for EVs in the U.S. considering the tumultuous relationship between the President and Tesla CEO.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk met with top aides to U.S. President Joe to discuss the electric vehicle industry and ways to advance EV production. The broader goal is to accelerate the transition to electrified vehicles.
White House aides Mitch Landrieu, senior advisor to the President and John Podesta, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, met with Musk at Tesla’s office in downtown Washington to discuss shared goals around electrification.
Musk and Biden did not meet during the former’s visit, in a statement from White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre
The discussion between Musk, Podesta, and Landrieu covered how infrastructure and climate legislation through The Inflation Reduction Act that Biden signed into law last year can help boost the production of EVs and charging stations, and encourage more people to switch from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles to their electrified counterparts. The discussion also covered how to get consumers to choose more electric appliances, like heat pumps and stoves. As part of Biden’s climate bill, rebates and tax credits are available to encourage that shift.
Landrieu oversees federal spending on infrastructure, which included financial support for the electric vehicle industry. Podesta is responsible for how spending is allocated on Biden’s climate and clean energy initiatives.
Asked whether the meeting signaled a new phase in White House relations with Musk, Jean-Pierre said it “says a lot” about how Biden sees the importance of both pieces of legislation. “I think it’s important that his team, senior members of his team, had a meeting with Elon Musk,” she said.
It has been well documented that the relationship between Musk and the Biden Administration has been adversarial took office, with the president saying that the Tesla CEO’s relationship was “worthy of being looked at.”
Musk has previously taken issue publicly that the White House has hosted events promoting electric cars produced by union labor without acknowledging Tesla’s leadership in the market. The most recent event took place in August 2021 when Biden celebrated ambitious electrification plans by automakers at the White House without the presence of the world’s largest EV automaker, Tesla.
“Yeah, seems odd that Tesla wasn’t invited,” Musk tweeted when asked about the event.
Biden also credited other US automakers for their leadership in EVs. In November 2021, Biden credit GM CEO, Mary Barra for “electrifying the entire auto industry.” at the company’s inauguration of its Factory Zero EV production facility.
Mary, I can remember talking to you way back in January about the need for America to lead in electric vehicles. And I can remember your dramatic announcement that by 2035, GM would be 100% electric.
You changed the whole story, Mary, wherever you are. There you are. You did, Mary. You electrified the entire automobile industry. I’m serious. You led — and it matters — in drastically improving the climate by reducing hundreds of millions of barrels of oil that will not be used when we’re all electric.
You know, up until now, China has been leading in this race, but that’s about to change.
Musk believes that he was snubbed from the White House November 2021 because Tesla does not rely on union workers to produce its vehicles while the other automakers do for production of their vehicles.
Asked whether the meeting signaled a new phase in White House relations with Musk, Jean-Pierre said it “says a lot” about how Biden sees the importance of both pieces of legislation.
“I think it’s important that his team, senior members of his team, had a meeting with Elon Musk,” she said.
Musk has said he plans to vote for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis if he challenges Biden in 2024.
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