Tesla boss Elon Musk aims savage dig at Joe Biden for major electric car decision - 'I was surprised!'

Tesla boss Elon Musk aims savage dig at Joe Biden for major electric car decision - 'I was surprised!'

WATCH: Elon Musk on the new Tesla Cybertruck

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 24/05/2024

- 10:28

The US will impose 100 per cent tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles

Elon Musk has slammed the proposed tariffs on Chinese electric cars in the United States which he said would cause a massive blow to the business.

The Biden administration said it would impose 100 per cent tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles in a bid to drive domestic investment and protect American jobs.

In response to the tariffs, Musk stated he was “surprised” by the news which comes at the same time Tesla formed a partnership with China to use its mapping license in models.

The tariffs, which will increase from 25 per cent to 100 per cent, are estimated to cost China $18billion (£14.3billion) in extra import costs, according to the White House.

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Biden Administration to impose 100 per cent tariffs


Speaking at a conference, Elon Musk said: “Neither Tesla nor I asked for these tariffs, I was surprised when they announced.

“Tesla competes quite well in the market in China with no tariffs and no differential support, in general, I’m in favour of no tariffs. I’m also actually in favour of no tax incentives for EVs, provided also that the tax incentives for oil and gas must also be eliminated," the Telegraph reported.

A senior White House official explained that China is producing at a rate and with a trajectory which is "far in excess of any plausible estimate of global demand”.

The official warned that this could “flood” the global market with supply that “undercuts” the US ability to build productive capacity at home and abroad in emerging market countries as well.

“That leaves all of us across the world more vulnerable to economic coercion. And that’s why we’re taking these actions,” they added.

In preparation for the harsh costs, China has looked more at the UK and European markets to continue its electric car rollout.

Recently car brand BYD is set to unveil its cheap EV model priced under £8,000 to the UK market this September.

While the US has spearheaded the harsh tariff campaign against China, Europe is not far behind.

Last year, the Commission launched an investigation to discover whether Chinese EVs would underpin competition in Europe. At present, one in five cars in Europe are made in China.

The UK could see similar measures introduced if China were to continue undercutting the market with its competitive price point, according to Transport Secretary Mark Harper.

Tesla has been shifting away from electric cars in recent months as it hones in on its self-driving tech for its “Robo Taxi” initiative which will be unveiled in the Summer.


The Tesla Roadster

Tesla partnered with Chinese firm on mapping tech for models


Currently, self-driving cars have only been approved by US and Chinese regulators for limited use on public roads. In the UK, plans to push for self-driving cars are underway with the Automated Vehicle Bill passing through Parliament.

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