Musk, top Biden aides meet in Washington, talk electric cars

Jan 27, 2023, 2:59 PM | Updated: 4:26 pm
FILE - Elon Musk departs the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Court House in San F...

FILE - Elon Musk departs the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Court House in San Francisco, Jan. 24, 2023. Musk and top aides to President Joe Biden have met in Washington to discuss electric vehicles. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says Musk did not meet with the president. (AP Photo/ Benjamin Fanjoy, File)

(AP Photo/ Benjamin Fanjoy, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk and a pair of top aides to President Joe Biden met in Washington on Friday to discuss the electric vehicle industry and the broader goal of electrification.

Musk and Biden did not meet, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

The two haven’t had the smoothest of relationships, with Biden, a big supporter of labor unions, disappointed by Musk’s refusal to allow them into his factories.

White House aides Mitch Landrieu and John Podesta sat down with the Tesla chief — who also owns Twitter and SpaceX — at Tesla’s office in downtown Washington to discuss shared goals around electrification.

Their discussion touched on how infrastructure and climate legislation that Biden signed into law last year can help boost the production of electric vehicles and charging stations, and encourage more people to switch from gas-fueled to electric-powered vehicles and to choose more electric appliances, like heat pumps and stoves. Rebates and tax credits are available to encourage that shift.

Landrieu oversees federal spending on infrastructure, which included financial help for the electric vehicle industry. Podesta is the president’s point man on spending on Biden’s climate and clean energy initiatives.

Asked whether the meeting signaled a new phase in White House relations with Musk, Jean-Pierre said it “says a lot” about how Biden sees the importance of both pieces of legislation.

“I think it’s important that his team, senior members of his team, had a meeting with Elon Musk,” she said.

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Musk, top Biden aides meet in Washington, talk electric cars