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Tesla wasn’t invited to Biden’s EV announcement because of unions, and it doesn’t matter

Tesla wasn’t invited to President Biden’s announcement about electric vehicles yesterday, which angered many Tesla fans.

The White House press secretary has now confirmed that it is because of the auto workers union.

Yesterday, President Biden invited Ford, GM, and Stellantis to the signing of a new executive order to set “a new target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles.”

The president discussed the effort to revert the Trump administration’s changes to the US emissions standards introduced during the Obama era.

Some of those automakers supported Trump’s changes, but now that Biden is in power, they all agreed to comply to the stricter standards and accelerate electric vehicle deployment in the US.

Tesla wasn’t invited to the event. While the automaker doesn’t have much to do with those standards since they already comply with 100% of their sales having no tailpipe emissions, it still was odd that the automaker that sells the majority of electric cars in the US wasn’t mentioned at the event.

It angered a lot of Tesla fans:

As we reported in our coverage of the event yesterday, we suspected that Tesla’s absence was due to the United Auto Workers union, which Tesla has been fighting for years to keep away from its US operations.

Biden and the Democrats are counting on union votes, and Ford, GM, and Chrysler are all using UAW workers in their factories.

When asked if the union had anything to do with Tesla not being there, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki all but confirmed it in an interview on CNN:

“Well, these are the three largest employers of the United Auto Workers, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.”

The White House did acknowledge that Tesla is a leader in electrification when asked about it.

Electrek‘s take

To be honest, I don’t understand the anger from Tesla fans here. Who cares if Tesla wasn’t invited and mentioned at the event.

It’s politics. They want votes and unions give them votes. You can’t be surprised here.

Of course, it would have been better if Tesla had been there and politicians would have acknowledged Tesla’s role in accelerating EV adoption in the US, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter.

The whole announcement was just fluff anyway, with or without Tesla. Biden was only announcing a goal yesterday.

The important parts are the initiatives to achieve that goal, and Tesla is being included in that.

Tesla will get access to the $7.5 billion in EV charging infrastructure, and the expected new reform of the federal EV incentive program should give a $10,000 rebate to Tesla buyers.

While electric cars made by union workers will receive more ($12,500), ultimately, the automakers with the most EV production capacity in the US will be the ones benefiting the most from the reform.

That’s going to be Tesla. No doubt. So who cares if they didn’t mention them during a fluff announcement. I wouldn’t expect anything less from politicians.

Tesla doesn’t want to play the game and let the unions in. Okay, good for them, but don’t expect to get the invite.

They just need to keep focusing on their US production capacity, and they will come out on top with these new EV initiatives from the Biden administration.

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