"Tesla Pullback Puts Onus on Others to Build Electric Vehicle Chargers"

"The automaker led by Elon Musk is no longer planning to take the lead in expanding the number of places to fuel electric vehicles. It’s not clear how quickly other companies will fill the gap."

"Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, blindsided competitors, suppliers and his own employees this week by reversing course on his aggressive push to build electric vehicle chargers in the United States, a major priority of the Biden administration.

Mr. Musk’s decision to lay off the 500-member team responsible for installing charging stations, and to sharply slow investment in new stations, baffled the industry and raised doubts about whether the number of public chargers would grow fast enough to keep pace with sales of battery-powered cars. It put the onus on other charging companies, raising questions about whether they can build fast enough to address a shortage that appears to be discouraging some people from buying electric cars.

As the owner of the largest charging network in the United States, Tesla has a powerful effect on people’s views of electric cars.

“There is certainly a psychological component,” said Robert Zabors, a senior partner at Roland Berger, a consulting firm. “Availability and reliability are critical to overall E.V. adoption.”"

Jack Ewing and Ivan Penn report for the New York Times May 4, 2024.

Source: NYTimes, 05/08/2024