Exposé Allegedly Reveals Why Tesla Fired Its Supercharging Division

Nearly all of Tesla’s Supercharging division was fired last month and now Reuters claims to have details on how this came to be, based on interviews with anonymous former employees.

Charging chief Rebecca Tinucci met with Musk to discuss the future of Tesla’s charging network. According to sources familiar with the matter, the meeting did not go as planned. Musk was reportedly dissatisfied with Tinucci’s presentation and demanded further layoffs. When Tinucci objected, citing concerns over the fundamental integrity of the charging business, Musk responded by firing her and her entire 500-member team.

Sources indicated that Tinucci had already implemented cuts of between 15% and 20% of her staff as part of a broader wave of layoffs at Tesla. The remaining team members believed Musk would affirm plans for a massive charging-network expansion, but instead faced deeper cuts.

The mass firings have significantly impacted Tesla’s Supercharger network, which is a key element in the company’s electric vehicle strategy. Tesla Superchargers account for over 60% of U.S. high-speed charging ports, and the company has been a major beneficiary of $5 billion in federal funding for new chargers. Musk announced afterwards Tesla would be spending $500 million this year to expand its Supercharger network.

Former employees claim that the energy team assigned to take over the charging-network management is facing significant challenges. This team was already struggling to keep pace with its workload, and the transition has led to confusion and delays. A letter from a Tesla global-supply manager to contractors and suppliers instructed them to halt new projects and materials purchases.

Three former charging-team employees told Reuters they have been fielding calls from vendors, contractors, and electric utilities, many of whom had invested heavily in supporting Tesla’s network expansion. These stakeholders are now left uncertain about the future of their projects and investments. One construction contractor mentioned that Tesla staffers contacting his company since the layoffs “don’t know a thing.”

Despite the upheaval, Musk has promised to continue expanding the Supercharger network, although at a reduced scale. Two former Supercharger staffers described the $500 million expansion budget as a significant reduction from what the team had planned for 2024.