Tesla’s Supercharger Woes Are a Bad Omen for All EV Owners

We're expecting longer wait times, at the least.

Tesla charging at a Supercharger station

Tesla’s takeover in the EV charging game may be hitting a roadblock.

In a surprise move, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk fired the entire team behind its Supercharger network, including hundreds of employees like Rebecca Tinucci, who was Tesla’s senior director of EV charging, according to The Information.

This major shift comes at a time when the company is expanding its Supercharger network and while other EV makers are committing to switching to NACS, Tesla’s standardized charging port. And sure, fewer people overseeing the expansion of Tesla’s Supercharger network is bad news for Tesla, but it could also be a bad sign for anyone who owns an EV.

How does Tesla plan to keep growing its Supercharger network with no team?


Slamming on the Brakes?

If the decision to nix the Supercharger team comes as a surprise to you, you’re probably not alone. Tesla says it installed more than 6,000 Supercharger stations during its latest earnings report for the first quarter of 2024. That adds to the more than 50,000 Superchargers across the world, with 17,000 of them just in the U.S.

On top of that, Tesla recently opened up its Supercharger network to other EVs and automakers, most of which have adopted the NACS port. That means that major EV makers like Hyundai, Volkswagen, Ford, and plenty of others were hoping that their customers would reap the benefits of Tesla’s extensive charging infrastructure.

With the future unclear for the Supercharger network, any EV owners looking to charge up will have to make do with the existing stations that are expected to take on even more capacity from non-Teslas. If the layoffs cause any interruption in Supercharger expansion (and we suspect they will) it could mean a few things. For one, EV owners may want to brace themselves for more lines in the interim if EV adoption continues and the amount of charging stations flatlines. Secondly, it puts more of the onus on other providers like EVgo whose reputation is less than spotless.

Your Supercharger pitstop may include a lot more waiting.


Neglecting the Other States

For anyone stuck in an area with not-so-extensive coverage when it comes to EV charging stations, reduced investment in charging stations is a big blow. Even though states like California are densely populated with Supercharger stations, other states like Wyoming, Kansas, and North and South Dakota are still severely lacking. A lack of charging stations could lead to even more hesitation amongst potential EV owners with range anxiety — Tesla or otherwise.

Of course, Musk indicated that Tesla will still expand its Supercharger network, but with a focus on existing locations. Whether that comes to pass without a team dedicated to doing so is anyone’s guess, but it’s certainly not an encouraging sign. For now, it looks like the EV charging wars are still wide open.

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