Tesla Axes Supercharger Team in Blow to Broader EV Market

Move Is Likely to Slow Network's Growth
Teslas charging
Musk says Tesla will slow expansion of the network. (SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg News)

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Tesla Inc. eliminated almost its entire Supercharger organization, which has built a vast network of public charging stations that virtually every major automaker is in the process of tapping into in the U.S.

The decision to cut the nearly 500-person group, including its senior director, Rebecca Tinucci, was made by CEO Elon Musk in the last week, according to a person familiar with the matter. It comes in addition to the more than 10% staff cut ordered in mid-April, the person said.

The move will slow the network’s growth, according to a person familiar with the division, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters. There already are discussions about rehiring some of the people affected in order to operate the existing network and grow it at a much slower rate, the person said. In a post on X, Musk confirmed that Tesla will slow its expansion.

Tesla shares fell as much as 1.8% before the start of regular trading Mau 1. The stock has declined 26% this year.

The job cuts have left executives at another electric vehicle maker, Rivian Automotive Inc., confused and concerned, according to another person familiar with internal company discussions. Rivian, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. are among the carmakers adopting Tesla’s charging connectors for their battery-powered cars, giving thousands of customers access to the Tesla charging network.

Those automakers have designed their EVs to use a standardized plug called the Combined Charging System. There are fewer CCS chargers in the U.S. than Tesla Superchargers, which use what Tesla has called the North American Charging Standard.

The job eliminations mean Rivian, Ford and others have lost their main points of contact in Tesla’s charging unit shortly before the kickoff of the busy summer driving season. Tinucci was one of the main executives building and managing outside partnerships and was thought of highly, two people who had worked with her inside and outside of Tesla said.

Bloomberg confirmed that Tinucci was no longer listed on internal organizational charts as of April 30. One of Tesla’s highest-ranking female executives, she spoke at the company’s Investor Day in March 2023. She didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The White House touted Tesla’s decision to open up part of its charging network to other manufacturers’ vehicles early last year. President Joe Biden offered rare praise for Musk, who has criticized the administration’s close ties to labor unions and resented Tesla being left out of events to promote EVs.


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Some of the Supercharger servicing team, which manages third-party access to the network, remains intact, according to one of the people. Tesla has been building CCS-to-NACS adapters in Buffalo, N.Y., and shipping them to partnering carmakers. Companies that have signed charging contracts with Tesla are mostly using the adapters as a short-term fix. For example, Ford EV customers can use the Supercharger network with an adapter now, and the NACS charge port will be built into the vehicles beginning in 2025.

Rivian and Ford are both still shipping adapters to their customers, according to statements from the companies. Ford told its EV owners on April 26, before the elimination of the broader Tesla Supercharger team, that deliveries may be delayed in some cases due to supplier constraints.

Access to high-speed charging is critical to EV adoption, and Tesla invested billions of dollars into developing a global network of Superchargers that became the envy of other automakers. It’s also a critical driver of Tesla sales, and the carmaker pointed to the division’s growth during its first-quarter results just last week.

“Starting at the end of February, we began opening our North American Supercharger Network to more non-Tesla EV owners,” Tesla said in its shareholder deck.

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The Musk-led company has also signed charging partnerships with carmakers including Stellantis NV, Volvo, Polestar, Kia, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. It’s not clear who will now oversee Tesla’s partnerships with those companies. GM, Volvo and Polestar were all due to open NACS chargers to their customers in the immediate future, according to Tesla’s website.

Tesla had 6,249 Supercharger stations and more than 57,000 connectors as of the end of the first quarter. It has more fast chargers in the U.S. than all other providers combined, according to BloombergNEF.

The Information first reported the Supercharger team cuts, citing a memo from Musk.

Written by Dana Hull, Ed Ludlow and Keith Naughton