Biden offered Elon Musk a rare bit of praise after Tesla agreed to open up its charging network to rivals by the end of 2024
- On Wednesday, US President Biden offered up some rare praise for an unlikely candidate.
- Elon Musk opened up Tesla's charging network to rivals. "That's a big deal, and it'll make a big difference," Biden tweeted.
Elon Musk has been under intense scrutiny since his takeover of Twitter — but things appear to be on the up at Tesla, where he is also CEO.
On Wednesday, Musk received rare praise from US President Joe Biden after Tesla agreed to open at least 7,500 of its charging stations to other electric vehicles by the end of 2024. Tesla's chargers have only been accessible to the brand's cars.
"In building our EV charging network, we have to ensure that as many chargers work for as many drivers as possible," Biden tweeted Wednesday, adding: "To that end, @elonmusk will open a big part of @Tesla's network up to all drivers. That's a big deal, and it'll make a big difference."
Within seven hours, Biden's tweet had been viewed about 10 million times and garnered over 14,000 likes.
—President Biden (@POTUS) February 15, 2023
In response, Musk thanked Biden.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 15, 2023
The cordial exchange between the two is unusual because they previously appeared to have a strained relationship, even trading barbs openly.
Most recently, Musk — displeased that Biden's Super Bowl tweet got more engagement than his own — asked Twitter engineers to boost his tweets, per a report published by Platformer on Wednesday.
Tensions between the two had become apparent back in August 2021 when Musk complained on Twitter that Tesla wasn't invited to an EV summit at the White House even though the automaker dominates the US market.
Musk has also repeatedly attacked some of Biden's key political agendas including a Democratic Party tax plan targeting US billionaires. Musk said at the time that any reallocation of wealth would be better managed by the private sector than by the government.
Biden also hit out at Musk. The president aimed a pointed barb at the SpaceX CEO's fixation with space in June 2022 — the same time he was touting Ford's investment into EVs.
In November, Biden said at a White House press conference that Musk's ties with foreign countries were "worthy of being looked at" following his acquisition of Twitter. White House officials had earlier denied reports that it was planning a security review of Musk's deals — including the purchase of Twitter.
Biden's praise comes at a tumultuous time for Musk and Twitter
According to Tesla employees who are working out of Twitter's office, Musk appears to be "obviously stressed," Insider's Kali Hays reported earlier on Thursday. They compared the situation now to 2018 — a period Musk referred to as "excruciating" and "the most difficult and painful" of his entire career — saying it's "worse."
Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in late October, Musk has instituted sweeping changes at the company, including mass layoffs and ending some benefits to cut costs. Advertising also dropped amid scrutiny on Twitter — more than half of its top 1,000 advertisers in September were not spending on the platform in the first weeks of 2023, CNN reported on Monday.
Tesla, meanwhile, is faring a tad better — its share prices have rebounded this year and are up nearly 74% so far. They had tanked by over 50% in 2022 due to various factors, including slow demand and vehicle output, the Fed's rate hikes, and Musk's Twitter takeover — which sparked investor concerns that he was spreading himself too thin.
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