White House Answers Why Tesla Wasn’t Invited To United Auto Workers EV Event

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There’s finally a response from the White House on why it excluded Tesla from its EV event. Technically, it’s more than just an EV event, as some in the comments kindly corrected, but the event is centering around selling a lot more EVs by 2030 — a 50% target market share that includes plugin hybrids as well as full electrics. The reason why the White House excluded Tesla, according to Market Watch, is because of unions. The video below includes the full White House Press Secretary’s briefing (a transcript from that section is further down).


Secretary Psaki started her briefing with President Biden’s investments to address the climate crisis. Shen then spoke of positioning America to drive the electric vehicle future forward with goals to out-compete China. She added that he would sign an executive order that sets a new target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles. These include battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and fuel cell vehicles.

During the Q&A, one of the reporters asked,

“And the founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, expressed surprise that he was not invited to the ceremony because his company is obviously such a large manufacturer of electric vehicles. Can you give us any insight into why Tesla wasn’t included in this event?”

Secretary Psaki replied,

“We, of course, welcome the efforts of all automakers who recognize the potential of an electric vehicle future and support efforts that will help reach the president’s goal, and certainly, Tesla is one of those companies. Today, it’s the three largest employers of the United Auto Workers and the UAW president who will stand with President Biden as he announces his ambitious new target, but I would not expect this is the last time we talk about clean cars, the move toward electric vehicles, and we look forward to having a range of partners in that effort.”

A follow-up question was,

“So it’s not because Tesla’s a non-union shop?”

And Psaki replied,

“Well, these are the three largest employers of the United Auto Workers, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.”

It’s About Politricks, Not EVs, But Advocates For Clean Vehicles Will Benefit

It’s not about EVs, it’s about politricks. However, it does put EVs front and center and Tesla will reap the benefits from more free press, as more people get to know that it’s not only the best selling EV maker in the nation, but also in the world.

What’s more, Tesla’s mission will also be a focal point bringing me to the silver lining in this dark cloud of political snubs and drama. That lining is that Tesla will continue to meet its goals, which are centered around sustainability. And all this drama will just aid in Tesla’s efforts to accelerate the transition to sustainability.

As someone who is a Tesla supporter (and an investor with under 10 shares), I believe in Tesla’s mission. I support it, and honestly, I don’t like seeing all of its hard work being dismissed by politicians in such a way. Also, keep in mind that Tesla is doing what legacy auto could not do. Tesla was the first to bring mass-produced EVs to market and scale — without several large factories around the world. Tesla didn’t construct its Shanghai Gigafactory until after its challenges and success getting the Model 3 to mass production. Legacy auto has had all of these resources for years but is just now wanting to make EVs. That’s not really “leadership.”

Additional Thoughts

Despite the snub toward Tesla, this is a good thing. If it wasn’t for Tesla’s push for EVs and sustainability, we wouldn’t have legacy automakers that have played a key role in creating the climate crisis being forced to do something about it. By forced, I mean they have to make something to compete with Tesla and its best-selling vehicles, the Model 3 and Model Y (and soon Cybertruck).

In June, MotorBiscuit touched upon this and pointed out that Tesla’s Model 3 was one of the best-selling cars on earth. So, yes, legacy auto will need all the help it can get, and perhaps this meeting with Biden is a way for them to attempt to catch up to Tesla’s lead. Elon Musk has always supported competition in that regard and views gas cars as the real competition. As I said, this can be a good thing. Let’s hope for the best.

Related story: Why You Have Oddities Like A Political EV Event That Excludes Tesla, & Why US Politics Is So Hard

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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

Johnna Crider has 1996 posts and counting. See all posts by Johnna Crider