President Joe Biden is a big fan of electric cars.
He wants half of all new cars in the US to be electric by 2030. He came up with a list of things that could help make that happen, like tax credits for people who buy cars and government help for charging stations.
It’s a shame that he doesn’t like Tesla, which is based in the US and is the world’s biggest electric car company.
And the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, hasn’t been afraid to take a shot at Biden, either.
There is a good reason why Biden hasn’t talked much about Tesla when he talks about the benefits of electric cars. There are likely three letters that can sum up that: UAW.
The United Auto Workers union is worried about what the industry’s shift to electric cars will mean for its members’ jobs. Electric cars have a lot fewer moving parts and don’t need as much labor to build. Ford thinks it takes about 30% less work to make an electric car than to make a traditional car.
There is a lot to like about electric cars because of the battery packs that power them. As of now, the unionized automakers have formed partnerships to build battery plants instead of building them at their own plants. It’s not clear if the battery factories will become unionized, but it’s not clear yet.
But so far, the UAW has said that they support Biden’s efforts to get electric cars on the road. Ray Curry, the president of the UAW, went to the White House with the CEOs of General Motors (GM), Ford (F), and Stellantis in August for a meeting about electric cars. Musk wasn’t there.
It would be much more difficult for Biden to keep his UAW allies on board with the switch to electric cars if he was seen as a fan of a company like Tesla.
Asked whether the lack of union representation was why Tesla was not included, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki didn’t deny it. The CEOs of automakers with a small amount of Tesla’s electric car sales were included.
This is what she said: “Well, these are the three most important employers of the United Auto Workers, so I’ll let you make up your own mind.”
The UAW didn’t want to say anything about this story.
Musk is against the UAW.
Tesla is still a nonunion company, and CEO Elon Musk is as opposed to organized labor as any CEO in the industry. At least a few times, he’s been found to be unfair by the National Labor Relations Board. This is how it has worked: The UAW hasn’t made much progress in its efforts to get organized at Tesla. Musk has called out the union and its supporters many times.
During a tweet in November, he said that the new UAW slogan was “fighting for their right to take money from workers!”
Because the UAW and Vice President Biden don’t get along, he said, Tesla hasn’t gotten any help from the administration, even though it’s pro-electric.
In a tweet, Musk said: “Biden is a UAW sock puppet.”
Musk vs. Biden’s plans for electric cars
The Build Back Better bill, which is on life support in Congress, has a lot of incentives for people to buy electric cars. People who buy electric cars that are made in the United States by unionized workers will get a bigger tax credit. The government will also help build a network of charging stations.
Musk has said he doesn’t like programs that give extra benefits to people who buy electric cars.
When Biden brought the CEOs of GM and Ford back to the White House last month to talk about electric cars and Build Back Better, Musk was not there. This snub sparked more Twitter attacks.
In the same way, a tweet from Biden’s official account showed the president with GM CEO Mary Barra and said that he said, “I’m with you, Mary Barra. I’m with you.” “I meant what I said when I said that the future would be made in the United States. There are more electric cars being made at home than ever before. Companies like GM and Ford are making more of them at home than ever.”
Elon Musk keeps up his fight against “subsidies,” even though his competitors are now getting more benefits than they did before.
Even though Ford and GM only make a small fraction of the electric cars Tesla makes in California, Biden said that even though they don’t make as many as Tesla.
In a meeting with the White House, Musk didn’t show up because he didn’t like the electric vehicle provisions in a bill called Build Back Better. Tesla isn’t a union.
During a recent meeting at the White House, business leaders who support the BBB were able to talk about how it helps the economy.
The official said that when Biden talked about electric cars, he didn’t mention Tesla “Tesla has done a lot of great things for electric cars, and that’s a big part of why the whole industry now thinks that electric cars are the best way to go. Tesla also got a lot of help from EV tax credits in the past. Unfortunately, their CEO has said that he doesn’t like new EV tax credits.”
But the White House did not avoid talking about unions.
“We’re going to keep fighting for legislation that will make it easier for people to get around and make good-paying jobs building electric cars,” the official said. Creating good union jobs across the country is what President Biden wants to do. He also believes that every worker in every state should be able to join a union and be able to negotiate with their employer together.
Biden is not a fan of Musk for a lot of other reasons.
Musk isn’t just mad at the Biden administration because they don’t agree on EV incentives. So far, he has made it clear that he doesn’t like the Biden administration’s plans to raise taxes on the wealthiest people in the country and to set a minimum tax for profitable US businesses, like Tesla, which pays little federal income tax because it has lost money in the past.
People say that in 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk will have to pay a record $11 billion in taxes because he exercised stock options that were set to expire. But in other years, the world’s richest person doesn’t have to pay any taxes because his reportable income is close to zero, even though he owns a lot of money.
Democrat senators like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Ron Wyden have proposed taxing the wealth of the richest Americans, not just their income. And he’s made it clear that he doesn’t like Democratic proposals that would change that, even though he’s focused most of his ire on them.
Musk also made it clear that he doesn’t like the government’s efforts to fight Covid-19. He called the stay-at-home orders that came out early in the pandemic “fascist,” and at times he questioned the health risk of Covid.
While Biden has said that he doesn’t want to see a return to stay at home orders, he has also said that he wants to see government rules and actions taken to fight the pandemic.