Biden Finally Says “Tesla,” Acknowledges It As Largest US EV Maker

It finally happened: president Biden has pronounced the word “Tesla” publicly for the first time, acknowledging the company as America’s “largest electric vehicle manufacturer.

The president made the remarks in a February 8 speech titled “President Biden Delivers Remarks on Rebuilding Our Manufacturing to Make More in America,” as per The White House’s official YouTube channel.

The speech was delivered after Tritium’s announcement that it would build a new DC fast charger manufacturing facility in Lebanon, Tennessee, creating over 500 jobs over the next five years to produce more than 10,000 DC fast charging units annually.

“Since 2021, companies have announced investments totaling more than $200 billion in domestic manufacturing here in America, from iconic companies like GM and Ford building out new electric vehicle production; to Tesla, our nation’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer; to innovative younger companies like Rivian, building electric trucks, or Proterra, building electric buses, which I saw at a virtual tour last year when I met with the CEO virtually. And they really impressed me.”

It’s worth noting that more than 58,000 people signed a petition recently on Change.org demanding president Biden to acknowledge Tesla’s EV leadership. We can’t say whether the petition actually had anything to do with the president finally pronouncing the word “Tesla,” but Elon Musk appears to believe it made a difference.

 

Still, the question remains why it took president Biden a full year of his term in office to acknowledge Tesla’s merits, especially since he didn’t shy away from praising General Motors and Ford on their electric vehicle initiatives, visiting their EV plants, and inviting them to White House events while snubbing Tesla.

The fact that Tesla does not have unionized labor at its US plants—as opposed to the Detroit Three—was certainly a factor.

But why the sudden change of heart? It may have something to do with the fact that the US government could use Tesla’s expertise with latest-generation semiconductors, something secretary of commerce Gina Raimondo recently recognized.

In a recent interview with CNBC, she said the US government wants the help of anyone who has good ideas or is willing to help with the chip crisis, Tesla included. Raimondo also said she believed Tesla had better navigated the chip shortage than most traditional automakers because of its origin as tech company.

 


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