President Joe Biden last month announced plans to reduce auto pollution and increase fuel economy standards, inviting officials from Ford, GM, Stellantis – formerly Fiat Chrysler – and the United Auto Workers union to a news conference.
Notably absent from the gathering that featured discussion of increasing sales of electric vehicles was Tesla, the biggest name in the industry.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says he doesn't know.
The former South Bend mayor was asked recently on CNBC's “Squawk Box,” but didn't provide an answer.
“I'm not sure,” Buttigieg said, before quickly shifting gears to praise Biden's goal for half of all new cars or trucks to be electric or zero-emission by 2030.
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk noticed, tweeting “Yeah, seems odd that Tesla wasn't invited.”
Buttigieg said he didn't see the tweet, but CNBC notes Tesla has resisted unions in its facilities – something likely to be unpopular with the pro-union president.
“We of course welcome the efforts of all automakers who recognize the potential of an electric future and support efforts that will help reach President Biden's goal,” an unnamed White House official told CNBC. “And we're excited to see the support and goals not just from the three automakers who will be here today, but all automakers who realize this potential.”