Tesla Hires Back 500 Fired Employees from Supercharging Team

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla last week began to rehire some of the nearly 500 employees from its Supercharging team that CEO Elon Musk fired late last month.

According to sources familiar with the matter, among those rehired was Director of Charging Max de Zegher, who along with senior director Rebecca Tinucci, was among the employees Musk fired when he dismissed the Supercharging group.

Musk’s decision to get rid of the entire Supercharging team sent shockwaves through the industry tasked with building the network of fast and reliable Tesla charging stations in the United States.

The Biden administration vowed to build half a million charging stations in the next ten years as part of its effort to transition from gas-powered vehicles to electric.

While Tesla already had a superior network of charging stations before the administration’s launch its effort, the company took a central role in helping to achieve the president’s goal.

Over the past year, Tesla convinced its competition to make its superior charging plugs the industry standard and had signed agreements with some of the largest EV makers to open its charging network to their customers.

After receiving blowback for the layoffs, Musk pledged earlier this month to invest more than $500 million on expanding Tesla’s charging network this year. Musk also said Tesla planned to slow the addition of new charging stations to focus more attention on existing locations and uptime.

This isn’t the first time Elon Musk has walked back cost-cutting measures he impulsively announced.

In 2019, Musk announced that his EV company would close most of its brick and mortar locations and shift to online sales. Ten days later, Musk backtracked on the plan after landlords refused to let Tesla stores out of their leases.

Tesla’s Superchargers were first introduced in September 2012 after the company launched its Model S sedan. Today, Tesla has over 6,200 charging stations worldwide  with 57,000 connectors.