Elon Musk meets with top Biden administration officials over electrification

Elon Musk has met today with top Biden administration officials over electrification goals and amid tensions between Musk, Tesla, and the administration.

There have been a lot of tensions between the Biden administration, Tesla, its CEO Musk, and Musk’s fans.

The first major blow seems to have been the ceremony where President Biden signed a new executive order for 50% of new cars sold in the United States to be electric by 2030.

Tesla wasn’t invited, and both Musk and many Tesla fans took offense. However, the event was about US automakers, like Ford and GM, committing to go 50% electric by 2030. Tesla is already all-electric.

But then the Biden administration, influenced by the United Auto Workers union, pushed for reform of the electric vehicle tax credit to include an additional $4,500 credit per electric vehicle produced at a unionized factory.

Some Tesla fans saw this as an attack on Tesla since the company is the biggest US producer of electric vehicles and its workforce is not unionized. Musk later called out Biden for “being controlled by unions.”

Things started to escalate from there when President Biden made the undoubtedly ridiculous statement that gave GM CEO Mary Barra credit for “electrifying the entire auto industry.” Biden and his administration have since made several similar claims and appeared to have an issue even mentioning Tesla when it came to electric vehicles, despite the company being the biggest electric vehicle producer in the country and a big part of the administration’s plans to lower emissions.

Musk also didn’t help by calling the Democratic Party the “party of hate” and asking his followers on Twitter to vote Republican during the last election.

Fortunately, tensions have calmed down as Biden eventually acknowledged that Tesla is the leader in electrification in the US and the administration eventually dropped the requirement for union-assembled vehicles in the federal EV tax credit.

Now we’ve learned that Elon Musk has even met with two top Biden administration officials today to discuss “shared goals around electrification.” According to a White House spokesperson:

John Podesta and Mitch Landrieu met with Elon Musk to discuss shared goals around electrification and how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act can advance electric vehicle production and charging as well as the broader cause of electrification.

The meeting comes as Tesla is expected to be one of the top companies benefiting from the new $7,500 federal EV tax credit.

However, Tesla, along with all other automakers, is still waiting for the final guidelines for the battery material requirements that unlocks a large part of the credits. Tesla is expected to be in the best position to benefit fully since most of the battery cells going into its US-built electric vehicles are also built in the US.

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