Tesla’s Supercharger layoffs couldn’t have come at a worse time

Bounced emails. Stalled projects. Delayed adapters. These are the immediate effects of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s “absolutely hard core” approach to cost cutting, which has resulted in at least 500 layoffs from the company’s Supercharger business, including the division’s top executive, Rebecca Tinucci.

The timing couldn’t have been worse. Tesla was on the verge of making its vehicle charging plug the de facto standard in North America, and its competitors and stakeholders are counting on a smooth ride. But Musk claims the leaner team will focus less on deploying new Supercharger locations and instead focus on “100 percent uptime.” How that will translate into reality is unclear, with laid-off employees telling InsideEVs that reduced manpower will affect their ability to respond to outages.

Emails to contacts at Tesla’s charging division have been bouncing back

Just a few weeks before, Tesla was touting its Supercharger advances in quarterly documents filed with the SEC. In the document, the company said it planned to increase its charging infrastructure teams in order to expand the network to support EVs from other manufacturers. Tesla had also accepted $17 million in federal EV charging grants before gutting the Supercharger team.

In reality, Tesla is doing the opposite of expanding its network. Sources told Electrek that Tesla canceled four New York-area Supercharger locations, backing out of the leases, giving credence to Musk’s prediction of slower installations. Meanwhile, emails to contacts at Tesla’s charging division have been bouncing back, a contractor who works on the company’s charging station installations told E&E News. As the contractor was heading to a site in Dallas, Tesla’s construction lead called to say the whole team was laid off.

Elsewhere, projects to install Tesla’s slower Level 2 destination chargers at apartment complexes have also been affected. A condo owner named Don Burke posted on X that his building was in the middle of installing four chargers when the project stalled. Burke said his emails to Tesla employees have bounced back, and there’s no indication that there’s anyone left at the company who can help.

Over on Reddit, a commenter posted that their $7,000 project is also in limbo since Tesla needs to fix the software, but no one is responding. Another contractor related how his project building a 43-charger station has been canceled after their contact at Tesla said the entire team was fired.

Tesla also has a big contract with Hilton to install up to 20,000 chargers at hotels, but it’s unknown if the project will be affected. A spokesperson for the hotel chain did not respond to a request for comment.

Tesla’s cuts are also affecting the availability of CCS-to-NACS adapters that are supposed to be sent to owners of Ford, Rivian, and GM electric vehicles this year (and eventually to every major automaker), allowing them to use the company’s Superchargers. Some Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning owners took to Reddit sharing emails sent from Ford that their complimentary fast-charging adapter is delayed “due to supply constraints.” Some have moved from May to June, others as late as September.

Tesla’s Supercharger network is widely accepted as the gold standard on how to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure, one that other EV networks can’t seem to match in size and reliability. According to BloombergNEF, Tesla accounts for 74 percent of all fast chargers in North America.

Part of Tesla’s success is owed to Tinucci, who oversaw Tesla’s portfolio of Supercharger locations, led business-to-business destination charger projects, and spearheaded Tesla’s Magic Dock-capable Supercharger installs so other manufacturers’ EVs can plug in without needing to bring an adapter.

According to a former employee who spoke to The Washington Post, Tinucci met with Musk privately before the layoffs to express her opposition to the magnitude of the layoffs. Now with Tinucci out, along with most of the Supercharger team, Tesla’s big lead is at risk.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.