Joe Biden praises Musk for opening up Tesla’s charging network

  • On Wednesday, US President Biden offered rare praise for an unlikely candidate.
  • Elon Musk has opened Tesla’s charging network to competitors. “This is a big deal and it will make a big difference,” Biden tweeted.
  • That’s unusual as Biden and Musk appear to have a strained relationship and have even publicly traded barbs.

Elon Musk has come under intense scrutiny since taking over Twitter — but things seem to be on the up at Tesla, where he’s also CEO.

On Wednesday, Musk received rare praise from US President Joe Biden after Tesla pledged to open at least 7,500 of its charging stations to other electric vehicles by the end of 2024. Tesla chargers were previously only accessible to the brand’s cars.

“As we build out our EV charging network, we need to make sure that as many chargers work for as many drivers as possible,” Biden said tweeted Wednesday, adding: “For this purpose @elonmusk will open a large part @Tesla‘s network up to all drivers. It’s a big deal and it will make a big difference.”

Within seven hours, Biden’s tweet was viewed approximately 10 million times and received over 14,000 likes.

In response, Musk thanked Biden.

The cordial exchange between the two is unusual because they previously appeared to have had a strained relationship, even openly trading barbs.

Most recently, Musk — unhappy that Biden’s Super Bowl tweet was getting more engagement than his own — asked Twitter engineers to amplify his tweets, according to a report published by Platformer on Wednesday.

The tensions between the two had already become apparent in August 2021 Musk complained on Twitter that Tesla was not invited to an EV summit at the White House, even though the automaker dominates the US market.

Musk has also repeatedly attacked some of Biden’s key policy agendas, including a Democratic Party tax plan targeting US billionaires. Musk said at the time that any redistribution of wealth would be better managed by the private sector than by the state.

Biden also lashed out at Musk. The president aimed a sharp barb at the SpaceX CEO’s fixation on space in June 2022 — at the same time he was announcing Ford’s investment in electric vehicles.

In November, Biden said at a White House press briefing that Musk’s foreign ties following his Twitter takeover “are worth investigating.” White House officials had previously denied reports that a security review of Musk’s deals – including the Twitter purchase – was planned.

Biden’s praise comes at a turbulent time for Musk and Twitter

According to Tesla employees working from Twitter, Musk appears to be “obviously stressed,” Insider’s Kali Hays reported earlier Thursday. They now compared the situation to 2018 — a time Musk described as “excruciating” and “the most difficult and painful” of his entire career — saying it was “worse.”

Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in late October, Musk has made sweeping changes at the company, including mass layoffs and ending some benefits to cut costs. Advertising also fell on Twitter — more than half of September’s top 1,000 advertisers didn’t spend on the platform in the first few weeks of 2023, CNN reported Monday.

Tesla, meanwhile, is doing a little better — its stock prices have rebounded this year and are up almost 74% so far. They were down over 50% in 2022 on a variety of factors, including slow demand and vehicle production, the Fed raising interest rates, and Musk’s takeover of Twitter — prompting concerns among investors that it was spreading too thin.

The surge in stock prices has even sent Musk’s net worth skyrocketing. Tesla also beat Wall Street expectations for its fourth-quarter earnings, and analysts are generally bullish on the electric-vehicle maker.

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