Less than a month after Tesla took a knife to its global Supercharger team, the electric vehicle (EV) giant has reportedly started to call back some of the staff it laid off in an embarrassing about-face.

    In late April, overseas reports emerged that Tesla had fired Rebecca Tinucci, the head of its Supercharger division, as well as her entire team of approximately 500 employees.

    Ms Tinucci had allegedly refused to act on Tesla’s desire to reduce the department’s headcount, resulting in a mass layoff of the EV charging specialists, which included Max de Zegher, its North American director of charging.

    It’s understood the decision was made after Tesla recently announced operating margins of 5.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2024 – down from 11.3 per cent the year prior – while its deliveries of new vehicles had fallen to their lowest levels since 2022.

    However, Bloomberg reports Mr de Zegher has since been rehired along with an undisclosed number of former Supercharger team members, though it’s understood Ms Tinucci is not among them.

    The news of Mr de Zegher’s rehiring comes shortly after Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a post on his social media platform X – formerly Twitter – telling his followers Tesla will continue to invest in EV charging technology.

    “Just to reiterate: Tesla will spend well over [US]$500M (A$757 million) expanding our Supercharger network to create thousands of NEW chargers this year,” Mr Musk posted.

    “That’s just on new sites and expansions, not counting operations costs, which are much higher.”

    The company’s Superchargers are often regarded as the best in the industry and a leading reason behind the brand’s success, providing more reliable EV charging than rival networks across more locations.

    Tesla’s decision to cut its global Supercharger team also impacted Australia, after technology publication EFTM last week reported the rollout of more Tesla Superchargers across the country had been paused indefinitely.

    As reported earlier this week, Tesla subsequently sent an email to its Australian customers, claiming its “Supercharger network will continue to be expanded,” and “projects currently in construction are continuing to be completed and put into operation”.

    “Customer experience for charging continues to be a top priority for the Supercharger network and we continue to focus on the ease of charging, competitive pricing and investing in the charging experience holistically,” the EV giant added.

    Despite the overseas turmoil, Tesla’s Australian sales are up by 5.6 per cent across the opening four months of the year compared to the same period in 2023, delivering 14,866 vehicles to local customers.

    MORE: Layoffs haven’t stopped Tesla Supercharger expansion in Australia… for now
    MORE: How Tesla’s global layoffs are impacting Australia
    MORE: Tesla fires Supercharger and new car development teams – report

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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