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Elon Musk Criticizes Biden’s Electric Car Incentives

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has spoken out against President Biden’s new infrastructure bill. Credit: Daniel Oberhaus / Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY 4.0

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had harsh words for President Joe Biden’s upcoming spending bill on Monday. The world’s richest person derided the bill, which is meant to target social and climate-related areas, saying that the President should focus on the “insane” federal deficit.

Musk, who was appearing at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit on Monday, said that if it were up to him, he “would just can this whole bill.”

The bill, which is known as The Build Back Better Act, has already passed in the House of Representatives but has not yet come before the Senate. Musk’s objections to the bill are striking, since it contains tax incentives for electric vehicles.

If the bill were to pass, it would reinstate a $7,500 federal credit for the purchasers of Musk’s cars. Biden passed an infrastructure bill last month that provides $7.5 billion to establish electric-vehicle charging stations across the country. But Musk is against such government funding for charging stations.

“Do we need support for gas stations? We don’t,” he said. “So there’s no need for support for a charging network; I would delete it. I’m literally saying get rid of all subsidies, but also for oil and gas.”

Musk insisted that Biden’s administration should act more like a “referee” instead of a “player.” But Musk seemed to contradict himself when he said that the country was also in need of improved airports and highways or else self-driving cars would cause massive traffic congestion:

“As autonomous vehicles come to the fore and it is easier to drive without going through the pain of having to drive, which is absolutely coming, it will be one of the biggest transformations ever in human civilization, and there will be more cars on the road. Traffic will get worse.”

Elon Musk rejects funding from EU as part of a move away from government subsidies

Musk has become increasingly vocal about distancing Tesla from government funding. When Tesla announced last month that it has backed out of its attempt to get state aid for a forthcoming battery factory outside of Berlin, Musk said that the move is part of the corporation’s larger turn away from government subsidies.

“It has always been Tesla’s view that all subsidies should be eliminated,” Musk tweeted to another user inquiring about the axed plan.

The European Union gave Tesla the green light in January, approving the electric car company’s proposals for state aid, as well as BMW and fellow companies interested in producing electric car batteries. The EU is hoping to support the manufacture of such batteries within the continent so as to decrease reliance on imports from China.

The bloc had planned to give Tesla 1.14 billion euros ($1.28 billion) to launch its plant in Gruenheide, Brandenburg, with the final approval expected at the end of 2021.


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