‘The EV Charging Industry is Okay,’ Says Re-Hired Tesla Superchaging Lead

In April, Tesla fired its entire staff of 500 employees responsible for the Supercharger network. After (but not outwardly because of) being slammed by critics, the automaker double-backed and re-hired some of the staff.

The move confused everyone, and perhaps even more seriously, put a rather negative spotlight on CEO Elon Musk who is in the midst of fighting for a $56 billion pay package to be approved by shareholders. But all’s well that ends well, or at least that’s the connotation given off by a returning employee now set to march Tesla’s charging team into the future.

Tesla Eliminated Its Entire Supercharging Team

In April, Tesla abruptly laid off its entire Supercharging team of 500 employees. The move confused many owners, investors, and prospective buyers, especially as the U.S. is pushing for DC Fast Charging growth across the country—even providing grants to bolster the process. The automaker has since re-hired some of the employees that it let go.

TJ Connolly is now the Tesla Charging Program Manager and Business Development Lead for North America. He was one of the many people let go during Tesla’s massive layoff of more than 10% of its workforce—prior to his current role, he was the lead of Tesla’s Business Development Lead for Wall Connector, and prior to that, the automaker’s Commercial Charging Business Development.

A recent post by Connolly on LinkedIn indicates that he was one of the employees brought back to a leaner-run Tesla charging team, but this time, as the lead of Tesla’s charging program. According to Connolly, that means overseeing the future of the Supercharger and Wall Connector programs.

“Please forgive any delays in my responses, but I assure you that the EV Charging Industry is OK,” wrote Connolly in a post on LinkedIn. “Tesla will continue to lead and inspire, while providing the best customer experience, with our best-in-class products and support. I am very excited to continue to help shape the future of the Wall Connector and Supercharger programs […]”

Connolly’s positive words aside, Tesla’s charging program was left in a pretty uncertain state just weeks ago.

Many installations were left partially finished with contractors unable to call anybody at the automaker for answers. Tesla reportedly “attempted” to reach its charging partners to ask for their cooperation and patience amid the abrupt change, and its (now former) employees let it all out, claiming that the “quality is going to deteriorate” and that it was only a matter of time before customers began to experience issues.

We’re hoping that’s not the case, especially as a downed DC Fast Charger could mean someone either reaching their destination or being stranded without a place to charge. The reliability of Tesla’s Supercharging network recently reached an all-time high just before the staff layoffs, and its continued uptime is crucial as automakers begin to roll out NACS-equipped cars that will charge on the Supercharging network.

It seems like Connolly has a decent amount of faith that the charging programs are once again being led in the right direction despite the recent uprooting, so here’s hoping for the best.